1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Greetings Guest, Having Login Issues? Check this thread!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Hail Guest!,
    Please take a moment to read this post reminding you all of the importance of Account Security.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Author Wes Locher has teamed up with Stratics for a giveaway of his new book Braving Britannia. This book explores the history and impact of Ultima Online and includes interviews from current and past dev team members as well as many UO and Stratics community members. Click here for more details!
    Dismiss Notice

[WAR Stratics] Demonstrative Noun: Ironbreakers & Alkterrandorn

Discussion in 'Warhammer News' started by Skycapp, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Skycapp

    Skycapp Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran

    May 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The Ironbreaker is up for this week's interview. Alkterrandorn of Halcyon Affinity (Volkmar) was kind enough to sit down and talk to us about the Ironbreaker, it's abilities as a tank and a DPS, and also some guild-babble. If you're an Ironbreaker looking to pick up some tips on tanking and take a glimpse at an end-game spec, this article is for you.

    I've decided to go with the tank archetype theme once again this week;Order this time to compliment Dvius' little bit. I had the chance tochat with Alkterrandorn, guild leader of Halcyon Affinity aboutIronbreakers and also some "controversial" subjects having to do withguild matters. Anyways, I expect the interview to be more interestingthan my introduction to it:

    Q: First off, a lot of complaints fromDestruction have been made about the Ironbreaker...do you think this isbecause of its tanking abilities or is it due to the lack of the BlackGuard?

    Alkterrandorn: Combination of the two, actually.

    The Ironbreaker is the highest DPS tank hands-down no questions asked,when specced two hander. Missing the Blackguard is a large problembecause a two handed Ironbreaker often fills the role of a medium armordpis in small number conflicts. In massive RvR, Ironbreakers are thecenter of the army and the front line of the battlefield. They caneasily be one of the top five dps.

    Noun: From what I've gathered, IBs areeasily the top damage soakers but you also claim that they can deal thehighest DPS out of all the tanks--balance issues?

    Alkterrandorn: Not at all, when itcomes to damage soakers no one can stand up against the Black Orc. Afull 15pt "Da Toughest" specced Black Orc can heal for 1200hp every 10seconds. On our side, the Swordmaster procs easily 400+ absorb shieldsevery Block, Parry, or Dodge. In reality, however, the game comes downto being healbotted regardless of class. Only in small conflicts isreal survivability noticed; in large scale, anyone who is heal bottedis insane.

    Q: How do you think gameplay will change once the Black Guard is finally implemented (for both Ironbreakers and other classes)?

    Alkterrandorn: Population balance is mylargest concern at this point. Since this is a spear tank coming into agame with Ironbreaker dps. If the mechanic from beta is still in placewhere Hatred (Grudge mirror) is primarily used on their offensiveattacks. The Black Guard may actually end up with less damage potentialand more defensive potential than the Ironbreaker. It all depends onhow they shape up their Stone line (defensive mastery tree). At themoment, ours is rather pointless in some respects. The Black Guard willdefinitely fill the role of a damage tank on Destruction.

    Q: As a healer it's easy to spot agood tank from a bad one, I've seen you last a very long time soloagainst numbers upwards of 10. How much of this is due to abilityrotation and how much of it is gear?

    Alkterrandorn: It's primarily tacticand skill rotation. Having abilities on your Morale bar such as ShieldWall instead of Raze are some things a tank can do to keep himselfalive.

    Gear definitely plays a factor, but it's not as influential as peoplethink. It isn't until people are receiving 4th and 5th set bonuses thatgear on a character will be really noticeable. Unless you are a meleecharacter getting a very nice weapon that ups your auto-attacksignificantly. The gear vs. skill ratio that the developers created isworking as intended at this point.

    Noun: In my last interview with Dviusone of the main things was his build being able to annoy healers anddeter them from their jobs, would you say the Ironbreaker can dosomething similar? With your gear and ability to stay alive you'redefinitely an annoying target but how are you able to disrupt the backlines?

    Alkterrandorn: Ability-wise, theIronbreaker is as much a snare monster as any tank in the game at thispoint, when specced properly. Most of what we do sword and board isillusion and more defensive in nature. The threat any shield tank,except the Chosen, is minimum because they lack the DPS to get the jobdone.

    A well timed knockback can be very devastating in some situations,obviously the same goes for a root or snare. On the other hand, a DPSspecced two-hand Ironbreaker getting into the back lines will have youdown on your ass for four seconds and dead almost afterward for many ofthe lightly armored classes. But then you're not a tank at that pointand mainly an annoying DPS.

    If we're talking pure RvR tanking, Chosen is the way to go. Thebuild-up time increase can be the most devastating effect possible froma tank in a battle just because it can affect an unlimited number oftargets around him. Combined with the fact that inexperienced playerswill often click their abilities multiple times resetting their casttimes on their instants. You really can't beat that combo for what atank by definition is supposed to do: get everyone's attention.

    Noun: I think a lot of Destructionunderestimate their ability to delay our casts, with Mouth of Tzeentchand the Chosen's Aura my instant cast can be a full second casts...

    Alkterrandorn: Yeah I only notice a few who use it, luckily.

    To me, that ability on the Chosen is the only thing holding up theclass compared to the Black Orc in RvR. It is almost like the Magus'Chaotic Rift in terms of threat and priority target to eliminate if onecan't knock them back or root them. I hope our Knights get somethingsimilar because personally, every Knight in HA will be told to have iton at all times.

    Noun: Run us through your favorite spec and ability rotation.

    Alkterrandorn: You really want the secret sauce then?

    Noun: If you'll give it to us. ;]

    Alkterrandorn: Very well lol.

    16 Stone/10 Brotherhood
    Oathstone Oathbound Shield Mastery

    13 Stone + 1 Ability / 9 Brotherhood + 1 Ability is my breakdown fortanking. For those who think that Oathbound is lame, try it again a fewtimes and read the tooltip carefully. As for Earthshatterer, the basedamage on that thing is out of control at 100 Grudge.

    Q: Rotating Guard is a tactic that Irarely see employed in-game yet is probably one of the most effectiveways to play any kind of tank. Why do you think so few tanks make theeffort to rotate their Guard on different party members depending onthe situation?

    Alkterrandorn: Healing. This game isn'teasy and in an RvR situation, panic often sets in. One can barely healthemselves let alone others, Guard requires close range for it to work;and when it does you take half the damage your guarded target does. Toomany people die because of this and decide to never guard again. Thosewho do stick with it are often in organized groups.

    Noun: Well hypothetically if you hadgood healer(s), Guard is an instant with no cooldown...with thatvaluable damage reduction I really see no downside. But, as you saidthat's only in an organized group.

    True? False?

    Alkterrandorn: True.

    It is an excellent ability but it can also be dangerous. Let's berealistic, it has a very short range and is rarely activated unless youhave a very defensive tank. Unfortunately most people get thattunnel-vision blood lust and will chase you off a cliff and intowarcamps if they can get their kill, especially those still playingtheir tanks like WoW Warriors who are pure juggernauts of damage attimes.

    Q: Alright...you mentioned thedps-capability of a two-handed Ironbreaker. As a healer, it suckshaving to heal a non-sword 'n board. To me, if you're playing a tankyou should be a tank. In your eyes, does the dps spec do enough foryour group to allow you to run in without being able to soak those hugenumbers?

    Alkterrandorn: At times they can bevery effective and here's why: There is no AC on shields. All a shieldis is blocking, blocking in essence is dodge, disrupt, and parrycombined and is only accomplished when facing your opponent.

    In big melees where people are running around and everyone hassomeone's back, the shield tank is spinning in circles. If there's anobjective to hold and a doorway to funnel or block than it becomesessential. In a skirmish, after the initial charge, one can notice ashield at times.

    Swordmasters are a proc tank and are better suited for fast-swingingweapons and the Black Orc is a juggernaut when using their "You Can'tHit Me" channeling block and "Da Toughest" Wounds buff that heals.Ironbreakers without a shield loses Shield Wall and Oathstone so he'sdefinitely susceptible to more damage, but both of those abilities areon minute cooldowns anyways.

    Q: That sorta brings me toSwordmasters; lately a lot of people are saying they are useless andthat Ironbreakers are the ideal tank for every situation, is there anytruth to that?

    Alkterrandorn: No. In fact some of thebest tanking situations I've had is where Ironbreakers were off tanks.Keep in mind that Ironbreakers buff themselves, yes, but also theirOathfriend at the same time so he is an excellent off tank when pairedwith a Swordmaster. The Swordmaster gains Isha's Protection, I think itis called, which gives them 20% more healing and is an excellent tacticthat evens the gap.

    Noun: And in your opinion, the best group makeup would be?

    Alkterrandorn: For PvE: Ironbreaker,Swordmaster, Archmage, Runepriest, Brightwizard, and Witch Hunter is arelatively effective group. AoE currently owns pets so the White Lionis forced to go loner but he is still an excellent DPS.

    For RvR I'd replace the Swordmaster with an Engineer for Magnet and possibly make the Ironbreaker a DPS spec.

    Noun: Alright buddy, time to get sucia...

    Alkterrandorn: Really...

    Q: Halcyon Affinity's merger withAlpha, a lot of people were saying it won't work out in the long runbecause...well face it, mergers usually don't end up well. How's itgoing? I know there was some drama with a rogue member posting Ventriloinformation on forums.

    Alkterrandorn: lol

    Noun: You didn't think I was going to let you off easy, did you? ;]

    Alkterrandorn: That was one of their members that was left out for exactly that reason.

    Now, when most people say merger, do they think: HA and Alpha combinedand now they just use the HA tag because their guild is higher? If so,that's not the case.

    Alpha disbanded and their members applied to HA. Not all of them arecurrently in, and only time will tell how many of them last through thegame's long length, especially when raid content comes along.

    For us here at HA who enjoy Open RvR where numbers and organization arekings it was an easy decision. Nothing has changed about us in theleast bit except for guild size, most of which is becoming fluff withalts in the guild.

    Noun: Just for clarification, I thinkthe word was that Beo either didn't want or couldn't manage the guilddue to real life business.

    Alkterrandorn: He has been very busy as of late and didn't feel he would have enough time at the moment to manage things as they were.

    Noun: And it takes a good leader to be able to admit that.

    Nothing against Alpha, a lot of the guys that were in there are awesomeand are hell of a lot of fun to play with. Some members of thecommunity believed that Alpha didn't really accomplish anything--theywere leaches to the HA name, what's your opinion on that?

    Alkterrandorn: The few times I saw therealm shooken, especially with the Fortress being attacked, I saw themthere...perhaps not all their members but they were definitely there. Ibelieve they had a couple of firsts here and there if people arecounting that as having any meaning.

    At the moment, what is most important is a show of force when the zonesare being attacked which under the new system doesn't happen unless afew very specific things happen to push them.

    Noun: This is true, I believe with alot of the bigger names actually hitting 40 we're going to see a lotmore activity which is something people have been talking down. I thinkthere should be a bigger push to get to T4 if not 40 and create fightsinstead of ninjaing keeps and forts from each other. Milty, one of myofficers, attributes this to the servers being too small--something Iagree with, hopefully we'll see transfers to the server instead of off in the coming weeks.

    Alkterrandorn: The problem is morepeople in T4 are too smart to throw themselves at their opponents ifthey are outnumbered and losing; which is why we have the game of catand mouse. Unless the VP mechanic changes, zones will not be pushed bylegit means until you run into hoards of people who don't understandthe mechanic and are willing to throw themselves upon the enemy givingup enough VP to push the zone.

    Q: A lot of players have said that HA is, "PvE and will always be PvE". What's your response to that?

    Alkterrandorn: Reality is what you make it, if that's the reality you see then so be it.

    Noun: I'm not gonna lie--I did saythat at the beginning. In all honesty you guys weren't at thebattlefields much until you hit 40--now you're probably the prominentforce, not only in number but in consistency as well. Much respects forthat.

    Q: Plenty of players have alreadyquit, claiming that there's nothing to do at end-game. Being one of thefirst 40s on server and worldwide, how interested are you in the gamestill?

    Alkterrandorn: I'm still veryinterested in the game. RR 80, Tome of Knowledge, and plenty of loot toget out of dungeons. The goal of the vast majority at HA is thecompletion of the game in all its facets. This is an excellent gamewith a good foundation and key core concepts. Like every MMO, those whopower through the game may be disappointed to see "not much" going onbut it is just a matter of looking for it.

    We here at HA are here to stay.

    Noun: Well said.

    I'm starting a tradition with that last interview...

    Are there any guilds or players on either side of the server that stand out?

    Alkterrandorn: The Triad as I like to think of them of Paragon Carange and ST are nice opponents in RvR.

    Give me a moment to see if anyone in particular strikes my fancy...

    Noun: Cmon Alk, you gotta start **** like us at Black Mesa. FUEL THE FIRE!!11one!1

    Alkterrandorn: I like a bunch of guildson our server, I definitely want more communication with other guildsthough. Even if we don't set up formal alliances I have a specialchannel set up for officers and leaders to better coordinate positionsand strategy.

    Noun: OCommand, for those of you who don't know.

    Alkterrandorn: I respect all who come out and fight.

    That's it for week two of Demonstrative Noun. My thank yous go out toAlkterrandorn and Halcyon Affinity. Please, please come join us at theVolkmar IRC, #volkmar - irc.stratics.com!Discuss this interview here.


    Read More