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Erevan_Kindelar's Avatar

05.23.2020 , 04:18 PM | #3
Bwahahaha, I will respond to your wall of text with... an EVEN BIGGER WALL OF TEXT!!!

Both Vanguard and Gunslinger are pretty "beginner friendly", but in different ways, and I would generally go with the Vanguard first.

Vanguard is a balanced blend of damage output and toughness when it is using either of its DPS specs - they are not as big on the toughness aspect as its tank spec, but still decent. As a beginner, running with a companion in heal mode, you should not encounter too many situations you cannot handle, as long as you do not try to solo heroic content or world bosses
Gunslinger has better damage output than Vanguard, but it is not as tough. It will kill stuff quicker than the Vanguard, but it will also die quicker than the Vanguard. Again, running with a companion who is healing you will allow you to run all non-Heroic content without any real issues, although you may find in one or two cases you want to run out of sight of the enemies until you trust the companion healing.

Beyond the choice of class, there are also a couple of things to consider regarding how you can make your companions work better - Presence (a long term option that carries over to other characters on your Legacy), and companion Influence (a short-term benefit limited to this character).

Both classes will benefit from an increased Presence stat (Presence makes your companions better at everything/anything they do, combat- and healing-wise), but boosting your Presence stat effectively takes time and multiple play-throughs of the class stories using human characters (completing the classic storyline on a non-human character unlocks that race for the opposite faction, but completing a storyline on a human character grants your Legacy a decent Presence bonus to all characters).
So my recommendation for a first playthrough would be to run through the story-mode version of the Esseles flashpoint a few times, and learn what conversation options your initial companion (Corso or Aric, depending on the class you choose) likes. Choosing the conversation options they like on each conversation can earn you several thousand influence points per run through the FP (up to 7250 points iirc, if you also buy the Legacy unlocks for improving the companion Influence gain from conversations), in addition to some level-appropriate gear that is probably better than what you already have. Story mode Esseles is also a good place to check out some of the skills you get from leveling up.

The Influence will increase your Influence level with the companion, which is the other way (apart from Presence) to make them more powerful. Max Influence level is 50, but that would require a mind-numbing number of runs through Esseles, but as you will get at least 2 or 3 decent level-appropriate armor pieces or weapons per run, it is definitely worth doing several times.
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