Crubz is standing on my screen with a choppa in one hand and a blocka in the other, waiting for me to select him and log into Warhammer Online for some RvR action. My cursor glides onto the "character" button. I'd feel bad for what I'm about to do if it didn't seem so right. I stare into the load screen for Blighted Isle and wonder if I'll come to regret my penultimate choice -- the career I truly want isn't available to me, yet. I doubt that I ever will regret the decision because it's going to happen again. Regret will only rear its ugly head if I don't take at least one character to end game level. My Dark Elf Sorcerer is nearly level ten now with a renown rank of eight and my class hopping has only just begun.

When the head start period kicked into life for players who pre-ordered, I went with a Greenskin Black Orc mostly because the tank careers looked to offer plenty of fun in Warhammer Online. My reasons for making the switch are mostly due to Scenarios and RvR action, although the source of my displeasure is two-fold. Bad things apparently come in twos, it would seem.

Tank feedback after Scenarios end is a small part of my problem. The information is there, but it's nebulous at best for a defense-focused tank. As far as I can tell, the "healing given" column informs a player on how much damage they absorbed for other classes, but it comes off vague to me. What if I used a healing potion or an ability of mine that has a chance to restore some health on attacks? Adding a "damage received" column in probably gives me a better idea of how well I performed in combat, although I could've just been diving into combat repeatedly like Scrooge McDuck into piles of gold. Is it even possible for Mythic to properly represent a tank's defensive contribution via numbers? Maybe, although my contention with Scenario feedback is minimal since there's a lot of abstract theories at play.

My real beef with tanking is that, for my first fifteen ranks I was made to feel largely useless in PvP situations. With no direct-effect abilities to use on opposing players, a tank's options early on are limited to a bit of de-buffing and a lot of finger crossing. Hoping someone will hit you instead of your squishier friends makes for a impotent tanking experience, at least for me. I know that as I play my Black Orc I'll receive more active options. But that's like getting a cool gun in a first-person shooter and telling me to hit better equipped-enemies with it for half of the game.

"...that's like getting a cool gun in a first-person shooter and telling me to hit better-equipped enemies with it for half of the game."

I will concede that at rank ten, tanks receive the ability to halve the incoming damage of a target they designate. It's a nice addition and one that ultimately remains invisible to the tank using it.

I know a lot of you are probably crying out, "collision detection!" While being able to actually block someone from moving past you can come in handy now and again, it really doesn't take much for them to move right around you in the midst of combat and it ultimately needs to be complimented by your knockbacks, taunts and damage-absorbing moves -- most of which you get beyond rank 15. Mythic needs some kind of pro-active damage preventing ability somewhere around rank ten. Something like a lesser knockback would be a nice addition. This feeling of futility is only worsened by DPS classes getting long-lasting snares that tanks have no hope of breaking out of until they get the counter-ability several ranks after casters gain said snare. What's up with that, anyway?

Maybe it's just my personal experience and everyone else absolutely loves being a tank at all levels. My feeling about being as useful as a punching bag flopping around on the ground in PvP could also be an isolated opinion. Hell, in Public Quests and other PvE content I actually enjoy tanking quite a bit, but that's only a piece of the total experience. So for now I'm sticking with a ranged DPS class for a little bit before heading back to a tanking career. At least a Sorcerer's gratification hits as immediately as the moment your first magic attack finishes off an enemy player -- and that can be done at level one.

This article was originally published on Massively.
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