I prefer to start with a fighter. It’s often the safest class, for all the obvious reasons: the most hitpoints, the best combat ability, and usually the best gear as time goes on.

Of course, beginning fighters are typically only marginally more competent than the others. However, they tend to improve faster than, say, mages, who struggle along for several levels until they finally get some good spellpower going.

In D&D games, I liked the Fighter/Rogue multi-class, which had many advantages, especially the trap skills. Backstabbing damage was another nice thing to have.

That doesn’t mean I don’t experiment. For instance, I went through Neverwinter Nights once as a Monk. It was an interesting experience, but I really missed having neato equipment.

In Diablo 2, my first choice was an Amazon. I really fell in love with bow use running a Rogue in the original game. For all that, I also finished D2 as a Paladin, Sorceress, and Necromancer. Barbarian, well, I tried it, but the class had no appeal for me.

Overall, though, I go for the Fighter first. Probably it’s my cautious nature. After all, I’m one of the few (the proud, the…never mind) who actually RTFM before even installing the game.

What about you? In games that allow a choice, what’s your preference for the starting class, the one you like for that first time through?