Welcome to Project: Gorgon!

Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. We won't be guiding you through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project: Gorgon also features an ambitious skill based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.

The Project: Gorgon development team is led by industry veteran Eric Heimburg. Eric has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.

User Tag List

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Senior Member Yaffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    18 Post(s)
    1 Thread(s)
    990 (0 Banked)

    Post Why the majority of tanks run Staff/Shield

    It's been a while since my last in-depth thread about a topic, but recently I was having a conversation with some users about tanking. A lot of people were talking about how Staff/Shield is overpowered, as well as there being some comments about why Staff/Shield seems to be the most popular tanking skill combination. A lot of users were also questioning why I always say that Staff/Shield is the easiest tank combination, so here's an explanation to why that is.

    Staff and shield have a few very easy to use abilities that give them significantly better tanking capability for almost no investment. These three abilities are Deflective Spin, Bulwark Mode, and Blocking stance. There's also elemental ward but since it's basically just blocking stance for a different damage type and weaker numerically just sub it in yourself if you're thinking of elemental/dark damage.

    First off, in order to understand why these three abilities are useful, you need to understand the formula for taking damage:

    (Enemy's attack * Vulnerability (Resistance) - Flat damage reduction) * Percentage damage reduction

    So for example, let's say an enemy attacks you for 200 fire damage. You have 20% fire resistance from a meditation or armor, have 25 flat mitigation from your armor and then lastly two buffs that reduce the fire damage you take by 10% each. Something important to note is that buffs like that don't stack, so it'd be two reductions of 10%, not one reduction of 20%. Here's how the formula would look:

    (200 * 0.8 - 25) * 0.9 * 0.9 = 109.35 damage taken

    So what's important to note here is that due to how the percentage based reduction works, it has a diminishing effect when combined with flat damage reduction. Despite mitigating 10% damage twice, you only reduce damage by about 11% with the two buffs after the other damage reduction or about 16% of the total 200 damage rather than the combined value of 20%. This is how it works for the majority of abilities that reduce damage. This means that the amount of damage you reduce gets weaker the more you attempt to stack and it becomes exceedingly difficult to try and reduce the damage to very low numbers and essentially impossible to reduce damage to 0 this way.

    However, for some reason Bulwark mode and Deflective spin are unique in this regard. Instead of being calculated at the end of the formula as two separate instances, they are combined as one form of damage reduction at the start of the formula before flat damage reduction is calculated. This gives it a significant advantage because instead of having diminishing returns, it actually results in significantly better returns when combined with flat damage reduction. For example if we combine Bulwark mode and deflective spin into our previous formula:

    (200 * 0.8 *0.7- 25) * 0.9 * 0.9 = 70.47 damage taken

    So now instead of just reducing damage by the combined value of 30%, it actually reduces the damage you take by 35%! Instead of having a diminished effect it's actually reduced a larger portion of damage than advertised due to how it is applied before flat damage reduction. This makes it significantly easier to reduce damage to very low numbers or even zero. In fact, with staff/shield it's easy to calculate how much damage it would take to reduce damage to zero.

    X * vulnerability * 0.7 - flat damage = 0

    By solving for X we can figure out the amount of damage it takes to even deal 1 damage to the Staff/shield user. This is where blocking stance comes in, since it gives a lot of flat damage reduction (102 on elites). Just as an example let's plug that in again.

    (x *0.7) -102= 0, X = 145.7

    So that means that with blocking stance, deflective spin and bulwark mode up, an elite dealing physical damage needs to do AT LEAST 146 damage to even inflict a single point of damage to the character!
    So you might be thinking "Well that doesn't sound very impressive, elites can hit for way more than that at 80", but here's the thing: That calculation assumes that the character is completely naked with no mods or other buffs, which should already ring some alarm bells. With just six level 80 mods for deflective spin and blocking stance, you can get an additional 194 flat reduction! So now let's add that to the calculation:

    (x *0.7) -296= 0, X = 422.86

    So with just a handful of mods, the player needs to be taking over 422 in a single attack to even take damage, anything less will get reduced to zero, and this is once again ignoring armor, buffs or any mods on things that aren't deflective spin or blocking stance. This is why Staff/Shield is so incredibly tanky for very little effort. For other skills, since their damage reduction has diminishing returns it means that a set of incredibly good gear is required in order to achieve similar results. Not only that, but Staff and shield don't even need equipment to get access to most of that damage reduction, while other skills like Unarmed and Cow are completely reliant on gear for their abilities to even begin reducing damage.

    Here's the real kicker though: Playing Staff/Shield is incredibly easy and doesn't require much execution at all. Bulwark mode is a toggle, so players can activate it and don't ever 'need' to turn it off. Blocking stance and deflective spin have 30 and 16 second cooldowns respectively, so this means you can effectively get this much mitigation for having an APM of 6. That's embarrassingly simple.
    For comparison, Unarmed's defensive abilities have a cooldown of 10, 12 and 5 (Infuriating fist, headbutt, slashing strike) and Cow has defensive abilities with cooldowns of 8, 10, 12, 15, 10 (Front kick, clobbering hoof, tough hoof, Deadly emission, chew cud) and that's ignoring the two moos. This means that not only is Staff/Shield really easy to build gear-wise, but its execution when playing is considerably simpler because the rotation required to upkeep your mitigation is so easy. Of course there's much more to tanking than just reducing your damage, but this should very clearly show why Staff/Shield is so incredibly lenient to play in comparison.


    So with that I hope this explains why everyone keeps building Staff/Shield for tanking, and why it's so incredibly easy that people complain that it makes things way too boring. I don't mind the idea of some tank builds being simple to play while some are difficult because it adds variety, but staff/shield is so easy to play while also being way too strong for undergeared players. The amount of effort it takes to get similar results with any other tank build to even match Staff/Shield is so high that many players just give up once they realize how demanding it is. It's not even that other tank builds can't be useful, it's just that they can require so much from players that they don't feel like it's worth the effort or they just plain think it's impossible to tank better than their Staff/Shield peers.

    With that said, here are my suggestions as to how to even the playing field:

    1. Make bulwark mode and deflective spin apply their mitigation last so it's similar other percentage based reduction. This will make it harder for players to reduce damage to 0 as well as nerfing these very overpowered defensive abilities.

    2. Spread out the flat damage mitigation from Blocking Stance, Deflective Spin and Elemental Ward to other abilities so instead of a couple of abilities giving you a ton of mitigation you need to use several. This will make it harder to gear up staff/shield since a couple mods won't give you hundreds of damage reduction and it'll require a bit more execution to play. It'll also be a good excuse to buff up some other mods/skills for tanking as well. (The Shield mods that give you "force-shields" are horrendously bad for many reasons and could certainly be improved for example)

    3. Give other skill lines intended for tanking (Ex. Unarmed, cow, deer) a "Natural" form of damage mitigation that doesn't require gear like Bulwark mode/Deflective spin. This can either be a new skill thats main purpose is damage reduction or an additional defensive effect to an older skill. Cow does have a lot of healing which is useful at low levels but it can't compare at all to all the mitigation staff/shield get at high levels, while other skills like unarmed just have nothing. This would make tanking as non staff or shield skills much more appealing to newbies.

    So anyways once again apologies for the wall of text, but I hope this is a useful explanation and shows just why Staff/Shield pops up all the time. That said, if anyone else has any comments I'd love to hear them. I personally feel like staff/shield is way too easy, but if anyone thinks otherwise or agrees but likes it that way I'd love to hear it as well. Thank you for reading.
    Last edited by Yaffy; 02-11-2022 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member INXS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    9 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    642 (509 Banked)
    After reading i never realized about the cool down timers and i can see even more clear the easiness of playing staff/shield compare to other skills used for tanking, how better it is for it and you make some very good valid points on how it works, easy work for max results, wow !

  3. #3
    Junior Member Nepe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    152 (0 Banked)
    Wow, this is an amazing breakdown of tanking mechanics, problems, and possible solutions. Thank you so much for spelling this out so clearly.

    As someone who almost solely stares at player health bars in dungeon runs, the damage mitigation of running with staff/shield players is incredibly noticeable. Specifically, because there is so little to do as a healer! The challenge of overcoming threats becomes completely nullified which totally sucks the fun out of running dungeons (for me anyway).

    These changes you suggest would make great strides in balancing and opening up other play-style options. Thank you Yaffy for making such great observations.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mikhaila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    10 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    1,469 (0 Banked)
    It's a great break down. I normally am running dps with one animal form or another, and I like to take the small skills that can buff the group, or even just the tank for pulls. I can see here though, that adding a little mitigation or evasion or a small heal over time really means crap, and I should skip those skills entirely and just focus on dps builds.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Casalia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    92 (0 Banked)
    Great Points!
    however, I think you're missing some, and I want to add on to your great analysis.

    I think your points are a good explanation for why people are getting into that skill in the first place. But the reason why it is OP is about so much more.

    1. ridiculous regeneration
    2. huge taunt
    3. incredible mod distribution
    4. perfect synergy between skills and available equipment

    Between Staff and Shield mods, as well as the Hoplology skill (ignoring combat refresh and food) you effectively regenerate ~100 Armor / ~60 Health / 10 Power PER SECOND (the flat heal mods from deflective spin got divided to the 16 second cooldown here)

    Shield has humongous amounts of taunt, +150% on Bulwark permanently. Up to +1820 flat taunt on EVERY Shield attack. +470% taunt whilst Take the Lead lasts. Now if I understand correctly the taunt formula would look like this (haven't done exhaustive tests so take it with a grain of salt):

    (damage done + flat taunt) * taunt multiplier = total taunt

    so if this is correct shields basic attack can temporarily taunt for up to roughly 15000. Not to mention that Heed the stick (staff attack so no bonus flat taunt from shield) and Fight me you Fools already have huge taunts associated with them. Trust me when I say no other skills are close to that... or don't and do your own tests and calculations (Cow/UA may stand a good chance in terms of taunt, but I'm not sure how close it is, since I haven't tried Cow yet)

    There are different play styles regarding staff/shield. However, no matter which way you go, I found that you rarely if ever have to trade offs or have a hard decision to make which mods to choose. For the play style I chose, I literally just skimmed the mods, decided on the skills I wanted to use, and just simply picked every available one. Try finding good tank mods for unarmed on the jewelry... (except for the taunt on the ring)

    Finally there are some things that just are incredibly useful. Take the Lead is an amazing skill for pulling, such high speed, you don't even get into combat until you body pulled half the dungeon... which is quite handy since you won't be hit with the in combat running power penalty. Not that it would be hard to deal with considering shields power regeneration. With my UA tank I always had issues pulling, making it back to the group with hardly any power left (or health for that matter since stuff actually starts hitting you waaayyy earlier) and when I made it back I couldn't taunt because I was out of power. Shield also makes perfect use of the new metal armor, since it doesn't require extra power. Not to mention that shield also has massive extra armor mods, and access to shield wax, which further increases the metal armor suite bonus, getting 1400 armor is far from difficult, without sacrificing anything. With other Skills you'd have to rely on flowers for power on combat refresh or rely on your group to feed you. Also the insane armor regeneration also helps keeping you at max armor ALL THE TIME. Staff/Shield tanks never drop below max armor for longer then a second, unless being stunned or silenced. Some of the most common ways to die as a tank is being perma stunned, but good thing shield actually comes with 40% extra stun resist. Also both skills come with a lot of universal mitigation which is already awesome, but on top of that, for some of the most difficult to obtain damage mitigations (most widely encountered: physical and elemental) both skills provide some of the highest amounts of, of all skills.

    Suggested fixes:

    Cut elite mitigation in half. Cut a lot of the regeneration (in some cases it's literally an order of magnitude above that of other skills). Cut a moderate amount of taunt from shield. Consider shuffling the mods around a little so you cannot as easily obtain ALL the defensive mods, this will likely break existing builds, which is why I'd be careful with that. Remove some speed from Take the lead.

    P.S. : If anyone is interested in the build, this is it: https://gorgonexplorer.com/build-planner/2149

Thread Footer

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts