On the Great Weapon Fighter

My current favorite class in Neverwinter is the Great Weapon Fighter (GWF). This came as a huge surprise to me, because when I sampled the five classes, the GWF was absolutely godawful in the first four newbie levels, and for a supposedly DPS class, it had terrible, horrible damage output. Even the Guardian Fighter did better, and tank classes are traditionally pretty terrible at damage.

Perhaps partially because of the challenge of it, I went back to the GWF to see what it could do. I wanted a pure DPS character for dungeon delves and honestly the Trickster Rogue (TR) gets on my nerves. For one thing, everyone plays it, and for another, it is so ridiculously overpowered at first that I found it insulting to my intelligence. Because it does such ridiculously high damage early on, it has to get worse as you level, right? Whereas the GWF does terrible damage at first, so it has to get better toward the endgame. Such was my thinking anyway. Also, the GWF seemed to have more skills for hitting more than one target at once.

The more I play GWF, the more fun it becomes. It’s a great no-brainer kind of class to play when you just want to unwind on weekdays after work. The animations are pretty cool. I like the big jumping-in-the-air "daily" skill even though it’s a terrible waste of DPS. I like how, contrary to typical MMO traditions, you actually *want* to take damage as a GWF, because it builds up your Determination meter, so you can then go into super-charged-damage mode. (Healers take note – it’s probably more useful to heal GWFs than tanks.)

So as it turns out, the GWF is not so much a DPS class as it is a cleric protecting, off-tanking class. At least that is how I’m building mine, and that suits me pretty well. I consider my role in any party to be protecting the cleric, particularly in Lair of the Mad Dragon. It’s apparent that this is a *vitally* important role for party success, and those are the kind of roles I like.

It’s really awesome to feel smug and superior to the trickster rogues, too, because I can stand in the middle of a pack of monsters and swing away without fear of dying. And at the end of the day, it’s all about making top deeps pew-pew scrubs feel inferior.

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