Tenfold Hate

WAR: Making Tanking Fun Again
October 23, 2008, 3:06 pm
Filed under: Warhammer: Age of Reckoning

This has been a week of heavy public questing for me in WAR. I’m probably as surprised as you are by that statement. It all started this past weekend. While waiting around for scenarios to pop for my Warrior Priest, I darted over to Troll Country to lend a hand to an RP and BW who were working on an Empire Chapter 6 PQ. At that point, my WP was rank 20 so I was able to breeze in and help them complete all 3 stages with relative ease.

We hit it off, and while shooting the shit and swapping our likes/dislikes about the game thus far, I mentioned, “Hey, I have a Swordmaster around your level if you guys ever need a tank.” A few nights later, who should send me a /tell but the Runepriest.

After spending way too much time repeating Stages 1 and 2 of PQs to max out my influence on my other characters (due to lack of primary healers and/or tanks floating around), I really appreciate the good fortune of finding a regular PQ group of like-minded players. A group that just happens, as fate would have it, to be a balanced group (tank, healer, DPS).

On any given night we’re all on, we’ve been able to spam regional chat, get a handful of group members, and barrel through 2-3 PQs. And as anyone who’s played Empire knows, that means it’s usually the 3 of us (SM, RP, and BW), 3 WPs, and 3 WH.

I just can’t get enough of the Swordmaster. So much so that my WP may take a backseat to her. Besides the standard tanking abilities any MMORPG player would expect, Swordmasters have a series of abilities that cripple their opponents spiritually as well as physically, including several sword maneuvers that culminate in a magic AOE burst and knockback–handy for grabbing aggro from multiple mobs–and even more fun as chaotic “crowd control” in the middle of a group of enemies in RvR.

The magic element of the class is key for me–cheers to Mythic for designing an elf tanking class that still retains some of it’s elfishness.

Prelaunch, the class was intended to be a shieldless tank, which is still an option, but it’s much more viable from a survivability standpoint to go with a one-hander and a shield. I find the two-handed swords look much more imposing than the High Elf’s signature tower shields and I’m hoping in future patches Mythic makes survivability for greatsword SMs more realistic, since its one of the unique attributes that distinguishes them from their sword-and-board brethren.

The only time I really use a two-hander at the moment is if I’m doing some solo PvE and wanna crank out a bit more damage–or if I feel like mixing things up in RvR–though I usually go for survivability over damage output in any player versus player scenario.

For anyone who enjoys tanking and hasn’t tried WAR, my recommendation would be to ignore the hype from both sides, and take a WAR tank for a spin. I bet you won’t regret it.


1 Comment

I just started a SM, and they are a ton of fun. I agree, it’s iconic for them to use the 2H sword. I think for tanking it could be a simple fix: make a ‘tanking’ blade blessing. At my current level, my shield adds about 110 block (im only 10).

The blessing could add X armor value (depending on level), and increase miss and parry chances – may be harder to program it to ‘block’, so the armor rating, miss/parry chances would have to be scaled upwards to account for it. Bingo – done!

Comment by Chris F

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