Bulwark on the Battlefield - Tank Alpha One Preview

🏰 Will you be the bulwark on the battlefield? 🛡

Meet the Tank, bastion of bravery, in our Alpha One preview: https://ashesofcreation.com/news/2021-02-09-bulwark-on-the-battlefield-tank-alpha-one-preview


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Comments

  • So MMORPG has an exclusive on the Tank class and the video preview is out I thought it'd be nice to get other's thoughts on the class.

    I'm fairly confident I can head off a few complaints as we all know for many the particle effects lean on the extremely high level and just to remind people that we've been told they'll be tuned way down as we get further into development.

    W/ that though I do personally think elemental effects should be left to augmented abilities and find all the fire and brimstone to be an odd choice for base abilities and would really like to hear if others agree or disagree.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    I really like how the charge skill looks and sounds.

    I do agree with the elemental comment you said. I think it would be better if it had more of a shock-wavy appearance instead of fire and lava. Maybe it could be blue similar to the charge skill.
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  • NeurathNeurath Member
    edited February 9
    I don't like how Ultimate Defence slows the movement but we never saw the tank move after the skill was used. A tank with restricted movement can be a hazard for Raids. I'm not sure how much an Evasion Tank would need all the mitigation moves but I imagine augments would change them. I appreciate that most of the skills generate threat rather than having a single taunt. A ranged taunt is missing but I guess you could just charge a mob at a distance.

    Edit: Of course, if Javelin can pull any mob, then a ranged taunt isn't required. I haven't seen a pull be effective on bosses and elite mobs before but Ashes could be different.

    Double Edit: You could also throw your weapon as a ranged taunt. It seems like an off the wall move though because the excess weapons only appear when thrown. It reminds me of Jedis in SWG but of course, the lightsabre was thrown and retrieved due to the force.

    Third edit: Tanks don't normally have an Invulnerability at level 10. I think this is a broken skill. By all means, have an invulnerability but it should be at a much higher level.

    Fourth edit: I love how with Bulwark, The Tank uses the shield rims to strike. For once, The Devs have created the perfect shield move like real life. A shield bash is trash but shield punches (using the rims of shields) is realistic and much appreciated.
  • NeurathNeurath Member
    edited February 9
    Double post removal. Thanks :)
  • Not bad for Alpha One. I like the direction the game is taking.
    The animations do not irritate the eyes. Although, of course, this is not the final version and I hope it will only get better.
  • RhuricRhuric Member
    edited February 9
    Neurath wrote: »
    I don't like how Ultimate Defence slows the movement but we never saw the tank move after the skill was used. A tank with restricted movement can be a hazard for Raids. I'm not sure how much an Evasion Tank would need all the mitigation moves but I imagine augments would change them. I appreciate that most of the skills generate threat rather than having a single taunt. A ranged taunt is missing but I guess you could just charge a mob at a distance.

    Edit: Of course, if Javelin can pull any mob, then a ranged taunt isn't required. I haven't seen a pull be effective on bosses and elite mobs before but Ashes could be different.

    Double Edit: You could also throw your weapon as a ranged taunt. It seems like an off the wall move though because the excess weapons only appear when thrown. It reminds me of Jedis in SWG but of course, the lightsabre was thrown and retrieved due to the force.

    I see the thrown weapon as something similar to paladin tanks in WoW throwing their shield. Especially with the comment about it hitting multiple enemies as you upgrade it. Between the charge, weapon thrown and javelin you get a lot of abilities to control/grab NPCs around you. I like it much better than just using your typical taunt.
    Third edit: Tanks don't normally have an Invulnerability at level 10. I think this is a broken skill. By all means, have an invulnerability but it should be at a much higher level.

    Again using WoW Paladins as an example, they too get invulnerability at level 10. Ultimate defense isn't an instant invulnerability skill, it's a scaling mitigation up to invulnerability. There are not any values listed for lost health requirements or even length of time yet but I really don't see this as broken and anticipate that the invulnerable part will be only at extreme low levels of health(10%?).
    Fourth edit: I love how with Bulwark, The Tank uses the shield rims to strike. For once, The Devs have created the perfect shield move like real life. A shield bash is trash but shield punches (using the rims of shields) is realistic and much appreciated.

    I was really hoping they'd have a more aggressive shield attack, I'm excited for this skill too. Admittedly, I was hoping this would be more of a weapon skill related ability instead of class based, but I still love it.

    I'm really liking the look of the Tank class and look forward to seeing it in action. I would say my only real complaint is that blocking is a passive skill and not an active ability. It makes it feel like shields are only stat sticks. If it was something that was actively maintained at a increasing stamina/resource cost then it would make it feel like I'm actually using my shield as a shield

    My favorite skills displayed are onslaught (I love me a good charge), bulwark and weapon toss. Again I can't wait to see how this plays.

    To finish with a question, how will threat work in PvP against other players? Is that something I should start another thread for discussing?



    edit: I know the vfx are sort of placeholders, but can we please cut down on the amount of jumping in the animations?
    "Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, GLORIOUSLY alive, today."
  • Looking good! I was happy to see the dragon/wyvern at the end of the video. I think it confirms progress and that the overall game is shaping up nicely. I concur with much of what has been said also. The effects (minus the levitations) are coming together. As has been mentioned, there will be many changes between now and EA as well as over the life of the game. My thoughts on the shockwave ability would be more of a directed EMP-pulse-type effect. Ripple the group like an earthquake in a direction. However, I believe these to be place-holder actions for what is to be yet developed.

    I enjoy tank classes and really like the charge idea/effect and what has been done here.

    You can always circle back for additional tweaking - as long as the mechanics are solid, the visuals can be revised.

    Keep up the amazing work! Looking cautiously optimistically forward to EA and release!
  • Great for a first look, in my opinion, getting more and more excited for the game.
  • NeurathNeurath Member
    edited February 9
    Yeah, I'm no fan of WoW Paladin. WoW Paladin stood indomitable in the early days of WoW. In PvP, you could kill an entire team except the Paladin, the Paladin would bubble and go invulnerable and then the team would return and the Paladin would still be there, the whole team dies again the paladin is still there, bubble and invulnerability and the cycle repeats. I do not enjoy undefeatable classes. Not that balance will be present in 1vs1.

    The Weapon Throw I see similar to Franciscas from the Franks in real life. Franciscas would bounce around and kill multiple people. My issue isn't the move per say but the fact the weapons appear from no where. It should be renamed from Weapon Throw to Axe Throw or something similar. Weapon Throw depicts that your main or offhand weapon will be thrown, not a third dynamic.

    In Age of Conan (I tanked in Age of Conan), the Guardian got an invulnerability move. the move was unlocked at level 80 out of 80. I have mentioned how broken WoW Paladin was - well that is why I believe the tank is broken in this instance. Invulnerability at level 10 is just too powerful, it will cause the WoW Paladin effect and I've said before we don't want WoW Paladin.

    Threat is a PvE Mechanic. I've had this discussion before. In other MMOs you had Threat and Aggravation. Aggravation was a PvP Mechanic and could lock players on the tank. I wouldn't expect a level 10 Tank to have such skills, the skill can be overpowered if not done correctly.

    It is difficult to gauge the issues I have. If these skills are taken to level 50 and augmented, I have no issues with them, taken in isolation at level 10 they seem misplaced. The Tank does need a solid CC, a stun or some form of PvP Taunt/Aggravate. None of the skills I've seen will make me hit a tank. I'd just run around the tank and wear them down. They can pull me closer and I can dance away.

    Edit: Spelling mistakes.
  • mushinmushin Member, Braver of Worlds
    Just my opinion- in all I think the tank skills looks the best of what we have seen so far. I'm just being overly critical with my comments below. Most of it just has to do with my opinion of a tank being grounded and having a low center of gravity.

    Weapon toss- doesn't have to jump
    Bulwark- would like the character to be more planted on the ground, and take a lower stance. It kind of looks floaty, especially the second hit. Feet don't need to come off the ground
    Ultimate defense- wish the back leg didn't go up, think it would look better if it was more grounded.
    Javelin- don't need the extra floating rock effects, I think the dust was enough
    Lacerate- why is the weapon just left in the guys head? I understand that the movements are overexaggerated to make the hits look more impactful, but it feels like it has the opposite effect. The front foot doesn't need to come off the ground on the first hit.
    Myrmidon- don't need the jump on the last hit
    Onslaught- looks great
    Shockwave- don't think the lava is necessary, just the ground and rock effects look good enough (lava an augment?)
    Resounding Smash- same don't need lava just ground and rock effects

    Please do fighter next.
  • This video does nothing but increase my desire to SEE MORE!

    Summoner... lol...
  • akabearakabear Member, Founder
    Great work, with each class iteration shown it is going to make choosing a base class more difficult. They are shaping up well and inspiring.

    Only thoughts, whilst I think the animations are great, and have done for the previous classes I would like to see perhaps a more simplified skill effects animation for general usage and the level of animation shown used say 10% of the time or when powered so that there is a tiered levels and not an overwhelming cluster of overlapping skills displayed on the screen at the same time.
  • So glad you all are liking what you're seeing in our latest preview <3 and definitely appreciate the detailed feedback you're sharing as well!
    Rhuric wrote: »
    To finish with a question, how will threat work in PvP against other players? Is that something I should start another thread for discussing?

    I think that would be a great follow-up discussion topic, or perhaps a question to drop into an upcoming live stream Q&A thread! :smiley:
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  • NeurathNeurath Member
    edited February 9
    Rank 3 of Javelin has a stun imbedded. So the stun is covered if the spec is in place. No need for a stun addition because the stun can be present.

    Reading into the skills on the wiki makes more sense. I'd personally go rank 3 on all the base moves and just run with the ten skills lol.

    Edit: I like how we've seen 9 skills, the tenth skill will be a gem I'm sure. :)
  • LeiloniLeiloni Member
    edited February 10
    Neurath wrote: »

    Threat is a PvE Mechanic. I've had this discussion before. In other MMOs you had Threat and Aggravation. Aggravation was a PvP Mechanic and could lock players on the tank. I wouldn't expect a level 10 Tank to have such skills, the skill can be overpowered if not done correctly.

    It is difficult to gauge the issues I have. If these skills are taken to level 50 and augmented, I have no issues with them, taken in isolation at level 10 they seem misplaced. The Tank does need a solid CC, a stun or some form of PvP Taunt/Aggravate. None of the skills I've seen will make me hit a tank. I'd just run around the tank and wear them down. They can pull me closer and I can dance away.

    Edit: Spelling mistakes.

    Given the CC they have so far - likely we'll see more - I think the tank will be annoying enough in PvP to be able to force players to attack him. I've seen it other games (TERA for example with both Lancer and Warrior tanks) and it worked well there. Instead of creating an artificial stat like Aggravation to remove control of the player character, the tank forces you to pay attention via aggressive attacks and CC that make it hard to ignore them.

    So far we have Onslaught, a charge that can have a KD if you spec into it, Shockwave, an AoE KD, and Javelin a single target leash that turns into multi-target with stun if you spec into it. We're only 10 levels in and so far you already have several promising abilities to keep control of player targets in PvP - Charge, 2 KDs, leash, and stun (Depending on what you spec into but still - the options are there).

    Worth reading the article they posted on MMORPG.com since it details some of the additional affects for speccing into a skill. https://www.mmorpg.com/developer-journals/ashes-of-creation-bulwark-on-the-battlefield-tank-alpha-one-preview-2000120931
  • NeurathNeurath Member
    edited February 10
    Yeah, I'm aware of the 9 skills. I read the wiki. I'm not sure on DPS Parameters. The damage can be increased on damageable skills. The Tank has a mitigation skill which can shield allies and provide invulnerability for the tank. The Tank has a lot of knockdowns and can stun up to 5 targets. I do not think it is a bad build for PvP, I was answering the question from Rhuric specifically on threat/taunt.

    I do not know how deadly it would be to be knocked down. In some MMOs you could be dead before you stand up again. Kill time should be 30 seconds to 60 seconds long which means that the CCs are not harbingers of doom. I still wouldn't strike the tank, I would force the tank to use the cooldowns and blow the invulnerability before it becomes an invulnerability.

    If we still have hard counters, then, unless the class I play is the hard counter to tank, I still would ignore them on the battlefield. TTK means there will be options. In Tera, the combat was fully action combat. So far, I've seen static abilities in Ashes. The static moves are so prevalent I feel the combat's from L2 with the static. I'm waiting for the combat upgrades. I noticed the wall wasn't displayed in the video.

    I do not think the Tank will be a massive killer on the battlefield, I believe the Tank will be a disrupter. It is not unknown to wipe whole teams even with disrupters in the opposite side. Skill and tactics would be involved and I can't create tactics until I know about the other classes. I do make comments and statements but it is from theory crafts because the moves we've seen are static moves, not PvP orientated gameplay, and, furthermore the skills we saw weren't rank 3.

    It is unlikely you will be mass PvPing at level 10. The game will have no balance in 1vs1. I think the Tank will be solid in 1vs1 and I think the skills would be useful at level 50. You can augment the skills to do more damage, you might be able to augment the skills to provide more CC, you might be able to augment the skills to provide self heals etc. The base feels a little OP but the OPness should fade by level 50.

    I don't know if there will be stun locks or if stuns will break on damage. I would probably lean towards stun locks because of the static nature of other combat mechanics. If it is stun lock then the combat will be even more static and rather horrid.

    Edit: Tera was an abysmal creation which only saw new life when it was ported to Consoles. The combat was the best part of the game but it was better on Consoles than PC.
  • HjerimHjerim Member, Leader of Men
    I love the tank archetype and it is my favourite in an MMO.

    We just got to see the tank skills in the video below:
    Video

    Some initial thought.
    From the preview description, linked here, it sounds like the tank is more of a hybrid geomancer-tank.

    It can also clearly be seen with the "Javelin" skill that rocks starts floating when it is used, which hints to the tanks control over the geo element.
    To this I can only say: Please Intrepid, don't take my tank away from me. Leave geomancer away or give it to a mage. Pretty, pretty please...

    As for the quality of the animation. I think this is a huge step in the right direction and there is a lot less particle effects - which I think is a good thing.

    The skills themselves needs to be altered further (no surprise here, we are still not in Alpha1).
    But I do have individual feedback to the skills we are presented:

    Weapon Toss: I will probably say this a lot, but this skill with a jumping rotation does not for me translate into a tank. I would remove the spin and instead having it be a throw where you can see the characters effort in throwing using a few hundred milliseconds to pull back and then throw.

    Bulwark: could have been one mighty hit that stuns or knockdowns. Not sure what I think of it in its current iteration. A little too slow and not deliberate. Also if the skill is to add extra defence, I think the stance should change after using it to illustrate the character focusing on defence while under the effect. It its current form the skill does not translate well into its effect.

    Ultimate Defense: I am not all in on the smoke effect, but the shields coming up gives a good idea of what the skill does. Again if the character gains increased defence, I would do something like changing stance or using particle effects to show the effect.

    Javelin: The skill looks great and looks to be doing just what you would expect. I sadly don't understand the added stones. It is great to see something else than just lighting particles. The stones only adds a magical flair to a skill that shouldn't have it.

    Lacerate: I think it would be a cool skill if the second hit was a slice similar to the first one. Leaving the sword in the face sounds like a cool idea, but I think it should just be scrapped unfortunately. The first long slice makes sense that it causes bleed, add another strike similar in the other direction instead of the sword in face, and this ability is perfect. Charge up takes the right amount of time and it looks deliberate.

    Myrmidon: Too sped up and that high jump breaks the suspension of disbelief. Again, if the ability is supposed to increase your defence, then once it is finished, a change in the character stance, for the duration, will make a lot more sense - the ability itself does not show an increase in defence.

    Onslaught: Absolutely gorgeous. Everything in this ability seems to hit the mark and illustrates the perfect amount of speed and impact. If this is the bar, for the rest of the abilities moving forward, then it is a high bar!

    Shockwave and Resounding Smash: They both illustrate well what they do. But I would change the fire with rocks, not magical floating rocks, but like an earthquake effect.


    That is all for now, despite critique about a lot of things, I am very pleased with the quality of what I see and I recognize a big leap in the right direction.
  • My only real issue was with Myrmidon. It honestly looked subpar compared to the others and breaks some of the feeling of being a sturdy powerful tank.
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  • HjerimHjerim Member, Leader of Men
    edited February 10
    Asgerr wrote: »
    My only real issue was with Myrmidon. It honestly looked subpar compared to the others and breaks some of the feeling of being a sturdy powerful tank.

    This is exactly what I want the abilities to show. Some of these abilities do not scream "tank" but rather rogue or another light-armoured class.

    Also an interesting thought. In Lacerate's current iteration, what happens if you are using another weapon than a sword? do you also push a hammer into the face of the enemy and leave it there?
    Are skills individual looking depending on which weapon type you use? or are the weapons summoned when you use an ability?
  • This looks pretty dope. Javelin alone gives me hopes for Tank viability in PvP. I'm now also curious if it's feasible to build a viable PvE Tank with a two-hander like in FFXIV (heavy on absorbs, large health pool, and some self heals).

    I might echo a bit the feedback on lava effects, it looks a lot like something a magic class would do rather than a martial class. Not going to complain if it stays, but I think it would be a good animation for Tank/Mage with fire augment.
  • I'm ambivalent about Lacerate. It reminds me of Age of Conan's Fatality System which I loved. The issue is, lacerate isn't a finisher move, and, unlike Age of Conan, The Tank doesn't retrieve the blade after lacerate.
  • My general thoughts.

    Weapon toss... be Thor.
    Bulwark... be Captain America.
    Ultimate Defense... "Flame On!"
    Javelin... Be Scorpion.
    Lacerate... Holster weapon.
    Myrmidon... up, up, down.
    Onslaught... Turbo mode.
    Shockwave... Why is there lava?
    Resounding Smash... More fire and lava...

    Nothing is bad. I think the fire is a bit much, but that is just personal taste.
    there could be a weapon return animation for both Lacerate and Weapon Toss.

    I think everyone will agree that Javelin is the best. If they don't they were not playing video games in the 90s.
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  • Out of all the classes I think this last one is definitely the best.
    I especially like Onslaught, Shockwave and Resounding Smash. Simple movements.

    Now for some criticism:

    Personally, I think slow deliberate movements fit a "Tank" better than 3 hits so fast that they seem to lack frames in between (Myrmidon).

    I'm exaggerating to make a point now but this tank looks like a ballerina in some of the animations (Lacerate).

    Again, there seems to be a lot of what some other commenter called "fireworks effects".
    I hope this is just because it's easy to program.
    Not much class identity if every class has the same effects.
  • The skills all have a static feel. If it wasn't for Javelin (Mortal Combat Skill revamped) I would seriously think Tanks would be decimated by the mobile classes (Haven't seen a mobile class yet but in some of the videos they mention 'super mobile classes'). I don't know what the fascination is with Levitation. Even the Tank has moves with jumps and weird movement. The combat looks static except for levitation/twirls/twist and janky movement. To top it all off, the invulnerability slows the Tank which would be a god send for a Mobile Class in PvP.

    I'm aware there needs to be revamps, polish and further iterations. I can only comment at this point and continue to comment at further points. Its like the skills have been gathered from Multiple Sources and Amalgamated without the real substance or flare. Particle Effects are just fluff like in BDO. I start to wonder if mobile classes will even exist. The charge has a delay (Not sure if it can be interrupted or not) and 'charges up' before the charge effect.

    Janky movement is an issue because of UE4, I feel sorry for the Devs who have to rectify the issue with UE4. UE4 has gorgeous environments but the character models are bland, janky and somehow detached/lacking actual contact. I get freaked out because 'Combat Updates' can mean anything. 'Polish later' can mean anything. If the combat updates all revolve around enhancing what we have, and, then polish what we have then problems will arise.

    Combat is an integral part of MMO - especially a PvP MMOs. It won't be fun to be static beneath a Castle Wall. It might be nice to be static on the castle wall but it should be player activation, not forced activation. I really can't wait for March to see what the Devs have revamped after In-House testing. It is difficult to give anything other than perception based feedback with an NDA in tow. By all means, find inspiration but improve the iterations, don't downgrade the iterations.
  • HjerimHjerim Member, Leader of Men
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    I think everyone will agree that Javelin is the best. If they don't they were not playing video games in the 90s.

    The skill is excellent, but the floating rocks during the casting needs to go. They are really unnecessary and out of place - don't you agree?
  • Hjerim wrote: »
    The skill is excellent, but the floating rocks during the casting needs to go. They are really unnecessary and out of place - don't you agree?

    I had to re-watch it to make sure I was not crazy. Yep, I just did not notice them. That ruins the whole thing.

    Less is more, KISS, ect...

    Things are just too over the top. Do y'all want weebs? because that is how you get weebs. UwU
    CctsKnC.png Verra-similitude
  • Another issue with the tank from a tank's perspective. If most of the moves generate threat, then, how do you aggro swap or work with an off-tank? If you have more than one tank in a raid how does the threat work? Does a main tank even exist when multiple tanks are in a raid? Will aggro swaps happen off-the-cuff or can they be planned? Will the PvE Raids even need Aggro Swapping?
  • The tank presented in the video looks like a combination of several classes, which gives the impression of a slightly less class diversity that I expected from this game. Tank should have a strictly defined role in the team, most of his skills should focus on survival and distracting opponents from teammates. What is presented here shows the tank as a warrior whose speed of attacks is sometimes bizarre (Myrmidon)
    wielding fire magic (Shockwave, Resounding Smash), having a skill that provides him with temporary immortality at a relatively low level, which in my opinion should be reserved for high-level characters (Ultimate Defense). Weapon Toss would look better without that jump, because what is it supposed to look like when chasing someone? It should also apply slow effects (though I suppose it will depend on augments).
    I don't understand these floating stones when doing Javelin, the skill itself looks nice. Lacerate - a sword stuck in the head(???). Myrmidon is an absurd skill that does not fit the role of a tank. Onslaught look good.

    I'm waiting for the Rogue presentation.
  • Neurath wrote: »
    Another issue with the tank from a tank's perspective. If most of the moves generate threat, then, how do you aggro swap or work with an off-tank? If you have more than one tank in a raid how does the threat work? Does a main tank even exist when multiple tanks are in a raid? Will aggro swaps happen off-the-cuff or can they be planned? Will the PvE Raids even need Aggro Swapping?

    An off tank could just not go as hard as the main tank and when there needs to be a swap then the off tank taunts and the main tank slows or stops using threat skills and the off tank goes HAM. I am not sure if swapping will be needed either but people can figure it out if it is a thing.
  • NeurathNeurath Member
    edited February 10
    The issue would relate to threat tables. Now, if there is aggro and threat - threat being for tanks and aggro being general, then the swap can occur rather naturally, but if the threat and aggro are combined then the highest DPS Nuker would be second in the aggro list. If the primary threat source (Main Tank for example) releases the threat generation and drops from first place in the list, then the mob/boss would latch on to the second person in the list (Damage Dealer).

    It is a real pain in the ass because to swap aggro, everyone would have to slow aggression/threat generation for a new tank to reach pole position in the aggro tables. It would take immense skill and DPS Meters for two tanks to throttle threat generation with only threat generation skills so they take 1st and 2nd places in the aggro table. We won't have DPS Meters, the skill ceiling will be pretty high which lures me with promises of steel and glory.

    In other MMOs the tanks would have high agitation and a taunt. The taunt could catapult tanks to the top of the aggro list but the tank currently has no taunt (Could be added later levels though). Sometimes I feel as if everything is designed in isolation.

    Thank you for your input, I love to discuss theory crafting :)
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