Whatever character you play, you know you will have evenings where you think to yourself, “Why the F**k did I pick this lame ass character type”. In fact you will have many evenings where this particular thought crosses your mind. Your only solution being, to soldier on, while hoping for someone in the Combat and Careers team to take a passing interest in your perceived plight.
I had such a evening a couple of days ago on my KotBS. I was grouped up with some guildies and my main job was to protect the slayer and absorb half his damage with my guard/protect function. Now there are a couple of issues with this role. Firstly, but not the most significant, is how in gods name do I stick to him, when I can barely see his scrawny ass in the cut and thrust of zerg fighting.
By the way, this cut and thrust I am talking about, is me giving far to much credit to Mythic about the dynamics generated by zerg fighting in Warhammer. I would go as far as to say, that I have not had one zerg fight in my whole Warhammer subscription that matches the 3 way realm fights that I used to have in DAOC. Having that 3rd active side, adds a certain something that Mythic can’t just match, by adding more functionality to the game. It makes ORvR basically staid for the ex DAOC’ers. Thankfully for Mythic there aren’t that many still in game. But I will return to this at a later date, since it’s really beginning to irk me.
Anyway I digress. Back to “How Do I See His Scrawny Ass?”. Luckily my guildie Bluesky had a solution, GuardBot. It simply puts a shield above the person you are guarding. Nice and big, but not overwhelming. Tick in the box for a nice addon solution.
Now onto my 2nd problem with guarding people, which is trying to stay close to them. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has something in their arsenal which separates you from your assignee. Seriously it’s bloody ridiculous, especially since the 30 range, doesn’t seem to equate to 30″. I sometimes feel I need to be having sex with the person, to stand any chance of blocking half their incoming damage. I had a long old rant about CC before and I really don’t want to go through it again, so go here if you can be bothered to read my wall of text on the subject. Needless to say, it’s rather frustrating to find that in some battles, you are never close enough to actually perform this guard function. I really feel that my slot in the group could be taken up by another character. Much like a healer, it’s not easy to grasp the tangible results of your characters actions. Though at least the healer can see what they have achieved by the lack of deaths and healing statistics.
Finally I don’t like the guard mechanic, I find it underwhelming. It merely splits half the damage taken by your target onto to you. So you may be the best kitted out tank in the world, but once the person you are guarding is being focused down, then there is bugger all you can do about it apart from loose a few hitpoints. It all ends up with your assignee going down like a sack of spuds. It may be slower than normal, but they will grind him down. They may not even notice that the person is being guarded. So in effect you are just a hit point tank. Of course we can both move while the guard is in place, but please refer to my previous point on this. In this warhammer world of zerg fighting, a guard needs to provide a more robust protection.
Again in DAOC it was slightly different, once you guarded someone, they took no damage. Your opponents had to kill the tank 1st and only then could they go after their primary target, which meant the quality of the tanks armour, would count for something. Of course there were some limitations, with the major one being they both had to stand still, which was not an unreasonable restriction (Which meant it was very very good for the healers and casters). Perly our main group tank in DAOC, would tell you, I was appalling at standing still. This ability also didn’t function in PvE, since it would have been massively overpowered. But what it did mean was, the MA (Main Assist) of the the opposing force had to be aware of the guard situation and be prepared to switch target if necessary. None of these abilities will stop a caster killing your target, but it would certainly blunt the fury of the melee people.
So where does this leave me? Well a bit frustrated, but with a hope that a change can be made to improve this particular situation. Also we do have the current ongoing review by the C&C team of CC, which does hark back to my 1st paragraph.
Oh yes, if you don’t have it installed, grab groupicons from curse as well. Very very useful.