Neverwinter: the fighter class done right

In seven years of MMO gaming and many different MMOs I’ve not found much love for fighter or warrior classes. In World of Warcraft I detested the rage mechanic with a passion. I hate rushing my gaming and this core class resource encourages the GOGOGO mentality like no other.

I have played a lot of the champion (melee dps) class in LOTRO and its a good class but limited still. I guess I dislike having to chase after monsters as the attacks of other ranged characters drag them around in combat. Movement abilities can define or at least greatly enhance a melee character and the great weapon fighter has them at an early stage and gets many more later.

The basic ‘dodge’ equivalent is a charge ability using normal moves. That takes some getting used to after the GW2 style ‘tap and forget’ dodge of the wizard or cleric classes. But it can be used to position in combat as well as to avoid the bad stuff on the floor.

Almost immediately you get a targetted leap encounter power that also does damage in the area where you land. That’s a great combat starter if tanking and a great repositioning tool, I have even sometimes used it as a backup dodge ability.

I’ve just unlocked (35 power point row) a new at-will power that charges and debuffs my target and nearby foes. That’s a whole new playstyle as it could make tanking a whole lot easier.

So the great weapon fighter provides a gameplay experience that avoids the “chasing the mobs while the hunter kites them” issue common in other games, my character has some good stuns as well so I can catch any chasing monsters and make sure they stay caught!

The other problem I have had with melee warrior types is the rage style mechanic mentioned before. Neverwinter addresses this by giving the class an interesting variant on the normal trope. The determination resource that builds up only fuels your ‘tab’ ability of the same name. It’s a time limited damage buff and (importantly) partial immunity effect. Since this resource only powers the one ability I do not feel pressured to chain combats to avoid ‘wasting’ built up resource. Also its use can be highly tactical, I tend to pull or start combat with a few encounter powers; determination is usually more useful as a gamechanger or finisher ability midway through combat.

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