FerventPower's Guide to Creating a Balanced Class Call

(for TDA's guide see here)


In every game you will need 4 roles covered, 5 if your team is large enough.
1. Tanking
2. Healing
3. Priority/boss killing
4. Crowd Control
(5) Solo

Even in solo and duo games, the first four roles must be covered. In less than four-man games the roles will need to be doubled up by single characters, often making them less efficient at both of their roles. Let's start by discussing games large enough to support specialization, games of at least four people.

After that I will describe how to continue building your class call for larger games, and how to cover all the essential roles for smaller games.
Each section will address the classes, traits, specializations, and items are geared toward these roles.
Finally I will give several examples of balanced class calls, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.


The tank takes hits so the rest of the team doesn't have to. He spends more skill points in nanites and evasion so that the rest of the team can spend more points on offensive skills.

The cyborg was designed primarily with tanking in mind. It can integrate a shield cap (see items below) and carry another, making its energy efficiency when taking hits better than any other class - plus its innate backup battery helps it regain energy faster. It has advanced armor which uses heavy nanites while having fast movement speed. It can also increase its health and evasion using the Organic Replacement skill, dramatically improving its survivability. It has moderately high intelligence, allowing it to use some extra good items to improve its strength. Also, the innate ability pheromones helps it better keep the enemies off of the team. If all else fails the cyborg has force field to protect him from all incoming damage at an increasing cost of mana over time.

Heavy Ordinance
The HO can make an excellent tank because of his ability to have a very high energy capacity, evasion through plasma shield, and extreme energy regeneration. A tanking HO will want to choose heavy armor. Points into cells, plasma shield, and power grid will help the HO tank, and having several mini droids out will increase his armor. His lower intelligence may require extra effort to allow him to use a shield capacitor.

Maverick's Mecha Mutt
The Mecha can make a great tank because of his innate evasion, very high vitality (auto-repair), natural ability to attract enemies, and expendability. The main advantage of the mecha is that its 250 hp cause all nearby enemies to be naturally attracted to it. However, this makes the dog especially vulnerable to TNTs. Mecha's are epecially useful in luring enemies away from the team when running down a street.

The watchman is not a particularly strong main tank, but he can get the job done. Advanced armor lets him have strong nanites while also having considerable movement speed. His innate energy regeneration is higher than any other class, and he can easily get more regen through the custom loadout skill Advanced Generator. He can reasonable evasion with 4 skill points in custom loadout \ Deflective Armor. A few points in custom loadout \ Neural Augmentation will allow him to use a shield cap and make it unlikely that he will lose it by head injuries.

Techie's CPU
With points into Armor and Vitality the CPU can survive as a main tank. It is far less threatened by TNTs, but it also cannot be repaired instantly and only repaired by techies and time.

Traits and Specs:
Gives 30% evasion on most heroes, 33% evasion on borgs and watchmen. Pretty self-explanatory why this is a good choice.

Allows the hero integrate a better vest than his intelligence would otherwise allow, apply kevlar helmets to himself and others, gives +60 hitpoints and vitality, reduces chance for injuries and the severity of ankles, immune to open wounds, and increases health regen while in critical. This is an excellent trait for any tank that is otherwise more likely to die by health than energy.

Dragoon allows +1 effective nanites and 3 additional armor. This is more of an offensive trait than defensive.

Power Armor
Adds armor and increases damage absorption, significantly adding to the effective hitpoints of your tank. Also negates the movement speed penalty of a carried shield cap.

Energy Cells
Helps your tank hold more energy if he is carrying storage items. Useful if you are more likely to run out of energy than health. Especially useful if you use your energy in bursts, such as boss fights.

Increases health and intelligence. The higher intel will allow your tank to use better items sooner. Also cybernetics is useful for surviving when you are in critical health, as it dramatically increases your movement speed at that time.

Shield capacitor
The most important item for a tank (except CPU) is the shield capacitor. It increases the effective nanite quality, making taking hits less painful to energy and health. The borg can integrate a SC as well as carry one, making his nanites even better. This item must be purchased from the lab.

Combat Vest
Combat vest increase your armor and decrease the amount of hitpoints your tank will lose. Most vests also provide a small chance to avoid minor blows. You always want your tank to have the best vest they can use.

Micro Fusion Generators and Storage Cells
Because tanks will be using a lot of energy taking hits, producing and holding energy is very important.

Batts help provide energy when you start to get pretty low. Can be carried in lockers and brought in during emergencies.

Life Extension
If the tank has hitpoint problems, a life extension may be in order. This implant can rarely be found in brown crates. A life extension plus can be purchased from the lab for 25 valor.

Riot Shield
The riot shield can be used by another player to further increase the armor on the tank. Purchasable at the lab. Especially important for Mecha and CPU tanks.

Orange and Purple Mods
Although minor, gear mods from the demo can slightly help the tank have more armor and energy capacity.

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Like it or not, someone will take hits at some point in the game and need to be healed. Occasionally someone will die and need to be revived. Injuries will happen and slow the team down until fixed. These three things are the essential tasks of the healing role.

Nothing heals better than the medic. His skills and innates are geared toward every part of the Healing role. He has innate abilities to revive and remove injuries. He has the only way to remove severe injuries and rez sickness. Basically every class call will include a medic.

The watchman's innate nano-infusion can be upgraded to quickly provide lots of health, especially if the wm has a high energy capacity. Also putting many points into pharmacist and spitting out buffouts for everyone can provide lots of health over time, and can sell revives when needed. Finally, putting a point into Paradox \ Field Nurse and keeping it surged can save people when things start to go bad.

Mavs have a small innate heal which helps.

Traits and Specs:
Adds 50 hp healed to each bandage used, and removes a non-severe injury if the target has not been recently bandaged. Also allows the revive item to be used without intelligence requirement and stack revive items to 8. Carried revives should auto-revive the healer to keep you alive.

Flower Child
This allows you to heal yourself effectively and remove your own injuries. You can also pop a mentat to have high intelligence for great bandage heals.

Bandages fully recover recipient from critically low health before applying their normal healing effect. Bandages also do not cause recently bandaged status, allowing for effective repeated bandaging. Bandages stack to 48. As a side note, bandages restore an additional 25 health when used on self. Excellent in combination with Healer.

Bandages heal the targeted player based on intelligence, healer trait, triage spec, and Medic's mend wounds level, and recently bandaged status. The simplest part is bandages heal (intelligence over 100) x 3, making the higher intelligence classes better choices for the healing and back-up healing roles. Bandages can be found in brown boxes and are sold at the lab and ABMs.

This item can be used to revive a fallen teammate. It requires 150 intelligence or the Healer trait. It can be stacked to 8 by the Healer trait. It can be found in brown crates, purchaced at ABMs, and purchased through the watchman's pharmacist for 250 credits, but cannot be sold back.

Buffouts are consumable drugs that will increase your vitality by 100 for two minutes, healing you over time. They can be found in brown crates and purchased from ABMs. An auto-consumable version can be obtained from a watchman's pharmacist and the ATME Drug Replicator. A good rule of thumb is that one dose of buffout will provide around 100 hitpoints.

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Priority / Boss

Bosses spawn periodically and are critical times for the survival of the team. Priority targets can cause significant damage and need to be eliminated from a range. Both need to be killed quickly and efficiently.
Priority targets include TNTs, mini-bosses, beasts, gargs, mutants, and umbrella soldiers.

Group Sniper
The sniper has range and damage, especially high damage with aim. There simply is nothing with as much single target dps. However, the sniper's gun has a long cooldown and cannot easily deal with swarms of priority enemies without a speed boost. Concussion grenade can stop TNTs in their tracks or even pull a tnt off of someone who is running away from it.

The watchman has an excellent single target dps gun which also does extra damage to bosses. Laser weapon is also very effective against power armor. The watchman's faster attack rate actually makes him better at taking out normal priority targets.
The watchman's X-nade can be specced for lethality, which can very quickly take down priority targets, umbrellas, tyrants, commies, and Nemesis.

Mav's Kamikazi Canine
The kami can rip up single targets without fear of retribution, even from tnt's (while hyper-thrashed).

Mind Slay can almost-instantly kill any non-boss. Bosses are reduced to 1/2 of current health, but also cause the cooldown of mind slay to be very high. Mind slay is particularly useful on charred mutants and commies.

Microwave and incendiary rockets do very large amounts of damage to single targets. Both abilities are energy dependent.

Traits and Specs:
Dragoon increases gun damage by 17% and allows you to eat two more ammos.

Flower Child
FC allows you to max your attack speed yourself and kill faster.

Weap allows you to eat an additional ammo and gives one free point in your weapon skill.

Chem allows you to eat more speeds and increases the effectiveness of self-stims. Shoot faster, kill more.

Shoot for more damage. Each hero can consume 3 ammos, +2 for dragoon, +1 for weaponry, +1 for borg.

Rapid Reloads
Allow you to shoot faster if you have enough intelligence. Hug others with different rapid reloads to combine their effects.

Speeds are consumable drugs that will increase your agility by 10 for two minutes, allowing you to shoot faster. They can be found in brown crates and purchased from ABMs. An auto-consumable version can be obtained from a watchman's pharmacist and the ATME Drug Replicator.

Stim Packs
Allows you to temporarily shoot much faster. Stim packs may be applied by another character, often one with higher intelligence.

Green Mods
Although minor, gear mods from the demo can provide slightly higher base damage.

Freeze Ray
The ultimate debuff, this item can immobilize and disable most priority targets. Not as useful against bosses, but it does help.

Support Skills:
Adrenaline and Confidence
Increase attack speed, since most Priority control is done by gun dps.

Prodigy Strategian
Put this next to the priority killer to increase their damage.

Pep Talk and Ion Strike
Pep talk can slightly increase others' damage. Ion Strike is useful for taking out a chunk of bosses but is insufficient to be considered effective priority control.

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Crowd Control

Large numbers of zombies come continually and need to be put down quickly. Splash weapons and AoE spells are the main form of crowd control.

The whole point of the demo is to blow things up. Nuke and Mirv kill large groups of units easily. C4 can keep the mob at bay. The rocket launcher has a large splash. Basically the demo is the king of crowd control.

A very close second on pure crowd control. Flame has the highest dps for any gun against groups of at least two adjacent units, and almost none of it is wasted. The pyro's overburn makes his flame even more deadly. Moltov slows the mob and compresses them into a small pile to burn. Microwave above level 11 explodes zombies and kills entire groups on the run.

Heavy Ordinance
With several mini-droids and max XLR8, the HO can put down incoming mob with no problem. However, it takes a significant investment of skill points, energy, and a few moments to speed up XLR8.

DPS Tactician
This is a particular way of playing tactician. Recruit a woman in the first few levels, spend 16 points in refined rifle. With max attack speed from the woman's adoration aura and the splash on the assault rifle, Even incoming enemies will have to pour through a wall of firepower to get to the group. The increased range of refined rifle also allows the tact to begin firing at targets who are farther away.
This type of tactician will also want to use weakpoint and ion to help kill enemies. Ion can prevent a pile of zombies from reanimating. Don't forget pep talk to help your allies shoot harder. This skill build is best complimented by the spec weaponry.

Battle Medic
This medic will want max refined rifle and adrenaline junkie. By self-applying adrenaline, it is possible to maintain near-permanent adrenaline against incoming mob. The medic can also adren someone else (max junkie gives 100% chance to get a short rush on yourself) for a huge burst of damage. This is extremely useful when there is a huge wave of mob incoming, other players are down, or during a boss fight. The medic's urban assault rifle and anti-personnel rounds makes the battle medic have slightly smaller splash but higher dps against single targets, umbrellas, commies, and Nemesis.

DPS Borg
Using the energy-efficient PVR and XCM, the borg's gun output is nothing to be trifled with. In addition, his vindicator gun can take an extra ammo upgrade above what normal guns can take. Also cluster rockets do a large damage in a large area and provide stun.

Dog Dancing
By careful dancing of a Maverick's dog, the mob can be held at bay, allowing more time for it to be shot to death. This can help prevent the pile from creeping forward.

Traits and Specs:
If your character's main form of crowd control is his gun, then dragoon is an excellent choice.

If your class mainly performs crowd control through energy-dependent skills, energizer will help significantly.

Chem Reliant
To increase the attack speed of your gun for long periods of time, CR is the way to go.

Swift Learner
If your ability to crowd control is limited by skill points, then swift learner will provide more skill points for you to spend.

Weap allows you to eat an additional ammo and gives one free point in your weapon skill. It also gives assault rifles antipersonell rounds and makes plasma rounds deal more damage.

Chem allows you to eat more speeds and increases the effectiveness of self-stims. Shoot faster, kill more.

Choosing vulnerability scanner and keeping the robot in the mob can help the effectiveness of all attacks.

Grenade Launcher
Purchasable from the lab, this item can dramatically help control crowds for teams lacking in crowd control. Also synergizes exceptionally well with the Mav's Plasma Grenade.

Laying a line of claymores while on the move can help keep the mob at bay and at low health. Purchaseable at the lab and found in brown boxes.

Shoot for more damage. Each hero can consume 3 ammos, +2 for dragoon, +1 for weaponry, +1 for borg.

Rapid Reloads
Allow you to shoot faster if you have enough intelligence.

Speeds are consumable drugs that will increase your agility by 10 for two minutes, allowing you to shoot faster. They can be found in brown crates and purchased from ABMs. An auto-consumable version can be obtained from a watchman's pharmacist and the ATME Drug Replicator.

Stim Packs
Allows you to temporarily shoot much faster. Stim packs may be applied by another character, often one with higher intelligence.

Green Mods
Although minor, gear mods from the demo can provide slightly higher base damage.

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The solo role, while not entirely necessary, makes the game go much smoother. The solo finds and retrieves items, destroys rads, and usually sells hazmat. Survivability of the solo is essential as reviving the solo is highly inconvenient for the team. Boss spawns, room spawns, spider spawns, and more are big threats to any character out there on his own.

Advanced armor gives heavy nanites with fast movement speed. Overdrive will help you outrun enemies, deflection and regen will keep you able to survive even more hits. Customized x-grenade can help you deal with even large groups of enemies - distortion helps hit-and run, napalm helps your gun be more effective, lethality helps take out priority targets, and replication helps you afford more grenades. The best tool of the solo watchman is his ability to escape - teleport back to the group using the partner ability.

Covert Sniper (SS)
The sniper's innate ability to cloak while moving makes him able to slip by enemies. He can open crates quickly while still cloaked and teleport items to the group. Spreading cameras all over the map also lets the group's leader make more informed decisions. Beware of bosses, tyrants, commies, dogs, and spiders.

Maverick's Chrome Retriever
The chrome is fast, has truesight, can teleport items back to the group, and can chew through rads in no time. However, the chrome cannot effectively do its job until it has a few levels, and requires extra micro-management to keep up with the mav and the dog. Also, beware of yellow rads, as they explode upon destruction.

Heavy Ordinance
A solo HO especially with espionage can send minidroids all over the map. He can quickly find the important rooms and deal with rads everywhere. An active sHO may be the most micro-intensive class in the game. He will find items so quickly that it is best if he can collect items from rooms and either move them to somewhere with vision or bring them back to the team.

The psy has a few tricks up his sleeve which can keep him alive and moving. Mind rot can make groups of enemies ignore the psy, mind slay can eliminate priority targets. Self-motivation can dramatically increase the movement speed of the psy; self-confidence can increase his attack speed. Clairvoyance can leave vision in an item room to allow the group sniper to teleport items back while the solo psy can move on.

Advanced armor and strong defensive abilities allow the borg to quickly cover the map and survive even the worst situations.

Traits and Specs :
Flower Child
Heal your injuries, move faster, shoot faster, use any item you find, including combat vest mk3's. It's pretty good all around.

Run faster, run away from enemies, run toward your next objectives.

Pick up all those items you find so you can bring them back to the group.

See deeper into rooms and even through walls. Move and shoot faster during 2/3 of the game.

Remove your own injuries and heal large amounts of hit points.

For non-sniper classes this allows you to go invisible. For the sniper, it increases your movement speed. However, this comes at a cost of nanites and energy regen (for non-snipers). Espionage is also applied to HO's minidroids.

Extra health to help you survive, and when you go critical you run very fast.

Keep yourself healed to stay alive.

A good set of boosts to anyone.

Flare Gun
Look into a room from a distance and instantly without having to risk room spawns. Look around corners to make sure your path is safe. Purchasable at lab or found in brown crates.

Escape danger temporarily, move twice as much hazmat, and drop off those extra items you find.

This implant purchased at the lab increases the movement speed of the soloer, allowing him to do his job more efficiently. This will require the entire team to pool the 30 required valor.

In a tough spot nothing will help you survive more than extra energy.

You need some way to keep yourself alive after you get hurt.

Will help you heal slowly, shoot quicker, and use better items to make yourself stronger.

An occasional claymore can kill room spawns that get in your way while you are trying to kill a rad. They can also be used directly to kill rads - the room will eventually spawn and units will attack the claymores you plant on radiation fragments. Also, planting a claymore before a watchman attempts to use his partner ability can buy the time he needs.

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Continuing to build your class call

So now you've have the essential four roles covered and even have a soloer. What more do you need?
This will depend on your team and what areas you need better covered. As a general rule, it is best to use a different class so that you have a larger variety of tricks up your sleeve. You can either add a class that will do essentially the same job, or add a class that will make others do their job better.

Double up
In larger games certain roles may need to be covered more thoroughly. Bosses and priority targets may need another priority killer. A single medic may be unable to keep up with all the required healing. Larger games will have many more zombies pouring in, requiring another crowd controller. Remember that having a variety of classes will help you have more tools to deal with the challenges of higher difficulties.

Especially for soloing and tanking, it is best not to have a second person. Instead, have another player support the core classes.

Tank support
A watchman built to surge the tank is more efficient than having two tanks. Add in Paradox\Military Android and a X-Nade specced heavily into distortion and a main tank will be able to survive twice as long because of his support.

Solo support
A psychologist's abilities are effective at infinite range, making an alert psy very helpful to any solo class. Mind rot and mind slay can protect the soloer from unfortunate suprises. Mental clarity can help the soloer quickly achieve a healthy level of nanites and other skill points. Motivation and Confidence are also extremely helpful, especially if the psy can seamlessly switch between the two as the soloer quits walking and starts shooting.
Another form of solo support can come from a group sniper teleporting items away from the soloer toward the group, easing the soloer's job of retrieving items for the group.
An important form of solo support is to take some of the pressure off of the soloer. Any other watchman or sniper can safely get rooms that are somewhat nearby the team. HO's can send expendable minis to search even more distant rooms. Pyro's firefly can be used as a mobile flare. The team should always check nearby rooms.
Since one of the soloer's jobs is to find and destroy rads, having a rad resistant player spamming his radiation scanner can help the soloer quickly finish this task. Combined with a tact that ions rads, radiation will be within safe levels in no time. Group Watchmen should branch out often to hunt down nearby rads as they can return easily.
Well-placed nukes can save a soloer who has drawn too much attention to himself.

Team booster
Sometimes it is more efficient to bring a class that boosts others rather than is extremly strong itself.
A tactician can provide movement or attack speed for the entire team, pep talk for more damage, and use weakpoint to reduce the armor of enemies.
The medic's use of adrenaline on others will temporarily but dramatically boost the attack speed of the class that needs it most at the time.
A psychologist can easily, dramatically, and constantly boost the attack speed of whichever class needs it most.
A HO built for energy can generate batteries for the team and continually refill stims to use on others. Having most of the team stimmed during important times can prove invaluable. A stimming Mav is also common. Usually done with Gadgeteer/Chemistry/Tinkering

Just like real SWAT teams, most characters will have at least two jobs. There is no reason why a psychologist who is on "solo support" could not also go Healer/Triage and assist in healing the team. A HO who is stimming others should also have mini droids built to assist in crowd control. A watchman who is doing "tank support" can also do short-scouting to help clear the map faster. A DPS tact can use stim packs on others. A healing medic will usually use adrenaline and stims on someone with high gun skill and ammo. A second crowd controller might use prowler to be more of a team asset. A soloer can return to the group for boss fights and tor filling.

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Covering the essential roles with less than four players

How do you do the job of four people with only two or three? There are several ways to do it. Realize that in teams without one character devoted entirely to a single role, that role will not get covered perfectly. However, in smaller games, you do not need a medic with 32 skill points spent on healing.

Combine Roles
Tank + Crowd Control
It is very easy for a demo, HO, or rocket mav with mecha to be effective both at tanking and crowd control. A demo might need to choose a tanking build such as Survivalist/Energy Cells/Toughness. A HO might choose Survivalist/Power Armor/Tinkering or Dragoon/Cybernetics/Toughness. An Rmav+mecha might choose Gadgeteer/Chemistry/Tinkering to help more with cc or Dragoon/Energy Cells to improve his tanking.

Tank + Priority
A sniper mav + mecha, a tanking mav + kami, or a watchman can usually suffice at combining these two roles for smaller games.

Tank + Healing
A watchman, Healer mav + mecha, or tank-built medic can usually handle these jobs. The watchman and mav have small innate heals avaliable. The medic's high intelligence can help him use strong vests and still have plenty of skill points available for healing.

Crowd Control + Priority
A rocket mav + kami, a pyrotechnician, a watchman with high grenade, or a sniper with high conc help with both crowd control and priority. While a sniper's conc does not damage the mob, it does stop them in their tracks to be shot down by other weapons.
Also consider bringing a psychologist. Mind slay for destroying priority and mind rot for dispersing the mob can help a lot. Also moving confidence between the crowd controller and priority person can indirectly make the psychologist excellent at cc+priority.

Crowd Control + Healing
A battle medic or placing Healer on any crowd controlling class will generally do the trick.

Priority + Healing
A watchman with points in nano-infusion, pharmacist, and nurse will do the job. Otherwise put healer on any priority class or psychologist (with mind slay).

Some abilities work well together, some are redundant on the same team, especially in smaller groups.

Super slow - Moltov, Temp Distortion, Conc, Plasma Rounds, Freeze Ray, and cluster rockets slow/stop enemies. Use this hold back the mob and gun it down.
Temp Distortion grenade + dancing dog - the mob is slowed by temporal distortion but not the dog, allowing it to dance more freely.
Sniper's Item Teleport + Tact's Ion / HO's minis. Find and retrieve distant items safely.
Weakpoint + Napalm + Robotics' vulnerability scanner - bring that armor even lower.
HO's XLR8 + Lockdown - Shoot harder, stronger, and faster when holding in place.
Multiple Incendiary Rockets - The damage not only stacks, but the damage ticks come more quickly.

Napalm on x-nade + napalm from MIRV. These two do not stack.
Double Weakpoint - never have more than one tactician using weakpoint. Only the lower of the two weakpoints will be applied.
Phero + Dog drawing - this is often a problem with borgs who are not used to having a good mav on the team.

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Examples of balanced class calls

Here are some class calls that cover the essentials, synergize, and have worked well in the past. (T)anking, (H)ealing, (P)riority, (C)rowd Control, and (S)olo are marked on each.

(T)(H)(C)(P)FC Watchman

(T)(C)Demo, (H)(P)Watchman

(T)(C)Demo, (P)Watchman, (H)Healer Psychologist

(T)Borg, (H)Medic, (C)Demo, (P)(S)Watchman

(T)Borg, (H)Medic, (C)Demo, (P)Group Sniper, (S)Watchman

(T)Borg, (H)Medic, (C)Demo, (P)Group Sniper, (S)Watchman, Group Watchman

(T)Borg, (H)Medic, (C)Demo, (P)Group Sniper, (S)Watchman, DPS Tact, Group Watchman

(T)Borg, (H)Medic, (C)Demo, (P)Group Sniper, (S)Watchman, DPS Tact, Group Watchman, Battle Medic

Full House
(T)Borg, (H)Medic, (C)Demo, (P)Group Sniper, (S)Watchman, Pyro, Group Watchman, Battle Medic, Psychologist

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