One of the things that went live on the PTS last night was a change to the Guard ability on tank careers; it now requires a shield to work. This has kicked off a lot of debate and after reading lots of it, I think it's fair to say that the change appears to be popular with most people, but unsurprisingly is not so much with great weapon wielding Tank players.
I think it’s an excellent change. It further defines the purpose of sword and shield tanks, making those players feel a bit more worthwhile and as Guard is an incredibly powerful ability, it now comes with a restriction to partly compensate for that power. I 100% think this is a good idea.
However, I do think there should be something to balance out the fact that Great Weapon tanks are losing an important ability. Because if things stay as they are, then without Guard all great weapon specced tanks are going to be pressured into using shields when grouped in any form. You just know that people will get flamed and ridiculed for using great weapons, instead of guarding Player X, Y or Z. It will cause rifts, arguments and lead to everyone using shields.
In my head at least, ideally a group should want both a Shield using guard tank AND a great weapon one. There should be purpose to the great weapon tank beyond just extra DPS, but I totally agree it should not be guard, it just feels right for that to be associated to a heavily armoured bugger with a bloody huge shield. So perhaps something buff or crowd control related?
Swordmasters and Blackguards SHOULD be using great weapons, just go look at the miniatures on the Gamesworkshop site and you’ll see that’s what they use. I can understand why their players in particular might not like this change, as it is forcing them into a different play style that isn’t quite what they’re meant to be.
With my Chosen I’m great weapon specced at the moment and I’m really enjoying it, so will I change back to shield spec? Probably, I really enjoy playing shield spec too, so it’s not a hardship. But I do have DPS sovereign and my best wep is a great weapon, so maybe I’d rather stick with the big stick. All told, I’m not screwing about the change at all, it is a good one and is needed, but I do think it should have something that goes alongside it to keep both playstyles as viable options.