Vaknar wrote: »
Would you prefer more traditional MMORPG main and off-tank roles, or would you prefer to see combat experiences with several tanks fighting?
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!
Liniker wrote: »
There is only one tank Class in Ashes of Creation - If you want people to play this role, and not end up having an unbalanced low number of tanks in the server this class Needs to get some love.
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
Sargarius wrote: »
Want to voice a concern with the way you have laid out class combinations currently. Loads of dps combos and a few healing ones, But only a single dedicated Tank class aptly named Tank.
I'm pre-emptively worried this will cause a stagnant tank meta via lack of options
Vaknar wrote: »
Vaknar wrote: »
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?
Gondor wrote: »
There's a lot of commentary around PvE tanking, and little about PvP, aside from the dangers of excessive mitigation and effective HP.
I'm going to cover some PvP related tanking insight in other MMOs that (I think) have done it well, and will try to include interesting mechanics from various MMOs outside from the usual culprits.
To start, I would urge and plead with you, please don't pigeonhole tanks into sword and shield. Sometimes people want to be an uwu blademaster, or want to play a utility bruiser role - a tank-lite.
Tanking comes in many forms for PvP, and at its core, tanking is damage mitigation. I want to point out explicitly that damage mitigation doesn't have to be how much can the tank mitigate themselves by numbers. If the presence of a buff removing, punter or gameplay-inducer means people have to stop attacking to focus them or move away - that in itself generates "threat" and is a net damage reduction for your party as the opponent's focus is no longer on them.
The biggest danger for gameplay with tanks in PvP is either they are too tanky, not threatening enough, or their dynamic can be ignored (like ret tanks). In games where mitigation is too high, you can literally say, "ignore their tanks". The tanks will do nothing, they're just a speedbump, letting them run amok is less of a headache than dealing with them - just kill their friends. Likewise, you don't want tanks to be a super brawler where they do great damage and have great mitigation.
A good example is retaliation tanks - mechanics where they absorb damage and return it. Ret tanks are great for busting zergs and can scale way too hard, but quickly fall down in organised play where it doesn't take much to ignore them - and that's a real feels bad. This isn't to say "tanks need to be meatshields, CC bots or damage monsters" - there are lots of interactive ways tanks can bring gameplay and value to the table.Good tanking mechanics in MMO PVP:
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (as you may know) was a PvP focussed MMO primarily on the group size of 6. PvP was mostly open world (RvR), and while raids of 24 were common to be run in PvP, it was a classic raid UI and limitation - buffs and skills would only affect your group members. I think it's one of the standout games for tanking in PvP - it tried a lot of things and really tried to solve tanking in PvP issues at the time. IMO it set the bar for tanking mechanics in PvP, but some of those lessons have been lost by no knowledge about these mechanics and their implementation or by core product differences (PVE vs PVP).
Tanking in Warhammer was one of active mitigation - you did things to be tanky, but if you did nothing, you weren't tanky. It featured a Guard mechanic for tanks, amping their use and purpose considerably. Taunts in Warhammer were also critical to the core functionality of tanks in PvP as an actual taunt (surprisingly).
The taunt mechanic was also a "You do less (like 30%) damage, or take more damage (like 15) until you hit the casting tank X (usually 3) times". The damage reducing taunt was aoe, the damage increasing taunt was single target. This led to tanks being either the "tip of the spear" for a single target DPS train, or a brawler that could protect the group with a short damage reducer to counter spikes, or save people in trouble - the aoe taunt was a really good oh noes button when someone was getting trained. These taunt buffs couldn't stack or cover each other - they would be overwritten by another tank.
Guard was a togglable ability that split the damage and threat of your guardee with you. e.g. If you guarded a sorcerer, and they were getting hit, you would intercept 50% of that incoming damage. You could only guard 1 target at a time, and in a group size of 6, knowing how to "guard swap" was a core skill for great tanks. As the name implies, you'd switch your guard to people being targetted or were in trouble - the other DPS, tank, or healer, splitting the damage they were taking with you and coming in hot to save their life.
Guard on its own did fix some of the tank shortages in MMOs, as they were always useful and not limited in spots. Even in PvE raids, the innate ability to split threat enabled DPS to go harder and gave a reason for tanks to be in every group. It also made threat and mitigation require careful management - the tank relied on the threat their DPS generated, an unguarded DPS could out-threat the tank, so you'd often have tanks trying to push aggro, without going over the top of the MT. I think this could be an avenue to explore - allowing non-MT style tanks to actively reduce the threat of other DPS. Move the burden of managing their threat from DPS & MT to the other tanks and managing the threat of others. Let the MT focus on primary mitigation and aggro, while OTs manage party mitigation and DPS threat.
Splitting 50% of the incoming damage with a guardee seems overpowered in PvP, but Guard had a simple counterplay mechanic - range. You could only intercept damage and threat if you were within X distance. Warhammer featured forced movement and repositioning skills quite heavily, and they were heavily featured on tanks. Warhammer, notably, lacked the prevalence of speed buffs and gap closers that you see in more modern MMOs, so being put out of position via a punt was a big deal.
Warhammer tanks had excellent punts (pushbacks/knockaways) that you could either punt other tanks away or punt vulnerable targets towards your own lines and away from their tanks. I want to point out that there's is a significant difference in feels bad from a pull to a punt - a pull has less counterplay, you can't always see it coming from a mob of 15-30, but when you get pulled, it comes out of nowhere and there's often little you can do. A punt, on the other hand, if you see a tank next to you, it puts your headspace into danger because you recognise the threat - instead of casting you to look to move - your focus shifts to the tank. If you get punted, it's because they beat you at the positioning game. The tank has to place themselves between you and their team to directionally knock you away into the worst possible position, and not towards your friends.
Warhammer tanks also brought exceptional utility - there were 3 different tank types, and they buffed or debuffed specific schools of damage, like certain types of magic. Each tank also had different buff removals (enchantment vs boon vs blessing), that were on some of the lowest CDs for their skill type, making tanks critical in breaking through single target walls, and putting them above DPS. Some of the tanks also had access to outgoing heal debuffs - Warhammer had heal debuffing for both incoming and outgoing heals. Incoming was usually for DPS - so they could hit a target and try get that kill. Outgoing was so tanks could tag a healer and lower their output. They stacked, and you'd often need to stack them to kill a healer with cross heals.
Durability for tanks in Warhammer was based off % mitigation, instead of flat amounts. Avoidance in WAR was a zero sum - you either took the full hit or you didn't. This had a double effect of making bubble shields extra strong on tanks and a perfect oh noes button since they applied after mitigation, but also made tanks susceptible to being burst if the right criteria were met.
In Warhammer, everyone has similar base levels of % avoidance spread across Parry for Physical, Dodge for ranged, and Disrupt for magic. These avoidance chances could get quite high, but were mitigated by "strikethrough" (hard counter) that would cut down the %, available natively or via gear and skills. Basically, to kill someone efficiently, you had to use your buttons properly.
Tanks with a shield got an additional avoidance check - Block. This would be performed before the checks for Parry/Dodge/Disrupt, and could check vs all damage. All damage, including Guard, was checked against avoidance, but shields made it check twice. E.g. you had a 30% chance to block the entirety of a magic attack and then a 30% chance to disrupt the damage you didn't prevent with block. Tanks could provide additional avoidance to people through directional skills - most players will remember Hold the Line, where you amped the avoidance of those behind you in a cone.
Avoidance is where tanks got their tank from, but if you wanted to kill a tank, you'd apply some strikethrough (this debuff was usually 10% to all schools, or specific to 1), OR both blocking and parrying were front-half only, meaning you just had to get behind the tank (or spin them, take your pick).
This brought a high degree of play and counterplay, where tanks didn't want to be flanked or opened up, DPS would take the risk to get behind them, but they were highly effective and thematic holding the doorways of castles or keeps.Guild Wars 1
Guild Wars 1 didn't have a traditional tank/threat role, but relied on gameplay mechanics to mitigate damage across the party. Sometimes these mechanics were really strange in PvE, but the PvP role of tanks meant they were threatening by virtue of access to unique or otherwise rare buffs and debuffs.
Guild wars PvP was 4v4 arenas and 8v8 organised play - but there were some battles that were up to 64 with 4v4v8 or 8v8v8.
Paragons weren't your traditional tanks - they were similar to a bard, with a lot of utility and mitigation focussed around the "next attack" style mechanic. We see a lot of this influence represented in GW2 Guardians. Paragons were still tanks, featuring heavy armour and good self-sustain while bringing enough utility to be threatening.
Their mechanic was the traditional bard, with songs, shouts, and refrains. Paragons were critical in certain encounters and always a welcome force multiplier in the PvP arenas. Paragons demonstrate how reactive skills can help party-wide damage mitigation while bringing utility and damage too.
Paragons skills such as "They're on Fire!" reduced the damage you'd take from burning foes, or "Shields Up!" and "Stand your Ground!" raising the collective defence of the group, or "Brace Yourself!" preventing the next knockdown to the group. My personal favourite, "Can't Touch This!" caused the next few touch-type skills to be used against you and your allies to fail. There were plenty of healing and restoration skills, like a classic Bard or Paladin, but I'm focussing on examples of party-based damage mitigation.
Paragons are also a good example of utility a tank can bring - allowing others access to buffs or debuffs their class or build may not have natively.
Warriors in GW1 were more your traditional brawler - but a great example of how a tank in a PvP environment can be a strong disruptor, and subsequently provide damage mitigation for your group.
Warriors had good access to less common debuffs like Deep Wounds (Reduce max HP by 20%), lots of knockdown and interrupts, and loads of mobility. Their countenance was they didn't pack any non-offensive utility - they couldn't break enchantments, or remove debuffs, and had to rely on others. They were a nugget of angry armour, designed to get in there and force opponents to deal with them.
Warriors were exceptional linebreakers or punishing poor positioning (get caught out of range of heals, or no one able to peel for you and you were toast). The key insight here is that by being disruptive, and good at locking/exploiting vulnerable targets, Warriors were a critical target, forcing focus to shift to them. This is it's own form of tanking - they had damage mitigation, but their tank duty came from being so disruptive that you had to manage them.
55 HP Monk
55 HP monks were a bit of an anomaly - a cornerstone tank for a lot of harder game content, they didn't work in PvP - but I'll outline how they worked because it's really interesting. Guild Wars 1 had a skill called Protective Spirit. This skill was an enchantment (buff) that capped the amount of HP you could lose via incoming damage to 10%.
Like with most MMOs, healing was a flat amount, instead of % of HP missing - so by lowering their total HP pool as far as possible (55 from 400s) through "cursed" gear, the monk could reduce incoming damage from any attack to 5. Now, this didn't work against degeneration skills (the equivalent of dots), but regeneration and purge/cleanse skills would help mitigate that.
Where the 55hp tanks struggled was vs anything with enchantment removal - cover enchants were key, but if you were caught during the refresh before you got your enchant up, you'd be 1hk0. You'd also get caught out if your purge was misused.
It's an interesting style of tanking - it was way up there on the mitigation but required careful planning and rotation to manage the buffs effectively.
There were plenty of PvE issues with the build - it had a retribution tank component that worked really well in PvE. The more damage it took before mitigation (e.g. the front of the calc), the more reflected damage it'd do. Against big classic hard threats, this worked great cause it'd chunk monsters. Against players, you could ignore them.TLDR: This post is turning out to be massive, as other open PvP games handle tanking differently. The point is that tanking is about threat generation and damage mitigation, but those two concepts are just that - concepts. There are other ways to generate threat against players instead of through mechanics and other ways to mitigate damage than just flat reductions. Playing in the space of psychology is where tanks need to end up because it creates better gameplay than "groan, another meat popsicle".To sum, if I had to make a list of what makes tanks fun in PvP:
Reactive skills - e.g. like "Stand your Ground!" or "Aegis" from GW1/2 where you provide a short party-wide window (instant cast, 3-5s) to block, reflect, or mitigate, the next incoming direct attack. Taunts that buff/debuff output until hit
Toolbox/Utility beyond classic CC - buff removal, stance removal, enchantment shattering. I'd suggest instead of removing 1 buff at a time, consider making them remove 2 - it depends on how much buff stacking becomes a thing with cover enchants, but removing multiple raise the counterplay bar, since you will need 2 cover buffs. Guard mechanics can also fall under this - for both damage and threat management.
Movement control - knockaway/knockback and snares, over lockdowns, to help let tanks peel. Should tanks be the CC heavy class? Probably - but no one enjoys sitting there for 3 seconds unable to do anything while getting wailed on. Less stuns, and more silences, snares, knockbacks - the kind of CC where the afflicted can still wasd. Pulls are almost always a bad gameplay experience.
Gap closers - I can't stress this enough - it is probably the most important bit of kit in a tank toolbox. If you need to linebreak to disrupt or get back into position it's absolutely critical. It adds a good depth to gameplay when you're mitigating damage.
Tanks that are actual linebreakers. Being a meat shield doesn't make you a linebreaker. If you have to waddle up under fire, everyone after you will have the same experience. Linebreakers need to quickly gap close and then cause enough disruption so that more vulnerable melee can follow up and engage.
Heal debuffs - it's a design challenge; should DPS have both damage and a heal reduction to further self amplify, or should they need to cooperate with someone to pull it off? You could do incoming and outgoing heal debuffs. Unlike Warhammer, I'd consider putting incoming heal debuff on tanks for a classic mortal strike effect and to balance out the teamplay toolkit for DPS.
Threat can be psychological instead of gameplay - if there's a tank nearby that has a heal debuff or punt, you'll recognise the danger and play accordingly.
Thanks for everyone's time on this ridiculous wall of text - bottom line is that Tanking in PvP often oscillates between unfun or too strong because of being too much on the tanky side or meat popsicle.
ChaosMieter wrote: »
Four horsemen original Naxrammas. Eight tanks assigned a personal healer each. Each one screaming over each other in the voice chat while some pug'd 13 year old from Norway with over 400 ping drowns it all out in skrillex and deadmou5.
That's what it should be like