Monday, October 06, 2008

Order limited by lack of Tanks

When I first heard that Mythic was cutting some of the classes in Warhammer I didn't really think it would have that much of an effect on the game. After all, each faction had multiple classes which could fulfill the same purpose in the game's PvP or PvE content. There shouldn't have been any problems. Of course I forgot to factor in the popularity of human races in fantasy games. They're almost always the majority in any game since people are more comfortable using humans as avatars then misshapen fantasy races. This seems to be holding true in Warhammer and it looks like Mythic has greatly lowered the overall number of tanks for Order by cutting the Empire tank class.

At first I thought the tank shortage would be limited to only the Chaos vs Empire scenarios. Nordenwatch in particular suffers from a lack of tanks which can make it hard to take chokepoints (that damn bridge). However, problems remain in the scenario even after cross server queues were added to the game. There simply aren't enough players trying out the other tanking classes for Order to have a balanced fight against Destruction. It also doesn't help that a lot of the scenarios are specifically balanced around having a tank for flag holding. No other class has the survivability necessary for running a flag between objectives while taking damage.

It's not just scenarios either as I ran into problems gathering tanks for a Keep Raid in Troll Country. It might not be as bad in the other racial areas, but in the Empire/Chaos zones its very rare to see any tanks. I had always thought that the lower tier Keeps would be a goal that a pick up raid could accomplish. The other battlefield objectives in the zone had easily been captured and over time Order players gathered at the keep. It was nice to see how the mechanics of the keep raids work and someone even brought a battering ram. That's as far as it went though since we only had one tank who was even close to being appropriate level for tanking a Keep Lord.

So far in the game I've only seen Order capture keeps in the Elven and Dwarven areas. I am not sure if these were captured by a pick-up-raid who could get tanks or if it was the result of a guild raid. Either way the tier two keeps aren't that hard to capture, though fighting a Keep Lord and five Champions can be rough. It was really only the lack of tanks that kept us from winning. Thankfully, healers aren't that hard to find since the Warrior-Priest in particular seems to be popular. I'm hoping as more people switch to Order to take advantage of the shorter queues the tank issue will slowly resolve itself. Still it would go much quicker if Mythic quickly introduced the missing Empire tank class.


OnyxRaven said...

Destruction is missing a tank class too (the blackguard) and the Order class tanks are quite well powered vs their Destro counterparts (especially in the way of AOE abilities). I don't think lack of tanks is an Order problem, its the lack of numbers and lack of willingness to RvR at lower levels, it seems.

Relmstein said...

I don't think the Ironbreaker and Swordmaster are underpowered or anything. Its just on the Order side it looks like maybe 50% of the population prefers humans and they don't have any tanks.

I think there is a willingness to RvR as we were able to gather enough for a full raid in Troll Country. However, you're right in the lack of numbers for Order. I'm seeing more and more deserted public quests as I get higher level.

Mornazh said...

Definitely agree with your last comment there. It may also be that the missing Empire tank is also responsible, in part, for the destruction/order imbalance.

I've not seen any reluctance to RvR at lower levels. On my servers (Avelorn and Ostermark) both the Nordenwatch scenario and New Emskrank RvR area were hopping last night.

Rhey said...

The problem is not that the tanks are underpowered it’s that they look stupid. You can either play as a prancing tool or a horrible little monster. While destruction has two of the coolest looking classes in the game as their tanks.

Anonymous said...

Tanking in WAR is frustrating right now. My main is a swordmaster. While I am "in demand" and generally welcomed to groups, I have a very hard time getting gear.

Because contribution is measured in DPS and healing done, tanks are toast in PQs. I did a Gunbad group last night. Me and an ironbreaker were the tanks. We were ALWAYS 5-6 in the PQ - our healers and dps got the bags, neither of us got a loot bag all night. It was terrible.

My spouse plays a runepriest. We can go into a scenario and the runepriest will pull significantly more Reknown than my swordmaster, because he gets reknown for every heal - but I don't get much reknown for tanking, just whatever piddly damage I can land. My reknown on the swordmaster is lagging way behind XP leveling, and I can't seem to reverse that because no matter how hard I work in scenarios and RvR, my class doesn't get enough credit for doing what it is supposed to do: soaking damage, which is not dps, and not healing.

They gotta fix tanks' ability to get reknown and PQ credit, then you might see more tanks around. For now it's a lot easier to level up another class.