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11.18.2012 , 05:21 PM | #12
While a shadow tank really is the best tank for soloing and can survive anything while doing decent damage, he has crap AoE until 40 when it gets ok, but not great. While arguably not worth much in the endgame, good AoE will speed up your leveling process dramatically. The shadow is actually quite a late bloomer in other regards too, and that's the primary reason why I wouldn't recommend it as a first character.

Instead, I'd go for a trooper commando as my first pick and a consular sage as my second. Both have excellent AoE capabilities and can heal themselves and their companions, but the commando blooms much earlier - as soon as lvl 10 in fact, when you get a nice spammable AoE in addition to the very high damaging but on a longish cooldown one which you get even earlier. A sage, on the other hand, gets his first AoE at lvl 20 and his second at 34. However, I think they're a bit stronger than the commando's.

Another benefit for the commando is that you can pick armormech as your crafting skill and have up to date armor for yourself and all of your companions except one, as they use the same armor that you do. And since you have some heals too, you're not as dependent on medpacks like other classes so biochem is not a highly attractive crafting skill as it normally is (this also goes for the sage).