Riders of Icarus is in open beta, and while the MMO’s hook is all about capturing and training a menagerie of creatures, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the riders themselves. The classes themselves fill the roles you’d expect for the genre, but they all have their own unique quirks and combo abilities. Before you dive in, have a look at basics of each class as well as some of their basic abilities so you can choose the class that’s right for you.
Beserkers are the toughest front-line damage dealers, attack with greatswords to deal major blows against their enemies. Their abilities are all about causing major damage, and maybe doing a little knockback to slow down the bad guys. Basic attacks build up rage, which is then spent on more advanced abilities. Some of the beserker’s abilities can be charged through multiple levels for increased damage or more debilitating status effects, and many will do significantly more damage when you’re at low health.
The berserker’s key attack is Double Slash, which gives a quick two-hit combo on a super-short cooldown, making it a terrific way to build up rage. The Triple Slash does much more damage, and its third hit can be charged for a launching effect and bonus damage, but its significant cooldown means that you’ll need to be careful about when to use it.
Whirling Blade is a terrific way to deal with a crowd, as it knocks down all enemies in a 5m range, and causes hemorrhaging on the main target. Leaping Slash, an attack that sends you flying at the targeted foe, also combos directly into Whirling Blade, making the 1-2 punch an effective opener against groups of enemies. Counterattack gives you a nice chance to strike back at enemies when you’re stunned or knocked down.
Guardians are all about using sword and shield abilities to draw enemy attention and soak up loads of damage. They have some magical abilities that draw from a pool of mana to hinder enemies and provide buffs to attacks, but the center of their combat role is straightforward melee attacks to ensure enemies are caught up attacking their considerable defenses.
The Binding Summons will throw out a chain that draws in enemies and forces their attention on you for 3 seconds. It can also be used on allies to buff their movement speed and decrease their threat level. Safeguard will mitigate all attacks for 2 seconds, dazing enemies that try to penetrate your defenses. Activating Rising Truth after a successful Safeguard will provide a massive boost to damage, cooldown speed, and threat generation.
Justice Force is an attack for ranged bad guys that lets loose a combo of justice blasts. (Literally, it’s an attack made up of pent up justice.) The Sentencing Blow not only delivers major damage to the enemy, but decreases their defense and deals additional damage over time. Endless Repose lets you get out of a knockdown for an instant counterattack.
All classes benefit from combos and chain abilities, but none more so than the assassin. Assassins use dual daggers to deal damage to enemies, while using unique evasive maneuvers to escape big attacks. They get a double jump move and a swift dash that are both separate from normal hotbar abilities, making their playstyle far more action-oriented.
Chain Pull tosses a chain that pulls you straight into melee range, letting you quickly close the distance with bad guys, and activating it after a dash adds a stun effect, encouraging you to stay mobile on the battlefield. Dagger Toss is a ranged attack that tosses up to four daggers at an enemy, adding a small leap backwards after each toss, giving you an option to back away from the enemy while still dealing damage.
Crescent Kick launches your foe into the air, which can be followed up by a Whirling Blades attack for a midair combo. Whirling Shadow stuns your target and puts you in immediate position behind the enemy for bonus backstab damage.
Priests are, naturally, the healing class, and their role is afflicting enemies with status effects while healing and buffing allies. Naturally, not the best choice if you plan on playing primarily solo, but you’ll be in high demand for parties and raids. With your scepter slinging holy magic and your teammates depending on your for success, you’ll be under a lot of pressure to keep everyone alive. Thankfully, you’ve got all the abilities you need to keep the team going.
Ellora’s Mark can be cast on both allies and enemies, providing a minor buff or debilitation on the target. More importantly, though, the ability generates motes of light, which are tiny glowing orbs that surround the priest. You can have up to three at a time, and you’ll consume them cast more powerful spells.
Those spells include things like Contrition, which not only decreases move speed and afflicts fear, but causes damages over 10 seconds while decreasing your own threat level. There’s also Lightstream, which deals massive damage to enemies over time while simultaneously healing anyone performing melee attacks against them. Repentant Bond will force all enemies within 10m to confront their sins, which in game terms means that they’ll be stunned and have a 50% chance of fighting on your side.
Wizards have both the most damage potential and the lowest defense abilities in the game. They can unleash mighty spells that rain down hellfire on their opponents, but if they’re caught unprepared they’ll go down incredibly quickly. A wizard can be the most important part of a party, but without an array of savvy teammates, they’ll go down very quickly.
Your most basic abilities are Ice Fang and Flameburst, and the theme of fire and ice continues throughout the wizard’s spell list. Fire deals more damage, while ice slows down enemies, preventing them from closing the distance with you. Ember Bomb and Frost Bomb deal area of effect damage, while Flame Barrage and Ice Barrage launch rapid-fire volleys of elemental force at the enemy. Activating fire abilities gives you a stackable buff to your magic attack, while ice abilities do the same for your critical rate.
The Mana Shield will cause incoming attacks to drain mana instead of health, which is a valuable option to manage your resources. Gripping Curse freezes an enemy in place, while Dark Affliction afflicts them with fear. Eventually, those fire and ice abilities grow to include mists, storms, and incredible meteors. Don’t get on a wizard’s bad side.