On the Tanker-Brute relationship

So what is the opinion of everyone here in regards to the Tanker/Brute balance? The playerbase seems to overwhelmingly prefer Brutes and who can blame them? Taking into account the DPS calculations which make him slightly higher (or slightly lower) than Scrappers+their Def/Res caps make them much more atractive than Tankers, both at while levelling and a end-game.

To fix this, Homecoming made Tankers Brutes 2.0 by raising the damage. CoXG seems to be considering making Tankers essentially “melee support” by either raising their aggro capabilities and or increasing the chance of success with the secondary effects of their offensive powersets, ie War Mace disorients much more than their Brute/Scrapper/Stalker equivalents.

What could WE do here? (If we even need to do something).

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We’ve talked several times about the Tank/Brute/Scrapper relationship over on the discord. I honestly think they dropped the ball on this a bit when GR came about.

Brutes should have been given a slightly lower DR cap when they combined ATs. Brutes having the same caps on all survival mechanics except HP while having such a large edge in damage is very strange. However I think that ship sailed when they first combined ATs, and I’m not at all recommending a nerf now.

Tanks do have an advantage in base numbers, which means they can do the job easier and cheaper than a brute can. If you want your Brute to be tanker level tough it takes more outside your armor set, whether that’s pool powers, set bonuses etc.

I do think tanks could use a bit of a buff. I’d recommend increasing their HP cap and/or giving them an end discount.

I do like the idea of better secondary effects or a higher agro cap as well. I don’t like the idea of giving them more damage, as it would just further homogenized the Brute/Tanker relationship. It’s far better to give tanks something that sets them apart rather then just making them closer to brutes

I play tankers over brutes (5:1), but I favor theme/concept over numbers. That said, I’d support an increase in aggro cap. And who would say no to an end discount. I find the early level blues to be very frustrating as a tanker, forcing me to resort to taunt-spamming as my only action during combats in order to conserve end.

A buff to secondary effects is an interesting idea, but would need some careful balance testing. And I agree with Burden on the damage buff. I’d rather the former over the latter.

I second the enhanced special effects for Tankers.

What might also be interesting for Tankers is if they had a chance to proc a +Def, +Res or +Absorb AoE when they hit with a melee attack. Nothing huge, but enough that the bonus might be worth considering when composing teams, especially against bigger, meaner enemies. Plus, it’d fit into the Tanker’s theme of “protect the team” without turning things into a straight durability arms race with the Brute or amping up the Tanker’s already considerable agro potential.

What I would suggest is something like:

New Gauntlet: Although many try, few can withstand the irresistible force of the Tanker. Each time a Tanker attacks, he enrages the target, and those around him, enticing them to attack the Tanker, while providing cover for allies. Each punch continues to provoke your enemies and allows the Tanker to do what he does best.
All melee Attacks:

  • 100% AoE taunt Proc
  • 3 PPM Guantlet Defense Proc (PBAoE +1% Def all, +2% Res all, +2% Absorb, 20 seconds)

It provides a noticeable benefit from having a Tanker on the team, but doesn’t make Brutes seem worse at tanking, just different. Brutes keep their mean damage, Tankers become more focused on supporting the team.

(Also, putting a global proc that comes from the inherent is probably a lot easier for us in the long run because right now each and every Tanker attack has an Inherent Taunt attribmod built into the power and boy does that make for long def files.)

I don’t know if increasing secondary effects would be enough for all tankers. Some attacks don’t even have secondary effects that would benefit from it that much. One idea that I had was to improve their bruising mechanic. Right now it is only on their tier 1 attacks and can’t stack with other tankers.

Messing with something like that may be a good way to buff them. Maybe give some sort of debuff to more attacks in all powersets. That way all tankers benefit equally from it. I also feel it should stack or at least part of it should. I don’t think a team should be punished for having more than one tanker like they are right now. The +Def, +Res or +Absorb AoE proc malonkey1 mentioned is similar to this.

I think most of the ATs are pretty balanced. Personaly, i wouldn’t play a tanker when i can be a scrapper or brute. But i also wouldn’t play a defender if i can be a corruptor except in very specific cases ( sonic blast). That doesn’t mean def or corr are better, just that players have different priorities.

While both brute and tanker have the same caps (except HP) , tankers reach them way quicker and on their own. Makes a difference when they are leveling or when you need someone to hold aggro alone (STF, some itrials) There’s a reason to have both, for casual players that aren’t showing off their purpled out brute. =P

Boosting the secondary effects feel like it would be unequal between power sets. Some have little and others a lot.

The devs already made something to improve tankers, the bruising mechanic. Improving on that could be a solution. Making it stack from different characters would be a good start.

Boosting the aggro cap might help ( would it be really hard to change it just for tankers?) but i’m scared it would bring back the “wait here while i gather” mentality. It would be usefull for the high-end content like Itrials where there’s often a lot of enemies and multiple ambushes.

I do think the secondary effect bonus sounds nice, but reading what the rest have you have said on the topic, it would massively effect some tanker secondaries, while not really helping others at all.

It would really require a complete rebalance of all tanker secondary powersets to make sure each one benefits equally, or at least closer to equal

I think things are balanced pretty well as it stands.

Brutes are capable of Tanking or melee DPS, but are not the best at either. I don’t see this as driving a need to buff either Scrappers (who are more squishy), or Tanks (who do less damage). I think the fact that Brutes solo faster than Tanks is is the reason for their popularity.

The fact remains that, for very hard content, a Tank is the superior choice for absorbing alpha strikes and holding aggro and Scrappers remain kings of melee DPS (except in very specialized groups).

My idea for balancing would up the cap for taunts/aggros for Tankers and make it so Brutes can only taunt individual enemies. Making Tankers better for crowds and Brutes for single targets.

Kinda problematic with the change devs made to fury. Before you could get close to max fury just by attacking with quick attacks. They changed it s fury decay slower at low level, but that you kinda absolutly need aggro from multiple enemies to get close to max fury.

Also counter to the concept that no specific AT should be requiered to do content. ( damage, control, buff, pets are all shared between multiple ATs, would suck only one can aggro mobs).

Upping taunt/aggro for tankers maybe, but i don’t think changing brute’s taunt is a good idea.



My idea for balancing would up the cap for taunts/aggros for Tankers and make it so Brutes can only taunt individual enemies. Making Tankers better for crowds and Brutes for single targets.

Nerfing a class would be pretty damaging to the player-base perception of this version of the game implementation, regardless of the merit, and should be avoided at all costs. For this reason, buffs should be relatively minor (they can always be increased later) to avoid having to nerf back in the future.

As to balance, crowd control from tanks impinges on control classes, so care should be taken with increases in Aggro cap. As it stands, a tank with buffed agro cap could easily render the mind control power set completely (instead of mostly) useless.

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