[Tankin’] Introduction to Tanks

Advanced Tanks: This is very basic information. Many of you will find it of minimal use. Do not let this discourage you from reading on Tuesdays. This is more directed at potential tanks. From here on out, I will have an “Advanced RvR: Tanking Theories & Strategies” beginning next Tuesday.

I tossed around what the first post for Tankin’ Tuesday would be on… I feel I should lead in with an introduction before going into more complex strategies. So here goes the introduction to tanks.

I will be focusing on small-scale oRvR as promised. As an introductory post however, this will be more broad.

Why Tanks?

Why Tanks? Is it right for me? What can I expect in RvR?

Why Tanks: My reasoning for playing a tank is simple. Of all of the classes in the game, a tank has the best shot at separating him or her self from the rubble of mediocrity. As discussed in Gear & Stat Choices, you can be gods gift to RvR and nobody will ever know or care if you don’t live long enough to execute your skills. Not only do tanks get viable and fair damage, their mitigation extends heavily into non-physical damage(unlike the grand majority of MMOs). More importantly, they have been granted a set of remarkable abilities previously unheard of (in my experiences) that I will review within this post.

Is The Tank Right For Me? This is a very difficult question to answer. While I hesitate to shy you away from a tank, I also hesitate to throw out too much encouragement. Many tanks fall off the face of the earth around Tier 4. The only solid warning I can offer is this: You are a tank. You are not a ‘burst DPS’ class. You will not be ‘blowing away’ anyone. Your goal is far and beyond best served with a shield. However, this is not as clear cut as it sounds. I will detail the different roles of tanks in the next section.

What Can I Expect in RvR? I am very careful to not exaggerate the capability of any class. I can however say one thing of tanks without reservation: You are the pinnacle of Small Scale and Solo RvR capability. If any career is capable of overcoming an opponent via sheer skill, it is the tank.

“Wow, Helik! Why would I want to play any other class less capable of glory and fame?!” Small scale is NOT the future of open RvR. Epic-scale is. Ask yourself: can you stomach charging down a long narrow murder-hole, barely surviving only to be engulfed by the destruction army on the other side, run back, do it again? Well, thats your job. First in, first dead. And as your realm-mates trod thanklessly over your corpse and to victory, you get up and get ready to do it all again. Welcome to Tank-hood!

Which Tank?

Order Tanks

Knight of the Blazing Sun:  The Front-Lines “Aura” tank. “Command” auras for both defensive(group) and offensive(AoE) buffs ranging from resist-debuffs to minor damage dealt on every hit taken. I haven’t had an exceedingly long time to study the class, but they are without a doubt the front runners and the guy you want leading your charge.

Ironbreaker: The “Back Lines / Buddy” tank. Their mechanic is a building bar of ‘grudge’ that is dependent on you or your oath friend being hit. As your grudges increase, so does the effectiveness of a great majority of your attacks. With an AoE knockback, single target knockback, and a reactive knockdown (the list goes on as you advance in level) you are by far the most capable character in the game at coming to the rescue. Oath Friend recieves buffs from Ironbreaker’s attacks: Armor, toughness and willpower are buffs that can be granted to the oath friend. Note: Ironbreakers get a tactic to gain grudges when they attack, as well.

Swordmaster: The “Duelist” or “Push” tank. Mechanic – Balance. Using one ability unlocks another set or ‘balance’. Using one of those unlocks another set. The third set costs no AP and using it returns you to normal balance. Style: Take everything you’ve been told about Knight and Ironbreaker, and introvert it. It is by far the most defensive and survivable class on Order.  The Swordmaster’s primary appeal: Prevention over Mitigation. With abilities granting parry, damage absorb shields, block bonuses, disrupt bonuses, and even a ‘hold the line’ of sorts for a two handed weapon, a Swordmaster in the hands of a skilled player can be nearly impossible to defeat alone. On occasion they have been labeled “The Duelist”, and I believe this to be quite accurate.

I was beginning to delve into destruction tanks, but I lack a complete understanding of them. Allow me to just say that they are a far more offensive version of Order. A Swordmaster is very comparable to a Black Orc. An Ironbreaker to Black Guard. Knight to Chosen.

How Warhammer Makes
RvR Tanks Viable

There are a few abilities granted to every tank that makes them viable in a Realm vs Realm setting. In Large Scale PvP MMOs, there is a place referred to as “The Dead Zone”. This is the area where ranged classes can reach without reaching eachother. Melee must obviously clear this space before engaging the opponent. Previously, said melee died in the masses.

Hold The Line: A channeled ability that slowly drains your AP and increases your defensive stats (Block and disrupt, most notably) until your AP is gone. It has no cooldown and can be toggled at a moments notice. Far more importantly, it also grants defensive stats such as disrupt to players BEHIND the tank, and can be stacked THREE TIMES (three tanks!).

Shield Wall: Rank 2 Morale. 100% block for 10 seconds. Note: You can block ANY attack unless otherwise indicated.

Guard: Buff placed on players that, assuming they are within a certain range, allows the tank to absorb 50% of damage taken by target.

Block: You can now block ANYTIHNG. This includes spell casts. Absolutely critical for tank’s ability to… tank!

Other: Spell defenses in Warhammer are superbly designed. There is both a general mitigation to all damage (toughness) and a specific additional mitigation for spells (resist). There is also a complete damage avoidance stat (disrupt and block). All of these in the right amounts come together flawlessly to allow the Tanks of Warhammer to maintain fair survivability without being either easily crushed or completley overbearing.


And there you have it, the most elementary introduction to tanks for those who have never played it. I must admit that I am relieved to have that out of the way.

Next week: The fun stuff! RvR strategies, complex theories and tactics!


2 Responses to “[Tankin’] Introduction to Tanks”

  1. Awesome write up. I tanked in two games now, WoW, and WAR. Tanking is like playing Offensive Lineman in the NFL, its an important job, but sometimes very thankless.

    Some things you gotta be, a leader because in PvE you call the shots. You gotta have a thick skin to match your armor cause your going to have to deal with people whining and complaining. Your best friends are your healers treat them good, but most of the time you guys are on the same page because being a healer is another thankless jobs.

    Tanks usually fall in a couple categories.

    Offensive, Defensive, and in case of the Chosen a Disruption

    Offensive Tank is all about swinging your big weapon, Your damage will never be the greater the a Sorc, but your definately harder to take down.

    Defensive – Bottomline your a meatshield, plain and simple.

    Disruption – Now Chosen I don’t know how other tanks are but they have a line where you can disrupt spells easier, and debuff more. I call this a linebreaker. Get close to healers, and spellcasters and mess them up good. Really causing Chaos.

    I really enjoy playing a tank, and all the roles there are to them.

    • Thanks River!
      There you have it, directly from a tier 4 tank!

      I feel the same as you, pretty much just naming them different things: “Back Line Defense”, “Front Lines”, and “Textbook”…

      With Ironbreaker (not sure about BG) as back line defense, which also fulfills an ‘offensive’ role as you put it, since they can afford to swing the big weapon

      Knight & Chosen front lines – “Disruption” as you put it. By front lines, I mean THEIR back lines, just as you said. Disrupting those nasty casters!

      Swordmaster & Black Orc as textbook (avoid/absorb damage respectively like no other class can) or, “defensive” as you put it.

      All in all, I agree with your analysis River! Your input is always greatly appreciated and welcomed on my blog!

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