Orion’s starting to open up a bit more as he gives us some pretty hard details about what’s coming for the Warden class with Update 6.  While these are posted on his my.LOTRO blog, they’re still subject to change based on feedback.  Also, keep in mind this post is titled “Blog #1” so there will be more coming.

First up, he describes how Battle Preparations will work which sounds pretty slick.  Essentially, using the skill will turn builders and masteries no longer require a target and as such can be used outside of combat.  This will allow you to build and store a gambit pre-fight for up to 30 seconds.  I’m a little curious to see if there will be a cool-down for this skill.

He then tackles the stances, which I think are the meat of the change for the class:

  • Determination becomes THE tanking stance
    • Bonuses to both regeneration rates, crit chance reduction, as well as increased BPE
    • Gambits are all tweaked to focus on tanking
  • Assailment becomes the ranged DPS stance.
    • Reduces BPE, increased iCPR, increases ranged damage
    • Spear Gambits become ranged attacks!
    • Gambits tweaked to focus on ranged damage
  • Recklessness remains the melee DPS stance
    • Increases melee damage and iCPR, reduces BPE, lowers attack duration
    • Gambits tweaks to focus on melee damage

Orion then walks through how the builders will change based on the stance you’re in.  The ideas of the builders are still the same but there are different tweaks and bonuses available as you switch stances.

Base/Determination Assailment Recklessness
“Spear” melee damage, +2% BPE, 5% reduce miss 30m range damage, +2% ranged, 5% 10s bleed melee damage, +2% melee damage, 5% increase warden DoTs
“Fist” short range light DoT, +2% BPE, 5% slight taunt 30m light DoT, +2% ranged damage, 5% increased ranged crit melee DoT, +2% melee damage, 5% chance reduce cry resist
“Shield” melee damage, +2% BPE, 5% 15s block increase 30m range damage, +2% ranged damage, 5% chance lower threat main-hand damage, +2% melee damage, 5% chance increase lifetaps

Overall some really interesting stuff here but the main ideas remain the same.  Determination/no stance pretty much stays the same while the others stay similar but reflect their appropriate role.  I also really like all the buffs in there!

In this first post, he just focuses on the Fist line gambits:

Gambit Always Determination Assailment Recklessness
Goad AoE DoT, Potency SI Threat SD Threat
Precise Blow Low Damage Threat + ToT +1% ranged damage fellowship buff on crit, applies DoT
War-cry AoE DoT AoE HoT + evade buff +1% tactical damage fellowship buff on crit, lifetap
Brink Victory AoE Light DoT SI Threat + evade buff +1% tactical damage fellowship buff (stacks to 2%) on crit, lifetap
Fierce Resolve AoE Lifetap
Piercing Strike MH Damage + Light damage Threat Increase +1% ranged damage fellowship buff (stacks to 2%) on crit, applies DoT
Resolution AoE lifetap
Surety of Death MH damage + DoT Bonus Threat + evade buff +2% tactical damage fellowship buff (stacks to 3%) on crit, lifetap
Spear of Virtue MH Damage + Light damage Increased Threat +2% ranged damage fellowship buff (stacks to 3%) on crit, applies DoT
Aggression Low Damage AoE Threat +3% tactical damage fellowship buff (stacks to 4%) on crit, pulsing lifetap
Desolation AoE DoT w/Fear chance
Exultation of Battle AoE Pulsing Lifetap Increased Threat, ToT +3% ranged damage fellowship buff (stacks to 4%) on crit, applies DoT

When you actually break this all out, it really isn’t as intimidating as I had feared.  The gambits are more or less staying with what they currently do, but can apply a secondary stance dependent buff:

  • Determination –> Threat or Evade
  • Assailment –> party damage buffs
  • Recklessness –> more DoTs or lifetaps

The nice part for me about the Assailment line is it looks like it might also fulfill a side-roll of fellowship damage booster.  Depending on the range of the buffs, I could see this as being potentially VERY helpful in group settings and allowing Wardens to find group roles other then just tanking.

So far, I’m loving the concepts Orion has laid out and I can’t wait to see the other two gambit lines as well as what’s in store for our traits!