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.

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  1. #1
    Member Daimes's Avatar
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    The Future of Skill and Item Design (Specifically Tanking)

    PREFACE: While the majority of this is about skill usage, I'm using skill discussion to springboard into a discussion about the state of the game, including damage values and how combat works. Bear with me.

    Hello everyone, I'm Daimes and I have played Staff/Shield for quite a while in Project: Gorgon. If I'm not mistaken, I joined in 2016, picked up Sword/Shield, then decided on Staff/Shield and played that as my main combination of skills for, well, until the time of this post. I wanted to make this post to describe my thoughts on the skill reworks, reworks to elite damage output to allow tanking to be more viable, and ask some questions to the community and to the developers on their thoughts and feelings for the future of "tanking". Please bear with me; this will be quite a lengthy post and I will try to elaborate the best I can on concepts readers might not be familiar with. If someone needs further elaboration, please tell me and I will modify this post.

    So, as it has been pointed out in several posts, Staff/Shield has been in an excellent position for the de facto tank build, combining an excellent amount of mitigation, self-sustain, and taunt generation all into a relatively easy-to-build combination. To put this in perspective, I compiled some numbers a long while ago and will discuss them now.

    MITIGATION: (While these numbers aren't optimal for a build I would use, this is a reasonably easy number to obtain)

    Maxing out mitigation values through Blocking Stance, Deflective Spin, Heed the Stick, and a reasonable armor value of ~1,000 with the Shield mod/potion effect that armor gains mitigation every 20 points instead of 25, one can achieve a flat damage reduction of ~350 while every cooldown is running. This of course can change based on other mods, such as Shield mods for increased Armor, poetry books, potion effects, or food effects.

    350 flat mitigation. This is in addition to running Bulwark Mode and Deflective Spin's innate bonus of 17% reduction and 13% reduction, respectively. According to Yaffy's damage calculations, the incoming damage formula is:

    (Attack * Vulnerability - Flat damage reduction) * % damage reduction

    Plugging in the very basics of a fully modified damage reduction Staff/Shield build while under the effects of D. Spin and B. Mode (combined 30% damage reduction, which is applied before normal % damage reduction for some reason) while using a Fun Guy's base attack damage of 244, we get:

    (244 * .7 - 350) * 1 = -179.2 STAFF/SHIELD DMG Reduction

    In practice, this means a single Fun Guy needs to hit for 180 more damage than it can to damage somebody using Staff/Shield like this. This is subject to change based on other effects affecting the player.

    Is this a trait only seen in Staff/Shield? Kind of, kind of not. While I'm not a Cow player myself, I did do some rough calculations using the same armor values and replacing Staff/Shield mitigation with Cow/Unarmed, and I got a flat mitigation of around ~320 using Chew Cud and Stampede mitigation mods. Using the same formula above:

    (244 * 1 - 320) * 1 = -80 COW DMG Reduction

    While Staff/Shield theoretically mitigates more than twice the amount of Cow/Unarmed, keep in mind Cow/Unarmed could be modified to include evasion and has access to % based Elite damage reduction, so combining both evasion and % based reduction would tie up the damage reduction discrepancy a bit.


    These numbers were crunched almost a year ago, so there might be some now out-of-date information.

    Deflective Spin: - 164 Health restored per cast, 44 healing per second for 15 sec, 16 sec cd (41.25 hps from HoT + 10.25 hps from cast = 51.5 hps)
    Smash (Combat Refresh) - 206 health restored on combat refresh (every 15 seconds), 15 sec cd (13.7 hps)
    Suppress - 114 health per cast, 12 sec cd (9.5 hps)
    Bulwark Mode health mod - 21 health per CD used, ~1.3-1.5 cast time per ability (~20 hps)

    This self-sustain is JUST from Staff and totals almost 75 health per second restored assuming perfect CD usage and no overhealing. I do use some self-sustain mods for Shield (Fight Me You Fools and Take the Lead), but they are negligible in comparison to these 3 tricked out Staff mods, especially Deflective Spin. Through my cursory testing of other skills, their self-sustain options all pale in comparison to Staff alone. I would wager fully modding for self-sustain on any skill wouldn't even match D. Spin's self-sustain potential.


    Hands down, Shield generates the most taunt in the game. Bulwark Mode alone generates 150% more taunt consistently if modded to do so. Combined with a fully modified Take the Lead (495%) leads to an effective taunt output of 313%. This, of course, is just a percentage. Taunt output can be modified even more with Shield mods for doing so.

    Comparatively, Cow/Unarmed can taunt 145% from Cow and 200% from Unarmed. I'm unsure if both are combined or kept separate based on abilities, but it is a respectably similar Taunt output.


    Well, I think the numbers show that Staff/Shield is not the only combination that can get nutty, but I think the main problem with Staff/Shield is it can do it ALL without compromising on mod options. With how I build my Staff/Shield, I have very good mitigation, self-sustain, taunt generation, AND AoE abilities using Deflective Spin, Suppress, Lunge, and Fight Me You Fools. Other tanking combinations have to sacrifice at least one of these build goals, such as Unarmed/Shield sacrificing AoE pulling ability in order to be better at the three other options. Honestly, if large AoE pulling is not in your interest, other tank builds can be equally if not more viable than Staff/Shield. Personally, I prefer pulling large groups and fighting to survive using all the tools available to me.


    Combining all my points above, I'd love to know what everything thinks a "tank" should be like in Project: Gorgon. As mentioned, I prefer having the ability to pull large groups at a time to test my limits of tanking and allow AoE-oriented groupies to shine in their damage output, but I know my preferred method of tanking is not what everyone prefers, or even the best. Healers might not be accustomed to having all that damage focusing one person, and some damage dealers are only equipped to deal with 1-2 enemies at a time, potentially leading to slow group kills, potentially leading to a wipe.

    If other tank players who are more familiar with other combinations of tanking than me, please share your thoughts and I can put them in this post.

    My opinion is that other skills need to have a lot more to offer to match Staff/Shield, or Staff/Shield should be reeled in so it can't do EVERYTHING, but both of those options depend on community feedback and what the admin's vision for the game entail. If they want slower-paced small group pulling, then that's their decision. Another thing to look at is just how combat flows right now and if it's acceptable. One opinion I will fight till the day I die is that NPC crits need to go. Random spikes in damage are just not fun to experience as a player and honestly just makes it feel like one got cheated out of a fight because RNG said "No". Leave crits as a rage attack or something, but just remove the randomness to them. Predictable damage helps smooth out tanking for everyone involved, and can pave the way for nerfs or changes to how damage mitigation is calculated so the meta isn't to just stack 300 flat mitigation and throw some % in there for good measure.


    Right, that.

    Well, the only thing I want to say about it is that metal armor is just not worth it for tanking. Or anything, really.

    Armor type dictates what your combat refresh will do. Cloth restores more power, leather restores health, and metal restores armor, and let me tell you: you can survive with 0 armor. You can't survive with 0 health. Leather combat refreshes are worth infinitely more than the miniscule amount of armor metal provides, especially since I can't even tell you how many times I've died while having almost max armor.

    For those not aware, damage will divide 1/2 into armor and 1/2 into health. So a Fun Guy's 244 hit, assuming it wouldn't get mitigated at all by armor mitigation, would deal 122 damage to your armor and 122 to your health. People will often die before their armor depletes because armor values are higher than health, which is why I maintain health restoration is infinitely more important than armor regeneration. As well, indirect damage (DoTs) will completely bypass armor, so poison, bleeding, and burning are much more lethal to tanks than 8 mobs hitting a tank.

    How much better is metal armor compared to leather? I removed the leather helmet and dwarven metal helmet from the equation because I will always use a bard hat for tanking due to the stun avoidance. Resisting a stun is much more important than anything else the other helmets can offer, because a stun at the wrong time is the difference between life and death (please please please give diminishing return stun lengths to players already I'm tired of not being able to play the game for several seconds I beg you admins). With that in mind:

    A full set of Astounding Leather armor with a bard hat offers 762 armor.

    A full set of Astounding Dwarven Metal armor with a bard hat offers 798 armor and 814 with a dwarven metal helmet. A difference of less than 50 armor (and 2 effective mitigation) for a worse combat refresh. In my opinion, metal armor just isn't worth it.

    EDIT: I should specify that some of the armor listed includes my ring and shield I use, which adds 50 and 88 armor respectively but doesn't change the end result of metal armor adding about 50 armor over leather armor.

    So what should be done about metal armor being pretty bad? I don't know. The only two options I can see metal armor is changed is to lean into it being a tank-only set and increase the mitigation metal offers by a good amount, or make it more accessible to everyone so it's a more viable pick a la leather armor. Leather armor is useable by everyone because everyone needs health, even if they aren't actively being attacked.

    That's all for now, sorry if this is jumbled. I'll go back through and clear up any misconceptions if needed.
    Last edited by Daimes; 07-24-2022 at 02:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Celerity's Avatar
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    I think the thing you're missing is that you're not going to have all your mitigation up all the time. I play cow/unarmed tank but I also used to play unarmed/shield in the past, so I know what both shield and cow tanking are like.

    Cow you have to spam chew cud on a 10 second cooldown or you lose access to most of your mitigation, you also need to be spamming tough hoof, infuriating fist, your fart for your taunt and your basic attack to keep up your mitigation stacks. This is difficult even when you're completely unimpeded. But throw in the reality of dungeons like GK where tacticians lock you out of your abilities, frequent chain stuns in WT and hippogriffs draining your power and in FF, both chain stuns from mantises as well as myconians locking your basic attack and a lot of the time you're only going to have about half your mitigation up at any given time. Cow can use some abilities while stunned, yes, but you can't use your fart for taunt, infuriating fist or tough hoof and it's not uncommon to get stunned out of range of enemies to use your basic attack such as by the rhino which knock you back, or people knocking the mobs back. Also if you get chain stunned it cancels your ability use and sometimes you can't use any abilities even though you're supposed to be able to.

    Staff/shield is much less reliant on cooldowns for it's mitigation and gets a lot more than cow/unarmed passively which makes it better in these scenarios. But I know from playing unarmed/shield that it is incredibly important to not waste take the lead because if you miss the extra taunt from that, you will lose aggro against the higher dps players. Unarmed/shield is actually better taunt than staff/shield and I would still frequently lose aggro to fire/priest players or hammer players in the past if I didn't get off a good amount of taunt with take the lead active at the start. I honestly believe that anyone who says that taunt is op in this game just hasn't played with anyone who actually knows how to dps, especially using the skills that generate extra aggro like fire magic. Lieutenants in gk can rage attack to reduce taunt and some players I know use a taunt word of power every run for the 3x taunt, and they STILL sometimes lose aggro when there are a lot of lieutenants involved. Maybe I'll change my opinion on this the day that every high dps player is using camouflaged gear and persona minimisers, but most of the time this is not the case.

    Also, not all damage types and enemy types are equal. Sure the physical attacks from the fun guys hit for no damage when you have your mitigation, but the nature rage attacks hit like a truck and so you still need to be careful to not pull too many, even if their regular attacks don't even harm you. Funnily enough, the non-elite brain bugs in FF are also one of the biggest dangers to cow, since so much of it's mitigation is elite exclusive.

    Finally, you're also assuming a full yellow, probably max-enchanted build, perfectly rolled. The game can't be designed around this or nobody would be able to run a dungeon until they had this themselves, which can cost millions and take even 1-2 months to reroll. I will admit, it is strange that the biggest danger to a tank is a fire dot if you're a cow and a psychic dot if you're a staff/shield. But I think it serves it's purpose in giving healers a role. You can't just make tanks these omnipotent beings who are immortal without any support.
    Last edited by Celerity; 07-25-2022 at 02:51 AM.

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