Forums » The Dire Lord

Dark Knight and Shields

    • 48 posts
    January 17, 2017 7:53 AM PST

    As one of the original eq players (from the day of launch) and someone who feels that all other mmos were made in the image of eq but failed horribly, I find it difficult to find anything that was wrong with original EQ.  Even things that we all hated at the moment (corpse runs, spawn camping, death penalty, difficulty, long travel times, etc..etc..), ended up being the cornerstone of why we loved the game and still do to this day.

    There is however, one issue I have had with eq from the start and have never changed my opinion on it.  It is the way the shadowknight (and to similar extend paladin) was implemented.  It lacked an identity and purpose in most (if not all) situations.  People played the class because of what they envisioned it to be and not because of what it actually was.  I wont go into general playability issues with the shadowknight in the original eq here but rather I would like to touch on one very specific issue that may begin to shed the light on the bigger picture.

    When I think of a shadownight (or Dread Lord, Dire Lord, Dark Knight, whatever you want to call it), I see a knight that draws some of its powers from the dark energy (and paladin similarly from the light).  The key being that its a Knight. Which means the heaviest of armors, A SHIELD and a long sword.   Someone that does not use much variety when it comes to armor and weapons but who is the best at what he/she uses.. most of all the SHIELD!  Warrior on the other hand is a jack of all trades when it comes to weapons and armor.   It does not make sense to me why shadowknight and even worse paladins would be giant sword swingers in battle like berzerkers.  If there is one "innate" skill that dark knight and paladins should have that is better than all other classes is their tactical defensive melee abilities, primarily utilizing their shield to block.  The shield should be bread and butter of any knight and yet somehow it was totally omitted in eq.  Shield did not even come to play a role of an accessorie until knights were "fixed" looong after eq stopped being eq.  Even than, it was not the shield that was fixed but instead 1h weapon for a night, allowing for a stat accessory in the other hand (called a shield).

    Would love to hear your opinions on the subject.  

     

     

    • 266 posts
    January 17, 2017 8:21 AM PST

    Personally, I absolutely LOVE fantasy shields.  I love the aesthetics (particularly of big, spiky tower shields) and I love the offensive and defensive mechanics that can be designed around shields of all kinds.  I assert that shields work best as a strong mitigation tool in systems that allow tanks to specialize along the mitigation / avoidance spectrum.  I'm entirely in favor of giving knight-themed classes skills and/or abilities that take ruthless advantage of shields.

    • 48 posts
    January 17, 2017 8:45 AM PST

    Shai said:

    Personally, I absolutely LOVE fantasy shields.  I love the aesthetics (particularly of big, spiky tower shields) and I love the offensive and defensive mechanics that can be designed around shields of all kinds.  I assert that shields work best as a strong mitigation tool in systems that allow tanks to specialize along the mitigation / avoidance spectrum.  I'm entirely in favor of giving knight-themed classes skills and/or abilities that take ruthless advantage of shields.

    Yes!  I didn't mention in my original post but defilitelly agree that its not just about blocking.  There is nothing more satisfying while playing a tank than being able to Bash, Knockdown, Stun with a shield in a group and utilizing those skills for limited CC and quick Taunts. 

    • 198 posts
    January 17, 2017 9:14 AM PST

    Well I think there is a little bit of a missconception of knights being someone that uses shields, it was just as common and maybe even more so (especially later on) for them to weild things such as polaxes, spears and longswords/bastard swords (2handed-sword in gamer terms I guess). 2-handed weaponry is something which requires much dexterity and coordination, to me shield+1hander is much more of a "berzerker" weapon set.

    Personally as someone that is most probably going to play a Crusader I would like the option of going something else than a shield. Even differentiating between the tank classes by making one using 2-handed, one using shield and the third dual wielding would be better than just making them all shield wielders predominantly imo.

    Aestethically I am not the biggest fan of the super spiky and door-thickness shields, I am a simple man for things being more practical.

    • 266 posts
    January 17, 2017 9:40 AM PST

    First, I want to be clear: I'm not advocating for systems that force you to do anything.  You should have the freedom to play with whatever equipment you want.  Personally, I think it's more fun to find unconventional solutions to gameplay problems so a shield-less knight intrigues me.

     

    However, like I was saying above, I'm a big fan of the Mitigation<->Avoidance tanking spectrum with hulking, armor-encrusted, shield-wielding brutes on the  Mitigation extreme and lithe, acrobatic, martial artists on the Avoidance extreme.  I would ethusastically embrace systems that let classes slide along that spectrum to a limited extent via specialization; however, classes lose their character if they can move along that spectrum too much.  In any case, I advocate for systems that reward weapon choices following that theme.

     

    Personally I have a hard time imaginging a "Crusader" class anywhere but on the Mitigation end of that spectrum, so I wouldn't expect them to get as much defensive benefit from a quarterstaff style weapon like a poleaxe as, say, a Monk would.

    • 48 posts
    January 17, 2017 9:57 AM PST

    Shai said:

    Personally I have a hard time imaginging a "Crusader" class anywhere but on the Mitigation end of that spectrum, so I wouldn't expect them to get as much defensive benefit from a quarterstaff style weapon like a poleaxe as, say, a Monk would.

    This.  Well said.

    There should be choice of the way you gear your knight but if you are choosing a massive 2H weapon, you are choosing to do extra damage and not optimizing for mitigation tanking.    One can find loads of examples from internet to prove any point but it would be very difficult to find any logical reasoning why shield should not be on top of the food chain when it comes to mitigation tanking.


    This post was edited by moszis at January 17, 2017 9:58 AM PST
    • 1162 posts
    January 17, 2017 11:10 AM PST

    I dunno.  I remember some pretty good shields for Shadowknights and Paladins early on.  I think there were plenty of them that used shields, particularly for tanking.  I don't think the option to use 2H weapons should be taken from Crusaders and Dire Lords, though...

    • 266 posts
    January 17, 2017 11:55 AM PST

    Shucklighter said:

    I don't think the option to use 2H weapons should be taken from Crusaders and Dire Lords, though...

    I don't think anybody's suggesting that anything should be taken away from anybody.  The question that interests me is: should "knight-themed" classes get as much defensive benefit from a 2-handed (2H) weapon as from a Shield.  I think they probably did in EQ.  I assert that they probably shouldn't in Pantheon.

    I also think that they should get more offensive benefit from a 2-Handed weapon, than from a shield.

     

    Restated.  For "Knights:"

    Defensive Benefit: Shield > 2H > Dual Wielded One-handers

    Offensive Benefit: 2H > Shield > Dual Wielded One-handers

    • 1162 posts
    January 17, 2017 1:50 PM PST

    Shai said:

    Shucklighter said:

    I don't think the option to use 2H weapons should be taken from Crusaders and Dire Lords, though...

    I don't think anybody's suggesting that anything should be taken away from anybody.  The question that interests me is: should "knight-themed" classes get as much defensive benefit from a 2-handed (2H) weapon as from a Shield.  I think they probably did in EQ.  I assert that they probably shouldn't in Pantheon.

    I also think that they should get more offensive benefit from a 2-Handed weapon, than from a shield.

     

    Restated.  For "Knights:"

    Defensive Benefit: Shield > 2H > Dual Wielded One-handers

    Offensive Benefit: 2H > Shield > Dual Wielded One-handers

     

    I don't recall using a two-handed weapon over a shield ever giving a Paladin or a Shadowknight a defensive advantage in EverQuest.  Sure, the epics allowed bashing without a shield, but even the Paladin Epic had much less AC than contemporary shields.  I think using a shield was the way to go when it came to mitigation.  I guess aggro might be a different story, but we are talking defense and mitigation here. 

     

    I definitely agree with you that using a shield should give you a defensive advantage over using a two-handed weapon and I hope it works that way in PRF.

    • 198 posts
    January 17, 2017 3:43 PM PST

    Shucklighter said:

    I don't think anybody's suggesting that anything should be taken away from anybody.  The question that interests me is: should "knight-themed" classes get as much defensive benefit from a 2-handed (2H) weapon as from a Shield.  I think they probably did in EQ.  I assert that they probably shouldn't in Pantheon.

    I also think that they should get more offensive benefit from a 2-Handed weapon, than from a shield.

     

    Restated.  For "Knights:"

    Defensive Benefit: Shield > 2H > Dual Wielded One-handers

    Offensive Benefit: 2H > Shield > Dual Wielded One-handers



    Why would Dual Wielding be the worst in both cases? Or perhaps you mean it more like this.

    Defensive Benefits:: [Shield] --- [Dual Wield] --- [Two Handed] ::Offensive Benefits

    More of tansient or whatever it is called. Where Dual Wield would be the middle ground of offense and defense (ignoring reality now).

    • 266 posts
    January 17, 2017 4:11 PM PST

    Youmu said:

    Why would Dual Wielding be the worst in both cases?

     

    You know, I think that's just my personal biases.  For me it comes down to class themes.  In my head a knight who wants to do damage is relying on brute strength over agility and should feel most at home with a big, heavy, hard-hitting weapon like a two-handed sword, a scythe, a halberd, or maybe even a lance.  I imagine a more "martial-artsy" class would excel at fighting with two single-handed weapons.  It could go either way, that's just how I imagine it.

    • 48 posts
    January 18, 2017 6:11 AM PST

    Why would Dual Wielding be the worst in both cases? Or perhaps you mean it more like this.

    Defensive Benefits:: [Shield] --- [Dual Wield] --- [Two Handed] ::Offensive Benefits

    This makes more sense to me as well.  Technically secondary weapon tend to be used for defensive purposes more than offensive and this is a lot more symetrical and fair.   That said.. I dont think I have ever seen a dual wielding paladin/shadowknight in mmo before.  In my opinion its breaking the "every class is unique" approach that they are trying to achieve.

    Back to 2H vs sword+board.. I think if they create both options as viable playstyles for knights, it would solve a lot of problems knights tend to have in groups and raids.  If you are needed for tanking, put on a shield and you become a good tank. No tanking spot, fine.. get that giant hammer out and you are a good dps.   While you may not be as good dps as a rogue for example, you provide a lot more versatility, including ability to offtank or tank when needed.   This makes a knight a good choice for dps spot in many cases.  Personally I have no interest in being dps, but it would be nice to have that option if you are trying to work yourself into a tank spot in a group, instead of just waiting.  

    Even when it comes to tanking both can be of value.  For example 2H tank would be doing a lot more damage and generating more agro.  So in the groups that may be grinding through a camp where knight can handle the hits wtihout a sheild, knight can be an ultimate tank.  Than when the rare/boss mob pops, knight puts on a shield and is ready for a different kind of tanking.  

    Most likelly Warriors will always be #1 tanks when it comes to raid/boss mobs.  To compete knights will need versatility.  Just a reality of the situation.  

    • 198 posts
    January 18, 2017 7:28 AM PST


    This makes more sense to me as well.  Technically secondary weapon tend to be used for defensive purposes more than offensive and this is a lot more symetrical and fair.   That said.. I dont think I have ever seen a dual wielding paladin/shadowknight in mmo before.  In my opinion its breaking the "every class is unique" approach that they are trying to achieve.

    I don't think I understand. A Dual-Weilding Knight class would be unique right and would make that class more unique because of it, not less?



    Personally I would like to see the relationship of Shield VS 2h not be that one is dps and one is tanking but rather be different kinds of tanking. Say Sword'n'Board being the best for a single target tank job and 2h being more suited for AoE tanking as an example.

     

     

    • 48 posts
    January 18, 2017 7:44 AM PST

    Youmu said:


    This makes more sense to me as well.  Technically secondary weapon tend to be used for defensive purposes more than offensive and this is a lot more symmetrical and fair.   That said.. I dont think I have ever seen a dual wielding paladin/shadowknight in mmo before.  In my opinion its breaking the "every class is unique" approach that they are trying to achieve.

    I don't think I understand. A Dual-Weilding Knight class would be unique right and would make that class more unique because of it, not less?


    I meant that dual wielding knight would overlap too much into warrior class or possibly other dual wielding classes.  Thats all.  No big deal either way.  I dont have much of an opinon on the subject.


    Personally I would like to see the relationship of Shield VS 2h not be that one is dps and one is tanking but rather be different kinds of tanking. Say Sword'n'Board being the best for a single target tank job and 2h being more suited for AoE tanking as an example.

     

    Absolutely!  I completely agree.  And alluded to that a bit myself in my previous post.  

    • 266 posts
    January 18, 2017 2:53 PM PST

     

    Here's the distillation of my thoughts:

     

    I wouldn't want to see weapon choices like "Shield vs. 2H" baked into the mechanics for a lot of reasons, but especially because "better for x" is largely subjective.  I do want to see equipment choices be about fine-tuning your characters performance to suit a role and situation.  The specifics of how that's implemented is design space that I'll leave to another discussion, but at a high level most games have players make weapon choices to enhance various abilities or cater to playstyles.  I doubt Pantheon will be an exception.  One of VR's stated tenets is: "A requirement that classes have identities."  In my opinion, one aspect of that is that classes follow "Themes."  In the case of "Knights," I think their theme should emphasize strength and endurance in combat as one way to differentiate them from other classes that might emphasize, say, agility and dexterity or intelligence and charisma.  I'm talking generic traits, not specific game stats.  These "themes" should translate into mechanics that gently encourage players to make equipment choices that reinforce their theme.  The end result being that Knights, as a class, have identities - are generally recognizable as Knights both visually and in performance.  In the case of weapons, I suggest that Knights have mechanics that encourage thematic weapons (You should not read that as: knights can't use other weapons).  I suggested earlier that theme-appropriate wepons for Knights should be shields and big, heavy, hard-hitting weapons in contrast to light and/or quick weapons that, I believe, should be typical of other classes.  Beyond that, I'm less opinionated.  My preference would be that a Knight gets the best defensive results from using a shield, but conditionally - perhaps rarely - opt to use other weapons depending on the difficulty or peculiars of the situation.

    • 52 posts
    February 1, 2017 2:01 AM PST

    I agree with all your arguments so far - a shield is always the best choice if the class is about physical, flat mitigation.

    The quesiton in case of the dire lord is this one:

    Is the tanking mechanic even that much about physical mitigation in the dire lords case ? or will the dire lord utilize other mechanics to fulfill his role?

    For the Dire Lord, I envision a tank that mostly relies on his presence on the battlefield. With dark magic, he impairs enemies' vision, weakens them, causes terrible wounds and strikes pure fear into them with every swing of his huge warhammer.

    So in game mechanics, the dire lord that I'd like to see would more about debuffing the living sh*t out of the mobs to the point that they just do lower damage to him (for instance: engulfing in shaows impairs the attack accuracy, striking fear reduces damage/attack speed/critical hit or even stuns the enemies).

    And going down this train of thought, a big, mean two handed weapon would suit this harbinger of doom much better than a shield :-)

     

     

    • 203 posts
    February 1, 2017 2:54 PM PST

    @sebbulba - I agree with your thoughts.

    I've posted this somewhere else on the DL subforum, but it is my hope that the three tank classes can be just as good at tanking as each other - though done in different ways. The warrior is a master at arms and has the best skillset to smooth out incoming damage (especially physical) through force of arms. The DL uses his debuff and healing abilities to tank just as well as the warrior (just using different skills) and the Paladin uses her buffs and healing to tank just as well as the warrior (but using different skils). Using s shield might give the tanks a good buff totheiralready fantastic taning abilities, but it is really not absolutely necessary.

    • 186 posts
    February 9, 2017 2:31 PM PST

    I think this was because Shadow Knights are an offensive class.  All their spells and abilities were geared towards offense.

    The Paladin was a defensive class.  The main problem was a Paladin has such little DPS if you gave them a sword and shield they would do almost no damage.  They had less need of  a shield as they had cleric buffs and healing.  

    I suppose a shield could be used in an offensive manner, but it never was in EQ except for bash and you didn't need a shield if you had slam (large race).

    I could see both those classes using either sword and shield or two handed sword.  I can't say they would have to be locked into just one or the other.

    The Shadow Knight was actually fairly fun as Necromancer spells were quite versatile and powerful.  It probably made them the best soloing hybrid class.  They could fear kite, heal, and damage all at the same time.  As a group tank they were fairly effective as well.  They had an advantage in terms of building aggro on mobs over the Warrior and Paladin because of their damage spells.

    • 65 posts
    March 1, 2017 11:26 PM PST

    UnknownQuantity said:

    I think this was because Shadow Knights are an offensive class.  All their spells and abilities were geared towards offense.

    The Paladin was a defensive class.  The main problem was a Paladin has such little DPS if you gave them a sword and shield they would do almost no damage.  They had less need of  a shield as they had cleric buffs and healing.  

    I suppose a shield could be used in an offensive manner, but it never was in EQ except for bash and you didn't need a shield if you had slam (large race).

    I could see both those classes using either sword and shield or two handed sword.  I can't say they would have to be locked into just one or the other.

    The Shadow Knight was actually fairly fun as Necromancer spells were quite versatile and powerful.  It probably made them the best soloing hybrid class.  They could fear kite, heal, and damage all at the same time.  As a group tank they were fairly effective as well.  They had an advantage in terms of building aggro on mobs over the Warrior and Paladin because of their damage spells.

    The shield in EQ really was basicly a stat buffer for AC or mitagation. the damage you got from bash wouldnt even read on a meter. While i play a consertive Shadow knight because the majority of my game time i spent tanking there are times when i pulled out the epic or 2h to damage for a group. 

    As far as Vanilla EQ i totally agree SK was offence while Pally was Defense the way it was started at least. It ballanced out during several expansions much much later.

     

    • 98 posts
    March 6, 2017 9:35 AM PST
    I like shields for defense. I think that a tank should want a shield at least for a boss fight. I never understood why dual wield was default warrior tanking in EQ. I mean I get it mechanically, just not as a design choice.

    Shield should be tank-y, dual or 2-hander should be DPS-y. IMHO
    • 30 posts
    March 6, 2017 2:12 PM PST

    I would like to see different types of shields be used in different ways. A tower shield =/= kite shield =/= a buckler etc. Different types of shields can be/are as different from each other as say a dagger and a great sword. Fighting a small halfling rogue type enemy with high dex/agility? a Buckler might be best. (Make buckler have higher "AC" vs agil/dex based attacks). Fighting an ogre enemy with a giant 2H? Use a tower shield (Make tower shields have better "AC" vs strength based attacks).

    Perhaps shields can also be wielded as a weapon with some abilities, but again, depending on the type of shield equipped. Or maybe different utilities or benefits, such as a tower shield with the spikes in the bottom that stick in the ground to prevent the user from being pushed back. (I'm sure there is a name for those, but I don't know what it is offhand). Maybe wooden shields have a chance to "catch" enemy swords or daggers by getting stuck in the wood, which would not happen vs a metal shield.

    Since we already know that different weapon types will be more or less effective against certain enemies (daggers less effective than blunt vs skeleton for example), it only makes sense for shields to be more or less effective vs types of attacks/weapons as well.

    • 20 posts
    April 7, 2017 4:12 AM PDT

    I wanna tank with a 2h weapon, always wanted that and finally got it in Vanguard and WoW to some degree. I would build the classes dependent upon thier themes, since when picking a class thats essentially what you are picking...a theme. I know super min maxers will dive in and calculate who does what best ect but for the everyday player base its all about what they want to play. I would love to see a warrior, paladin and dire all standing next to each other, each with a seperate weapon set up but equal tanks.

    • 327 posts
    April 7, 2017 2:50 PM PDT
    If you draw upon a realistic basis of what a knight actually used as his primary weapon (heavy cavalry)

    You'll find the sword and often shield were not the primary weapons.

    Typically they used a Kontos (Cataphracts) or Lance (European heavy cav)

    If they fought in hand to hand combat generally the macr, warhammer, or axe were preferable because percussive force from those is much greater than a sword.

    Unmounted knights often fought with Halberds, Glaives, and great swords.

    The sword was NEVER a primary weapon, and often the shield was not either because of how plated armor worked.

    All if those points (drawn from a historical basis)

    If you've ever swung a sword at someone in plate armour, you'll soon come to realize a shield adds very little, and in fact would be a hindrance defensively in many cases for that person.

    That's just my take on it as someone who studies military history.

    • 11 posts
    April 17, 2017 10:16 PM PDT

    Vanguard addressed this by creating stances. The stances for defensive would enable certain abilities to only be used while in defensive stance and only with a sword and board. This made tanking and skills associated with it realvant when you were defensive, and alternately when you were in offensive mode using a 2hnder you had skills that were only associated with that and obviously doing damage.

    • 21 posts
    April 18, 2017 8:43 AM PDT

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FedyVShEavM 

     

    Why shouldn't any of us be able to build the Direlord as we want...

     

    Say this Dungeon has sword and board master, if you get on this path you tank with a shield and the same for a 2 hander or (2) 1 handers, or insert what you. 


    This post was edited by Vilebeast at April 18, 2017 8:44 AM PDT