There are only four classes to select from in the Elder Scrolls Online, which really feels limited when you first look at them. Anyone who has played any of the one-person Elder Scrolls games or pretty much any other D&D style role playing game knows that selecting the class of your character determines how you play more than almost anything else in the game.
The original Elder Scrolls games were unique when it came to class selection because although they offered you the option to play traditional classes, you were also allowed to create your own class, combining the skills you were interested in pursuing to create a character that was uniquely you.
When I first saw the 4 classes, I was worried that ESO had left that option far behind, forcing us into the more traditional RPG roles of Fighter, Healer, Wizard, and Thief.
And at first glance, when you read the Class descriptions, that is how it looks.
Remember that yesterday I mentioned that you are really unlimited in how you play your character. Your sorcerer can wear chain armor if you’d like, and your knight can cast spells (and has one of my very favorite low-level spells in the game).
When you choose a class in most RPGs, you are determining the limits of your character. A thief isn’t likely to wield an axe, for instance, nor is a sorcerer going to wear iron. The Elder Scrolls turns class into a starting point instead, and I can determine where it goes from there. If I want to roleplay a traditional character, a sorcerer who only wears robes and carries a staff, then I have everything I need to be able to play that character.
If, on the other hand, I want to play a character from one of my favorite science fiction books, someone who doesn’t fit with the traditional character styles, I can also design a character to fit that description.
In my next post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the early stages of each class and how race figures into the character equation.