Massively goes to WAR this fine Monday morning with an overview of tanks on the side of Order in Warhammer Online. The Dwarven Ironbreaker and the High Elf Swordmaster have two very distinct styles and ability sets, but they are both very good at what they do. Let's look further into the two careers that are the crux of any successful group.

The Dwarf Ironbreaker
This career is more like a classic tank you would see in other MMORPG's: various taunts, damage skills and shield maneuvers keep the attention of the enemies while the others in the group pour on the damage and/or healing. The unique abilities that set this career apart from the High Elf tank are the Grudge and Oath Friend mechanics.

Every time your dwarf is struck in combat he gains 5 Grudge. Every time the Ironbreaker's Oath Friend (see below) is struck in combat he gains 10 Grudge. Grudges can then be used to unleash powerful abilities. The dwarf can build up a maximum of 100 Grudge points, but they will fade after 30 seconds out of combat.

Examples of a Grudge powered ability:

Binding Grudge: You chop at your enemy's legs, causing them to take 30 damage over 10 seconds and snaring them, reducing their run speed by 40%.
  • With 25 Grudges: 48 damage over 10 seconds
  • With 50 Grudges: 72 damage over 10 seconds
  • With 75 Grudges: 90 damage over 10 seconds
  • With 100 Grudges: 114 damage over 10 seconds
The Oath Friend buff is one you place on a groupmate and affords protection to that player on many different levels. In addition to granting the Ironbreaker extra Grudge points when the Oath Friend is struck in combat, certain abilities of the Ironbreaker extend to his new friend as well.
  • Vengeful Strike: You strike your enemy for damage and stubbornly push yourself to keep fighting increasing your Toughness for 10 seconds. Your Oath Friend's Toughness will also be increased if they are within 40 feet.
  • Guarded Attack: You deal damage to your target and prepare yourself for their attacks, increasing your armor for 15 seconds. Your Oath Friend's armor will also be increased if they are within 40 feet.
  • Stubbon as Stone: You set your mind to the task at hand and focus on what must be done, increasing your Corporeal resistance for 10 seconds. Each time you're hit by magical damage while this effect is active, your autoattack speed will be increased by 50% for 10 seconds. Also increases your Oath Friend's resistance if they are within 40 feet.
The Ironbreaker has three mastery paths to chose from starting at level10: Vengeance (offense), Stone (defense) and Brotherhood (group support). Vengeance unlocks such abilities as a Career Tactic that has a 25% chance of doing damage to anyone attacking your Oath Friend and a flurry attack that has a greater chance to crit based on how much Grudge you have stored. The Path of Stone has a Career Tactic unlock that will buff one of your Shield attacks to increase the cooldown timers of your enemy and an ability that will block the next four attacks your receive and deal damage back for each attack based on Grudge.

The Path of Brotherhood seems to be an off-tank spec. For example, it unlocks the Runic Shield ability which will absorb incoming spell damage for the Ironbreaker and his Oath Friend. Not only that, but the same ability will transform the enemy spell into 15 more Grudge points. Another good (and funny example) is the Grumble An' Mutter ability. It's a essentially a self heal over time fueled by Grudge points. The description reads:

You begin to constantly complain about everything that's wrong today, telling everyone how much better things were back in the old days. You feel much better for the chance to grumble and regain 24 health every 3 seconds for up to 30 seconds. You lose 20 Grudge each time this happens and the effect will end if you run out of Grudges.
Read on for details about the High Elf Swordmaster ===>>>

This article was originally published on Massively.
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