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Suggestions to improve aggro, tanking and general group play.

rasmuseprasmusep Member, Neverwinter Beta Users Posts: 53
edited May 2013 in PvE Discussion
Hey there,

Having tried various of the end game dungeons out with my GWF, and reading various complaints and issues here on the forum, I want to chip in with my own perspective.

First off let me say that personally I prefer a "trinity" (Tank, Healer, DPS) approach to group PvE play, having previously enjoyed Age of Conan and now also playing TSW. These are great games in regards to how their trinity systems works. As you do dungeons and boss encounters you experience, reflect, learn and hopefully improve to the point that you beat an encounter. The basis is that as you improve you become able to "control" a fight, using the game and class mechanics in ordre to beat the boss/encounter. Every part od the trinity has its purpose.

Now I feel that this aspect is lacking in NW. We see that the preferred setup for end game dungeons atm is 2 clerics, 2 control wizards and 1 rogue, relying heavily on the clerics shield and being able to push mobs off ledges. This leaves both soldier classes with hardly any role/use and it frankly also seems like a silly/not intuitive way of doing group content. Also when I myself as a GWF do the various T1/T2 instances, most encounters quickly become a chaotic cluster**** of adds and a cleric running for his/her life while the other party members franticly try to kill/control/do something about the adds/boss.

This does not invoke the feeling of improvement and control over an encounter I feel is integral to good group mechanics, and it also leaves 2 out of 5 classes more or less unwanted in end game group play.

So what could be done to streamline the group play, and make it better and more even for everyone? In my opinion these would be good starting steps:

- Reduce/sort the aggro of classes, especially the clerics, so they wont pull aggro just by thinking of doing some healing.

- Make it so the "shields" of the clerics dont stack (To reduce the incentive of taking several clerics as we see happening atm)

- Revamp the "Marks" systems, so that for example marks dont go away once you get hit by a marke dmob, but instead make them stick permanently to a mob for a certain time, 5-10 secs?, and while a mobs is marked it will be more prone to aggro the person which marked it. To counteract this, maybe lower the damage increase we have against marked targets.

- Look into making GF tanking more intuitive/fun? I do not know too much about how GF works, but I see quite abit of moaning, so maybe make their tanking abilities/mechanics more obvious/easy to use. Also ofc fix any broken feats/abilities.

- Revamp parts of the GWF feats:

- Destroyers purpose: Make the extra determination gain from hitting mobs bigger, from my experience it hardly seems noticable which is a letdown for an "end" feat. Alternatively it could lower the rate of which you lose determination while you are in unstoppable mode.

- Intimidation: Greatly increase the damage component. With 4k power, 5% means 200 damage which is nothing, assuming "daring shout" and "come and get it" are supposed to be our aoe aggro abilities. Increase to around 20-25% and we can start talking about being really usefull.

- Grudge style: Consider makign it affect wicked strike along with sure strike, or remove the tie to "at will" attack completely, making it a flat 1-5% crit chance increase with the increased threat from crits.

- Sentinels aegis: Locking part of an "end " feat to a certain encounter ability (restoring strike) seems to go against build flexibility. Consider replacing this added heal to restoring strike with a flat out lifesteal buff (5%-10%?) or even maybe even better, make it give a constant 10-15% increased threat from all damage we do.

- In boss encounters:

- Make it so adds cannot be pushed of any ledges/edges, trivializing gameplay aspects.
- Consider reducing the amount and/or health of the adds which spawn during boss encounters. Sometimes it just seems to escalate into complete chaos, which Im not even sure all the above changes could fix.

I hope you will read these suggestions and hopefully they will give you some ideas to improve the overall quality of group play in NW. I really like the base combat system of the game, and with tweaks along the lines of what I have posted above, this game could really be fun and engaging.

Post edited by rasmusep on


  • fancyaxelfancyaxel Member Posts: 3 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    rasmusep, thank you for posting this thread. I have been checking everything you said and have improved my tanking alot.

    Thank you.

  • thedeadstarthedeadstar Member Posts: 201
    edited May 2013
    As a GF myself I'd say 2 things would help:

    - marks not beeing removed by Dmg at least for PvE
    Tanking several mobs means your guard will be down rather faster and so you will gain less threat and for doing something beside auto-attack you will mostly just loose the mark. In addition the auto-attack animation is just retarted - sliding trough mobs rather often and can't turn to camera to see what's behind me while it works for normal auto-attacks while not guarding.
    Btw even Dots remove the mark - great if bosses/normal mobs do ground aoe dots near them.. won't waste my guard meter for stupid low Dmg Dots but I have to for the threat generation.

    - removing AoE cap of GF skills
    Don't know for sure if I'm wrong, but I'm almost sure that GF's skills are capped at 5 targets while heal aggro isn't same for CW Aoes. Great idea with all of those adds everywhere.

    However, until now I'm still doing ok though and can keep almost all of the adds on me. For certain Boss fight its even better if the guardian just tanks/kites the adds because in most cases they only respawn after killing (while most DDs don't even notice this and keep going to stupidly kill them so they respawn a sec after and going on the healer again).

    Revamped mark system would mean:
    - lower Dmg resist of mobs (great for the whole team)
    - lower Dmg of the Mob (-10% if speced into)
    - better tanking at all..

    Actually after first thinking GF would be a waste (and I rerolled already almost), its still kind of entertaining to play it. It's a challenge and not stupid tank&spank.

    But the real "main problem" of GF is that there are to many out there that feel like DDs with a shield, ruining the rep. of this class. Which other class can provide a 2x 10% Dmg reduction (10% mark, 10% via melee attacks - actually still bugged a bit because attacks while guarding do not count) and a group shield for 50% reduction extra while doing extra threat with it?
    But as you said, with ledge "abusing" and mainly easy mode bosses tanks are often not really of need.

    Wanted to do such a thread earlier already as well, but for some reasons I can't create any threads with this now 2 years old account (Please note that, for a short period of time after account creation, posting new threads is disabled), but works at german version of the forum.. great..
    Tong Lv86
    Server: Jian [DE]
  • demonsunderdemonsunder Member, Neverwinter Beta Users, Neverwinter Hero Users, Neverwinter Guardian Users Posts: 243 Bounty Hunter
    edited May 2013
    Agree with thedeadstar,

    But I see it as simpler than this, I enjoy fighting for control.

    Fix Knight's valor from bugging.
    Stop astral seal from stacking

    Problem solved.
    Oceanic Neverwinter guild http://19thbattalion.com/home
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  • thedeadstarthedeadstar Member Posts: 201
    edited May 2013
    Ah right, that Knights valors bug. Not sure if its just the description or really a bug. Cooldown activates twice but personally i think thats fine. 11s duration and after that 11s of CD. If it would be fixed to total 11s CD, either the duration should be fixed (otherwise its perma up and we would get insane amounts of AP [the AP generation of it is already pretty nice, but with "half" CD just to much]) or the effect should be weaken.
    Tong Lv86
    Server: Jian [DE]
  • rasmuseprasmusep Member, Neverwinter Beta Users Posts: 53
    edited May 2013
    My perspective regarding Marks is primarily from playing a GWF, where we have an ability to mark several mobs with a shout, which also generates more aggro. However seeing as they "should" aggro on me, these marks would be removed very fast, as they will hit me soon after the mark is applied, and thus the mark is gone until I use the shout next, some 15 secs later. Seems somewhat counter intuitive, so some rework has to be done to marks IMO.

    I also envision group play, where GWF has to control many adds, along with the CW, while the GF can keep focus on the single boss. However as I do not know the GF that much, I cannot make a full assessment of marks as I do not know your marking abilities.

    Overall, regarding aggro and group play, I feel NW right now is somewhere between Guild Wars 2 (Which I hated, group play was chaotic and not fun, no sense of control) and then the "pure" trinity games like WoW, AoC, TSW etc. I would personally like to move NW further toward the more pure trinity games, giving more meaning, purpose and control to each class.
  • thedeadstarthedeadstar Member Posts: 201
    edited May 2013
    They work similar to yours at GWF (dont know your class either :P) - aggro shout - decent dmg+range with mark, but mobs most likely will run to you before you block/cast sth else (+from different sides, cant block all), spammable single target auto hit with very small aoe ranged mark, single target mark without dmg. Options are there, more then enough, but keeping it is mostly the same prob a GWF experience (works for like 1-3 monster, everything above forget it.)
    Tong Lv86
    Server: Jian [DE]
  • stylepilestylepile Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 42 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    Here's my 2 cents. I've been running T2's on my cleric for over a week now. If you ask me the GF actually helps more than people think. If there are 15 mobs and 6 or 7 are on the GF it can make a real difference. So don't feel left out. :)

    One mistake i do see from some GF is that they stand in my astral shield and tank. That defeats the purpose. They could move away from the shield and keep it so the area inside the shield isn't completely full of mobs. That will give me a chance to toss some heals to the GF.

    The reality though is the mobs in T2 dungeons do sooooooo much damage that most anyone caught outside of the blue circles are dead almost immediately. That's why everyone wants 2 clerics. Another cleric and i generally just tell everyone to wait behind us until our circles are up and then we gather them all up around us while everyone else nukes them as we tank inside the circles. It's stupid but with so much damage being thrown from even the smallest mobs it seems necessary.

    I don't ever want to say nerf anything but the dynamics of mob A.I. and their damage output is kind of messed up at the moment.
  • drake129103drake129103 Member Posts: 1 Arc User
    edited May 2013
    I'm actually done doing instances until I hit 60. The op hit the nail on the head. As a Cleric all I do is run for my life because as soon as adds spawn on a boss they chase after me. Hopefully the tanks at 60 are better at mob control.
  • bismar7bismar7 Member, Neverwinter Beta Users, Neverwinter Guardian Users Posts: 252 Bounty Hunter
    edited May 2013
    Well the bigger contributor to this is the way threat works; healers getting threat off the bat because of how Astral Seal works means that they are getting chased all the time. GF's have tools to deal with this.... on 10+ second cooldowns. I have seen 2 GF's what play well enough that they can actually tank. I've probably played with around 40-50 tanks at this point.

    The fact is that GF's are not given the tools for an average player to be able to tank; this is problem number one. The Astral Shield would not be used nearly as much if tanks didn't have such a hard time holding aggro.

    Astral Shield and the way it works is fine, I have wiped with 2 blue shields up before; its not overpowered in pvp because of the way CC works, as it is a fixed location on the ground one CW can wipe out a cleric with a simple repel and force choke combo.

    The issue is not shield; it is threat; or more precisely, the long cooldown on tank threat generators; my suggestion is a passive that creates a 60 yard bubble around a GF that constantly generates more threat based on the amount of healing done from the party.

    if a heal for 100 causes 100 threat to the cleric, then have it also cause 125 threat for the GF. If a CW uses a pot for 8000, then have that be a 1.25 multiplier for threat to the tank.

    This would make the tank become more about surviving fights and (for skillful and geared players) damage.

    changing Astral shield is a bad idea; fix the real problem first.
  • etherealjetherealj Member Posts: 1,091 Bounty Hunter
    edited May 2013
    If you actually want GF to "tank":

    -AS damage reduction has to go down/suffer dr when stacking but leave the healing alone.
    -Reduce healing agro.
    -GF need either passive or power related mitigation increases to compensate for lost as damage reduction.
    -level 65 normal mob damage needs to drop

    Anything less and we still have no real need for tanking like right now.
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  • rasmuseprasmusep Member, Neverwinter Beta Users Posts: 53
    edited May 2013
    Having done some more T2, I can only say that once group roles are hopefully sorted, the amount of adds on boss enciunters need to be reduced.. some fights it is just borderline ridiculous..
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