22 june 2012
Now after a couple of days playing the Beastlord class, and having hit level 22 I think it's time to give my 2cents on the class so far
At creation, the Beastlord starts with an offensive pet (called warder), which differs from race to race. As Arasai I started with a bat and it did do some nice damage. After upgrading the Age of Destiny expansion to Collectors Edition, I also received a war-boar as pet, which is more a tanking pet.
One thing bothered me from the start. Though the pet does some nice damage, I wasn't able to control it, other than to command it to attack (and other basic functions). This while on the warder's tab it shows to have 4 skills already. Asking around (in global chat), I learned that on level 18 I'd get a new hotkey-bar for the warder so that I'd be able to control it (more about it later on).
Looking at the Alternate Advancement options of the Beastlord, I have to say that unlike the Necromancer (the other pet-class), the Beastlord has not so many pet (warder) related improvements. Most of the AA options I saw were focussed on the Beastlord instead of the warder...
Then hitting 18 brought up the extra hotkey-bar indeed. One which is UI bugged a bit, since the set size (I'm using 32px instead of the standard 42px) is not saved Of course, I've sent a bug-report for this one already...
Back to the hotkey-bar itself. It's a 10-key bar that can't be assigned to keystrokes, but at least you can drag & drop it to your other ketkey-bars, so no worries there...
At level 18 you only get one skill though, which is a melee attack that triggers once every couple of seconds (not sure what does trigger it so far). When the trigger has been triggered, you'll see a rather huge paw on the screen indicating YOU can use the skill. Yes, that's right. The warder triggers the skill and the Beastlord makes the melee attack. This is one thing to keep in mind when you're already ow on health and have used your Evade (lower thread) skill already...
When hitting level 20 I got 2 more skills on the warder horkey-bar and I received an extra UI thingy as well. This is somekind of fervor meter where your warder builds up fervor while doing damage in combat. When this meter is over 50% of the 1st level (well, I guess 1st level since in the center there's a number, which I guess indicates fervor level) you can use one of the 2 extra skills you have received, and this skill is a real MAIN DAMAGE melee skill (once again, look at the previous remark on these warder skills). This main damage melee skill is so strong that an equal level ^^ heroic monster will be hit for about 25% - 33% it's total health already, but I also guess it's a massive aggro trigger
The other skill you get on level 20 is one that does no damage, but it's a kind of buff (one that's not visible on the UI afaik), allowing the build of fervor to speed up a lot. This means that when battling a group of monsters you do need to time your triggered warder skills to optimize damage
Then about the strength of the Beastlord class. I've been walking around in the Wailing Caves on level 18 (and up) and a bit in the Forgotten Gates on level 21 (and up), and I have to say, with all these strong heroic monsters out there, the Beastlord did good damage and was able to survive up to 3-4 monsters at a time. That is WITHOUT the use of healing potions or food that heals during combat (I do need to get some of those though). This means that with the right warder used, the Beastlord is quite a powerful class (so far), but you do need to keep track of your equipment and be sure your armor rating will be 'up-to-date' with your level.
An other nice thing about the Beastlord is that you can tame your own monsters (much like the Hunter does in World of Warcraft). By now I've tamed an avian (which does not yet fly though), a canine and a feline. Personally I like the feline most as offensive pet and use the war-boar as defensive pet.
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