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The Thick Tank Thread

As of now we have not yet been introduced to all the combat mechanics of the game, nor have we been introduced to the role the specific classes play in the game. However what has been confirmed is that there will be tanks. Therefore I feel it important to establish the a domain for tank discussions, as I know a lot of tank players are outright super-nerds about tanking stuff, and such eagerness may be too much for a single class-thread to contain.

See this as your safe-space to discuss: <em>Positioning, gearing, stat-priority, ability choices, tactics, techniques, general concerns and much, much more.</em> Look at this thread as the couch you sit down in after a rough day at work. After dealing with pesky useless rogues and oblivious healers.

<strong>Lets get started, shall we?</strong>
As this thread encourages discussion, I would like to bring a topic to the table to get us started: The role of tanks in AoC. In traditional MMOs the role of the tank has traditionally been to be a meat/magic/armour shield for others players in battles against the environment. What has been lacking in other MMOs has however been the necessity of tanks in PVP. As AoC is shaped by players, and one is more or less gated to participate in PVP for the world to go round, I see that there is an opportunity for tanks to be useful in PVP. Obviously one cannot use taunt abilities on players go gain aggro/threat/hate, therefore I was wondering what kind of mechanic my fellow tanks would like to see to make tanks necessary in PVP.


  • The role of the tank is to be the one taking the damage instead of others. Also to be able to take less damage from various attacks than other classes. That is the essence of tanking in it's simplicity. For AoC I envision the tank class not just taunting mobs, but having a strong interception/mitigation system for PvP. There should be some sort of AoE damage redirect for tanks as a class to pull battles in their favor, which also would lead other classes to stay within the influence of tanks.

    As for mitigation there should be a correlation between armor types and the % of damage reduction. Squishy mages/summoners should be squishy. Tanks should be less sought after targets due to their inherent hardness to kill, but should also need to be killed first as they redirect damage away from squishies.

    I'll use WoW as an example, at least vanilla WoW had this mostly right as opposed to now. They amount and type of armor worn reduced the amount of damage taken from attacks. Not enough in my opinion as they tried to make warriors both DPS and tanks, and effectively hampered both styles. I also really liked the DEF stat before it was removed. When used fully it increased the chances to block/dodge/parry/ and to be missed (most people didn't take that last one into account fully as it existed only on the DEF stat.)

    I personally maxed out DEF on my gear, going so far as to seek out RNG gear where the consensus was that DEF capped out. That was a misinformed point of view, as that stat kept going, it just had a limit that was needed to tank Raid bosses. I would then take that same gear into PvP, and promptly be reported to GM's. A player playing a rogue is really frustrated when they built up their combo points only to fail their attack with a miss. Or the mage uses their time to cast a powerful spell with a long cast time, only to miss. That is the power and glory of DEF as a tank. Something that WoW took out of their system to allow more casual players to leap into the tank role and make all classes more balanced.

    Working to maximize a stat and style the emphasized mitigation and avoidance of damage while drawing the aggro of both mobs and players was the height of my enjoyment of Tanking. I truly hope that AoC learns from the past and that some of the old school DnD tropes are what drew people into gaming to begin with. The heavily armored tank charging in with a shield to block the blow from the large boss, then either standing toe to toe absorbing the heavy beating, or nimbly repositioning and dodging the attacks while drawing the mobs attention. Those are the iconic images of Tanking.

    For PvP my thoughts are that it shouldn't be about taunting as a Tank. It should be about being a threat on the battlefield not because of the damage we do, but because we cancel the damage that They do. Intercepting spells, Stunning charges, and providing a zone of protection behind you. That is the essence of Tanking.
  • Too early for this for me.
    Too much unknown about the intended interplay of all 8 classes.
    I'll comment on their ideas.
  • Tanks can taunt players. Just force the target on the tank. It would make there role meaningful in pvp.
  • i think a good question is how will tanks work in pvp? as when siege happens theres always a mass on both teams say 50 players each side, now iv played alot of mmos in my time and i find that it always comes down to AoE area of effect mosty mages cast these spells that does damage to an area now times that by 15x mages doing aoe in bulk, thats how most sieges are pushed, so when it comes down to it its like aoe vs aoe really so i want to know how it will be intutive and fun sieges then just a big clump of players rushing
  • Since this it the Thick Tank Thread I want to first mention PVE as I think this is very important to the overall success of the game. Enemy threat must be based on damage done multiplied by a threat modifier (gained through armor type, skills, whatever) and tanks should be forced to fight for aggro instead of relying on a simple one button auto taunt mechanic like Elder Scrolls Online. I don't know if anyone else played the original AoC (Age of Conan) but that game had an awesome threat mechanic and having to actively fight for aggro is much more engaging than the alternative. Generally the tank classes and specs that had less DPS potential had higher threat modifiers through skills and gear options.

    As for a tanks role in PVP, I think something as simple as an aoe aura that leeches away damage from friendlies would make sense. Has there been any confirmation about player collision detection? If there is no player collision detection an effect like this would have to have hard diminishing returns after 4 - 6 people. I think player coordination in pvp is an important aspect of gameplay but you have to discourage blobbing/zerging. It could be as easy as making it a stance mechanic which is active for all classes. Tanks could use the aforementioned aoe dmg leech stance. DPS would use crit modifying stance or negative hate modifier. Heals could use cost reduction or some other aoe buff.
  • Or it can be like some other cases like SWTOR where taunting or aoe taunting causes players within your range to take less dmg. Or offensive like Paladins in WoW where a taunt on a long CD causes the target to take more dmg. It could be like we taunt or "slash" their armor off for 10 seconds and they become vulnerable. But once again controlling the CD is key so Tanks don't become "OP" as most PVP'ers don't like.
  • Well the tank to fullfill its role must be targeted as something the enemy should want to eliminate from a fight this is the problem that arises in terms of PVP because the squishy high damage character are a better target than the guy who out puts little damage but takes along time to kill.

    Iam of the opinion tanks should be a target people want to take out to get them out of the fight because it is a treat however that treat cannot be DPS as thats the role of another class i would suggest making the tank a good close range disabler or crippler with abilities that are focused on taking hits and applying abilities to the effect of debuffs, knock downs, disarms, mobility killers, perhaps even stuff that allows them to pull players towards them from a certain distance ive seen games have abilities like this that throw a chain and the likes to the enemy opening them up for other characters to deal damage

    The tank should have fairly signifcant weaknesses to make up for being a quite powerful melee unit that people would actively want to take out over the other classes despite how hard they should be to kill.
  • I think PvE has been iterated on a crapload already and at this point in MMO building would be pretty hard to screw up, so I'll talk more about tanking in PvP.

    I think early stages of Black Desert Online (BDO) had PvP tanking in a good spot (if you're familiar, NA release when enchant was capped at +15 and power scaling wasn't stupid). BDO had role based group focused combat down pretty well, when organized. The primary AoE DPS classes had boatloads of damage on the meters, the assassins had less but high kill count, and the tanks were hard to kill. There were 3 tank classes in the game and they served specific roles. They generated 'threat' against players in their own way.

    First, the Berserker. They had several abilities that grabbed an enemy and moved them somewhere else. They could chain these grabs and essentially drag their asses back to a group and stomp the poor wizard into the dirt. They were passively tanky, but didn't have much in the way of active tanking ability (like sitting behind a shield, or popping a cooldown to increase their resistances). If you saw a Berserker barrelling through your front line at your Ranger, you tried everything you could to stop him.

    Second, the Valkyrie (the class I played). The Valk had a <em>ton</em> of disruption abilities. Knockdowns, stuns, snares, roots, you name it. The Valk was stacked with CC. Their damage output when gearing for it was mediocre at best, but their defense ability was top notch. When played as a front liner, baby sitter, or backline disruption Valk's were a serious threat. Especially if a Valk could knockdown an enemy backline, advancing her own.

    Warriors were a bit of a hybrid between the two. Early on, they were better at damage than a Valk, but had less overall utility and tankiness. I didn't see many played as a true tank, so i can't really comment on that.

    So, if we take a look at how I described the Berserker and Valk above, you'll note there is no in game mechanic for 'threat' mentioned. There is no taunt, there is no intercepting damage for a teammate, it's an actual threat to an encounter perceived by the enemy players. By playing the 'Flying Column' Valk in large scale PvP, I could effectively draw the aggro of the entire backline. I died a lot, but not before providing my guild with an opportunity to push forward without being pelted by blizzards and arrows.

    This, to me, is the best iteration of tanking in PvP that I have ever played. I'd love to see something similar in AoC.
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