Latest in

Image credit:

Massively in Moria: Hands on with the Warden's Skills and Gambits

Shawn Schuster

By far, the most anticipated and advertised aspect of the Warden is the Gambit system. This is basically a build-up tactic to use certain combinations of main skills, essentially creating a super-mega-uber skill in the end. It works much like a recipe, adding ingredients to make a finished product. These ingredients are comprised of three basic types: Spear (red icon), Shield (green icon) and Fist or Taunt (yellow icon). Whatever type you begin the Gambit with, that's the main effect of the final skill. So let's say you want to heal yourself, so you'd start with a green Shield skill (Shield Bash), then throw in a red Spear skill (Quick Thrust) and then finish it up with another green Shield skill (Shield Bash). This will create the Safeguard Gambit which heals your character for 79 Morale points every 3 second for 6 seconds. Later, when you get Class Traits to slot, you'll get access to special Trait Skills that will cover 2 bases at once, such as Fist and Spear, Fist and Shield, Shield and Spear, etc. These work well to make faster Gambits, especially with certain combos you may use more often.

This is just a brief description of the Gambit system, to give you an idea of how it works in case you were unaware. Luckily, when your Warden is young, you start with small 2-skill Gambits to get you used to how they work. You'll progress up to three, four, then five-skill combos once you're old enough. We found this progression very important to get used to the process, as it can become quite overwhelming unless you play through these combinations regularly. A good memory can't hurt either.

Much like the Fellowship skills, the Gambit combinations have their own reference tab on your Skills window. From here you can check out exactly what combinations make up which Gambits, and how they work. This is a very important part of the Warden, and we'd suggest printing out or somehow taking notes on the combos in this panel. While it will be inevitable that some players will randomly click through their skills, making random Gambits that they could never recreate when asked, your advantage will come by knowing what skills make which combos and when they're most effective.

So what do you do if you've started a Gambit and the tide of battle suddenly turns, requiring you to heal yourself instead of dealing damage? Luckily they've created two skills for just such an occasion. There's the Quick Recovery skill to clear the last icon added to your Gambit bar, and then there's Recovery which clear the entire bar, allowing you to start over.

So what else is the Warden good for? Glad you asked, because there are a few angles to the Warden that haven't been advertised quite yet. First off, they can port, much like Hunters, but with one major difference: they can't port the members of their fellowship. Plus, they can only port to four places currently: Ost Guruth, Esteldin, Evendim and Rivendell. Our biggest problem with this is that the Hunter can port to these places, also. Why not let the Warden port to new areas?

Also, the Warden has some great skills that aid in solo-ability, and flexibility. They have a significant run speed boost with Forced March, a 20 second stealth movement skill with Careful Step and even a few stances that increase in-combat Morale regen (Determination) and in-combat Power regen (Conservation).

Plus, don't forget their ample array of javelin skills. These are the skills made to improve the effectiveness of their medium-ranged javelin weapon. Most of these simply increase damage or decrease the target's armor protection, but there's one skill in particular that gave us the most fun. Ambush gives a 5 second knockout and a +50% boost to run speed. This knockout does not break with damage dealt to the target, so we had fun Ambushing, then flying up and pummelling the knocked-out enemy before they even had a chance to realize what was happening. Sure, five seconds is not a long time, but it's just enough to build up a short Gambit and do some hefty damage before they wake up. Giving yourself that edge in battle could make a huge difference when facing particularly hard targets, especially while soloing.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr