I wasn't here for the early days of the warden, I first got one in mid to late RoI, and only got him to level 34 by the time RoR rolled around. I was wondering what exactly was changed and when, from before I started playing, as I hear it was much harder. All I could find out is that we didn't have potency, and something about needing to slot our masteries. Could anyone give me what the old traits and skills do, and what conservation stance was? I can't load the dev diary pages for some reason, so I can't look it up that way.
considering you haven't gotten that high I will start with u6.
Healing scaled up a bit.
addition of assailment stance for ranged dps with min range.
addition of tiered benefits for gambits of the same series in many cases.
from there here is what ROR added
2 gambits call to battle and resounding challenge both are eob's that hit anything with 10m of the target which can be 25m away
now the big one u10
agility is now main stat for offense. Might is still working but only till the grace period is over.
skillful blocks is now combat positioning does the same thing but uses evade instead of block.
btw the agi change means you will have nearly twice the mastery of most class in similar gear since both agi and might provide mastery atm. At least till you get over 65 and the gear becomes one or the other.
So, that's all that's changed since mines of moria? How has it been "dumbed down" then? Also, I knew about assailment and the tiered buffs being added, but I didn't realize that was all there was to know, if I'm reading your post right.
All the changes that came with U6 in RoI are too much to list, so i'll give my best memory of things that were different in the past as best i remember, which is poorly. Best bet is to look at all the old patch notes on lotro-wiki: http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Patches
Originally Posted by wannabe_falconer
U5 (ToO release during RoI) gave us the partial mitigation bonuses and increased self-heal potency, along with a few other band-aids i can't remember. U5 and the time before it was the height of "warden's can't tank, RoI broke us" mania.
RoI release gave us battle prep and aggression, along with a relative weakening of a few threat skills (PB being the most significant of these). We also got the bleed removal mechanic. Our masteries were also tied behind the legendary trait Way of the Warden as I recall. Never surrender was also changed to the proc we now know, though originally buggy, and it gave us a 90% morale heal and no power i think.
Everything before RoI is a bit hazy in my memory, main tidbits to note: All gambits were the same in every stance. I think recklessness was the same name, and it definitely had the bpe debuff and attack speed buff, possibly. Another was something like conservation, and had an ICPR bonus. Was the other called Determination still, and gave BPE? i can't remember...
The Dark Before the Dawn!!!! This skill used to separate the men from the boys for solo wardens. This change came with the u5 changes i think, but whatever. The skill used to be morale gated, meaning you had to fall below half health to use it, and its power return was far more substantial. Power used to be a more significant issue for wardens (at least mine) and when soloing high morale targets, you had to carefully manage the 'morale surf' where you let up your buffs/heals a bit to fall below half morale, got a couple quick DbtDs in to refill power, and then rehealed to a safer level. The was the absolute most fun part of soloing. Managing your power and morale balance as we were massive power hogs.
Never Surrender used to remove the now removed on-defeat dread effects, along with some debuffs that made the skill not worth it 90% of the time.
Precise blow used to be the king of single target aggro, until RoI.
Up until the U6 revamp, bleeds had a max duration of 16s.
The spear capstone used to give +50% to WT damage, making it out hardest hitting skill by far (maybe a positional Wages of Fear was up there too). I remember at 65 cap my best dps rotation for most situations was WT>onslaught spam>WT>onslaught spam.
Right at release of MoM, we didn't even have masteries, iirc. that was added in a patch not terribly long after though. I took a while to level my warden back then, so i don't remember the ins and outs of the first 6 months or so of MoM well.
This is a woefully incomplete list, and along with forgetting plenty of important things, its completely out of order, but hopefully gives you a sense of some of the major things that have happened to the class over the years. I don't think any class can claim to have gone through the amount of changes wardens have, and tbh I have a hard time remembering what happened when before U6 back to MoM
Thanks, this is great, I couldn't get the patch notes to work before, just timed out. It really has changed a lot, although I wouldn't see it as dumbing it down like some people say.
I agree to an extent, it is no less complex a class today than it ever was before, and if anything is significantly more complex. A good dps rotation in recklessness has maybe 10-12 gambits in 30 seconds, with only 2 or 3 being repeated in that time. No other class comes close to this, and older warden dps rotations didn't either. Even Assailment rotations are more complex than just about any other class'. The two reasons people say the class has been dumbed down are tanking threat, and the lowering of the level of competence required to be an effective tank nowadays (imho of course). Back when PB was the aggro king, AoE threat took a while to lock down, and even single target threat required people holding back for a few seconds. DoW and Conviction meant you could lock down AoE threat eventually, but it was nothing like today where you can double-stack EoB in 2 seconds and a champ can run in with full-bore AoE. Similarly all the buffs a warden can put up now is more complex than it used to be, and being at the absolute peak of tanking efficiency is probably more difficult that it used to be, but now you can be an ok at best warden and still tank most content (and i mean before U10 made all our instances garbage). 'Back in the day' at 65 cap, the number of wardens I knew who I wouldn't let tank Grand Stairs (lvl 56 instance) was twice as long as those who were capable of it; the bar for being able to complete content was so much higher than today.
Originally Posted by wannabe_falconer
I really, really like what Orion did with the class in U6 from a conceptual standpoint, with some relatively minor design choice quibbles aside. No class can match our flexibility and versatility, which is awesome. I also don't really have a problem with the class being buffed to the point where 'average' skilled players can tank most content: but the class has gone way too far in this direction, making mastery of the class less rewarding and not really even necessary, which is poor design choice.
So, really the only thing that's been dumbed down is threat with EoB? Great! I've been mostly tanking stuff without EoB, since it's hard to get a group on imladris, and my brandywine warden is only 55. EoB definitely makes it easier, but I can certainly keep up my buffs and agro without it. How powerful was it before compared to now? In fact, now that I think about it, I'd prefer stackable life taps to more threat from EoB.
thats a bit of an oversimplification I'd say, but its hard to overstate how much of a game-changer EoB being a 1-stop answer to 95% of aggro needs has been (not that it is the most effective, just that it CAN do it all). From my memory, War-cry used to be a bit more powerful, and EoB only seemed a tad more potent than war-cry back then (actually pb nerf aside, this probably all comes down to the fi-sp threat legacy and terrible visage which iirc wasn't a threat trait before).
Originally Posted by wannabe_falconer
Aside from self-heals being less powerful than they are now, keep in mind that Battle Preparation was unavailable until halfway through RoI. That meant running into pulls without shield mastery, Dance of War, War-Cry, and Conviction buffs up. An initial multimob pull went something like War-cry or Goad > Shield Mastery > EoB > PB on the dps target (dps generally had to wait until this point to do more than auto-attack), then start putting up things like Conviction, DoW, and Self-heals: all sandwiched between PBs or AoE threat depending on the pull type.
Once you got up and running in a pull, things were fairly similar to now, just with PB being your primary threat skill, with EoB/ war-cry/DoW/Conviction holding down non-primary targets. The start of pulls was just so much different, since you ran in with no buffs, had to actually build your first gambit in combat, and had to balance locking everything down with putting up basic defenses.
I see. Thanks for the info.
Speaking as a warden who didn't play the class until Mirkwood expansion (was a LM until then), these are the biggest changes I can think of:
- We had zero cooldown skills. Meaning no Defiant Challenge, no Never Surrender, not even Battle Memory. So if you messed up, there was nothing to save you. Defiant challenge used to have the same ridiculous animation but it was simply the force taunt with no mit boost (aka useless). Never Surrender was introduced as an aggro recovery after we died. However, it was extremely unforgiving. If you died, you could pop NS and get back to like 75% of the threat leader or so, but you were locked out of masteries and self-heals for 5 minutes. It was kinda stupid, it was usually better to just let the champ tank than to take that kind of nerf. And BM was introduced with RoI or shortly thereafter.
- Every gambit was the same regardless of stance. Recklessness was DPS with basically the same bonuses, Conservation was tank with ICPR and BPE bonuses, and Determination was ICMR and kind of useless. No assailment and thus no ranged gambits. Only ranged skills we had were the regular javelin skills.
- Mitigation gap was closer to heavy armour. This is the change that really borked the class. At the time the cap was 40% compared to heavy which was 50% iirc. They randomly changed this with ROI, which caused the slew of bandaid fixes/buffs that we have now - DC mitigation boost, crazy strong self-heals, crit immunity, etc. all were introduced after ROI and largely came about because of this change.
- All HoT and DoT durations were shorter (16s for both iirc), and a lot of the current BPE buffing gambits didn't BPE buff (self heals were just self heals, War-Cry line didn't buff evade, Dance of War line didn't buff crit defense). It seemed like our skills were either survivability (whether BPE or heals) or threat, but not both. This meant tanking involved using as many threat skills as you thought were necessary to maintain aggro while filling in the holes with buffs and heals.
- There were no real +threat traits or legacies worth using. Also, there were 3 traits (one of each color) that unlocked two masteries each. Meaning you were locked into a 5/1/1 build if you were any good. Tanking, that was blue (adding BPE and heals). DPS was red. Yellow was discombobulated and not worth using in almost any situation.
The dumbing down comments are mostly because of the cooldowns that we now have as safety nets, in addition to the hybrid threat/buff gambit changes that allow you to build aggro while you built survivability. I remember there being probably 4, maybe 5 wardens on my old server (Windfola) that I considered good. Groups with wardens who weren't on that list were not destined to be successful in anything that posed much of a challenge. There was a *much* bigger skill gap between an average warden and a good one back then.
Additionally you could not get the masteries (the traits) at early levels so usually about when you hit moria you got them and basically had to relearn the class quite a bit.
Also there have not been any double builder masteries (no 11 22 33) not that you needed them as much without potency but they do would have been great as a quick filler using just the first of the two builders to finish a gambit.
I would say it was more difficult to get a proper rotation going back then I.e. the warden is more forgiving now. The complexity of course increased with gambits doing different things in different stances.
Edit: and it was fun to inspect wardens in moria whether they had skill and power traited which gave a 40% damage increase on the default gambit.
I agree that there was a much bigger gap between average<-->good and good<-->great. Nowadays there is still a gap and it still takes some effort to be a great warden. I mean, the recent changes have given wardens a lot more wiggle room for error and successful tanking. Mind you there are still some not so good wardens out there (just like any class really) but as you said, the gap between sucky and super has lessened. I think we're in a great place right now. I don't consider the class dumbed down. More like it has been refined, to be more efficient. At least from my experience on Gladden, there isn't really any discrimination against wardens as proper tanks like there was long ago, thanks to the success in more wardens being able to become better at their roles and raising the class's reputation overall for everyone's sake.
Originally Posted by luapremylc