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So I've been playing a little while now and reading all the different builds on the threads on here.

 

Why do people bias so heavy towards dps or tankyness on a build?

 

I ask because while ideally your tanks should be taking all the damage and your dps giving it out, it doesn't always turn out that way, even with a defender fighter for tanking and reach weapons for dps. My quaterstaff barb gets hit and my tanky paladin is sometimes the last man standing.

 

The main reason for this is the vast number of swarms in this game, the hardest fights in any area are usually huge ones, and sometimes you can't reach that choke point to easy. This result in your dps suddenly needing to tank.

 

A side issue is how vastly more dangerous it is to disengage in this game compared to say BG, my mage has gone splat many times while trying too! >.<

 

So am I missing something here or is going soft role bias more sensible than heavy role bias, and if so what the best level of bias for different classes and party roles?

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Your DPS doesn't need to tank. They need to CC things fast. They don't make good tanks. None of the caster classes(unless you count chanter) can really "tank" anything for long without becoming useless at their job through trying to stack excessive deflection. Medium levels of defense/deflection just don't do a lot. So it's better to just make them as good at their job as possible. Dex increases your casting speeds which makes up for low resolve/deflection to some degree when it comes to getting spells off in a pinch.

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Mechanics (engagement and aggro) and choke point tactics both favor the idea that one or two characters are typically going to hold off the bulk of enemies, and it's difficult to switch them once the fight is underway.  

If you've de-specialized your party so everyone is half DPS and half tank, you're presenting a weaker defensive front as well as doing less damage.  (And doing less damage means the fight lasts longer, so you need more defense to survive what's thrown at you...)

Let's take a simplified example:  your party consists entirely of two-weapon barbarians.  Put them in brigandine and they have 10 DR, but their attacks are slowed down by 27%.  This means that a fight you would win in 60 seconds if naked now takes 82 seconds... which means your enemy has 37% more opportunity to fight back.  Does 10 DR compensate for that?  And what if the enemy has DR penetration?  Better raise your deflection, which means using a shield (and losing accuracy and speed) and/or changing your stats to favor defense more.  Which gives the enemy even more opportunity to hit you...

 

Of course, you can't always perfectly control the battlefield... but it's a question of how much you want to lower your party's overall effectiveness as insurance in case your party wasn't effective enough.  It's kind of a trap. :)

Edited by Starthief
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