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The "Tank" : a bright invention back in the day I have grown to hate!

NishUKNishUK Member
edited January 23 in General Discussion
chris-pratt-velociraptor.gif
'PrattTheTank' and his ridiculous damage mitigation skills quickly ponders why immediately having logged on rushed into a dungeon without a party.

I've been involved in online games since the 56k modem era and my very first mmo was 'Legend of Mir 2', no such thing as "Tank" coined way back then but you'd be interested to know that many players in the deepest of dungeons used to throw themselves in the corner with high hp Warrior's making up the front line, a kind of movie '300' wall if you'd like.

Following on, for America's past at least, Everquest was the first mmorpg to mainstream "damage mitigation and control" classes but for most people from the UK and Europe "Tanking" was popularised in 'Lineage 2' and then roughly a year later 'World of Warcraft' massively highlighted the mechnical meta of the genre for the western world.

Back then Tank classes role in the game were blatantly obvious due to the PvE design:

> General PvE: Other classes looking to quickly progress through the games systems via monster killing were met with major hp+mp sustain issues. Tanks sheers resilience made it possible for others to rely on general attacks without quickly "blowing their load" as well as for others to maintain their HP so that potion resource and healer use were kept minimal.

> Boss encounters : Tanks always have a place in games where not only defensive mechanics are kept dry/stat based but where bosses passively resist every stat nerf or break the mold of a normal monsters movement speed and/or attack. Boss PvE was designed in a way as such specifically for Tanks to be a necessary component for you to be "allowed" to engage and endure it!

This led to the foundation that is known as "party/class reliance" and helped solidify the importance of classes which in turn made the strategy and thought process of an mmorpg a lot more streamlined and massively helped in connecting 1000's of players together. If you plan to engage in an area which clearly appears hard and/or has a boss, your automatic thought process is to make a party and to abide by the system funadmentals "I need a Tank, I need a healer/debuffer/buffer and a few dd's".
For the time and before 2010, mmorpg gameplay from the likes of WoW and Lineage 2 were an untouchable experience, there was nothing quite like 1000's of players on a server and organising yourselves to meet whatever challenge, internet gaming entertainment hit an addictive peak for so many indoor fanatics who invested into a PC. Then 2010 and beyond other genres incorperated online into their games, with massive hitters such as Call of Duty and Halo turning millions of men into crazy shooter addicts and then a year or 2 after, moba game League of Legends turned massive and bar the "anti-pvp/high social" crowd made everyone with a PC into a 30-40 min game time zombie, then for super casuals sports games and the likes of Rocket League took over and all of a sudden the mmorpg genre quickly turned into a niche online experience.
For over 10 years the 2003-4 systems have been trying to radically expand themselves, which has led to many questionable practices (P2W, changing/expanding class fundamentals, more instancing, "fill the game with nothing but quests!" adding/subtracting PvP etc). It has even spawned what I would label "cringe worthy debates" among harderned mmorpg fans from both sides of the preference isle, those who favor (at the end game) PvE achievement and those who prefer PvP conquest, as far as to label mmo's "PvP" or "PvE", which in itself is a ridiculous and rather childish notion as all mmorpg's contain huge portions of PvE content unless of course you only believe "modern" WoW and FF14 to be the only mmo's to do it right and frankly these people could all be thrown into the category of the "Heavily PvE/Quest/Ally only biased Josh Strife Hayes" variety.

WHY have I started off with all this pissin context you say?

Well I for one, as a long time gaming online veteran am highly skeptical of the gaming systems drafted up and implemented in the 1998-2003 era being again implemented in the 2025 era (guess-timation of AoC's entrance into release/popularity).

Now I know for the most part in these forums I'm addressing some of the most keen minded of mmorpg fans and most likely a herd of people over the age 30-35 still with plenty of love and admiration for the "tried and true" mmorpg systems of the past but hear me out, if you consider the likes of WoW/L2 "the wheel" then I argue peoples gameplay needs for a long while now have hit the levels of flight and the monorail due to other gameplay genres increasing the standard!
(( For added measure, the likes of Ultima Online and even Legend of Mir 2 were the "wheel" (largely tankless, no threat generation) and the likes of L2 and WoW were the "Bus", mainstreaming and simplying the genre for a wide audience. I insist that the mmo genre functioned without "The Trinity" but the system elevated accessibility! ))

I cannot stress this enough, I am not against the Trinity System or all my dudes who love a character in heavy armor wear wanting a commanding and engaging role, I am merely wanting to debate improvement and innovation of the cogs that dictate what you can and cannot do as well as elevating PvE that goes beyond the simply formula of "this monster hits you, you can do nothing about it hitting you, its damage is too spicy, you need a tank, get lost!".

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Legolas, the "Ranger/xxxx class" (for mmorpg purposes), distracting the boss and using his evasion skills prior from higher and compact ground, followups up with an attack before disengaging which helped his team massively recollect themselves in an area swarmed with Orcs

No other online gaming experience like a "bread and butter" mmorpg dictates what you can do via factors that are outside your control (ie other players/classes needing to exist!) which begs the question can a new ip mmorpg that uses an old system meet the gameplay needs of the modern era without it being caked in tons of lore and nostalagic history such as WoW.
Does that mean I support a game largely focused on solo versatility? Absolutely not, what I'm begging for is an evolution of Tanks funamental mechanics and PvE so that ALL classes have proper PvE engagement and not locked forever in only offense optimization, as well as healers and bards only being locked in looking at the hud full of HP bars and buffs.
An evolution of PvE mechanics will not only make things more interesting for all involved, it will also transform the "Tank" into a more viable class for factors outside of PvE (PvP : A real Tank is always bad target, "invincible", the only objective is to annoy, a terrible player vs player interactive class in general!), the likes of the "Great Paladin" or "Dark Knight" can have better and more rewarding goals instead of being simply an indestructable rock, which never budges that has somehow, by some bizarre magical means foreign to the highest level of magery, fully enticed the 300IQ Dragon to only attack them!

So, what is a TANK, more akin to the Command & Conquer series doing in your prized "Lord of the Rings"-esk fantasy!

So I beg the question, what innovations, both fundamentally and to PvE would you like implemented to elevate the gameplay experience of an mmorpg landing in at around 2025 that improves the old mainstream formula of genre that was in its infancy to really make you feel like a real Paladin or a stunning Knight or a selfless Ranger that doesn't let his party down like Legolas (who is MUCH more than a "derp cannon")?

lotr-aragorn.gif
"...and my shield, 9999 physical defence and HP, my bizarre threat generation magic that never fails...just damage my targets, do nothing else and think about the loot at the end...forget the sword, not important".
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Comments

  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I reckon the PvP experience needs to inform the PvE design - because human intelligence can think outside of the box where scripted behaviour states cannot.
    That's why Tanks get ignored (mostly) - coz humans realize it's dumb to target the tank where the 300IQ dragon cannot.

    So that's where I think the conversation about novel tanking needs to start.

    Why we don't target tanks
    I've heard a few times that tanks doing damage will make them targets in PvP. Really? Think about it...
    If the tank does damage AND is tanky - who do you kill first:
    • the dps tank
    • the dps glass cannon
    I'm pretty sure we still just want to kill the squishy stuff all the time. Ask any support - you think people run past them coz they don't do damage? No, supports are viewed as sitting ducks. (I understand there are other reasons to give tanks damage, but that's a separate discussion)
    Even if you over-tune a tank's damage, we get a situation where the Tank is like a raidboss, and the rest of their team are ads. And we all know to kill the ads before the raid boss (with exceptions).
    Point is: being hard to kill is exactly the reason people don't want to target you.

    So, when DO players target a tank?
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • KilionKilion Member
    edited January 23
    I personally am not as opposed to the existence of tanks but I do agree with the notion that from certain perspectives the role of tank just seems bizarre.

    In reality the concept of threat does not exist, hence it makes little sense from a realistic perspective for an enemy to focus on the only only one who is hard to kill.
    With that being said: I might pose the question why we would even want to take on a realistic perspective when it comes to tanks and the existence of threat, while we are perfectly happy to accept that other classes in the same game conjure fireballs and mystical creatures out of thin air or manifest the power of gods.
    Maybe we should take on the fantasy perspective which says "just like magic exist in this world, so does threat."


    Of course and rightly so, some will argue "That's a very lazy approach to just say that a intelligence influencing force exists that forces any creature affected by it to lose all sense and attack this iron cladded dude over there."
    Fair enough, I have a suggestion though. Change the class profile of a tank from simply "I know how to not get hurt." to "I am the ultimate defense expert, meaning I can take the enemies defense down."

    This could be a more sensible explanation why tanks get focused. If a tanks attack are accumulating damage on the enemies armor instead of his health, meaning a dragon can receive piercing damage after the tank broke his scales, we would probably say "Yeah, I guess you don't want to be stripped and skewed." So we would need to add the mechanic of immunity and armor break into the game that decides to take this approach. The tanks attacks stack "fracture stacks" on the enemy and if they reach a certain level the enemy becomes susceptible to a new type of damage or takes more damage percentage wise (it might make sense to limit this to physical damage types only and leave magic armor break to another class). If the tank on top of that would have insane CC power when an enemy is not facing him (because an enemy expert knows where weakpoints are at), it would mean you can't get away and you will be naked if you don't take him out.

    Sure we constructed a narrative to explain why a tank should be the primary target of an enemy but it is an explanation nonetheless and in line with Intrepids idea to have four schools of augmentation per class also a bit helpful. This new narrative would give us at least 3 schools of augmentation: "Damage Mitigation" "Defense Break" and "Crowd Control" (and possibly "Critical Chance & Damage")


    I'm not saying this is the perfect solution but I think it would be a very likely idea to be feasible at the current stage of development, without starting over.
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    If the Tank is the hard cc class with damage and the ability to shrug damage then they are a target. Nothing is worse than a whole team being killed and the tank being allowed to walk off. There must be reason to kill a tank and if the tank can also kill then that is the best route.
  • I think tanks in pvp need a bit less mitigation/survivability but more dmg output. most games tanks are unkilable in pvp if there any kind of healer nearby (in wow warrior are unkillable by themselfs now due to self sutain) haha
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Hence why I requested defense stance and Frenzy Stance. Frenzy Stance often made my guardian a glass cannon in pvp.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    The only online game I know of that successfully managed tanks without a threat system was GW1, where the mobs had a priority system for who they attacked (favouring targets with low health and armour stats first). This worked because most of the areas in that game were narrow corridors where you could funnel the mobs into a small space and body-block with the tanks. The few missions that took place in more open areas were hellish because (as you'd expect) the mobs could run around the tanks to get to the squishy casters and healers.

    Ashes of Creation doesn't have the luxury of being set mostly in narrow corridors, so a threat system is needed in my opinion. GW2 tried to do without a threat system initially and it completely flopped, forcing the devs to ham-fist in a very clunky and boring holy trinity to make the end-game PvE content work (in raids, the bosses simply attack the target with the highest armour stat - about as boring a tank mechanic as you can get).

    The only way I can see a non-threat combat system work in open an open PvE environment would be to give the players a large amount of zone control tools to keep mobs away from the squishy casters. We're talking aoe CCs and even terrain creating skills on the tanks to make that happen.
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  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 23
    I think the issue is less about the numbers and more about the lack of gameplay mechanics.


    There is nothing wrong with having roles that specialize in survivability and roles that specialize in damage- and this fact wouldn't change due to the rock/paper/scissors balancing, because no matter how much damage you add to a tank role, it needs to be balanced relative to the other roles, so it would still need to do less damage overall, than the dps role. So adding "damage stances" and stuff like that would not really change the balancing aspect, it would just add an additional layer of management/gameplay and increase the skill gap required to fullfill that particular role, allowing certain high-skilled tanks to outplay low-skilled dps.

    This means like I said, its more about a lack of gameplay mechanics/skill gap, because it traditional boils down to number optimization, meaning one class will always automatically "win" due to lack of skill-gap, through simply doing the most damage or being too hard to kill.

    Really, what needs to happen is that actual gameplay needs to have a higher weight in determining who wins. This means all classes need to have the ability to survive/kill through actual combat/gameplay mechanics- this will allow a tank to be relevant offensively through having more skill than the opponent, even if they do less damage, and allow the dps to be relevant defensively even if they are a glass cannon numbers wise- while retaining class difference/class identity through rock/paper/scissors balancing when at an even level of gameplay skill.

    This is why its important to have manual evasion skills, and manual attack skills, to allow for this type of design- because it empowers a tank to be relevant by forcing the opponent to target them through positioning, and empowering them to able to kill a dps if the dps arent defending themselves- rather than just clicking butttons and watching your numbers not be good enough.
  • novercalisnovercalis Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    The only online game I know of that successfully managed tanks without a threat system was GW1, where the mobs had a priority system for who they attacked (favouring targets with low health and armour stats first). This worked because most of the areas in that game were narrow corridors where you could funnel the mobs into a small space and body-block with the tanks. The few missions that took place in more open areas were hellish because (as you'd expect) the mobs could run around the tanks to get to the squishy casters and healers.

    Ashes of Creation doesn't have the luxury of being set mostly in narrow corridors, so a threat system is needed in my opinion. GW2 tried to do without a threat system initially and it completely flopped, forcing the devs to ham-fist in a very clunky and boring holy trinity to make the end-game PvE content work (in raids, the bosses simply attack the target with the highest armour stat - about as boring a tank mechanic as you can get).

    The only way I can see a non-threat combat system work in open an open PvE environment would be to give the players a large amount of zone control tools to keep mobs away from the squishy casters. We're talking aoe CCs and even terrain creating skills on the tanks to make that happen.


    Everquest also had a similar system. You need to allow the tank build hate.

    1) CCs will almost always pull aggro off of tanks.

    2) Healers will grab mobs attention for a few seconds before going back to tank, unless your healing like mad, then they will stay on you

    3) Anyone at 20% HP will auto aggro all mobs nearby. It was nearly impossible for the tank to pull aggro back.

    4) One of the meta in EQ was allowing the warriors to be IIRC at 20-30% HP which triggers their frenzy/Rage so they can deal more dmg and maintain hate. So good healers would always keep their health in that range.
    {UPK} United Player Killer - All your loot belongs to us.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I ended up thinking too long about this post only to realize that the base premises/context is lacking so I don't actually have an issue. So my feedback to Intrepid instead:

    OP is right, but since only the most simplistic games don't have a reasonable model for why the Tank is attacked, I don't see any reason to change what a Tank is from what I am imagining you will make, having come from one of the less simplistic games.

    I'll complain if the 'commitment to simplicity' is obvious. Given the level of polish of everything else, I'd be surprised if it was.

    Just giving my perspective that I don't share the concerns or experience that this post uses for context, so I'm fine and eagerly awaiting what I'm used to from the Class design team.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • The reason why there has been no real innovation in tanking is because every MMO relies on a HP bar and movement speed, then all that skills really do is affect those positively or negatively. That is not a lot of variables to play with, hence the same old mechanics all the time.

    So designers added a 'threat' meter', a new number to slide up and down, but that was very simplistic and has been done to death. What about a new mechanic to play with that somehow causes tanking behaviour and responses to emerge, in BOTH PvE and PvP. A 'threat meter' clearly fails in PvP.

    Enter the 'pain meter'. Certain skills apply pain, the more pain you have, the more damage you take. You don't want pain, as it acts as a force multiplier. Clerics can reduce pain, tanks excel at increasing it. Pain only decays naturally out of combat. In PvE mobs want to kill whoever gives them the most pain, because if that increases they are going to take more damage overall. Killing the tank clears all the pain - yay, now for the squishies doing their normal damage muhahaaa.

    In PvP players want to kill the tank first, because if the DPS focus them they are going to be in real danger of a spike! The tank may not have a great effect initially, but after a short while they will indirectly cause more damage than a single DPS, depending on team size. Of course in disorganised groups there will be less target focus and the effects of pain will be less relevant and tanks will not be as effective. In organised focussed PvP the tank has more of an effect due to the DPS players using the pain to focus the guy the tank is hitting. So much better gameplay than just a threat meter right!

    You could combine CC and the 'pain meter' into a tank skill called "Break leg". This would cause a movement debuff, some DoT and a lot of pain (perhaps slowly added over the duration of the DoT).

    The same tank skills would work equally well in PvP as PvE, because players do not give a damn about 'threat', but 'pain', well, that is going to hurt if left unchecked!

    Note: This is more than GW2's Vulnerability skill, in that it is not a simple timed/stackable debuff, but a core stat like hp or stamina.

    Okay, tell me how great I am and put me on the Intrepid payroll. Or more likely point out some obvious defect in this mechanic, doh.
  • DizzDizz Member
    edited January 23
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?
    A casual follower from TW.

    ↓Good youtube channel to learn things about creating games.↓
    Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games:
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  • Dizz wrote: »
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?

    NPCs can be made to be intelligent and attack as humans do. That is easy.
    Tanks could also get the ability to share HP with the team or absorb damage done to team members, no matter who in the team is attacked. I would also ensure that damage absorption have the same value no matter how far the team member stays from the tank, at least for the tank-tank class. Cursed be his name.
    This way the mechanic would be the same for both NPC or humans, as both would try to eliminate healer or some other team member but the tank protection would cancel or attenuate the damage.
    September 12. 2022: Being naked can also be used to bring a skilled artisan to different freeholds... Don't summon family!
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Strevi wrote: »
    Dizz wrote: »
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?

    NPCs can be made to be intelligent and attack as humans do. That is easy.
    Tanks could also get the ability to share HP with the team or absorb damage done to team members, no matter who in the team is attacked. I would also ensure that damage absorption have the same value no matter how far the team member stays from the tank, at least for the tank-tank class. Cursed be his name.
    This way the mechanic would be the same for both NPC or humans, as both would try to eliminate healer or some other team member but the tank protection would cancel or attenuate the damage.

    So, you want to change tank into a cleric/bard hybrid? What's the point when we have one already? What about the people who love to play tank?
  • DizzDizz Member
    Strevi wrote: »
    Dizz wrote: »
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?

    NPCs can be made to be intelligent and attack as humans do. That is easy.
    Tanks could also get the ability to share HP with the team or absorb damage done to team members, no matter who in the team is attacked. I would also ensure that damage absorption have the same value no matter how far the team member stays from the tank, at least for the tank-tank class. Cursed be his name.
    This way the mechanic would be the same for both NPC or humans, as both would try to eliminate healer or some other team member but the tank protection would cancel or attenuate the damage.

    Thanks for ideas, I personally don't feel it's a strong reason that if I'm a boss monster or PVP player I will willing to keep attack the tank even under that situation, like what if the boss has a big damage skill that kills over the target even with tank's absorption skill(or say at least attack others can be more efficient than attack the tank because tank blocks and dodges), or like what if boss have stun or silence or interrupt skills? The second is it give too much power to tanks and players imo.
    A casual follower from TW.

    ↓Good youtube channel to learn things about creating games.↓
    Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv1DvRY5PyHHt3KN9ghunuw
  • DizzDizz Member
    edited January 23
    Neurath wrote: »
    Strevi wrote: »
    Dizz wrote: »
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?

    NPCs can be made to be intelligent and attack as humans do. That is easy.
    Tanks could also get the ability to share HP with the team or absorb damage done to team members, no matter who in the team is attacked. I would also ensure that damage absorption have the same value no matter how far the team member stays from the tank, at least for the tank-tank class. Cursed be his name.
    This way the mechanic would be the same for both NPC or humans, as both would try to eliminate healer or some other team member but the tank protection would cancel or attenuate the damage.

    So, you want to change tank into a cleric/bard hybrid? What's the point when we have one already? What about the people who love to play tank?

    Maybe tank + cleric/bard can do that I think.

    But yes you have the point, tank shouldn't able to do that.
    A casual follower from TW.

    ↓Good youtube channel to learn things about creating games.↓
    Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv1DvRY5PyHHt3KN9ghunuw
  • RiggiJiggiRiggiJiggi Member
    edited January 23
    One of the more modern spins on this is how they do it in Albion. You still have tanks, but anybody with a plate chest is a tank. This means you can have wizard tanks, ranger tanks, and tanks with daggers.

    Another interesting aspect of the game that comes into play frequently is 'dropping aggro'. You can go into group dungeons without a tank, and as long as everybody has boots to go invisible and drop aggro, no tank is needed.

    This doesn't address tanking in PvP, but it's interesting to think about in the context of PvE.
  • Dizz wrote: »
    Strevi wrote: »
    Dizz wrote: »
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?

    NPCs can be made to be intelligent and attack as humans do. That is easy.
    Tanks could also get the ability to share HP with the team or absorb damage done to team members, no matter who in the team is attacked. I would also ensure that damage absorption have the same value no matter how far the team member stays from the tank, at least for the tank-tank class. Cursed be his name.
    This way the mechanic would be the same for both NPC or humans, as both would try to eliminate healer or some other team member but the tank protection would cancel or attenuate the damage.

    Thanks for ideas, I personally don't feel it's a strong reason that if I'm a boss monster or PVP player I will willing to keep attack the tank even under that situation, like what if the boss has a big damage skill that kills over the target even with tank's absorption skill(or say at least attack others can be more efficient than attack the tank because tank blocks and dodges), or like what if boss have stun or silence or interrupt skills? The second is it give too much power to tanks and players imo.

    I see the tank as the kind of class which enrages the NPC. The NPC would want to attack the other team members but is blinded by the tank's ability to attract the hits. But eventually the NPC can hit other team members too. But as long as the tank takes the hits, the others are safe.
    IF we make the NPCs smart, like human players and if we want to retain the protective role of the tank (NishUK said he is not against the holly trinity) then we have to simulate somehow the same mechanic.
    So we have to think how the enemy can break through this modified tank's ability to absorb damage.
    Also if the healer heals too much or if a DD makes too much damage, the tank's ability to protect should fade faster.
    The lore behind this mechanic would be magic and/or mind based.
    September 12. 2022: Being naked can also be used to bring a skilled artisan to different freeholds... Don't summon family!
  • Neurath wrote: »
    Strevi wrote: »
    Dizz wrote: »
    I will start from one question, are monsters braindead beings?

    If yes, no need to reinvent anything, traditional trinity is enough.

    If no, there are a lot of things to discuss. Such like if you are a boss monster, and a tank standing in front of you doesn’t hurt you as much as others but he not only use shield to resist damages from you but also dodging your attacks makes your damage output not efficient as you want, what makes you willing to keep attack on the tank instead of others?

    NPCs can be made to be intelligent and attack as humans do. That is easy.
    Tanks could also get the ability to share HP with the team or absorb damage done to team members, no matter who in the team is attacked. I would also ensure that damage absorption have the same value no matter how far the team member stays from the tank, at least for the tank-tank class. Cursed be his name.
    This way the mechanic would be the same for both NPC or humans, as both would try to eliminate healer or some other team member but the tank protection would cancel or attenuate the damage.

    So, you want to change tank into a cleric/bard hybrid? What's the point when we have one already? What about the people who love to play tank?

    I don't know what a bard typically does beside singing.
    But I see a healer as the one which replenishes the hit points while the tank reducing the incoming damage.
    You need both to survive a long battle.
    The same combo can be created with two mages, one creating a protective magic shield which consumes mana and another feeding mana to the one keeping the shield active.
    September 12. 2022: Being naked can also be used to bring a skilled artisan to different freeholds... Don't summon family!
  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The cleric has a heal based on conviction which raises all health for 10 seconds. A bard is the buffer of the party who will have defensive and offensive buffs. Your first post about changing the tank is a direct merge of cleric and bard.
  • Neurath wrote: »
    The cleric has a heal based on conviction which raises all health for 10 seconds. A bard is the buffer of the party who will have defensive and offensive buffs. Your first post about changing the tank is a direct merge of cleric and bard.

    I don't want it as a merge but as you describe it, well... dropping the tank completely and making the bard stronger would still keep the holy trinity and solve The problem with having “Tank” as a class name >:)
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  • NeurathNeurath Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Tank must be applied to other bases in order to make an effective shield. A good healer can even tank but Steven said 9% or less will be able to complete some encounters. It is therefore a natural disposition to have specialities and there is no need to get rid of tank speciality especially if you desire to replace tank specialities with some other class functions which have their own specialities needed in the quad.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    edited January 24
    I want tank to be a wall between their mates and the incoming damage.

    If all ranged attacks are projectile-based, the tank should be able to stand between the attacker and the victim and stop the projectile.

    The tank should have a "switch target" ability where the tank shield slams into one of its mates (pushing them aside, cause we got inertia and body collision) and change their melee attacker's target to the tank.

    The "wallness" of the tank should come in the form of different buffs (against melees, creatures, magic and arrows) and tank should also have counterdebuffs to those, so that every party would want to have a tank, so that they could counter "the enemy wall".

    The threat would be generated by blocking mob attacks with your wall. This makes sense both in pvp and in pve. If all/most of your attacks are getting blocked by something - you'd obviously want to remove that obstacle.

    And different classes would obviously specialize the tank in different types of gameplay:
    • tank/tank would obviously just be a thicker wall
    • tank/warrior could have retaliation mechanics (so a dps in a way)
    • tank/rogue could have a debuffs and CC lean, so their protection weakens the attacker
    • tank/ranger could have heightened mobility and a parry mechanic (that could synergize with other classes to boost dps)
    • tank/mage could have deeper mana gameplay (remove enemy mana on a protected attack; restore mana on the defended mate; move hp/mp around with abilities so that you have higher ability output or a thicker wall; etc)
    • tank/summoner could have a widespread wall, that siphons damage onto him, so he can protect more mates at the same time but takes way more damage in the process
    • tank/bard could buff the protected mates with def/dps stuff, but the wall itself would be thinner
    • tank/cleric would obviously hold his own hp longer and support the defended mate. As a counter balance this would probably require high mana consumption

    This is what I would prefer, as a tank main. A super active gameplay that requires me to pay constant attention to the entire battlefield and each one of my partymates, instead of just yelling curses at a mob or getting kited by players while I try to CC them.
  • NishUKNishUK Member
    edited January 23
    RiggiJiggi wrote: »
    One of the more modern spins on this is how they do it in Albion. You still have tanks, but anybody with a plate chest is a tank. This means you can have wizard tanks, ranger tanks, and tanks with daggers.

    Another interesting aspect of the game that comes into play frequently is 'dropping aggro'. You can go into group dungeons without a tank, and as long as everybody has boots to go invisible and drop aggro, no tank is needed.

    This doesn't address tanking in PvP, but it's interesting to think about in the context of PvE.

    I enjoy Albion's ideas, it reminds me of how Ultima Online had skills linked to weapons but armors were purely resisted based, such are the interesting and argueably, in a sense further immersive systems of both of these classless games.

    This spurs me on to think about what Ashe's can do with its class system...

    Typically, flat out Rogues/Archers will get evasion passives or skills in mmos but lets just say that was those classes having Tank as a sub class (Shadow Guardian/Sentinel), those are the classes that will be obtaining the typical boost in evasion and for desires sake passives to aid them with medium armor or even half plate wear.
    Those "damage dealers" will be sharing a tank skill called "Swift Intervention", for Tank mains its called Intervention but this is focused for the rangers/rogues.
    { Swift Intervention } - close range - Blind the target for xx% physical damage (reduced blind chance in PvP by certain gear factors) and increase evasion/pdef/mdef by 100% for x seconds.
    If target is an NPC and has the debuff "out of control" the skill can be activated again for as long as the debuff remains active and you have 2 options:
    - Pressing the skill again you will perform 'Dash, wound and Retreat' to the debuffed NPC and perform a special action (target small/medium sized: jump attack, large+: manuvear quickly to the head area), near completion you send out an attack with 500% increased p.atk, chance to increase blind duration and you perform an acrobatic disengage that eliminates all threat generation from the target towards you.
    - Leaving the skill unpressed will increase threat on your attacks towards the NPC target by 300%. Furthermore, if you do not use any other skills while this is active your characters default attacks will be specialized, attack speed -50% but you'll be able to kite back and 'Swift Interventions' defense bonuses will remain until this skill ends or when 'Dash, wound and Retreat' is performed.


    This is basically an idea for if Tanks cannot hold agro forever like they typically can or if something happens to them where they lose it in some way and then for characters with Tank as a subclass this is an example of how they can help vs harder enemies, for the rogue/archer at least.
    Out of Control is a debuff that appears on an NPC when the Tanks specialized threat skill is lost/interupted, providing a key opportunity for someone else or another Tank to intervene.
    You could see this as literally the Legolas GIF or scene in the movie where he is evading/shooting/engaging/disengaging with the Cave Troll.
  • DizzDizz Member
    edited January 24
    Strevi wrote: »

    I see the tank as the kind of class which enrages the NPC. The NPC would want to attack the other team members but is blinded by the tank's ability to attract the hits. But eventually the NPC can hit other team members too. But as long as the tank takes the hits, the others are safe.
    I see tank as a controller and defender in my fantasy.

    Yes, like you said you see tank as the one to enrages opponents and I agree. But what I want to ask or say re-think is “if you think monsters are reasonable smart then how a tank able to enrages a smart monster which knows tank is not the weak point”. On top of that the solution should not invade other class’s identities because tank we talking about is a very fundamental class it should not do what support class can do with tank class only.
    Strevi wrote: »
    IF we make the NPCs smart, like human players and if we want to retain the protective role of the tank (NishUK said he is not against the holly trinity) then we have to simulate somehow the same mechanic.
    So we have to think how the enemy can break through this modified tank's ability to absorb damage.
    Also if the healer heals too much or if a DD makes too much damage, the tank's ability to protect should fade faster.
    The lore behind this mechanic would be magic and/or mind based.
    I’m good with holly trinity too.
    But if we are seeking if there is any chance can make something better even it’s a tiny thing, I think we should rethink the relationship between monsters and tank and the party behind the tank, just pretend we are the boss monster and ask “why I should kill tank first instead of others?” in stead of thinking from dungeon master/game developer or players perspective is what I want.

    update:
    In my fantasy tank build threat mostly by control, secondary is sacrifice self to protect teammate with mobility, other by damage.

    My favorite control skill is something similar to Jumper the science fiction action movie in 2008, the thing Samuel Jackson uses on Hayden Christensen makes he can’t teleport. So in my fantasy tank can throw a spear with chain and a spike on chain’s end that can stick in the ground to make monster grounded or further like in Jumper electroshock the monster or something.
    (English is not my first language, sorry about my bad explanation.)

    My favorite defend skill is something like Intervene in WOW, no matter it’s an active or passive skill it will increase the damage monster dealing to the tank or say will reduce the tank’s damage reduction then reduce the threat output for a period of time the target tank protecting.

    So in my fantasy OT is a common thing, it's just a part/ring in the tanking cycle, healers and DDers have to self aware the output they do and not to burns out tank's defend skills.
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  • DebaDeba Member
    When you said about 'NPC tank' , I thought you were just hating on the tank and I didn't really understand, so I ignored it. But seeing the reasoning behind it and you explaining this, I agree with you, and you've changed my mind on it. I don't want a very rigid holy trinity, I think it would be nice to be able to do more than just DPS as a DPS and same for Tank and Healer. And I also agree on taking a few steps on improving the gameplay of the tank.
  • NepokeNepoke Member
    edited January 24
    This is an excellent post, though I don't think IS is willing to go too wild with the trinity because they are already attempting very ambitious things in other areas. I imagine attempting to revolutionize every aspect of the genre at the same time might be a bit too much.

    However, there is one thing I'd like to change that everyone takes for granted when they talk about tanking:

    There shouldn't be a tank, there should be multiple tanks!

    I'm not talking about a main tank + an offtank, but rather that anywhere up to 25% of the party should be tanks. Now, people might want to ask me two questions: Why and how?

    Why
    1. Thematically, multiple tanks just makes more sense. Instead of one man somehow enraging a horde of enemies and casually standing there while being healed, there should be a row of people in armor standing between the rest of the party and death.
    2. There is a gap between the PvE and PvP experience: Depending on the design, tanks will be either never seen in pvp (please no), or they will function as the the initiators and peelers for the group. Looking at Albion for example, there will be multiple people doing this role, not just "the main tank + offtank" like in PvE. If both PvE and PvP are designed to support a similar party composition, there won't be issues with open dungeons requiring tanks for PvP but being total dead weight for the PvE portions.
    3. In my opinion the main tank meta leads to boring raid design that is overreliant on colorful circles because there's just a couple guys doing all the boss mechanics where the boss actually hits someone.
    4. If tanking is truly a multiperson role, then the tank damage mitigation can be toned down, which in turn allows their damage to also be tuned up somewhat. Now there is no longer the problem of completely unkillable brainless PvP gameplay. In PvP, Tanks will charge in with shock-and-awe, deal damage and retreat with their shields up or die fighting. Tanks are now valid targets in PvP: While they are harder to kill than the backline archer, they are also on top of you and not totally invincible and you need to convince them somehow to back away and stop ccing and damaging your group.

    How
    1. Threat is shared between every tank within the party and stacks slightly multiplicatively. By default, mobs always target the nearest tank if the collective tank threat is enough to hold aggro. Simple, understandable, and should naturally result in gameplay that makes sense: The tanks are up front holding threat. If one of the tanks needs to retreat, they can just take a step back and the mobs will hit the next person in the shieldwall. More tanks means easier time holding aggro, but at the cost of dps and healer slots. Fun decision making!
    2. Make acquiring aggro easy, but dropping aggro also easy. This would mean multiple tanks are needed for emergency aggro pickups with skills when aggro is dropped. If aggro gets dropped, the pissed off monster will try to make a break through the tanks, and the tanks will now have to scramble to get the monster back under control. Since there are multiple tanks, any one of them can clutch the situation by using a cooldown or try to chase after the monster.
    3. This was already said above, but toning down the mitigation from the standard tank would necessitate more tanks. No more one dude shrugging off an avalanche, a volcanic erruption and the celestial godbeam and calling "okay tank swap in 10".

    In summary, I think the modern tanks are too tanky and too few, and that's basically my issue.
  • OP's criticism of the tank role even tho reasonable, is lacking in context and application examples, atleast if we consider Lineage 2 in my opinion, in specific because of the inspirations Ashes draws from it.
    The desire for improvement of the role as whole is certainly welcome

    Let's get into some of the points,

    OP's high skepticism regarding the old systems implementation in the modern times.
    A straight up CtrlC CtrlV would certainly not be the best idea even tho fuctional to some extent,
    The choice becomes, improve upon the test and tried or completely revolutionized it?
    We had "no wheel"(No threat) and then we got "a wheel"(Threat) quite a revolution,
    If not Threat, what is the next step in this concept? How to outclass the wheel like it did to the "no-wheel"?

    As OP did, it is important to recognize the limitations and restrictions of the old days and how games were design around those.

    First and most important being the Tab Targeting predominance.
    Threat works perfectly in PvE, if the monsters/bosses attacks/skills are target based, but becomes basically irrelevant against big AoE and action combat, so methods of Tanks dealing with AoEs to protect party members becomes necessary for both PvE and PvP.

    Second, threat is only a simplification of no-threat like OP implied, when the threat mechanics are neglected and/or intentionally simplified as it certainly has alot of room for complexity and interactivity.
    Threat doesn't need to be boring and predictable nor be limited only for the tank to directly interact with it!
    For context and application examples i can refer to my comment in the Dev Discussion #47 - Tanking: Threat Mitigation

    In regards to the question brought up by maouw: Q: When DO players target a tank?

    A: When forced to do so by a game mechanic such as forced target acquisition like the skill Aggression present in L2.
    When its the best logical option in a certain moment, such as when the tank gets kited and isoleted from their party, gets combo debuffed or when the tank uses a skills that reduces party members received damage for a certain duration by sacrificing their own mitigation.

    As for the "realism" of threat i'm certainly not very concerned with it, but the closest approximation to reality i would attribute it would be the concept of aggro, in the abstract sense to disturb, to provoke, to scorn, to harass, the idea of making yourself become truly hated by the opposition and generating the sentiment of rational/irrational hatred towards oneself.
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  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    All one has to do is look to the other genres where tanks exist to see why 'threat' doesn't matter one way or the other anyway.

    It's that Threat values are a way of approximating what the sanest strategy is in PvE FOR the mobs, in a good game.

    Sure, a lot of less good games copied the base idea and just went 'ok I guess we should have a meter to make sure the mob attacks a threat space'.

    But it's irrelevant anyway. If you make mobs go for Clerics, you'll get Clerics in plate armor and the mobs will still be 'dumb'. No matter what you make a mob react to, it's arbitrary. If you take away 'Mob targets specific area/direction/enemy' you're back to the types of games that most people here don't like.

    In a battle, a certain person becomes 'the objective' that you want dead, and in any sensible game that person is 'not easy to get to and kill' anyway. The Tank's only job is 'make sure that other person doesn't die'. If Tanks are good at 'making sure the Objective doesn't die', then the Tank must be killed before the objective is killed.

    Tanks are technically a 'weaker' class in games when it comes to this because they don't have all the crazy tools that other classes have for avoiding dying. The thing that makes a Tank a Tank is that they don't need these, they just 'passively' don't die, and usually don't have too many strong adaptations around this.

    Almost every class in these games can 'be spec'd to not die', often 'more effectively' than a Tank, Tanks just don't die while ALSO preventing other people from dying. The thing a Tank 'does' otherwise is increase the efficiency of healing magic and that's it. That's why we got them. That's where Tanks 'come from'. As soon as a game contains 'healing' someone is going to try to maximize their MP/Survivability Ratio, and whatever does that will usually become the new Tank.

    Might as well just let us have the Trinity for all the people who don't play other Genres and don't want to have to understand the underlying principles that led to MMOs even having Tanks. PvP can be dealt with the other way. Tanks have stuff that blocks your advance or knocks you back, and take damage for people close to them. Done.
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  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Azherae wrote: »
    ... If you make mobs go for Clerics, you'll get Clerics in plate armor and the mobs will still be 'dumb'.

    ... As soon as a game contains 'healing' someone is going to try to maximize their MP/Survivability Ratio, and whatever does that will usually become the new Tank.

    Ah! good point - I hadn't thought this far.

    @Neurath - just to be clear, I'm not attacking the Tank class fantasy. My intention is purely to stir up ideas for other ways to make Tanks more targettable - how to get other players to play their part in the Tank fantasy of enduring a massive assault. (that's the Tank fantasy, right?)
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    NishUK wrote: »
    For over 10 years the 2003-4 systems have been trying to radically expand themselves, which has led to many questionable practices (P2W, changing/expanding class fundamentals, more instancing, "fill the game with nothing but quests!" adding/subtracting PvP etc). It has even spawned what I would label "cringe worthy debates" among harderned mmorpg fans from both sides of the preference isle, those who favor (at the end game) PvE achievement and those who prefer PvP conquest, as far as to label mmo's "PvP" or "PvE", which in itself is a ridiculous and rather childish notion as all mmorpg's contain huge portions of PvE content unless of course you only believe "modern" WoW and FF14 to be the only mmo's to do it right

    I'm going to post my thoughts on the rest of your post soon, but I want to address this first.

    A PvE MMO is one in which there is no PvP in the open world.

    A PvP MMO is one in which there is PvP in the open world.

    A PvX MMO is a marketing term.

    You can simply look at games that have PvP servers in an otherwise PvE game to see this at work.

    People dividing MMO's in this way is not childish, people not understanding (or being unwilling to understand) the above absolutely basic concept kind of is.

    All of that "PvE" in the PvP MMO that you are childishly claiming is causing the above terms to not be accurate are literally all covered under the MMO part.
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