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Thought experiment: Becoming an MMO musketeer

Every so often when I enjoy a good fictional franchise of some sort I get a hankering to replicate that experience in an MMO. I can’t be the only one who creates thinly veiled mockups of book, TV, or movie heroes in a game (at least the concept; I don’t try to replicate looks or create a twisted version of the in-canon name). So this week I’ve been reading the fourth Greatcoats book, Tyrant’s Throne, and once again feeling a strong urge to play a Three Musketeer-type in an MMO.

This, upon deeper reflection, is not as easy as it sounds.

My thought experiment today is to try to find the best game and class that would hew to a finesse-oriented sword fighter who (ideally) wields at least one rapier and possibly a pistol as well. It would be a class or build that focused more on precision and rapid attacks than powerful swings.

Is there really a class like that out there? MMOs have no shortage of warriors with giant two-handed slabs of metal, paladins with their sword-n-board, and “blender” types with two swords and a penchant for swirling about. But not a lot of fencers and duelists come to mind. So I decided to investigate on the premise of making a character that was as close to the fictionalized ideal of a musketeer as possible.

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: FFXIV’s Red Mage. It certainly has a look, with the flouncy hat, long single-handed sword, and quick attacks. It’s a strange hybrid of melee and magic, with half (more?) of its moves devoted to long-range spells, dashing in for some swordplay every so often.

Guild Wars 2’s Mesmer, oddly enough, has a candidate as a musketeer in the Mesmer. When she’s using a one-handed sword and pistol, she looks an awful lot like a fencer and can do some wicked moves. Again, some magic at play, particularly in the field of illusions.

If I want to hold out for Crowfall, there will be a Duelist in the group, and that seems as close to the pure concept as we’re going to get. Looks like it was definitely inspired by the musketeer fantasy too.





Blade Dancer in RIFT is a little along these lines, although it felt more rogue-ish with all of the waving around of the swords/daggers than precise.

Another game that has a Duelist is, why not, Path of Exile. Even looks the part, so I might have to give that a try.

An option would be Dungeons and Dragons Online. The class builds are pretty flexible and I know that there are rapiers in the game. Probably a bard build?

Tree of Savior has a fencer sub-class, as does Rose Online and Grenado Espada. Warhammer Online’s Witch Hunter was definitely in this vein, but that ship has sailed.

And of course, if I wanted to go to the scifi end of the spectrum, Star Wars might have a class or two that likes to duel with glowy swords.

Any other obvious fencer/musketeer-type classes I’m missing?

14 thoughts on “Thought experiment: Becoming an MMO musketeer

  1. It’s an oldie, but EverQuest 2’s Swashbucklers were perfect for this (though they use double blades). My Swashie Ratonga was (and is) my main whenever I mess around in that game. It’s also one of my favorite character job types, and I’m trying to be patient for the Red Mage. 🙂

  2. WoW’s Outlaw Rogue fits the bill, lots of swashbuckling-type abilities and a pistol on hand… but they put a heavy pirate spin on it.

  3. I know you’re kind of burnt out on WoW at the moment, but you’re basically describing an outlaw rogue. I think that’s the best match you’re going to find. It is also, in my opinion, the most fun spec in WoW currently.

    Failing that, I think the GW2 mesmer could be a good choice. I played a sword/pistol mesmer for a while, and it was pretty fun.

  4. The moment you said rapier and pistol, I was like, “oh yeah, you want the mesmer, for sure.” There is even a Bonetti’s rapier skin, and between the not-too-damaging regular swings and the pretty damaging blurred frenzy sword attack, you should find some of the pacing style verisimilitude to fencing in a precision manner (as opposed to warrior thacking things with much less finesse.)

    Path of Exile duelist would likely disappoint you. It’s a duelist in name only, the rest of it is determined by what skill gems you slot, and most of the melee combat gems are less finesse and more AoE cleave.

  5. Oh, and after I just posted, it also occurred to me that GW2 thief is also capable of wielding sword and pistol. That might be another possible musketeer concept if you’re allergic to purple.

  6. I love playing sword/pistol on my mesmer, but I’d also take a look at the thief in GW2. Thief is a fun class (its meta DPS build is super repetitive and boring, but there are fun ways to play it), and I remember messing around with a sword/pistol build called “blind tank.” Basically, the pistol 5 skill drops a smoke AoE around you that blinds anything in melee range, causing their attacks to miss while inside the field. Alternate that with sword strikes, and basically nothing can touch you. It’s not the best damage (since the AoE takes a lot of initiative, you may be stuck autoattacking a lot), but it’s something to try. Also, I’m not sure how recent updates may have affected this style of play, since it’s been a couple years since I tried it.
    Oh, and if you’re looking for a good fencing sword, look up Bonetti’s Rapier. It’s one of my favorite skins, it has good stats, and I’ve used it on the aforementioned mesmer ever since I discovered it.

  7. For those missing Warhammer, lookup Return of Reckoning. It is a private emulated server that uses the warhammer client and plays mostly like live.

    Also, witch hunter came to mind here too but they tended to be more VanHelsing than musketeer.

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