MMORPG job classes may have had humble beginnings, but, thanks to bold and imaginative choices by game designers across the genre, there has never been a broader selection of interesting and unique classes to choose from. Unconventional, interesting and downright bizarre class experiences are available to you, if you know where to look. However, even amongst the strangest and most esoteric classes on offer, there are some archetypes that stand head and shoulders above the rest.
From the lands of Eorzea, to a galaxy far, far away, let’s look at the weirdest and most wonderful classes the genre has to offer. Here are the most unique character classes in MMORPGs.
10 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Sith Inquisitor.
Memorable storyline? Check. Double bladed lightsaber? Check. Copious amounts of Sith lightning? Oh, you’d better believe that’s a check. This iconic class from BioWare’s classic, story driven MMORPG: Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Sith Inquisitor is a fan favorite for its unique aesthetic and battlefield flexibility.
Many Star Wars games have given us the chance to play as Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader types, and who could blame them? However, BioWare went a step further, offering us the chance to play as a scheming Sith Lord that would give even Emperor Palpatine a run for his money.
9 Final Fantasy 14: Sage
Sometimes, being an incredible healer isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need magical lasers. The Sage offers the sort of unique aesthetic that Final Fantasy 14 is famous for while offering a buffet menu of interesting healing tools.
What really makes the Sage shine, though, is its unique mechanics. As well as being a barrier healer, which is interesting in itself, the Sage uses an ability called Eukrasia to modify its attacks, heals and buffs, turning longer, more traditional heals into instant cast barriers. It’s an intimidating class, but well worth the effort if you choose to master it
8 Eve Online: The Interdictor
Granted, Eve Online doesn’t use a normal class system per se, but it absolutely does use ship archetypes. As with any MMORPG, you’ve got your tanks, your damage dealers and your support ships. However, easily the most interesting ship type out there is the Interdictor.
An Interdictor’s job is to sit on warp routes and drop Interdiction Spheres: energy fields which mess with enemy ships’ ability to travel faster than light. This means you can stop an enemy ship mid-warp and ambush them. Interdictors are vital to PvP and add a fascinating dynamic to Eve Online’s corporate wars.
7 Guild Wars 2: The Engineer
The Engineer is the thinking person’s ranged damage dealer of choice. Unlike contenders from other MMOs, however, Guild Wars 2’s Engineer really doubles down on the ingenious inventor oeuvre.
With Weapon Kits, Backpack Kits and Deployable Turrets, the Engineer can not only reliably provide support and utility, but can also vary the sort of utility they’re delivering, depending on battlefield conditions. Mastering the Engineer requires a proactive playstyle where you’ll have to do your best to predict what the enemy’s up to so as to make the most out of your equipment. However, once mastered, this class is extremely rewarding to play.
6 Final Fantasy 14: Red Mage
The Red Mage is unique to Final Fantasy in its versatility and iconic look. With a debonair tricorne and elegant rapier, this class is a cut above the rest. As well as being a caster with serious damage potential, the Red Mage can leap in close and go toe-to-toe with enemies in close range.
On top of all that, every other spell the Red Mage casts goes off at instant speed. Combine this with their resurrection spell, and you’ve got the kind of support magic that anybody will want to bring to the party.
5 Guild Wars 2: Mesmer
Sometimes, aesthetics alone are enough to blow you away. The Mesmer from Guild Wars 2 does just this. These dapper, masked illusionists cover the battlefield in illusions, phantasms and glamours, offering a feast for the senses.
On top of that, Mesmers boast unique and interesting means of controlling battlefields, debuffing enemies or even draining their energy altogether to prevent them from casting spells. You can also provide healing support for tanks, too. If that’s not enough, you can summon mirror images to boost your damage output and turn the tide of battle.
4 Final Fantasy 14: Dancer
Speaking of nimble, none of Final Fantasy 14’s classes is quite like the Dancer. Not only are dancers extremely agile, but they also offer some unique game mechanics. When starting a fight, a Dancer can choose a party member to become their ‘dance partner’. As well as an ego boost, this gives the target access to special damage buffs.
On top of this, Dancers can perform finishers which offer powerful damage boosts to themselves or the wider party. What’s neat about these finishers, though, is that, in order to execute them properly, you have to perform a series of dance steps in a randomly determined sequence. This amounts to a rhythm game inside an MMO, and gives the Dancer a well-earned spot on this list.
3 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Smuggler
Let’s face it: we all want to be Han Solo. As well as letting you live the dream, the Smuggler combines the iconic Star Wars smuggler look with a set of interesting game mechanics.
The Old Republic has a cover system, exclusively for Smugglers and their Sith-aligned counterparts, the Imperial Agents. The use of cover in an MMORPG is unique and helps convey the frantic feeling of darting from barricade to barricade as you frantically unload on the enemy with your dual pistols. The class can also be built as a support class, allowing for healing, too. Like Han Solo himself, the Smuggler has charm and versatility.
2 Guild Wars 2: Necromancer
You want it darker? Guild Wars 2’s Necromancer is a harmonious marriage of gameplay and visual design. Every spell and attack emits an eerie glow, and the dark minions they summon are just as fetid and unnerving as one would hope.
What sets Necromancers apart, though, is their Life Force mechanic. As a Necromancer, you can choose to use Life Force to empower your suite of spells, or hold it back in case you take lethal damage, at which point your Life Force acts as a secondary health bar. This age-old question of whether it’s best to use a resource in the moment or save it for a rainy day is the essence of compelling game design and earns the Necromancer its place on this list.
1 Final Fantasy 14: Gunbreaker.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that swords are great, but, so often in MMORPGs, we are forced to choose between the things we love. Fire or ice? Magic or brawn? Sword or gun? The Gunbreaker’s response is simple: why not both?
Sporting a unique and delightfully grunge aesthetic, the Gunbreaker is unique amongst Final Fantasy 14’s tanks for playing like a damage dealer and boasting a range of support abilities.
The Gunbreaker is set apart because of its distinctly JRPG look, and because of the way it blurs the lines between the traditional MMORPG trifecta. If you want a generous, one of a kind class that’ll make you feel like a hero; the Gunbreaker is your best bet.
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