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Tanking, the forgotten role. #481645
07/02/14 02:35 PM
07/02/14 02:35 PM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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This game has a great RPG feel to it and I have nothing that I can think to complain about when it comes to the general mechanics of it. But the mechanics surrounding *building* a character are unfair and quite frankly neglect a few areas. Since I like tankier builds that is what I will focus on in this topic.

When building a character in D:OS you can easily go down the Holy Trinity route and do very well. You can specialize in healing and battlefield control in order to support your group, you can wield great two handed weapons, destructive magic or a bow (haven't tried bows much myself) and deal damage. But when it comes to the Tank, she is forced to sit in the corner or dabble in magic to be any good.

For starters a tank has to invest points into many more areas than the aforementioned variants. First of a tank wants to be able to avoid taking hits while still being targeted, this means Shield Spec and Reflexes. Second a tank needs the ability to negate Damage and position herself so that the enemies focus upon her. This means Con > Str every day, and Armor Spec to. And so far so good right? Well it gets messier, the Tank takes on a crucial role, letting the other members go for more simplistic defenses which in turn means that if the Tank fails then they all might go down. So you'll want to be taking Willpower as well to avoid any Mind control spells. So that's what, 4 Abilities just to tank, not counting *any* damage output related Abilities or Stats (Con does give more AP though which can translate to more damage).

And what does this mean for a tank? Well first off you can't hit a wall with a mace, and even if you did, all that would happen is your mace breaking. If you can even equip it? Since most of your points are going towards Con, you don't actually have the ability to even *use* most armor! So you end up with a meatwall, with no physical defenses, max 10% Elemental Defenses (you can't equip armor, remember?) and no damage. Yet you have spent all your points and in order to max your Abilities out you'd have to spend more points than any other Trinity option.

And I'm not done yet... There are very few Tank Skills in the game, Bull Rush could be considered a Tanking Skill, it offers mobility, some Control and a bit of damage, great! You also have the Stun Skill, allowing the Tank to disable targets that are getting to occupied with your softer party members. And then what? Intimidate? Forcing the enemy to run around in circles is the last thing you want to do! They will simply wander of and when they return you will have your hands full getting to hit *you* and not someone else. How about shield related Skills? Increase Block for 3 rounds? Or how about a long Cooldown Warrior Regeneration Skill? Or a Taunt?

So TL:DR The Warrior Tank has to spend to many points in the wrong things while getting very little to show for it but a little health and *some avoidance*. Couple this with few, almost non-existent Tank related Skills and you have sad Tanks running around in their first suit of armor wielding Branches.

Am I wrong? Do you think that Tanks should be forced to go for *some* Str as well as Con? Or do you think like me - that a build with so few points to spend should not be forced to spend them where they don't want to?

And finally some suggestions, as always when I suggest things I am looking to make things "better" not the "best". I am looking at numbers here but of course my *opinion* will come into play!

Go back! Having the Abilities dictate whether or not you could equip something seemed very reasonable to me, and with the coming update to Intelligence everyone will have an equal amount of points. This also makes sense from a freedom of creation view, Now you can make a two handed wielding warrior with health, not silly damage, and go your way instead of the "2h warrior must do this to even equip way". You can get real specific and start talking what should do what, does the Str grant accuracy or damage? And the weapon Ability, does it grant Damage and Accuracy? Maybe they do different things, maybe one Single Handed grants more accuracy and less damage, while 2H is the other way around? Maybe they grant -1 AP cost to attack per 5 levels with their respective weapon? I dunno.

You could also have Armor and shields require Con, this makes little sense from a role play perspective but it does make some sense from a mechanical one. It keeps some defensive values away from 2H-ers and encourages Tanks to stay away from Str, leaving them with less Damage.

Edit: I'd also like to suggest bringing Magic Resistance back! How much it should grant, if it should be Stat, Ability or Talent related I do not know. I'd suggest Ability related but Tanks are already spread so very thin. Adding it to Con (only stat that makes much sense) Would just be a free meal and as a Talent anyone could, and probably should, pick it up. That said Resistance are *needed* maybe there could be a Stance that increases Defenses + Resistances but lowers Damage and Movement?

I hope my wall of text has not bored you all to much, and that I get at least some things right. I've not "studied" this closely but I have thought a little about it. Finally I hope that this feedback can be of use to any who read it, either as a thought provoker for building a character or as an inspiration for creators. Thank you for reading!

Last edited by Ithiloneth; 07/02/14 02:41 PM.
Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #481646
07/02/14 03:36 PM
07/02/14 03:36 PM
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A Tank needs two primary attributes: STR and CON, with maybe some SPD for mobility. If you're putting in so many points into CON that you're unable to equip armour that you need, perhaps your build needs to be balanced better. You can focus yes, but going 10 CON 5 STR at level 1 is not going to be ideal.

Shield specialization is indeed pretty weak-looking right now. Maybe points in it could grant special defensive skills, like Bash, Taunt, Impenetrable Defense, and others.

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Stabbey] #481648
07/02/14 04:47 PM
07/02/14 04:47 PM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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Well it is possible that I have been noticing the problem at its worst since I've spent points in Int as well, making Str really lag behind. With the changes to Int I would drop Int to 5 I think and grab some more strength. Problem is, I just don't have much of an interest in melee damage, but I prefer to tank.

@ Stabbey, so I see your point, but why is the current system better than the one I proposed (the old one)?

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #481650
07/02/14 05:35 PM
07/02/14 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ithiloneth
Well it is possible that I have been noticing the problem at its worst since I've spent points in Int as well, making Str really lag behind. With the changes to Int I would drop Int to 5 I think and grab some more strength. Problem is, I just don't have much of an interest in melee damage, but I prefer to tank.


If you want to wear armour and the game says you need STR to wear armour, then you should put points into STR.

The "Fear" skills are useful because they stop enemies from attacking you and your party, giving you and your party free shots at them. You are not the only character on the field.



Quote:
@ Stabbey, so I see your point, but why is the current system better than the one I proposed (the old one)?


I don't know that the current system is better. I don't know that it's worse, either. I have not decided yet. A lot of systems are still in need of changes and improvement. Before v114, gear required you to have invested a certain number of ability points into Ability X. Now it requires you to have invested a certain number of attribute points into Primary Attribute Y.

There's a notable difference between Ability points and Attribute points: You get 3 Ability points per level, and abilities can get additional bonuses from Talents and Traits (and equipment). Abilities are capped at a maximum of 5 points, but require a greater investment to reach those points. At creation, you can upgrade an ability to at most 2 or 3 (with the right Talent).

Primary Attributes are acquired once every other level, but start at 5 and can be invested up to 10 on character creation (with one more with the right Talent). Investing all your points into one area makes you quite strong, but it can also leave you quite weak in another area, though.


It's pretty easy to get one Ability up to 5 in the alpha. Since 5 is the maximum, that would mean the very best weapons in the game are unlocked very soon into it. Compare that to Primary Attributes, where there's a higher cap that takes longer to reach and requires more levels. The Primary Attribute requirement means that you can't use the best weapons in the game immediately, and there can be a sense of progression as you move to different areas.

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Stabbey] #481669
07/02/14 08:58 PM
07/02/14 08:58 PM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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Ah excellent points! I agree wholeheartedly that as it stands now (cap 5 for Abilities) it would be far to easy to unlock the most powerful gear. However, I don't think that the cap is actually 5. It is probably an enforced cap during alpha for a few reasons, first because they want to have things happen as you progress further and those bonuses are simply not done yet. Second because they want to encourage the tester to try out lots of Abilities. Think of it this way; Does it make sense that you can be the best you can be with Fire Magic at Level three? It most certainly does not to me, not when the Abilities simply boost simple values such as damage or allow for more complex spells; there is no reason to have a cap, especially since the Abilities have Diminishing Returns per Ability Point spent. So while I can't refute your argument, I don't think it will come to hold water in the long run.

Personally I don't think gear requirements belong in a game at all. Sure, some basic requirement, so that your character can actually lift the item, sure. Beyond that I say let everyone wield whatever they like. Their skill within each area should decide how well they do with items *of that type* not a specific item. I won't argue that this is good for D:OS though, think it might need the requirement system.

Edit: If I sound angry or confrontational, please take no offense, it is simply my style of arguing and I have no wish to insult or taunt you. I'm happy that you have taken some time to answer me smile

Last edited by Ithiloneth; 08/02/14 04:18 PM.
Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #481670
07/02/14 09:11 PM
07/02/14 09:11 PM
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Why not put level requirements on abilities?

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Haleseen] #481687
08/02/14 02:48 AM
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I didn't say that I liked the cap of 5 ability points - I'm not a big fan of that in fact, for a lot of the same reasons you don't like it.

I especially don't like the hard cap which counts bonuses from Talents, Traits and Gear. I just don't have any good ideas on how to change it. I don't know if it'll stay or be changed in the final version. The maximum player level is supposed to be about 20, the last I heard.

There was a post in the General Feedback thread which suggested that Primary Attributes could determine whether you could equip things, and the Ability determines how good you are with it. That system sounds good to me.

Yes, that system would require you to put points into Strength to use armour and weapons, but the points into the abilities would determine how well they worked.


Originally Posted By: Haleseen
Why not put level requirements on abilities?


Level requirements on abilities would certainly be one way to solve stacking ability points and getting them up early.

Player level 1-4: Ability Rank 1
Player level 5-8: Ability Rank 2
Player level 9-12: Ability Rank 3
Player level 13-16: Ability Rank 4
Player level 17+: Ability Rank 5

It might be seen as too restrictive though. I'm sure at least some players would grump at that.

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Stabbey] #481690
08/02/14 04:01 AM
08/02/14 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: Stabbey
It might be seen as too restrictive though. I'm sure at least some players would grump at that.


Yep. Personally, I'd like to be able to overspecialise if I so desire.

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Unwerth] #482245
11/02/14 06:56 AM
11/02/14 06:56 AM
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I actually like the fact that the skills don't have many ranks since it allows a character to develop a variety of talents and be effective at them. That's particularly important when you only have two PCs to work with.


As for tanking...

I don't think the game is necessarily meant to support "tanks" in the sense of "damage sponge with no meaningful offense that all the creatures focus on anyway just because", which is what they usually are in other games. If you want someone to hold the creatures' attention then they need to be worth paying attention to, and that means they have to have enough offense to matter.

Last edited by NeutroniumDragon; 11/02/14 08:32 AM.
Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: NeutroniumDragon] #482255
11/02/14 12:35 PM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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Thank you for your input on the matter NeutroniumDragon. The skill cap in my opinion *forces* the player to build characters a certain way. While I agree that it is nice to have a broader build I would then suggest that you get points in each tree, with the one your class is in getting the most points. That way you'd encourage players to build many different abilities while still allowing for specialization into specific Abilities within these areas (primarily the primary school since you'd get the most points there). Maybe in character creation you could choose the order of the schools - I'd want to be Warrior, Wizard, Survivor, or the order might be based upon the class you choose with some classes getting one School twice. Wizard might be Wizard, Wizard, Survivor. This does come with a few implications, as the game would then force you to spend points in areas where you might not have wanted to spend them. But since you seem to be maxing out really early anyway you will soon have to expand towards them in any case. As for Social this should get a pool entirely of its own, since there is little point for a min/maxer to build into this section. (Exception Leadership/Lucky Charm; for *very* niche builds)

I do agree with you on the tank matter so far as to that a tank needs to matter, or why else would the enemy attack her? However, at this point in Alpha space & time the AI simply targets whatever is closest, or so it seems to me. So lets discuss how you could make the tank a viable target! Instead of contrived Taunts or the like, maybe the Tank could actually bring some serious Control Skills onto the battlefield? Such as Stuns, buffs to allies, Knock-backs and so on. Making her a threat simply by the fact that she denies her opponents a chance to attack while allowing her allies the opportunity to deal extra damage - a Leadership type character. This *does* sound like someone you'd want to target for a bit, while the Wizard might be a softer target; getting at him just won't be possible since there's a feisty tin can in the way.

And now for a fake quote! :]
"Offense might be the best Defense, but Control is the best Offense" - Ithiloneth Moonsnow

Notice that I argue from the point of view of a min/maxer, in the first segment. While I admit the proposed idea is centered around min/maxing I feel that it might not hurt those who don't want to min max. There are of course problems with what I've suggested and as always I don't mean to say that I think the idea is flawless or even very good. I feel like I've been spouting enough ramblings at you, if you can make sense of this please get back to me!

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #482257
11/02/14 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ithiloneth
Thank you for your input on the matter NeutroniumDragon. The skill cap in my opinion *forces* the player to build characters a certain way. While I agree that it is nice to have a broader build I would then suggest that you get points in each tree, with the one your class is in getting the most points.


That would let players invest into a lot of areas, but I'm not so sure it would be able to handle hybrid classes very well. Plus, you get a wealth of points, although a lot would be useless. Players complain about everything, but here they would complain how that it is 'stupid' to have a ton of points in areas they have no interest in that they can't use for anything else.

I can somewhat agree with your idea to have Social abilities as a separate pool of points. This game is not Fallout and you can't talk your way out of... well any combat areas, in fact. Other than the ones you pointed out as being good (Leadership and Lucky Charm), there's little incentive to invest in Social skills at the expense of ones more practical in combat. If it were a separate pool of points though, I'd suggest only getting 1 a level (maybe 2 if you take a special social-focused Talent), so you have to decide what to focus on.


The warrior skills already include Stuns and Buffs and Debuffs. If that's not enough, why are you opposed to adding a Taunt?

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Stabbey] #482299
12/02/14 01:13 AM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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Yeah you are probably right about the split thingy, guess I hadn't fully thought it through.

Your second point I just plainly agree with.

As for Warrior Skills the Buff (there is only one so far right?) are very plain and ordinary, what about a buff that grants bonus Armor for the next 2-3 rounds? The De-buff is the same, very plain and simple, how about a De-buff that cripples the movement of an enemy? Or how about an ability that has a Knock-back, allowing you to get boxed in targets free? Or an ability that Disarms an opponent? The list can go on. My opposition to Taunt-like abilities is simply this - they tend to feel contrived and generally lead to "I taunt, you AoE on me" like tactics. While that is a great tactic it should not be encouraged as it doesn't hold up well from a roleplay standpoint; no one would actually do that in real life.

Rather we are looking for abilities that might be explained by simple actions. Allowing the Warrior to defend an ally, by standing close by and blocking enemy attacks. Or allowing the Warrior to create a short wall-like barrier that cannot be passed by enemies (think Ice Wall, but shorter using a shield). This way you don't have to simply use the old go-to "it's magic" excuse while still allowing for some interesting Skills.

So instead of arguing about what we already have, lets argue about what we *could* have.

P.S I personally don't mind there being a Taunt in, I'd throw myself over it and spam it all day. But I can see it ruining RP and with a title such as this that is what matters most. Besides, wouldn't it be fun to push for some innovation? ;]

Edit: And as always, thanks for continuing the discussion! If nothing else we get to talk about something we like; D:OS ^^

Last edited by Ithiloneth; 12/02/14 01:14 AM.
Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #482307
12/02/14 01:58 AM
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I agree with you - more buffs/debuffs can and should be added.

If a Warrior stands between an ally and an enemy, there is an attack of opportunity mechanic in case an enemy tries to walk right past. Right now enemies tend to just attack the closest target anyway. Smarter enemies or ones on a more open battlefield might walk around to hit the squishy targets.

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Stabbey] #482747
19/02/14 10:05 PM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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There have been more disturbing revelations about the patch as of feb 17th. It now seems that the one thing Con had going for it, bonus Action Points, has been removed. It now serves as AP cap and red pool. With this change there is pretty much no reason to eve build Con; beyond one hit wonder cap. I say this without having actually played the new patch, I can't since I am on a vacation. It seems to me that Tanking is getting just that - tanked.

Going of on a tangent, it is also possible that characters trying to be many things at once will now have a greater penalty. What with Skills being connected to different stats. This is not neccessarily a problem; these builds were imo a bit to strong.

This does however further push players towards basic, rigid damage dealers. I bought Guild Wars 2 (they tried this) and I left soon after launch. The Trinity has its flaws, but I have seen no other method of combat mechanics with the same level of simple, yet fun, strategic value.

These are my thoughts on the patch notes, I want to test the new game out for myself and will probably be back here in a week or so with a different perspective. Anyone else notice anything new/exciting with the patch when it comes to Tanking?

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #482970
25/02/14 09:23 AM
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Ithiloneth Offline OP
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So I've had a chance to look things over in the game. I still feel that Con is now a very lack lust stat and that I'm forced to build Str just to get the proficiency I need for Equipment Requirements. Both love Leadership, especially in larger Parties and with Summoners. However, this means that now there is an actual point to building Str, leaving two possible paths for Tanking:

The Warrior (Warrior or Knight Base) - This guy is a power house fighter, lots of health and high bursts of damage with periods of inactivity; waiting for AP to build. What this build would need to become a proper tank is the adding of interesting tank *Skills*.

Pros: Very Sturdy, some damage potential, can go toe to toe with an army.
Cons: Bad control (relies on poor AI), limited capability to aid allies.

Tactic: Just dive straight in, focus on any softer targets and try to apply what control you can to those attacking your less armored allies. Use surprise bursts to bring down high priority targets that your caster/ranger cannot reach. This tank needs to wreak havoc in order to be efficient. You can't disrupt with Skills, but you can disrupt with damage and a threatening presence.

The Hybrid (Cleric Base) - A split between Heavy Infantry and Support/Control roles, this build tries to get juuust enough Str to equip while also spending points in Int ans Spd, leaving only a single point or two for Con after a few levels up. The trick with this character is to use the water healing spells to regen any lost health before you get KO'd. Here the tank would like to see a shift in gear requirements to the Abilities instead, leaving Str/Int as minor Stats so that more points can go towards Con/Spd.

Pros: Versatile and able to help in many situations, high amount of control (especially if you pick up Lightning Magic later in the game).
Cons: Low damage potential, small health pool, runs the risk of being unable to wield Spell X or Item Y due to Str/Int Requirements.

Tactic: Stay on the front line, acting as a shield for your allies. You cannot take a huge amount of hits to soak what you can and use Spells to lock down those you can't fight. Further support your allies with other Spells and Healing Magic whenever possible. Try to keep a few extra AP for a rainy Round or the opportune turn; your strength lies in AoE control Spells.

Whatcha think? Got a better way to tank? Think one build could better benefit from doing X?
I for one think both builds could work, the first one especially so. But both lack the Tank feeling; one is a Fighter and the other a Spellsword, neither truly a low damage, heavy melee type.

Edit: C'mon, anyone gimme some love here! Or hate? Gimme something, anything, to talk about XD

Last edited by Ithiloneth; 26/02/14 09:48 PM.
Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Ithiloneth] #483505
26/02/14 11:39 PM
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I have tried both of those tanks, and they both work out fine, although I prefer the Cleric for it's utility in healing.

What about using a Survivor with high reflex? I know that my Rogue who had high Dex was very hard to hit once he got some good +Speed equipment on him. Plus he has the Scorched Earth skill to get out if needed? The Survivor would be better than both of those Tanks in dealing with Ranged enemies.

Re: Tanking, the forgotten role. [Re: Rusty_TL] #484583
20/03/14 01:35 AM
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Still can't be bothered to play, all motivation drains the moment I realize I need STR as a primary stat to do anything concerning tanking. Please make gear requirements be based around abilities again!


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