Ken “Graalx2” Burd released the Guardian developer diary today. Unlike the previous class developer diaries released for the Riders of Rohan expansion, this one includes some fairly large changes. Admittedly, they’re not as big as the changes we’ve seen previously for the Warden and Minstrel classes, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at either. In fact Graalx2 states that these changes to the DPS aspect of the class were the intended focus this time around.
The primary purpose of this revision is to allow the Guardian to take a sustained DPS role with an increased emphasis on Damage over Time effects.
Upgraded Skills in Riders of Rohan
- Improved Sweeping Cut
- Improved Shield Swipe
- Level 80
- Adds more threat than its previous version
- Improved Thrust
- Level 83
- The DoT effect has been “greatly increased”
Overall, the new skills are pretty “all right”. I think the most interesting one might be the Improved Sweeping Cut in now that it will add a Damage Over Time (DoT). However, really these are all pretty standard upgrades and while they’ll be appreciated they don’t leave me squealing with joy either. Instead that squealing comes with the next changes.
As previously stated most of the skill adjustments to the class are focused on the increased DPS and usability of Overpower. As a mainly defensive Guardian myself, this really doesn’t bother me in the least. I think as tanks the Guardian class functions quite well and I don’t really think that we need a lot of help at this time (things can always change). That being said I have always thought that while Overpower was functional, it wasn’t as good as it could be. That all seems likely to have changed though.
- Parry stance (Guardian’s Parry) has been removed and all of its benefits have gone to the Overpower.
- Overpower Stance now allows the use of shields
- The power penalty has been removed (this is huge)
- Added +20% to critical damage magnitude
- Added –30% to Armour rating, Physical Mitigation Rating, and Tactical Mitigation Rating (so don’t get hit)
- Added a 2 second induction with limited knockback
Also, many of the skills that Guardians now have will change when they are in Overpower. For example:
- Guardian’s Ward will give a Finesse buff.
- Guardian’s Ward Tactics will give a +5% melee damage bonus in addition to the Finesse buff.
- Catch a Breath will be triggered by a parry event and give back Power and not Morale.
- Guardian’s Pledge will give a +25% melee damage buff.
There are a few more examples in the diary, but as you can see there are some pretty great skill changes that are focused on making the Guardian do a lot more damage. I have to say I’m pretty pleased with what I’m seeing and I have a lot of hope for Guardians being able to do an increased amount of damage.
As you can imagine the only trait line that was touched was The Keen Blade (which is the DPS-focused line). Currently the bonuses for the line are:
- 2 equipped: –5% Overpower Power Cost
- 3 equipped: +3% Overpower Damage
- 4 equipped: +10% Overpower Damage
In Riders of Rohan this will be changed to:
- 2 equipped: –5% Overpower Power Cost for all attack skills
- 3 equipped: +3% Overpower Damage and +10% critical damage magnitude
- 4 equipped: +10% Overpower Damage and +10% critical damage magnitude
Overall pretty good changes in that no bonuses have been removed; just added. It’s hard to argue with that kind of change.
An interesting change comes with the Legendary Items in that all of the one-handed versus two-handed restrictions that were previously placed on weapon legacies have been removed (except for Bash). This could make for some interesting changes in how Guardians play in Overpower. Although there is a part of me that will always associate Overpower with a two-handed weapon I can’t help but wonder what my critical damage might be with the right one-handed weapon and a shield. I’m interested in seeing what those of you who play Guardians think about this change as well.
I think that these are some pretty solid changes when it comes to the DPS aspect of the class. Graalx2 agrees and even goes as far as to make a pretty bold statement:
We feel that these changes will allow a Guardian to do almost as much damage as the Champion/Hunter/Runekeeper in DPS stance and, more importantly, be able to maintain it.
Hopefully he’s right. I still think that as a Guardian I’ll be asked to tank more than I am to just come along, but at least now I know I’ll be doing some increased damage when I’m not tanking. What do you all think?