Newbie guide/Classes and races
The first thing any new players to Dungeons and Dragons Online should know is that every class plays differently. If you have only one character, then you would probably benefit from trying a few others. Roll up a character that is different race and class from your initial character and see how you like something completely different.
Once you've found a type of character you like, then you research more information about the things you can do with that class. Don't worry about specifics until after you've decided what type of function you'd like to perform in the party, i.e. what you would do when fighting in groups.
The Artificer is the tinkerer. Arcane and Divine have no meaning: To an Artificer, magic is fundamental. They study the underlying weave of magic, seeking to understand the how and why of its actual patterns, rather than just how to manifest it.
Artificers are characterized in DDO by two things: their Pet and their Rune Arm. The Artificer can actually be considered two characters working as a single unit: the Brawn of the pet tempered and directed by the Brain of its master. Artificers require a good Intelligence to learn their Infusions, and are able to scribe scrolls and prepare those infusions as a Wizard does. However, Artificers never have to worry about Spell Failure when casting their Infusions.
Artificers have unique access to rune arms. These are large, cannon-like bracers that fit over your left hand. They provide a variety of effects to the Artificer itself, but can also shoot out bursts of energy, augmenting the Artificer's damage output.
Their typical weapons are infusions, their pet, rune arms and a crossbow. They gain an extra feat every four levels for Artificer type stuff. They also have great bonuses to Use Magic Device(UMD)and can increase items casting level, making them more powerful.
Play this class if you want to be a ranged damage dealer with crossbows, or a mid-ranged spellcaster focused on electric and physical damage.
(Artificers must be purchased from the DDO Store or be unlocked with House Cannith favor).
The Barbarian is the bruiser. Big, mean, and angry, and always willing to charge the enemy and silence him for good. They are most notable for their rage ability, which can increase their strength, constitution, and will saves but at the minor expense of self defenses.
Barbarians are characterized by very good damage done on each individual hit, the highest base hit points of all classes, and low armor class. They can deal out a lot of damage quickly, but they sometimes need a lot of healing, due to a lower armor class and their optional abilities which inflict self damage. They are also good for their glancing blows (an additional attack made with most two handed swings which hits all targets around you for a percentage of your main damage) with large, two-handed weapons. They get passive damage reduction, which reduces damage taken and also a nice 10% base run speed increase.
Pick this class if you like dealing a lot of damage and still want to withstand some hits.
The Bard is the jack of all trades. They can cast spells, use some weapons and armor in combat, have a good many skills for use in combat and out, and they have Bardic music which can help the whole party to perform better in combat.
Bards are characterized by their versatility. You can build a successful Bard in a great many ways. The only constant is that they need Charisma for casting. The amount of Cha you'll want to have depends on how much you'll want to focus on spellcasting versus melee (or ranged) combat. A bard that can't cast spells is a burden to a party. A bard that can cast spells efficiently is an incredible asset.
Play this class if you wish to be a helpful team member, enjoy music, or wish to create a hybrid character that can accomplish many things.
The Cleric is a divine caster who automatically learns most of the healing spells in the game. Calm, collected, and wise, good clerics are always ready to bring you back from the brink of death, and high-level clerics can bring you back even after you've gone over that brink.
Clerics are characterized by their healing spells, and their ability to wear heavy armor and carry some decent weapons. In order to cast some of the highest level spells, a Cleric needs a high Wisdom score, particularly for offensive casting spells. Clerics get the ability to Turn Undead, which (with enhancements) can also be used for additional healing and restorative abilities.
Clerics have some melee capabilities, but aren't quite as strong as the more martial classes. That being said, a war priest cleric can be a great asset to other nearby melee classes.
Play this class if you wish to be a valuable addition to any party, enjoy healing, or get a kick out of demolishing the undead.
The Druid is a guardian of nature. They are at home in the forests and wilds, usually maintaining a position of neutrality and keep their distance, rarely taking sides in conflicts unless it directly affects their wards.
Druids are divine spellcasters, like clerics and favored souls. However, they have a separate spell list and their spells tend to focus more on damage and crowd control than healing, but they do have plenty of healing capabilities. Druids require Wisdom to cast spells, and it also affects their maximum spell points.
Druids also have the unique ability to change their shapes, using Wild Shape. This changes their form to that of a wolf or bear, each with upgraded forms, unique abilities and spells, and their own traits. Druids shapeshifted into these forms have greater martial capabilities, and can become swift attackers (wolves) or very durable tanks (bears). Druids can also shapeshift into a fire or water elemental form, boosting specific elemental spells but weakening the opposites in the process.
Play this class if you enjoy a dynamic spellcaster or shapeshifting into animal forms.
(Druids can only be unlocked by purchasing them in the DDO store).
The Favored Soul is a divine spellcaster with the ability to heal, cast offensively, or even melee. They get a larger number of spell points than a cleric, along with better saves. While their spell points and casting abilities rely on their Charisma score, a high Wisdom score is required for offensive casting. Favored souls learn fewer spells than Clerics, get access to spells one level later than clerics, and can only exchange one spell every three days. Unlike Clerics, Favored Souls do not automatically get all healing spells on their spell list, so it is possible but unwise to create a Favored Soul with little or no ability to heal or assist other party members.
Favored souls often have more of an offensive focus than clerics, and gain proficiency with more weapons. They also gain powerful abilities at higher levels, including Leap of Faith, stacking energy resistance, and one of the best Capstone enhancements in the game, with damage resistance and free casting (only available to characters with 20 levels of Favored Soul, not multiclass builds).
While they are both divine casters, the differences between Clerics and Favored Souls are best described as follows: any well-built Cleric can be decent at casting, healing, and melee all at once, but a well-built Favored Soul can be better than a Cleric at offensive spellcasting and martial fighting, but probably not as well suited to healing. Many of the more impressive solo achievements in the game have been completed by Favored Souls.
Play this class if you enjoy both healing and offensive casting or wish to become a holy warrior.
(The Favored Soul can be unlocked as a reward for reaching 2500 favor in the game, or purchased in the DDO store.)
Fighters run the gamut. From the wily veteran of many campaigns to the fresh-faced young archer, an evil baron's bodyguard to the mercenary fighting for coin, fighters are people who've trained with weapons and armor and don't really know much else.
Fighters are frequently melee combatants, and are sought out for their melee prowess. Strength is very important, as it improves your chances to hit and the damage done per swing. Some fighters (particularly the archer mentioned above) will focus more heavily on Dexterity than on Strength. There are many good Dex-based fighter builds, but these take a little more knowledge of the game's inner workings to do well. Read up before you attempt it.
Fighters are perhaps best known for their vast amount of feats: they gain more than twice as many feats as all other classes, ensuring that you can pick and mix which ones you want to fully customize your path. Fighters are also the best at tactical combat and can take special bonus feats to increase the likelihood of successfully landing abilities such as Stunning Blow and Trip.
Even if they do not possess the naturally high hit points of a barbarian, they can reach a far higher Armor Class through enhancements and can be built to become the most durable class in the game, making them excellent tanks. While lacking the self-healing of the Paladin, a fighter will nonetheless eventually gain higher defenses, especially with their access to special, fighter-only feats while wearing heavy armor.
Play this class if you want to fully customize your martial build and enjoy strategic combat.
The monk is a dynamically versatile martial-arts style melee combatant that fights without wearing any armor and typically unarmed. All monks must be Lawfully-aligned.
Monks have incredible saves, resistances and immunities. Monks often escape deadly traps that most other classes (save the Rogue) will succumb to. They gain impressive jump and falling abilities and are low in cost to maintain, depending on your build.
By level 3 you must choose one of two paths for your Monk.
The Path of Harmonious Balance ("Light monk") gives a monk skills to assist your party over time with area-of-effect healing, removal of curses and disease, restoration, and combating the undead and other evil or impure creatures. Properly played, a Light Monk is virtually self-sufficient in every way.
The Path of Inevitable Dominion ("Dark monk") turns a monk into a whirling engine of destruction, using their abilities for quick dispatch of all but the strongest enemies.
Monks use a special ability known as ki (pronounced "kee"), which powers their unique abilities. Ki, however, drains from the monk over time, forcing them to attack to charge it up again. This disadvantage is also the monk's biggest advantage (especially for the Light Monk) as may not need to shrine nearly as often (if at all) as other classes. Wisdom is a very important stat for all Monks, as it provides additional Armor Class (seeing as they can't wear armor), increases the power of several ki abilities, and directly effects the maximum ki you can possess. Concentration is the most vital skill for monks, as it also directly helps them increase and maintain ki.
Monks chain their special attacks to form Finishing Moves that release their ki for restorative or destructive effect.
While taking a couple of levels of Monk might make for an interesting effect for another class, it is very ill-advised to multiclass a Monk without doing heavy research on your build, for many of the feats and enhancements that empower a Monk will never appear, leaving a character in a very precarious state as they level--if they can level at all. Monks must also remain Centered or they lose access to all of their Monk abilities and passives.
Play this class if you enjoy martial arts, being self sufficient, or out-pacing and dancing circles around your opponents.
(The Monk class can only be purchased from the DDO Store).
The Paladin is the law man. Knowing what is right and what is wrong, what should be done and what should not be done, what the gods would like and what they would not, a Paladin always does the right thing. People who obey the law and walk in the light have nothing to fear from a true Paladin.
Paladins are known for melee prowess as well as a small amount of healing ability. Many of their abilities are dependent on their Charisma score, but their combat ability is determined by Strength and Constitution more than anything else and their healing spells depend on their Wisdom.
Paladins are also naturally durable, and make great tanks. A paladin wielding a shield and wearing heavy armor is not an uncommon sight, and a bastion to fall back upon when allies are overwhelmed. Due to their unique feat, Divine Grace, paladins can have the highest saving throws in the game, adding to their durability and survivability.
Play this class if you wish to strike a balance between offense and defense, smite evil creatures, or be a great boon to your allies.
The Ranger is a stealthy fighter at home in the outdoors. Knowing what signs to look for when tracking an escaped felon or a deer you plan to eat for dinner, and being able to put an arrow through a bulls-eye at 300 paces are common feats for a good Ranger.
Rangers need 14 Wisdom for their highest level spell casting, which includes healing and buffing spells; good Dexterity for their ranged combat abilities; and good Strength for their melee combat abilities and damage in any type of combat. Rangers are the only class in DDO that can add their strength bonus to their longbow and shortbow damage.
In addition to automatic feats granted for bows, Rangers automatically gain the Two Weapon Fighting feats as they level, allowing dual-wielding of many weapons. This allows them to effectively switch between ranged and melee weapons when the situation demands it.
Rangers are a class that work best if you have a goal in mind when you create the character. Research common abilities and choices before building your first Ranger, and plan out your feats and ability score increases, and you will enjoy it much more. While you can be effective with both melee and range, it's best to focus on one aspect and use the other when necessary.
Play this class if you enjoy archery, dancing gracefully around with blades in battle, or being self sufficient.
The Rogue is the stealth expert. Knowing what a weapon is worth is more important to him than knowing how to use it. Knowing how to disable a trap in order to get to whatever it was protecting is more important to him than knowing how to kill a hobgoblin bare-handed.
Rogues are characterized by their Disable Device skill, which is powered by high Intelligence; and by their sneak attack damage, which is improved every other level. A well played Rogue can cause a tremendous amount of sneak attack damage in melee combat, but only if they are not being attacked by their target. High Dexterity is important for a Rogue as it helps several of their other skills. Also, to a lesser degree, Wisdom is important for a Rogue, as it improves the Spot skill, allowing the Rogue to react to traps before they are sprung, and adds will saves, probably the weakest aspect of the class.
Play this class if you enjoy finding and disabling traps, unlocking treasure chests, and stealthily avoiding combat......only to leap from behind and obliterate your opponent before sneaking off, again.
The Sorcerer is the impulsive caster. Summoning energy from deep within themselves, they cause the world to change when they need it to, based solely on their own need and willpower. If the wizard is a kung-fu master, applying pressure where and when it is needed, then the sorcerer is a ten-foot-tall barroom brawler with a chip on his shoulder.
Sorcerers are characterized in DDO by their ability to cast spells quickly and their high number of spell points (a sorcerer will quickly have the highest maximum spell points of all classes). A Sorcerer's casting ability is based on their Charisma. Sorcerers also have limited spells they can learn at one time and learn their spells more slowly than wizards. Their enhancement trees are focused on increasing the damage of their spells, and are perhaps the most single-minded of all classes in that they exist almost exclusively for wreaking wide-spread destruction on their foes.
Play this class if you wish to blast your opponents with a fireball, boil them in acid, electrocute them, or freeze them in frigid ice.
The Warlock is a powerful arcanist. Unlike wizards or sorcerers, who gain their power from an innate lineage or intense study, or like clerics or favored souls, who gain power through prayer and devotion, warlocks derive their magic from making a pact. These pacts are made with eldritch beings, devils, or powerful fey creatures to give them near unlimited power. At a cost.
Warlocks have a unique ability called an Eldritch Blast. This uses magic directly from their pact source, and provides their primary source of damage output. This blast can take a variety of shapes and utilize a variety of additional effects and damage types, making the warlock a very dynamic class. The eldritch blast has unlimited power, does not cost spell points, and replaces basic attacks with weapons. While this blast is not exceptionally powerful, it requires no resources, ensuring a constant steam of damage. Warlocks can, however, change their eldritch blast into an aura that constantly pulses with power, enabling them to take up weapons and pursue a more martial path.
Warlocks also have a variety of buffing, crowd control, and debuffing spells. However, they have no direct damage spells, and have the least amount of spell slots of any spellcasting class (two) and have the lowest base spell points of any spellcaster (except paladins or rangers). Depending on the pact that they choose (fey, fiend, or great old one) they will gain six additional spells, each based on their pact's influence, making a total of four spells per spell level.
Play this class if you enjoy providing a constant barrage of magic damage or enjoy very focused spell casting.
(Warlocks can only be unlocked by purchasing them in the DDO store).
The Wizard is the deliberate caster; the scholar. Researching lost arcane arts in dusty libraries and learning everything there is to know about everything they find to learn about are frequent hobbies for Wizards.
Wizards are characterized in DDO by their ability to bring the right spell for the right mission, and cast it with the right Metamagic modifiers to perfectly solve the problem at hand. A Wizard's spell casting is based on his Intelligence, and he can have a relatively large number of spells prepared, but since his casting is based on learned skills, and not natural talent, it takes him a little longer to cast any given spell than it would take a Sorcerer.
Wizards usually focus on 'DC Casting', which is usually in the form of Necromancy , Enchantment , or Illusion spells, although Evocation wizards are not uncommon. This is because wizards gain five extra feats to use on spellcasting feats so they can specialize in the spell schools of their choice.
Play this class if you wish to toy with your opponents with enchantments and illusions, charm them and make them fight for you, or instantly slay them outright.
Drow Elves are cunning, agile, and quick. In Eberron, they are quick to kill when they decide killing is the proper course of action, but they are not all evil in Eberron as they are in some other D&D campaign worlds.
Drow get bonuses to Intelligence, Charisma, and Dexterity, and take a penalty to Constitution.
Drow are not eligible for dragonmarks.
Drow are only available to players who have a character with a total of 400 or more Favor or can be purchased from the DDO store.
A typical Dwarf is stout, hearty, and amiable. Masters of smithing, good Dwarven blacksmiths can craft any item quicker and with higher quality than nearly anyone else.
Dwarves get a bonus to Constitution but take a penalty to Charisma.
Dwarves gain racial bonuses with many types of axes and hammers, as well as bonuses to tactical feats.
A typical Elf is agile, arrogant, and protective of all things natural. They have many natural protections against enchantments, are naturally skilled in light weaponry and ranged weapons and make great scouts. Elves make excellent Rangers or Wizards.
Elves get a bonus to Dexterity and take a penalty to Constitution.
Gnomes are short, methodical, and insatiably curious. Many of the technological advances in Eberron have been at the hands of gnomes.
Gnomes gain a bonus to intelligence but take a penalty to strength.
Gnomes must be purchased from the DDO store.
They have higher social skills than other classes, and are given a degree of versatility with Dilettante feats that are unmatched by any other race.
Half-elves suffer from no penalties nor gain any bonuses to their ability scores, and are able to use race-restricted magical items that are intended for humans or elves.
Half-Orcs are the only race with a bonus to strength gets bonus to strength, which comes at the price of penalties to Charisma and Intelligence. Half-Orcs also have access to racial enhancements to improve their strength and two-handed fighting damage, and are able to use race-restricted magical items that are intended for humans or orcs.
Half-Orcs must be purchased from the DDO store.
Halflings are half the height of a typical human, but they have twice the spirit, and some small affinity with healing without the use of spells.
They are naturally lucky, an aid in their saving throws and have many natural advantages to Hide, Jump, and Move Silently, as well as thrown weapon skills. Halflings are a natural choice for the versatile Rogue class.
Halflings get a bonus to Dexterity and take a penalty to Strength.
Humans are as varied and unpredictable as they have always been. Humans can do anything, and if you can think of something, a human has probably tried it.
Humans get no ability score bonuses, but they do get one extra Feat at character creation and one extra Skill point per level (four at character creation). This extra feat is invaluable for many builds.
In the last war, House Cannith (supposedly) created the Warforged, living constructs, to act as soldiers in most all of the armies of Khorvaire. In the treaty that ended the war, the Warforged were awarded their freedom, and released from duty as soldiers, if they so desired. Many Warforged still serve in one army or another, though some have decided to try their hands at other tasks.
Warforged get a bonus to Constitution, and they take a penalty to both Charisma and Wisdom, though at level 1 you may encounter a Warforged Sorcerer.
Warforged are immune to natural poisons and diseases, negative level draining, and various types of paralysis and enchantments. However, they take a penalty to their healing amplification and thus recover less health from healing spells and automatically have a penalty to arcane spell failure.
Warforged do not equip traditional armor. Instead, they use Docents.
Warforged are not eligible for dragonmarks.
Warforged must be purchased from the DDO store.