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The GF Protector: Potential to break the Meta

dread4moordread4moor Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,148 Arc User
It has been well over a year since the 2-DC (or "full buff") meta became the dominate NW endgame composition. Many players have expressed their dismay over this situation. But the few attempts to break the meta have been ineffective (See link 1) or backfired, creating greater expectation for pure-buff, single DPS, and GFs who buff more then they tank.

NW player Shadowblade summarized the situation well in October 2017:
"It's just arithmetic. 4 good buffers buff 1 very high dps SO much, he does SO much more damage than 3 average hdps buffed by 1 Tank and 1 DC... Everything dies SO fast, they don't have time to kill the party."

However, this meta had unintended negative consequences.
New NW DPS and casual/moderate gear/alt DPS players are excluded from endgame party play opportunities.

Even worse, entire feat trees and playstyles have become nearly extinct.
One painful example of a full-buff meta casualty is the pure tank build.
Once a proud member of the D&D Holy Trinity, pure tanks are almost universally unwanted in NW.

And no tank is more marginalized then Tactician and Conqueror's ugly step-sibling: the Protector.
The Protector tree has not been viable for over a year.

Here are two simple Protector Tree changes that clould have favorable game-wide consequences.

!) Replace the Protector "Improved Action" feat with a new feat, "Devastating Bash"
Improved action was a worthless feat for a worthless passive power (Ferocious Reaction). It will not be missed.

Devastating Bash
Your "Tide of Iron" and "Shield Bash" at-wills now reduces enemy damage resistence by an additional 2/4/6/8/10% (uncapped, additive to ToI/SB reduction) for you and your allies.
Devastating Bash also applies/re-applies a 'regular' mark to that single target identical to that of Threatening Rush or Enforced Threat."

Yes, this partly reverses the Tide of Iron nerf from 2 years ago... but it is exclusively for the Protector tree.
A new source of uncapped debuff (universal to the entire party) opens potential opportunities for muti DPS party compositions.

2) Replace "Iron Guard" capstone power with...
"20% reduction in pre-mitigated incoming damage for all allies within 30 feet of the Protector."

Iron Guard was not working until 2017. Even when WAI, a single-target stacking reduction in enemy damage was laughable.

Outside of single boss fights, the Protector would have to Tide-of-Iron every mob n a room... 4 times... to get a meaningful affect. Outside of the KV/GA reflection mechanism, Iron Guard was a mediocre debuff at best.

The new Iron Guard would be powerful, yet passive.
It is an AoE similar to the DC's Weapons of Light. This unique and meaningful protection buff is also par on quality with the other GF capstones.

What do you think?
Should the Protector be ressurected?
Could these two changes make Protector builds viable again?

I am Took.
"Full plate and packing steel" in NW since 2013.


  • boromir#3940 boromir Member Posts: 107 Arc User
    The class needs a complete rework of nearly all feats. Even the heroic feats are terrible in comparison to virtually all other classes.

    These two changes sound good, but aren’t enough to get the protector tree back in the game. End game content, that is. We all know that it’s about debuffing the enemies damage resistance and buffing allies’ damage. The tac does this, plus adds some AP gain too.

    This discussion was put out a couple of times over the last year and a half. The best I’ve seen, and I don’t have the link, was done by Proteus on Xbox. He went thru all trees and discussed each feat that was terrible. Total number of ‘bad’ feats ended up being around 21. Then he had suggested new feats to replace them.

    The basic premise I think we can all agree upon, is that each tree should stay true to their intentions. The philosophy of use, if you will. They are:

    Conqueror- adds damage to you, not your team. *Should buff teams damage to a lower effect as well.

    Protector- protects you and your team from damage. Literally only the capstone is team based ‘protection’, so it’s abysmal. Every regular feat only adds protection to you, and for some reason damage, like Staying Power. Doesn’t belong in this tree. *Should increase you and your teams damage resistance and deflection chance. Also, debuff enemy damage output and damage resistance via more than just the capstone. The bubble pally equivalent.

    Tactician- buffs you and your team, and debuffs enemies damage. *Should debuff enemies’ damage resistance and recharge speed of you and the group, like pally’s aura of wisdom.
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