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Thread: [Tanks] Brotherhood of Arms Discussion

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    RIFT Fan Site Operator Raive's Avatar
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    Default [Tanks] Brotherhood of Arms Discussion

    Hey folks, since no one has started a thread talking about tanks, I guess I'll break the ice for us.

    Before we begin, a little bit about myself so you know where my opinion is derived from, I have been playing tank classes since the EverQuest Warrior in 2001 to the EverQuest II Berserker to the Vanguard Warrior. During my period in Vanguard, I was the Warrior Class Lead for 2 years under the Class Developer "Talisker" while Sigil was still active and before the dismantle of the program in 2008. Each of my times as a tank I served as an offtank, maintank, and raid leader role to each respective game. Over my time during these roles, I have found it that the tanking community has got to be the most communicative community out of all the archtypes in order for us to avoid such imbalancing that could render our class(es) inferior. The tanking archtype faces a much more difficult task when it comes to being useful as opposed to other archtypes as to typically there is usually much more limits as to how many tanks you can carry in a group or a raid, therefore our roles must be defined and developed correctly. This will be the basis of the discussion.

    What is my purpose for this thread?

    To identify and detail the overall direct Rift is looking to take Tank balancing. Now making that there is still information yet to be told, a good deal of this thread will be based off of pure speculation and previous experiences. What we can accomplish here though is right out the gates establish a strong base community that will not only benefit development of our archtype, but will save us future headaches from bad development decisions on our archtype balancing. After watching Vanguard beta go into launch, I noticed the tanking communities had already gone their separate directions when in fact they should have been merging paths as one another can help achieve the desired balance.

    I say we should not wait until beta or until launch to start our communities. Now is the time to begin taking interest, ideas, and general discussions about tanking.

    Information

    So here's what we KNOW about the avaliable tanking classes...

    Reaver - From the description, it is looking like this will be the Shadow Knight/Dread Knight/Death Knight/Evil Knight tank.
    Paladin - N/A

    From previous known information, a Paladin class HAS been confirmed, however no description will be given to it.

    What we are currentl awaiting to hear about tanking is what approach will they be taking, I will describe from my personal experiences the approaches that can be taken.

    "The EverQuest approach" - One alpha tank (Warrior), Two Offtanks (Paladin/Shadow Knight) - the most avoided approach
    "The EverQuest II approach" - The tree branch: High Defense/Low DPS (Guardian/Berserker), Beneficial Utility/Detrimental Utility (Paladin/Shadow Knight) - This approach is up through KoS
    "The Vanguard approach" - True tank balance with different methods: (Warrior/Paladin/Dread Knight) - true balance was never achieved

    The approach that is most sought after is the Vanguard approach. However this approach is the most difficult to achieve due to numerous factors which I will go into details later as the discussion progresses.

    So with that all being said, lets discuss some tanking.

    #retiredBear #teamBBCs #puffForeverMad

  2. #2
    Shield of Telara Githil's Avatar
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    The main issue at the moment is EQ2 is the whole concept of AoE tanks and ST tanks. They are trying really hard for it and it is just not working out for them. The issue is that the AoE tanks are able to put out huge amounts of AoE damage/threat that works on ST mobs just the same. Where as the ST tanks are less wanted due to not being able to hold AoE aggro. The most OP tank at the moment in EQ2 is the SK due to the amount of life taps and AoE damage/threat they put out. I really hope Rift does not go down this road and differentiate the tanks in a different way.

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    Champion
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    Yeah, I totally agree with you about the need for balancing across all archetypes, we do need to communicate to ensure no tank becomes the alpha tank and no tank is left behind. There will always be swings and roundabouts and situational stuff, overall mostly there were good discussions in VG about balancing tanks and good intentions towards balancing, although there were also serious partisans trying to sway the balance towards them.

    The more we can focus on actual balance and the less we fall into the pitfall of "my class should be the best tank because..." the better.

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    Champion of Telara Elth's Avatar
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    One tank style class I would really like to see is a musketeer/swashbuckler type, where instead of being the soaking up damage style of tank, the swashbuckler would mitigate damage with high dodge & high parry ratings whilst using swift single weapon attacks with a main gauge or buckler in his offhand. I would picture a swashbuckler tank tumbling and pouncing out of the way of a large bosses attacks while counter attacking with swift reposte attacks and infuriating and insulting taunt abilities. It would really depend on how mitigation is theorised in Rift as to whether this would work at all though.
    Will incoming damage be mitigated by a combination of armor, dodge, parry, block statistics?
    Will outgoing auto-attack damage affect multiple targets with a hit box, will the combat take form of auto attacking target + abilities that affect multiple mobs, or alternatively, will they remove auto-attacking completely like DDO/AOC and require players to manually launch each strike?
    Without this information all we can do is speculate.

    What theme's would you like to see for tank classes Raive? and how would you differentiate them whilst still keeping the balance?
    Last edited by Elth; 04-27-2010 at 04:04 PM.

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    Shadowlander Tranmek's Avatar
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    I personally would like to see the Vanguard approach and stay away from the EQ2 way of doing things. Having a tank that is fun, useful, and takes skill to play is very important to me. I am also hoping for LOTS of situational type tanking to be implemented in this game because that will be a lot easier then trying to attain true balance. With that said I am a little pessimistic when the word balance comes into play since I don't think it can be done. Hopefully Trion and the community can get it right the first time and we don't have to deal with a major combat update a year after release like other games have gone through.

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    Shadowlander Zhium's Avatar
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    I would love to see the VG route when it comes to tanks but as people have said it is hard to balance them out. I mean my idea is that make each tank special in the sense of th encounters. Make it so each one is better for different types of encounters. Specially when it comes to raiding type of mobs. Make it so there are different types of raid mobs that require different tanks to be needed to be the MT or something. Maybe this is just stupid idea but it seems like one of the best ways I can think of balancing them out. But anyway I hope there will be a third tank thats more of a warrior.

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    Shield of Telara Githil's Avatar
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    I haven't played any other MMO where I really was a tank so my experience is limited to EQ2, but like I said before, as long as they don't try to do AoE tanks versus ST Tanks it will help them be able to keep balance between tanks. I have always been under the impression that what differentiates tanks is how quick they kill something compared to how much damage they take. Reasoning is the faster you kill something the less damage you will take versus the less damage you take the longer you have to kill something. This also brings people to the whole DPS issue. I'm sorry, but if you want to be the most defensive tank you have to make sacrifices, same with the more offensive tanks. You want to do more damage? You also have to make some sacrifices. It's when people start getting envy of what other tanks that balance starts to fade. This is true of all MMO's though. People want to be the best of everything and lose site of balance. I've also think that true balance will never happen the way most people want. Balance is achieved by letting people do close to the same thing but differently.

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    Plane Touched
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    I myself have only tanked in eq1 (in a limited role as a paladin before GoD... hated that xpac) and as a paladin in eq2, so I will limit my scope to those games.

    I like the concept of eq2 tanking. One tank to be an evasion/avoidance tank, one tank to be intended as a high mitigation tank, and a tank that lies somewhere in between. (brawlers, warriors, crusaders)

    Achieving true balance between the 3 is of course debated frequently and very hard to do, but I sincerely hope there will be different types of tanks, and that each can perform their role using different methods but with equal efficiency.

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    Shadowlander ShadarLocoth's Avatar
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    I will have to vote for vanguard style. warriors where good for some raid mobs, pallies for others and dk for still other mobs. yet they where all good for group content.

    I also love how the player behind the cha makes a major diff in overall power of the tank... love my warrior macro's and knowing when to use them.

  10. #10
    Ascendant Slyde's Avatar
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    I play all 3 tanks in Vanguard (Dread Knight is my favorite), and even though they aren't as balanced as they could be it's still the best attempt I have seen.

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    Rift Disciple Wisdomandlore's Avatar
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    LOTRO has interesting tanking balance between the Guardian and the Warden. The Guardian is your basic, sword-and-shield tank with lots of damage mitigation and taunts. The Warden is an agility tank. Medium armor. High evasion, block, and parry. Instead of shouts it has DoTs, Threat over Time attacks, Threat leaches. Plus it can heal itself. Many of the attacks are AOE (but low damage), so it makes a great multi-mob tank. You'll see most people rely on the traditional Guardian, mostly because it's hard to find good Wardens.

    For awhile LOTRO tried to make Guardians a ST tank, and Champions an AOE DPS tank. But Champions still did high ST damage, making Guardians largely irrelevant for close to a year. Finally the devs nerfed incoming healing for Champions unless they switched to a different stance and took a huge damage penalty, effectively turning Champions into an offtank.

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    Soulwalker
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    I have not weighed in the other thread as i was waiting for one more like this. I think that the tank Paradigm that vanguard was going for is the best solution i have yet to see.

    The idea was that at a base all the tanks are equal they all mitigate the same they all defend the same they all can generate the same amounts of hate. The key from that point is flavor. DK was two handed Pally sword/board warrior/ duel weild and so on. They came as close as i have seen to achieving balance while offering different styles of play as any game has achieved before. I would really like to see Rift follow similar logic, either have only one true tank class or offer different flavors with the same basics. I love the idea of offering a multiclass type option as at that point you could offer only one base tank and ALL tanking type abilitys come from that general class thus every flavor of tank can "Main tank" while offering flavors that give players different ways of achieving combat options. This to me is the ultimate solution to different classes and offering every tank class the ability to "main Tank"

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    Plane Touched Punishment's Avatar
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    Vanguard had good ideas about tank balance but imo, they never achieved it because they ignored certain aspects of hate generation and the value of certain skills. The main one being the concept of "snap-aggro" and what it meant when you had to kill a boss fast. There was a huge imbalance with getting aggro locked quickly when you had one class who had a skill that let them massively increase their hate output for a short duration that they could use to start every boss fight.

    Mitigation, avoidance, hate and utility all have to be balanced and that is not easy. The hardest part is probably utility. Which is your preference? A short term immunity to stuns or an immunity to being feared? Which is better, a large heal you can use infrequently or aoe lifetaps? Which is better, being able to save yourself with heals/lifetaps on trash mobs or having more dps? People will argue many different ways on these topics and how a paladin-like class being able to heal themselves against a raid target is better than some skill your class got to try to balance things out.

    I think I am to the point of saying that all tank classes need a way to heal themselves in a minor way, need a way to improve their group survivability and dps equally and need a way to avoid some mob attack (one is immune to charm or mez, one is immune to stun, one is immune to fear), etc or there will never really be balance. Maybe the only way to really make people happy is to allow them to choose the things that make them different through skill choices or AAs or something. I choose to be immune to stun, you choose to be immune to fear... I choose extra dps for myself and you choose a larger hp buff for yourself, etc...
    Last edited by Punishment; 05-01-2010 at 04:08 AM.

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    Shadowlander Zhium's Avatar
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    Yeah I think the basic stuff like Mitigation, Avoidance, hate and utility have to be balanced out so every tank class are a option. But then there has to be a way to for you to be different from a warrior to a DK (Yes using VG classes because unsure what tank classes are for PoT at the moment.), There just has to be something that is different between the classes. I mean for a little while I felt VG had it almost correct with some slight changes. I guess thats where Advancements(AA) could come into play that changes the class from one another. But still to earlier to tell how things will be.

  15. #15
    Shield of Telara Githil's Avatar
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    Honestly, I really hope they get it right between avoidance tanking and mitigation tanking(or not even try to make different tanks tank with either avoidance or mitigation). The problem with trying to balance avoidance and mitigation is if everything is equal, avoidance tanking wins hands down. The problem with avoidance tanking is they are great at not getting hit, but if they do get hit they take a lot of damage. They spike a lot. If that spike is followed by another unlucky roll and gets hit again they most likely will die. Trying to separate mitigation and avoidance style is truly hard and almost never done right. There was a point in time in EQ2 where plate tanks(tanks that could wear plate but didn't have to anyway) would wear cloth armor due to getting a better avoidance check. Now they didn't use all cloth armor, but the fact that they could use some and do better then wearing a full suit of plate spoke for itself. There was also a time way back in the very early stages of EQ2 that scouts were the best tank due to how agility boosted avoidance. Agility was their primary stat and they got gear to up it to the point they barely got hit.

    Some people think that to fix it so certain tanks have certain encounters that mobs should either hit fast and low, or slow and hard. The main issue with this is if the mob hits fast and low, why not use a mitigation tank and have his mitigation negate most of said damage. That would leave an avoidance tank suited for the slow and hard but if they got hit they would be in worse shape then if the mitigation tank got hit. Even if you think that avoidance tanks would be better for the fast and low mob, they would still have to rely on the RNG to hope they don't get hit to many times consecutively they would still be in a bad way with their HPs.

    Just thinking now, the best way to balance the two different styles would be to give each temporary buffs to help them in the opposing style, but then you pretty much get the same outcome.....okay wasn't the best idea...but it was there.

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