People will always think "this class" or "that one" is way better, or way worse than the others... The truth is everything is viable. You can beat any content with any class. Skill and knowledge make much more of a difference than the class you pick. And whatever class you pick, it will be considered the best at one point and the worst 6 months later. So, play whatever you enjoy playing, and stop comparing yourself with the others (especially on the leaderboard, which means absolutely nothing at all, as it doesn't take into account the buffs you provide, and companions dying and reviving is considered "healing"... yup, it's totaly broken and meaningless).
The main thing to consider when you pick your class, is the role you want to play in dungeons. A group in random queues is always made of 1 Tank, 1 Healer, and 3 Damage Dealers. As usual in mmorpg's, there are way more Damage Dealers than Tanks or Healers. So, if you want to do dungeons quickly, consider playing as a Tank or Healer. It's only at level 30 that you can choose your Paragon, which determines your role in dungeons. You can play both paragon paths on the same character thanks to loadouts (you have 2 for free at level 30). Here is the list of which roles each class can have :
- Fighters and Barbarians can be Tanks or Damage Dealers
- Paladins can be Tanks or Healers
- Bards, Clerics and Warlocks can be Healers or Damage Dealers
- Rogues, Rangers, and Wizards can only be Damage Dealers
Every class has a specific way to avoid or mitigate damage in the form of a Tactical power. You will use this power very often, and it's a big part of the gameplay. It uses Stamina (either a small green bar, visible on the left side of the icon of your Tactical power, bottom left of the bottom panel on consoles, or a small blue bar on top of your daily power icosahedron orange meter in the middle of the bottom panel on PC). Here is the list of the Tactical power of each class :
- Clerics and Wizards can Teleport afar. This power uses lots of Stamina.
- Bards, Rangers and Rogues can Roll away. This power uses a moderate amount of Stamina.
- Fighters and Paladins can Block an amount of damage equal to half of their HP bar.
- Warlocks and Blademaster Barbarians (Damage Dealers) can Dash. This power makes them move faster and uses Stamina as long as they Dash.
- Sentinel Barbarians (Tanks) can give themselves temporary maximum HP.
This is what you should consider the most. Enjoying the gameplay of your class is everything. You can outperform almost everyone if you play your class properly and know how to build your character.
If you want to play mainly as a Tank :
- Barbarians can boost their maximum HP and hit their foes continuously.
- Fighters can block damage, and are very resilient.
- Paladins can block damage, and use Divinity (a resource that refills with time) to cast most of their powers. They can protect people who are behind them with their shield.
If you want to play mainly as a Healer :
- Bards buff and heal (slightly) their team with songs you have to input manually.
- Clerics mostly use a Heal over Time, and also have a fantastic emergency heal with a long cooldown.
- Paladins have barriers to protect people before they take damage.
- Warlocks can use both Heals over Time and barriers (though not as well as Paladins or Clerics), their versatility is exceptionnal.
If you want to play mainly as a Damage Dealer :
- Bards can deal damage with songs you have to input manually. They mostly use melee attacks otherwise.
- Barbarians use mostly melee attacks, and excel at killing masses of monsters with their at-will powers.
- Clerics use only ranged attacks, and are deadly on single targets. They use divinity for most of their powers, and generate judgement to make them even stronger. To make the most out of their powers, they require using a specific 1 minute long rotation (which makes a huge difference once mastered).
- Fighters use mostly melee attacks, and have high magnitude single target powers, but do not really shine for killing groups of monsters. As such, it takes a bit more effort to level up a Fighter, but they are still decent damage dealers.
- Rangers can switch between a melee and a ranged stance, and can use up to 6 encounter powers (while other classes use 3).
- Rogues use mostly melee powers. They have stealth, which add an effect on some of their powers, and are exceptionnal for solo content.
- Warlocks have curse and shards mechanics that improve their powers. Using the proper rotation to apply curses and removing them with other powers makes a big difference. They can play both at melee and range. And they can summon a shade to help them. They are a bit tricky to understand, but once you get how the powers work together, you can kill groups of ennemies very fast.
- Wizards use only ranged powers. They excel at single target damage and at controlling their foes.
It only takes a couple of weeks to level up a new character to level 80, so test them out to play what's the most fun to you !