This is (or at least used to be) a fairly common topic for forum threads by new players: what is the best class for soloing?
As the game has evolved, the answer has changed, and in fact is probably no longer one single class at all but rather a multi-class polyglot, each class added to the mix to bring in one of the required soloing character attributes.
That last paragraph implies that we ought to first spend a moment agreeing on what the exactly the required soloing character attributes are. I suggest:
- The ability to damage your enemies, much faster than they damage you (damage per second, or DPS)
- The ability to withstand larger numbers of enemies (defense)
- The ability to cure yourself when you take damage (heals)
- The ability to resist or withstand enemy crowd-control spells (saves)
- The ability to open locks (locks)
- The ability to remove or survive traps (Traps)
Did I miss anything?
The latter two, traps and locks, are less important than the first four. You can complete almost all of the quests in DDO without opening any locks, although in a few quests you may miss optionals or the occasional chest of loot. Also, self-healing is a trap survival strategy, meaning if you have one you also have the other, more or less, although there are a handful of traps in the game that (while on elite at least) are too deadly to survive even with self-healing.
There is probably no way to remove opinion from this question, but we can reduce the impact of opinion by providing at least some quantitative analysis. Especially if we agree on the required attributes, which of course I do, as I created them. You may not, and if so, please let me know in the comments.
Once one has a common set of attributes it becomes a much more straightforward task to rank each class within each attribute on a standardized scale. A quick run through of the available classes should give us some actual metrics (or at least narrow the field a bit):
|Artificer||Good||Poor (1)||Adequate (2)||Poor||High||High|
(1) assumes rune-arm and no shield
(2) assumes Construct Essence feat
(3) assumes Fascinate
(4) assumes high Dexterity
(5) assumes Fists of Light
These ratings are subjective and assume an average, stereotypical build. Some of them can be changed with character design, especially Heals. For instance a fighter could have Halfling dragonmarks, UMD rogues can cast Heal scrolls, monks can be built for adequate self-healing, and any class can buy Cure pots and heal up between fights. But most Fighters, Rogues and Monks do not self-heal.
I can add math to this by applying a scale of 0 to 4 (none, poor, adequate, good, high) for each rating. But I am going to add only half-value for the last two attributes as DPS, Defense, Heals and Saves are required in every quest while Locks and Traps are usually not.
Favored Soul: 13
Glancing at the results, they match up pretty well with the ways I would have ranked the classes even without doing the math; a vindication of the methodology.
Clearly this does not take into account the way that the stealth play style boosts rogue soloing, or extreme long-distance ranged attacks boosting ranger soloing, and other similar play style varieties. The fact is, it is possible to solo with any class.
But with some, it is easier. And now we know which ones.
🙂 😀 🙂
p.s. I believe it would be possible to quantify multi-classes too, by figuring out how many levels of each class provide what rating in each of the six categories. But that will have to wait for another day.