I had to make a skill build too– especially because Shmack helped me with mine. Shmack, you are going to see your build here, thanks again!
Tank - PVE – Level 25
So I started this closed beta on August 15th due to the fact that Archeage is huge and that I didn't get a beta key till August 14th. I hit 30 by the end of beta, and played around with a bit of PVP in the end which I will talk about a bit later on. I saved my skill points from level 28 and level 30 so my build is available at 25.
This class is called the Abolisher. It is a great all around tank class with Battlerage(Attack)/Defense, and Auramancy to top it off. Auramancy is a good choice because it provides you with general buffs and magic damage, though I do not use it for the magic damage, but rather the buffs and combos with the defense class since they are both defense trees. My original plan was Battlerage/Defense/Vitalism(Healer), but from what i’ve heard, the Vitalism really takes away from the whole tank angle, making it a really OP healer and general supporter that is basically impossible to kill. Really fun and strong (just ask Crazymatt), but in my opinion, it really takes you away from the front lines. I personally really enjoy what Auramancy did for the class.
Pros- You are a great tank. You can kill bosses alone and with not much trouble either. Questing alone isn’t too much of a problem, and really no matter what monster, you will generally never die if you are fighting ONLY that. Also, you are the life of the party. People love you. People ADORE you. Those of all genders flock to your side.
Cons- Magic and dps users can kick your ass. Seriously. The last night when Lithical, CrazyMatt and I decided to attack people in our own faction, we were able to mob the Magic user and the Archer. They were pretty pissed and sneaked up on us and destroyed me, for one. Being a tank isn’t too helpful if you cant even get to the person to attack them. Also, if you pull more that 2 monsters, you are basically dead, and sometimes 2 monsters is a stretch as well. You have to be careful.
Despite the pros and cons though, I really just love this class, but it is all based on preference. If you are looking to be a pirate or to do majour PVP (Which both apply to me), people will often say tank is not the best way to go, but I disagree. It is great fun-- especially with all the skills and combos I have, which I will get into right now.
(Just a little heads up beforehand, Archeage does not limit your armour or weapon to your class. You could technically tank with cloth armour, or mage with a sword. With this class, I highly suggest you go with the plate armour and A SWORD/SHIELD. I find that while using a 2h sword is fancy and cool-looking, your defense tree would be pretty useless with all the great shield attack skills you get.)
Lets start with your main attacks that you get with Battlerage.
Triple Slash- Attacks up to 3 times in a row to deal physical damage
Attack one-Shakes enemy
Attack two- Deals additional damage if enemy is tripped
Attack three- Increases damage 100% and hits multiple enemies in front of you
This is your basic attack skill and it has virtually no cooldown. It is a pretty cool skill that already almost has combo effects within it.
Charge- Launches a rush towards an enemy, dealing physical damage and inflicting snare.
This looks like some kind of rush- final fantasy/kingdom hearts move. Very helpful for ambushing monsters… or players.
Lasso- Pulls and taunts a distant enemy, forcing them to attack the caster for x seconds, regardless of any other aggro.
This skill man, let me just tell you, is literally a gift from Nui. (Do you like how I used the in game god? Aren’t I funny?) It is especially helpful during bosses when the dps users pull the boss, and when you have to save the ass of somebody in your party. This is one of the two of my favourite skills.
With these, I’ll usually start off with lasso so the monster doesn’t get the first hit, and i’ll follow it directly after with charge and triple slash, evoking the combo effect of tripping a snared target. Basically, they are going to lie on the deck and flop like a fish (cleverly integrated Spongebob reference. Please read that last line in that weird pirate voice that basically nobody can understand)
Next we have the Defense tree.
Shield Slam- Swings shield at an enemy to inflict physical damage and stun.
Pretty basic shield attack skill.
Refreshment- Increases health for a limited amount of time. (By level 25, I believe it is 780ish hp for 29 minutes.)
This is a really nice buff that you should have at all times. All it ready does is increase your HP, but you wouldn’t even believe how helpful it is.
Bull Rush- Shoves an enemy away with your shield, dealing physical damage and for a limited time, disables magic skills. It also interrupts enemy spellcasting.
Increases aggro for 200% for 5 seconds.
This is a helpful skill that unfortunately has a lengthy cooldown. You’ll probably use it maybe 2 times during a boss fight.
Boastful Roar- Taunts an enemy: Increases your aggro and causes the enemy to be shaken. Reduces the enemies move speed for -45% and skill damage -20%
The enemy also takes damage 100% of your stacked mettle. All stacked mattle is consumed.
This is my other favourite skill. It is ridiculous and the power level is like, over 9000 (I still think i’m funny) Your mettle stacks like a buff during your fight, so if you can get it to 1-3k, the damage is so crazy powerful.
With these skills, you’ll want to buff yourself with your refreshment before anything else. You’ll want to pair shield slam and them bull rush for the combo effect of tripping your stunned targets and inflicting an additional 42% damage. Keep an eye on your mettle and use it when it reaches a decent number.
Lastly, We have our Auramancy tree.
Conversion shield- Creates an energy shield to absorb x magic damage as HP for a limited amount of time.
As tanks, we have to be honest with ourselves-- our magic defense if pretty shit. This is good when you are fighting magic users. Also, the combos are great.
Teleportation- Teleports caster 15 meters ahead.
I honestly don’t use this too much, but I needed a second skill to activate a passive skill. This is helpful if you need to get away from a boss, or if you are running away from mobs like I often do.
The conversion shield has combo effects with both shield slam and bull rush, so what I do is triple combo that shit and do conversion shield and then shield slam and then bull rush. The conversion shield combo with shield slam inflicts additional +61% damage on targets, and the combo effect of shield slam and bull rush is stated above. This is a wonderful combo and it really proves the worth of having the auramancy tree. If you want to use teleportation as an attack, then cast teleportation and use lasso for a big surprise for your target.
Lets talk about passive skills now.
The way passive skills work in this game is that there is no level limit, but you must use skill points with the prereq for having a number of used skills in that tree. For example, I couldn’t get a passive skill in auramancy unless I had 2 skill point dedicated to auramancy, aka 2 skills being used. The cool thing is that the passive skills also contribute to the skill point count.
The passive skills I chose were…
Weapon Maneuvers (Battlerage, 2 skillreq)- Increases melee attack 5%
Supplemental Block (Defence, 2 skillreq)- Increases block rate 15% for 5 seconds after a successful block.
Shield Edge (Defense, 4 skillreq)- Has a small chance of stunning the enemy when blocking a melee attack.
Absorb Damage (Auramancy, 2 skillreq)- Converts 7% of received damage to health.
And that is the end of the long skill list, excuse my thoroughness, I wont hold it against you if you skipped that whole thing. Now, this is how I use it when I am fighting.
I tend to start off with lasso, pulling in the enemy and charging/triple slashing evoking a combo. Then I might triple slash again because cooldown is quick and I want to gain mettle. After that, I’ll use conversion shield, shield slam and bull rush to do my signature triple combo. I’ll repeat my charge/triple slash and then probably use boastful roar if my mettle is a decent number. Rinse and repeat
Keep in mind cooldowns though- sometimes you will have to spam triple slash if everything is cooling down.
Now, we are finally coming to a close. Tanks are nice in parties for questing, and dungeons are fun. When you are questing alone, make sure to not pull too many and keep your bow until you get lasso at level 20. Pvp has me left with mixed feelings, though.
In my 3 days of playing beta, I probably dueled about 3 times and messed around in the other faction and war zones. When I fought a paladin (they have the same 2 trees, you are going to see similarities) they just kept healing themselves. We were pretty close and if they didn’t continue to heal themselves, I believe I would have won (I also didnt know anything about combos yet, too) but they just kept healing and the health pots cooldown is SO SLOW LET ME TELL YOU. Paladins are known for being pretty heavy in defense, though. When I fought another Abolisher, I won, so it really depends on strategy. When we ambushed the mage, we killed her really quickly, but when she came back alone, I couldn’t even reach her to attack because of all the stuns and slows and I died really quickly. Then again, I wasn’t expecting it and I was trying to run to the safe zone, but I’m not sure how much better off I would have been if I didn’t encounter those problems.
When we went to the other faction, I died (again) (I swear that I don’t apply to the shitty “girl” gamer stereotype) and I decided to travel into a level 23-25 town. There was this guy but Archeage is still in beta, so there are a few problems. This was not an awesome time for glitches, but I wasn’t able to attack the person of the other faction for some reason. Then, two level 25s mobbed me and my attacks STILL were not working. Halfway though, it activated and I was able to fight them, but they killed me, of course.
Maybe I could have taken them if it wasn’t for the glitch, but this kind of affirmed my belief that if you are soloing as an abolisher, you really don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are attacking 2 or more people. You have this mentality that as a tank, somebody will always heal you, but the problem is, you wont always have a healer with you, and for some reason, the number of healers in Archeage close beta 3 was surprisingly low.
Again, despite this, I still find it a fun class that definitely has its pros and cons. I hope you enjoyed this lengthy post