Sunday, May 30, 2010

CoH: Willpower / Stone Melee Tank

Jordan Yen, of Jordon's Town, has been bugging me to join in his ongoing contest with new player guide(s). So, here's a another, not so new character build, and to date, probably one of the cheapest ones to actually make. It's a Willpower / Stone Melee tank, made largely because I saw somebody with a WP/Stone tank a MoSTF.

The Major Issues

Saying that Willpower has issues is a bit misleading. The set is honestly one of the better balanced sets for survivability. There's really no "what the blazes were you thinking" power or "that's an auto-skip power" to be had in the set. Willpower is a good solid set for those who have never played C.o.H. before, and an excellent choice for veterans as well.

That being said, there are some things that Willpower players probably should know.
  • Willpower is pretty much about the regeneration rate, so anything that boosts regeneration and the HP cap is a good thing.
  • There's no native resistance to slows. Which means that every single enemy critter with a slow attack is going to slow down a WP with no problem.
  • The native taunt aura is weak. All other Tank Taunt aura's taunt for 400%, Willpower's aura only taunts for 300%.
  • The native taunt also can't build against Gauntlet as it has no damage component.

Stone Melee is also a good set, providing players know what they are getting.
  • Like Energy Melee, Stone Melee is weak on the AOE damage.
  • Stone Melee is also an incredible endurance hog.

Because of these factors, Willpower / Stone both works well together, and doesn't work well together. The lack of a strong AOE component, or a taunt that builds against Gauntlet means that Aggro Tanks will have to work really hard to hold aggro on AOE heavy teams.

However, Willpower's high recovery potential means it can support sustained use of Stone Melee's hardest hitting powers.


Overall Power Selection and Design

The Willpower set itself is an Asynchronous Mixed Resist / Defense / Regeneration set. What this means is that the set has native resists, native defenses, and native regenerations, but the resists and the defenses generally don't stack for the same damage type. This gives Willpower a wider range of power types compared to other tank sets, and is one of the reasons. Technically, each power type is weaker when directly compared to another power sets power with the same effect. In the case of Willpower though, it's the entire package that makes the set, not a single solitary power.

I approached the Willpower slot design with 3 primary goals in mind:
  • Boost HP Cap
  • Boost Regeneration
  • Boost Recharge Rate




As can be seen, my love of frankenslotting continues. Now I feel sure that somebody is going to come along and say that I missed an opportunity to make this build .001% better by switching out some of the crafted level 50 IO's for an IO set.

I don't particullary care, and I'll explain why at the end of the post.

Now, the most expensive part of this build is the procs. Again, I knew on paper going into this build that there was no protection against slows. The proc's really are not required to make a Willpower Build shine. Now, procs can make a good willpower set great, but if you just want something to cut your teeth on, this build is a bit overkill.


The Build: Primary Powers

Now into the powers and the slots.

Mind over Body: Mind over Body is the primary resistance for Smashing, Lethal, and Psionic Damage.

Compared to the Dark Armor set that I just looked at, the outright resist values are indeed lower. As we'll so though shortly, this isn't really an apples to apples comparison.



For the slotting, I went mostly with a 3 slot Titanium Coating for the health boost, and an Aegis Resist / Endurance IO to lesson endurance usage and increase resists.



Fast Healing: The primary native regeneration power.

The power is slammed far into ED with 3 level 50 crafted Heal IO's.



The proc in use is the Regenerative Tissue: Regeneration proc.



Indomitable Will: The primary anti-mez power for Willpower, IW also offers a Psionic Defense Bonus.



Leveraging this Defense Status are both a LoTG 7.5 recharge proc


And a GoTA: Run proc.



Rise to the Challenge: The Willpower's taunt aura.

Rise to the Challenge also increases the player's regeneration rate while fighting mobs, while decreasing a mob's to-hit rating. The To-Hit debuff combo's well with Defense sets, as a lower to-hit is the equivelent of a higher defense rating.



Here though, for Willpower, I focused more on the healing aspect, maximixing the healing aspect while in a mob situation, and edging off the endurance usage.

A Doctored Wounds End / Heal provides the extra heals and endurance reduction ontop of the 3 slotted Numina's Convelesence.



Quick Recovery: Willpower offers a native recovery bonus.



Here a level 50 crafted IO backs up a double slot Performance Shifter with chance for endurance.




Heightened Senses: The primary defensive power of the Willpower set.

While Mind over Body provides a strong resistance to Smashing, Lethal, and Psionic damage, Heightened Senses only provides for minor Smashing and Lethal damage defense with no protection against Psionic Damage.

Rather, Heightened Senses provides a strong defense against the other damage types, Cold, Fire, Energy, Negative Energy.

Heightened Senses, as a defense power, shares the same IO's as Indomitable Will.



High Pain Tolerance: This power simply offers resistance to all damage types, and raises the players maximum HP. No fancy IO sets here, just straight level 50 crafted IO's to maximize the dual nature of this power.




Strength of Will: The tier 9, I'm in trouble power for the Willpower set.

Like High Pain Tolerance, it's IO potential is limited, since the only enhancements it can accept are Resist Damage and Reduce Endurance Consumption. However, since it's Endurance usage is only 2.60 End, this really isn't a barrier to usage.



Still, it was a good place to slot a Steadfast Protection: resist / defense proc.




The Build: Secondary Powers

With the primary powers done, now onto the attacks:


Stone Fist: Reasonable Damage, Reasonable endurance usage.








Stone Mallet: Another melee attack, same slotting with Crushing Impact.



Heavy Mallet: Another Melee attack, and more Crushing Impact.



Taunt: I know I keep saying this over and over. Tanks need taunt.



Perfect Zinger
is leveraged for it's 5% recharge boost, incidentally capping the 5% recharge buffs.




Fault: Originally I was not going to take this power, and for the longest time ran without it.

However, one of my friends also has a Willpower / Stone tank, and his internet service died one night while he was prime-tanking an ITF. He called me to login in and finish the TF out. I found, strangely, that fault helped shore up the poor aggro control.


I also figured out that I hated the power because every tank whose taken this before probably slotted it for knockback instead of stun.



Tremor: The only PBAOE power Stone Melee gets.



Scirocco's Dervish is pretty much the only good PBAOE damage set for a power that's used on a repetitive basis.



Seismic Smash: Also known as kiss your endurance good bye.



Even with a near 70% decrease in endurnace consumption from Crushing Impact, this attack still wipes out 1/10 of an average endurance bar



Hurl: Stone Melee is one of the few tank attacks with a ranged component.



Devestation: useful for the damage and max HP bonus.



Pool Powers

Combat Jumping: I knew early on that I wanted another base for Luck of the Gambler proc, and since only the jump and fly sets offer this slotting, I went with Combat Jumping.




As mentioned, Combat jumping is just a proc mule.



Super Jump: not much to type here really.


Winter's Gift was chosen as it's unique proc helps shore up Willpower's lack of any native resistance to slows.




Health: Proc Mule.



Hosting Numina's unique, and a 3 slot on the numina set for the HP boost.



Stamina: same slotting as Quick Recovery



Boxing. As normal, a single stun.



Tough: not much to write here. Same slotting as Mind over Body.



Weave: Same slotting as the other defensive powers.



Power Performance

Okay, here we go with the analysis of what this slotting does.




44


Now, on these initial numbers, you might notice that they aren't actually that far off of the numbers from the heavily IO'd Dark Tank I just showed. Both have near 70% resistance to Smashing / Lethal damage. The Dark tank as better esoteric resists, the Willpower tank has better esoteric defenses.

There are differences though.

The Dark tank has a maximum HP of 2550, and that's after the inclusion of all of the available Accolades to boost Hit points.

The Willpower tank has a current maximum HP of 2816 and is missing two HP boosting accolades. Those accolades will give 93.70 hp and 187.41 hp respectively, bringing the Willpower's tank maximum health up to around 3097.

The Dark Tank has a regeneration rate of 23.92 HP per second.

The Willpower Tank has an out of combat regeneration rate of 53.36... and in combat sustained regeneration of... 134 hp/sec.



Then there's the small matter of Strength of Will. Activate it...





In Strength of Will, smashing / lethal resistance is hard-capped, resistances to everything else increase, and endurance recovery goes up. Even on SO's, Strength of Will will be touching hard-cap smash / lethal numbers.

There's also the matter of Defense Debuff Resistance, something I found difficult to take pictures of. Basically put, when something attacks a Willpower tank with a power that removes Defense, not as much defense is removed in each attack.

The Dark armor set gets no such benefit, so any attack that takes aware defense... takes away the maximum amount of defense.

***

Now, as I said earlier, I know this build is not as tightly optimized as the Dark Tank / Energy Melee build. It doesn't need to be. This tank is Master of capable and has prime-tanked all of the Master of capable task forces.

Now, once I get the last couple of HP buff accolades, I'll be within a hundred points or so of the HP cap.

When writing this guide (and why it's going up now and I'm still finishing it out), is I've been playing around with a build that works on increasing the HP cap by sacrificing some of the end-recovery capability.


I figure my HP cap bonus's as follows:

1.5% : 1, 2
1.88%: 1, 2, 3
1.13%: 1, 2, 3, 4
2.25%: 1

Swapping out the level 50 crafted Endurance IO's for a performance shifter endurance / something would put me at the 1.88% cap, and in theory, a Miracle proc placed on Fast Healing would make up the endurance usage.

I'm not entirely sure that's the best way to go though, and I'm not likely to change it for now.
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