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Mitigation tanks are deeply flawed in Crowfall


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Mitigation tanks are deeply flawed in Crowfall. Among tanks, only sustain-style tanks are viable. I don't even slot block on my knights any more because giving up all my offense and all my stamina in order to reduce incoming damage is a fool's proposition 99% of the time.  In the early days of hunger dome, knight block reduced incoming dmg by 90% and you could hold it for 40s on a full stam bar. You had no offense, could take no other actions, and moved very slowly. But at least it preserved you in an emergency situation.  Today's block reduces incoming dmg by ~50%. It costs 100% of your offense, 90% of your movement, and drains your stamina so fast that it lasts about 10s and leaves you vulnerable to CC afterwards.  It is useful to block specific attacks, but CF devs stopped putting telegraphs on big attacks after HD. So you can get a big whammy with no warning from the newer classes. Only the original classes have the telegraph combos on big powers. 

I would like to see knight block become a normal power on the power bar - hit it (make it flash cast) and for 3s you're CC-immune (like the old juggernaut ability) and your personal dmg mitigation goes up by 25%.  Leave dodge on RMB like other classes.

Circling back around to mitigation vs self-sustain as viable tanks.   A mitigation tank in Crowfall takes less dmg than other classes and does less dmg than other classes.  It is easily ignored in a group fight because all it can do is stand there and hit you with a wet noodle.   Knight tanks give up 100% of their offense and drain their stam to gain 50% increased mitigation.  Sustain tanks are able to continue attacking while they heal themselves (and sometimes others, paladins).  It's a sad state of affairs when an assassin or ranger is a better tank than a plate wearing knight.   Sustain is absolutely king in terms of effective health.    Something needs to change with the way mitigation tanks are implemented in Crowfall.

 

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I completely disagree with your assessment that Knights are deeply flawed because they give up all offense and focus on damage mitigation. I agree that they seem quite lacking in 1v1 pvp and on up to about 10v10 pvp.  However, they really shine in larger number fights such as 15v15, 20v20, 25v25, etc..  

Also, I believe your statements about "Today's block..." are wrong for the Secutor Knight, since that promotion class gets 90% personal damage modifier and 75% reduced stamina costs on their blocks when their CDs are up.

I am relatively new to this game, as I have only been actively playing for 2 weeks, so I don't have any biases to what the Knight used to be compared to what it is now. What I do know is that my guild relies on the damage mitigation and CC a Knight brings to our larger scale pvp fights. Our Knights can get pulled in to the enemy front line and consistently survive the dps burst as the enemy attempts to focus them down. The Secutor pops CDs, raises shield, and walks backwards to our group, all the while receiving our heals and mitigating the incoming damage so he survives and we don't lose a member in the prolonged fight.

 

I am surmising that the pvp you play a lot of is in the under 15v15 battles. For those numbers, I agree with you that the Sentinel and Secutor Knight (have yet to play a Swordsman, so I can't comment on that) really don't do enough to warrant playing them over a more sustain style "tank" (Pit Fighter anyone?).  And as the number of players drops further (10v10, 5v5, & 1v1), the Knight just does less and less for the group.

 

And this is my hot-take on these observations: it is good for the game to have certain classes and builds shine at different levels of pvp. I would not bring a Secutor to a 5v5 fight at an outpost, but would absolutely bring (at least) one to a 20v20 fight at a siege. 

 

tldr: While Knights that focus on mitigation don't do well in smaller pvp engagements, they have an important and well defined role in larger scale pvp. I believe it is good for the game that certain classes/builds shine in different situations. ACE, please do not overhaul the Knight and turn it into a sustain style tank. 

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My only experience with block is this Cleric Crusader I am currently testing on Test. And I gotta say the ability to Block does feel underwhelming.

For one the length I am actually able to block is really short. As a Healer spec I'd really appreciate the ability to just turtle it out. Just tested it on Test and I can block non-stop for a grand total of 20secs. And with the penalty of end up open to any CC after it ends it is likely I will end up worse on the long run If I use my class gimmick.

My thought then was to try to use block only when I saw big hits/CC coming and havent met much success with it if at all. I do consume less Stamina this way but honestly it felt more like a luck game than anything. Obvious attacks like Champ and knight ground slam were telegraphed enough that I was able to block them, but the rest? A chance game. Even if I reacted fast enough some attack were still hits because it isnt like you take damage when the sword is supposed to hit your char.

I still gonna make this build on Live as it is good enough healer, but the Block thing hasnt left me impressed.

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17 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

My only experience with block is this Cleric Crusader I am currently testing on Test. And I gotta say the ability to Block does feel underwhelming.

For one the length I am actually able to block is really short. As a Healer spec I'd really appreciate the ability to just turtle it out. Just tested it on Test and I can block non-stop for a grand total of 20secs. And with the penalty of end up open to any CC after it ends it is likely I will end up worse on the long run If I use my class gimmick.

My thought then was to try to use block only when I saw big hits/CC coming and havent met much success with it if at all. I do consume less Stamina this way but honestly it felt more like a luck game than anything. Obvious attacks like Champ and knight ground slam were telegraphed enough that I was able to block them, but the rest? A chance game. Even if I reacted fast enough some attack were still hits because it isnt like you take damage when the sword is supposed to hit your char.

I still gonna make this build on Live as it is good enough healer, but the Block thing hasnt left me impressed.

As I am currently maining a Sentinel, I agree that it feels bad to block a bunch of attacks, then get CC'd with no Stamina. My initial thoughts are to give +Stamina in the talents for the classes that are intended to block a lot.  Or maybe give the Block ability itself a +Stamina when in your action bar? I am not sure if the right design is to reduce stamina cost or increase the stamina bar.

 On the flip side, there does need to be a balance to Blocking everything (including CC) and then being able to Retaliate out of even more CC after the blocking is over.

Perhaps that is the inherent trade off to using Block: you get to ignore CC while it is up, but you are vulnerable after you run out of Stamina. 

@BarriaKarlAlso, correct me if I am wrong since I haven't played a Cleric, don't you heal your party when you Block? 

Edited by Stasy
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On 1/17/2021 at 1:20 PM, Stasy said:

Also, I believe your statements about "Today's block..." are wrong for the Secutor Knight, since that promotion class gets 90% personal damage modifier and 75% reduced stamina costs on their blocks when their CDs are up.

The 90% PDM only lasts for 6 seconds and has a 48 second cooldown after accounting for the knight's 30% long cooldown reduction. Yes, the cooldown can be reset by hitting a target with Chain Attack, but at absolute best, you'll be using it once every 18 seconds, and in the heat of battle there's little chance that you'll be using it that often.

The 75% reduced stamina costs doesn't actually work. Only the first tick is reduced. After that, the stamina costs is the same with or without the buff.

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On 1/17/2021 at 2:36 PM, BarriaKarl said:

My thought then was to try to use block only when I saw big hits/CC coming and havent met much success with it if at all. I do consume less Stamina this way but honestly it felt more like a luck game than anything. Obvious attacks like Champ and knight ground slam were telegraphed enough that I was able to block them, but the rest? A chance game. Even if I reacted fast enough some attack were still hits because it isnt like you take damage when the sword is supposed to hit your char.

Back in Hunger Dome, Block was actually a valuable ability. We had animation locking and all CC was telegraphed, both by the animation and by being behind at least one other ability in a combo. Now we have AOE stuns that are single attacks. How are we supposed to block those? In a large fight where there are people everywhere and the attacks can come from any direction and any range, block just isn't that useful.

Block was designed for the game they originally wanted to make, but it doesn't work very well for the game they ended up with.

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  • 3 months later...

So, what if they made block (for builds that spec into it) a type of aoe, meaning that it affected an area around the knight (think Reinhardt's shield in Overwatch)?  That would probably make block, particularly for the knight tank, a facet in pvp gameplay.  

“... [T]he pure light of chivalry... distinguishes the noble from the base, the gentle knight from the churl and the savage;... rates our life far, far beneath the pitch of our honour, raises us victorious over pain, toil, and suffering, and teaches us to fear no evil but disgrace.” --Walter Scott

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