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Defender - Perspective from a Lv.39 Marshal

North

Member
Threads like this remind me why I am in the game long term. To watch the evolution is amazing and I for one cannot wait to see this game become one of the greats. Too many times have I seen developers close their ears off to facts presented by the community, so KUDOS to you all for this.
 

Seymordius

New Member
Thank you @Undone and @AdricLives for taking the time to read and respond to this post. I hope something positive for both the players and the developers comes from this as we move forward. In the meantime, I'll do my best to do what damage and CC I can to benefit my group and try to not think too much about how I'm not actually tanking for them. In the time I've spent on this topic and thread, I've come to pay more attention to the amount of damage absorbed as it affects the amount of threat generated. I still don't feel like I can really use a 1-handed weapon as a Defender but I'm hopeful that I will be able to tank with one in the future. I think a lot of defenders 30+ out there would like it if they could use those 1-handed weapons again. I do agree that we do not want to make a lot of changes all at once because that's how things become severely unbalanced.

Were there any of my recommendations regarding skills that are being considered or skills being reviewed? I ask because most responses were directed at the disparity between 1-handed and 2-handed weapons, and threat generated by Strikers and Defenders. I didn't hear a lot of feedback to my feedback in the realm of abilities and I'm left curious if my feedback on abilities was well-received or if I'm just a crazy person asking for buffs. This also gives me something to look forward to in future patches if my feedback was well-received.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Were there any of my recommendations regarding skills that are being considered or skills being reviewed? I ask because most responses were directed at the disparity between 1-handed and 2-handed weapons, and threat generated by Strikers and Defenders. I didn't hear a lot of feedback to my feedback in the realm of abilities and I'm left curious if my feedback on abilities was well-received or if I'm just a crazy person asking for buffs. This also gives me something to look forward to in future patches if my feedback was well-received.
The short answer? Everyone's recommendations will be looked at and considered. However, the longer answer is that there are multiple issues contributing to the root issues here - which we would like to resolve before moving forward with any major ability adjustments. Some of the main take aways (at a super high level simplistic overview) are that defenders are not generating enough threat to keep up with strikers and their 1H weapons are not considered viable compared to 2H weapons for threat generation. I'll likely elaborate a bit more on what types of solutions we are exploring in next week's patch notes. Hopefully the community will be up for helping us test potential changes on QA!

And just to expand upon my answer a bit: our process is to take all of your suggestions and see if we can derive what we think is the "root" of the problem. Then we proceed on trying to fix that root problem. Which typically means that our solutions/fixes are not always going to follow the player's suggestions - but that doesn't mean that your suggestions are any less useful in helping us drill down to the root issue :)
 
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asteldian

Active Member
In a game where cooldowns and resource management matter (a rare treat in MMOs these days) threat management is always going to be a losing battle - as you lvl the damage of a DPS scales far better than that of a tank (and therefore the threat generated by the DPS will become a greater disparity as levels and gear improve) unless specific threat skills grant obscene amounts of hate, the tank will not keep up with DPS threat due to the 'quiet times' (autoattack when skills are down or resources are low). Just massively piling on threat to a few skills is not a great solution as it makes threat very 'front loaded'.

One natural solution would be for Defenders to have a base 1.2-1.5x threat modifier inherent to all their actions (obviously the exact modifier would be for the devs to work out). Though personally if going this route, I would prefer a more elegant solution of adding stances to the game to add a bit of flexibility to the gameplay to help mitigate some of a roles weaknesses. Just a basic example would be:

Defender
Defensive Stance: 1.2-1.5x threat modifier - when i groups this will be a big help for actually keeping threat

Offensive Stance: 10% extra damage - mainly for when soloing, since Defender damage is far behind Striker classes it does not risk stepping on any toes while also helping a little when alone. Also helpful when in a group that has two tanks, rather than accidently fighting for aggro you can be in this stance.

Striker
Cunning Stance: 0.8x modifier to damage - combined with the Defender's stance it should help bring threat to more manageable levels (note: by manageable I don't mean threat should be easy to control in the game, the goal is to make it challenging but not an uphill battle)

Elusive Stance: Increase to avoidance - mainly used for soloing, helps reduce overall damage taken

Support

Subtle Casting: 0.8x modifier to healing - Again, combined with the Defender's stance it helps bring threat to a manageable state

Offensive Stance - 10% extra damage, again mainly for helping with soloing.

Obviously nothing overly imaginative above, just some obvious choices as a starter.

So, aside from helping with the key element of threat, the stances also offer options for more unorthodx groups (having 2 tanks, or maybe a small group having no tank, but Striker can use Elusive stance to help a little. Or maybe the DPS are poorly geared and so tank using the damage stance is more useful to help out).

An added bonus to a stance system is it is open to more creativity in the future - a third stance specific to the specialisations would be a possibility, Sentinel might have a weaker version of the Defensive stance for example, Duelist might have a more damage focused stance (likely at the cost of healing potency). Again, the main benefit to this is for unorthodox groups - which in a game that for many, grouping with company you enjoy is more important than forming an optimal group, being able to make unorthodox groups and be able to do content (albeit not as effectively as an optimal group) is hugely important.

Others probably have their own ideas or opinions on the best way to solve threat, but personally between massively stacking up extra threat on a few select skills, or adding gear with extra threat (not a fan of this as it becomes a 'gear tax' where you end up with a tank wearing really old smelly boots because he has not yet found a threat item to replace that one), I prefer a stance approach as it opens the opportunity to improve aspects beyond just the threat issue.
 

Seymordius

New Member
Others probably have their own ideas or opinions on the best way to solve threat, but personally between massively stacking up extra threat on a few select skills, or adding gear with extra threat (not a fan of this as it becomes a 'gear tax' where you end up with a tank wearing really old smelly boots because he has not yet found a threat item to replace that one), I prefer a stance approach as it opens the opportunity to improve aspects beyond just the threat issue.
This is already happening with gear. Strikers are wearing Hoggit's Bracers, Assassin's Spaulders, and Dryfoot Stompers at level 40+. Defenders wear Chithorn Pauldrons, Animal Training Gloves, etc. So adding threat to particular gear wouldn't change it up all that much.
 

asteldian

Active Member
This is already happening with gear. Strikers are wearing Hoggit's Bracers, Assassin's Spaulders, and Dryfoot Stompers at level 40+. Defenders wear Chithorn Pauldrons, Animal Training Gloves, etc. So adding threat to particular gear wouldn't change it up all that much.
While there will always be certain stats that are preferred for roles, there is usually gear similar that 'will do' as well as some flex to make a more situational gearset.
However, if a tanks ability to maintain threat is directly linked to gear then it is must have - to the point that lvl 20 boots with threat end up being kept over the better lvl 40 boots simply because 'being more tanky' means nothing if you cannot hold threat.

Gear being used to optimise a role is one thing, gear required to simply fulfill your role is a slippery slope you can fall down if a way to mitigate tank issues is resolved via +threat gear as you will be wholly dependant on it.
 

Eryola

New Member
However, if a tanks ability to maintain threat is directly linked to gear then it is must have - to the point that lvl 20 boots with threat end up being kept over the better lvl 40 boots simply because 'being more tanky' means nothing if you cannot hold threat.

This is already happening. Not only for tanks, but for all classes to a certain extend. Try replacing Queen's Red Gloves before lvl30 on a healer or Stalker's Chain Belt before lvl... I don't know? Still wearing it at 42?!?
There are some wanted stats, in my case as a duelist +healing and +sta regen (and some defensive ones too) and completely useless stats... combat movement, resilience... and the items with the useful stats will stay. Since there are so few direct upgrades and SOOOO MANY absolutely USELESS items (hello "Cat's Grace" I'm talking about you for example... yay "SafeFall" on a lvl40 item as main stat.. or the "Necklace of Dominance" with nothing except stun and daze resist on it) nothing will change in the near future.

I would actually prefer (by A LOT) to have tanks farm certain items for the aggro multiplier than the tanking situation as it currently is. Healers farm their Scepters, DDs farm Choppers, why not have tanks farm the "Mace of Insults"?
 

Seymordius

New Member
I would actually prefer (by A LOT) to have tanks farm certain items for the aggro multiplier than the tanking situation as it currently is. Healers farm their Scepters, DDs farm Choppers, why not have tanks farm the "Mace of Insults"?
Haha, the mace of insults. I like that one.
 

asteldian

Active Member
This is already happening. Not only for tanks, but for all classes to a certain extend. Try replacing Queen's Red Gloves before lvl30 on a healer or Stalker's Chain Belt before lvl... I don't know? Still wearing it at 42?!?
There are some wanted stats, in my case as a duelist +healing and +sta regen (and some defensive ones too) and completely useless stats... combat movement, resilience... and the items with the useful stats will stay. Since there are so few direct upgrades and SOOOO MANY absolutely USELESS items (hello "Cat's Grace" I'm talking about you for example... yay "SafeFall" on a lvl40 item as main stat.. or the "Necklace of Dominance" with nothing except stun and daze resist on it) nothing will change in the near future.

I would actually prefer (by A LOT) to have tanks farm certain items for the aggro multiplier than the tanking situation as it currently is. Healers farm their Scepters, DDs farm Choppers, why not have tanks farm the "Mace of Insults"?
Without ideal gear Strikers do less damage, but unless in truly awful gear they will still do reasonable damage (one assumes more than healer and tank) so they are doing their job even if sub optimal.
If a Support does not have +healing gear, does he fail at his job or can he still keep his party alive albeit less efficiently and so more resource starved and longer downtime?
Because as it stands currently (as per thread feedback) a tank can not properly do his job particularly at higher lvl. If the solution to this is +threat gear, then you have the problem that the tank without said gear cannot perform his job which is not the same as the Striker/Support - that is the difference between talking about natural 'optimised gearing' that happens in MMOs and a situation where specific gear is required to do your role.

Usually gear like +Healing is a big bonus due for making life easier and more efficient because the base tookit and lvl appropriate gear should already be enough (and admitedly, for high end raid content there may be a requirement to having a certain amount, but for general gameplay it is helpful, not reqired). By all means +threat gear could be added into the game for the same reason, but what I am saying is I would not want it to be the solution to the issues tanks have because the base toolkit and lvl appropriate gear should be enough for a tank to reliably hold aggro (which again, based on the purpose of this thread, is not currently the case). Whether or not +threat gear is added isn't my issue, my point is it should be separate to resolving the actual threat problem and not considered as the bandaid fix
 

Tybreaker

New Member
How about adding +THR (Instead of pen) as the positional for a weapon type like 1h Maces?

It would allow flanking to boost of +Threat for tanks aswell. We know this stat (THR) exists as its a part of Striker / Defender's class passive.
 

Pipz

New Member
-THR gear at higher levels is also a possibility. I personally would want new quested gear or quested abilities to solve issues rather than adjustments only.
 

Kilvorian

New Member
As a currently level 28 Berserker main(with decent gear), I can attest that pretty much every tank I have ever grouped with has a hard time holding aggro from me. It's also not a situation where I am actively trying to pull threat either. I simply do my rotation using fading strike on cooldown and pull threat from the tank. This is also something I do without using assault because I think its not a great ability, but thats another topic. Be it with my 2h weapon out with windup active or 2 1h weapons out with follow through and fury active I fairly easily pull threat without trying to. The only solution is to either literally wait 10+ seconds before even auto attacking or to not use my cooldowns(windup, fury, follow through) both of which detract greatly from the fun of grouping up and killing things in a party.
 

Korraz

Member
My suggestion would be to change/increase the DEF positional role bonus of +5 THR to the front and +3 THR to the side into +5% and +3%. This would reward proper play, give tanks the desperately needed THR buff and as a percentage it would be scaling. I feel this would be a more dynamic way to buff DEF THR generation across the board and still allow for a DEF to attack from the rear when trying to fulfill a DPS role in the group. In the same light changing/increasing the STK positional of -5 THR to rear and -3 THR to side into -5% and -3% respectively would also be a great dynamic way to buff THR and reward skillfull play on both sides while also scaling to help with STK power creep.
 

Quoetzl

Active Member
I think the waters were just muddied even further by allowing anyone to access the Block statistic with the defensive changes. Before, it was a defender only stat for shields (with one exception that I can think of).

Q
 

FeastyCentral

New Member
I think the waters were just muddied even further by allowing anyone to access the Block statistic with the defensive changes. Before, it was a defender only stat for shields (with one exception that I can think of).

Q
I keep seeing people mention this. To me that's like saying warden's heal or sentinel and berserker having dmg resist skills is muddying class role waters.

The majority of the block rate will still come from shields, which others can't equip. You won't see support and strikers replacing defenders with the changes to block's and parry's mitigation % as well. Unless they forgo all stats to hit AC cap, which weight will prevent anyway.

Knights already feel squishier even during Bulwark (20s of +80% block). Maybe it's mental perception and overall they're still taking less damage over the length of a fight compared to before. I don't have numbers on this.
 

AdricLives

Administrator
Stormhaven Studios
I think the waters were just muddied even further by allowing anyone to access the Block statistic with the defensive changes. Before, it was a defender only stat for shields (with one exception that I can think of).

Previously all weapon configurations could block, and block was found on multiple pieces, so we actually reduced the number of weapons that could block. It was just not explicitly explained that all weapons previously could block so it's understandable that the expectation would be that block requires a shield. Which I guess is to say the water was plenty muddy here already.