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Vanguard Level 20 feats (Shake it Off compared to Deep Breathing)

wilbur626wilbur626 Member Posts: 912 Arc User
I have been playing with a "DPS" tank setup lately, and I have been looking at the less used powers/feats in the Vanguard arsenal. I found that some of the unpopular powers (Kneebreaker for example) can be extremely good, and that some powers are just really bad for all build variations (Knights Challenge and Shield Slam).

When testing different feat setups, I found something that puzzles me :

Im having a real hard time figuring out when a Vanguard tank should be using the feat "Deep Breathing".

For this feat to reach its maximum potential I have to Dig In for 9 seconds. 9 seconds with zero damage dealt or threat generated is "rewarded" with a damage increase of a whooping 12% for 10 seconds.

The alternative feat that unlocks at level 20 "Shake it Off" increases the Vanguards hardest hitting threat generator damage by 60%

As Retaliate can be used every 10 seconds, effectively making it the Vanguards 4th encounter power, increasing its damage by 60% is a huge boost.

Comparing the two feats up against eachother in a timeframe of 1 minute yields the following results :

Slotting the feat "Shake it Off", increases the damage dealt in the test window by 15,7%
Slotting the feat "Deep Breathing" DECREASES the damage dealt in the test window by -17%

Difference in damage dealt when comparing the two feats : 32,7%.

This means that slotting "Deep Breathing" is ALWAYS a bad choice, both for traditional tanks and tanks focusing on offensive stats.

Since @noworries#8859 has stated several times that they are willing to make adjustments to classes based on feedback I'm hoping that this particular feat will get some attention.

I would suggest changing the feat to give a flat damage boost of 20% that is activated after Retaliate hits an enemy. This would make "Shake it Off" the optimal choice for tanky tanks due to low offensive stats, and "Deep Breathing" the goto alternative for the offensive focused tanks.

Elite Whaleboy


  • rjc9000rjc9000 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,352 Arc User
    wilbur626 said:

    (Knights Challenge.

    As tools, I found the "instantly recover 50% of your stamina" powers to be very limited if you tank as the system is designed. The limitations of the powers apply no matter if the power is Binding Oath, Ignore Weakness, or Knight's Challenge.

    They only help players that didn't do their tank homework for learning the designated moments to block, or in exceedingly rarer circumstances where you have a bunch of debuff stacks and need the instant stamina to not overtax healer resources.

    But you can avoid the former moment by simply learning when to block better, the latter moment usually comes from making mistakes (like getting hit by things with debuffs) or if you're playing the game NOT as designed (I don't think "use KC to regain stamina to absorb Halaster's Magic Missiles while having 5+ debuff stacks in solotank ToMM" was part of the original Mod 17 design).

    Knight's Challenge has an additional problem that the added effect is terrible, since it only works on (regular) block and is based around enemies hitting you rapidly.

    If you're going to block attacks, you are going to use Dig In for its superior stat bonus and stronger portion of HP blocked.
    Most enemies don't hit you that rapidly enough to proc the bonus.

    Only reason KC is in the state that it's in is because asterdahl was so scared of the 3 hit Conqueror that he had to fully kill off KC, just to be sure.

    ... Even though he already made enough systemic changes that ensured you would never be dealing 50x your expected damage and certaintly not on a tank spec either.

    wilbur626 said:

    Shield Slam).

    Shield Slam and Shield Bash/Guarded Strike feel outdated due to being made for a different game and different priorities.

    As a power, Frontline Surge (the original name of Shield Slam) was a translation of a 4e D&D concept where the power would be useful for pushing back enemies trying to slip past you.
    This made sense in a turn based tactics game where the DM can make the adds ignore you and go attack your party's squishies, but not in a post Mod 6 NW where aggro solves everything and there are next to no adds to meaningfully control.

    Guarded Strike and Shield Bash, once upon a time, were vital for holding aggro and for helping new players maintain their Guard meter. But with the advent of Dig In and the systemic changes to tanking in Mod 16, there is no tactical reason to use the blocking at-wills anymore.

    If you're going to block, you use Dig In for how numerically overtuned it is.
    If you're going to attack for single target aggro, you are going to spam Threatening Rush and/or Shield Throw.
    if you're going to attack tor AoE aggro, you are going to use Cleaving Bull with Cleave, Retaliate, and/or Linebreaker.

  • dread4moordread4moor Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,148 Arc User
    Just peeking in to my old favorite game to see if the Fighter "Potty Squat" has been fixed.
    Seemingly not.
    I am Took.
    "Full plate and packing steel" in NW since 2013.
  • silente07#2597 silente07 Member Posts: 214 Arc User
    Barbs have versions of most f the old GF attacks, and no squat. Try them.
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