A character's "class" in ArcheAge is composed of three out of 10 skillsets. Each skillset levels up independently (as you gain experience with a skillset new ablities are unlocked/available). During character creation a player will choose one of five basic skillsets (to ensure a new player has offensive abilities available), and will then choose another skillset at levels five and ten. The combination of these three defines a character's class.
In addition, the player must choose which skills/abilities from each tree to use. Inside a skillset one is not restricted to use every ability but can (upon unlocking the ability as available) choose which one to use and which not. Each tree contains 11 active and 5 passive abilities, for a total of 16 abilities in each skill tree. However, a player only gains 23 skill points by the max level of 50. This means that a player will not be able to select every abilities from each skillset. Thus, even two players with the same three skillsets can play very differently if they select different abilities.
Selected abilities within a given skillset can be reset at any time for a small fee, and skillsets can be changed by talking to a Skill Manager and paying a fee. Furthermore one can swap and combine any skillset at level 10 and is no longer restricted to keep the initial basic skillset.
Once three skillsets have been combined, the character is assigned the appropriate class name (which can be changed any time again by swapping skillsets).
A good class calculator that allows to plan which skillsets and abilities one wants to combine and what combinations these allow as well as what the class name would be can be found at http://archeagedatabase.net/us/calc/
This Skillset focuses primarily on ranged damage dealing – as one might expect – with the tradeoff of ranged abilities having a damage penalty when too close to the target. Some active abilities help keep the target at a distance while applying damage-over-time and other effects, and its passive abilities boost mobility and ranged physical damage.
This support Skillset deals in buffs for the caster and their group, debuffs for your enemies, and a mix of light healing, defense, and crowd control. Its broad toolkit makes for good group support.
Charge in, fight up close, and keep your targets from getting away! This Skillset is primarily focused on offensive prowess with passive abilities that boost your attacks and provide some compensation for dual wielding weapons.
This is the primary Skillset for those who want to pick up a shield and take some damage, packing the high-protection skills, taunts, and damage mitigation of a “tank.” Its passives focus on blocking and reducing incoming damage.
Focused on applying a variety of status effects and debuffs from a distance, this Skillset is great for bringing a few more tools to your damage or healing setup. Its passives boost your mana regeneration and chance for magic critical hits.
Fast attacks and high mobility in and out of combat situations are the specialties of Shadowplay, especially stealth and surprise attacks. Its passives lower aggro generation, increase your evasion, and boost your chance to score high-damage critical hits.
As the Skillset for any aspiring bard, Songcraft comes with a variety of tricks. Its abilities include ranged damage and crowd control, buffs and small heals, debuffs, and more – all good tools to have access to whether solo or in a group! Its passives primarily boost Songcraft abilities.
Smite your enemies with ranged and area-of-effect damage in the form of fire, electricity, and ice! Sorcery passive abilities increase damage while its multiple status effect combos provide ample disruption among its targets. This is similar to archery.
Keep yourself and you guild alive with heals, heals over time, protection spells, and resurrection. Vitalism passives increase your mana pool and the potency of your healing effects.
This Skillset is all about crowd control – both applying and removing it. Witchcraft spellcasters lock down fights and control battles while their passive abilities increase defense and crowd control intensity.
Combo effects applied by an ability are shown as small icons at the bottom right of the ability mouseover’s stats section.
At the bottom of the mouseover text under “Combos,” you’ll find a description of abilities that can trigger a combo effect. Abilities that have special effects on other abilities will have these listed in the ability text by name.