Permit one to preface this thread with the statement that I don’t aim to create a “WAR IS OP” or “PLD IS BORK” or what-hath-ye debacle thread. This is not proposing entire overhauls to Dark Knight because half our kit works against the other half which is just a reskinned Paladin (even though it should be rebalanced because frankly that’s just silly). I write this with the sole intent to incite thought and reasoned discussion on one of the central points of the topic of balance between the three tanks.
This is not crying to nerf Warrior. I really don’t like how Marauder plays, to be honest, but that’s a personal issue and irrelevant to balance. Nor is this a demand to buff my beloved Dark Knight or Paladin, because plenty of other people are shouting such things from the rooftops already with varying degrees of linguistic competence.
Those opening statements made, I hereby accept the fact that I will like as not be lambasted for my statements here.
So, one of the key issues frequently brought up in regards to the discussion on tank usefulness in the context of both damage and end-game raid utility is the Warrior’s level 38 Marauder ability “Storm’s Path” and level 50 ability “Storm’s Eye”. I will operate upon the assumption that those concerned already know these abilities quite well, and make clear that this post will be focusing exclusively on the aspects of Storm’s Eye. The other two tank jobs, Paladin and Dark Knight, only have a single ability apiece which is comparable to either; the Paladin’s “Rage of Halone” and the Dark Knight’s “Delirium”, which reduce the enemy’s Strength and Intelligence by 10%, respectively. In addition, Dark Knight has had the accusation leveled at it for removing a use the Monk job once had with it’s “Dragon Kick” ability because Delirium’s Intelligence debuff was overridden by Dragon Kick.
A proposal: but what if such a thing was not the case, but in fact the opposite was true?
Permit one to elaborate; Warriors have the ability to decrease an enemy’s resistance to Slashing damage by 10%, increasing their own damage and that of other tank jobs and of Ninjas. However, thinking upon an idea put forth by a different forum user whose name I had not the presence of mind to record for proper crediting (apologies for such to whoever you may be), perhaps such a thing need not be exclusive to what is right now the undisputed king of the hill in the tanking meta-game.
I shall begin with the humble Paladin. “Rage of Halone” is the skill of choice, and in fact is the only third-tier weaponskill Paladins are capable of using until gaining level 52 and access to Heavensward content, earning them derision from even myself as being 1-2-3-adins. However, Paladins find their roots as Gladiators in the context of player characters, and both begin with Ul’Dah. I do not think of Ul’Dah when I think of Halone the Fury; no, I believe I think of Ishgard and her famed Dragoons. Why not, then, allow this ability named for the patron goddess of these lance-wielding terrors to grant them benefits to their own offensive? By this, I mean grant one of the Paladin’s combo finishing abilities, most likely as a level 50 trait for Rage of Halone due to the ubiquitous nature of the ability pre-Heavensward and the lack of a level 50 combo ability for the Gladiator class, a Piercing Down debuff in line with Storm’s Eye’s own Slashing, and perhaps to compensate the Dragoon’s rotational obligations instead swap the places of Disembowel and Phlebotomize in the Chaos Thrust combo, reworking potencies to match. I accept the high probability of being laughed out of the forums for suggesting two damage-over-time effects be placed immediately next to each other in execution.
Then, the Dark Knight. Personal love of the job notwithstanding, one is of the belief that a greatsword, and a greataxe as well for that matter but this is besides the point, relied in proportional measure upon cutting power and the pure weight of the blade for cleaving man from extremity, or even from his own other half. The proposal, then; grant one of the Dark Knight’s three combo finishing abilities a Blunt Down debuff, likely Delirium Blade so as to fall in line with the Monk’s own Dragon Kick. This grants the Dark Knight that added piece of raid utility that they frankly do not possess with their current design, as well as remove the problem of Dark Knights making Monks untenable in current progression compositions; removing the necessity of Dragon Kick from a Monk’s rotation is a remarkable increase in damage output.
And as a last, optional thought, change the damage output of each tank type to that of the debuff they apply, though admittedly this may not mesh well with the jobs and is likely not going to be implemented.
Implementation of such debuffing abilities permits much more fluid party composition for end-game raids, granting parties systemic fluidity to find a wider variety of tank and DPS compositions depending upon who prefers to play what jobs and which type of damage will be most prevalent in the upcoming battle.
Please, by all means do not take this as a definitive answer to the problem of creating parity between the three tank jobs in terms of their damage-increasing utilities. Take this merely as a starting point from which to start a discussion on how this kind of balance might be achieved short of tearing Warrior’s Slashing Resistance debuff from them, which almost assuredly would end as more bane than boon both to this game’s balance and to Square Enix’s patience with the userbase.
Thank you for your time.