Something I've noticed since I started playing RoR is that healers and especially dps are the loudest individuals on the forum. They are constantly advocating for changes to their respective classes, and I don't really see that with tanks. As you all know, IBs are not in a good place and haven't gotten any love in a very long time. IBs still have a place in small scale, but in anything bigger, there are almost always better alternatives. Most Order premades aren't taking anymore than 1 IB into city.
So basically the whole point of this thread is to facilitate discussion on what could be done to improve IBs in warband play, create a well thought out list of potential changes, and then to ship them over to the balance forums. I'm not expecting anything to come of it, but I want to give it a try. As people submit feedback, I will update the OP to reflect that feedback. Our chances of success will go up greatly if we work with fellow BGs to put out our balance proposals in tandem, as buffs/changes should occur on both sides.
My perspective on IBs...
IBs are without a doubt the hardest tank to play effectively in the game. There are a gazillion situational abilities and tons of buttons you are going to be pressing. IBs barely have any AoE. All of their buffs and debuffs are single target and have not been tweaked in a very long time. Some single target buffs are worse or equivalent to Knight Aura's that span the entire party. As far as cities go an S&B IB will have to manage a lot: following dps around so they don't die, smacking dps/healers with debuffs (especially punishing knock + kneecapper) when you have the chance, and constantly spreading oathfriend around the warband to give as many people your buffs as possible (the best buffs only last 10 seconds...). A 2h IB is a blast to play, can do decent damage, and does very well in small scale, but shouldn't see the same numbers as an equivalently geared BO or SM.
Here is my stab at some changes that I think would definitely help.
NOTE: We are in the brainstorming stage. Most of the stuff you will see below will not actually make it into the official proposal.
- Every buff/debuff is single target. To spread buffs around you must first switch your oathfriend.
- Many of the Knight aura's (if they choose to run them) are basically equivalent to some IB buffs and have greater range. Most IB buffs go over 50 feet, auras are over 100.
- The buffs/debuffs are not strong enough.
- Oathbound and Ancestory's fury are great but are only up for 10s meaning you can only buff a few at a time
- Stubborn As Stone (corp), Vengeful Strike (toughness) are no better than Knights aura's which apply to the entire party
- Guarded Attack (armor buff) isn't better than an armor pot
- Runic shield is a single target shield with the same cooldown as protection of hoeth (group shield)
- Stonebreaker (armor debuff) has not kept up with improved gear stats. With no points specced into Vengeance (dps tree) the armor debuff at 100 Grudges is 800, at 5 points (AF) it is 960, at 15 points (full dps) it is 1280. As far as I'm aware, this hasn't changed since Conqueror was the best gear set in the game. This is not good.
- There are a ton of terrible tactics/abilities that most IBs will never use. The Path of Stone tree (Tank tree) is the most heavily impacted tree.
- Ability: Avenging The Debt
- Ability: Oathstone
- Ability: Shield Sweep
- Ability: Guarded Attack
- Ability: Vengeful Strike
- Tactic: Oath of Vengeance
- Tactic: Told Ya So!
- Tactic: Overprotective
These improvements are in no particular order. Some are marginal improvements, others are bigger buffs. They are categorized based on the ability/tactic/idea they are focused on.
General buff improvements
- Increase the duration of Oathbound and Ancestory's Fury to 20s and the Grudges cost to 25 so we can have it applied on 2-3 targets at a time, and still have time to do other things such as fire off debuffs. - Zakgrin
- Increase the strength of our buffs in general and range through oathfriend to within 100 feet. If they are going to be single target, then they should be substantially better than Knight Aura's that apply to an entire party (and only require you to press W). Strength of a buff can be scaled based on whether or not IB is using 2h or s&b. Buffs performed while wearing a shield should be stronger than 2h buffs. Oathbound and Ancestor's Fury would not be included in this change. - Zakgrin
- Make single target IB buffs stack with potions/knights auras/prayers. Gives IB the opportunity to be tactical with who it gives its single target buffs. - Gryyw
- Increase duration of Oathfriend buffs to 20s. - Gryyw
- Avenging the debt applies a debuff for some duration, and if the player dies while debuffed, restore X amount of health to yourself and oathfriend. Would require timing and decent skill. - jbrutal
- Avenging The Debt changed to having a 25% chance to heal yourself and oathfriend for "X" amount OR tie its buffs to lore. If Avenging the Debt is used on a Greenskin it has a 75% chance to heal yourself and your oathfriend OR apply a debuff and if the enemy is killed while having the debuff, they cannot be ressed for 10s. - Gryyw
- Grants a buff to you and oathfriend for 10 seconds, and any final blow in that time will heal you and your oathfriend for a significantly larger heal than it does now. - Ostabenny
- Tie Furious Reprisal tactic to Shield Sweep. This would allow us to hit up to 3 targets with a cooldown increaser, and have it work with our main class mechanic, Grudges. It would also make Shield Sweep useful, as it is an ability that should never be used in its current state. Shield of Reprisal, the current ability it procs off of, requires block. If you are attacking backlines/not in an AoE fire fight, you may not be blocking anything and won't be able to use an ability you wasted a tactic for. Assuming these changes occurred, this tactic should be swapped with Oath of Vengeance. - Zakgrin
- Tie shieldsweep to a tactic that gives us an AoE of one of the following: cooldown increaser, armor debuff, or silence. Furious Reprisal or Oath of Vengeance should be changed to represent this new effect, and should be moved to an appropriate spot in the tree. - Gryyw
- Shield sweep does not restore grudges, applies 5 second dot, increases targets chance to be critically hit. Move it into path of stone tree where Oathstone is. - Ramlaen
- Shield of Reprisal by default is a cooldown increaser instead of a KD. Furious Reprisal tactic can be freed up for something else. - Ramlaen
- Oathstone is pretty useless at this point. Instead of a damage reflect it could be changed to a status/debuff reflect such as a morale stopper or small damage debuff. - Gryyw
- Change Oathstone so that it is an AOE damage reflect. In a 10 second window, on block, reflects X (based off grudge) amount of to Y nearest players. Would go with lore of IBs being tough, angry dudes that shouldn't be messed with. Depending on how many players it reflected to, consider lowering damage reflected. - Zakgrin
- Reflect damage to offensive target instead of blocked attacker. - Ramlaen
- Extend Oathstones defensive guarantees to your Oath Friend - Nefarian78
- Stonebreaker - Reduce armor by a % rather than by a flat value. Increasing the flat value would destroy low geared players and squishes, but it has also not kept up with new gear. Changing it to a percentage based on Grudges would not likely require future balancing as new gear sets are added. - Gryyw
- Now makes shield sweep knock down targets for 3 seconds. Order does not have an AoE knockdown. - Ramlaen
- Applies to all allies within 50ft - Ostabenny
- Change the Told Ya So! tactic to something useful (not really sure what it should be at this point but love to hear ideas). It is the top tactic in the right tree, and is far far worse than Knight's To Glory Aura at the bottom of their left tree... This tactic would be much more useful and would differentiate itself from To Glory if it procc'd off parry and effected all allies in 20+ feet similar to Oath of Vengeance. - Zakgrin
Would love to get feedback as well as hear others' suggestions!