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Guarding : Being a tank that matters in PvP

Hello !

I wanted to talk about an aspect of tanking in PvP that I liked a lot, the ability to guard other groupmates.
And to do that I'm going to talk about what I think is a good guard and what I think is a bad guard.
Because often, in PvP games, Tank get the short end of the stick, since they are designed to get aggro from mob in pve, people tend to just cc and ignore them in pvp settings (or just ignore them.. feelsbad)
From what I've gathered in my long journey in mmos, most of the time, if the devs try to do something with the tank they often opt to give them a bit more ccs and more damage, which I find to be a sad solution. It's like when the way they improve healer is to give them more heals while there are plenty of better and more intersting ways to support your team than to just heal.
Not to say that tank should deal no damage, of course (we're on a forum, I have to phrase my idea well enough so that people don't nitpick what they purposely decided to misunderstand :grin: )

The guarding system in dark age of camelot was incredibly fullfilling :
You put guard on one of your friend and you become able to block attacks with your own shield. Negating damage when you block, of course, but also negating cc's that melee opponents are trying to land on your friend. Add powerful crowd control skills that works once you succeeded, some ways to reduce or negate some ccs on the tank himself and the enemies better start to worry about what the tank is doing when they attack someone, or they are going to be useless.
The guard also had no cooldown to switch from players to players, so you could follow the target swap of the melees, asking the tank to be able to read their opponents movements an play to swap guard when needed.
The thing I liked most about this is that the tank is usefull THROUGH his own tanking ability. It actually matters to use a shield and you blocking matters, even if noone attacks you directly
Good !

The guading system in warhammer online was horrendous (although I give them credit for the pvp taunt system) :
You had a CD on the guard switch... quite long iirc like 30/40 seconds ? So you were put in a checkmate situation super easily and could use your guard just to absorb one burst and that's all. The guard wasn't blocking, it was spreading damage... You, as the tank, would get half the damage your guarded mate would suffer... and although it had the advantage of splitting even magical damage compared to the DAoC one, it also meant that your tanking ability didn't matter at all.. it was even designed so that the damage received by the tank wouldn't get mitigated by his own resistances / armors, reducing him to a second health pool. It was also barely interactive.
Bad !


I would very much like to see a dynamic guarding system come back to AoC, building up on this basis, starting with the idea that you should be able, as a tank, to defend your team efficiently based on your own defensives capabilities.

There are of course, more ways to help in an interesting fashion while playing a defensive tank. The ability to cc, grab, throw, intercept, etc...
I would also point that I liked the idea of taunting in warhammer online : your taunt reduced the damage of all the opponents in a small cone in front of you by a good chunk to anyone that isn't the tank, the only way to get rid of it was to attack the tank and land at least some blows on him (or deal with it for 30 sec). It's a good idea I think, the fact that it's aoe makes it so that you can reduce the damage of a whole team assisting themselves, the small range makes it so that the tank needs to be in range, so there are room for counterplays.

Comments

  • I understand the appeal of the guardian or protector role, but that's not what a tank is.

    Rant.
    The role of a tank is to concentrate the damage on himself and to survive long enough to be healed. As you mentioned, generating threat is a PvE thing, only possible because the mobs follow aggro scripts.

    If a tank class is essential in all PvE group combat, isn't only fair that it's useless in PvP? (of course not)

    What's the point of a tank if the core mechanic of this class, generating artificial threat, can't work for one major aspect of the game? I'd say scrap the tank class and give many paths to protect either yourself or other members of your group. Not gonna happen, I know.

    I wish most classes could spec to tank. A magic user being able to cast powerful barrier but forgoing great damage spells in his repertoire. A rogue type building so much evasion that he's almost never hit, but at the cost of having all his stealth abilities at very low capacities. But alas, people want the tank role to be the domain of only a limited number of classes, and they better wear heavy armour and a shield !

    Forgive the rant, I'm just fed up with the hard set trinity concept. Wish it was more fluid and flexible.
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
  • KhronusKhronus Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Percimes wrote: »
    I understand the appeal of the guardian or protector role, but that's not what a tank is.

    Rant.
    The role of a tank is to concentrate the damage on himself and to survive long enough to be healed. As you mentioned, generating threat is a PvE thing, only possible because the mobs follow aggro scripts.

    If a tank class is essential in all PvE group combat, isn't only fair that it's useless in PvP? (of course not)

    What's the point of a tank if the core mechanic of this class, generating artificial threat, can't work for one major aspect of the game? I'd say scrap the tank class and give many paths to protect either yourself or other members of your group. Not gonna happen, I know.

    I wish most classes could spec to tank. A magic user being able to cast powerful barrier but forgoing great damage spells in his repertoire. A rogue type building so much evasion that he's almost never hit, but at the cost of having all his stealth abilities at very low capacities. But alas, people want the tank role to be the domain of only a limited number of classes, and they better wear heavy armour and a shield !

    Forgive the rant, I'm just fed up with the hard set trinity concept. Wish it was more fluid and flexible.

    My gripe has been very similar about the tank role. I don't mind the holy trinity. It works, people enjoy it and it will never go away. Just like combat, they can make the holy trinity a hybrid of sorts. There is no reason a rogue couldn't evasion tank or a mage tanking magic damage bosses. This even opens up new ideas for raid bosses that are split or split after a certain %. At 50% the boss splits into two, main tank pick up the physical damage one, mage tank pick up the magic damage one. I don't believe Intrepid wants to deep dive into a unique class system but damn it would be amazing if they did.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited August 2021
    Khronus wrote: »
    Percimes wrote: »
    I understand the appeal of the guardian or protector role, but that's not what a tank is.

    Rant.
    The role of a tank is to concentrate the damage on himself and to survive long enough to be healed. As you mentioned, generating threat is a PvE thing, only possible because the mobs follow aggro scripts.

    If a tank class is essential in all PvE group combat, isn't only fair that it's useless in PvP? (of course not)

    What's the point of a tank if the core mechanic of this class, generating artificial threat, can't work for one major aspect of the game? I'd say scrap the tank class and give many paths to protect either yourself or other members of your group. Not gonna happen, I know.

    I wish most classes could spec to tank. A magic user being able to cast powerful barrier but forgoing great damage spells in his repertoire. A rogue type building so much evasion that he's almost never hit, but at the cost of having all his stealth abilities at very low capacities. But alas, people want the tank role to be the domain of only a limited number of classes, and they better wear heavy armour and a shield !

    Forgive the rant, I'm just fed up with the hard set trinity concept. Wish it was more fluid and flexible.

    My gripe has been very similar about the tank role. I don't mind the holy trinity. It works, people enjoy it and it will never go away. Just like combat, they can make the holy trinity a hybrid of sorts. There is no reason a rogue couldn't evasion tank or a mage tanking magic damage bosses. This even opens up new ideas for raid bosses that are split or split after a certain %. At 50% the boss splits into two, main tank pick up the physical damage one, mage tank pick up the magic damage one. I don't believe Intrepid wants to deep dive into a unique class system but damn it would be amazing if they did.

    I would bet you can make Spellshield into a Magic Tank though. A proper one. That seems to be their intention. If not, just complain.

    Seriously, what are the chances that after all their effort, Intrepid is going to end up making something that's less than I can do with 4 people, especially when nearly everyone tells them 'yes, that, do more of that', often with explicit instructions?

    It's flexible now.

    EDIT2: Tank Compilation is now finished.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Percimes wrote: »
    I understand the appeal of the guardian or protector role, but that's not what a tank is.

    Rant.
    The role of a tank is to concentrate the damage on himself and to survive long enough to be healed. As you mentioned, generating threat is a PvE thing, only possible because the mobs follow aggro scripts.

    If a tank class is essential in all PvE group combat, isn't only fair that it's useless in PvP? (of course not)

    What's the point of a tank if the core mechanic of this class, generating artificial threat, can't work for one major aspect of the game? I'd say scrap the tank class and give many paths to protect either yourself or other members of your group. Not gonna happen, I know.

    I wish most classes could spec to tank. A magic user being able to cast powerful barrier but forgoing great damage spells in his repertoire. A rogue type building so much evasion that he's almost never hit, but at the cost of having all his stealth abilities at very low capacities. But alas, people want the tank role to be the domain of only a limited number of classes, and they better wear heavy armour and a shield !

    Forgive the rant, I'm just fed up with the hard set trinity concept. Wish it was more fluid and flexible.

    Why not?

    Given that Ashes will have secondary archetypes that players can choose, I don't think there will be a problem playing any kind of "off-tank", @Percimes. That includes some of the ideas the OP is proposing.

    If you simply don't like the terminology of the "trinity", that's a discussion for another thread.
  • CypherCypher Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Interesting. I kind of think that in PvP the tank could buff allies DEF stat within a certain radius of themselves, maybe have an ability that makes all nearby allies take 50% less damage which lasts for a long time unless you kill the tank, thus making the tank a priority target just like in raids when they “take the aggro”.
    Also putting up walls to protect allies. Imagine shielding yourself and allies from incoming projectiles or block off a bridge, etc for a short time.
  • Cata prot tank in PvP was a beast. That was a ton of fun. Balancing the dmg output, dmg mitigation, and cc disruption is the key to making that support class be enjoyable and effective in a pvp fight.
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The Ashes Tank concept reads:
    Protection. Command. Execution.
    Tanks act as a shield for themselves and their party, altering the battlefield to execute their strategy. A mastery of focus and control allow Tanks to achieve their primary goals - helping their team mitigate incoming damage, and dictating who stands in the line of fire.


    One of the planned Tank abilities is to summon a Wall. That offers protection to teammates.
    Ultimate Defense Rank 3 should provide Damage Mitigation to all party members.
  • I don't want to sound too pessimist, but I'm not yet convinced the secondary archetype will bring enough to assume the role it would have as a primary one, at least to be a viable alternative. Oh, it may help and give a different vibe and alter some possibilities, but a bard, whatever the tune, will still be a buffer.

    The problem with giving special PvP tools for the tanks so that it's not useless against players is that you now have a class with a different role while in PvP vs PvE. Not that it's necessary a bad thing, but all the other classes keep the same role. The healers will heal regardless if it's against players or mobs. DPS do damage to whatever they have targeted. The tanks do aggro in PvE and ...something else in PvP?

    The PvP tools could work against mobs too, but then the tank becomes even more effective at his PvE role and encounters must take that in consideration for balance, which means it becomes even more difficult, or impossible, for any other class to dream of tanking, even in a pinch. Everyone's dependence on the tank and the pressure on those playing it, increases.

    My take on this has always been to dump the threat mechanic of tanks and change how the job is done so that it works regardless if it's against a player or a mob. Tanks should be able to protect their group mates using a mix of access denying and shovelling around. Controlling the terrain, preventing the enemy to move as it pleases, removing it from an ally and getting to it fast. The javelin ability does that, but I'd build the class to have lots of means to accomplish these. Make sure the opponents can hit only you, because you're the easiest one accessible. Other melee classes only require a mean to disengage if they become the main target. You now can have a class with high defence and medium offence, representing a real threat in both PvE and PvP.
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
  • CypherCypher Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    @Percimes in my previous I provided a way for tanks to still perform essentially the same role including a way for them to take the aggro by being a high priority target. Everyone will want to kill the tank first with my method, just like bosses want to kill the tank first in a raid, if they’re doing their job right. Give it a quick look and let me know what you think.
  • Cypher wrote: »
    @Percimes in my previous I provided a way for tanks to still perform essentially the same role including a way for them to take the aggro by being a high priority target. Everyone will want to kill the tank first with my method, just like bosses want to kill the tank first in a raid, if they’re doing their job right. Give it a quick look and let me know what you think.

    Yeah, would work great for the melee fighters on the same target (PvE). Having multiple tanks could help to protect the allies fighting from range, but that would be like a buff bot, just there to give a mitigation buff to those in range. Alternatively, groups could try to all stay near the tank, but become appetizing targets for AoE.

    In PvP, separating the tank from the rest would become a priority. Pulling the tank off.

    So it's not a perfect solution, player-wise, which makes it an interesting solution since it's not absolute and there are ways to work against it. An interesting tool :)
    Be bold. Be brave. Roll a Tulnar !
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Percimes wrote: »
    Cypher wrote: »
    @Percimes in my previous I provided a way for tanks to still perform essentially the same role including a way for them to take the aggro by being a high priority target. Everyone will want to kill the tank first with my method, just like bosses want to kill the tank first in a raid, if they’re doing their job right. Give it a quick look and let me know what you think.

    Yeah, would work great for the melee fighters on the same target (PvE). Having multiple tanks could help to protect the allies fighting from range, but that would be like a buff bot, just there to give a mitigation buff to those in range. Alternatively, groups could try to all stay near the tank, but become appetizing targets for AoE.

    In PvP, separating the tank from the rest would become a priority. Pulling the tank off.

    So it's not a perfect solution, player-wise, which makes it an interesting solution since it's not absolute and there are ways to work against it. An interesting tool :)

    Tank classes in MOBAs usually function by having big area denial shields, blocking attacks on those nearby or behind, and most importantly, 'having some method, usually mild CC, that makes it so that the attacker cannot kill or meaningfully damage the other target'.

    That ability by itself is not usually enough to make the enemy want to kill the tank first, but a good knockback followed by some form of wall is good enough at forcing the matter.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • CypherCypher Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Percimes wrote: »
    Cypher wrote: »
    @Percimes in my previous I provided a way for tanks to still perform essentially the same role including a way for them to take the aggro by being a high priority target. Everyone will want to kill the tank first with my method, just like bosses want to kill the tank first in a raid, if they’re doing their job right. Give it a quick look and let me know what you think.

    Yeah, would work great for the melee fighters on the same target (PvE). Having multiple tanks could help to protect the allies fighting from range, but that would be like a buff bot, just there to give a mitigation buff to those in range. Alternatively, groups could try to all stay near the tank, but become appetizing targets for AoE.

    In PvP, separating the tank from the rest would become a priority. Pulling the tank off.

    So it's not a perfect solution, player-wise, which makes it an interesting solution since it's not absolute and there are ways to work against it. An interesting tool :)

    Yeah! It wouldn't be a requirement to have a tank, just really good. And it wouldn't be a requirement to kill the tank first, just really good. Leaves it to the players to be more flexible with their party if they want also.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Percimes wrote: »
    I don't want to sound too pessimist, but I'm not yet convinced the secondary archetype will bring enough to assume the role it would have as a primary one, at least to be a viable alternative. Oh, it may help and give a different vibe and alter some possibilities, but a bard, whatever the tune, will still be a buffer.

    Secondary Archetype is not intended to assume the role of the Primary Archetype.
    The intent is to give a different vibe and alter some possibilities.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
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