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D:OS was turn based, not RTwP. It is hilariously fun, yes.

You're right of course, it's been awhile since I played it.  The story and "feel" of D:0S is different than POE, but the two best RPGs in years, and absolutely the two best isometric RPGs I've played since the Baulders Gate/Neverwinter Nights 2 and Divine Divinity days.

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The best hybrid of real time with pause and turn based I've seen would be Paradox's Crusader King 2 type games, where discrete units or turns of time pass, but the rate can be modified.

 

Gameplay wise, it's closer to Pillars slow mode and dividing time up into discrete seconds and partials of seconds than the turns in Xcom. Turn based has issues where in the end game things need to be sped up but can't be. And real time, has the opposite issue, where things need to be slowed down into more discrete chunks. Since they function very well in their respective domains, hybridizing them would be an interesting design project.

 

Original Sin's combat mechanics made for some creative tactics.

 

For some reason, Shadowrun's turn based system also feels very smooth, perhaps because you don't need to do a lot per turn.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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Hello All,

 

I am a complete noob when it comes to cRPG games. I have never played the old infinity games before (back then i played way too much counter-strike, haha). 

I really like this game, but i too am struggling sometimes with combat. What would really help me is that i can easily see which attacks or actions i have queued up for my characters (for example on the right or left side of the screen), because each time the games pauses i want to give an action to each of my characters even though, maybe, they already have actions queued up...

 

But to come back to the topic... Yes check Sensuki's guides on YouTUbe they are pretty good!

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Hello All,

 

I am a complete noob when it comes to cRPG games. I have never played the old infinity games before (back then i played way too much counter-strike, haha). 

I really like this game, but i too am struggling sometimes with combat. What would really help me is that i can easily see which attacks or actions i have queued up for my characters (for example on the right or left side of the screen), because each time the games pauses i want to give an action to each of my characters even though, maybe, they already have actions queued up...

 

But to come back to the topic... Yes check Sensuki's guides on YouTUbe they are pretty good!

 

In addition to the tips on this thread, at least for me--being the micro-manager that I am (a trait, I believe, inherent to most TB players)--turning off the AI was also huge help.  When I first started, I was focused almost exclusively on what I wanted my characters to do, rather than what they were actually doing.  That might sound strange, but it's really not because they were doing my command and then continuing on their own with the AI, which confused the hell out of me.  With AI turned off, your characters are entirely at your mercy, so they will only do what you tell them to.  You quickly get used to giving them commands, having those orders carried out, and then giving them another command, which is precisely the gameplay style that TB players are wanting.  What this turns into (again, with AI turned off) is that you become focused on which of your party members is not doing something.  The game highlights this with your party members having little dots "..." above them.  As the battle plays out, I'm constantly hitting tab to see who does or does not have something to do on their next turn.  You'll also get used to watching those "turn bars" shrink until the character is able to carry out their upcoming order, assuming you gave them one:

 

post-49053-0-94664400-1444674130_thumb.jpg

 

To put this into a battle scenario, let's say you tell your wizard to cast a spell on monster #1 and tell your fighter to attack monster #2.  As they carry out those orders, you'll be watching the turn bar for the wizard to see when he's going to cast:

 

post-49053-0-43350700-1444673717_thumb.jpg

 

...and the turn bar for the fighter to see when he's going to attack.  Now, with AI off, once the wizard is done with that spell, he will have nothing to do and will just stand there:

 

post-49053-0-88044100-1444673703_thumb.jpg

 

...unless you tell him to do something else.  That's your trigger to issue him another command.  In a sense, your queue is the turn bar.

 

It's that level of micro-managing which gives you your queue.  Simply put, you're telling them exactly what to do and watching them carry it out.  You just need to know where to look and understand what the game is showing you.  What I've found is that only my spellcasters require constant attention because I always need to be ready to have them cast the next spell, whereas my fighters are just told who to attack.  I may change the fighters' weapons, but, otherwise, they just keep on attacking until I tell them to attack someone else.  As others have said many times, get used to hitting the spacebar a lot.

 

I haven't lost a battle since switching to this style of play, though I have come very close a couple of times.  You will get the hang of it, but it takes a bit of time and effort to figure out how your desired playing style can be implemented within the confines of RTwP.  I never thought that just 2 weeks after starting this thread that I'd already be offering tips to others having similar difficulties!

Edited by Skirge01
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Skirge1: Turning off AI is given. Alternatively, instead of constantly hitting spacebar, you can set the game to autopause when:

- Character kills a target so you can instantly choose a new target

- Character finishes spell / ability so you can instantly start casting a new spell / ability

- Character has low health / endurance so you can think about how to protect that character

 

These autopauses will give you a chance to react to nearly all significant events you can possibly think of without having to constantly keep pausing the game.

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whether you're someone who likes tb or rtwp doesn't really matter. I'm an rtwp fan and have difficulties with this game. I don't understand the AoOs for example. They punish me when i move and when i don't. I'm just at fourth level of endless paths, my party of 4 on hard difficulty faces a group of beetles (adra and stone bettles). Kana targets the adra beetle, the adra beetle decides to suddenly move away around the other beetles, Kana follows and dies because of the AoOs of the stone beetles and because of the AoO of the adra beetle because he couldn't catch up with the adra beetle. There's no way i could have seen this coming. I'm punished when i move, i'm punished when i don't, it's lose-lose.

 

Then there's no rounds, no breaks between actions. Compare that to when you start a game of BG1EE, create a monk, meet with Imoen, take on a wolf, simply let them attack (Imoen with arrows, monk with fists), watch as the combat is underway, no hectic, no running, no frantic pausing, it takes around 5-10 rounds (appx 30 secs – 1 minute) for the battle to end. I didn't have any issues with combat lasting longer in the old games. It was also d20, no grazes and chars missed frequently, you had time. Just for fun, i let my party of four handle themselves without my input against the 10 or so xaurip guys and wurms in the third level of endless paths, they were all dead in under 10 seconds, i swear i don't make that up.

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4ward: Yup, the biggest weakness of this game is people wanting it to be something it is not. This is not BG. It plays differently, you need to watch out for different things, tempo is different, tactics are different. Might be a shock but it is a different game. If all you want is more Baldur's Gate, go play BG instead - I for one vastly prefer the way combat is represented in Pillars to combat in IE games, in my opinion, turned based mechanics of aDnD don't translate all that well into a rtwp system.

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whether you're someone who likes tb or rtwp doesn't really matter. I'm an rtwp fan and have difficulties with this game. I don't understand the AoOs for example. They punish me when i move and when i don't. I'm just at fourth level of endless paths, my party of 4 on hard difficulty faces a group of beetles (adra and stone bettles). Kana targets the adra beetle, the adra beetle decides to suddenly move away around the other beetles, Kana follows and dies because of the AoOs of the stone beetles and because of the AoO of the adra beetle because he couldn't catch up with the adra beetle. There's no way i could have seen this coming. I'm punished when i move, i'm punished when i don't, it's lose-lose.

 

Then there's no rounds, no breaks between actions. Compare that to when you start a game of BG1EE, create a monk, meet with Imoen, take on a wolf, simply let them attack (Imoen with arrows, monk with fists), watch as the combat is underway, no hectic, no running, no frantic pausing, it takes around 5-10 rounds (appx 30 secs – 1 minute) for the battle to end. I didn't have any issues with combat lasting longer in the old games. It was also d20, no grazes and chars missed frequently, you had time. Just for fun, i let my party of four handle themselves without my input against the 10 or so xaurip guys and wurms in the third level of endless paths, they were all dead in under 10 seconds, i swear i don't make that up.

 

4ward:  First, make sure to read through the rest of the tips in this thread because they're quite invaluable.  Second, Josh Sawyere did a pretty thorough writeup on melee engagement here on these forums which included how AoOs work.  I actually needed to search and figure out what AoO meant before I could answer your post.  However, even without knowing that, I saw the disengagement attack penalties in-game and learned to never allow them to happen.  I believe this may be accomplished by ensuring AI is off and also setting Auto-Attack to "Defend Self".  (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on this.)  But, that's how my party is set and I can't recall them ever disengaging by themselves.  If one of my party members is engaged with multiple enemies in melee and one of those enemies chooses to disengage, my character usually winds up with an AoO, but stays attacking any remaining enemies he was already engaged with.  From what I've seen they will never follow the disengaging enemy, unless it's the only one they were engaged with and were previously ordered to attack that one.

 

As has been discussed in this thread, there actually are rounds and breaks between actions.  You just need to pay attention to the information the game is providing, which is what I described in my previous post to munitqua.  As was also mentioned countless times throughout this thread, use the auto-pause features and you'll be able to slow everything down so you can read exactly why the pause occurred and to see when certain things started or were completed.  Without the auto-pause, everything happens so fast that you can't possibly learn how the game functions; you blink and it's over, having learned absolutely nothing from your failure.

 

You sound about as frustrated as I was when I started this thread and the people around here were fantastic about providing me the necessary tips to surviving and thriving in PoE.  If I could get there, so can you!

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@Skirge01 hmmm, yeah, thanks, i looked at the game options and there's an option called 'continue moving on engagement' which i have now turned off. Hopefully that'll help.

@Fenixp As far as 'go play BG instead' goes, i don't believe that this was Josh's intention when he with the rest of the team created PoE and cited the old games as an inspiration. If you make a game quoting another game as an inspiration then that goes for all parts of that game, otherwise you're being selective.

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4ward: re-reading my previous comment, the way I phrased it was rather rude - I'm quite sorry for that, I was typing in hurry and this was not my intention. Anyway, to the non-topic at hand: You are correct, the old games were cited as inspiration, however inspiration does not imply a carbon copy. Never in my life have I played a game as close to IE games as Pillars of Eternity, so I woud say the whole inpiration thing worked out rather well. Still, inspiration by definition means an influence, that the creators will take the original work as a baseline and start building their own product from there, it does in no way imply that they will take the original work and create a copy of it - in fact I believe that is called plagiatorism.

 

I uttered the whole "Go play BG instead" not to say that you clearly don't understand Pillars as this phrase seems to be widely used, what I meant was that there already is Baldur's Gate, it's excellent and we don't really need more of it as it's quite replayable. Personally, I find Pillars of Eternity to be significantly better than both BG games combined, the game is as if Obsidian was reading my mind while playing them and took notes as to what do I dislike, then fixed it in Pillars. Some people didn't have these issues with BG, and these people will clearly consider such changes for the worse - but, well, you already have your perfect game.

 

All right, I believe I spoke my mind so I'll stop derailing now, I hope I have sufficiently elaborated on my rather dreadful previous post.

Edited by Fenixp
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  • 4 months later...

Having extensively played PoE now, I wanted to revisit this thread and discuss alternative tactics.  I'm having a blast playing PoE at this point and absolutely loving all the battles.  I've pretty much come to the conclusion that if I lose a battle, I probably was just overmatched and need to come back to it later.  Hell, I was shocked as anything to find myself fighting Lord Gathbin and winning that with pretty much just my party and a few archers.  I thought for sure I was about to lose that one.

 

Anyhow, getting back to tactics and how I play TB games, is there any way to actually use positional tactics in PoE?  The way my party is currently fighting (and, as I said, it's working quite well), they stay in the formation I set and battle from there, head on.  Does anyone break their party up and attempt to flank the enemies?  Would that actually accomplish anything?  More specifically, is there a workable tactic where you grab one of your fighters and team him up with a monk, cipher, or wizard to circle around, while the rest of your party attacks head on?  Or, is this something which isn't really feasible for PoE and/or RTwP?  Any other positional tactics which are viable or is the only real option to attack head on?

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During harder fights, I'll turn ten seconds of combat into 5 minutes of real time game play due to how much pausing is required to stay on top of things. So that'll give you an idea how essential it is. It's not an optional suggestion.

 

Also keep in mind that positioning is very important, sometimes more than any spell you cast. Keeping your party spread to avoid AoE, keeping squishes out of reach, establishing choke points, keeping your tank from being surrounded, etc.

 

I dunno if this is helpful. lol

 

My general flow of combat is. Pause, position, get my tank into the mix, figure out what the enemies I'm fighting are weakest to, hit them with a nice disabling AoE effect, move in my damage dealers to attack, get stun locked by Monks, watch as my Priest and Wizard are blown to pieces in 0.5 seconds, throw computer out of the window.

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Hey (you bunch of fanciful gamers)

 

QA Tips;

- Hotkeys! 1 - 6 selects each party member, memorize which character is which.

- Hotkey your most used spells/abilities with each character.

- Also formation is key. I rock a straight line formation, tanks/animal companions upfront, ranged in back. Helps with the 1 - 6 selecting of companions when they are lined up. 

- Auto-pause on combat start (you are crazy if this is not on)

- Sneak and alpha strike. Rarely should combats start without Rolling Flames, Crackling Bolt, Crushing Wave, etc...

- Queue up spells/abilities. This is especially important with party buffing. Set your Priest to chain cast like 3 buff spells as soon as the combat starts. How to queue below.

(Press pause, select which spell to cast, cast the spell, select the next spell to cast, hold shift and cast the spell, unpause) 

- I party AI my front line to minimize micromanaging and just control the actions of my damage/CC dealers

- If you are careful with your level up; Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins, Chanters, and Monks can almost be completely controlled by AI. Of course this is not optimal, but will lighten your micromanaging load and be acceptable for 95% of combats.

 

I got your backs

-Sking

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Anyhow, getting back to tactics and how I play TB games, is there any way to actually use positional tactics in PoE?  The way my party is currently fighting (and, as I said, it's working quite well), they stay in the formation I set and battle from there, head on.  Does anyone break their party up and attempt to flank the enemies?  Would that actually accomplish anything?

 

I do this somewhat regularly, though it depends on the specifics of the fight.  Here are a few examples:

 

  1. I have a primary tank (Eder) and a secondary tank (often Kana).  I send Eder charging in first to intercept the enemy's first line fighters.  Usually this results in a big ball of chaotic melee.  I then keep Kana back in reserve, and if/when enemy units start flanking the main melee and threatening my back line, I intercept those with Kana.

     

  2. Sometimes I'll move some of my CC casters around the side of a big melee battle to use CC on the enemy's ranged attackers.  Both enemy archers and casters can really lay some hurt on your party.  I'll often send two of my ranged party around the side (map permitting) to wreak some havoc on the enemy's back line.  It can be hard to get my tanks back there early on because they're busy with enemy tanks.

     

  3. Sometimes I'll pre-position stealthed Grieving Mother off to the side of where the main battle is going to be, in order to charm a particularly nasty enemy unit as early into the battle as possible.  This can be a high-risk high-reward thing.  She's off alone, and can tilt the whole balance of the fight... or she can get destroyed.

     

There are plenty of other possibilities, but that's the flavor of it.  Positioning can be a key aspect to success or failure in harder fights esp. on PoD.

 

Edit: typos.

Edited by demeisen
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- Sneak and alpha strike. Rarely should combats start without Rolling Flames, Crackling Bolt, Crushing Wave, etc...

 

My alpha strike game is atrocious.

 

I'm like... CHAAARGE! Or slowly creep up and say, "Here I am!"

 

I find this interesting because I have to wonder if Josh assumes everyone does the massive alpha strike and balances combats around that...

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Thanks for the replies so far.  I'm just a little bit surprised by the lack of discussion about flanking or other positional tactics, which leads me to believe that--for the most part--it's not exactly a feasible strategy for RTwP and PoE (which is fine).  Like I said, I come from a TB playing style, so, if there's a way to benefit from such tactics or (to the developers) to design a RTwP game to factor positional tactics into the gameplay (obstacles, etc), that would be awesome, IMO.  For example, if trees or rocks or water could impact the effect of spells or weapons (e.g. arrows), that would be pretty cool.  But, it might not be feasible in the game design,which I totally understand.

 

Back to tactics, though...

 

Hey (you bunch of fanciful gamers)

 

QA Tips;

- Hotkeys! 1 - 6 selects each party member, memorize which character is which.

- Hotkey your most used spells/abilities with each character.

- Also formation is key. I rock a straight line formation, tanks/animal companions upfront, ranged in back. Helps with the 1 - 6 selecting of companions when they are lined up. 

- Auto-pause on combat start (you are crazy if this is not on)

- Sneak and alpha strike. Rarely should combats start without Rolling Flames, Crackling Bolt, Crushing Wave, etc...

- Queue up spells/abilities. This is especially important with party buffing. Set your Priest to chain cast like 3 buff spells as soon as the combat starts. How to queue below.

(Press pause, select which spell to cast, cast the spell, select the next spell to cast, hold shift and cast the spell, unpause) 

- I party AI my front line to minimize micromanaging and just control the actions of my damage/CC dealers

- If you are careful with your level up; Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins, Chanters, and Monks can almost be completely controlled by AI. Of course this is not optimal, but will lighten your micromanaging load and be acceptable for 95% of combats.

 

I got your backs

-Sking

 

Sking... this is an "idiot's guide", so can you explain what "CC" is?  I, honestly, have no clue and there's no chance of success trying to search for two letters.  :)  Regarding the flames, bolt, wave, etc...  how do you do that if your spell casters are in the back for protection when the battle starts and the spells themselves generally do damage to your own party?  As far as queueing up spells, I really like that idea and I'll have to see if I can do that properly with the shift key.  I thought I tried it and it didn't work, but that could certainly be on me.

 

At least with my style of play, AI is a no-go.  Maybe as I get better with RTwP, but I suspect my bit of OCD won't allow it.  I absolutely LOVE having total control over my characters and knowing that they aren't going to do anything I haven't told them to do.  In fact, that was one of my biggest frustrations when I started this thread.  Other people might enjoy that flexibility, though, so I do see where you're coming from and I do, in fact, picture that I could allow that with certain characters.  It's just not in me to do so.

 

Now, I understand what a tank is and, in theory, what a damage dealer would be, but aren't they usually the same?  How are people leveling/designing characters which are tanks, yet not damage dealers?  What exactly are you focusing on for each?  In my mind, the tanks are the guys up front, stopping the horde from advancing and attacking your lesser party members.  At the same time--again, in my mind--these guys are FINISHING these people off entirely, so they're also dishing out a fair amount of damage.  Am I looking at this.... I hesitate to say "wrong" or even "incorrectly" because it's a matter of style and opinion...  but, is there a different way I should be looking at this?

 

Again, thanks for everyone for replying so far!  I really want this thread to help myself as well as others who are struggling!

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I wish this game was turn based.

Turn based would ruin most of the combat mechanics. no more armor penalties, speed boosters, nothing like that would work with turn based. You'd have Fallout with action points or Baldurs Gate and all the imbalances that 'd come with it. I like a balanced dual wield that is faster but not double the attacks and double damage for a no brainer choice like BG had.

 

 

Baldur's Gate is not turn based.

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Sking... this is an "idiot's guide", so can you explain what "CC" is?

 

It stands for crowd control, which basically means aoe disable.  To stun them, petrify them, put them to sleep, turn them into sheep, etc.

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 Skirge01

 

Auto Pause enemy sighted, and maybe per ability use too until you get used to it.

 

But the method I found most useful when Pillars was new, was using one character, killing one guard at some random village, and testing how each class worked.

 

Start small, and slow. If you start with six characters you have no idea how they work, it can be overwhelming.

 

The key is to use the same enemy, preferably high DR and endurance regen.

 

Early game, you can use Eder or your PC against the backer NPCs with high armor.

 

Then just make sure you reload. Fighting at taverns is also pretty nice, as you can hire adventurers and what not, rest, save, test, reload, test, reload, test, reload.

 

Giving yourself money via the console Giveplayermoney lets you hire many different classes and combos, if you don't want to wait until you get your companion npcs. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the replies so far.  I'm just a little bit surprised by the lack of discussion about flanking or other positional tactics, which leads me to believe that--for the most part--it's not exactly a feasible strategy for RTwP and PoE (which is fine).  Like I said, I come from a TB playing style, so, if there's a way to benefit from such tactics or (to the developers) to design a RTwP game to factor positional tactics into the gameplay (obstacles, etc), that would be awesome, IMO.  For example, if trees or rocks or water could impact the effect of spells or weapons (e.g. arrows), that would be pretty cool.  But, it might not be feasible in the game design,which I totally understand.

 

Sking... this is an "idiot's guide", so can you explain what "CC" is?  I, honestly, have no clue and there's no chance of success trying to search for two letters.   :)  Regarding the flames, bolt, wave, etc...  how do you do that if your spell casters are in the back for protection when the battle starts and the spells themselves generally do damage to your own party?  As far as queueing up spells, I really like that idea and I'll have to see if I can do that properly with the shift key.  I thought I tried it and it didn't work, but that could certainly be on me.

 

At least with my style of play, AI is a no-go.  Maybe as I get better with RTwP, but I suspect my bit of OCD won't allow it.  I absolutely LOVE having total control over my characters and knowing that they aren't going to do anything I haven't told them to do.  In fact, that was one of my biggest frustrations when I started this thread.  Other people might enjoy that flexibility, though, so I do see where you're coming from and I do, in fact, picture that I could allow that with certain characters.  It's just not in me to do so.

 

Now, I understand what a tank is and, in theory, what a damage dealer would be, but aren't they usually the same?  How are people leveling/designing characters which are tanks, yet not damage dealers?  What exactly are you focusing on for each?  In my mind, the tanks are the guys up front, stopping the horde from advancing and attacking your lesser party members.  At the same time--again, in my mind--these guys are FINISHING these people off entirely, so they're also dishing out a fair amount of damage.  Am I looking at this.... I hesitate to say "wrong" or even "incorrectly" because it's a matter of style and opinion...  but, is there a different way I should be looking at this?

 

Line of sight to walls can block spells and bounce them, such as crackling bolt, rolling fire, and some other stuff.

 

Some terrain is also impassable, and doesn't allow LOS. This means you can create death funnels and kill zones, bottlenecking enemies.

 

CC means crowd control. Anything that stops an enemy from doing an action or stops their mobility. Some CC is more powerful than others. 

 

The way to use aoe spells that harm your party, is to either put your casters at the front in the beginning, such as using overwhelming wave, and then sliding them into the back by closing the gap. The two main tanks split apart and let the druid cast his wave, then they close ranks to stop enemies. Requires timing and pause.

 

Of course, if you don't want to do that micro, you can just flank them. Have the caster be stealthed and use the tank to pull the enemies so that the caster is 90 degrees to the main enemies. 

 

As for tanks vs dps, this game has a lot of hybrid classes compared to games with pure tanks or pure dps archers.

 

So any class in this game can be built for high defense or high dps, but they won't be equal obviously. So a fighter already has a lot of defense and self regen, and making him into a dps archer is certainly feasible, especially if you pump might which affects the self regen and the damage dealt. A monk is like a dps tank, he does almost all his damage melee and when he takes damage, so when your casters accidentally aoe harms the monk, the monk gets more powerful dps wise, unless he just gets knocked out.

 

ADD: To respond to how to build classes that aren't dps/tanks, you generally need a certain kind of class like the chanter or paladin. So instead of dps tanks, they are tank healers instead, primarily. They still do dps, but not near what a level 11 rogue/cipher/ranger does at equal levels. The tank healer usually takes talents in defense and healing.  The Druid melee tank and the Muscle Wizard, are also examples of how to do weird things with classes that normally aren't at the front.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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