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Tanking without Taunts

cybertruckercybertrucker Member UncommonPosts: 1,117

So alot of doom and gloom speculation is going on about the lack of aggro meters and taunts. Which will cause the inability to tank from mobs ping ponging all over the place. Which in turn will lead to groups DPS zerging. Which is very prevalent in GW2.

 

However one of the key philosophies of GW2 in their attempts to remove the holy trinity (something EQ1 never had as CC was always a major role which meant holy quad)  was to make all classes equal in all roles. Giving each player the flexibility to do some minor tweaking along the way. While great in concept this had some bad side effects, especially in a game balanced more for PVP than anything else. Mainly PVE DPS zergs 

 

Now the developers of EQNEXT have stated no aggro or taunts..and that players would not be forced into roles due to multi classing ability. That in a vacuum immediately makes you think  GW2 combat all over again. However they also clearly stated that certain classes in EQN would actually be better in certain roles. This changes everything. IE if a heavy armor wearing class has better defensive abilities and mitigation, would it still be possible to tank without taunts and aggro meters? My personal opinion is yes even though it will take some learning and adapting. It will also take some creative defensive abilities.

 

So lets discuss some possibilities. To start I will say. That I have been playing a tank or hybrid tank as my main in every game since the early days of EQ! With the exception of my first character that was a cleric up untill shortly after kunark (by the way playing a healer I think laid a perfect foundation for ending up as a tank) and in GW2 I played a healing spec Sorceror. During my time playing the tank role. I have seen alot  of really neat abilities. These abilities could easily be used in place with some thought.

 

Now going by what we know. The class you pick for your current primary will determine the weapons and armor available to equip. With armor most likely playing the key ingredient for mitigation. Some of  this will still be speculation as we just really know so little at this time. If armor does play an important role. Which I'm of the opinions it most likel will. Then heavy armor plus possibly shield is probably the way to go.

 

as for some abilities that  could aid you in tanking without taunts.

knockdowns, stuns, snares,attack intercepts/parries based on vicinity instead of just against you, attack blocks once again based on vacinities,  these  are the basic ones.

Here are some more advanced abilities that could come into play or maybe cross class abilities.

damage transference. Allies close by take damage and you take a portion of it.

damage wards. Stop damage to self of an ally.

reactive heals. Self or ally  gets healed anytime they take damage for duration or amount.

enrage like ability. Any enemy not attacking you takes alot more damage from your attacks.

Debuffs. Targets not attacking you do substantially less damage. Or slows target attacking speed.

self buffs  to increase own survivability.

or taking from vanguard reactive rescues..

 

The fact is, at this time we have been told no taunts and no traditional aggro management,  and that the mobs are smarter. We have also been told there are classes that are better at certain roles. Untill we know more about the AI  and what sets it off we can speculate that certain things other than taunts will tick mobs off. This will be part of learning this new game. 

However to sit here and claim its going to be like GW2 when the devs have said...  No..no its not.. Is just well absurd. There are definately other ways to allow for creative tanking

On a side note. I enjoy GW2

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  • TygranirTygranir Member Posts: 741
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  • VormirVormir Member UncommonPosts: 135

    I think Combat is still pretty much open.

    Did you notice when the showed a group of player playing the game the UI was hidden?

    There are a few ways they can make npcs attack a tank without taunts. If the AI is good, the npcs will prioritise which player to attack first.

    One thing is for sure, when I play a tankie class I like my taunts!

  • WaterlilyWaterlily Member UncommonPosts: 3,105
    Without taunt you fall into the DPS archetype, there's no way to shoehorn proper tanking into a game without an aggro stack. Some things just don't work.
  • drew_afxdrew_afx Member Posts: 4

    We still don't know if the bosses are traditional stupid robots attacking one with highest aggro

    (internally calculated highest threat by smart emergent AI whatever it is called, it's still aggro)

    In the video the melee warrior and ranged mage were on the same side, both facing the bosses.

    Tank will not be the tank in traditional sense anymore bosses will not look at you if other players are behind them

    Maybe it'll cast large AoE like that gravitational field pushing players away while gathering them in one of the 4 pillars

    No way to dps without facing boss, period. However, melee can make an opening on the boss for others to dps. 

    The mage was able to charge large lump of manaball for good amount of time while boss attacked the warrior.

     

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 9,771
    They didnt say there was no taunt. They only said there was no skill that was just just taunt. Skills like attack can still build aggro and keep control of a limited number of targets. I think this is the way EQN is going. Tanking is an option but you will need more then a tank to win. You will need CC and the mage making walls. Everyone is going to have to control the battle. Tank is just one tool among many. Thats why its fair for a tank to have good DPS in this game. 
  • SephastusSephastus Member UncommonPosts: 455
    Originally posted by Waterlily
    Without taunt you fall into the DPS archetype, there's no way to shoehorn proper tanking into a game without an aggro stack. Some things just don't work.

    This is a false statement. There are many games, FFXI being one of them, where you could be a perfectly good tank without having a straight taunt.

     

    Some mechanics that work well in getting tanking going without a taunt are (but are not limited to), NPC crowd control. (Root a mob, and it is forced to target the closest - highest agro - attackable player), Agro transfer (skills that trick the mob into thinking that someone else did the damage, therefore, putting that person higher in the agro list), Terrain advantages (Building, through magic or skill) physical barriers that prevent an NPC from progressing in a bee line to the damage dealers or healers), positional movements (Like knock-backs, and other "keep away" moves), and my personal favorite in games with collition detection: Shielding! (As it sounds, getting in front of the NPC, and putting your shield up, preventing some, most or all damage meant for another player. Those all sound like great Tanking mechanics, without having to "stack" agro.

     

    Overall, you can be very creative, and be a tank (The player who's job it is to keep the focus of the NPC away from other players).

  • wizardanimwizardanim Member Posts: 278
    Originally posted by cybertrucker

    So alot of doom and gloom speculation is going on about the lack of aggro meters and taunts. Which will cause the inability to tank from mobs ping ponging all over the place. Which in turn will lead to groups DPS zerging. Which is very prevalent in GW2.

    Let me give you an example.  Like I did in other posts.

    •  Tank has snare ability.  Mob can't reach ranged.  Mob then (with smart AI) attacks the tank.
    •  Tank's weapon has an attack that the monster does not like.  Or, procs a 'reduce armor' effect.  The monster hates him more than the other melee characters attacking him. The mob, still attacks the tank.
    •  As long as mob is snared, and the proc is hitting the mob enough (or the attack) monster will attack the tank.
    •  Plate armor is in the game for a reason.  To take hits. There will be roles.  They just don't say you have to play a certain role all the time.  Different monsters will require different approaches, different builds will be tanks for different content.  Wonderful!

    Come on people, think ... this game will be about innovation, not using the same systems we have had for years.

    Also, they never said there would be no threat.  Gerogeson said verbatim, "There will be a lot of threat assessment." This means there are ways to be more 'threatening' not just DPS.

  • KuppaKuppa Member UncommonPosts: 3,292

    You do know a Guardian is the best tank in GW2, even though everyone can play(or try to play) that role.

     

    Also, EVERY single mmo game that comes out says they have "better" AI. It always turns out it's nothing groundbreaking. I think people underestimate how hard is it to have AI that simulates an actual player or something that even comes close.

    image


    image

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 9,771
    Originally posted by Kuppa

    You do know a Guardian is the best tank in GW2, even though everyone can play(or try to play) that role.

     

    Also, EVERY single mmo game that comes out says they have "better" AI. It always turns out it's nothing groundbreaking. I think people underestimate how hard is it to have AI that simulates an actual player or something that even comes close.

    GW2 intends there to be no trinity is different then EQN that will have the trinity but not the focus of the group. Just one option of control among many. Teams wont be able to take the easy road of spank and tank the game. Tanks will have their place in the team and so will every class that has control skills. There will be many tools to make a team work, tanking and healing will be just one.

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Member UncommonPosts: 1,117
    Originally posted by Sephastus
    Originally posted by Waterlily
    Without taunt you fall into the DPS archetype, there's no way to shoehorn proper tanking into a game without an aggro stack. Some things just don't work.

    This is a false statement. There are many games, FFXI being one of them, where you could be a perfectly good tank without having a straight taunt.

     

    Some mechanics that work well in getting tanking going without a taunt are (but are not limited to), NPC crowd control. (Root a mob, and it is forced to target the closest - highest agro - attackable player), Agro transfer (skills that trick the mob into thinking that someone else did the damage, therefore, putting that person higher in the agro list), Terrain advantages (Building, through magic or skill) physical barriers that prevent an NPC from progressing in a bee line to the damage dealers or healers), positional movements (Like knock-backs, and other "keep away" moves), and my personal favorite in games with collition detection: Shielding! (As it sounds, getting in front of the NPC, and putting your shield up, preventing some, most or all damage meant for another player. Those all sound like great Tanking mechanics, without having to "stack" agro.

     

    Overall, you can be very creative, and be a tank (The player who's job it is to keep the focus of the NPC away from other players).

    Exactly this right here is what I am talking about. SOE has pulled together a team of not only software developers but gamers as  well.. That combined with the fact they have come up with some really amazing defensive abilities and tanks abilities in the past keeps my hopes up..all the doom going around makes absolutely no sense with the little we know.  A little ingenuity can go along way.

    That being said it will also come most likely with a learning curve. Want to play the game adapt. It might be better than that holy trinity everyone is so hung up on.

  • Gallus85Gallus85 Member Posts: 1,092
    Originally posted by Waterlily
    Without taunt you fall into the DPS archetype, there's no way to shoehorn proper tanking into a game without an aggro stack. Some things just don't work.

    Incorrect.  Tanking just becomes an active, instead of a passive role.

    Tanks in EQN will have abilities to "protect" the group, without relying on unrealistic and dated agro mechanics.

    Tanks will have to see which team mate is in trouble, run in and shield bash, kick away, intercept damage, etc.  It will be active tanking, but it's still going to be tanking.

    So clearly you're wrong.  You can have a tanking role, without it being based on something as unrealistic as agro.

    Legends of Kesmai, UO, EQ, AO, DAoC, AC, SB, RO, SWG, EVE, EQ2, CoH, GW, VG:SOH, WAR, Aion, DF, CO, MO, DN, Tera, SWTOR, RO2, DP, GW2, PS2, BnS, NW, FF:XIV, ESO, EQ:NL

  • wizardanimwizardanim Member Posts: 278
    Originally posted by Kuppa

    You do know a Guardian is the best tank in GW2, even though everyone can play(or try to play) that role.

     

    Also, EVERY single mmo game that comes out says they have "better" AI. It always turns out it's nothing groundbreaking. I think people underestimate how hard is it to have AI that simulates an actual player or something that even comes close.

    But every MMO that comes out has had static spawns or scripted events for mob AI.  This is a persistent world that learns over time and reacts to players, not pre-defined.

  • KiyorisKiyoris Member RarePosts: 2,130
    Originally posted by Gallus85

    Tanks will have to see which team mate is in trouble, run in and shield bash, kick away, intercept damage, etc.  It will be active tanking, but it's still going to be tanking.
     

    So clearly you're wrong.  You can have a tanking role, without it being based on something as unrealistic as agro.

    Ping Pong tank ~

    People are right I think, it doesn't really work. Kicking away mobs..lol...it doesn't make any sense.

    You know if it worked they would have already did it in other action games.

    Dave person is going to provide a reply soon he said. Let's see what his fix is, maybe I will say "ok this makes sense", I hope it is not becoming a ping pong ball.

  • AeliousAelious Member RarePosts: 3,521
    I agree OP

    A tank's role is to keep mobs off of other members and to take the hits instead. The physics engine along with the abilities shown in the demo by the Warrior indicate this is possible. The other classes will also have a role in staying safe as most of not all classes have a "movement" ability slot (as seen in the classes panel) so everyone will need to be on thier game.

    Why?

    Because as also stated in the classes panel, or maybe the world panel, the mobs have very smart UI and the devs can crank that up so the fights are harder. Every mob has a "class" with the same abilities it seems. So as long as SoE understands the need for challenging content the need for roles will be there. Could encounters be done by Zerg or over dps? Possibly but if the AI is as smart as they say it will be rough.

    The jury is stil out but I seen more than enough evidence that playing a tank is there and to be honest a lot more fun that standing or moving around watching threat meters.
  • cheyanecheyane Member LegendaryPosts: 8,666
    Originally posted by Gallus85
    Originally posted by Waterlily
    Without taunt you fall into the DPS archetype, there's no way to shoehorn proper tanking into a game without an aggro stack. Some things just don't work.

    Incorrect.  Tanking just becomes an active, instead of a passive role.

    Tanks in EQN will have abilities to "protect" the group, without relying on unrealistic and dated agro mechanics.

    Tanks will have to see which team mate is in trouble, run in and shield bash, kick away, intercept damage, etc.  It will be active tanking, but it's still going to be tanking.

    So clearly you're wrong.  You can have a tanking role, without it being based on something as unrealistic as agro.

    I am a bit confused how is agro unrealistic. In your example you said you see your team mate in trouble that team mate attracted the agro of the big bad boss is the way you get attacked. Its a description of something that happens in a fight. That happens when you heal or do damage or anything that makes the boss turn its attention to you . Why is agro unrealistic ?

    Chamber of Chains
  • KuppaKuppa Member UncommonPosts: 3,292
    Originally posted by wizardanim
    Originally posted by Kuppa

    You do know a Guardian is the best tank in GW2, even though everyone can play(or try to play) that role.

     

    Also, EVERY single mmo game that comes out says they have "better" AI. It always turns out it's nothing groundbreaking. I think people underestimate how hard is it to have AI that simulates an actual player or something that even comes close.

    But every MMO that comes out has had static spawns or scripted events for mob AI.  This is a persistent world that learns over time and reacts to players, not pre-defined.

    That is what they say(not the first btw). You can't really go around saying that is the reality until you have seen it. Otherwise it's like another poster said, faith.

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    image

  • wizardanimwizardanim Member Posts: 278
    Originally posted by Kiyoris
    Originally posted by Gallus85

    Tanks will have to see which team mate is in trouble, run in and shield bash, kick away, intercept damage, etc.  It will be active tanking, but it's still going to be tanking.
     

    So clearly you're wrong.  You can have a tanking role, without it being based on something as unrealistic as agro.

    Ping Pong tank ~

    People are right I think, it doesn't really work. Kicking away mobs..lol...it doesn't make any sense.

    You know if it worked they would have already did it in other action games.

    Dave person is going to provide a reply soon he said. Let's see what his fix is, maybe I will say "ok this makes sense", I hope it is not becoming a ping pong ball.

    You say this as if that will be the only mechanic in the game.  Go find a mob that you can subdue without running around instead of complaining that one mob makes you run around.

  • SephastusSephastus Member UncommonPosts: 455
    Originally posted by Kiyoris
    Originally posted by Gallus85

    Tanks will have to see which team mate is in trouble, run in and shield bash, kick away, intercept damage, etc.  It will be active tanking, but it's still going to be tanking.
     

    So clearly you're wrong.  You can have a tanking role, without it being based on something as unrealistic as agro.

    Ping Pong tank ~

    People are right I think, it doesn't really work. Kicking away mobs..lol...it doesn't make any sense.

    You know if it worked they would have already did it in other action games.

    Dave person is going to provide a reply soon he said. Let's see what his fix is, maybe I will say "ok this makes sense", I hope it is not becoming a ping pong ball.

    If "kicking away mobs" was all we were referring too, then you would be correct. There are many other mechanics that have already been mentioned in this thread that you are completely ignoring, and which have nothing to do with "ping Pong".

  • KiyorisKiyoris Member RarePosts: 2,130
    Originally posted by Sephastus
    Originally posted by Kiyoris
    Originally posted by Gallus85

    Tanks will have to see which team mate is in trouble, run in and shield bash, kick away, intercept damage, etc.  It will be active tanking, but it's still going to be tanking.
     

    So clearly you're wrong.  You can have a tanking role, without it being based on something as unrealistic as agro.

    Ping Pong tank ~

    People are right I think, it doesn't really work. Kicking away mobs..lol...it doesn't make any sense.

    You know if it worked they would have already did it in other action games.

    Dave person is going to provide a reply soon he said. Let's see what his fix is, maybe I will say "ok this makes sense", I hope it is not becoming a ping pong ball.

    If "kicking away mobs" was all we were referring too, then you would be correct. There are many other mechanics that have already been mentioned in this thread that you are completely ignoring, and which have nothing to do with "ping Pong".

    Yes, I read all the posts. You said "root a mob so it targets the closest PC"

    I'm sorry, but that is suuuuuuuuuuper clumsy. You might as well use an aggro system with a tank then.

    Someone offer a real solution.

  • ReizlaReizla Member RarePosts: 4,092
    Originally posted by cybertrucker

    So alot of doom and gloom speculation is going on about the lack of aggro meters and taunts. Which will cause the inability to tank from mobs ping ponging all over the place. 

    Stopped reading there... No need for taunt or aggro meters IMO in ANY MMORPG. You just need to communicate with your party before hand and learn to play tank classes that do not have the original taunt (instant aggro, WTF? aggro should be build not skilled instantly) or just play a good warrior to tank. Examples..?

    Lord of the Rings online - Warden class. A tank (one in light armor LOL) that builds aggro over time by using skills. If the party knows how this tank works, then all is well. If one does not know and starts mass DPS on 1st skill, then you got a problem

    Lineage II - Dwarf / Orc warrior. Two pretty hefty buckets of HP that are very well able to tank a lot of bosses out there. Okay, not a single taunt skill there, but the massive DPS they can do (if geared and played well) is enough to keep aggro most of the time (or even out-aggro the taunt-skill of the tank :D)

  • drakaenadrakaena Member UncommonPosts: 506

    I'll withhold judgement until more information is released but if you design boss fights without the need for heals and or tanks then you're going to get a dps race. It will happen, it just will. Players are always going to take the easiest path to victory. This has been tried and true throughout the history of MMO's. I don't even think this is debatable. If you can down a boss faster with max dps then that is what will become required.

     

    I also don't believe for a second EQN will release with some kind of groundbreaking AI. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that claim from countless games in development. 

  • DatawarlockDatawarlock Member Posts: 338
    Originally posted by Aelious
    I agree OP

    A tank's role is to keep mobs off of other members and to take the hits instead. The physics engine along with the abilities shown in the demo by the Warrior indicate this is possible. The other classes will also have a role in staying safe as most of not all classes have a "movement" ability slot (as seen in the classes panel) so everyone will need to be on thier game.

    Why?

    Because as also stated in the classes panel, or maybe the world panel, the mobs have very smart UI and the devs can crank that up so the fights are harder. Every mob has a "class" with the same abilities it seems. So as long as SoE understands the need for challenging content the need for roles will be there. Could encounters be done by Zerg or over dps? Possibly but if the AI is as smart as they say it will be rough.

    The jury is stil out but I seen more than enough evidence that playing a tank is there and to be honest a lot more fun that standing or moving around watching threat meters.

    Firstly, what evidence? Are you privy to inside information delivered from Smed's personal golden toilet bowl? And as far as the 'evidence' (which was zero evidence, as a tech demo is NOT the game), more fun than standing or moving around in your example would = spinning in circles over and over and over and over. 

  • MarkusrindMarkusrind Member Posts: 359

    Lets go back to D&D shall we and look at how that worked...

    Lets start with the 'tank'...the fighter. They were VERY good fighters (naturally) and had Very good defence but were kind of limited in doing much more then fighting.

    Now the Cleric. Clerics were of course there for healing but they also were there for lots of utility spells to cause damage to the opponent. They also have great defence.

    The rogue had exceptional damage but very situational but they were very mobile and provided a lots of utility skills for traps and other sneaky stuff.

    Last we have the mage. They could also do lots of damage, a lot of it situational, but their main ability was to flexible and there to fill the gaps.

     

    All classes could do damage, some more then others but a lot of the time that was due to the situation. Some creatures might be immune to normal weapons so the fighter was useless but the cleric was doing all the DPS.

    All classes had ways of having great defence. A fighter and cleric by wearing lots of armour. A rogue by being mobile and dextrous and a mage by having lots of spells to stay out of harms way.

    All classes except the fighter had lots of utility skills that could be used in and out of combat.

    And how did combat work? It was usually positional. There was no taunt and so the fight stated by finding out there was combat about to happen and get people to move to engage or back up. then people were free to roam around but there were consequences. If you felt a mob was getting too close to the mage, you might peel off, risk an attack of oppertunity and engage. But that didn't mean the mage didn't have options just that the fighter liked to kill things and stop others from getting hurt. Not by yelling but by actually attacking.

     

    In a nutshell agro and taunts were a mechanic used in early development that are according to SOE no longer needed. If that is true then it will be a situation where technology has finally allowed combat to actually be how it was first designed...which was to simulate real combat but in a highly fantastical setting.

     

    Gonna be good.

     

  • AntariousAntarious Member UncommonPosts: 2,831

    I can honestly say I really don't understand the "problem" .. unless you are simply going to go with the mindset "this is how things worked forever and I don't want them to change."

     

    If you watch many of the videos they make something pretty clear...  They want mobs to act like another player would.   Now if you set up a typical 5 man (or w/e size group) and go into a PvP area guess what happens?

     

    While your healers and ranged dps may try to sit back... the other side isn't going to rush the person in full plate armor and beat on them like a brainless zerg (unless you play Alliance in WoW and then your team will do exactly that).

     

    Of course quite a few of those comments by the Dev team were short and almost hidden...   Obviously traditional combat goes out the window against an enemy that can think (or in this case an AI they claim can emulate thinking).    Which means more or less all the roles have to evolve... and thus they are not traditional roles.

     

    So a "tank" won't simply go out and cast down the agro beacon... they will have to actively peel enemies off of their group members.   Or at least this is how I would imagine things to be based on their major push of Emergent AI...

     

    Tho if what I imagine is anything like how it is.. I will admit they did a very poor job of presenting it at SOE Live...   I just don't see how mobs acting smarter.. is not a positive thing instead of the crap mechanics most MMO's use to try and convince you that something is difficult.

     

    I mean for years I've seen people say they like PvP because mobs are so dumb.. so it just seems like they are trying to make AI smart enough for PvE to be similar to PvP... except that mobs won't be running 3rd party programs... of course...

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    Originally posted by Kuppa
    Originally posted by wizardanim
    Originally posted by Kuppa

    You do know a Guardian is the best tank in GW2, even though everyone can play(or try to play) that role.

     

    Also, EVERY single mmo game that comes out says they have "better" AI. It always turns out it's nothing groundbreaking. I think people underestimate how hard is it to have AI that simulates an actual player or something that even comes close.

    But every MMO that comes out has had static spawns or scripted events for mob AI.  This is a persistent world that learns over time and reacts to players, not pre-defined.

    That is what they say(not the first btw). You can't really go around saying that is the reality until you have seen it. Otherwise it's like another poster said, faith.

    True enough, and if these devs were only saying: "We have better AI... because... well, it's just better !", I'd be laughing too.

     

    But 60% of the features in EQNext depend on that "better AI" working spectacularly. If StoryBricks doesn't deliver, EQNext is dead. Stone dead.

     

    We can only draw arguments from our past experiences. In the reference frame of "scripted NPC combat", our arguments are valid. But that reference frame is no longer valid if adaptive AI works.

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