Last night, Orion posted a few teasers on what he has up his sleeve for the upcoming Warden changes planned (hopefully) for Update 6.

Orion didn’t give too many details, but laid out some ideas that sound interesting but I will admit it doesn’t sound like the class is getting any simpler.  Keep in mind though that these ideas are still subject to change, but here’s what he’s thinking so far.

  • Three distinct and viable roles for the Warden:
    • Primary – Tank
    • Secondary – Melee DPS
    • Secondary – Ranged DPS
  • The various stances will change a bit
    • Salvation is the new Conservation and improves the Warden’s survivability
    • Assailment is the new Determination focusing on Ranged DPS
    • Recklessness remains the same name improving Melee DPS
  • Battle Preparation will be tweaked to allow for Gambit building out of combat for up to 30 seconds
    • This will allow you to pre-store either a big threat up gambit, or your defenses
  • Defiant Challenge is becoming a Legendary Skill and not a gambit on a long (5-8 minute) cooldown that not only acts as an AoE forced taunt but also decreases incoming damage and returns a portion of the incoming damage.
    • I’m on the fence about this one, but overall I think this is the best compromise
  • It sounds like he’s doing a pretty extensive change to the traits and trait set bonuses
    • Masteries will be moving into the trait-lines, and it doesn’t sound like you need to trait too deep to get all the masteries as he says you can get them all by going 2/2/2.
    • Traiting deep in the “Tanking” line will provide a temporary immunity to critical hits, AFTER receiving one.
  • And last but not least, gambits will change based on the stance you’re in.  He doesn’t go into much detail, but I’m reading into his explanation in the following way:
    • A fist line gambit will create threat while in Salvation, melee DoT while in Recklessness, and a Ranged DoT in Assailment
    • A shield gambit will boost defenses in Salvation and maybe something like debuffing the Mob in the other two stances?
    • A spear gambit to me sounds like it will always be damage, but perhaps either bigger damage or more debuffs for the 2 DPS stances?

Overall I like many of the changes and he really seems like he’s not only listening to what the problems are with the class but coming up with unique ways to resolve them without making a Guardian clone.

I’m still not sure he’s gone far enough to help Wardens handle the massive incoming damage variance between them and Guardians, but only further testing will confirm that.  Perhaps we will have to rely more on our HoTs to offset that as with the changes to Battle Preparation we might be able to get a better initial start on things and better stay ahead of the game.

I’m also not real sure I’ve seen too much on our morale leeches which I think are a pretty unique (in LOTRO at least) portion of the class and small tweaks to those really could help raid sustainability.

The only part I’m a little leery about is the portion surrounding the gambits changing based on your stance.  He’s pretty vague on that portion of it so I’m just hoping the changes between stances aren’t too drastic.  I know many have a hard time keeping them straight and essentially tripling the number of gambits will only make this work.  However, it could bring upon some really interesting twisting concepts to allow Wardens to flip stances on the fly to adapt and dynamically change up their approach to the fight.  If we really can quickly switch between adequately filling the 3 roles, that would be unique to the class and certainly something that would be valuable to all group make-ups.

Needless to say, I’m excited to get a look at the new class, and if its anything like what he’s done for Minstrels or Champions, it will be well done!