September 3, 1999
Let's start on Warrior: they are very good for tanking in forms on account of their high hitpoints. They have skills such as parry to block attacks, bash to stun spell casters, and triple attacks for massive damage. Now Warrior is a good class, if you want to stay around forms and go around doing things with people all the time. But if you feel like soloing some zones for experience points, it can get a little slow. The main reason is because warriors can only heal themselves by meditate. The problem here is that it takes up much needed movement points, and doesn't heal you very much. You also have to rest and find a room with no mobs or players in it. This can cause trouble if mobs are following you.
The problem of healing has also plagued the Thief class. Although they can use their sneak skills to get away from mobs or get past them, regenerating hitpoints is still accomplished by meditate. Thieves don't have as much hitpoints as warriors do, but they can backstab which can do massive damage depending on your damroll and on your level. Thieves have such skills as trip which has the same effect as bash. Thieves can only hit twice a round as opposed to a warrior's three.
Although healing is a spell in which Mages do not have, they can do many things to get around it. Mages have many spells in which to protect them such as manashield which takes damage to their massive mana points as opposed to their smaller hitpoints. Another spell they posses in the higher levels is phantasmal images which creates anywhere from 2 to 6 images of youself with each one being able to take any hits such as a backstab. Mages have high armor class with their many spells and can cast fireshield which will rebound half the damage they take to their opponent. They also possess shockwave which is the spell that can potentially do the most damage in the game. They can also shield the room to prevent mobs from coming in and delivering the final blow while you heal up some way.
All of these classes can heal in some form whether it be meditate or potions or preventive ways, but none of them possess the cleric spell of heal. Clerics are sought after greatly in forms since they can stay in back while the warrior or thief takes the hits and the cleric heals them. Clerics can also solo easily since if their hitpoints become low, they can simply heal up. Clerics also have the ever so important spell of sanctuary, which absorbs half the damage whatever it may be. So instead of taking full damage, you only take half of it. Clerics can cast this on themselves for soloing use, or to the tank in a form to lessen the damage and not have to heal as much. Another important spell higher level clerics have is ressurection. This spell can only be casted with a heartstone held. It does not have to have charges on it. Also, your form (whether it be just you or a large form) has to have 10 or more TOTAL hitpoints than the person you are ressurecting. For example if you have 500 hitpoints, you can only ressurect someone who has 490 or lower hitpoints. Now you can form with other people and ressurect anything just as long as the total form hitpoints are greater than the person you are ressurecting.
Because of these three important aspects (heal, sanctuary, ressurection) I believe the Cleric class is the best class to start out with. Because when you get to reclass, you will still have the heal spells with you (one you reach the level - HELP SPELLS) and you will never have to worry about healing again. Now if you decide to do the cleric class 2nd, 3rd or last, then you will be waiting a long time for heal or relying on other people to heal you or potions to heal you. Now if you are a cleric single class and are thinking about a second class, any class will go great with cleric, it all just depends on what you want to be for hero class. If you like to player kill, I suggest Thief for a second class so that you can backstab and still heal. Also, being able to sneak and heal will allow you to run hard zones such as Bloodstone later on.
And finally, to plan out your hero class, here are some suggested paths:
1st Class/2nd/3rd/Hero Class
Now you don't have to go Warrior last class, but the reason for that is
because I suggest going Thief as soon as possible, preferably second class.
This is because the harder, more fun, and equipment based zones require
sneak. If you can wait for that, try some of these:
1st Class/2nd/3rd/Hero Class
Now if you are a spellcaster at heart, and want to hero at Mage:
This would probably be the best route for you guys.
In conclusion, Cleric seems to be the basis for starting on, and whatever you choose for the following classes, will be a lot more fun and easy with the cleric spells to help you and back you and others up.