Black Desert Online features a pretty standard selection of classes. You’ll see the familiar cast of characters here, with two exceptions. There are no stealth classes or healer classes in BDO. Phasing out healers and stealthies seems to be a recent trend in MMO development. This trend is met with resounding cheers from the people who don’t play those classes (and hate playing against them!), and desperate cries of “How could you do this to me?!” from the priests and assassins of the world. I’ll talk more about that later, but for now, let’s go over which classes actually are present in BDO.
Predators are a melee DPS class, getting right into the front lines of battle with their dual axes. But they have a special twist: they can transform into ferocious wolves, unlocking new abilities.
Tamers can use their faithful pets as allies in battle. Tamers themselves are melee combatants. They can also ride on the backs of their companions, using them in place of a boring old horse mount.
Now, about the anti-priest and anti-stealth movements. A lot of recent MMO releases have deliberately chosen not to include a stealth or healing class. Presumably, this is because those two archetypes are very difficult to balance, and promote a style of play which is not beneficial to the game.
This is particularly true of healers in action combat MMOs. Skilled players will avoid taking damage from their enemies, and therefore do not need to be healed. Unskilled players fail to evade damage, and are “carried” through dungeons by healing classes. Removing the “safety net” of healing increases the risk element in PvE content. It puts the emphasis on skilled individual play, rather than reliance on a hero to come and save you. It really sucks for those of us who usually play healers – I’m one of them! – but overall, it will make gameplay a lot more skill-based.
As for stealth classes. Stealth is one of those features which really attracts a lot of people to play a particular class – which usually ends up with that class being overplayed. Rogues everywhere. Stealth is also particularly difficult to balance. Like healing, it often ends up being overpowered, and very frustrating to play against.
It can be difficult to choose a new archetype if you’ve traditionally played healers or rogues. I’m in that boat with you – I’ve been a healer since my very first MMO, when I was fifteen years old. If you’re concerned about your class choices in Black Desert Online, I suggest you go try out Tera or Dragon Nest while you wait for BDO’s release. You’ll find that action combat makes every class exciting to play, even ones you’ve typically hated! Find a new archetype which you enjoy, and pick one which is similar in Black Desert Online.