Acolyte of the Skin
Class defines the player character's specific occupation or talents in DDO. One class is selected on character creation but any character may have up to three classes in total (multiclassing). There are currently 15 classes in DDO, with the most recent addition being the Alchemist. Most classes are free to play for all players, but 3 (highlighted in red above and below) must be purchased with DDO Points, earned via game play and/or are available for free to VIP accounts (details provided in relevant class descriptions). Update 56 also introduced class archetypes (highlighted in yellow above), which are variants letting the player enjoy a different play style of the class they are based upon. There are currently 6 archetypes.
The main article for each class (linked above and below) provides full detail of that class's abilities:
Alchemists are masters in the use of potions, tinctures, poisons and admixtures. They excel in the use of simple weapons, but prefer a ranged approach rather than a melee role, as they have fairly low hit points and can only wear robes. As such they are quite adept at using simple throwing weapons such as daggers and darts. Alchemists are quite versatile, as they can use curative admixtures to heal both living and undead allies, have a wide variety of spell-like flasks that deal magical damage upon contact with their enemies, turn them into statues of gold or cover them in sticky glue. They also have the ability to coat their weapons in various poisons and magical imbues. Alchemists have a special method for using their abilities and spells, being able to change their preferred party role with three different stances in a complex, but rewarding, reaction and combination system.
The Alchemist class can be purchased in the DDO Store for 1,495 and is free to VIP accounts. It is also available to 2018 Season Pass holders.
Artificers combine magic with weapon technology and skill. Traditionally, Artificers prefer to avoid getting their hands dirty in a fight, using personally-made constructs to perform a variety of tasks, but are especially capable in combat. Artificers are jacks-of-all-trades: they can serve as backup healers, as competent offensive spellcasters and as both ranged & melee combatants; they can also find/disable traps and open locks plus have excellent supportive abilities. Artificers are the only class that can gain the use of Rune Arms.
Barbarians are warriors who have special powers when enraged and specialise in dealing heavy damage. Barbarians wear less armor than fighters or paladins, but have more hit points and some innate damage reduction. Uncanny Dodge allows them to have a high dodge chance and excellent reflex saves in short bursts. While many Barbarian abilities are geared towards melee combat, they can also make passable ranged combatants should the need arise.
Bards possess many skills with some special spell casting ability. They can fulfil almost any role within a party. The primary draw of Bards is their ability to use songs to inspire and buff a party, providing small but stacking bonuses to many aspects of gameplay, such as weapon damage, spell effectiveness, dodge and armor class. Their spell lists contains mix of both divine and arcane, but are considered arcane overall: they can use spells focused on crowd control, healing and buffs, as well as offensive sonic spells that can daze or stun opponents. Bards can also learn Use Magic Device as a class skill, letting them easily operate any kind of magical item. They have been called the "best sixth man" because, with bard to fill the final party slot, their powerful musical buffs can boost five other players. Bards can deal significant damage when specced for either physical or magical combat and their respectable healing abilities assist the main healer in keeping the party alive. Bards also possess one of the few abilities in the game that can replenish spell points.
Clerics are divine spell casters who specialise in healing and defence spells as well as some offensive ability in the way of light, fire, and physical spells. Many people think of clerics when looking for a healer, as Clerics have an enhancement tree devoted entirely to healing and support. Clerics can use any armor without penalty but are only proficient with Simple Weapons. Clerics can take up a melee weapon and dish out respectable damage, but they are not as capable as the more physical-based classes. They gain access to clerical domains at level 2, giving them great versatility in allowing them to specialise in certain aspects of the divine arts.
The primary attributes of the Cleric are Wisdom, determining maximum spell points and spellcasting effectiveness, and Charisma, impacting both the ability to Turn Undead and the number of uses of this ability.
Druids are divine spellcasters with a variety of offensive and supportive spells, but they are the epitome of crowd control and can fulfil that role regardless of their specialisation. They can be excellent melee combatants, able to use Wild Shape to transform into bears (strong and hardy tanks) and wolves (fast and agile attackers), or can take up a spellcasting role, turning into fire or water elementals to unleash primal forces of nature in the form of blizzards, thunderstorms, and earthquakes. Druids make strong solo characters considering their melee and self-healing options, especially at low and mid levels. Druids cannot use metal armor or wield metal shields; doing so removes their ability to use many of their druidic abilities.
The primary attribute of the Druid is Wisdom, determining maximum spell points and spellcasting effectiveness. Druids engaging in melee combat also make use of Strength and Constitution, determining hit chance, physical damage, and hit points. Druids get several bonuses to Strength and Constitution from their rage, and can amplify these bonuses with enhancements in Nature's Protector.
Favored Souls are divine casters that follow a path similar to the Cleric. They have fewer spells at their disposal than clerics, being unable to change spell selection at Rest Shrines or in Taverns, but receive almost twice the number of spell points, enabling them to cast their spells more often. Favoured Souls gain energy resistance and inherent Damage Reduction as they progress. They can use light or medium armor proficiency with simple weapons, but gain the use of additional weapons based on their chosen God and can become capable melee combatants. They tend to be more focused on offence than support.
The primary attribute of the Favored Soul is the higher of their Wisdom or Charisma. This is used for determining both maximum spell points and spellcasting effectiveness. Wisdom or Charisma can also be used for hit and damage (if higher than Strength) when using their God's favored weapon.
Fighters are warriors with many extra feats (1 +1 every 2 levels up to 11), allowing them to specialise their role in martial combat. There are many ways to fight: single-weapon, two-handed, dual-wielding, a sword & shield or with a bow (or other ranged weapons)... you name it, a fighter can specialise in it. For best effect, players should thoroughly examine the feats they plan to select before creating this versatile front-line class. Fighters gain access to many unique feats that increase their offensive power, their defences and their ability to use tactical manoeuvres (such as Improved Trip, Improved Sunder or Stunning Blow).
Monks are combatants that perform amazing techniques in battle by using an inner power source called ki. To use their special abilities, monks must be centered and remain in a state of physical and mental balance. To remain centered, a monk must be unencumbered, wielding monk-specific weapons or unarmed, and wear no armor except for robes and outfits. When not centered, monks lose the majority of their special bonuses. While their base weapon selectionis limited, monks can gain specialised training through feats and class enhancements to enable other weapons to be used while centered. They gain a variety of special feats as they increase in level. They can have extremely high Dodge and, at high levels, have a higher base movement speed than any other class.
The primary attribute of the Monk is Wisdom, which is used in retaining ki, increasing Armor Class and increasing the effectiveness of ki attacks and monk-specific tactical abilities. Strength, Constitution and Dexterity are also important.
Paladins are warriors that trade some of their melee power for the ability to cast divine spells. Paladins often have the best saving throws of any character and gain immunity to fear and disease. They may serve as backup healers for short encounters and have passive auras that aid their party members when facing evil creatures. Paladins make great defensive characters, but can easily perform well in an offensive role with weapons.
The primary attributes of the Paladin are Wisdom, determining maximum spell points and spellcasting effectiveness, and Charisma, providing higher saves and increasing the effectiveness of their unique abilities. Strength and Constitution are also important, as the Paladin is a martial class.
Rangers are inherently both archers and a dual-wielding melee class, being proficient in both combat styles. Rangers are capable of stealth combat, although not as effectively as Rogues, and can cast from a limited selection of divine spells. Rangers increase their damage with Favored Enemy feats, which let them pick up to five kinds of monsters to specialise in fighting, providing damage bonuses against those types that stack as they level up.
The primary attribute of the spellcasting Ranger is Wisdom, determining maximum spell points and spellcasting effectiveness. Strength and Dexterity are important for combat, increasing damage and accuracy with weapons.
Rogues get more skill points in DDO than any other class. They are capable of finding/disarming traps and opening locks. Rogues can also deal devastating sneak attack damage when they are beneath the notice of their enemies - they are the best class for stealth and sneaking around. Rogues' defences are quite low, even though they have Evasion and a fairly high Dodge, so must rely on their wits and cunning to survive tough battles. Rogues can do well as either melee or ranged characters.
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters, who serve as the primary offensive magic class in DDO, but are physically quite weak. Sorcerer enhancements are built almost entirely around dealing significant elemental damage with spells. They have fewer spells at their disposal than Wizards, being unable to change spell selection at Rest Shrines or in Taverns, but can cast spells much faster than any other class and, often, have more maximum spell points than other classes, enabling them to cast their spells more often per Rest Shrine without using consumables, temporary spell points, Reaper mode Lost Souls, or other means to restore or preserve spell points.
Warlocks are arcane spellcasters who form pacts with powerful beings to gain power and magic, often seeking out rare and forbidden knowledge. They deal moderate amounts of damage with their Eldritch Blast but they do not require spell points to do so, ensuring a steady stream of magic damage at no cost. Warlocks have limited offensive magic but do have a variety of buffing, crowd control and utility spells. While Warlocks have moderate defences against physical attacks, they can defend against magical spells better than most other classes.
Wizards are adaptive and versatile arcane casters, who gain five extra feats as they level to further enhance their spellcasting. Wizards have more spells available to them than Sorcerers do, being able to change spell selection at Rest Shrines or in Taverns, ensuring they always have the right spell(s) for the job. They do not, however, have as many starting spell points as Sorcerers. Wizards often perform as DC Casters', focusing on spells that instantly kill, control, charm, debuff or otherwise disable/weaken enemies, rather than direct damage spells.
- All classes can wear outer apparel for protection:
- Armor & Shields are common for most melee and specialist classes, while robes & outfits are common for arcane spell casting classes and Monks
- Wearing armor without proficiency in that type of armor, will result in penalties to Physical Resistance Rating and Armor Check Penalties to attack rolls
- Monks become uncentered when wearing armor (even if they somehow gain proficiency) and lose much of their unarmed fighting skill
- Weapons run the gamut in variety, damage and power:
- Simple weapons, such as daggers, can be used by almost any class, but to use the most damaging or exotic weapons, such as greatswords or kukris, proficiency in that weapon type is required
- Spell casting classes may choose not to carry weapons, instead selecting wands, scepters and similar tools that augment their spell casting capability and spell power
- Divine spells are the realm of Clerics, Druids, Favored Souls, Paladins and Rangers, which can be cast safely, irrespective of they type of armor worn. Proficiency for divine casters often involve more Wisdom or Charisma ability points than other classes.
- Arcane spells are the hallmark of Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers and Bards. These classes can be living artillery platforms of magical destruction, but at the cost of reduced HP. Wearing armor when casting Arcane Spells may result in Arcane spell failure. Proficiency in arcane casting typically requires more ability points in Intelligence or Charisma than other classes.
- Artificer Infusions are the purview of Artificers, and are neither arcane nor divine. This branch of magic focuses on placing temporary enchantments on equipment and Constructs to enhance the abilities of the caster and his or her allies. A few select infusions also focus on using technology to devastating effect, conjuring powerful technological effects designed to take down foes. Infusions do not require somatic components and may be cast in medium or heavy armor without penalty. Proficiency in the use of Infusions requires a higher Intelligence score than other classes.
Feats are central talents of a class that give a character a distinct offensive or defensive advantage. Some feats are common to all classes, while others are restricted to a specific class or classes.
By level 30, every character will have received eleven regular feats (at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27 & 30), with human characters receive one extra feat at level 1. Additionally, characters will get the following based on their class:
- Alchemist: Five Alchemist bonus Feats, granted at Alchemist levels 4, 8, 12, 16 & 20
- Artificer: Five Artificer bonus Feats, granted at Artificer levels 4, 8, 12, 16 & 20
- Fighter: Eleven Fighter bonus Feats, granted at Fighter levels 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 & 20
- Monk: Three Martial Arts Feats, granted at levels 1, 2 & 6
- Ranger: Ten extra feats: The main line of Two Weapon Fighting feats (Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Two Weapon Fighting & Greater Two Weapon Fighting (but not Oversized Two Weapon Fighting)); Ranged feats (Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot & Bow Strength; Diehard
- Wizard: Five bonus Metamagic Feats, at 1st level and every multiple of 5
Many bonus feats are ones which any class could select if they so chose, though some are class specific. Most classes also grant other class-specific abilities and benefits, listed in the character's Feats tab, but do not appear as options to select in the feats list. Some are of these abilities completely predetermined and auto-granted, while others provide a choice from a short, class-specific list, including:
- Favored Soul: Seven Favored Soul special abilities, granted at levels 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 15 & 20
- Ranger: Five Favored Enemies, granted at levels 1, 5, 10, 15 & 20
- Rogue: Four Rogue special abilities, granted at levels 10, 13, 16 & 19
Skills define specific areas where many classes can develop innate "knacks", even if their class is not naturally inclined in that ability.
- If the skill is a class skill then each skill point spent corresponds to one rank in that skill
- If the skill is a cross-class skill then each skill point spent corresponds to 0.5 ranks in that skill.
Skills gained at each level vary with class and character Intelligence. For each level gained in a class, a character receives the following base skill points.
|Skill points per level||Class|
|8 + Int modifier||Rogue|
|6 + Int modifier||Bard, Ranger|
|4 + Int modifier||Alchemist, Artificer, Barbarian, Druid, Monk|
|2 + Int modifier||Cleric, Favored Soul, Fighter, Paladin, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard|
The character's base Intelligence modifier is added to base skill points at each level - this includes the character's starting Intelligence (from point buy at character creation), Intelligence gained by levelling (1 point is gained at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 & 20 to be applied to one of the 6 abilities) and inherent bonuses from Tomes, but not points from enhancement trees or equipped items.
At level 1, the Skill Point total granted (including Intelligence modifier) is multiplied by four.
|Level:||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st / 2nd+||1st/2nd+|
|Bard / Ranger||12/3||16/4||20/5||24/6||28/7||32/8||36/9||40/10||44/11|
|Alchemist / Artificer / Barbarian / Druid / Monk||4/1||8/2||12/3||16/4||20/5||24/6||28/7||32/8||36/9|
|Cleric / Favored Soul / Fighter / Paladin / Sorcerer / Warlock / Wizard **||4/1||4/1||4/1||8/2||12/3||16/4||20/5||24/6||30/7|
*Humans have an additional 4 bonus skill points at 1st level and 1 each level after.
Example: A Human Rogue with 18 intelligence will have 52 skill points to spend at 1st level, 13 each level after.
** Minimum amount of skill points you will gain is always 4 at level 1, and 1 at every gained level.
You can choose up to three classes for your character. In DDO, there is no experience point penalty (unlike in 3.5e PnP rules).
- The hit points of the different classes are added
- The base attack bonus of the different classes are added
- The saving throws of the different classes are added
- A level 5/5 multiclass Cleric/Fighter (character level 10) receives the HP of level 5 Cleric plus the HP of level 5 Fighter. Since the split is 50/50, all class-based values would be an average of the two classes.
(If multiclassing a + heart of wood will be required to change class during reincarnation)
Advantages and Disadvantages
In general, players new to the game should probably avoid multiclassing unless using a proven build.
- By only taking one level in a class that has proficiency with a skill, you get the possibility to max out that skill. So if you are a Ranger that would like to max out a Rogue-only skill or a Rogue that wants to max out a Ranger-only skill, just take a level in the other class.
- However, keep in mind when leveling as the Ranger it will cost two skill points to keep the Rogue-only skill at maximum.
- Your character will inherently receive any feats from a second or third class. For example, if you don't have proficiency with all martial weapons, you can take one level as a Fighter and you will gain them (plus the ordinary level 1 Fighter feat). However, feat proficiency does not guarantee effective use as ability scores may limit you.
- Many granted class feats do not stack. A Fighter/Paladin has martial weapons and heavy armor proficiency granted from both classes, but receives no extra benefit from getting them twice.
- Spell casting does not scale
- The power of spells does not scale linearly. Spells that a Wizard/Sorcerer/Cleric can use at level 20 are more than four times as powerful as the spell that a Wizard/Sorcerer/Cleric can use at level 5.
- Ability scores
- A single-class character can have abilities finely tuned for the needs of one class. Dual or tri-class characters will need to make compromises between the ability needs of all classes. The more similar the ability scores used by the classes, the better multiclassing will work.
- Combinations that fit together nicely are
- Artificer/Rogue (linked by Strength and Dexterity or Intelligence and Dexterity)
- Bard/Sorcerer (linked by Charisma)
- Cleric/Monk (linked by Wisdom)
- Favored Soul/Monk (linked by Wisdom)
- Favored Soul/Paladin (linked by Charisma and Wisdom)
- Fighter/Barbarian (linked by Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity)
- Paladin/Sorcerer (linked by Charisma)
- Rogue/Ranger (linked by Dexterity)
- Rogue/Wizard (linked by Intelligence) if you value high skills or damage for Rogue Mechanics.
- Combinations that cannot fit together at all
- Barbarian/Monk (Barbarian cannot be lawful, Monk has to be)
- Bard/Monk (Bard cannot be lawful, Monk has to be)
- Barbarian/Paladin (Barbarian cannot be lawful, Paladin has to be lawful good)
- Bard/Paladin (Bard cannot be lawful, Paladin has to be lawful good)
- Druid/Paladin (Druid must have at least one neutral alignment component, Paladin has to be lawful good)
- Experience penalties don't exist in DDO
- A disadvantage NOT present in DDO is the experience percentile penalty used in PnP.
Which class should I choose?
You should plan your Feats/Enhancements/ and Ability Scores before you start leveling. Character generator applications can be found on the web which can help this out tremendously. https://github.com/DDOCharPlanner/DDOCharPlannerV4/releases is an excellent choice.
If you are unsure on what you want, it is suggested to become Melee class. Or you could try a caster if you're bold. If you intend to multiclass, it's best to plan every aspect of your character out before you jump in. Doing this will save you time and many headaches!
For comparing classes look at (note that this doesn't include some newer classes, like Druid):
- I would like to create a Warrior. Should I pick a Paladin, Fighter, Barbarian or Monk?
- I would like to create an Archer. Should I pick a Ranger or a Fighter?
- I would like to create a Healer. Which class should I pick?
- I would like to create a Mage. Should I pick a Wizard or a Sorcerer?
- I would like to create an arcane caster. Which class should I pick?
- I would like to create a ranged damage dealer. Should I pick a Ranger or a Sorcerer?
- I would like to create a ranged damage dealer. Which class should I pick?
- I would like to create a stealthy damage dealer. Should I pick Ranger, Rogue or Bard?