*This is not a status effect. For the sometimes uncontrollable ire; see Fury
The modern concept of the Berserker is derived from the ancient Norse warriors known as "Berserks" who were famous/infamous for their brutal and savage war strategies; Berserks wore crude outfits made of the skins of wolves and bears, to make themselves appear more fearsome to the enemy, and, most notably, entered battle in a trance-like state of all-consuming rage (known as "Berserkergang") that made them all but peerless in the art of murder, though Berserks were said to be unable to distinguish between friend and foe, and would mercilessly slaughter anything in their paths, making them more of a weapon to be directed at the enemy than a standard infantry group to be used in advanced strategy. Although modern researchers agree that the primary portion of their strength (and incoherent nature) came from a massive rush of adrenaline to the brain, it is debated within such circles whether the Berserkergang was triggered by a Berserk deliberately "psyching himself up" before a battle, or by ingesting foods or medicines designed to trigger the fury of war. Some suggest that it was a medical condition or form of insanity that was used as a weapon by the Norse instead of attempting to cure it. There is even a theory that Berserks were formerly normal soldiers driven to instability by the horrors of war, pointing out the extreme anger caused in modern veterans by post-traumatic stress disorder.
Apart from being unable to distinguish between ally or enemy, the main drawback of "Berserking" was the fact that their savage, murderous need to kill meant that Berserks had very little regard for their own safety, and none whatsoever for that of their kinsmen, even other Berserks. This, combined with the primitive hide outfits traditionally worn by Berserks, which offered extremely poor protection in battle, meant that Berserks were significantly more likely to be slain in battle than any other Norse infantry unit. Additionally, the battle rage took a toll on the Berserks; after a battle finally ended and the Berserkergang wore off, Berserks were often overcome by a great fatigue, falling into a stupor that could last several days. Ultimately, given how incredibly dangerous Berserks were, the practice of Berserking was outlawed by the Jarl of Norway in the year 1015, and though there were bandit groups who continued to use the strategy illegally, the practice had entirely died out by the 1100s.
In the modern context, the term "going berserk" has come to refer to a person who, driven by anger, enters into a fight recklessly, with no regard for their own safety or that of others, instead focused solely on injuring those they perceive as their enemies. Many videogames and fictional settings pay homage to the original Norse warriors through the directly-inspired "Berserker" character class, which, like the ancient Berserks, focus entirely on physical combat and harming the enemy, to the detriment of their own well-being, and empower themselves with a powerful "Berserker Rage".
With the release of the Gates of Discord
expansion, Berserkers join wizards
as top tier DPS
classes in the world of Norrath
. Their health and damage mitigation is comparable to hybrids
such as paladins
and shadowknights, allowing them to tank
if necessary but not ideally. They do not have spells
, but they do have abilities
that mimic the effects of common spells such as stun
and snare by inflicting damage to specific body parts of an enemy. Their "War Cry" line of skills can buff
their allies in various ways, but they are certainly not a utility class by any means. Berserkers can wear chain mail and wield only two-handed weapons. They have the ability to summon throwing axes giving them a bit of ranged combat
, though it is not often used. Barbarians
, Vah Shir
, and Dwarves
can choose this profession.