Each class has a specific designation, or role, which expresses itself in what its skill do. This can be easily referred to as a class' "job" in a group. In general, the three roles in a group environment are tank, damage (DPS), and healer. As described in the Basic Guide, the class roles are as follows:
- Tank: Knight, Champion, Warden
- Healer: Priest, Druid
- Melee DPS: Champion, Rogue, Warden, Warrior
- Ranged DPS (Physical): Scout
- Ranged DPS (Magical): Mage, Warlock, Druid
However, there emerges numerous sub-roles, especially when a secondary class is introduced and elite skills are earned. A tanking class may be considered an off-tank, and support roles such as secondary healers or crowd control also appear. A solid group composition is critical for a team's success when it comes to clearing PvE, and even PvP, content.
While it's entirely possible for a class combination to work outside of its intended role, this usually ends up with subpar results. For example, a Priest / Warrior will have a much more difficult time being an effective healer compared to a Priest / Scout. Even with the best gear possible, a Priest / Warrior serving as a healer will not be able to sustain that role for long.
For a more in-depth view of specific class combinations, please go to Selecting a Class Combo.
- 1 Group Roles
- 2 Sub-roles
- 3 Support Roles
- 4 Class Combinations by Role
- 5 Summary
As described in the Glossary, the job of a tank is to have high survivability and high aggro, while a healer has excellent, sustained healing and damage reduction abilities. Damage dealers, or DPS, focus mainly on exactly as one would think, dealing as much damage as possible.
Tanks are the team's distraction for mobs. Most tanks will have exceptional Stamina, will be wearing plate and a shield, and have high dodge, block, and parry ratings. Since damage dealing and damage absorption on gear is largely a trade-off, tanks use special skills to hold aggro and prevent a group wipe. More often than not, a tank will serve as the group's leader, calling out targets and choosing the pace of the team's progression. This role is more involved than it first appears, as a solid leader has to use keen judgement to make difficult instances appear simplistic. Groups will generally have a single tank, but in raids it's not uncommon to have multiple, all of whom carefully switch threat with each other to keep the whole party alive. In a PvP environment tanks are rare, but the sheer staying power they have makes them effective for serving as a defender. Most also have abilities other than just taunting to handle players, such as Knights having the powerful Stun in the form of the ability Charge.
Healers, on the other hand, are there to keep players alive with strong healing abilities. Healing is just as critical a role as the others, and in some exceptional situations requires acute concentration and timing to heal efficiently. A good healer has to predict crushing damage from a boss, and handle triage after a sudden AoE effect on who is most important to heal first before a wipe occurs, all while maintaining their mana. Even though a tank may choose when a fight begins, the success or failure of a run is often attributed to a healer, fairly or otherwise. In this respect a tank and healer must have good communication and trust in higher level instances to work effectively. This role, compared to all others, can be argued to be the most important. If another person makes a mistake, a healer can correct it, but if a healer makes a mistake, it more often than not leads to disaster.
Damage dealers do exactly that; deal damage. Despite how straightforward this may appear, a group's DPS needs to know when to keep damage low so a tank can build up aggro, and when to burst down a boss without becoming the target of the enemy. This completes the table of the three main roles: A tank will focus on threat, a healer will focus on the party, and the DPS will focus on actually killing what's attacking the team. DPS has to eliminate all targets before the healer's mana dries out, or adds overwhelm the tank, or any other number of situations. Generally speaking, since DPS has fewer responsibilities and has more slots in a party for them to operate, they may be given other tasks, like crowd control, to help the run go more smoothly.
While the main categories of roles are tank, healer, and DPS, these roles can be broken down into more specific tasks. As shown above, there's multiple kinds of DPS: melee, physical ranged, and magical ranged. Here's a list of sub-roles in each main category.
- Single-Target Tank: A tank that is effective at holding threat on a single target in a group, usually bosses
- AoE Tank: A tank that is effective at holding threat on multiple targets in a group, usually trash mobs
- DPS Tank: A tank that maintains aggro on a mob, or mobs, by dealing large amounts of damage. Often considered an "off-tank", serving as a tank in dire situations
- Tank Healer: Heals a single target, usually the tank, over a long period
- Raid Healer: Heals multiple players effectively in various situations, but usually less efficiently than a tank healer. Raid healers will usually have other healers to complement each other, given the larger group size
- PvP Healer: Healers that have the know-how and skill to counter crowd control, burst damage, and other nuances of PvP combat, or have exceptional survivability on their own
- Support Healer: Complements other healing roles with their own healing abilities, but doesn't necessarily have healing as their main focus. Often considered an "off-healer", serving as a healer in dire situations
- Melee DPS: As the name implies, deals exceptional damage at close range
- Physical Ranged DPS: Usually referred to as simply Ranged DPS, it deals high physical damage from a distance, making them effective against enemies that have low armor
- Magical Ranged DPS: Usually referred to as simply Magical DPS, it deals high magical damage from a distance, making them effective against enemies that have low resistances
- AoE DPS: Deals solid damage against many enemies at once, regardless of whether it's physical or magical. AoE DPS is effective against trash mobs, compared to other roles
Support roles fill out a team's skill set. While not absolutely necessary, proper balance and support makes runs smoother by providing abilities that help control and mitigate mobs and damage. More than that, support roles can make a rather monotonous DPS role much more interesting.
Crowd control, or CC, are effects from skills that impede an enemy's ability to fight. CC abilities, then, help control the flow of a fight, and the number of enemies fought. All it can take is one too many mobs to down a tank before a healer can keep them alive, and CC abilities help prevent this.
Buffs are abilities that grant temporary effects to party members and other players. Since these buffs can increase a player's damage done, or reduce damage received, buffers are important as players move on to more intense instances.
Some classes have the ability to remove harmful effects from allies. While some abilities may only remove specific effects, like curses, the chance to remove negative statuses or incoming damage is a strong resource to have, as it helps reduce the stress put on a healer to keep a team alive.
Sometimes, an enemy can have a beneficial effect on them that gives them too much of an edge in a fight. Some classes have the ability to remove those beneficial effects with a skill of their own, evening the playing field. While purging effects is much less common in PvE, a sudden purge on another player in PvP can be devastating.
Sometimes, a player dies. A healer with the ability to restore a dead player back to life, such as the Priest with Resurrection, not only reduces TP and XP debt, but also lowers the time a group needs to wait before continuing a run.
Sometimes, the whole team dies. A healer with the ability to revive any target from where they died, even without being alive themselves, can cut down the time needed to return to an instance dramatically. In this regard, only a Priest can do such a thing with the skill of the same name, Soul Bond.
A unique effect that only a couple of Scout's class combinations have, Secret Hatred sends a player's accumulating threat to another party member for a set duration. The enemy mob acts as if incoming threat through damage from one target is, in fact, coming from another source, thereby keeping the one with Secret Hatred in effect from gaining aggro and becoming the mob's focus. This is fantastic for fast-paced raids or particularly dangerous bosses.
Class Combinations by Role
Given how many class combinations there are, and how dramatically they affect a class' role, it can be overwhelming determining which classes to pick. The following will help give a general idea of what each combination is good for. Note that this list is in alphabetical order, and not following a tiered list. Furthermore, note that every player has the opportunity to learn three classes, without having to go to the item shop. A single character can therefore have six different class combinations. Do not be afraid of picking a certain primary and secondary class; your tertiary class will always be there to help your group or guild for whatever situation arises.
For class combinations that are solely considered DPS classes, they will instead show their support options that they are particularly effective at.
- Champion / Mage: Uses powerful area-of-effect damage while also negating magical damage. Melee DPS, AoE Tank
- Champion / Priest: Has suicidal abilities that reinforce it with moments of damage immunity. Single-Target Tank, AoE Tank
- Champion / Rogue: An explosive physical class that focuses on burst damage. Melee DPS
- Champion / Warlock: A high-survivability combination that promotes life gain through damage. Melee DPS.
- Champion / Warrior: An aggressive tank with strong taunting abilities and physical damage protection. Melee DPS, AoE Tank
- Druid / Mage: A fast-casting class, using instant-cast spells to hasten casting speed. Magical DPS, Support Healer
- Druid / Rogue: Uses Dark magical abilities to weaken and incapacitate enemies. Magical DPS, Support Healer
- Druid / Scout: Mends allies over time, able to heal multiple people with ease. Tank Healer, Raid Healer
- Druid / Warden: Enhances class buffs to better heal and support tanking party members. Magical DPS, Raid Healer
- Druid / Warrior: Transforms the druid into a physical fighter, giving them the ability to heal from the front. Melee DPS, Support Healer
All Knights can prevent Physical Damage (Strike of Punishment and Holy Shield), Root (Shackles of Light), Stun (Charge and Shock), and Reduce Damage Received (Hall of Dead Heroes).
- Knight / Mage: Delivers tremendous Light damage and controls enemies with powerful effects. Melee DPS, AoE Tank
- Knight / Priest: Melee DPS, Single-Target Tank. Also has the ability to use Angel Salvation to revive a player.
- Knight / Rogue: Emphasizes strong critical damage to smite enemies. Melee DPS, DPS Tank
- Knight / Scout: Adds ranged options to the knight's toolkit, making them able to pull and taunt from a distance. Mixed Physical DPS, Single-Target Tank
- Knight / Warrior: A master of physical combat that handles multiple foes with ease. Melee DPS, AoE Tank
- Mage / Champion: Uses Wind damage and lightning status effects to damage and control enemies.
- Mage / Druid: Uses nature's magic for healing while also debilitating and delivering Fire and Earth damage.
- Mage / Knight: Light magic allows this combination to replenish their mana while also delivering strong damage and stun effects.
- Mage / Priest: Gives the mage a versatile toolkit, from cleansing negative effects to raising their explosive damage.
- Mage / Rogue: Dark magic gives the mage the ability to instill great fear and deliver sinister damage over time.
- Mage / Scout: Focuses their training on Fire damage, allowing them to conjure minor fire elementals to aid them in combat.
- Mage / Warden: Draws on the power of the earth for quick-casting abilities and sustaining their own life.
- Mage / Warlock: Delivers overwhelming magical damage by both increasing their own strength and severely weakening opponents.
- Mage / Warrior: Intense focus allows this combination to cast while moving, and use Rage as a resource to cast magic.
- Priest / Champion: Focuses on quick burst healing and healing over time. Magical DPS, Raid Healer
- Priest / Knight: Arguably the strongest combination for a pure-healing priest. Tank Healer, Raid Healer
- Priest / Mage: Provides strong support through group healing and weakening enemies. Magical DPS, Support Healer
- Priest / Rogue: Brings Dark magic to the priest's spell book, giving them better damage and surprise healing. Magical DPS, Support Healer
- Priest / Scout: A powerful healing combination whose skills give them the opportunity to perform miracles. Mixed Ranged DPS, Support Healer
- Priest / Warlock: Gives the priest an unequal amount of party support, with buffs, heals, and cleansing effects. Tank Healer, Raid Healer
- Priest / Warrior: Transforms the priest into a physical fighter, with an absurd amount of solo-survivability. Melee DPS, Support Healer
- Rogue / Champion: Uses Mechanisms to greatly weaken enemies or provide short-term buffs to allies.
- Rogue / Druid: Uses Poison to greatly weaken and damage nearby enemies in a melee.
- Rogue / Knight: Utilizes numerous breaks and immunities to force opponents to fight fairly.
- Rogue / Mage: Delivers tremendous auto-attack damage while promoting the use of projectiles and magical burst.
- Rogue / Priest: Supports the party through buff abilities and better crowd control than other rogues.
- Rogue / Scout: Slaughters enemy spell casters with silences, stuns, and affecting their ability to cast spells, with decoys providing an escape.
- Rogue / Warden: A self-sustaining class that uses Hiding, healing, and temporary allies to take down foes.
- Rogue / Warlock: Psychic abilities grant the rogue the ability to escape almost any situation, while dealing additional Dark damage.
- Rogue / Warrior: Fights absolutely unfairly, using thrown weapons to cripple enemies and poison and weapons to finish them off.
All Scouts can Slow (Joint Blow and Wind Arrow through Frost Arrow), Interrupt (Throat Attack), Reduce Enemy Damage (Wrist Attack and Mana Drain Shot), Root (Lasso and Joint Blow through Cripple Joint), and Stun (Neck Strike).
- Scout / Druid: Supports the party with powerful replenishment for resources while also reducing their incoming damage.
- Scout / Knight: A skirmisher that not only supplements healing, but replenishes ability resources and boosts party damage.
- Scout / Mage: Supplements their ranged abilities with magical effects, giving them the ability to simply vanish and reposition for better fighting.
- Scout / Priest: Delivers intense critical damage while enhancing the damage of party members.
- Scout / Rogue: Assaults multiple enemies from a distance, using trick shots to deal as much damage as possible.
- Scout / Warden: Uses control effects to kite enemies, wearing them down from a distance.
- Scout / Warrior: Shuts down enemy spell casters from a distance with Silence and affecting their ability to cast spells.
All Wardens can Reduce Physical Damage (Energy Absorb), Root (Movement Restriction and Spirit of the Oak through Entangle), Raise Attack and Casting Speeds (Nature Crystal through Crystalline Acceleration), Reduce Movement Speed (Frantic Briar), Banish, and Absorb Damage (Nature Crystal through Crystalline Protection). With only a few exceptions, almost all Warden combinations are solely Melee DPS in role.
- Warden / Druid: Mitigates damage through natural healing and barriers. Melee DPS, Single-Target Tank
- Warden / Mage: Enhances the abilities of all pets, letting them fit into any situation. Melee DPS
- Warden / Rogue: An aggressive physical class that focuses on hard-hitting critical attacks. Melee DPS
- Warden / Scout: Uses a special pet that picks off enemies from a distance, while engaging in physical combat themselves. Melee DPS
- Warden / Warrior: Gains access to plate armor, allowing them to tank much more effectively. Melee DPS, Single-Target Tank
All Warlocks can Reduce Movement Speed (Surge of Malice and Beast's Roar), Fear ( Saces' Scorn), Render Helpless (Perplexed), Raise Attributes (Sublimation Weave Curse), Reduce Damage Received and Increases Healing Received (Mind Barrier and partially Defense Net, Otherworldly Whisper, and Calm Paradox), Break Helpless / Stun / Root / Slow (Defense Net), Stun (Soul Trauma), Raise Physical and Magical Power (Otherworldly Whisper and Surge of Awareness), Absorb Damage (Saces' Embrace), and Revive (Life Weave). Warlocks have, without argument, the strongest support skills in the game. The following section for Warlock will instead list the best support each combination provides, without specific listing, due to their sheer support options.
- Warlock / Champion: Effective against enemy spellcasters and crowd control effects
- Warlock / Mage: Effective for dramatically raising party damage, both physical and magical
- Warlock / Priest: Effective as a support healer, perfect for reducing stress by actively preventing emergency situations
- Warlock / Rogue: Effective at managing party aggro while weakening bosses
- Warlock / Warrior: Effective at reducing received damage for party members; a tank's other best friend, besides the healer
- Warrior / Champion: Uses their own health as a resource to deal overwhelming physical damage.
- Warrior / Druid: Uses nature's abilities to enhance their weapons and provide natural healing.
- Warrior / Knight: Charges headlong into battle while wearing plate, giving the warrior the option to tank. Single-Target Tank, AoE Tank
- Warrior / Mage: Enhances the warrior's weapons to deal powerful elemental damage. Mixed Melee DPS
- Warrior / Priest: Encourages allies by raising their damage, and uses Fear effects to control and weaken enemies.
- Warrior / Rogue: Has the fastest movement in the game, making this combination an overwhelming physical assault that can even come back from death itself.
- Warrior / Scout: Hews through multiple foes with massive weapons, harming them from a distance before marching in to finish them off. Mixed Physical DPS
- Warrior / Warden: A pure savage that rushes directly into the fray, striking at everything it sees before executing them.
- Warrior / Warlock: Uses powerful psychic abilities to cut down multiple opponents, pushing the warrior's body and mind to the limit.
In regards to a PvE environment, while every combination may bring something unique, some are better than others in general situations. Most PvE encounters care solely about raw damage, which means certain DPS classes appear better than others when it comes to forming a group. For example:
- Mage / Warlock reduces enemy defenses, both magical and physical, better than other combinations in its primary class
- Rogue / Champion and Rogue / Druid both reduce both enemy defenses, while Rogue / Warden raises everyone's damage
- Scout / Knight raises party damage, Scout / Rogue lowers both enemy defenses, and Scout / Warden lowers both enemy critical resistances. Scout / Priest raises both attack and casting speeds and raises critical hit rates
- Warlock / Mage is, without a doubt, the best source of raising party damage
However, these DPS classes are viewed strictly from a burst-damage standpoint, giving other party members the resources they need to do more damage. This lens requires one to not only know the mechanics of an instance or raid they are participating in, but also trusting other party members to, in almost a machine-like way, use their abilities near-perfectly so damage-raising skills are used in sync for maximum potential. Newer players, or players unfamiliar with a run's mechanics, may not benefit from this. Furthermore, some combinations do tremendous damage on their own, but offer little support to the group outside of raw damage. A Rogue / Mage may not support party members in the conventional way, but the sheer amount of damage they do through Enchanted Throw cannot be ignored. Specific encounters may require certain combinations, such as a Mage / Priest weakening the amount of damage a boss does to prevent a fatal crushing blow. What this means is that there's almost no wrong choice in choosing which class combination to pick. Again, players can pick from three classes, giving them six different combinations to work with. If you join a guild that doesn't need a role your primary and secondary class offers, your tertiary class may be just what they need to run at a higher level.