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Dev Discussion #44 - Tank Participation
edited September 2022 in General Discussion
Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.
Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!
Dev Discussion - Tank Participation
Would you prefer more traditional MMORPG main and off-tank roles, or would you prefer to see combat experiences with several tanks fighting?
Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding Gathering & PvP!
Hello! I wanted to provide some additional clarity to this post. In our question prompt, when we say 'tank' and 'off-tank' we are referring to the role of tank, and not the Archetype of the same name (Tank) in Ashes of Creation ^_^ Hope this helps!
Why are threat systems often removed from other MMOs? Personally I think it comes down to them being too simple without enough interactions. They do not get the design they need to be good and it leads players to disliking the system. I do not want to see Ashes fall into the same path of trying to make threat management a thing and then removing it when players do not like it.
A few basic issues I feel existing threat systems have.
-Tanking often comes down to dealing damage or using +threat abilities to hold threat/aggro
-DPS players do not like waiting to deal damage.
-Threat management is not interactive or is too binary.
-You learn almost nothing from dying to a miss pulled boss.
Tank players interacting with threat/aggro. Thinking about threat in a more logical way.
-To solve the issue of players not wanting to wait or not being willing to wait to deal damage I believe it should be easy for a tank to get initial threat/aggro. When you first pull, the mob would not be aware of what the biggest threat to it is so it would just hit the tank that is in its face. As a mob gets lower life it would reassess who is actually the biggest threat to it. Meaning a mob at 50% life would view dps players as a better target to hit than the tank.
-Would a mob know who to direct their anger towards if they step into a trap that it did not see anyone place? Is this mob even smart enough to realize what the healer is doing?
-Mobs with tendencies or weaknesses that cause changes in threat. For example a mob that particularly hates healers or one that dislikes fire damage. This would make it so not every scenario you face as a tank is the same. In some fights you would need to focus your attention on protecting the Healer while in others you might have to protect the mage.
Giving a tank the tools to manage the threat of their party.
-Like how a healer manages the health of their party, I believe a tank should manage the threat of their party. This would take a robust UI for displaying threat and skills to interact with it.
-The tank should know if a DPS/Healer is going to pull threat and be able to react to that happening with various skills. Keeping in mind that it would be a proactive process and not a hectic one. As I stated before I believe the tank should acquire initial threat easily and lose it over time based on team and mob behavior.
DPS players should also be aware of how to mitigate their own threat.
Examples listed below for how this could work.
Tanking abilities that are more interactive or interesting then a +threat mod on a damage ability.
-I feel there is a large design space around threat abilities that is not being utilized in many games. I feel these abilities should focus on protecting your team or tricking your foes into attacking you instead as a tank. Here are a few examples of abilities I think could work.
-At least one of the secondary archetypes might use some kind of illusions. It could be an interesting threat ability to simply make a target ally look like the tank to trick the mob. This would have dual purpose in that it might also have a use in PvP.
-Targeted Aoe threat reduction
-A more simple idea where you can drop a ground targeted circle under an ally that reduces their threat generation. This could be a nice ability that requires communication with your team. For example letting a dps know you have your ability up to save them so they can pop off on damage. As a ground targeted spell the ally would need more awareness to stay in the circle and the tank would need awareness to not waste it because the target has to move. A small damage reduction would give it some utility in PvP.
-A magical shield wall that blocks projectiles and generates bonus threat for every attack blocked. This would serve as both a way to protect your team and it would encourage properly timing your ability to maximize threat generation.
-An ability that absorbs the healing the tank is receiving and allows them to press the button again after a few seconds to release the stored healing. This gives you an overhealing interaction and gives the tank all the healing threat instead of the healer.
-Allows the tank to temporarily convert allied elemental damage into a new type before the target takes the damage. This would give the tank some interaction with mob threat tendencies and weaknesses.
-Temporarily blind the target to make them not realize where attacks are coming from. Allies generate no threat while the target is blinded.
This is not to say that DPS should not have to manage threat in any way. There is room for communication that allows a tank to help the dps deal more damage instead of just pulling aggro and dying. Giving the tank the responsibility over the entire group while making the other players personally responsible for their threat I think is the best way to do a threat system. If you do not give the tank enough tools to interact with threat you might as well not even have the system in the game. This is also outside a CC system that would also help you manage threat in a more binary way.
Would you prefer more traditional MMORPG main and off-tank roles, or would you prefer to see combat experiences with several tanks fighting?
If the threat and ability system is robust enough, using more than one tank will feel more natural and require less specific boss abilities to force using more than one tank. In situations where there is more than one tank like a 16-40 man group, the tanks without the most threat (off tanks) can still work to mitigate threat from their allies. The off-tank would actually be an off-tank and not just another body to taunt swap because of a debuff or w/e. If you have a particularly heavy damage encounter where the main tank has to focus 100% on mitigation you can have an off-tank focusing on managing the groups threat levels all without ever actually directly tanking the boss (assuming the threat system is robust enough). If mobs have tenancies such as those referenced above it gives your group a reason to have multiple types of tank. If you need a tank that specializes in self healing to tank mobs that hate healers or a tank that specializes in fire damage to tank a mob that hates fire you can pick a spec based on what you are going to be fighting and mix and match your tanks.
That's what it should be like
A tank Should actually TANK. Under no circumstances a DPS should be able to kill a tank 1v1 in PvP with similar gear - a Tank should have enough damage mitigation to feel like a tank, to make a DPS not want to engage and a fight between tanks or tank vs healer should be a stalemate.
Tanks should be the initiators in PvP with gap closers and AoE CCs, and have the option through augments to specialise in a little more damage, CC or mitigation
Active blocking should be a thing, active blocking should block 100% of incoming Frontal damage up to a certain amount and then put the shield on a 15 or 30s cooldown - passive block should Always be in place and it would work as normal when the tank is not using active block, tank should be the only class with higher blocking % stats
skills that reflect incoming damage should also make up a good part of the damage done by tanks,
remember, if the tank has low damage, it needs to make it up by actually Tanking, having lots of AoE CCs, pulls, gap closers and all the love needed so it won't be like every other game where 2% of the playerbase plays a tank
I would like to be able to at least translate a fairly decent amount of my skill and experience from pve into PvP if you get what I mean by that.
And if we're up to me I think the multiple meaningful tank positions is preferable, because it makes for more challenge, but it shouldn't be to such an extend that can only be fulfilled in less than 50% of the encounters, because it would always suck to be that 3rd/4th tank in the guild, but you're only needed on very few encounters throughout the endgame content.
If a Tank can just 'do basic rotation and not lose threat against most DPS', I don't usually like the game. If coordination (not necessarily about holding back overall but at least in terms of timing your damage with the Tank's abilities to spike their own threat or absorb yours or Cover you or whatever) isn't necessary, then what's the point?
If Tanks are very CC heavy and their CC is reliable, even if only on mobs, I don't like this generally either. I see Tanks as those cool people who stand in front of the mob and take MOST of its hits and control 'when it finally hits someone else'.
If it never hits anyone else at all, don't like it, even if the tank is a badass, it should just mean DPS can be more badass. If it tries but can always be forced to fail by tank CC, same issue, except that now the added problem is that both 'Multi-enemy PvE' and 'certain PvP' is either unbalanced or braindead (for me).
There should be ways to make Tanking 'easy enough for those who want to do it but aren't top-tier gamers' without 'making it so they hit a rotation and never lose the mob' or 'can just always CC everything'.
I also greatly like abilities that allow the tank to positionally block either the advance of the enemy, or actual attacks from the enemy, on allies positioned a certain way relative to them, and prefer these in PvP/PvX games even without the 'my Taunt forces you to detarget/target me' dynamic (which I also like).
Also I don't like when Tanks do terrible damage consistently (i.e. when not as a tradeoff for mitigation).
Thanks as always for listening, Intrepid.
I'd like to see different fight configurations, some that will require an enormous amount of mitigation from a single player (main tank "mandatory"), while others would require a lot more placement/taunt, and could be doable with a few offtanks for instance.
Overall, I'd like to see encounters that allow for different configurations, up to the group, and I'd love to see a more active gameplay. For instance, placing an aoe on the ground that give a shield to people standing in it, instead of just pressing a button to shield your group in a range. I'd also love if some active blocking skills would offer protection right behind the tank for people standing behind.
I come from ESO, and to me, the tank controls the flow of the fight, and is the one person not allowed to mess up, a decent tank stays alive while a great tank will optimize the placements and buffs/debuffs to facilitate the job of the group, my goal as a tank/raid lead was always to make sure the group could use as much as their brain as possible to be dealing damage, and forget about everything else. I'd like it if the groups could be creative and come up with some of their own solutions, especially since you need to factor in that other groups can come in and contest your boss, maybe you want a configuration that can easily handle a pvp encounter on top of the fight, etc...
I think traditional main tank and off tank roles are more effective for group making purposes.
As an aside, I'd like to request that tanks receive more than one taunt option. Having a taunt and another ability that adds threat specifically or is a pseudo taunt is very fun and helps when trying to control an entire pack that is loose. Additionally, close range aoe abilities are very important for tanks! Thank you
The threat build up could be shifted to something like "a bond with the mob", where tanks would see who the mob gonna agro onto before it does and which ability it'll use. This would allow for randomized ability use instead of pure scripting and would put the shotcaller job onto tanks, because they'd be the ones reacting to boss mechanics first.
And if you add different synergistic abilities to the skillset of all classes, tanks could have some anti-wipe buffs/skills/creations that would require top lvl cooperation between all 5 tanks.
I HATE modern tanking trends of infinite aggro and maximizing dps for aggro. If I wanted to play a DPS I would.
Older Mmos(eq era) used CC as your primary source of aggro and tanking, Warriors did it via weapon procs and clicky items, Rangers snares and ac reductions, Bards with AoE slows and buffs(yes bards could party tank shhh) SK's with fears snares and dots, Paladins mostly via healing and blinds.
Tanks are a support role and should function as such, I position and most importantly CONTROL the mobs and the flow of battle.
CC being primarily a tanks job also adds into the theme of mitigating damage
I don't tank but I do heal so I feel strongly about traditional MMORPG roles. We've seen other games try and fail to create "other" types of roles - most famously probably GW2 and I hate how things work there, other games as well like Blade and Soul and similar ones tried it.
I'd love to see more traditional tanks. As far as how to design it, well traditional MMORPG style tanks works for me. There are plenty of tab target MMOs to gather inspiration from there that have traditional designs but I do want to point out TERA in it's first years with the Lancer and the Warrior as far as action combat tanks go. That was perhaps the best MMO tank design for action combat. It was great both in PvE and also in PvP to the point where Lancer and Warrior- tank classes - were some of the most popular classes for PvP of all kinds. Lancer was your sword/board tank and Warrior had 2 swords and mostly was an evasion tank but did have a block.
I think for regular 8 man group content 1 tank should suffice and any holes can be picked up by any support characters like Bard/Summoner supporting the Tank/Cleric. For raid sized situations I'd like to see 2 tanks that can either be 2 main or 1 main and 1 off tank, depending on the situation (but you'd have two players playing the Tank class, specced each as some sort of main tanking build - not some other class). For 40 man content you might need more but I'd say raids in general should start at least with 2.
So for PvE, I'd love to see something more like my first experience in ESO. I haven't touched the game in ages, and i don't know what meta tanking is like now, but when I was tanking with my friend group at low levels it required me to be very selective in the mobs I taunted and drew aggro from, and that's the sort of thing I'd like to see here. I want "adds" to be an actual threat and the tank has to consider how many mobs he can pull before it becomes too much dmg. However to that same extent I would like to see fighters and off-tank classes have a little bit of threat generation to deal with some of the minor adds and be able to pull them away from healers and some of the squishier classes. And I'm torn on "over-taunting" because I think having a system where if a mob gets taunted from 2 different sources it ignores taunts, would add a significant skill expression and force groups that want to run more than one tank to communicate and do it well. however that poses a problem from huge raid groups, in that 1 person can just sabotage a whole raid. maybe make it so that over taunting doesn't on raid bosses, but can work on some of the adds so that way groups still need to communicate between each other. Finally, please make CC useful in PVE content. interrupts were one of the more fun things about tanking in FFXIV, and gave the tank more to do and focus on. I would love to see interrupts brought to ashes, it gave the tanks something to do and focus on and would make some of the abilities used for PVP actually do something in PVE, which would be awesome to feel like players who only really PVE but love tank don't have useless abilities.
For PVP Its obvious that threat generation and aggro do not work in the same way. The best way to "tank" in pvp is to give the tank CC options and decent damage options so they can't outright be ignored. This should lean more on the CC side, but not enough that they can lock someone down permanently. However interupting skills and ultimates should be within their wheelhouse. It would be fun to see someone stun a tank, to allow the wizard to get their strongest/longest cast time spell, without getting interupted. To this end and to mirror tanks not having useless abilities that's more geared for other content. I think that the "taunt" ability should CC players in a taunt like fashion (Target is physically forced to hit the tank, and moves closer to the tank if out of attack range) HOWEVER when used on a player that cooldown should be much longer to make it more in line with other CC abilities. I also personally don't think AoE taunts are a good idea, especially for the reasons I just highlighted.
For my final remarks, please please please don't make 'tank-main' the ONLY class that can tank. I'd love to see some variety in parties and how they approach tanking. Maybe the party has a Summoner-tank, and a bard-tank and the summoner summons tanky minions that CC and build aggro and can taunt on the summoner's command, and the bard-tank gives buffs to make those summons even more tanky. I would love to see the 'tank' subclass enable alot more classes to tank, and tank in ways that are unique, then just sword and board and stand in front of enemy although that should absolutely be an option, it shouldn't be the only option, one of the main draws of AoC is the appeal of creative freedom and variety. If someone wants to be a mage that can tank, they should have that ability.
I do not however want tanking ability applied into weapons. It would suck if every tank again HAD to run around with a sword a board. I want to see tanks with warhammers and pykes and some really weird guy out there who runs a staff. But if the ability to taunt is locked to sword and shield, you're essentially saying "if you want to tank, you HAVE to run sword and shield"
Why not both? Different encounters need different tactics.
The important thing is to make sure that Tank blocking isn't RNG-based. RNG is for when you can't be bothered designing a proper system, and it's just sloppy.
I personally would like to see a variety of tanks be able to tank. The more variety of tank styles will increase player satisfaction due to player choice.
It will make them feel unique and will give other players that sense of curiosity and intrigue when they see a rare tank play style.
I think this really fits into the core of what Ashes is trying to do: Player choice matters and player choice is what will drive the story of the server and those around them.
In my opinion tanks need to control the flow of the fight. Applying weakness or CC on enemies to pull them around can give the tank this feel.
AOC has a unique advantage with there class system. This can allow you to really pick how you want to tank and how involved you want to get.
The down side is this will also come with a meta or what is best. As long as most, if not all are viable I have no issues.
Another big thing is movement. How can I control the flow of battle if the tank is the slowest unit to get to the enemy. A dash or pull can really make this feel better.
Tank participation is one thing.
Another is encounter design.
Very rarely are encounters designed to take advantage of multiple tanks.
GW2 has one encounter of the top of my head where you need two tanks which is Soulless Horror and only because the tanks get a stacking debuff that makes it impossible to do with one tank.
From a raid perspective, how would you create encounters that require more than 1-2 tanks? Waves of annoying adds that get aoe'd down in seconds but hit hard enough to require a set of extra tanks to corral them? Council fights where each boss needs a tank to keep its attention and keep it away from the other bosses?
If encounter design requires multiple tanks it can be incredible.
Two examples of an ideal raid encounter for me would be:
The raid group is split up into four groups.
Group A keeps the attention of the main boss and manouvers it around the arena - giving the tank and possible offtank a clear job to do
Group B keeps the waves of adds that spawn under control and dps the boss whenever possible - giving the tank and healers a clear job to do
Group C uses siege weaponry on the edges of the room to snare/root the boss - the tank and healers would support the dps that uses the spearcannons.
Group D climbs the edge/walls around the arena fighting adds and tries to drop large boulders on top of the boss once it's completely rooted by the efforts of Groups A-B-C, the tank and healers would protect the DPS so they can perform their boulder dropping duties.
Not only does an encounter like this encourage everyone to perform their role, it also requires multiple tanks that aren't just there to press block (active or not) and a taunt on CD while the DPS goes sweaty on the meter.
Two parties enter a long corridor and are able to see each other through a transparent indestructible crystal wall. The goal is to reach the other side of the corridoor first to obtain rewards.
The corridor should be littered with traps, pitfalls, adds, stronger bosslevel monsters, profession specific puzzles, siege weaponry, magical artifacts, hurt NPC's that reward the party for healing them, and most importantly many - many! - options to thwart the party on the other side of the crystal wall to impede their progress.
Players would not only see value in having multiple tanks (or healers, or dps) in this encounter, but also having a wide variety of class combinations to take advantage of the options within the ever changing corridor.
Typically encounter design in mmorpgs have either:
1 Boss that can be tanked by 1 Tank
1 Boss that can be tanked by 1 Tank and 1 Offtank because of some arbitrary stacking debuff or other reason
2+ Bosses that must be kept apart requiring 2 tanks
1 Boss that acts as a theater prop that must be damaged by doing "The Mechanic" while multiple adds keep spawning requiring 1-2 Tanks to keep the DPS from dying.
I'd much rather see encounters designed according to the examples I gave above, that way you CAN have multiple tanks. You WANT multiple tanks. They participate actively.
So in this situation, I'd very much like to see actively participating multiple tanks.
On Tanks in PvP:
I'm almost 100% convinced that tank participation in 2v2 Arena should be banned.
It's not fun, they are literally designed to survive multiple enemies wailing on them while still dealing damage or self healing (Paladins). They are just there to stall for time while protecting their dps buddy or healer buddy until dampening so they can then finally destroy the opposing group.
3v3 or higher arena makes tanks an asset and it no longer feels like an insurmountable wall but rather a tactical choice to take a tank. They have great utility that allows for outplay against multiple players but the other players aren't as limited as they were in the 2v2 situation.
Rated Battlegrounds should also for this reason limit tanks. If the entire group consists of 10 players, I feel a limit of 2 tanks should allow for tactical play without it becoming annoying or toxic to other players enjoyment. For this same reason games like Overwatch limit the amount of tanks to 1 per group in OW2 (and possibly also already in OW1).
Instanced or otherwise facilitated PvP through the system (castle/city sieges)
Server vs server / guild vs guild definitely requires more tanks but I still feel like it should be limited to 1 tank per 5 players. Having parties consist of 1 tank, 1 healer, 3 dps gives everyone a clear role.
Clever commanding can then position the tanks as a frontal line of defence or hold several back to make sure enemies approaching the backline are properly corraled and dealt with.
Having to fight against 40 tanks isn't fun. Having to fight with 0 tanks is not a sound tactical option. Multiple participating tanks is an absolute must in mass PvP but please limit them to a certain % of the total participating players to avoid situations that are only fun for the group running 40 tanks.
Open world PvP should be free for all.
Half the fun of open world PvP is that fact that you can roll around in a murderball or use stealth or fifty mages to cast meteor on some poor guy who just wanted to gather that silverleaf. Is it fair for the victim? No. But that's why Ashes has a corruption mechanic, town guards and several guilds will likely offer gold for chain offenders.
1 tank seems a valid choice. Being honest, since most people prefer not to tank or heal it seem a punishment to force a group to bring more than 1 of each.
In a small group, it would be nice to have something to do aside from taunt and aoe on trash. Whether that is dealing with damage flow or helping with health levels in someway. Or even having weapon swapping so that you’re more than a taunt bot till the boss.
Different mechanics for different encounters is nice. Having more than one tank to handle the roles of main tank and off tank helps keep things engaging. It would be nice for tanks to do more than taunt swap and stack some defensive cool down. Actually working through challenging mechanics is part of the game.
Tanks seem to have a weird spot in PvP. They do some damage, take less damage, and their main control ability seems useless. The old Warhammer mmo seemed to have the best mechanic for that, a taunt made you do less damage to everyone but the player who cast the taunt.
1: forgive the format, I’m on my phone.
2: I’m sure I’ll have more. Tank is my favorite role by far.
3: you are doing a great job so far and I’m excited to see what you create.
- pulls for ennemies (pvp or pve)
- aggro to keep bosses and mobs but also claim the target from foes annoying them on single target healing/dps
- crowd controls for pvp, aoe
- self defense skills to survive and tank damage.
Then different variations of tanks could take care of different jobs, pullers in front that can hold foes in a small area for his DPS to drop, blockers with walls and wider crowd controls on the sides and perhaps tanks that can debuff like a Bard
The archeage way
E.g. FFXIV tank swap = Not a fan especially every fight or even the majority of them, it ruins the battle dynamic & pacing.
More in line with Support Off Tanking: The CC'ing (Assuming lack of support classes/Hell even with it's still my preference i'd like to see in game). limited tank swapping in oh crap dead tank moments. Ability to AOE round up mobs without pulling boss aggro or having DPS instant pull mobs away. Basically the lazy tank/Support skill tank type.
Tanks should play heavy & Slow since they need a HP & armor difference. If they don't have that, they should not have aggro ability, nor be tanks.
Like others I have my concerns with tanks in PVP regardless of way forward you go is they always either have to much HP, amour, to much speed be it engage/run off skill or movement in general in heavy armor, to much CC, powerful ability's to avoid death last sec, High DPS (often due to poor aggro mechanics going off DPS) & worst of all often all of that at the same time.
Bit like how healers - To much dps, Overhealing ability to avoid low HP, passive healing to powerful or All of that.
Also bit like DPS - Agility monster (Vs animation/input lock classes), stealth ability's, distance ability's, Speed ranged (latency issues again- Vs other lack of speed) God mode DPS "GM's favor", Low latency builds playing different to average latency builds Or once again most of that at the same time.
A lot of Tanks seem to want "Troll control" [Aggro focus players]. Doesn't take a genius to see how this will be abused pvp let alone at world bosses, so why are they asking for it in the first place? Because they want to abuse it!
What makes having multiple tanks interesting is the fact that there will be different types of tanks (based on what their secondary archetype choice is), so that could lead to some interesting team synergies between the tanks.
I honestly wouldn't mind this at all, and I think having multiple tanks would compliment the next point I'm going to talk about...
One thing I'd really like to see is tanking being more interactive than what I experienced in most games.
In my experience tanking is incredibly boring and frustrating most of the time (the only reason I spent years tanking is because no one else would do it), because tanks have all sorts of abilities for a lot of different situations, but when it comes to actual tanking, and how much control they have over blocking, parrying and dodging, all they can do is popping a big defence CD when a big burst from the boss is expected, besides that tanks mostly just generate threat by spamming DMG abilities (and hoping that you roll a high block/parry %).
It would be refreshing to have more control over my DMG mitigation, for example active blocking, dodging, parrying even (let's say parrying -aka perfect block- if timed right, could grant extra threat on my next attack, or higher passive block chance, or blocking for the next second could cost less resource, etc.).
Making tanking more interactive would also make it so that tanks could be fun and viable in PvP as well (but it's important to make sure tanks are tanky, but they don't deal too much DMG because in that case they will be really overpowered).
In most MMOs where I played tanks were completely worthless in PvP (if they were not worthless they were OP due to dealing too much DMG), because I had to go all-in on the PvE build to make it viable.
I think active blocking, dodging and parrying is something that could counter this, because DMG mitigation would depend more on my personal skill, and less on my gear.
That being said I don't want "tank stats" to go away, but it would be great if there was a middle road between having more control and stats dictating my tanking capabilities.
Having a more interactive tanking experience would fit well with having more tanks, and the fact that there will be collision also makes this all more interesting (like tanks could actually body block with their shields to protect their teammates from abilities and attacks, etc.).
Overall I'd say having multiple tanks sounds fun, just make sure to make the archetypes and class combinations interesting and engaging enough for people to play them.
Tanks definitely need more love. Quite often in MMOs it feels like the tank archetype is just an unwanted child, a by-product of the holy trinity.
I'm glad the team is interested in our opinion on the matter.
But please, remember that in order for threat(and therefore the tank role) to properly work in a hybrid setting it must work for both tab and action attack/skills may it be a PvE or a PvP setting, the tab part is the easiest, forcing the enemy to maintain the tanks target, but for threat to address action skills that doesn't require a target it must weaken the damage caused to anything other than the source of the threat.
Also, give tanks enough threat potential to possible maintain it even with the downtime required for positining even if through passive methods but dont be afraid to add some spice to the thread mechanics and give it some RNG properties like Threat Resistance to escape from boring predictive repetitivity.
Aren't we all sinners?
A tanks skill level should matter to maintain threat so enemies aren't running around killing the dps and healers. Dps should be punished if a tank is bad or if they don't respect boss threat and mechanics.
Using EQ as a reference again you needed a Warrior SK or Paladin to tank raids. But for group level content you had tons of soft tanking sources such as Ranger, Bards, Monks ect. Anyone who could hold aggro while having some sort of survivability.
Separating it as such alleviates the "tank shortage" perception while still leaving raid tanking to the dedicated tanks.
My suggestion about the archeatype role in pvp is:
- The tank fit the "rock" in the rock/paper/scissors and thus counter burst/glass cannon archeatypes and get outlasted by dot/sustain classes, by locking their mobility down and having the ability to break their kill setups.
- Consistent rather then bursty melee damage, tanks fantasy is one of endurance and perseverance.
- Tanks can fit a distruptor role in small scale 1-8 battles single target hard CC or AOE soft CC focused (maybe talent options can allow for tradeoffs) - with their low burst dmg that should not create a 100%-0% stunlock scenarios in equivalent gear.
- To make them viable in large scale siege scenarios, i suggest having builds around aoe buffs (ex. movement speed, damage reduction cooldown etc), the limited range of the buffs can naturally centralize allied groups members around them and put them in a place where they can play a "meta" role like timing their speed buff for the whole group to charge/retriet or defensive aoe buff to counter an enemy group major cooldown (similar gamestyle to Lucio from Overwatch). This will allow for easy to pickup gameplay but very high skill cap around situational awarness and timing, which i argue tank players will enjoy.
- Stretch/fantasy idea would be to swap out the commond shield offhand with a banner (with their clan crest?) that amplifies or enables said AOE buffs, that will create an interesting trade off between defensive stats and utility, it will create a great fantasy where you see an army with their banners in a siege scenario and will make for cool, badass setup!
*i imagine hard CC as stuns, roots and silences while soft CC as movement speed, attack speed and cast time reduction, interupts etc
Deus Vult fellow tank players!
I'm pre-emptively worried this will cause a stagnant tank meta via lack of options
Lots of people here can speak more on specific things like threat and main/off-tanking, but these three points are personally what I want to see. Whatever works best to fit these will make me happy, and I think will provide a lot of enjoyment to tanking for everyone.
- Decent complexity for controlling the enemy, maintaining defense, and keeping your allies safe/giving them openings.
- The ability to use other weapon styles, such as two-handed weapons, to tank just as effectively but with a different playstyle than just sword & board (something I believe was confirmed by the team earlier).
- Viability in PvP by utilizing certain abilities like crowd control, and the capability of doing at least some consistent damage, but little to no burst damage.
Tanks should do at the bare minimum 2/3rds of an actual DDs dps.
If you want to make tank players feel like they need a party, do it by utility; never by damage.
All tank primaries should be able to spec Main Tank or Off tank and swap before encounters when needed
Tanks are always the lesser picked role, and I have yet to see evidence prove otherwise. That being said, placing further limitations on a less than desired role isn't a good idea in my opinion.
Threat should always be something that's actively managed
Raid bosses should be more than tank swaps
Not saying you can't include them, but don't overdo it. Off tanks should be tanking or preparing to tank something...be it trash mobs.. mechanics etc.. I personally don't enjoy being a psuedo dps for extended periods of time. Once in a while is okay just not EVERY encounter where it's the only thing we're there for.