This guide will give you a basic understanding of the game and how to gear and spec your characters.
Make sure you look in the ingame Glossary, because a lot of useful information is already written there and it can answer most of your questions easily. But feel free to jump on the Discord and ask for help, should it be needed.
Keep in mind that the game is in Early Access and things can, and most likely will, change at any time.
You are given the choice between a Warrior, Ranger and Mage and here the first question arises: Which is the best to start with? Answer is, all three of them are equally good at first. For the first 75 (of currently 150) levels, it won’t matter much, so pick whatever you feel like. More character slots become available reasonably fast and I suggest you pick one of each class, simply to get a feel for what they can do and how they play out.
Warriors can fill the typical Melee DPS fantasy, but they do have the option to become Ranged if that is what you want to do. They also make for great Tanks. Warriors do not benefit from using Magic weapons but can use all Melee and Ranged weapons.
Rangers are the typical highly mobile damage dealers, with a preference for using Ranged attacks, but they can become Melee and have lots of fun too. Similar to Warriors, they can use both Ranged and Melee weapons, but do not benefit from Magic weapons.
Mages are exactly as you would expect. Mages deal damage using the various elements we all know and love, like Fire, Cold, Lightning or Arcane. Yes, that means Fireballs and who doesn’t love a good fireball? Mages can use Magic and Melee weapons, but do not benefit from Ranged.
Keep in mind that all classes can more or less do the same thing, just in different ways, including acting as a Support class for limited healing/survivability through buffs. Each class will also get to pick an Ascended Class at level 100 which changes how that class plays from 100-150 due to an extra ability and piece of gear. However, this is one of the things that is likely to change very soon (at time of writing), so don’t focus too much on it for now. I will skip it entirely.
Most of the Heavy armors have lots of armor and either strong defensive stats or a Melee damage bonus, perfect for a Warrior. Medium armors have a fair amount of armor and a lot of Evasion to avoid being hit, while focusing on mostly Ranged damage, so best in slot for a Ranger. Light armor fits the name, but to make up for it, it usually comes with a great amount of Barrier, an energy shield that gets depleted before taking health damage. The same Barrier that Mages can boost. Take the hint, use the proper armor for maximum performance!
When it comes to weapon setup, you have two choices. Either a Two-handed weapon (in which case the right side weaponslot will be empty), or a dualwielding combination of either 2 One-handed weapons or 1 Mainhand weapon and 1 Offhand item. The tooltip will tell you what type each item is, as well as which Damage type they deal (only useful for Melee and Magic weapons, as all Ranged are…. Well, Ranged). Generally speaking, any combo is fine, especially while you are not yet at max level. But when you get up to the endgame, certain items begin to stand out as being slightly better than the other similar items and you may find a preference for one thing or another. For example, a Mage focused on throwing Fireballs may benefit more from a Spellblade with Fire Penetration than a Spell Tome with a bonus to Barrier.
Besides armor and weapons, there’s also accessories. They consist of Amulets, Trinkets and Rings. You can have 2 rings and one each of the others. The difference being which passive bonus they provide and how they benefit your characters.
All pieces of gear come in various rarities and each tier up adds one more possible stat slot to the selection as well as start with a higher base value. Example with made up numbers, an item of low quality with Health Points may start out at 100 HP, while a higher quality of the same item at the same level may have 150 HP.
There are three types of attributes on gear. Offensives, like the above-mentioned Damage types. Defensives, like the previously mentioned Barrier and Health Points, and Utilities with stats that do not belong in the other two categories. Each piece of gear can roll with a combination of the stat types, example 3 offensives, 2 defensives and 1 utility. A low-quality item that can have 3 total stat types, may roll with 3 offensives or 1 offensive, 1 defensive and 1 utility, or any other possible combination. A high-quality item may roll with all 6 stats, making them more powerful and more desirable.
As you level up either your character or your chosen skills, you get points to distribute among the passives they have. Passives on an ability can drastically change how that ability performs. Example, the basic Default Attack for a Warrior is Quick Slash. By itself, it doesn’t do a lot of damage, but you can buff that through passives. What you can also do, is turn it into an Execute ability. With the passive Execute (yeah, good name!) you can make it instantly kill a non-boss target that is below 15% HP. That is awesome! But wait, there’s more! You can also change it from doing Physical damage to doing Lightning or Fire damage. If you choose Lighting, you cannot choose Fire, as those passives are mutually exclusive, but the tooltip will tell you that. Other abilities may have several mutually exclusive choices, but this one only have these two. Should you choose Lightning, you can make it cast a debuff on the target which makes the target take more damage from everyone for a little while. With Fire, you can leave a burning Damage Over Time effect on the target. That’s something entirely different from the original Quick Slash that was weak as hell!
Passives on a Character are much more simple, straightforward, no need to be a master theorycrafter to figure out if a passive is good or not. Most of the passives are identical for all classes, but 2 are class specific and another 2 changes depending on class. I will not go through all of them here, but some do need to be mentioned. In the class descriptions I wrote that each class could use two damage types. They get a level-scaling passive damage bonus for those types, so it’s Melee and Ranged for Warrior and Ranger, and Melee and Magic for Mage. The class specifics are a static percentage buff to either Armor, Evasion or Barrier, as well as a level-scaling amount of those same stats for their respective classes
Which passives you pick is up to you, but for early game survival I will recommend you pick the first three on the first row, for more health points and health regeneration. In the second row, the damage buffs are very good as well. Later on, you unlock resistances that makes you take less damage and some utility buffs to damage, survival and rewards.
If you need information, always look in the Glossary first. Seriously! I cannot stress that enough, the Glossary is really all you need to figure out 95% of this game. The people on Discord might be able to help you out fast, but if you read the Glossary, you can help yourself faster.
With that said, there is one thing I would like to address specifically, to help you level up a LOT easier. Remember all the way back at the beginning I mentioned something about the first 75 levels? Yeah, here’s what I meant by that. Your Mage characters can cast the ability called Meteor. It is the final Default Attack unlocked for them. At first, it doesn’t seem all that special, nothing more than a fancy improved Fireball. But at character level 75 you unlock the most important passive in the game right now, for any class. Maelstrom. This particular passive makes your Meteor do a LOT more damage. Remember earlier, when I mentioned the different damage types and if you changed from one to another, the ability would not benefit from both types? With Maelstrom, Meteor benefits from your Magic AND your Fire AND your Cold AND your Lightning AND your Arcane AND your Elemental damage. At the same time! If you then include the Elemental Strength passive, you can benefit up to 20% more from each stat. All the stats are additive, so if you have 100% Magic and 120% Fire and 270% Elemental, you would do 490% damage with Meteor. But that’s not all! Maelstrom also makes it so that Meteor automatically picks the lowest elemental resistance of your target and turns all 490% damage into that type. So, if the lowest resistance is Arcane, Meteor with Maelstrom will deal 490% Arcane damage. Even if you have 0% Arcane damage stats! This makes Meteor the absolutely strongest attack in the game right now and any Mage not running Meteor at level 75+, is holding back the team and your progression.