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KeyboardNinja's Avatar

12.11.2012 , 10:44 AM | #6
I would say that a shadow is pretty easy to play at a faceroll level, but the results you get will be mediocre at best. If you are a skilled player, however, you can extract results from a shadow that put other classes to shame. They're phenomenal tanks, but their DPS is also quite outstanding. Very few classes can out-DPS an equally-geared shadow in the hands of a skilled player. (sentinels, vanguards and gunslingers are really the only ones) They also have a large amount of utility which makes for a good raid support character. Interrupts, stuns, stealth, etc. All of it is useful in competitive endgame PvE.

You unfortunately have a long and rocky road to get to that point though. Leveling as a shadow is pretty hard. Respect the people who find it simple! The way the shadow skill trees work, once you have all 41 talent points, you can spec yourself in almost any way imaginable and still be viable (at least in PvP). However, before you have all 41 talent points, no spec will be satisfying or complete. As an example, I leveled as a tank, and I felt *incredibly* under-powered and squishy until around level 45-46. Infiltration spec gets some decent talents early on, so it's probably the easiest for leveling, but even in that tree things kinda suck for a long, long time.

The other problem you will have is the stigma shadows carry (especially DPS shadows). We were FOTM for a long time, and so quite a large number of people rolled a shadow without having the slightest clue what they were doing. The consequence of this is that people simply assume that the shadow is a really bad class since the results they achieve are usually terrible (thank you, awful players). An intelligent raid leader is going to be aware of this and will judge you on your own merits, but you may not get that opportunity. Keep some videos handy of the top progression guilds using shadows/assassins for just such situations. :-)

Anyway, I do highly recommend rolling a shadow. It was my first (of many) characters, and I haven't regretted it for a minute. Well, actually that's only sort of true. I wish my shadow were an assassin, since their animations are dramatically better looking and their storyline is quite a bit more engaging, but we can't have everything. The class itself is phenomenal in any spec, and a worthy challenge for a player who likes to continually improve and develop his skills.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dilettante on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (retired sentinel) Nimri (ruffian scoundrel)
Averith (marksman sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (vengeance jugg) Effek (pyro pt)