Wednesday 6 October 2010

Goodbye guard or hello shield?

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.


  1. I found that I died quicker with 2H when guarding. With a shield you can block the guard damage.

    I think this is too much of a change. Change the % of dmg taken based on 2H or Shield. 20% dmg taken from guardie and 30% Regular Dmg to guarder if 2H and with shield the normal 50% dmg taken. This way 2H can still guard. And it will dmg extra becuase the 2H needs to toss there body infront instead of covering them with a shield.

  2. I wouldn't mind if they toned down the effectiveness of guard with 2h, but I don't like removing it without doing a serious look at the mastery trees. One heretical idea (as my main is a knight)- maybe make Quake/Stagger and other AoE CC abilities require greatweapon like cave-in, so you have to choose b/w guarding and group cc'ing?

    I think they would have been perhaps better off increasing the incentives for using a shield (like improved guard or cc), rather than removing guard for 2h'ers. s+b would also become a lot more interesting if they removed or nerfed the undefendable talisman


  3. I think this will hit desto more than order. Choosen tend to run with a 2hander, Knights seem to be a bit more defensive focused already. Like you said SM tend to go with the 2hander no matter what whilst IBs always see to run SnB.

    I also find using guard without a shield a pain in the neck. You're prone to sudden drops in HP.

    I think in terms of balance I think this is a good change, having defined roles is a good way of promoting class balance. It will also change the dynamic on group balance.

    Is it my imagination though or did tanks need a shield to throw out a guard when WAR was released or has it always been this way?


  4. One other semi-coherent thought as I follow your twitter conversation with Grimnir (yay for avoiding work). Somewhere caught up in this guard issue is the gear separation that's arising between low and high RR (65+) players, especially those in sov. The issue isn't really the damage a pug RR51 2H tank in conq is dealing, is the damage a 2h tank in full sov (optimized for off/def mix) with a scenario or fully-stacked lotd weapon is doing, particularly when in a coordinated group with other high rr players. I wonder if this would still be necessary if there were a proper T5?


  5. "I think in terms of balance I think this is a good change, having defined roles is a good way of promoting class balance." -VonPP

    It's a good way of FORCING class balance.

    I disagree with this change, even though I play a Knight and will be affected least by it.

  6. I also disagree with this change, even though I have 0 significantly played tank alts. As mentioned, I don't see a point to ever use a 2h tank in any situation following this patch, unless you're stacking debuffs somehow.

    Alternately, I will pass on a different change, proposed to me by one of the tanks in the guild:

    Improve Guard for wearing a shield! Say... more mitigation, etc. I understand they want to steer people a bit... but this is a little ridiculous.

  7. From talking with a lot of people from a wide range of careers, from forum posts on WHA, the official forums, Norn forums, etc.

    Regardless of whats going on the thread you're referring to, the Core Testing program doesn't allow one person to push anything onto anyone. But yeah that thread is getting a lot of complaints now, shockingly from people who have specced for 2 handers and are being nerfed. Nobody likes being nerfed and looking at the wide impact will be ignored as ever while people complain about their career changes.

    Which is why it needs something to counterbalance it so that the nerfed 2hander players (which includes me) also get something to make up for it and don't HAVE to spec for shields.

  8. Boot you're not expecting gamers to show some objectivity and rational thought are ya??

  9. Well

    I have all ready said my views to andy belford about this matter there is no point in changing guard when the defence trees are massively unbalanced, Tank classes encludeing sm have been saying this quite openly if you wanna balance s+b tanks to be viable in open world rvr then you got to go back and redo the mastery trees for all tank classes.

    Because there is unbalances even if mythic wont admit it with the tank archtype

  10. My personal thoughts on it are that guard should have a reduced effectiveness with a 2-h or possible a range boost with a shield.

    Guard is one of the defining abilities for tanks, all tanks should be able to use it.

  11. Well they're postponing changes for now which is good. I'm increasingly of the opinion that the problem is really about end-game gear. People aren't complaing about rr45 2h tanks in conq hitting like dps, they're complaining about rr80 2h tanks in full sov hitting like decent rr dps. Removing guard doesn't fix that (e.g. that high rr IB+slayer combo can still kill you in one cave-in duration w/ or w/o guard). I think perhaps adding an effective T5 and rr-gated scens and city instances would go a long way with much less chance of things going wrong. Otherwise they'll have to rework alot of the tanks trees.


  12. Can we stop with the idiotic notion that Burglir is somehow behind this change. People have been complaining about guard forever. Sheesh.

  13. Doesn't change the fact that dude is a complete douche


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.