Let's talk about tanks and their popularity


#1

I was thinking. There are a few characters in the game that are basically meant to tank more damage than others. And from what I’m seeing, they are not very often used. It feels to me that tankiness alone is just not very useful in this game. Perhaps characters focused on being hard to kill could use something extra to make them more appealing?

In another topic you can find a general list of heroes used in top DEFENSE teams in raids. It’s still hugely ruled by damaging heroes!

BY TANKS I MEAN CHARACTERS THAT DON’T HEAL AND DON’T PROVIDE STRONG TEAM-WIDE BUFFS. Tanky healers are great, I’m not gonna dispute it. Tanky healers who also buff teams are even goodier. I mean characters who have subpar damage, speed, or skills for the reason they are ‘tanky’. Vide Horghall or Thorne or anyone you’d say “ye he sucks, but he’s tanky”.

Reasons why it looks to me [my observations/opinions! don’t get mad if you disagree, just give yours :blush:] tanks are less valuable than damaging characters:

1. Titans
Sure, it’s nice to not die on a titan fight, but it’s much better to spank it and spank it HARD. All a tanky hero can do here is survive longer than others to do mediocre damage/prolong the tile hitting a little bit. It’s not going to be a big bit either, 1 hit more perhaps? I don’t know how it is on 5*, but in my 4* team tankier heroes survive about as long as the squishballs.

Would you pick a tank over a damaging character for a titan battle? Wouldn’t it be better to grab someone like Vivica (makes everyone tanky AND heals them) or Magni (makes 3 dudes tanky AND deals a solid amount of damage) over someone who is just survivable and does crap damage (vide Horghall)?

I wouldn’t.

2. Raids
A little while ago I was thinking that tanky characters would be very nice for defense teams. Then I found out that fast damaging heroes still absolutely rule that place. I can’t see what attacking teams look for top players, but my, am I sure they are not less damagey than their defense ones :smiley:

I can see why.

a) you can target squishy targets from behind the 1st row hero with skills and some tiles
b) it’s much better to have a healer up front so that he can actually prevent the backline fellows from being sneakily dunked and basically rek everyone who gets a bad board by winning the battle of attrition and refusing to let anyone die
c) dead heroes deal no damage - put that Lianna up front, sure she might go down faster than Horghall, but she also won’t give you as much time to work around her skill and when she casts it… well, you know how that goes :joy:
d) if damagey/buffey/debuffey/healey heroes work best in attack and great in defense, um, why bother leveling up tanks? Especially since…

3. Challenge Events
What matters in a challenge event?

SPEED!

Also good combos, luck and items, but mostly:

SPEED!

What does damage do? Make the fight end faster.
What does tankiness do? Let the fight last longer.

Ya feel me? :rofl:

A healer? Great, there’s a health measure too. Team-wide defense buff? Sure, it helps to prevent casualties/keep higher HP. Team-wide attack buff? Oh yea, more damage! Reduce enemy defense? Yea, more damage!

Surviving while your team dies? Erm…

##########

Disclaimer: I do not own any real tank. My tankiest hero is probably Gormek and he’s actually good due to the defense debuff and respectable damage coupled with that useful skill. Being hard to kill is a cherry on top.

I just think tankiness in this game is not a huge valor. It can be a nice addition, but little beyond that. I remember there was a topic here recently about Thorne, how he’s a subpar hero. A response was “but he’s tanky”. So I’m asking - but is it enough?

Personally, I think it’s not. Things that make tanky heroes good, from what I see so far are:

  • being also a healer (like Rigard, or Ares who also gives some nice crit)
  • bringing a powerful buff to teammates (like Magni, who also does damage, though is Magni even a tank? Not so much I guess?)
  • bringing a powerful debuff to enemy (like Gormek and yes lowering defense is MUCH more valuable than lowering attack, because most of the things in this game go better if you can pack a punch, being able to take it is secondary)
  • dealing a lot of damage while at it (like someone, I’m sure, just can’t think off the top of my head, sorry)

It’s reasonable that a very tanky character would deal somewhat less damage than a glass cannon, or heal somewhat less than a very squishy healer, but it seems that the balance there isn’t working enough in the favor of tanks. Heroes like Lianna (no, don’t nerf Lianna :rofl: I’m advocating for buffs, not nerfs, buffs make people happy, nerfs make people sad. Spread joy not misery!) are still not that easy to kill for how much they bring to the team.

Lianna’s defense is 718, Horghall sits at 650. Just saying.
(300 hp difference, no idea how much it means with such defense difference, but I’ve yet to find someone who’d prefer Horghall over Lianna, he just doesn’t have enough use. Attack debuff (meh), slow mana speed (bleh), subpar damage (yeh)).

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BONUS, a list of characters who deal subpar damage and provide nothing else of real value, probably because they’re tanky:

  • Horghall (-attack on enemies, pff)
  • Thorne (nothing nada zit, he does deal a bit more damage than Hel or Athena, but lol specials)
  • Richard (-attack on enemies, does a bit more more damage than Thorne too, but yo Thorne tanky!)
  • Elkanen (i said my piece in another topic, no need to repeat)
  • Kadilen (could have some raid-use if her skill actually lasted a little longer, as was said in another topic, 4 rounds could give her some agency, maybe even in the Challenge Events vs the big bosses)
  • Leonidas (subpar damage, avg mana gain, less damage than fast hitters like Lianna, Sartana, Marjana, Joon, Magni, single target mana reduction and the negligible leech skill. Jack of all trades sit on the bench kk thx - also nearly lowest HP out of 5* heroes)

BONUS BONUS 4 picks:*

  • Kashrek (nobody loves Kashrek, he’s kinda ‘well I didn’t have anything better to pick’ or ‘aw shit Mammoth titan’ pick. Maybe if his frost defense extended on the entire team he could fill this niche better? Idk.)
  • Chao (um, compared to Li he’s kinda meh in utility. Lowest single target damage of all 4* heroes, is it because he’s tanky? Seems kinda like he doesn’t have much use if you have stuff like the damn Blindness Panda, Li, or Wukong, I’d give him some love, perhaps in the damage department to make him a nice yellow 4* choice for single-target rekkage)

Well, what do you think?


#2

This is my favorite line! :grin:

So much to digest here! Gonna say off the bat that there will always be “low-end heroes” in the stack. I think certain tanks fall here. I don’t necessarily think every “bad” hero needs an upgrade.


#3

Why not? Getting a 4*/5* hero should always be exciting for the players. It’s hard enough/expensive enough to get some.

If a hero doesn’t fulfill any role well enough to be a win (unless someone has another hero fulfilling the same role of course) then I think they could use an upgrade/change. While, of course, keeping their general identity for those who like said hero.

It won’t hurt to give people more viable options for top-tier team building either. More variety in defense/attack/event teams = more fun for everyone involved.

The way I see it it’s not about homogenizing the pool. It’s about making all the heroes worthwhile and so none of them feel like outright waste of ascension materials/underwhelming as a whole :slight_smile:

For instance, and I’m really just pulling it out of my nose right now, cause I’m in a bit of a hurry:

  • Let’s take say, Horghall. What if his skill also pushed the enemy basic attack turn by 1? Now that could actually help him make his TEAM survive longer in raids/events (no idea how that would look as a defending hero though, hence it’s a nosepull of an idea :joy: )

  • How about Thorne, what if his skill, the Icecold Finisher (right?) for example also exploded all the blue gems on the board? (again raid defense part not here, I know, I know, but it sounds fun :rofl: )

  • Richard, what if he both reduced attack on enemies and buffed attack on his team? (ha! works everywhere lol. It’s the creative things that just won’t conform to the scheme). He might be an alternative for Boldtusk enticing people to use another healer like Vivica or Albi.

  • Elkanen, well, I’ve said in the other topic he could be an offensive fast healer. That’s a niche. Hit enemies, heal all allies for an amount smaller than “average” speed heroes. Say 25%, given that 4* Kiril/Boldtusk heal for 27% and give strong buffs to the team. His damage would have to be equal in overall value to those. Albi/Vivica heal for much more and have strong specials attached to it, but slow mana generation deserves that of course.

  • Kadilen, she’s pretty nice as is I guess, but her buff really needs an extension. I think a well utilized Kadilen special could be quite helpful in various situations.

  • Leonidas, I really don’t know why he’s “average” on mana gain. That hurts him very much. If it were up to me I’d leave him on average, but let him reduce mana on all enemies like Li does. Currently he’s underwhelming everywhere. And I say that as a Li owner :stuck_out_tongue: Wouldn’t make ME happy, but it just seems more fair :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

@loorts’s Horghall really hurts me lol I’ll have a better reply later but all I can think of right now is that darn tree. He really isn’t that bad at Max. I’d take him.


#5

Lol I can only say something about Horghall too, and he’s quite handy on defense. I’ve heard from people that he is basically impossible to take down as front man if you don’t have a healer in your offensive team.

Have to say that before he was maxed, he was useless to me and whilst I use him for map-farming, I don’t use him on offensive raids that much.


#6

Love the post style - very amusing - a good read, thanks. :slight_smile:

While the concept of a ‘tank’ has its place in role play games, the role is somewhat diminished in this one because of the nature of the gameplay. Traditionally a tank is not only a character that can take a lot of damage, but also with the purpose of actually protecting others in its team from attack. This would be through a combination of blocking attacks against others or by attracting aggro to divert attention to themselves. (I traditionally cycle between playing tank characters and glass cannons in RPGs - the tank role appeals to my whole martyr/saviour side :wink: )

In this game there isn’t really a concept of stealing aggro or ‘getting in the way’, except for the very limited way in which this is implemented in the front/centre hero in a raid defence. Outside of that it’s too easy to avoid targeting the tank through your specials or playing other tile combos first.

So to be more true to a ‘tank’ concept, I’d look at introducing skills such as taunt (that has % chance to attract attacks) or block/intercept that directs some of the damage intended for another to the tank. I think there’s a place in the skills for this which will give some of these tougher heroes a place in a team.

Giving some heroes some attention to make them more desirable will always result in some other hero then being delegated to last place in the desirability stakes… but some sort of taunt and/or intercept skill may be interesting.


#7

I see your point, but both Kashrek and Chaos have been valuable for me earlier in the game.
I have Azlar and Horghall on the bench, as my only regular 5* heroes.
Both of them I avoid when maxed on a defense team and would love to get them there, but like you say, other heroes is more useful for titans and allround playing and on lower tiers too.
Often the tanks is the last ones to be ascended, and gets a corner on the defense team, where the tankiness doesn’t help much when the rest of the team is gone.


#8

Glad you liked it :blush:

The ideas for such skills would certainly make the tank gameplay more interesting. We have the Spirit Link that redirects the damage to all teammates, so some skill that redirects the damage (and probably mitigates some of it while at it) to the tank doesn’t sound too crazy at all.

One thing I wouldn’t agree with is that some character will always suck. I mean, it’s not extra easy to make them all good, but a balance like what exists between characters like Lianna/Sartana/Joon/Marjana or Sabina/Rigard/Kiril sounds doable. Use Joon if you want a blind, Lianna if you want to just mash, Sartana/Marjana will help more with high defense targets. Sabina will dispell enemies while Rigard will help with cure and Kiril gonna buff yo ■■■.

Different characters fulfilling very useful roles (single target damage, healing) and from which all of them are very playable and none feels bad. Sometimes you will prefer Sabina over Rigard (or the other way around), but no matter the case they will both be useful and do what they need to do primarily well - they will heal.


#9

Many heroes can be valuable earlier in the game, because it’s simply less demanding (ha, me Sherlock) but I don’t think 4* heroes should be getting outgrown like that. Stuff like Skittleskull also lags behind in useability later from what I’ve seen.

4* and 5*s require some real rare resources to ascend and if they’re falling off later into the game I think they might need a little help. The fun in this game is to develop your teams, climb, overcome challenge events and beat stronger titans.

I’d feel sorry for new players who get stuck with a hero that won’t be able to grow with them that they might’ve celebrated or gotten attached to (or simply not be able to get another one). Which is one of the reasons why I’m a strong advocate of bringing all heroes to as close usability as others of their respective tier and role as possible :slight_smile: