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View Full Version : Teach me how to block?



ErgonomicCat
08-28-2007, 02:45 PM
As it stands, I can block when I'm tanking. And I can kill things with swords.

But can someone write a primer on effective use of block? When to do it, when not to, when it's better to fight, when it's better to block, how much, how often?

sigtrent
08-28-2007, 03:47 PM
It is somewhat a matter of preferences....

#1. Blocking is definately good when you are down on your last 1/4 HP, there is a healer in the group, and there is someone else helping you fight. It helps you survive long enough for the healer to get you back up to a nice healthy hit point bar.

#2. Blocking is good if you built your character specirficaly to Intimidate and Block or to do something like cast firewalls and block until everything is dead.

#3. Blocking can stop special attack effects. For example, when a scorpion gets a green glow on his tail he is about to deliver a special poison attack. If you block before he does so, you are guaranteed not to get poisoned (although you may still take some damage from the attack). Same goes for giants knocking you down, ghosts stealing con etc... It requires you to learn the animations for their special attacks and it isn't alwasy easy to time it properly. Not a lot of folks do this, but it can be effective. A good one is a minitaurs charge... if you block it they won't knock you down (this only works when you are the target of the charge) I do this fairly often agaisnt minos.

PurdueDave
08-28-2007, 06:20 PM
Blocking is also handy for minotaur charges, but you have to start blocking early.

Also, the bigger the shield the more the benefit of blocking.

issiana
08-28-2007, 06:49 PM
It is somewhat a matter of preferences....

#3. Blocking can stop special attack effects. For example, when a scorpion gets a green glow on his tail he is about to deliver a special poison attack. If you block before he does so, you are guaranteed not to get poisoned (although you may still take some damage from the attack). Same goes for giants knocking you down, ghosts stealing con etc... It requires you to learn the animations for their special attacks and it isn't alwasy easy to time it properly. Not a lot of folks do this, but it can be effective. A good one is a minitaurs charge... if you block it they won't knock you down (this only works when you are the target of the charge) I do this fairly often agaisnt minos.


yip it works, but...

if your on a slowish ping rate then it can be almost impossible to time it right. Just like it is possible to dodge shaman ray spells, ie niacs and scorching rays by sidestepping out of the way. I run on a 250ms ping and i find it very hard to time blocks as what i see and what is happeneing in game are often two different things :(

tihocan
08-29-2007, 09:06 AM
Blocking is useful when you sometimes just want prevent someone to reach behind you.
Like blocking a door, or blocking the corner in STK, ...

If you're squishy and drew too much aggro, blocking can help you survive long enough for the rest of your party to get aggro off you/kill the stuff/heal you.

DSL
08-29-2007, 09:18 AM
Ultimately, effective blocking takes practice. Obviously, the various blocking feats make it more useful, but the best item/feat combo won't help if you're not doing it properly.

Remember, it takes a second or two for the block to take effect, so you have to learn what signs to look for and plan ahead. Against most MOBs, it's essentially impossible to reactively block individual attacks, such that you are mainly limited to choosing between being in block mode or attacking.

One exception is giants: Most giants have a much slower attack animation, allowing you to time your blocks between attacks. The trick is to watch them carefully, as they telegraph their attacks in advance, but you have to start blocking the moment they begin the swing's prelude, as you must be fully in your blocking "crouch" before the swing itself occurs (this works with foot-stomps too). Don't get greedy with your attacks - make only one or two swings and don't try to complete your full attack routine before going into block mode (bearing in mind that you will be pushed back a bit by the attacks even if they do not hit). This works quite well with Hill and Fire giants, and it's worth your while to practice in the outdoor zone of the Ruins of Threnal. Once you get good at it, you can readily take on giants one on one (or even two on one) with almost no chance of taking damage.

Against lesser enemies, if you plan on blocking, try this: let the enemy come to you and take a single attack swing as they approach, then immediately block. Remain in block mode until just after they finish a full attack sequence (you have to pay attention to their attack animations) and then strike. You will not completely avoid attacks this way, but you will expose youself to as few of their better attacks as possible. Blocking is fully effective against multiple opponents, so its a good tactic to use in a crowd if you have allies capable of doing damage.

The typical and most effective strategy for a blocking tank is to use Intimidate to cluster the enemies on him while blocking to avoid most hits and/or damage, while the rest of the party takes advantage of the intimidate aggro period to deal out DPS (AOE spells work very well for this). This of course not only requires competence on your part, but also co-operation and co-ordination on the part of your team, and this is it's primary limitation: too many people don't know how to work with a good Intimitank.

And, of course, as Sigtrent said, use it to avoid the worst effects of certain special attacks. Against these foes, when you see the special attack begin (it is telegraphed well in advance), immediately block and stay blocking until immediately after the attack occurs, then resume attacking.


Once again, ultimately it all comes down to practice. It is simply not fast and responsive enough to be used as reactively as it might in a platform game, but you can use it a little more effectively than a simple choice between defense and offense.