What has Changed?
- Damaging shield based skills (shield smash, bash etc) seem to not generate quite as much threat.
- Cry based skills (fray the edge, shield taunt, litany of defiance) generate massive amounts of threat, especially when using trait ‘Shield of Fire.’.
- Unlike wardens even when DPS traited you can hold aggro fairly well and still take a massive amount of damage. Especially useful in the moors.
- Damage reduction has reached truly amazing levels, rendering Block/Parry/Evade almost unnecessary.
- The need for a completely different set of armour/traits for DPS Vs. Tanking.
- Whirling retaliation now first response on a parry resulting in it becoming a mass threat generator.
- Block stance now comes with a 30% slow if a target doesn’t hit you for 5 seconds.
What has Not Changed?
- General ability to take damage is very high.
- Still able to solo very strong NPC’s.
- Block still stays at cap/very close to cap.
How do you set up for Tanking?
- Vitality, Vitality, and more Vitality. Before ROI I would of looked at that last statement and completely laughed at it, but seeing how vitality contributes huge amounts to tactical mitigation (all damage types but common) it has become the only way to gear.
- The new system of damage with finesse means that Block/Parry/Evade is not as important. although the cap is raised finesse will still reduce it. the name of the game for guardians is damage reduction. Where other classes will be hit for 8-9k you will be hit for 4.
- As far as traits go I tend to get as much resistance and tactical mitigation rating first, then physical mitigation next. even melee attacks that are not common count as tactical so physical is far less important. With fear/poison/wound/disease all being covered under the same rating it gives a huge reason to stack on resistance traits.
How do you set up for DPS?
- I have had a really difficult time setting up for DPS so far. Hopefully the next update there will be more options for Guards as far as gear goes. The idea is to get as much might as possible without sacrificing too much Vitality. Even when in DPS mode you don’t want to give up the primary strength of a Guard.
- The majority of stuff at the moment you can get for DPS will be either crafted or instance drops. Luckily the other heavy armour classes get plenty of what they need in their set pieces so the drops will very often be going to you. I strongly recommend going to the moors to get the set of rings for Guards, its very effective for both DPS and tanking and only needs rank 4 to get.
- Of all the guardian keen blade traits the one I will never use is raw power. It reads nicely but there has been a massive drop in relative DPS for Guards and the extra power cost is just not effective.
- One I will never go without is blocking force, paired with controlled breathing. Basically an extra way to regain a good chunk of power, which will become a major problem in longer fights.
- Because of the change to Whirling Retaliation you have to be extra careful with pulling threat off the main tank.
- Stagger already generates a huge amount of positional damage and threat which can become problematic, not necessarily for you, but if a boss turns to hit you it will also hit the group a lot of the time, which can really hurt.
Braki gives us some of his thoughts on the changes to the Guardian class since Rise of Isengard.