This is up to date for now. Im sure class balancing will change again.
Fast in movement and swift in attack, Scout classes have perhaps the highest learning curve in Aion but can also be the most rewarding with proper control. Both classes also have some form of stealth in their arsenal for those of you that like to ninja your way beyond dimensional rifts. You will start the game in the Scout class with a dagger as your weapon. At level 9 you will be given the Daeva quest, during the course of which you will be able to choose between Assassin and Ranger as your specialization path (this is the same quest that gives you your wings). Upon completing the quest, your level will be set automatically to 10 in your new specialized class.
The Assassin remains a melee attacker, finding ways to get up close to its enemies before delivering the blows.
The Ranger specializes in using the bow, setting traps to keep enemies at bay.
II. Base Stats
- Scout Stats
Strength : 100
- Assassin Stats
Strength : 110
- Ranger Stats
Strength : 100
What do the stats mean?
Leather is the coverage of choice for scouts from start to finish.
Rangers will want to focus on the bow, but always with some melee in their inventory for close up finishes.
Assassins will use both daggers and swords as they level, though some will prefer the feel of one over the other. Note that Assassins are also the only class with dual wield as part of their main skill set. Other classes such as Gladiators need to equip the ability as a stigma.
3 Stars: Primary
2 Stars: Useful in certain situations
1 Star : Almost never used
No Star: Unequippable
Assassins are characterized by their fast or stealthy movement, followed by high-damage blows or stuns delivered from behind. Their combat is unique in that they are able to carve seals into their enemies, which can be exploded for massive amounts of damage.
Comparable classes from other games: WoW Rogue
Seals and how they work
The seal system allows Assassins to build up a seal on an enemy up to the 5th degree, and then use a special 'seal explosion' skill that deals damage based on the degree of the seal. Higher the degree of the seal, greater the damage done with the explosion.
Certain 'seal explosion' skills have status effects (i.e. stun) that have higher trigger rates against enemies carved with higher degree seals.
(For those that have played a rogue in WoW will recognize this as being similar to the combo points system.)
Swords vs. Daggers
In Aion, Swords are 2-hit weapons whereas daggers are single-hit weapons. (Each hit with a sword actually does a second hit of a lesser dmg. Haven't figured out the exact numbers atm, will update when I do.) This means that swords tend to do higher sustained damage.
Daggers however have a higher crit rate and faster attack speeds.
Most players opt for dagger/dagger to maximize crits. Some will use a sword on left hand and dagger on right because crits are triggered entirely based on the right hand weapon, but this will slow down the attack speed compared to a dagger/dagger build.
Though the damage output makes hunting fairly fast for Assassins, they will need to rely on pots and bandages to keep the momentum going when leveling alone. The Assassin's damage relies more on bursts than that of the Gladiator, and therefore carries more risk. The Assassin will find it especially difficult to deal with multiple enemies at once, so it's best to try and catch enemies when they're alone.
Assassins are greatly favored as a damage dealer in parties, but will need to watch their threat level when partied with a tank especially when using seal skills.
They're also a great utility class. They can double as a puller with a bow, can stealth to scout ahead in dungeons, or act as a backup crowd controller with their stuns when **** hits the fan.
1. Crit Dmg Build
Gear: Dagger + Dagger Dual Wield
Enhancements: + Crit Chance
Stigma: Seal related stigma skills
3. Safety first PvE Build
Gear: Dagger (right hand) + Sword Dual Wield
Enhancements: + Evasion
2. Low levels PvE Build
Gear: Sword + Sword Dual Wield
Enhancements: + Physical attack power, + HP
Damage Dealer, Crowd Controller
The ranger class requires quite a bit of micro, constantly fighting for opportunities to kite or jump-shot and to trap or slow approaching enemies for more kiting and jump-shotting. It is also an expensive class to level. Arrows cost money, and so do the consumables required for traps. However it is also a RvR favourite due to its ranged-but-not-overly-squishy nature and has unique transformation abilities that allows for hiding or getting out of tough situtations. Note that rangers in Aion don't require you to be stationary while taking regular shots, and although skills technically need Rangers to be still, currently jump-shots allow them to kite skills as well.
Comparable classes from other games: WoW Hunter minus pet?
This is a controversial topic amongst Rangers atm. In essence it is a bit of an exploit that NCsoft hasn't come out and admitted as a bug. I won't go into great detail on how it's done (there are several elaborate guides on the topic) but basically it makes use of the fact that skills take effect before the skill animation finishes, so people are able to chain multiple skills by jumping before the animation finishes (negating the delay that comes from skill animations).
At this point players widely regard as a legitimate Ranger maneuver that takes quite a bit of practice to master. We will know at launch of NCsoft decides to patch it or not.
Note: As of launch, jump-shots are still there.
Nerf problems aside, the Ranger is a class designed for great soloing. Along with its ranged damage and crowd control traps it's got a decent amount of defense as well as a self-heal skill. Although single mob pulls are ideal, adds can be dealt with by trapping and using slowing skills in conjunction with AoE skills.
Unfortunately, archers haven't found a proper niche in full groups other than as a last resort damage dealer. Pulling is done far better by Glads or Templars, and most parties will prefer an Assassin or a Sorcerer for damage. Archers will find friends in smaller informal parties instead where they can make the most of their traps and pulls. Otherwise, lots of charm and cute emotes may make up for second-rate party damage.
1. Crit Dmg Build
Enhancements: + Crit Chance
2. Survivability Build
Enhancements: Mix of +Physical Attack power and + Evasion
VI. Current State of Scouts (OBT)
As was somewhat expected, Rangers were nerfed in OBT since being the crowd favourite in CBT3. (Worry not, Spiritmasters went through the same sequence and they've since recovered.) Their damage output on bow skills were gimped to a point where players resorted to finger-numbing jump-shots to make up for it. This will definitely change with launch though, as was hinted in a reply to massive amounts of player complaints.
Assassins on the other hand reigned as the new favourite in OBT, and not necessarily due to its power. The class is apparently.. fun. It's also found to be an extremely strong 1v1 PvP class, since the Assassin's fast movement speed and approaching skills allows it to take on ranged classes with relative ease.
In any case, both classes are known to be strong PvP classes, Rangers for RvR and Assassins for wars of smaller scale or ganking. As difficult as Rangers may be to level, they may very well be worth it in the end.