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    Default Tanking and You: Ms. Weekly's Armor Class Framework

    Greetings The Internet,
    In this thread I'm focused on the creation and exploration of a tanking framework that I have spent a great deal of time and lives tweaking over the last couple of months. This is my first ever guide so I apologize in advance if the formatting leaves something to be desired.

    Cursory Disclaimers:
    • I cannot emphasize enough how this framework is not for everybody. In fact it is absolutely and unequivocally only for the select minority of DDO players who believe in, and wish to see the return of, the heavily armored tank role.
    • Thanks to Cannith Crafting getting the required stats to be an effective tank is easier than ever. While leveling Cannith Crafting, and farming for materials, is more tedious than difficult it is not the subject of this post, and will assume you have some degree of access to, knowledge of, and ability required to produce Cannith Crafted items.
    • I am perfectly aware of how low damage it is. I've played it a lot. Its damage is very low! But, the role of the tank is to take the threat and make it easier for allies to kill enemies which it does very well. With this build you are the chew toy. You are not the one eating mobs for breakfast. However, instead of killing individual things quickly you will find you will be killing extremely large numbers of things all at once, and the end result is clearing a quest in about the same amount time. To get the most out of this framework you will be forced to relearn the principles of fight management; as well as individual (difficult) fights.
    • Due to the class alignment requirements this framework cannot be used on any class with alignment restrictions that preclude L/G aliment.


    Introduction to Tanking: Precepts
    In a general sense, and among a wide array of MMORPGs, tanking comes down to three basic tactics: Evade, Mitigate, and Soak.

    An evasion tank would focus on increasing abilities that reduce the number of hits sustained, as to completely eliminate the damage dealt by those hits. It focuses on the manipulation of probabilistic reality rather with an emphasis on chance, rather than certainty, with the expectation that overall the damage displaced will average out to the percent chance to displace damage. In the context of DDO this can occur in several ways, from Increasing Dodge Cap above 25, to incorporating assorted forms of Miss Chance, to having absurdly high Armor Class. Regardless of the method used to displace damage the tactic of evasive tanking focuses as much as it can on not taking it.

    Mitigation tanks focus on reducing the amount of incoming damage as much as possible through various means of damage reduction. In DDO there are a few staples of this form of mechanic including: Resistance, DR, and PRR/MRR. A number of these mechanics are available to everyone, but some classes gain and utilize more than others. These mechanics are condensed into a single term: Effective HP. Effective HP is the calculation of how much total damage you can sustain before dying based on all of the modifiers that exist to reduce incoming damage. Bear Druids, Paladins, and Fighters (with Armor Mastery) are the primary examples of this style of tanking in DDO.

    The last general type of tanking is soaking. The back bone of a soak tank is two fold: having as much health as possible, to eat as much damage as possible, and having some way to make that health easier to heal than normal. These mechanics are condensed into a single term: Effective Healing. Like Effective HP, except the emphasis is shifted from the health you're losing to the health you're gaining. The focus in this style of tanking is to increase the amount of HP restored when healed, and the effectiveness of the incoming heals. In DDO terms its mechanics are primarily Healing Amplification, and sources of Temporary HP. Human Barbarians, with Paladin Past lives are a good example of this mechanical mindset.

    Note: these three tanking styles are often met with three main types of healing: Burst (cleric), Sustained (druid), Reactive (warlock).


    The Framework: Feats
    • Shield Mastery
    • Improved Shield Mastery
    • Improved Shield Bash
    • Power Attack
    • Cleave
    • Great Cleave
    • Combat Reflexes


    There is some degree of flexibility when taking these feats, and the remaining feats available to the build are free to be chosen. At what levels the feats are chosen will depend on at what levels the framework is implemented, and if there is an emphasis of Fighter Levels over Paladin levels. There will be 7 feat slots from heroic levels, and 3-4 feat slots from fighter levels to plan accordingly with. Improved Critical, while a common choice, is not necessarily required for the framework but is highly recommended. Other strong choices include Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword), and the Two-Handed style feats.

    The ability to distribute damage among a large number of targets is required for maximizing one's threat through Incite, and taking advantage of Intimidate's 400% bonus to threat on melee attacks. The distinction between Cleaves and Two-Handed style feats would then be a matter of personal choice and effectiveness of glancing.

    Notes
    • Power Attack and Combat Reflexes cannot be used at the same time, PA is a prerequisite of the cleave, and both individually have situational use.
    • Though proficiency is not required for its use to gain glancing effects from a bastard sword (or dwarven waraxe) it is a large factor into the accuracy formula and provides a (hidden) bonus 20% chance to hit.
    • Dwarven Fighters are automatically proficient with Dwarven Waraxes and they will likely be your primary weapon unless higher critical threat is explicitly desired.



    The Framework: Enhancements
    This framework focuses on creating a middle ground between the first two types of tanking: Evasive and Mitigation. Note that, while the evasive tanking is a goal of the build, it will not include the Evasion ability or focus on Dodge as a mechanic. A persons ability to appreciate this framework, and tanks in general, is entirely contingent upon understanding and appreciating the mechanics of armor class. And, as a result, the calculations that preceded the build will be discussed at length after the build's presentation.

    Classes:
    6/4 split: Fighter Paladin, or Paladin Fighter based on preference. A tertiary part of this build is a reliance on the Dwarven race. Since frameworks are only necessary for the pursuit of Heroic (Class) TRs, the Dwarf race will be an assumption of the framework. From this point on I will assume the split has been Fighter 6, Paladin 4.

    AP Expenditures:
    Dwarf: 16
    • Tier 0 - Dwarven Toughness I, II, and III, Dwarven Constitution I, and II
    • Tier 1 - Dwarven Armor Mastery
    • Tier 2 - Dwarven Shield Mastery

    Fighter (Stalwart Defender) 38
    • Tier 0 - Toughness, Stalwart Defense,
    • Tier 1 - Durable Defense, Stalwart Defense Mastery,
    • Tier 2 - Resilient Defense, Stalwart Shield Mastery, Armor Expertise, Instinctive Defense
    • Tier 3 - Strong Defense, Shield Expertise
    • Tier 4 - Hardy Defense, Reinforced Armor
    • Tier 5 - Tenacious Defender, Reinforced Shield

    Paladin (Sacred Defender) 23
    • Tier 0 - Holy Bastion
    • Tier 1 - Lay on Hands 2/3 or 3/3, Sacred Armor Mastery
    • Tier 2 - Instinctive Defense 3/3 or 2/3, Bulwark Aura, Sacred Shield Mastery
    • Tier 3 - Resistance Aura, Charisma/Constitution
    • Tier 4 - Reinforce Defense


    The remaining 3 points are advised to be put into Block and Cut from the T5 Stalwart Defender tree. Any Racial AP saved from Racial Past Lives should be put into increasing the threat generated by the build through Inciting Defense and Threaten. When you find, that you are not being made helpless anymore, due to the save bonuses the framework provides, then divert the points from Instinctive Defense (Fighter) into Inciting Defense and Instinctive Defense (Paladin) into Item Defense, Defense Boost, or Saves Boost.

    Though many of the above enhancements are similarly named they have been tested and stack normally. Unlike the vanguard trees which are literal mutually exclusive copy-pastes of each other.

    What this build gets you:
    +100% AC contribution from body armor, 95% Shield contribution to AC (increased to 145% with Unyielding Sentinel twist-able Shield Prowess), +10 Max dex to Armor and Tower Shields, +6 to all saves, +CHA to saves up to 14, and the appropriate class abilities and feat slots from the fighter/paladin base classes.


    Mechanical Advantage: Armor Class
    While most people I've discussed this build in the past with have had little faith in AC, I have put all of these values into the to-hit formula that DDOwiki reports monsters use. In my experience, the formula reasonably accurately reflects what the character sheet reports as "defense chance". I've run the numbers and created this graph indicating what a monster must roll to hit you based on your AC alone with the at the given CRs. It is based on maximum AC this build will accommodate and not necessarily the maximum possible AC.


    Source: Desmos Graphing Calculator save file with commentary.

    In the stated gear a CR 81 creature (EE Legendary Hound of Xoriat Raid boss) would be required to roll a 12 or higher to hit; assuming its to-hit mechanics exclusively follow the formula and that it does not possess any additional hidden mechanics. This is purly an AC calculation and does not factor the percentage chance avoidance that a character may have (including up to 21% dodge chance if the Legendary Scales of Avarice are worn).

    Note that the above graphic and details are intended to show the viability of AC through epic levels. While in heroic levels there are too many variables to create a model that is easily represented with a single graphic. However, on the far left of this graphic 23 is selected to indicate the high end of monster CR in heroic levels. Monsters of CR 23 are commonly encountered around level 16 in Wheloon heroic elite and low skull Reaper mode.

    By putting lower values in for lower levels into the above calculations we can see a more accurate representation of them.


    Mechanical Advantage: Damage Reduction
    Armor Class is only the first of three aspects of this build. The second is damage reduction, and the third is threat generation.

    Much of the fundamentals of damage reduction for this framework lie in PRR and MRR. Through the leveling process, and indeed nearly to the end of the game, the player is expected to be using a tower shield and not a heavy shield. That is because heavy armors with high max dodge chance are the exception, rather than the standard, and so the base max dodge chance from the Heavy Armor is usually lower or on par with the base max dodge chance with a tower shield.

    While there are several sources of PRR, and MRR, in the framework there are several overlooked sources that happen automatically under the hood. Your first, and primary, source of PRR/MRR will be the heavy armor itself. PRR and MRR are awarded based on the weight class of the armor, and the player's Base Attack Bonus, at a rate of 1xBAB for light armor, 1.5xBAB for medium, and 2xBAB for heavy. This continues on into epic levels.

    Another source of P/MRR, aside from the shield mastery feats, will be from Sheltering equipment.

    The Framework: Standardized Recommended Equipment

    Sustainable Defense:
    • Belt - Constitution, Natural Armor//Parrying, Insightful Constitution,
    • Boots - Dodge, Parrying//Guards, Insightful Dodge
    • Bracers - Protection, Fortification, Insightful Fortification
    • Gloves - Strength, Shield Bashing//Heal Amp//Resistance (Saves), Insightful Strength
    • Goggles - Seeker, Alacrity//Accuracy, Insightful Seeker
    • Neck - Non-Cannith slot. Pure HP Slavelords//Greensteel, Diamond of Vitality (+20)
    • Helm - Sheltering, Resistance (Saves), Insightful Sheltering (magic)
    • Cloak - Spell Resistance, Natural Armor//Intimidate, Insightful Spell Resistance
    • Ring 1 - Balance, Dexterity, Insightful Dexterity
    • Ring 2 - Charisma, Insightful Balance, Insightful Charisma
    • Trinket Doublestrike, Deadly, Insightful Deadly

    Natural Armor on cape alternative to Intimidate, frees up Natural Armor on belt, which frees up Parrying on boots for a Damage Guard.

    Alternatives:
    • Helm - Incite, Insightful Intimidate//Resistance (Saves), Insightful Incite
    • Cloak - Charisma, Intimidate, Insightful Charisma
    • Neck - Insightful Spell Resistance, Insightful Wizardry//Natural Armor, Insightful Sheltering (Physical)
    • Ring 1 - Spell Resistance, Sheltering, Insightful Sheltering (Magic)
    • Ring 2 - Wizard, Dexterity, Insightful Dexterity


    The Cannith third slot effects are not necessary for those not taking the framework through epics or high skull reapers.

    This listed equipment is from Cannith Crafting with all slots designed to contribute to filling the role of the tank. It should be noted that there are slots specifically omitted from this list. Namely the main and off hands, the body armor, and the ranged slots. While it is assumed that a Dwarven Axe, a tower shield, and heavy armor will be filling these slots; which specific armor that does, at any given level, is not relevant to the framework. It is advisable to come into possession of a few shields and body armors that have (Elemental) Absorption, (Elemental) Resistance, and Insightful (Elemental) Resistance.

    The situational usefulness of these pieces of equipment, and their lack of lost AC, makes them extremely handy to have around. For example: a (ML16) fire variation mountain shield of said augments will render the user wholly immune to fire damage within Inferno of the Damned and many of the Challenge quests. A cold mountain plate paired with said shield would provide equal protection from cold for said quest.

    Note that, with the exception of Improved Deception and Sneak Attacking, which only function on targets not targeting you (or make targets not target you) there are only two non-weapon slots that are actually required to be an effective melee damage dealer: Goggles, and Trinket. Because dealing damage is important to maintaining threat, and clearing quests, these two items must not be changed out in the build. Depending on what armor is being worn other items may be substituted out. For example: armor or shields including Major Fortification may allow the substitution of the fortification bracers for ethereal bracers. However, in this example it is important to note that monsters inherently bypass fortification equal to their CR. The Higher the CR of monsters you're engaging, the more fortification you need to stay safe.

    Final Thoughts
    Overall my experience developing this framework has been really positive. However, there have been noteworthy exceptions that I would not be diligent if I did not warn you about them.

    Zerging has not stopped.
    The manner in which the developers have (inadvertently) trained the players to behave, and subsequently the very behavior Reaper was intended to break them of, has not changed. While most MMORPGs (DDO included) follow principles of dungeon design that are intended to control the engagements, and allow the tank to lead, the players of this MMO have conditioned not to even cognitively acknowledge those principles, and disregard them entirely. As a tank you are required to be on your game at all times to properly reign in any given fight. You will constantly encounter solo players who have no concept of teamwork dragging everything everywhere and, in order to ensure success of the quest, you may find yourselves having to reign the player's behavior in. It is unfortunate, but an overwhelming majority of players I played with did not immediately recognize that I was reigning monsters in for them to cut them down. Only after two or three quests together did they usually catch on. Some never did, and had to have this fact explained to them.

    Unlearn weakness.
    I experienced some difficulty getting my cleaves to hit groups of targets when kiting them around as any less-difficult-to-hit class would. As standard operating procedure we learn that our HP is a finite resource that determines success. However, to a tank it is an extension of the suck-to-death ratio. While it would be silly to suggest that a player behave recklessly, it should also be noted that while embroiled in large numbers of targets your options for maneuvering to avoid swings is extremely limited. There will be times when your max cleave radius is completely full of creatures trying (and failing) to land blows on you. While it would be advantageous to your survival to keep them out of arm's reach, that's simply not always a luxury. To succeed as a tank you need to understand how to assess how much HP you're losing and having replaced over time, but also to assess how many targets to take on at once. More often than not, you may find the number of targets that you (and your supporting player/hireling) can handle is larger than you expected. As a result you need to overcome the notion of frailty as it has been taught to you by other classes. The required re-contextualization will have a ripple effect in how you understand dungeon design and fight control in general.

    If anyone has any questions about my experience with the framework, or about it, feel free to ask them below.
    Last edited by Avatarded; 10-16-2017 at 04:57 PM.

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    Community Member the_one_dwarfforged's Avatar
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    so are you trying to say tanks are great and fun to play and people should play them, or post a guide about where/when, how, and why tanks can be and are useful?

    it seems like you are trying to make divergent points and the interesting one (a guide on how to build/play a tank and where/when, how, and why a tank can be useful) does not seem well represented despite the definitions and graphs you provide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_one_dwarfforged View Post
    so are you trying to say tanks are great and fun to play and people should play them, or post a guide about where/when, how, and why tanks can be and are useful?
    Actually, I'm not trying to make an argument for either case. When I first began researching how to play a tank in DDO--that is to say, what the accepted meta is surrounding the role--I found an extreme absence of data, and vehement assertions that the role was not viable in the game. So, rather than convince anyone about what they should, and should not play I decided to make my experiences available to others while, in the process, demonstrating that it is a viable and valid form of play. In short: to enter my build into the public record and consciousness in case other people (like me) were experimenting with the ideas and having little success in finding information.

    It's my hope that in so doing there is some discussion sparked about the lack of a firm tanking presence in DDO community, the way that tanking is supported by MMORPG communities, that may bring some relevancy to the topic. Each role requires a very different mindset than others, and it is also my hope that those who don't consider themselves tanking aficionados may appreciate the introduction to the role as it pertains to this game.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_one_dwarfforged View Post
    it seems like you are trying to make divergent points and the interesting one [...] does not seem well represented despite the definitions and graphs you provide.
    In DDO, a role centered focus is uncommon, and regarded with heavy skepticism. Tanking specifically is regarded with a great deal of stigma. Over the course of my experiments and research I have encountered a lot of misinformation regarding the core mechanics that one looks to to support tanking as a role and playstyle. Aside from providing the actual build, I felt it was also important to address commonly encountered concerns, and as such I've included my own experiences regarding these misconceptions, and provide as much information on them as I have.

    There are a number of (false) assertions I've experienced people claiming in the last few months that I wanted to lay to rest. The assertion that AC is an utterly non-viable mechanic was chief among them. That is what prompted me to go into so thorough a mathematical exploration of the known AC formulas. The intention on this... disparate... information focuses is to address the gut reaction concerns that a player reading this post might have right after reading the title.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_one_dwarfforged View Post
    a guide on how to build/play a tank and where/when, how, and why a tank can be useful
    Like any role, or framework specifically, its both designed and play tested in almost every piece of content that it could reasonably encounter. At the same time its viability has been mathematically modeled for the utmost challenging content currently in the game. I feel the question inherent to this is misguided. The question should not "when, where, how, or why a tank can be useful". A tank can always be useful, in every situation, as a tank is essentially the manifestation of battlefield control. I feel the question of "can I apply the tank to this situation and make it useful" fundamentally overlooks that the purpose of the tank role is to change the circumstances of the situation entirely. A tank looks at every situation and asks themselves: "how can I best manipulate these circumstances to the party's benefit."

    I'm sorry if that idea wasn't as explicitly laid out above as I had hoped. It is, after all, the backbone of gaming's development of the holy trinity. There are three elements to problem solving that each role is explicitly designed to approach and tackle.
    • Tank: "How can I control or contain this situation?"
    • Support: "How can I improve the party's efficiency in dealing with this situation?"
    • DPS: "How can I most expediently resolve this situation?"


    These different approaches are manifestations of the needs of players who gravitate to them.

    I hope that helps clear everything up.
    Last edited by Avatarded; 10-16-2017 at 04:45 PM.

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    Always great to see players thinking through this game's mechanics.

    I do not play tanks so skimmed it--I did not see aggro management/Intim as part of it. Is this correct? A tank needs to draw enemy aggro--via Intim, DPS or other means
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    Always great to see players thinking through this game's mechanics.

    I do not play tanks so skimmed it--I did not see aggro management/Intim as part of it. Is this correct? A tank needs to draw enemy aggro--via Intim, DPS or other means
    I did not heavily discuss agro mechanics, and how they work, but their sources (enhancements and gear) are listed in the build. I also did not specify the skills the build requires. It only requires one: Intimidate; but Balance and Jump are nice too. I don't actually advise worrying about UMD since it would take max ranks (10 by level 20, 20 by level 30) and a UMD item just to activate anything. This would only work out of combat, and everything thing that a scroll can do is something that is out-of-role. In every life I played I got by without ever needing to use UMD for anything, and so the points I put in it were completely wasted, as was the starting INT required to get the points for it.

    As for sources of threat:
    When a player successfully intimidates any creature they get a 12 second buff (vs Intimidate's 6 second CD) that gives them an additional 400% threat (from melee damage, 100% from ranged and magic). Stalwart Defender's stance gives 50% additional threat natively, and another 150% with maxed Inciting Defense, while Threatening Countenance adds 60% more. Incite on helm gives between 7% and 45% depending on level, while Insightful Incite gives between 7% and 20% based on level. One source not listed prior was Commanding Presence's 150% from Unyielding Sentinel T1.

    In reading the complete patch note history of DDO I have seen numerous times it reported that agro mechanics were both "broken" in some way, and then later fixed in DDO's history. The last report I read on them was that they were "fixed" but personal experience shows that monsters still agro the first thing they see and it takes some degree of persuasion to change their mind. I fully expect that when the new expansion drops that the agro mechanics will break again and will need time to be fixed.
    Last edited by Avatarded; 10-16-2017 at 04:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatarded View Post
    Like any role, or framework specifically, its both designed and play tested in almost every piece of content that it could reasonably encounter. At the same time its viability has been mathematically modeled for the utmost challenging content currently in the game. I feel the question inherent to this is misguided. The question should not "when, where, how, or why a tank can be useful". A tank can always be useful, in every situation, as a tank is essentially the manifestation of battlefield control. I feel the question of "can I apply the tank to this situation and make it useful" fundamentally overlooks that the purpose of the tank role is to change the circumstances of the situation entirely. A tank looks at every situation and asks themselves: "how can I best manipulate these circumstances to the party's benefit."

    I hope that helps clear everything up.
    the information provided in the thread seems worthwhile for proving or disproving common preconceptions about tank stats viability.

    a tank will not be useful when they do not bring an additional or improved level of battlefield control to a situation or when that control is absolutely not required or whenit can be provided well enough by a build capable of more damage. the reason for the stigma against tanks in ddo is because the number of situations that players put themselves into that dont require or benefit more from having a tank far exceeds the reverse. the primary example of this is that ddo is primarily about earning the most xp in the least amount of time, and the proven way of accomplishing that is running content that is easy relative to character power level (does not require a tank) on a character that can clear it quickly (dps).

    i understand what a tank does and why, i think the above guide (it is stated to be a guide in the second sentence of your original post) fails to demonstrate and provide detailed instructions on how to use a tank build in ddo to showcase how effective they can be on their own right and why they would be worth using by anyone instead of the latest cheese build. as you have since stated however you were not intending to post a guide but information on defensive stats in the game. in that case i would say you have achieved your goal since there is plenty of information and it seems legit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_one_dwarfforged View Post
    i think the above guide [...] fails to demonstrate and provide detailed instructions on how to use a tank build in ddo to showcase how effective they can be on their own right and why they would be worth using by anyone instead of the latest cheese build. as you have since stated however you were not intending to post a guide but information on defensive stats in the game. in that case i would say you have achieved your goal since there is plenty of information and it seems legit.
    You are correct in your assessment that I have not demonstrated how to use a tank. That is because I have made the assumption that anyone who is giving any consideration to playing one, already understands what the basic play-style may entail. While, at the same time, I have made no effort to convince people not already giving the notion of playing a tank to try to. As I've said before I have no intention of advocating for someone to play a tank unless they already want to and so and, as a result, I am under no obligation to provide an argument for why someone should use this framework over any other (latest cheese build).

    It is my intent, however, to argue against the stigma surrounding tanking, and to that end I do have something to add.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_one_dwarfforged View Post
    a tank will not be useful when they do not bring an additional or improved level of battlefield control to a situation or when that control is absolutely not required or whenit can be provided well enough by a build capable of more damage. the reason for the stigma against tanks in ddo is because the number of situations that players put themselves into that dont require or benefit more from having a tank far exceeds the reverse. the primary example of this is that ddo is primarily about earning the most xp in the least amount of time, and the proven way of accomplishing that is running content that is easy relative to character power level (does not require a tank) on a character that can clear it quickly (dps).
    I think if you gave some consideration to this argument from the reverse order you may see that there's a decent counter argument to be had.

    Suppose that your goal is to earn the most EXP per hour you can (expediently solving the problem of leveling). I personally don't believe this to be true, but for the sake of argumet we'll assume that it is. Then you would reasonably want to run content as efficiently as possible. Content that awards the most possible exp you can get for your time, while knowing that there is a lot of content that awards a lot of exp, but takes too much time to run. This could occur for a varity of reasons, such as if the fights were too difficult or the monsters took too long to kill, or so on. In such instances the DPS cannot control the content sufficiently well to run it and it is eliminated from consideration. Then suppose that a tank is available to control that content on the DPS's behalf. That DPS would then be able to run content far above their own abilities and therefore earn far more EXP per hour than normal, due to the usefulness of a tank's battlefield control.

    Now, consider that you are that tank. That running more challenging content has become the norm for you, and as a result is that your exp per hour has improved. Then the goal is still achieved and the entire argument is undone. While this argument was presented from the perspective of having a team, the team is not required, as it only adjusts the scale at which the argument is applied and not its foundational ideas.

    I mention this because it is the developers expressly stated intent to make Reaper mode bring back party play. That no player is intended to be able to solo it. It's also well a know fact that reaper mode provides a significantly higher yield of exp for the same content. But, even still, the idea applies to non-reaper content that is just too difficult to run as a less sturdy, more DPS focused class.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_one_dwarfforged View Post
    i understand what a tank does and why,
    Collectively, these statements have me unconvinced in your assertion that you understand why a tank does what it does. I expect that you are correct when you say that you understand what a tank does, and that has been extrapolated to include how what a tank does affects what you do, and that is certainly admirable, but the entirety of your positions and arguments is still from a basis of "How can I most expediently resolve this situation?"

    Players choose a playstyle that resonates with them emotionally. That's what makes them like a style of play and seek out classes and mechanics that support and afford them the ability to play in that manner. As long as your building an understanding of the game based on the expediency of the resolution of problems--how fast/efficiently you can get something done--then I don't ever expect you to truly understand why a tank does what it does. It's no fault of yours. It's just that the reason they do is just not something that will do it for you--that that which motivates a the play-style of tank would not motivate you.
    Last edited by Avatarded; 10-17-2017 at 04:01 AM.

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    Can you post your build?

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    I have been playing a Tank build since 2006

    There are different ways to tank but no matter the style there are 3 important rules that every tank needs to follow

    1. Be able to Grab the Agro
    2. Be able to Keep the Agro
    3. Cost less resources then it would be if the Agro was spread out in the party


    No matter how you approach the tank role if you cannot accomplish the above three you will fail.

    I also noticed you mentioned that UMD is not important for the tank and also that it would be more "out of combat" for anything that is potentially useful.

    Now, I personally like the 20 Paladin Tank build that I've honed over the years. I enjoy UMD for several reasons
    • Access to spells that mitigate damage - Stone Skin, Fire Shield, Shield Spell/Nightshield for Magic Missiles spammers
    • Access to spells that help evade damage - Blur, Displacement and even Solid Fog (another thing to understand about agro management)
    • Access to spells that help improve my to-hit/damage - Tensors, Master's Touch to gain Tower Shield Proficiency (Most see Tower Shield as Exotic when it is actually Martial)


    Now some of the above are out of combat types that don't need to be used in combat. However, others are short term, some do have craftable clickies available but having access to 50% reduction of cold/fire or even 30 seconds of blur or 30 seconds of haste (that hits your party) can make a difference in damage output.

    UMD is a way to shore up a weakness in the build.

    One of the other reasons I like the 20 Paladin Tank is the Saves. Because of the saves I can actually utilize an Epic Destiny like Shadowdancer and I become an Evasion Tank for content full of Reflex Save Damage. Sure I have to wear light armor, but the majority of the damage does not come from stuff hitting your AC but from hitting your saves.

    There are actually many ways to get a groups agro. Using Cleaves as your base suggests is only one method. The trick is having an AoE effect which comes with Auras, or spells (for tanks builds with caster type mixes or UMD), or even attack speed.

    I agree that a Tank build is not for every player. There are those who feel there are better options. However, I've seen tough content come and watch complaints that "Mobs hit to hard" or there are "too many" and all I can think is - Thank you SSG for remembering us Tanks .
    Last edited by Enoach; 10-27-2017 at 02:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Founder
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,037

    Default build examples

    Avatarded -- 6/4 split? are you saying 60% / 40% or 12/8 at level 20? could you post a sample build?

    Enoach -- searched the Pally forums to see if you had posted any build advice there but not seeing anything. would you be kind enough to provide a bit more information on your tank building experiences?

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