| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (17)

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 9:44AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I play defenders mostly in CoH. It happens to be my favorite. I do have some disagreements to this article but on a time crunch before work here so I will just get to the biggest one:
Empathy
"the set really doesn't offer anything other than a lot of direct heals, with no real buffs to speak of outside of everyone staying up. (There are a few static effects, but nothing beyond health buffs and status immunities.)"
The Clear Mind for status protection combined with Fortitude giving a Defense ,dam, and to hit buff makes great buffs!( My emp gives 23.4% def to all damage types, 29.25 % to hit, and 31.25% dam buff with her fort) If your also using the RAs (Regen aura and recovery aura) along with them, you more then likely won't need to be just "the healer". I can turn a blaster into a tank with my emp def with using some heals but mostly the buffs.
I would gladly show you sometime what an emp buffing can do :-D ( I have one on quite a few servers)
Ok and since I do have time my next biggest thing would be Tar Patch. This is a great power! It not only slows them dramatically (meaning they can't get to you if they are running toward you) but it also does a big debuff. Looking number ways my Tar Patch debuffs them with a -30% resistance to all damage types,it also has a - fly component so the baddies can't fly off on you.
Any how gotta run hope to have made you do more thinking on some defenders!

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 9:56AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)
Oh and forgot to mention the Adrenalin Boost in emps which gives a regen bonus, recovery bonus and recharge bonus!
Reply

Posted: Feb 17th 2011 3:54PM Scarecrowe said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)
Yep, you got there first. I was going to make the same arguments. Empathy doesn't really suit my playstyle but there's no arguing about its awesomeness.
Reply

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:19AM lmollea said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Ehm, Eliot, you focused much on the buffing/healing capabilities, Defenders can be also terribly good debuffers.

* Cold Domination for example is a also a -res powerset (less intensive than sonic resonance) and a -def powerset. Meaning you get to hit more frequently and harder. Heat Loss is not at all a heal but probably the strongest +recovery power out there (allies regenerate energy quickly), sadly has a very loooong cooldown. Not to mention the resistance to slow granted by artic fog (yes, I play one). This set is very useful for AV and TFs.
* Dark Miasma is a -accuracy set: you can debuff so much the accuracy of others that even AV can start missing their hits. Figure if it's not a strong set. The dark heal is tricky as it is a hit based heal that spawns around you (and it has a quite slow animation), but it has a -regen component that makes this set useful for AV and TFs. You get also a fear and a hold (abilities that your dark servan spams quite often) and a AoE caging ability (quite tricky to use and often yelled at).
* Empathy - apart from healing - has two "auras" (pbaoe buffs) that give extreme regen and recovery and possess one of the few all-mez protection powers (clear mind). When you play one you probably spend all the time stacking cm (and being yelled at for someone missing it) on your allies.
* Force Field: agree. Should mention the "intangibility/caging" power: you can trap someone inside a bubble blocking him from acting. Nice on bosses, nuisance in pvp when you trap their healer/buffer...
* Kinetics: yes. Overpower. Two powers with +dmg combined with the +recharge/+recovery power make the team a death machine. Place him behind a brute and you get a steamrolling duo. I managed on my kin to have a brute hit for 1150 with a single foot stomp. And if you combine it with electrical blast you also get the side effect of draining all your enemies of their endurance...
* Radiation: not overpowered, but combine his -res with /sonic or /psy and then smile at the outrageous amount of damage you can put out. Even in pvp. Much appreciated for AV and TF.
* Sonic Resonance: *THE* debuffer. Can stack -60% resistance and -40% defence on anyone and give +30% resistance on your team. Try it on an AV. Not to mention the cage. And the mez resistance. Seldom played as it's a bit boring and heavy on endurance consumption.
* Storm Summoning: it's the chaos creator. Knockback, knockback, knockback. Never team with a kinetic, they'll hate you. But the amount of chaos it can put out (including -res and -def) compensates for the lacks of buffing capabilities.
* Traps: it's a set that I don't particularly like, because it mostly based on static placement of things on the ground. But after you get the poison trap, you can shutdown an entire mob (boss included) making them vomit while all your mates start pouncing them. And with a kinetic beside you, the recharge you have can stack up to 12-14 trip mines. Useful for one-shot-pulling an entire mob in a team of 8. A lenghty tactic, though.
* Trick Arrow: a seldom played set. Has nice debuffs, but no supplementary damage. Don't forget to get some fire based damaging ability to ignite your oil slick arrow (lots of damage). The Tier9 ability isn't so good as it should (it's like blaster's nova and will leave you drained of all endurance). My personal pick is that its good debuffing abilities aren't enough to compensate for the lack of buffing abilities.

My personal picks?
* kinetic/electric: for speed-running TFs
* cold/psy or or cold/sonic or rad/psy or rad/sonic for a strong buffer/debuffer/damager
* sonic/sonic it's probably even better than the above, but you should be able to stand its sound effects.
* empathy/[whatever] to play the healer
* storm/energy: to have fun and play the jerk (the corruptor version energy/storm it's better though)

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 11:23AM Gryphmon said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Defender is my favorite class to play, and I've been doing that for the last 6+ years.

However, I must also say that never in the history of the game have I felt that the Defender class was so completely useless at level 50.

The fact of the matter is that with the ultra-slotted tankers and scrappers roaming around, defenders for the most part are simply no longer needed at level 50. Tankers and Scrappers don't usually need our heals and buffs anymore.

Classes at level 50 are now terribly unbalanced. I belong to a channel that does TF's on a daily basis. For the most part what that involves is the defenders and trollers and blasters sitting around at the start of each mission, while the Tankers and Scrappers run around on super speed accomplishing objectives. We can't follow them because they are basically pulling aggro but then ignoring it and moving on to the next mission objective. Thier defense builds are strong enough to allow them to do this.

A good example of this is the Nictus cyst mission in the Imperious Task Force. Scrappers and Tanks simply run around to each cyst and ignore the ambush that follows its destruction. Average time to complete this mission is now about 8 minutes.

This class imbalance is a part of what has lead to 25 minute Imperious, Lady Grey, and Kahn, task forces. And the new TF's, Apex and Tin Man have not improved on this dynamic.

Bottom line: At level 50, when Scrappers and Tankers can just rush through the TF, Defenders, Controllers and Blasters are pretty much irrelvant to gameplay.

Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 6:18PM Freeblast said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Gryphmon
Completely agree that some Tanks/Brutes/Scrappers/etc are too good at speed running content at level 50.
Completely disagree that Defenders are worthless.....ever. If you want to feel useful at 50 and teaming with Melee types just doesn't do it for you, stop running with Melee types. The coalition I usually run with has ran each of the TF's you commented on with all Defender, all Controller, and all Corruptor teams. No Tank, no Scrapper, no Meatshield at all.
Doorsitting is for people with no skill and no teamwork.
Photos or it didn't happen?
Freeblast on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/freeblast/?saved=1
Reply

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 11:56AM Luk said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
FF/Dark defender here. Yes, unless your are kinetics or D3 the damage is pretty bad and the melee classes are overpowered at 50. However, if you look at mid levels, TFs or lower level Pvp in Siren's Call, this is where the defenders really shine and always welcome. Even after playing the most boring and underpowered bubbles set for a long time, i can still say it had it's moments.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 12:44PM Locus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Defenders are incredibly overpowered if you stack them because CoX's buffs scale very well. Of course, Corruptors do this better, but fill a team with 8 defenders and you probably don't need a tank (Unless they're all TA).

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 1:01PM Stormwalker said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Invisible Woman is obviously a good example of a FF Defender, as would be Jean Grey.

One could argue that Storm is a prime example, if only due to the powerset synergy. Ororo is a Storm Summoning/Electrical Blast Defender if ever there was one.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 1:11PM Locus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Some other opinions:

Dark Miasma: often joked to be a Master of all Trades.
- Simply massive -tohit
- extremely strong AoE heal (which requires a tohit check) which also gives the all-important -regen debuff.
- very useful pet (Fluffy) with a ridiculous -tohit debuff aura amongst other good abilities. The easiest way to debuff anything short of a GM to pathetic tohit ratings is to drop a Fluffy on top of him.
- Increases damage by debuffing RES (Tar patch)
- Very strong damage debuff
- Very good Crowd Control (Fear and a hold)
- Only AoE rez in the game, gimmicky, but autohit with a mag 4 disorient, so it has a use even if nobody is dead.

Storm Summoning:
- Freezing rain shares a spot with Sleet (Cold Domination) for the single best debuff in the game. It debuffs just about everything for very significant amounts, while knocking them down persistently.
- Hurricane can cause trouble if badly used, but by itself, it's one of the strongest -tohit debuffs in the entire game. It's so strong by itself that it nearly rivals all the -tohit that Dark Miasma can do (except Fluffy's aura is stronger for no good reason just by itself).
The main problem with Storm Summoning as a set is that it's actually stronger on Controllers than it is on Defenders, despite being a primary.
-Tornado is not a pet. It does not take pet enhancements.

Sonic Resonance
One point that hasn't been mentioned is that this set provides self-mez protection.

Traps:
Poison trap is also a really strong -regen debuff. Caltrops is very nasty. One of the better PvP sets if you actually care about that kind of thing.

Trick Arrows:
Horrible. Traps does everything this set can do BETTER.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 1:37PM dustraven said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Defender is not my favorite archetype, but the Dark Miasma and Empathy are two of my favorite powersets. The evaluation here doesn't really do them justice and seems to come of either a misunderstanding of them, or perhaps a simple lack of research.

Dark Miasma is not "all over the map" thematically. The theme is control as damage mitigation. The controls include an AoE slow, a hold, an AoE fear, and an AoE stun, plus a pet with its own holds and immobilize. The remainder of the powers concentrate on robbing the disabled and weakened enemy of hitting, or hitting hard, while softening them up for your allies.

Empathy has some of the best buffs in the game. Fort buffs damage, defense and tohit, and although single target, comes up fast enough to keep 3 allies buffed with it. The regen and recovery auras can often make other buffs, including healing, unnecessary.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 2:46PM DancingCow said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
They're easily the worst AT in the game.

Controllers are better defenders than defenders.

Controllers can user defender powers at 80% efficacy (quite good) + their control powers mitigate massive amounts of damage.

They did a better job of AT design with City of Villains, and now that players can cross over I see no reason for anyone to make a defender.

Usually damage is more useful than defence. So a corruptor is a better choice. Or better yet, masterminds have walking aoe damage and can use defender powers at the same time.

Though like others have said, the way buffs stack, any team made up just of buffers, eg. defenders, is pretty awesome.

As for the sets themselves....

Kinetics probably seems overpowered because it's one of the few sets that have NEVER been nerfed. That would be because it's always been considered a retarded healing set.

"LFG? Can you heal?"

"Yes, I'm kinetic."

"Oh you can't, nm then. We'll keep looking."

It has always been an excellent set but it wasn't until people started farming AE missions that kinetics became popular. Even then there are a lot of players who loathe being speed-boosted.

Storm is also an excellent set though a lot of players don't realise it because it needs to be played a bit differently. It too has largely avoided being nerfed because players undervalue it.

Gale is the only power in this set to skip.

O2 boost is a very respectable heal.

Snow storm is an awesome debuff - slowing recharge and movement speed.

Steamy mist's stealth is handy and it has a very high resist buff on it for energy/electric damage.

Freezing rain is one of the best powers in the game - aoe knockdown, slow and a big resistance debuff.

Hurricane is great for protecting squishies from melee attacks. It's also perfect for rescuing any team-mate who becomes overwhelmed by melee-ers. It's also handy for herding mobs back into eg. an ice patch or earthquake.

Thunder clap is a nice control power. Won't take out a boss but it'll do the others.

Tornado can be an excellent aoe damage power if used properly.

Lightning storm does ok damage if used properly - though it's not one of the set's high points.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 4:37PM Heraclea said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The Speed Boost power from Kinetics is probably the most enduringly controversial power in the game. This is due to its increasing the speed of movement on the character as well as its benefits to recovery and recharge. It is also a very short lived buff, and lots of players like it. This means that if you play the set, you will face some angry tells if you fail to keep it up constantly on some players. Even though the last time you applied it, they zipped away and broke line of sight.

God help you if you dare to not take the power.

I am not fond of it myself, and consider it a movement control debuff, which is especially annoying if you use a lot of melee or PBAOE attacks or auras. I prefer knowing what my movement keys will do at any given moment, over its short lived recharge and recovery buff.

Posted: Feb 16th 2011 10:34PM Zamuel said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
While I feel you have a few misconceptions Elliot, in some ways it doesn't surprise me. The thing about some sets is that the way they help the team is more subtle than others. Also, some sets are prone to having bad players. For example, some Emps only use the heals when they should be buffing more and sometimes the chaos from Storm Summoning becomes detrimental rather than helpful. On that note, some like Kinetics are considered difficult to screw up for what they do.

There's also interesting synergy issues. While I enjoy it, Trick Arrow is considered underpowered. However, it's considered to be much better on Controllers since it stacks with their controls.

Posted: Feb 17th 2011 3:55PM Scarecrowe said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
lol, if it was the author's goal to start up a healthy discussion, he succeeded!

Posted: Feb 17th 2011 7:48PM Locus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Scarecrowe
Only at the cost of making himself look ignorant on the original topic. It's a pyrrhic victory.
Reply

Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 11:37AM Daemodand said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It puts the heals on my skin, or it gets the Knock Out Blow again!

Featured Stories

MMO Week in Review: Happy New Year!

Posted on Dec 28th 2014 8:00PM

The Stream Team: Warlords of Draenor dungeon fun

Posted on Dec 28th 2014 7:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW