Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If It Looks Like A Tank And It Taunts Like A Tank... : GW2

Taunt (Status Effect)

“Involuntarily attack foes.”

In this expansion, we wanted to open up gameplay options using taunt. Taunt will be used to both reposition foes and change your foes’ targets.

Source: The stand-out paragraph lurking right near the end of the lengthy and otherwise largely mind-numbing PR squib for GW2's new Revenant class due to be introduced in the "when it's ready" expansion Heart of Thorns.

Predictable first reaction on official forum:

"Really? Taunt? What’s with you dev’s? Its not WoW, not L2, its game with unique experience, where we don’t need tank/healer/damage dealer trinity."

Predictable reaction to predictable reaction:

"It’s not like what you’re thinking."

Probably shouldn't have called it "Taunt" then.

Or opened the bidding with "The revenant is the ninth profession, added into Guild Wars 2 as a unique archetype not seen in other games" (Ibid).

I'll hang fire on any bold statements until, y'know, we actually see this amazing innovation in action in the promised demo at PAX East. Possibly even until I get to try it out for myself in beta. Or when HoT goes live if beta turns out to be a real beta that you have to apply for and be selected or something bizarrely old-school like that.

In the meantime let speculation run wild on the possible addition of some kind of Holy Trinity Lite structured group combat to GW2. Going to be a rough couple of years if we have to wait on the second expansion to get a real healing class. Just sayin'.


  1. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out. Reading up on it, it seems like it will be more of a temporary CC than a true tanking tool as seen in other games. They probably shouldn't have called it taunt.

    I don't want to see traditional tanking added to GW2, but a little more ability to control things might be helpful. Traditional trinity combat is too static, but GW2 tends to be the opposite extreme and be chaotic to a fault. Mitigating that a little (not a lot) could be nice.

    I'm also curious to see what classes other than the revenant will have access to taunt. If it's purely a heavy armour thing, that lends credence to the idea this is just a way to add tanking lite, but if they spread it more broadly, then it really is just another CC tool. I could maybe see mesmers and engineers getting it.

  2. They really shouldn't have called it taunt, especially since the cc looks to have a different effect than what people assume a 'taunt' should be, aka pulls and holds aggro.

    Lure, call, snare, magnet, all seem to convey the idea of being forced to reposition, for example.

  3. Games should be able to redefine terms as they please. People overreact too much.

    1. That's what Humpty Dumpty believed and look what happened to him!

  4. A tank only uses taunt to capture por recaptura aggro.
    The current main way a tank holds aggro is by threat generation.

    Taunts alone do not make the current tank archetype.

  5. Eh, my first instinct was it's probably a reverse fear. It's appropriately named honestly, much better than calling a condition a "magnet." (Sorry Jeromai)


  6. The PR piece (incredibly tedious though most of it is) does repay a closer reading than I think most people seem to be giving it. This bit, which seems to be going the rounds as though it is a complete description of the skill, is framed as a single example of how "Taunt" can work, not as the totality:

    "For example, when used on players, it will force the taunted player to run at their target with their skill bar locked—minus stun breakers—and only use their autoattack skill to attack."

    That is specifically Taunt as used ON players (whether by NPCs or other players isn't specified). It says nothing about how Taunt might or will work when used BY players on mobs. It also implies, simply by being used for exemplification, that Taunt will have more than one mode of use.

    My point, really, is that we have nowhere near enough information yet to say either that Taut does represent a step towards some form of recognizable Tank role, or that it does not. Everyone making declarative, definitive statements about it is just doing what I suggested we should all do - speculating wildly.

  7. I'm pretty much in agreement with Anonymous up there – I strongly suspect it'll just act like a reverse fear, causing the mob to attack you for a few seconds, the go back to whatever it was doing before that.

    1. When it comes to wild speculation I still don't think people are reading through the totality of the Reveneant "reveal". There's a whole paragraph in there about "upkeep skills" for example, which says "These skills will last until you run out of energy or toggle them off". It's feasible that Taunt could be an Upkeep skill, allowing a Revenant to choose to focus energy on maintaining it for longer periods, You could then see it moving from the 3-second reverse fear to a 9-second "stick on me". Or longer - who knows?

      Frankly, it would be pretty poor if it turns out to be just "reverse fear". Fear is one of the most irritating control effects in G2 and having a second type of fear that goes backwards is hardly an improvement.

  8. Not just a reverse Fear, but a way to force confusion to work on an enemy.

  9. Revenant have a taunt (a reverse fear?) and heavy amor , but it will have middle range hit points... that will make it hard to work as a tank, not enough hit points for meat tank.

    I think that "taunt" is really a cc ability and the clue is that it too work on players....

    1. Are there any MMOs that have PvP where players can taunt other players in the traditional PvE sense of forcing them to attack a specific person? I have played a few where you could force a change of target on a player in PvP but I can't recall one where you could force change of target and sustain it.

      I can't see why that would be any less acceptable than longish duration stuns or mezzes. Hmm...and now you got me thinking about Charm. Whatever happened to that?

    2. SWTOR doesn't offer real taunting in pvp but I like what they did (at least, what was in place the last time I pvp'd before makeb). A single target taunt would make the target do less damage to any target that wasn't the taunter (say 30%). AOE taunt would do similar for any enemies in range of the taunt. Quite useful for protecting healers or others, especially in conjunction with guard.

  10. @Bhagpus,

    apparently revenant "taunt" too work at pvp. Probably it is a "reverse fear" as people are theorizing, it makes players and mobs run to the revenant, but nothing will force them to attack the revenant. If the theory is correct I see revenants using the "taunt" for break enemy attacks, disabling melee attacks against other players, that are mostly cc. I too see revenants using the "taunt" for get the enemies to an AOE or range trap pre-set, or forcing players to enter the range of attack of siege weapons. And maybe revenant have close aoe attacks for use with the "taunt".

    So, I think the mechanic is totally different from a tank taunt. Anyway, with few hit points and no healer class, a revenant will not survive long time as tank.

    But we will need wait for the expansion (or the beta) for test the revenant class.


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