The Heavy Tanks of Albion!

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Aelred
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Postby Aelred » Apr 17, 2016 02:42

Hey, Armsmen and Armswomen of Uthgard!

With the beta coming up, I thought the heavy tanks of our realm should get together and share their plans. The Mids and Hibs may have already counted us out, because of perceived balance issues, but teamwork and planning can more than make up it! The purpose of this post is to get ideas flowing, of how we want to play our plate-clad behemoths, and how to best help our realm, in both PvE and RvR.

I am planning on playing a defensive Armsman, acting as a sword and board tank in PvE, and as a peeler in RvR, protecting the glass-cannon casters of our realm. To help accomplish this, I theorycrafted to the best of my knowledge what Uthgard 2.0 will be like, and came up with this build (I'm sure it is super generic).

Saracen +10 Str +10 Dex +10 Qui
18 Parry
44 Thrust
42 Shield
44 Two-Handed
(This is with 77 points of auto-train into Thrust)

I added points to Strength to maximize my damage, Dexterity to maximize my blocking ability, and Quickness to increase the rate of my styles. I chose to omit constitution, because, as a peeler, if I am taking damage we have either already lost (because my teammates must already be dead!), or we have won (because the enemy team is awful, and doesn't know who they should be targeting).

For my specialization points, I brought Thrust up to 44 because it gives me Wyvernfang (a 27 second snare), and I feel Thrust is the best damage type for my high Dexterity Saracen, and because I will be mostly hitting players wearing Chain (which is vulnerable to Thrust), or Scale (which is neutral). I brought shield to 42 for Slam, and for better blocking rates, as I guard the fragile casters on my team. Two-Handed was raised as high as 44 mostly for the damage bonus it brings, as I want to also be able to burst enemies if the opportunity arises. The rest of my points were spent in parry, to increase my defensive ability.

For Realm Abilities, I would start with 4 points into Long Wind, as I have heard Tireless will be worthless on this server. I'll put the next 22 points to max Determination, to minimize the effects of Crowd Control on me. At that point, I will be RR3L6, and can then consider putting points into Purge, Augmented Dexterity, and Mastery of Blocking. Looking further, I think Soldier's barricade, Trip, and Grapple, will all be very important abilities for my role, but my perspective may change as the server progresses, so I will refrain from planning that far.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this post, and I would love to hear what your plans are. My questions are: Are you planning on making an offensive Armsman, defensive, something in between, or something completely different? What are your thoughts on Polearms, vs Two Handed in this patch? Does anyone know, for certain, if Snapshot will be given at 25 in Crossbows?

Thanks for your time!

hazelhimself
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Postby hazelhimself » Apr 17, 2016 02:48

sorry for OT but being a hybrid(and caster)-lover myself i have always wondered, why some arms prefer 2h over pole.
care to enlighten me?

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Nezix
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Postby Nezix » Apr 17, 2016 03:26

Awesome post sir :) Albion shall triumph!

Couple of points:
1) You may consider going no 2h for 50 block. It will make a solid difference when guarding. Or lower parry and put those extras into shield. Certainly something you can play with.
2) Soldier's barricade will be quite good.
3) Trip and Grapple not so much. These are pretty awful old RAs (grant immunity, can't be used on immune targets, etc).
4) But prevent flight will be nice for peeling, though perhaps less needed going the thrust route.

Overall I think pretty solid :)
Nezix - 50 Minstrel <The Band>

Merlin: Arthur, what is best in life?
Arthur: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their Lurikeens.

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Scalado
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Postby Scalado » Apr 17, 2016 10:25

Imo there is no reason not to go pole and highlander

1. Wyvernfang is a follow up style. The time you would be "saving" using 1h for peeling is thus not so pronounced (because you always have to use 2 styles). This is also easily remedied for arms, as you can just take a slow (damage) and a fast (peel) pole with you. pole line has a fantastic hinder in crippling blow (even gets a buff with the patch level iirc) and it's an anytimer. With haste, qui, some mastery of arms and a 4.4 pole, you can get your swing speed down to 1.9/2.0 secs.

2. Guarding is also no problem, it takes a bit of getting used to switching weapons (from shield to pole) but really quite basic.

3. Highlander with str-based weapons has higher def penetration than saracen with dex/str based weapons. Also, being reliant on a style chain means missing just 1 out of 2 styles will give you some problems (e.g. vs savage).

4. Thrust damage is indeed good. But going for 1h thrust is like saying you want to bash in a wooden door with a spoon because it's made out of metal. The overall 1h damage is insufficient, so you want to bring in something larger.

5. Both 2h and pole, however, even when using thrust as baseline, use only strength (!) as their damage attribute. Going saracen may increase 1h damage slightly but reduce your 2h damage (your "burst") - the exact opposite of what would be rational.

6. Going over 51 composite spec for baseline (thrust 44+11 through items+rr) adds no damage to your 2h/pole line, which is another problem with this spec. The points are needed, at higher rr, when you can go split spec pole, e.g. 42 shield, 50 pole, 30 slash, 30 thrust, 7 parry (at included) (you swap poles according to armor type of enemy, thus increasing your damage). Alternatively, you can also increase shield by going 50/50/30, netting you 4% more block.

7. Dex races and block chances. I'm afraid there is, quite understandably, a misconception here and it's not particularly intuitive. At low lvls, the block chance differences are indeed noticeable. At higher levels, however, saracen blocks ~1% more than highlander (you can calculate all this yourself or use charplaner, so don't take my word for it). Bad race choices will usually not gimp your char (perhaps with the exception of troll shaman^^), but if we're talking about min-maxing saracen is suboptimal.

8. 2h vs pole. This is pretty simple, pole has better growth rates and an anytime hinder.

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Aelred
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Postby Aelred » Apr 18, 2016 05:41

Thanks for questioning me on that, hazel, I had been under the impression that Polearms was weaker than 2h, in this patch, but evidently I was wrong. After doing some more looking, the styles seem more effective, and interesting. I had also thought that Polearms had received a nerf in 1.65, but it seems like it was quite the opposite. (Though Alb's 2h swords look fantastic! That may be a factor in Armsmen choosing them)

Nezix, so raising my Shield skill to 50 should give me a 4% increase chance to block, and uses 372 specialization points. Alternatively, I could get +6% chance to block from investing 4 Realm Points into Mastery of Blocking. I feel that going the MoB route is more worthwhile, but I would like to hear a counter argument, too! Thanks for your additional points, as well! Soldier's Barricade seems like a must-have, while Trip and Prevent Flight can be conditionally useful (mostly against difficult targets, like Savages and Zerkers), and Grapple being totally unworthy of the high cost.

I hugely appreciate your input, Scalado! It all seems so obvious when pointed out, like that, haha. I completely agree with you, on the 1h Thrust, and I've been converted to Polearms. You raise many good points for focusing on Strength as a peeler, with the added argument that Armsmen's weaponskill is seemingly based entirely off Strength.

My revised build, based on suggestions, would likely look something like this (assuming I got to RR2 in Caledonia)
Highlander (or Briton, if I decide I'm not a fan of the kilt!) +10 Str +10 Dex +10 Qui
22 Parry
38 Slash
50 Polearms
42 Shield
(With 77 points of auto-train into Slash)

As I get to higher realm rank, I can respec Slash and Parry, and instead go with a second damage type as well. Thanks again for all the input! It is much appreciated. It's surprising that it seems an there is little to no difference then, between an offensive and a defensive armsman's builds, in an RvR setting. I guess that just means switching roles will be easier!

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Nezix
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Postby Nezix » Apr 18, 2016 05:57

I'm sure 42 shield and some MoBlock will be fine, but you should know those formulas are totally incorrect.

Example I tested a few weeks ago on Live:
Cleric w/ 154 STR vs Paladin with 45 parry (no shield) w/ 150 Dex:
~2700 swings : 48% parried

But if you use the formula here: http://camelotherald.wikia.com/wiki/Parry
This Paladin should have parried 32.5%

Simple fact is that those formulas do not in any way account for defense penetration. It even says:
Adding the results of all three together, you will find your base calculated parry rate before taking into account enemy Weaponskill.

And yet clearly their "base" is far too low.
Nezix - 50 Minstrel <The Band>

Merlin: Arthur, what is best in life?
Arthur: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their Lurikeens.

hazelhimself
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Postby hazelhimself » Apr 18, 2016 17:31

TBH why not both?

My paper-daoc sense thinks, that 50 pole, 50 shield, 29 slash,9 parry would be quite a spec. (works with slash AT till 40)

as for RAs id absolutely start with Aug Dex II, MoB II. keep in mind you will probably be leveling in a grp and it will take a while on uthgard. MoB II is easy to get and helps a LOT protecting those icewizzies :)
OFC purge,det V and SB are going to be gold but id absolutely scratch PF, since its just way better on merc(way higher swingspeed) and you have a pole and a slashstyle for snarerino.

just my 2 monopoly-cents.

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Ilerget
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Postby Ilerget » Apr 18, 2016 19:23

hazelhimself wrote:TBH why not both?

My paper-daoc sense thinks, that 50 pole, 50 shield, 29 slash,9 parry would be quite a spec. (works with slash AT till 40)

as for RAs id absolutely start with Aug Dex II, MoB II. keep in mind you will probably be leveling in a grp and it will take a while on uthgard. MoB II is easy to get and helps a LOT protecting those icewizzies :)
OFC purge,det V and SB are going to be gold but id absolutely scratch PF, since its just way better on merc(way higher swingspeed) and you have a pole and a slashstyle for snarerino.

just my 2 monopoly-cents.

lower spec in damage increases the variance, your base damage will start low
It's the thrill of the chase
and I'm coming after you.

hazelhimself
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Postby hazelhimself » Apr 18, 2016 21:20

Ilerget wrote:lower spec in damage increases the variance, your base damage will start low


ofc. it costs dmg until veeery high RR but ive been guarded many times with my chantress and i gotta say...50 shield >>> 42 shield any day. so with this spec the arms would be able to guard like a baws, peel like a god while still doing SOME dmg with the chance to spike quite hard. sounds good. on paper.

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silenced
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Postby silenced » Apr 18, 2016 21:40

hazelhimself wrote:
Ilerget wrote:lower spec in damage increases the variance, your base damage will start low


ofc. it costs dmg until veeery high RR but ive been guarded many times with my chantress and i gotta say...50 shield >>> 42 shield any day. so with this spec the arms would be able to guard like a baws, peel like a god while still doing SOME dmg with the chance to spike quite hard. sounds good. on paper.



Believe it or not, I personally had quite some fun with my Avalonian Pole-Armswomen on live. Even she dealed some good damage from time to time. A real glass-cannon, with more glass than cannon.
Albion Forever!

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Connavar
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Postby Connavar » Apr 19, 2016 14:46

I am still completely on the fence as whether to go Armsman or Merc as peeler for group...

Armsman
PRO
Gets MOB
Soldiers Barricade for burst defence
Anytime snare from pole (low duration)
Follow up snare from pole (long duration)
Best Armour available

CON
PF wont proc as much while using pole (too slow)
Even fastest pole still slow for applying snare (esp 2nd in chain)
Offensively inferior to merc due to 2H being easy to block

Merc
PRO
2nd in chain snare (thrust, quick to apply with fast wpns)
360 degree evade
dirty tricks when guarding
can play offensively in groups when not peeler/winning battle
multiple allowed in groups
PF will proc a lot from fast wpns & dual wield

CON
No MOB
No soldiers barricade like defense RA
no anytime snare

Someone help me make my mind up! Although primarily i would be looking to peel. There ofc are times you can't get a group as tank, does the ability to play offensively make the merc more desirable overall due to it being similar defensively?
Monza Murcatto - Armswoman <Realm Joint>

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Nezix
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Postby Nezix » Apr 19, 2016 14:52

I think if you're primary goal is to be a peeler you gotta go Armsman for that MoBlock. It will also be easier on you to switch between 1h/shield and pole compared to being a merc and having to actually drag/drop for dw vs 1h/shield.
Nezix - 50 Minstrel <The Band>

Merlin: Arthur, what is best in life?
Arthur: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their Lurikeens.

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Connavar
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Postby Connavar » Apr 21, 2016 10:31

Thinking about it, i will go merc. I can see first few months taking pala over arms in groups due to lack of money/pots, in both PVE and PVP. This means i'll end up being peeler on merc whilst the pala is CC'd! ;p Unless you got a nice set group i think you are gonna struggle as arms for PUG pvp until economy picks up and the easy RP will be in first few months.
Monza Murcatto - Armswoman <Realm Joint>

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Aelred
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Postby Aelred » Apr 25, 2016 05:22

Thanks for pointing out the calculation issues, Nezix. Hopefully during the beta, we can figure out how blocking rates will work on Uthgard 2.0, especially with the improved defense formulas alluded to in the teaser video. Ultimately, we have to figure out if 1 Strength is greater than, or equal to, 1 Dexerity, for a peeler. Is the amount of Weaponskill, and thus Defense Penetration, gained from Strength, a greater asset than the increased Block and Parry chance gained from Dexterity? If we can't come to any conclusions in the beta, I will just play a Briton, and be forever happy with the middle ground, haha.

Unfortunately, I doubt we will see Paladins running in 8mans outside of tank groups, and I don't have any idea how effective Alb tank groups will be in Uth 2.0. Perhaps we will see more casual (poorer) groups running a Paladin as their peeler, while the more competitive (who will always keep stocked on endo pots) will stick with their Det tanks. If the group can play effectively around the Paladin's CC weakness, I think they could be viable, but they will have to pray that enemy 8mans aren't running an aggressive Shaman, or Druid, who will use a root to effectively remove him from the fight (for 90 seconds or so).

While I agree with Nezix about Armsman having the best skills for a peeler role, the Merc shouldn't be too far behind, and the ideal class is really which one you will have the most fun playing. Plus, even if you decide later on you don't like to play the Merc as a peeler, it will still be a fun and highly effective class for other roles!

Also, I haven't been able to find any information about Snapshot prior to the introduction of New RAs. Can we confirm that Snapshot at 25 Crossbow was only implemented after Armsmen replaced it, as their RR5, with Soldier's Citadel? If so, it's too bad that we won't have any reason to think about our crossbows, outside of roots and keep sieges.

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Connavar
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Postby Connavar » Apr 26, 2016 09:45

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm still pretty set on Merc, although i do agree that in the longer term arms will be the go to peeler, i do think that in the crucial first few months, before people have money there will be a lot of paladins in groups, as people wont have the money for end pots whilst they are saving for templates etc. There will be lots of easy RP's to get you to RR5 on offer for those first few months (i know it was broken, but i got my Hero to RR7 on genesis in the first few months).

In addition playing merc will allow you to get into levelling groups more easily because only the tank needs to have good enough armour, dps only need weaponry and some stat gear. Overall, without a really solid guild playing merc will be a lot easier in the first few months.
Monza Murcatto - Armswoman <Realm Joint>


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