The Royal class gives you a lot of flexibility at the beginning and starts you with a great beginning spell and item that regenerates MP (very slowly). Since they start such a low Soul Level the early cost of upgrading your stats is cheaper than other classes, so you can go in a number of different directions as you play.
The main drawback is low HP, but getting hit in this game, regardless of class, is a bad idea so you'll have time to get armor and adjust stats as your play style develops.
I've been using the wanderer i think? i havent had too bad a go of it, mostly die from over confidence, i havent found it to be as hard as it has been made out, but then i've only cleared 1-1/1-2/2-1 it's been really fun, and a bit challenging.
anyone know what you do with the souls of the demons you kill? must have missed that part, do i just use 'em like all other souls?
I'm a Temple Knight. So far he's been pretty good. He has a healing spell to start(you'll have to work on your magic to use it more than once without returning to the Nexus), and a decent Halbred. The Halbred is a little slow to swing, but once you get used to it you can usually get a couple swings in before the enemy even reaches you.
Royal is by far the easiest. You start with a mana regen ring, a powerful spell that will 1 shot most enemies early on, a silver coronet increasing your mana and a silver catalyst for casting. You start at the lowest level but this just means you get even more customization in your stats.
I have chosen the magician! Maybe he is difficult to play for the first time or even at the beginning of the game. But if you are going to skill your Magic and MP attributes i think you will have a lot of fun during the entire game!
for example: i am in new game ++ with my magician and have almost solely skilled magic and mp (magic approx. 67 and MP approx. 67). Now i kill the most enemies with the first or second strike if i use my "firestorm"
(hope my english is suitable and understandable cause i am not a native speaker - come from Germany)
Another thing for beginners who have made it past 1-1 :
Summon people!! Blue phantoms can show you around levels and how to fight certain enemies and bosses, and they always got your back. Plus, 2-3 people have a much better chance of surviving than just 1 person.
And if you're dead, and unsure of the road ahead?
Throw down that blue sign!
Don't be afraid of looking like a n00b, it's part of the game. You can learn a LOT about the level, puzzles, secrets, enemies, and effective fighting styles completely RISK FREE as a blue phantom. There's a lot of general camaraderie in the game - sometimes people will be dicks, but this is pretty rare, and who cares? There's no in-game chat, and it's usually anonymous.
Royal is by far the easiet to start out with. Although they don't excell at melee combat, their magic is pretty potent for the starting areas especially with the rare ring you're given from the start (the ring gives you MP and stamina regeneration). The downside, which has already been mentioned, is that they start at a soul level (SL) of 1, so you'll have play catch-up for a short while since most other classes start out around SL 6 or higher. Another class that's good to start with is a Soldier. Not only are they a glutton for punishment, they also come equipped with a short spear from the start, which is a great weapon for dealing with many foes early on (it can be used while shielding!). It'd normally run you 1,500 Souls to buy for any other class. Each class has a small perk here or there though such as a weapon that'd normally cost another class a good sum of Souls (when starting out) or some kind of rare item (such as the Royal's ring), so just play around with the different classes until you find what fits.
Whatever you do don't overspecialize too much in your first playthrough though. I took my lvl 36 thief (at that point though it's so customized it's not even really a thief anymore) online for the first time today as a blue phantom, and the guy I was helping was pretty cool. He was running around killing pretty much everything in one hit as we ran through the burrow level, while I took at least two to finish off almost everything. Only thing was, when we fought the armor spider and some ranged enemies, I had to carry him using arrows and my magic because all he really had was melee strength. I didn't mind, but I would have hated to be in that position if I was him and I was playing alone. I'm sure he could have taken a lot of the enemies, but with most of the bosses distance is your friend. Just something to think about...
I went with Temple Knight and found it to be a good starting class. Begins with a Heater Shield and enough Stamina to not take any damage when blocking the early enemy attacks. Als,o starting with the healing spell that gives you a free refill of your health is a plus. Good armor, and strong beginning stats, with a great starter shield and added healing make it an excellent class. My only knock is that t halberd is a little tough to get used to, so I bought a spear early on and never looked back!
A good starting class is the magician. Though weaker than the royal, you can find the spells of a royal after clearing 1-1 and talking to the monumental. Also he starts with the fire attack which the phalanx is weak against. To gain the fragment ring you should head to 4-1 when you feel ready to go there, the ring is by a large tree, but be careful along the way, as you will aggro enemies right from the start. You need the brass telescope to trade it for the ring.
I Liked the starting point of the Wanderer class and have been having a good time with this class as a relative noob (lvl 29 now, finished 1-1, 1-2, and 2-1, working on 4-1). I have been focusing on melee, but got enough for a couple spells (soul arrow & enchant weapon) and ranged attacks as well. I'm sticking with curved blades as the Wanderer description explains for this class and am upgrading my weapon when I can. Wanderer struck me as a sort of Ranger-type and this appealed to me. I didn't want strict magic use or ranged attacker, and I did not want heavy armor guy. Enjoy!
I'm right there with you, J. Long. My Soldier character and I just got past 1-1, 1-2, and 2-1 in that order; I just beat 2-1 about an hour ago -- I'm glad I took the same route as you. I'm a little weary of 5-1 so I think i'll keep going through 2-2. (My Thief couldn't cut the mustard, sadly. I started out at 5-1 after 1-1 and was poisioned / *plagued* constantly. I ended up dying repetitively and using all my Lotus items, not having the souls to replinish my inventory. With broken items and no souls, I ended up deleting his file and starting anew. *sobs*)
i started as a barbarian. my feeling is not to bother with whats easiest to play, play what you would normally choose. play a magician or an archer. this whole game is about learning anyway, so might as well have fun while you die...consistently. also as a melee class, i solo'd armor spider. took a hell of a while to figure him out, but it's definetly not just a range fight. same with the lizards, just gotta learn to dodge out of their way, if they miss you they land on their back, easy pickings.
You've likely already figured it out, but I started with royalty. Good melee skills and an uber powerful starting ranged magic attack that will really get you out of a lot of tight situations (when I think of it, the game is a continuous string of tight situations!)