Guardian Info

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Guardian Info

Postby Dominiculus » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:27 am

Avoidances against finesse

The % of finesse always reduces you're BPE in the same ratio that it is currently at.

For example, let's say you have numbers like these (simple numbers that form a nice ratio, just to make it easier to visualise for this example):
Block: 15%
Parry: 10%
Evade: 5%
Total BPE: 15+10+5 = 30%

This gives you a B:P:E ratio of 3:2:1

Now, lets say a mob has 24% finesse. This 24% finesse will split into that same 3:2:1 ratio as before.
Therefore, the finnese reduces;
Block by (24*3)/(3+2+1) = 12%
Parry by (24*2)/(3+2+1) = 8%
Evade by (24*1)/(3+2+1) = 4%
Total finesse reduction: 12+8+4 = 24%
Finesse BPE ratio 3:2:1

Therefore, your new BPE chances are at:
Block: 15-12 = 3%
Parry: 10-8 = 2%
Evade: 5-4 = 1%
Total BPE: 3+2+1 = 6% (30% original BPE - 24% finesse = 6%)
Final BPE ratio of 3:2:1

My point here is, because finesse reduces in appropriate ratios, you're chance of getting a usable reactive (block or parry) from a BPE event against a mob with high finesse is always the same as with 0 finesse.
Here is the information about the ratios. I know its an old post and that finesse no longer subtracts ratings directly, but I'm still under the impression that it reduces everything proportionally.

IMHO finesse is still broken; as the current implementation hurts tanks (especially wardens) far more than any other classes. That is a discussion for another day however.
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Re: Guardian Info

Postby Dominiculus » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:43 am

Guide to Threat, Aggro, and Guardian Skills

Even at level 65, I am still surprised to encounter Guardians who do not understand the fundamentals of how threat works in LOTRO, and what the diverse suite of Guardian skills actually do.

I'm sure this kind of thread has been made before, but if so it has fallen off the early pages, so I'm going to post my own guide here.

First though, we've got to get our terminology straight. Here are the words LOTRO (and its community) uses and what they mean:


Threat: Threat is a numerical value (hidden from players) representing how much a monster wants to attack you. Each monster keeps a list of all players, sorted by their threat (called the threat-table or threat-list). In most cases, it will target the player at the top of the list. The most basic way to earn threat with a monster is to do damage to it. Additionally, casting heals will also create threat on all nearby monsters. Finally, some classes (tanks in particular) have skills that create additional bonus threat ontop of whatever threat comes from damage. Even though we never see base numbers associated with threat, you can assume that threat is just like damage. If something gives you a 15% bonus to threat, then it means you are putting out 1.15 times the threat you would normally put out.

Aggro: Having aggro means that you are a monster's target. Usually this means you have the most threat and are at the top of the monster's threat list; however, there are some other circumstances where you can get aggro, which I will cover.

Taunt: This term, while used in many MMO's, does not have a solid meaning in LOTRO. I will avoid using it so as to avoid confusion.

Challenge: Some skills create a challenge effect. This is when you place a debuff on a monster that, for the duration of the debuff, forces the monster to attack you (i.e. you have aggro for the duration). In most cases, a challenge does not change the amount of threat you have with a monster or your place in the monster's threat list. This means that once the challenge's duration expires, you may lose aggro if you are not at the top of the threat list.

Guardian Skills

Simple threat-building skills: The bulk of a Guardian's skills are simple--they create instant bonus threat on a monster, ontop of any damage they may do. These skills include:

Vexing Blow
Fray the Edge

Threat-over-time skills: Guardians have one skill, Litany of Defiance, which puts a threat-over-time debuff on multiple surrounding enemies. This skill simply adds bonus threat every few seconds while the duration lasts. It's effectively like a DOT that, instead of doing damage, builds threat.

Threat catch-up skills: Guardians have two skills which allow them to instantly gain an amount of threat, such that they are tied with the player who is at the top of a monster's threat list. Note: using these skills on monsters whose threat lists you are already at the top of has no effect! It does not even generate any additional threat.

The first of these skills is Engage. Let's say a Guardian is tanking a boss and has 1000 threat (hypothetical number). However, then the hunter crits and his threat jumps up to 1500 threat. The boss aggros on the Hunter. The Guardian can use Engage to instantly set his own threat to 1500, regardless of how far behind he was. He can then use his threat-generating skill to regain the threat lead over the Hunter.

The second threat-catch-up skill is Challenge the Darkness, a legendary trait skill. In terms of threat-catch-up, Challenge the Darkness functions identically to Engage, except that it affects ten targets instead of one (it also has ten times the cooldown). However, Challenge the Darkness has an additional effect which is covered below.

Challenge skills: Guardians have two skills which they can use to instantly get aggro on several monsters for a fixed duration of time.

The first of these is Challenge. Note that Challenge has no effect on your actual threat or position in the threat-table*. It just puts a debuff on monsters that forces them to attack you.

*Challenge can be enhanced by the trait Litany of Challenge which causes it to generate threat on all targets in addition to the challenge effect.

The second challenging skill is Challenge the Darkness, the aforementioned legendary trait skill. In addition to its threat-catch-up effect, Challenge the Darkness also puts a challenge on all targets that functions identically to Challenge (i.e. they will attack you for the duration of the debuff, regardless of the threat lists).

Threat-stealing skills: There is one final type of skill which many classes have, and that is the threat-stealing skill. Guardians only have one skill which does this, Whirling Retaliation.

The way a threat stealing skill works is to remove a small portion of every player's threat on a given monster and then add all the threat that was taken to the tank's threat total. These skills are especially useful when you know most of a fellowship is focusing on a single target. Let's say everyone is fighting a boss, and the threat table is something like this (again, all numbers are hypothetical):

Hunter: 1400
Guardian: 1000
Champion: 900
Captain: 800
Minstrel: 700
Burglar: 600

In this case, the Guardian just isn't able to keep up with the Hunter's threat, even if he just spams his threat-building skills. Even when the Guardian uses Engage to momentarily catch up to the Hunter, the Hunter quickly pulls away again. However, then the Guardian uses Whirling Retaliation. This removes 100 threat from every member of the fellowship and gives it to the Guardian. The new threat list looks like this:

Guardian: 1500
Hunter: 1300
Champion: 800
Captain: 700
Minstrel: 600
Burglar: 500

Effectively, the Guardian leverages the threat of the entire fellowship in order to overcome the Hunter and regain aggro. Do the numbers really work out this way? Not exactly. No one knows the exact amounts. But this is the type of scenario where Whirling Retaliation can be useful, even against a single target. Note: Threat-stealing skills are less effective in 3-man groups, since you don't have as many sources of threat to steal. In raids, you do not steal threat from 11 other people--still only your own fellowship (though it is possible you can steal it from skirmish soldiers--jury is still out on that one).

Common Scenarios

Below I'll talk about general strategies you can apply in various tanking scenarios. I won't talk about specific skill sequences unless appropriate--as finding out what works best and experimenting on your own will help you become a better Guardian.

My fellowship is about to fight a big group of enemies. What should I do?
As soon as fighting starts, try to position yourself amidst as many enemies as possible and then use Challenge. This will get you immediate aggro on them, which will give you the block and parry responses you need to build threat. Make sure your fellowship is focusing fire on a single target--this should also be your target, who you should hit with various single-target threat-building skills (and your auto-attacks). However, you also want to be using various AOE threat-building skills in order to start building a comfortable threat lead on the other monsters. The first target may peel off of you and go for one of the DPS classes, but this is okay--if everyone is focusing fire it will be dead soon enough. After that, you should have a big enough threat lead on the rest of the monsters and they will stick to you for the rest of the fight. You should not have to use Challenge again--save it for emergencies, like new adds showing up or a monster breaking off to attack the minstrel.

My fellowship is fighting a boss and I'm supposed to tank it. What do I do?
First, tell your fellowship to allow you a couple seconds of lead time before they begin attacking in earnest. Ideally, you should attack the boss and get at least one block response before your fellowship starts attacking (they won't know when you're blocking, but usually 3-5 seconds will be enough time). If, at any time, the boss peels off from you, use Challenge, as you have to ensure that the boss is attacking you--not only to protect your friends, but to also continue feeding you block responses (skills in the block chain generate the most threat). If you find that you always lose aggro after Challenge's duration expires, then use Engage to catch-up to the current top-threat player. If you find that no matter what, you cannot regain control of the boss, then determine who the boss is targetting and put Shield-wall on them (this will divert the damage they are taking to you). This is a last resort though, as you cannot block, parry, or evade the diverted damage--you should still try to regain aggro.

Adds keep going after the healer!
In most cases, healers do not put out enough threat on any given monster to out-threat a Guardian (or even a Hunter or Champion) who is fighting that monster. Usually, if a healer gets aggro, it's from a monster that is otherwise untouched (usually ranged attackers standing far away, or new arrivals). This happens because heals generate threat on all monsters. Thus if no one has attacked a monster (meaning everyone is at 0 threat) and the healer does a heal, then the healer becomes the only player with non-zero threat on that monster. Thus the healer has aggro of that 'virgin' monster.

If this happens, don't panic. Just start attacking/threatening the monster who is on the healer and you usually should be able to get aggro pretty easily. If the monster is stubborn, use Challenge and/or Engage. In situations where new adds are coming into a fight regularly, healers can avoid this problem by using larger heals more infrequently, instead of spamming smaller heals or putting up lots of HOTs, which have a higher chance (because of their frequency) of getting the attention of a 'virgin' monster.

Everyone's got aggro! Everyone's dying! It's chaos! We're gonna wipe!
Run to the center of the chaos, use Guardian's Pledge, and then immediately use Challenge the Darkness. Up to 10 monsters will aggro on you, and you will now be at the top of their threat list. Guardian's Pledge will keep you alive for a short while (and also feed you parries and blocks--but make sure to keep the monsters from getting behind you!), which will give your healer time to get the group's health up. Meanwhile, you should be trying to build solid threat on all of the enemies, and you should inform your healer that you are going to need intense healing (have your potions ready!) as soon as Guardian's Pledge expires. Warrior's Heart is good here as well.


There are many other interesting scenarios, and I'd be happy to add them to the thread if people have any specific requests. I welcome follow-up questions, feedback, and corrections!
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