The Templars are the modern descendents of the old Christian order of Knights Templar. While they were persecuted and thought destroyed in the 14th Century, the order merely went underground (in 2038 this is literal) and prepared for the demonic invasion they knew was coming. Visually the two Templar classes look a great deal like their medieval "knights-in-armor" forebears, although modern Templar armor and weaponry combines mystical enhancements with the latest scientific materials. The Templar combat style is up close and personal, relying on swords enchanted with a variety of mystical effects. They may also use shields, and while they have a few ranged weapon choices, these are used mostly to get an opponent's attention and bring them in for a close-up beatdown.
Class Specialty: Close-up damage, can be specced for crowd-control or single-target damage dealing
Visual Style: Blademasters cut a dashing, almost ninja-like figure wielding two swords and close-fitting leathery armor.
Gameplay style: "Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt" - Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
The Blademaster is death in motion. This class is designed to appeal to those gamers who enjoy third-person maneuvering and managing a combat situation by controlling the location where the fight takes place. As a result, many of the Blademaster's skills are devoted to dealing out as much damage as fast as possible or putting the Blademaster in the proper place to kill foes quickly. The most important talent chains for the Blademaster are the related Sword of Reckoning/Charge talents (Charge talents require levels in Sword of Reckoning). These allow the Blademaster to zip across the battlefield and launch devastating strikes in a hurry, before enemies can close in. At higher levels of this chain, talents like Hamper can reduce both an opponent's movement speed and armor. The Path of Righteousness skill lets the Blademaster add damage to every enemy they pass through during a charge. Blademasters share with Guardians the ability to develop Auras, but these should mostly be avoided as they require the Blademaster to be surrounded in order to function. That's a bad idea, as an immobile Blademaster is as good as dead.
Class Specialty: Tanking
Visual Style: The Guardians are the iconic visual representation of Hellgate: London. If you're looking to wear that super-cool glowy armor, play a Guardian.
Gameplay style:"May many of his men fall about him prone in the dust and bite the earth!" - Homer, "The Iliad"
One minute there's a sea of demon flesh in a pack, all snarling fanged mouths and flashing claws. The next minute there's a pile of carrion surrounding a metal-clad warrior. This is the Guardian on the battlefield. While the Guardian shares with the Blademaster a focus on close-up melee combat, the implementation couldn't be more different. The Guardian is at his or her best when immobile, using a shield and surrounded by up to eight opponents. This is thanks to their use of "Auras," buffing effects that get stronger as more demons come within its range. While most Auras have their uses, the most important is Aura of Renewal which regenerates a certain amount of health for every enemy within its influence. Combined with Prayer of Healing and a decent supply of cheap health injectors, the Guardian can seem unstoppable simply because he or she is almost impossible to injure.
Of the three factions that survived the Burn (the encroachment of Hell's environment on Earth), the most unexpected were the Hunters. The Templars and the Cabal, of course, knew this was coming. The Hunters, though, are the remnants of the world's elite military and intelligence organizations who have found a new enemy to train their sights on. Rather than relying on magic, though, the Hunters use good old-fashioned technology. Well... not old-fashioned, exactly. They use cutting-edge tech involved with theoretical physics, dark matter and all sorts of other Oxford master-class terminology to create guns, robots, armor and all kinds of devastating ranged weaponry.
Class Specialty: Ranged weapon combat. This class is as close as Hellgate: Londoncomes to being a first-person shooter.
Visual Style: Kevlar chic. At higher levels Marksman armor looks like a futuristic version of Special Ops body armor.
Gameplay style: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
The Marksman is specifically designed to appeal to the first-person shooter fanatic. Unlike the Evoker, their weapons aren't "fire-and-forget." This class possesses the most powerful ranged weapons in the game but requires precise aim to hit and kill demons. They're tougher and better-armored than the Engineer or either Cabalist class, but that's by necessity as many of their most powerful skills are used standing still. That means that in order to be played well, a Marksman player must know when he can afford to stand still long enough to take a shot and when to get the heck out of Dodge. The most important skill available to a Marksman is Tactical Stance. This increases accuracy by 50% and range and missile speed by 25%. Paired with Beacon (short term but massive increase to damage) and Escape (cloaking device) for when things go bad, it lets the Markman get in, kill, and get away to kill again.
Class Specialty: Pet and ranged combat.
Visual Style: Rugged and paramilitary. At higher levels Engineers wear body armor similar to Marksmen, but baggier, bulkier, and covered with more pockets.
Gameplay style: "If you're in a fair fight, you didn't plan it properly." - Nick Lappos, Chief R&D Pilot, Sikorsky Aircraft.
Much like the Marksman, the Engineer uses familiar weapons and technology like assault rifles and rocket launchers. But the real power in an engineer's arsenal comes from the devices he or she can build, specifically bots and drones. These little beauties act like pets, and can be used to distract enemies while you set them ablaze with serious firepower. But the customizability of the bots is what makes this one of the most versatile classes in the game. You can go for an all-out offensive strategy, arming your drones with extra weapons and using your bots to fire showers of rockets. Or, you can program your drone to heal teammates and energize nearby shields, playing a defensive role. Because the weapons are familiar and there are so many development options, the Engineer is a great starting class for people who want to get a feel for the game -- for the most part you'll play in first-person mode, blasting away with a rifle while your drones take care of the messy stuff.
The Cabalist are the descendants of ancient magicians and alchemists who were forced to go underground even earlier than the Templars. Even so, the works of Isaac Newton, Aleister Crowley, and Nikola Tesla show that the Cabalists have been preparing for the opening of the Hellgate for longer than even their armored companions by researching the methods and powers of the enemy and using them to defend humanity. While their researches into forbidden arts and their truck with demons means the Cabalists aren't exactly trusted, they've proven in latter days that they are on humanity's side -- for the moment anyway. Cabalist combat is all about ranged fighting, whether that involves sending enslaved demons out to destroy their wild brothers or channeling primal forces to blast demons back into Hell.
Class Specialty: Pet combat. The summoner can bring out a variety of controlled demons to fight the enemy.
Visual Style: Skimpy and Sexy. Summoners, both male and female, are the class that shows the most flesh. As their power increases, their clothing gets smaller and starts to look like it's made of stitched skin and demon bones.
Gameplay style: "There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Summoner enjoys the unique ability to be in several places at once. That's because Summoners fight by littering the battlefield with summoned demons of various types. Players approaching this class with MMO experience be warned, pets in Hellgate: London are not under the player's direct control and will tend to wander and attack anything in range. As such, Summoners spend most of their time following their pets around and using their personal powers to take advantage of strategic holes opened by their minions. The most important talent for the Summoner is Summon Carnagor. The Carnagor is the player's primary meat shield and any Summoner who doesn't want to die will know where and in what condition their Carnagor is at all times. As players increase in power they may want to resist making individual elementals more powerful in favor of getting one elemental of every damage type. Versatility is often more important than sheer damage for a Summoner.
Class Specialty: Ranged Combat. The Evoker uses a variety of "focus devices" to launch destructive energy at opponents.
Visual Style: Like Summoners, Evokers are not above showing a little skin. As they grow more powerful, however, their armor starts to resemble the chitinous exterior of a demon.
Gameplay style: "The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire." - Marshal Ferdinand Foch
If the Hunter plays the role of Diablo II's Amazon, then the Evoker is Hellgate: London's Sorceress. The unquestioned masters of nuking, the class can be best described as the glass cannon: Evokers are unable to take much damage yet they are more than capable of dishing it out. This is the class to play if you enjoy an active pace, as it requires plenty of dodging, strafing, and shameless tail-between-the-legs running in order to stay alive when facing the minions of Hell. There are multiple element trees to dive into, each with three spells that deal poison, fire, electric, spectral or physical damage. The demonspine spell is particularly handy, as it pierces through enemies, often taking down multiple foes with single shots and firing with pinpoint accuracy. An Evoker's best defense against swarms of enemies is Word of Fear, sending nearby enemies running, while they can keep a group healed up by tagging demons with Brom's Curse, which heals anyone who hits the marked target. The strength of an Evoker's magical attacks is directly based on the equipped focus items, so acquiring the Dual Focus skill and equipping a pair of these items for more spell damage is a no-brainer. The Evoker is a gear-based spellcaster, so upgrading these focus items often is key.
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Content Edited by Mosquito
Images Taken from the London 2038 project.