Tanking--Ice.

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Tanking--Ice.

Post  Telon Ra on Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:00 pm

Hello, everyone. I have decided to begin my spam-posting by writing out a simple guideline and explanation for what a specific class role is, what they are expected to do, and how to do it. Today, I will discuss Tanking, via the Ice powerset.

A Tank is not just someone who has (generally) more defense than everyone else. A Tank is a player who makes it their dedication to protect everyone else around them, to keep them safe by keeping the environment (monsters and such) or other players (PvP) interested in themselves rather than the whole group. I will be focusing on the PvE aspect.

You will earn your Tank stance, or role, at level 10, the same as any other role minus Damage, or DPS as it's referred. In this stance you will cause less overall damage, but also TAKE less. An Ice tank gains a 90% boost to their Defense and Toughness anytime they activate a power, lasting 12 seconds each Power use. Some will add even more on top of it for a shorter duration, such as Winter Ward. Using a power also acts as a Taunt on anything within the area. Taunting is important if someone (Like the essential Controller) happens to take a creature's attention, or Aggro. Now, threat in this game is at this time, spotty at best. So if you are tanking, here is my advice:

1) Do not spam your powers uselessly. ANY power use will grant you your Defense boost and effective Taunt. Bear this in mind and use your cooldowns sparingly.

2) This is not a requirement like it is in World of Warcraft, but I still recommend turning creatures around so their back is to the rest of the group. This way, if you begin to lose Aggro on any of them, it will be far easier to notice and prevent.

3) Do not attack more than you or your group can handle at once. It is your responsibility to always ensure that not only yourself, but everyone else is ready for whatever a fight may bring. Pulling a mob group while the Healer and/or Controller is hurting for energy is not a smart thing to do. Always remember that in a balanced group the Tank is the one leading the way. If you instigate a fight without everyone ready, it is no one's fault but your OWN if you wipe.

Conversely, I also have advice for general non-Tanks:

1) The Tank is the one who should be starting the fights. He or She is the one meant to take the punishment. Once we get into more serious content, though the habit could certainly be learned sooner, if I am tanking for a group and, say, a DPS pulls a group when I don't want it pulled. I will stand there and let you die. That is how I have always played. Tanks start fights and tanks ensure they stay focused on him. It is NOT the Tank's job to pull things off of you after you pull them on your own, without any direction from the Tank. Some tanks may very well allow that into their playstyle---I do not.

2) On damaging Power usage: Powers cause threat in this game, as it stands right now. If you are spamming your buttons like a madman on crack and it is disrupting the Tank's flow of Power usage via Taunting and otherwise just staying alive, you are disrupting the fight flow and possibly painting a very large target on yourself. It is important to do your role, but damage numbers mean nothing if you get yourself killed. Victory itself is more important to me than who did the most numbers.

3) I do not really see this with this League, but I will post it anyway just to be complete-- know your role, and follow it. I know we all want to be badass trainwrecks of destruction, but nothing gets done properly if we all do that. There are four roles for a reason.

On to Powers. Ice follows two trees of abilities-Storms and Cryogenics. Generally, one is seen as a Damage tree and one Tank, but do not let this rule your decision-making. Many things can work for either role. Take what works best for you and allows you to fulfill your role adequately in the group. Here is what I prefer to use in my loadout:

1) Cold Snap 2) Reflection 3) Inescapable Storm 4)Bitter Winds 5)Hard-Light Shield 6)Winter Ward.

Cold Snap is a simple, quick Taunt-Damager which will also cause enemies to damage themselves when they attack you. Doesnt always seem to do that last bit for me, but I'm more concerned with taunting than damaging. This ability also builds up your Chill effects, explained further below.

Reflection is an awesome skill. ALWAYS use this. It will cause damage when used, as well as reflect attacks back at your enemies! Useful in groups, or on a boss when it's just HELLBENT on trying to use a painful charge attack-- this will nullify it entirely. Use this wisely, and half your tanking will be cake already. Also causes a Chill effect.

Inescapable Storm is a Pull effect. It will drag an enemy and any around the target to you--useful for getting something off of your Healer when they are trying to not wind up a corpse. Also useful for general grouping of things so they may be effectively AoE (Area of Effect)handled and destroyed. This ability essentially has no cooldown, so don't be shy in using it to gather stray mobs.

Bitter Winds is an AoE ability which summons an ice storm around you, causing a nice initial damage chunk to anything around you and causing Damage over Time (DoT) damage as well, as long as it lasts. And lasts it does-- whenever you use a Power, you get your Defense boost, yes? This ability's cooldown is shorter than it's duration. You can essentially, with a great Controller, NEVER lose your tank-boosted Defense. Ever.

Hard-Light Shield is actually one of the Iconic Powers that I took. It is useful for when your Reflection is still on cooldown in further reducing your damage. Strangely, it does not always seem to function properly when Ice Armor is active, though I may be wrong. Either way, it is an awesome skill and well worth it.

Winter Ward is an ability that, as a Tank, will free your comrades of Control effects as well as boost your Defense for roughly half the time period that a Tank-related Power boost lasts. Further improved Defense and Control immunity for the whole group is VERY nice.

You of course do not have to use what I do in order to be an effective Frosty tank. It is just my playstyle preference. Ah, and I mentioned Chill effects. Whenever you gather 5, you automatically activate Ice Armor, a minute-long effect that acts as a Defense boost exactly the same as your general Power-usage gains are. Some people like it, some do not. Personally I don't give a damn because hey, cheap minute-long boost I don't have to use extra power for.

On to weapons and stats. Generally, stats you want a lot of for Ice tanking are:
Defense, Health, Dominance. Perhaps Might afterward if you can spare the points. Defense moreso because you will gain an almost 100% increase ANYTIME you use a Power, which is frequently. You'll get a lot of Health from weapon trees and armour anyway. Dominance....let's discuss Dominance.

Many people say that Dominance is only useful for Controllers, as it determines how long their stuns and debuffs last, their Control effects, and that also because Controllers get an increase to their base Dominance simply by being in Controller stance.

I say to you this is wrong, especially about Ice tanks! Ice tanks can effectively root and encase enemies, not to mention stuns via weapon attacks. A tank that doesn't use stuns....Why? Oh, and Encasement? This allows me to pick up an enemy like an object and beat ANOTHER enemy senseless with them! This causes BOTH of them damage, as well as stunning them both, or I can use this to throw that enemy out of the battle area entirely until things are more controlled. (So please don't immediately start wailing on something encased in Ice, please. Let me use what tools I have available) Also, please note; A Tank character's Dominance stat is DOUBLED whenever in Tank stance. So, yes, Dominance has many uses for Tanks as well.

This in mind, I have been taking Dominance from weapon trees now when available as well as taking the Dominance innate Iconic Power. +25, recall, becomes +50 for a tank. Wink

I utilize primarily a Staff, or a Two-Hander. Two-Hander is funny for when I want to beat the ever-loving shit out of something with a 2x4. It also has nice damage and can keep a single target busy by being kept into the air. Staves are great for building up combo hits and stunning. Plus, wielding a Scythe makes me extremely happy. There, you have found my vice.

And unless there are any questions, I will now give a brief summary of what others' role is and it's importance just to round this thing out.

Damagers: Everyone's favorite role, apparently! Well, except mine. Anyway. Damagers murder things and they do it passionately. Just ensure you're not Threat-juggling with your Tank and things are peachy.

Healers: I freaking love all of you. Healers keep me alive to do what I do best-- attempt frantically to keep everything hitting only me.

Controllers: Here's where things get versatile. Controllers are largely seen primarily as Power batteries-- "Spam these things to make us not run out of manapower lololo". However, Controllers do more than just keep us using our Powers all day! Shocking, I know. Controllers can also cause Stuns, Immobilizations, Buff the group and Debuff creatures in various ways. Never take a Controller as just a useful way to spam your keys and not give a damn. They are MUCH more than that.

A final note: Stat diffrences between fire and ice tanks. Switch stat priority of Defense and Health, and exchange some of your Dominance for....Restoration. Yes, it WILL affect your own self-heals. Oh, an Fire tanks? The reason you want Health over stacking every last Defense point like an Ice tank is that THEIR Power-induced boost is to Health. So there ya go. Enjoy.

Telon.


Telon Ra

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Re: Tanking--Ice.

Post  Telon Ra on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:28 pm

An update. My loadout has changed significantly. My new loadout is as follows:

1) Bitter winds. 2) Reflection. 3) Inescapable Storm. 4) Freeze Wave. 5) Shatter Restraints. 6) Winter Ward.

I will post the ones I did not list previously.

Freeze Wave-- Causes an eruption of frost in an area around the user's feet, causing quick damage to all in the area as well as acting as a reliable knockdown.

Shatter Restraints-- A second ability that will get you out of hot spots. This will also increase your Defense or Toughness, as well as provide immunity to Control effects. I feel as a tank, having this AND Winter Ward on my bar allows for maximum defensive capability and team support. I am not positive that Shatter Restraints provides a defensive boost to my teammates as well,a s I have not taken the time to kidnap anyone yet to make them tell me. I would not blink in surprise if it did do this, however.

This new loadout, I find, makes me very difficult to kill outside of cheap bullshit. I am tempted to experiment with the Ice Elemental as well, again, though I hate anything with a supercharge requirement with a passion. Perhaps, perhaps not.

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Re: Tanking--Ice.

Post  Guest on Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:02 am

I only have one comment, and it applies mostly just to this game. I always recognize a great tank that can turn mobs backs to me, but in this game on bosses or 2 or more mobs between me and you and I lose line of sight healing. It gets rather frustrating to have to run into line of fire when not needed. It more a game issue than player issue. So if possible I try to stand at angle that allow healing on tanks. It's easy if you are in middle of room, but if you pull up against the wall I almost have to stand next to you at times to heal.

Just a note from a healers side. Like the write up. No criticism from the nature healing camp.


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Re: Tanking--Ice.

Post  EbonyRaven on Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:54 am

Great info Telon. If you want to write one for Sorcery let me know, lol, I love these things but just not great at writing them.

And a comment to what Ayra said, flight often fixes that issue .. it eliminates a line of sight problem and on bosses like the 4 elements in Stykers and the last boss in Outer Cavern keeps you out of damage most of the time. Granted there are situations where you can't use flight so you have to deal with that at those times, seem to also be the situation where tanking is difficult to impossible (Brother Eye fight in Inner)
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Re: Tanking--Ice.

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:28 am

Flight might help Regular alerts, but I Think super speed double jump helps me way more in raids than flight. It keeps me out of damage a lot better. I've experimented with both since I'm nature.

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Re: Tanking--Ice.

Post  EbonyRaven on Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:14 pm

Yeah I have noticed you staying alive way better than me lol, ran Khandaq last night finally got the rolling down. Surviving the lighting is easy for me now.
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Re: Tanking--Ice.

Post  Telon Ra on Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:01 pm

A minor update. I have switched my fourth spot on the loadout, Freeze Wave, back to Ice Bash, in order to give it a second chance after patches. And I must admit...it does very well, actually. VERY well. Not only does the damage it causes induce very nice threat apparently, but...say I use it in conjunction with my Tanking bow. My usual arrow storm hits are 20's-30's each hit with 20's being prevalent. Each arrow storm is 4 hits, meaning 4 chances for Ice Bash to proc if I am thinking of this mechanic correctly-- many say it rarely procs, yet 4 hits at a time within it's duration lends much better chances. I usually have it proc three times before I get my attacking interrupted and it runs out of time, and the damage is usually in the 80's.
It is essentially an extra Arrow Storm or two by the time it is done. And it builds threat. This, my friends, is dubbed a WANT. It did very well on Black Adam a few nights back, when I was tanking him with my Bow. You do not get a lot of easy shots off on him due to the large amount of movement required to stay alive, so it helps nicely.

Also, none of my other abilities comes CLOSE to the raw damage it causes each general use. Bitter Winds by comparison sucks, and Bitter Winds is awesome for tanks. Inescapable Storm is likely the net best damager, actually, which is funny since it's a mob puller-- and yet the Ice Bash damage occurs WHILE weapon comboing to achieve power regeneration.

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