About Class and Subclass Options
I know a lot of people are going to get into a twist saying this or that about the articles in this section. That one class is actually better than the other. That a new player should definitely do warrior thief because it is the strongest solo class in game. This may be true, but it doesn't mean it is the easiest. This section is all about helping people pick the easiest class for learning the game as a new player. In all games, not just alter, old time players forget how challenging a new game can be. It is easy to get overwhelmed, and that is compounded if a player picks something like say warrior thief as their first class. The great thing about Alter, once you get use to the game you can make another character and take the challenging path.
The importance of cleric in your top 3 classes
Though it is of course possible to play as a fourth or fifth class cleric, it is a horrible idea. You will be highly dependent on consumables to make up the gap of having cleric so low. Every map in the mainland is assuming you are going to have about 100 armor and a sanctuary up. If you are a fourth class cleric you don't even unlock sanctuary until level 26 in your first class, or if it is your fifth class then level 31 in your first class. Not only this but the effectiveness of the sanctuary is dependent on the level, so you will be using a baby sanctuary and getting destroyed whenever you go into combat. This doesn't even take into account the super simple stuff like refresh for movement which is a level four cleric spell. If you are fourth or fifth class you wouldn't have the ability to refresh until level 19 or 24 respectively, and this would be ungood. Let's not even talk about major heal, the most popular healing spell which is level 23 cleric.
All this adds up to the reason why nearly everyone in game has cleric as either second or third class. Now there are people who have made new chars and put cleric below third, but it just simply is not a wise decision. It is doable yes, but this is about the easiest way to learn the game, and that is not the easiest way. You want a decently strong sanctuary, and also the full set of healing spells, especially if you plan on doing any sort of solo play.
Warrior as a fourth class
In my opinion, for the best results it is best to have warrior as either first or fourth class. The main reason for this is an eventual decent boost in hit points. For every warrior level you get HP, you get more when this is also paired with a high constitution. So if you train con and also have warrior as fourth class, it is not difficult to get to 1,000 HP. Having 1k HP makes the game a lot easier for every class and type of character.
It isn't just for the HP though. You will also get access to things like retreat, attract, and valor all around level 20 war. These are very powerful warrior skills and can make your alter experience much better. Warrior in the fourth class slot makes for a really nice boost in skills and hp down the road.
The mage troubles
This class has been a headache for many players. If you want to be a primary class mage I wish you luck, and it may be easier with the changes in February and March of 2021, but there are still easier options. If it does go horrible and you pull out all of your hair, just remember you read it here. It is going to be a challenging experience to be a first class mage as a new character. Just imagine having to rely on only magic for all your attacks, magic takes mana, but you cannot get equipment with any sort of decent regen until level 32 mage. That is what you are looking for if you want to go with first class mage. They have recently reduced the mana cost for mage spells, so you may be able to make it work, but I cannot speak about this with first hand experience. Even at this point, for a new player it is better to go with mage as a second class to necro or druid than a first class in my opinion.
If mage isn't second class where to put it though? It fits pretty good into the fourth class slot. This is also where warrior fits in good though. You have to use some brain power to figure out what you want. If you are a warrior then it is easy, mage is fourth. If you are a necro or druid it is easy, mage is probably second, third, or fourth. I just wouldn't suggest slotting either mage or warrior below your fourth class. They offer way too many uses to be that low. All the different shields you get from mage up to displacement at level 19 are a requirement to play the game. They aren't as important as cleric spells, but a close second, and luckily they are generally lower level and the cast level won't matter. This is why being in the fourth slot is perfect, but not any lower.
Thief as First, Second, or Fifth class
I'm not going to go into much about thief as first or second class here. Thief is a complicated class to pick, and I wouldn't really suggest it as a first character either as first or second class. It is a great fifth class though. You will only really need the low level thief stuff as you progress, things like sneak and search. Having it as fifth means you'll get those soonish. It also means that as you level and are running on the mainland you'll have access to shadow bind which is a very useful skill. It won't happen until level 15 thief which is 35 in your first class, but when you do reach that mark it is pretty great. I know whenever I make a character if thief is not first or second class, it will always be a fifth class.
Necromancer, first or last
It use to be that necro was a good fifth class, this was so you could soul steal as any class. This is no longer true however with changes to how soul stealing works. Now I'd just suggest putting it as a sixth class. You can't really steal, so you can just use some of the blood sacking and skeletal spiders for absorbing backstabs. These are low level necro spells, and have limited use when not a first class necro, but still they are there for something when needed.
Druid as first, second, or fifth
You can read all about druid as a first or second class in the articles breaking down each class (linked at the bottom of this page), this is about what to do if you don't put it as first or second. There really isn't much druid is going to offer you, and for that reason if it isn't first or second, fifth is a perfect place for it. None of the minions are going to be strong enough to use, the spells will be too weak, and you won't be able to carve and get good results. All this adds up to make druid a perfect fifth class when not primary or secondary.
You could have a use for spells like agility and brawn to boost dex and strength, or unnatural spring, but it is the farthest thing from necessary, and will be achievable as a fifth, or even as a high level sixth class. Most druid spells are great when you are a primary or secondary class druid, if not they have very limited uses.
Do what you want, this is just here to help
The classes I focus on in these articles are just what I think will be the easiest. They might not be the strongest when both characters are level 39, but they are easy to get into the mid thirty's with. If you are one of them who would like to forge your own path and go with the more difficult choice, there are a few things that may help. Just make sure you aren't blaming the game for your failures as an alter player, this is what most people do, and it is quite annoying.
This is just what I can pass along to help a new player, not what is good for someone who's been playing for a year. Alter is a really big game, and there's enough to learn without also fighting your classes and stats on your character.