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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Long Island, New York

    The Art of Playing a Warden

    Premise: Please note: This is extremely long, and divided into sections. The first three paragraphs are based on a stance. The last two on traits and legendary items. The very last is just a small attempt to wrap it up and leave room for questions.

    This is a compiled list of both incomplete and complete thoughts/comments I speculated on and tested first hand.

    In truth, the complexity of a warden is highly underestimated. I shall start at what I have experiences with Determination Playing in the stance.

    Determination: Simply spamming self heals serves no huge purpose. Yes, you can heal yourself and perhaps not require a healer. Great, I hope your one very common skill will get you very far. Actually utilizing a warden in each stance is how you truly understand it. For examply, most say that a warden in determination is (in the reality of PvMP) ironically not a threat. However that is wrong, in a 1v1 a determination warden is an extreme danger to any melee monster player. Each fist-shield bleed has maximum potential in determination, as do the warden’s infamous self heals. There are many other gambits that provide dangerously powerful effects in determination. So in reality, saying that you can self heal means you can’t actually play in ONE stance correctly. It just means you are ignorant of every other use for that particular stance. The next time you say you are a pro self healing warden, think about what that will actually say about you.

    To elaborate a bit more about determination, there are powerful melee attacks as well. (The major differences from Recklessness can be found in the Recklessness paragraph.) Determination still has greatly damaging melee skills. The drawbacks of determination are, of course, the decreased damage and change of all bleed gambits to healing output. Does this stance need to be nerfed? Quite possibly, when looking at it from a rather blurred perspective. In my eyes, after years of understanding and review, no. This is, contrary to popular belief, fair. Creeps can still kill us. We have weaknesses to counter strengths. If you are annoyed at a warden’s strength then take the time to learn how to defeat one. Understanding your opponent is key to beating a warden. If you are annoyed at a warden’s strength and think you have no way to stop one, you are mostly being ignorant. Just take the time to learn a bit more about wardens and they will be an equal challenge when compare to other classes.

    Assailment: Highly considered by all to be insanely OP DPS. I won't lie, it is pretty good DPS. I would take a good Assailment warden over a hunter in the moors due to the mobility and high DPS. However, again people have the wrong image of assailment. No, wall of steel spam or dark before dawn spam is not how you play in Assailment. Granted it is mildly effective. The spear-fist line bleeds are rather important in killing classes that can "escape" such as wargs, or in a situation where you can be Line-of-sighted.

    This stance also makes wardens extremely vulnerable. As I mentioned previously, learn your foe to defeat your foe. This is rather easy when you are fighting an assailment warden. Wardens in assailment can do a very good job of tearing up any obstacle. When geared with the correct legacies on a legendary item, a warden has the potential to match a hunter in DPS while moving and never missing. While this seems highly overpowered, it is balanced out by an extremely annoying error message. Any warden who has tried assailment knows what I am talking about. If you do not, learn.

    A warden can be a very odd support class at times when in assailment; they can grant their entire group a ranged damage buff with exultation of battle. They can also buff themselves with their shield-spear line and achieve a maximum of +5% damage (non stacking). This is very tedious to do and I frown upon it when in the moors, the DPS output in the time you can achieve that is much more worthwhile. Conviction in Assailment will also offer a -99% threat generation from damage and healing to nearby fellows for a short time.

    To elaborate a bit more about how to use the warden in assailment, I will explain set bonuses. The best set bonus I found is the 4-piece vigilance (moors) set. The +25% movement speed AoE is awesome, and the attack duration debuff will annoy some creeps. It is perfect for ranged wardens and contributes amazingly to a group. It also grants lots of physical mastery from the gear itself. You can also keep creeps in combat with the AoEs too, and it will render most attempts to charge rather useless; they cannot charge well with a movement speed debuff. Also, 1v1ing whilst traited for assailment (or even in the stance) is not the best idea. The Restoration heal is decreased, and one other really large reason (refer to the error message).

    : I think that is a poor name for this stance. It doesn't sound as threatening and destructive as it truly is. The number of uses for this stance are plentiful. I shall cover the basic uses I have found in it.

    First of all, the bleeds in this stance cannot even be compare to any other class throughout the game. The isn't even anything that comes close. In Recklessness, all shield-spear and fist-shield gambits apply their bleeds. Except for Restoration, that applies the same heal as determination. Conviction also has a short +2000 (about) physical mastery buff.

    The spear-shield-fist line also has an interesting effect. Similar to the spear-fist line in assailment, using the gambit that proceeds the previous gambit will consume a debuff to do extra damage. The extra damage is actually very insane when looked at. I believe that using spear-shield-fist and following it with its superior version will add roughly 800 damage.

    Recklessness is a great way to deal with 1v1s, you can rather easily make a mess of whatever you are facing. The only concern would be whether or not they make a mess of you while you have less heals available. The bleeds also significantly raise your DPS during extended boss fight, I have seen up to 1.5k (counted with combat analysis) on a Battle for Erebor troll with ONLY the bleeds from the shield-spear and fist-shield line. There are some good reflect gambits available as well, not to mention you can outbuff the debuff to your defensive stats if it really bothers you.

    are a very simple yet confusing topic. The general rule is that yellow traits match assailment, red matches recklessness, and blue matches determination. I personally do not care to use the Legendary trait for the yellow line (I normally play in assailment), so I normally mix around my order of traits. There is no absolutely "pro/elitist" trait set up that provides the key to destruction.

    Each trait can be matched to a certain situation that will demand it, of course you must account for what situation you will probably deal with. I will definitely not break down the anatomy and use of each trait, it is really up to the player to do that.

    One generally good idea is to always have Defiant Challenge traited, it has saved me so many times that I cannot begin to tell Turbine how much I enjoyed the changes to it. Any other traits are, as previously stated, entirely up to you.

    I would suggest traiting for one thing, and not dividing between two lines. It can severely decrease your usefulness. The way your trait is really not just depending on the situation, but more accurately for the moors, it is more likely to be what situation you are going to put yourself in.

    Legendary Items are so very useful, as well as disappointing. I am not going to fool anybody, there are definitely some good legacies. The downside is that some of them are just so useless that it makes you wonder whether there is any diversity in your build at all. I recently acquired a very pretty first age javelin, I maxed out the DPS and built it for ranged damage.

    The legacies are rather basic, I built for gambit damage, defiant challenge cooldown, and shield-spear gambit healing. Anything else is purely based on how you predominantly play a warden. The same can be said for a melee weapon, if you are tanking then it will be built for tanking, if your are DPSing it can be split between ranged or melee.

    I built a mainly ranged legacy melee weapon, even a third ager could suffice for it. The need for a second/first ager melee weapon is really limited to melee DPS. A tanking weapon can be a second ager, I still use a level 75 second ager for tanking. The legacy points are the important factor though, so you won't be wasting any on DPS for a tanking weapon. Again the outlook on how to build a LI is based on how you play, although Legendary Items are by far the most limited out of the previously listed attributes of a warden.

    Inferences: I cannot really call the end of this "essay" the conclusion. While we wait for more changes, I highly encourage everyone to learn how to play for what we have right now. If not, then get off and read a book or do something educational. Really, the time you spend reading will probably be less than the time it will take to learn this class. Although like literature, there is a certain appreciation for the art of how the warden is designed. Learning to play a warden is also very satisfying. I find myself rather ecstatic when I find something I overlooked or have failed to try before. For everyone who is still trying a warden, or interested in playing one, I must encourage you to do so. I always welcome wardens, for I have found that we are truly unique in the sense that none of us are really the same.
    A warden is a work of art, care for it, add to it, change it, destroy it, rebuild it, and enjoy it.

    I am sorry for the poor formatting and some of the confusion in this essay/article. A lot of things I had on the document were altered when I moved it to this page.

    -Credit for the formatting goes to Darlgon as he states below!
    Last edited by Elrohasra; Apr 01 2013 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Utilized the formatting by a very helpful poster!
    A warden is a work of art; it is to be cared for, and interpreted differently by every person.



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