The most obvious choice, and the most popular. You will have the most hp, which will help in tanking. This breed will also be the easiest to equip your armor. You will suffer in the nano department however. It will be harder to cast mongos and you will also suffer from a comparatively low nano pool.
This is the complete opposite of Atrox. You would think that a nano casting breed would be bad as a tank, but you would think wrong. This breed will benefit from added nano skills and nano pool. Your mongo will be much easier to cast and you will be able to cast it more. The breed will however suffer when it comes to armor. You will probably need to tweak hp a bit more with this breed as well.
The solitus can work with every profession, and enforcer is no different. He is the middle ground of all breeds. You will have decent HP and decent nano, not a high amount of any, but not a low amount either. The jack of all breeds.
You will have about the same nano skills as the Solitus, and you will have the benefits of added evades. This breed suffers from low stamina however, and this will hurt for a lot of your armor.
Which is the best breed?
I will quote a post from Kyai here, which I believe explains it well :
Honestly I don't think it makes much difference, context is very important, as does the skill and mentality of the person playing the enforcer. No breed will fail, when played reasonably, to be a reasonable enforcer; nor will any breed fail when played exceptionally, to be exceptional. However at the highest levels, given limitless resources there will be differences that which show. With an ultimate symbiant setup the skill gap between solitus and atrox will diminish to insignificance, whilst solitus will be left with small benefits to evades, and tradeskills (who cares?). The ultimate endgame potential of all breeds will be slightly different, and given a full range of opponents Mongo Range does certainly give atroxes the advantage against evade classes. However for the perkable classes (which is most of them in our ideal setup, as a perfectly equipped enf can get very high AR) I don't see what sets atrox apart from the other three breeds. In PvM all breeds can self the 220 essence, all breeds can tank everything, here really only the skill and perseverance of the individual player will show any great differences.
If we consider the other 219 levels there are more obvious differences. Opifex will be the hardest to play and has to offer the least benefits in many ways, on the flip side, for many of the hardest levels, atrox will be easier to play than the other breeds. At TL4 it would seem that Nanomage enforcers heartily outperform atrox in PvM, and at over all levels Solitus will barely be worse, and often better than an atrox enforcer.
The complaint most commonly laid against NM as a breed is the lack of HP, but with HP perks alone (and I hardly have a hardcore HP setup) I get something like 9-11K extra HP, which is more in total than some NM toons can get period. So that hurdle is overcome, and the added nanoskills help a lot in PvM, as we are essentially a casting class.
Really I don't see that there is a best breed. Unlike profs like Shades/Keepers where there are breeds with obvious defecits and zero benefits, every breed will be slightly better than the others at something, but will lack elsewhere. Diversity ftw, its what makes enforcers > all.
IP is one of the bigger challenges of AO. You are responsible for you own character's skills. And while not totally irreversible, getting IP back can be a pain. You have a limited number of IP resets. With 17.3, we will have buyable IP resets, but still, these will be expensive. It is wise to spend your ip wisely, and not waste it. This section will point out which skills are important to raise for an enforcer.
It would be a good idea to always max Strength and Stamina as these 2 will deal with most of your armors, as well as some hp. Intelligence is also good not to ignore, as this will be very important for your nano skills.
The other abilities are still not unimportant. Psychic will help for your nano pool, a good thing to have, especially for troxes. Agility will help your evades, and some of your armor. Sense is probably the less important of abilities for an enforcer.
It is rarely wrong to max abilities. If absolutely need ip for something else, nano skills perhaps, then sense would be the one to neglect.
Always max Body dev. Nano pool should also be maxed as well, at least until you feel comfortable chaining mongo for a while.
Your main Weapon line. Here you will have 4 main lines to choose from. Itâ€™s recommended, to save ip, to only raise 1 at a time, the one that youâ€™re currently using. While itâ€™s totally correct, and usually beneficial to change weapon lines at some time or other, doing so will use up your valuable IP resets. With 17.3, IP resets will be buyable, but they will still be expensive, so it is not advisable to change weapon lines every few levels.
You will have the choice between 1he, 2he, 1hb and 2hb. These weapons will be covered further in the Weapons section.
As for specials, again raise what you need. The following advice assumes that you have these specials. You'll want to raise Fast Attack, as it will lower the recharge on your weapons. Raise dimach as needed to equip your weapons. It is also good to max Brawl.
You will definitely need melee init maxed. Evades are nice to have but are definitely not your main priority, at least, not a first priority to max. The enforcer usually has high hp, and is able to withstand hits, not evade them. However, some ip in evades is beneficial, as not to get as many critical hits from your enemies. Run speed is never wasted, although it shouldnâ€™t be viewed as a top priority.
Trade and Repair
You will need to raise computer literature. This will enable you to wear better belts and NCU chips, which are really important. Psychology is also really important. These will enable you to use many taunt tools, which will be covered later on. Only raise the amount of Psychology that is needed for your current tool however.
Nano and Aiding
This section will be a big IP sink for enforcers, as they need to cast a lot of nanos.
You will want to have Bio Met, Matter creation, and Psy modi, and Matt. Met. maxed, or raised to cast your current best nanos in those lines. These will include your mongo, damage shields, rages, etc. Si will also be important, mostly for your weapon and init buffs. The only nano line that is not important is time and space. This is only really needed for treatment labs, which can be nice to have, but not your biggest concern. Putting IP here will eventually just be wasted.
This category also has First aid and treatment. First aid will be nice for stims, which are nice for soloing, or for that extra heal, especially in lower levels. Treatment is needed all the time, especially for implants/symbiants, so itâ€™s always a good skill to max.
This section will cover the main weapon lines that are available to enforcers. They will be divided into the 3 categories that enforcers use the most : 1hb, 2hb and 2he.
One handed blunt is a good weapon choice, especially at lower levels. The reason for this is because you can get outside buffs to get your weapons on earlier. This also includes 2hb. The edge buffs however are self only, which makes twinking a lot easier with blunt weapons at lower levels.
You will start off with your start-up weapon, a shop buyable weapon, or anything that drops in the subway. Bats are an example, or low ql alien weapons.. When you get to ToTW, you can get your first upgrade.
When you enter ToTW, you can easily get a couple of Howling Skull These drop from a few mobs inside. You however eventually want to upgrade to a Skull of Lamentation / Skull of Woe combo. These are dropped from Lien and the Re-animator. You shouldn't have too much of a problem to find them.
The Skull of Despair and the Skull of Misery are the upgraded versions of the ToTW skulls. They drop off the 3rd floor bosses in Inner Sanctum. They can be a pain to get however, as it can involve a bit of camping with some high levels, so a lot of people skip these and go for alien weapons instead. But if you can get your hand on some, they're good.
The upgraded version of the Ofab Weapon. This one will drop from the Rubi-Ka sided camps. The guides on how to get this can be found in our Lost Eden secion. This expansion is needed to equip this weapon.
As with the one-handed blunt, this weapon line has buffs that can be cast on others, so very nice to twink into at lower levels. However, it does lack some nice weapons at lower levels.
Once again, as with the one-handed blunt, you will start with any weapon that you find in the subway, or buy, either in a shop, or gms.
This will be your first real upgrade. It goes from ql 100 to 105, with a decent damage difference between the 6 qls. It also has the benefits of adding a bit of nano pool, and nano cost modifier. You will be able to find this weapon inside The Crypt of Home, from Cenobite Shadows.
The final weapon of this line. It has many specials, including dimach. A truly nice weapon for the 2hb enforcer.
2he is currently the most popular weapon choice for enforcers, especially at endgame. There are a few reasons for this. The ofab gloves buff 2he and the perks work well for pvp. Also, they will be very good for damage.
Again, in lower levels, you'll have to find a useful weapon. Any drops, or low level alien weapon would do. For extra tweaking, you can also get Silken Legchopper Gloves.
You will get this weapon from Aztur. Equip the Frost reaper until you can get your hands on this one, as it will be harder to acquire. It should last you until you get to Elysium Hecks. At this point, this weapon will be bad, because of its low minimum damage.
You should equip one of these as soon as you can. It is quite nice. It will suffer a bit on hecks however due to their high ACs, but you will have the advantage of going full defense, which should help for your overall tanking. It will still however be a great weapon for anything on RK, or aliens.
This is the IS version of the Frost scythe of the Legionnaire. It has no specials, but it has an incredibly high minimum damage. It will be good for hecks past Elysium, since their ACs start to get really high. The minus melee inits really hurt this weapon, but it is still great overall, and will do great damage.
The ofab version of the 2he. It is superior to the alien sword in every way. It is currently the best DD weapon for enforcers.
This section will mention the most popular armors that people use. For a more complete list, please see this post.
The armors below are divided, very roughly, by level categories. Please do not take these categorizations as final, as depending on how you tweak, you can wear armor that is higher than your level. Also, armors that can be used on all level categories will be marked with an asterisk.
The links will often bring you to full sets of armor. Please note that it will often be very beneficial to mix and match armors. Pick the piece from every set that will work best for you.
This is a very good back item, but will be difficult for an atrox to put on at these levels. You can find the parts for this one in the Crypt of Home. You can find the guide here. You can wear this back item for a long while.
Ofab is considered an upgraded to Tier 3. However, it is available in all qls, even low ones. If you can manage to get some VPs at lower levels, which will probably be from alien missions, some pieces of ofab would certainly be good. Some pieces would be good at endgame as well. Different pieces will be good, depending on your weapon line. For example, body will be very nice for blunt users. The armor can be upgraded twice using upgrades found in alien missions.
Please not that the complete list of enforcer nanos can be found here on auno.org.
This is what makes enforcers the superior tank. These will provide an AoE taunt, and will protect your team. Make sure you keep these up to date, as they are crucial to your team's survival, especially the doc, who will be dishing out alot of heal aggro to make sure that you don't die.
This nano line provides a damage shield which will deal damage to those who hit you. It's a good line to keep up to date, as it will also provide you with extra ACs and health.
These nanos will raise your damage for a short while. In exchange, you will have to deal with an NSD, which will leave you unable to cast anything, including taunts. This NSD is not terribly long however, but not the best thing to cast if you need to taunt alot.
This line of nanos gives you a nice boost in many stats. Inits, Run speed, Nano resist, as well as a nice damage shield. It will also remove some debuffs that could be on you, like roots for example. It has the drawback of dotting you, but for most situations, the dot should be no problem to overcome.
This line can be very useful when using Mongo would be dangerous. In some situations, doing an area taunt will attract additional adds, or would otherwise take too many on you. It is useful to have single taunts so that you can still taunt your current target.
This line is very useful to have, and you should get it as soon as you can (the first one is in Scheol Garden). This nano will have a proc taunt, and will occasionally taunt your current fighting target. While not being a huge taunt, every little bit helps, and you don't have to do anything extra after you cast it.
This will scare mobs away from you. It can be useful when you get adds.
Weapon buffs and Init buffs
You will have nanos for each of your weapon lines as well as some pretty good melee init nanos. These are self explanatory. Get them.
Essences and Strength buff
You will be hearing alot of people asking you for essences. Get used to it. It buffs your hp, as well as strength and stamina, something that is useful to you, and everyone around you. The essence line continues as an SL version at the end. This one will only buff your hp, and it will be self only.
These nanos can be useful to have, however they will be cancelled if you use bio-cocoon. So it's a good idea to only use cocoon once this nano has been used up. You can also cast it on others, which can help you out in many situations.
6. Implants / Symbiants
Implants are a very big part in every character's equipment. You should get some as soon as possible.
There are 2 options for the low level character. You can either build your own, or buy some premade sets. Obviously, the premade sets are much easier, and take up less time. However, if you build your own, you will be able to customize a much better set of implants. Making them is not really hard, but it does take a bit of shopping. You will need to buy and empty implant, as well as the corresponding clusters.
To figure out which cluster you can put in which implant, you can a few tools. First, you can try the auno.org implant designer here. I would also suggest that you download a nice tool called immatrix.
You should start to play around with those 2 tools first, and see what you can have in each slot. Here is an example of a 2hb setup for atrox and solitus.
Here are some stats that should be prioritized :
- Max health / Body Dev
- Your current weapon skill and weapon specials.
- BM/MC/PM/MM (pick the ones that you need the most)
- Evades are nice also, usually for legs and feet.
It is also a very good idea to build a few separate sets of implants as well for equipping items (tweaking). You should have a set of ability implants (Strength, Stamina etc) for armor, computer literature for belts and ncu, as well as treatment implants for equipping higher ql implants. This is a very good way to get you equipped with nice gear.
When you pass level 100, it's about time to start to think about changing to symbiants. At this point, not all symbiants will be better than his corresponding ql 200 implants, but some will. Brain or eye is usually a good example of an early switch. Eventually, you will want all or almost all symbiants in, probably at around 125-140ish.
7. Perks / Research
This is your 2hb Perk. If you are using this weapon type, it's a good idea to put some points into this line, as it will increase your attack rating. The line also has a few good specials, including attack specials and a stun.
This is your 1hb Perk. This one also has 4 specials. If you use 1hb, this is the perkline for you.
If you went 2he, this will be the perkline that you must choose. As with the other weapon perks, it has 4 attack perks.
This perk line is essential. It will buff some ACs, a bit of reflects and some damage shielding. However the main bonus of this perk line is its specials. These include cocoon, and bio regrowth.
Form of Troll
This is quite a nice perkline to put your points in. It will raise your max health, as well as your heal delta. It has very nice specials as well, including a stun, an AC buff and a heal delta debuff.
This gives hp only, which is always great for enforcers. It will also provide you with a few weak heal perks, but those are always nice to have.
This perk is really important. You will want to put 2 perks in this line. This will provide you with the regain nano perk, which will restore your nano. This is really useful for when you need to chain taunt.
Manners of Mongo
Some people will put 1 perk in this line, for the extra taunt special that it gives. Not the best line to max however.
Alien Invasion Perks
Champion of Heavy Infantry
This is always a good line to put perks in. It will buff your main weapon line, if you chose 2HE or 2HB.
Champion of Light Infantry
This is always a good line to put perks in. It will buff your main weapon line, if you chose 1HE or 1HB.
These will change depending on your breed. The most useful will be the Atrox and Solitus versions. The Atrox for the famous Mongo Rage, and the Solitus for Tacky Hack, and Survival, all of which are great for PvP.
A decent line. It has some pvm benefits, including hp, and an extra taunt, which is always nice. It also boosts your brawl and inits.
Lost Eden Research
1. body dev 5
2. Sta 10
3. body dev 15
4. max HP 150
5. Sta 15
6. SPECIAL Inspire Ire
7. body dev 20
8. SPECIAL Malicious Rage
9. Sta 25
10. add all def 60
1. NCU +4
2. INT +5
3. nano skills +15
4. INT +10
5. PSY +10
6. INT +15
7. SPECIAL Violation Buffer
8. MC +50
9. PM +50
10. INT +25 - SPECIAL Raging Blow
1. SPECIALâ€“ Bustkneecap
2. SPECIALâ€“ Shrug Off Hits
3. nano skills +15
4. Int +10
5. Multi melee +25
6. Melee init + 30
7. MM +30
8. add all off +20
9. Fast attack +50
10. BM + 60
A Good Tank: A character that specializes in holding mobs' attention (aggro) such that they only attack him/her/it and allows healers to focus on keeping one character in the team alive.
An Excellent Tank: A character who is a 'Good Tank', but does it so well that even big damage dealers (especially Shades, MA's, Agents) to use their specials without fear of stealing aggro. (Under controlled circumstances and timing, of course.)
Ok, so you're wondering now, What makes a tank good? It's very simple actually:
1) A good tank can take a beating without taxing the healers beyond their capability to keep them alive for a given situation.
2) A good tank generates enough aggro to keep all mobs solely attacking himself/herself/itself. He/She/It should also be able to regain aggro quickly should aggro be lost (Aimed Shots/Full Auto's too early, certain Boss behaviors)
3) A good tank hugs reclaim for his/her/its team to ensure that they have the best chance of escaping a hairy situation (NT Kites, ToTW Trains, multiple respawns, etc).
Remember, it's easy to be a tank, but it takes work to be a good tank. To be an excellent tank, you will need to lead by example, understand other professions, and earn their respect (so that they will follow the aggro/damage patterns that are safe for the whole team in the given situation).
In the next few sections, I will detail how to be a good tank using the following topics:
1) Taking a beating... While smiling at your foe.
2) Aggro aggro aggro!
Taking a beating... While smiling at your foe
Ok now to the boring stuff. I mean who likes getting beat up by 10 mobs while everyone's running around getting 15k AS and 10k FA hits on your favorite mob? And which dumb trox Enforcer wants to hear a boring lecture on how combat works in AO?
Persevere on, young Enforcer. You will never be uber unless you understand the basics.
Ok enough rambling from my Troxian numbskull. So what allows an Enforcer (or any other character for that matter...) to take a beating well? Let's see these basic requirements:
1) High HP and Healdelta
2) High Armor Class
3) Evades and your AggDef Slider
4) Absorb Shields
5) Having good coordination and faith in your Doctor buddy and your teammates
6) Nano Resistance
7) Loads of NCU
How does a high HP bar help me in tanking? Well it's common sense actually:
i) High HP allows you to take more hits before dying. This allows healers more breathing space to heal you sufficiently, especially during laggy fights.
ii) Higher HP also allows you to last longer in the absence of healing (should trouble come and you want to let others escape safely)
In order to get more health, you could try the following:
1) Max your Body Development :P
2) Get the best Mongo, Damage Shield and Essence nanos you can
3) Get buffed up by your friendly Doctor buddy
4) Get 'affordable'/'campable' items like Nano Crystal (Regeneration)
5) Perk yourself into Colossal Health or Enhance Health (Colossal Health is much better )
Healdelta? What's that? If your healdelta is X, you regenerate X HP every 'time interval' (known as a 'tick') as long as your character is alive. How fast a 'tick' is depends on your stamina. To have the best 'tick' of 2 seconds, you need to raise your Stamina to either 810 or 811 (still hotly but inconsequentially debated) .
To improve your healdelta, you should:
i) Max your Body Development
ii) Invest in the appropriate Symbiants or Jobe Clustered Implants
iii) Max the perkline 'Form of Troll'
iv) Get buffed up (Nano Crystal (Regeneration),Doc buffs, etc.)
It should be noted that sitting down will roughly double your health-regeneration rate, but will not affect your nano-recovery rate.
Effectively, high level can have a natural standing healing rate of 200hp per 2 seconds with the proper equipment (which is much better than even Fixer HoTs. And stacks with all HoTs too! thanks Deng!)
NB. NanoDelta works similarly, except that the cap for NanoDelta ticks is reached at 780 Psychic.
2) Armor Class
Armor Class is very simple. For every 10 AC, you reduce the damage from the affiliated damage type by 1 point.
Example using maximum critical damage:
Rollerat Queen hits Emidoc (100 melee AC) for 430 melee damage! Critical Hit!
Rollerat Queen hits Emigadget (1100 melee AC) for 330 melee damage! Critical Hit!
Rollerat Queen hits Emislicer (2100 melee AC) for 230 melee damage! Critical Hit!
(It should be noted that damage would not go below the mob's minimum damage)
Other than armor and items, there is a lifesaving perk action called Troll Form which is gained as a perk action with Form of Troll 3 trained and adds 6000 ACs, but -800 Runspeed for 40s and has a 80s recharge time.
Moral of Story: Get the best armor, perks and buffs you can possibly get to attain maximum AC against the mob you're facing.
3) Evades and your Aggdef Slider
Evades affect 2 things in combat:
i) Whether the mob hits or misses while attacking you.
ii) The percentage chance of a critical should you be hit by a mob.
(Do note that there are 3 types of evades: EvadeClose, DodgeRanged and DuckExplosions. As a generalization, *Most* SL mobs check against EvCls, many RK mobs use both EvCls and DgRng, and *some* RK mobs use DuckExp)
Aggdef Slider thanks Deng!:
i) "Full Aggressive": The speed of your weapon/nanocast time will increase, but you are also more likely to be hit, receive a critical hit or be debuffed/nuked by your opponent.
ii) "Full Defensive"The speed of your weapon/nanocast time will decrease, but it is also harder to hit, crit or land a nano on you"
Moral of Story: Max your required Evades and Max your Melee Init so you can go FullDefensive while doing swing your weapon at maximum speed.
Do note that BioCocoon overwrites Layers, so the strategy to maximize your tankablitiy will be (assuming you've a doc healing you while you tank a VERY TOUGH boss):
a) Layer yourself (and your doc if you're nice) before combat
b) Tank until layers drop, and till you're down to ~50% life :blink:
c) Scream "Cocoon UP!", activate Biococoon, and let doc heal you back to full health.
d) Once Cocoon drops, cast layers, as necessary, on yourself again between weapon swings
e) Cast layers on yourself as often as your nanopoints permit to lessen the load on the doc.
f) Keep refreshing layers on self until mob is dead
g) If mob is still alive after 2 minutes, scream "Cocoon Ready!", then repeat from Step b)
h) Clap dance and sing once VERY TOUGH boss becomes a pile of stagnant pixels.
--> Withered/Corrupted Flesh and Assault-class Tank Armor have very long refresh times (like our favorite Dimach special attack), so save them for REAL emergencies.
Moral of the story? Docs love smart tanks, and smart tanks love Docs.
5) Having good coordination and faith in your Doctor and your teammates
REMEMBER THIS: Tanks put their life on the line, and together with the healer, are most directly responsible for the success of the hunt/raid they undertake with their team.
As such, it is essential that you have an understanding with your Doc. Tell him/her/it your Cocoon usage patterns, lest a CH-aggro mess gets the doc and the whole team killed. If you're a slow typer, write scripts to say: "Cocoon ready!" "Cocoon UP!" "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! NOW!" and other useful phrases for coordination purposes.
With regards to your DD (i.e. Damage Dealer) teammates, it always pays to analyze their damage capabilities. Assuming that you're not slacking, kindly ask the MA/Shade to lower their AggDef settings or the Shade/Soldier/Keeper/Agent from using special/perk attacks until you've built up sufficient aggro.
If your teammates are recalcitrant, let them tank for 1 round and ask the doc or team leader if those teammates are worth keeping/healing.
Moral of the story? Don't tank if you're gimp, establish a good rapport with your doc, and deal with 'bad' teammates without losing your cool.
6) Nano Resistance
While not the highest priority in PvM, Nano Resistance (NR) is essential in PvP combat. In tanking for PvM, NR comes in handy when tanking mobs that have nukes and drains, especially mobs in endgame SL.
Moral of the story? Max NR for PvM if you've the IP to spare once you're past TL5. You can never have enough NR for endgame tanking or soloing.
7) Having Loads of NCU
So you got your hands on the best nano programs? Found a bunch of buddies to buff you up? Well, what good is gasoline if your car has no fuel tank?
For starters, every toon should at least aim to have at least 5 of these 64 NCU Memory by the time they hit TL5. These are rollable using Clicksaver. It takes some time to roll, but it's always worth the wait. They are also available on the open market for about 2mil creds each. (It's also a decent way of earning creds by blitzing them and selling for cash, but no Org ever has enough. )
While buffing up, remember that Enforcers have combat-specific nanos that they should reserve NCU space for: Mongo, Challenger, Rage and Layers. Read on till the end and you can decide for yourself if these are worth using for your own playstyle.
As Enforcers invariably consume loads of nanos during a tanking session, there are certain NCU items that reduce your nanocost by a certain percentage. These allow the tank to maintain a high mongo/taunt rate along with a good Nanodelta and (if necessary) the 'Regain Nano' perkaction from the 'Genius 2' perk.
The most common of these items is the Hardcore CPU Upgrade. The very poor can try a Enhanced NCU Chip with Recompiling Core and the very might can try getting their hands on a Sagittarius's Hearty Spirit Helper (Thanks Djurmamman!)
Aggro, Aggro, Aggro!
Ok so you want to learn about Aggro. What's that, you ask?
Emi's definitions of Aggro:
i) Aggro (v) - To turn your attention onto someone's toon and attempt to kill it. e.g. The Heckler aggro'd Emidoc and sent her to reclaim in 2 hits.
ii) Aggro (n) - The amount of 'Hate' the mob has for a particular toon. In a fight, every action taken against the mob will build up a certain number of 'Hate Points'. Most mobs are programmed to attack only the toon it hates the most. (Note that certain nanos not directed at the mob, e.g. Heals, can also build aggro.)
iii) To (re)gain Aggro - To entice the mob, using various aggro tools, to (re)focus its attention on you instead of the poor defenseless <insert>.
So how exactly is Aggro dealt? There are 3 simple methods that any profession can use (and Enforcers dominate everything but the Damage part).
A) Deal loads of damage to the mob
B) Execute Nanoprograms that annoy the mob
C) Taunt the mob into attacking you
It should also be noted that increasing the distance from yourself to the mob reduces the amount of aggro built up. (Out of sight, out of mind?)
The Relationship Between Damage Dealt and Aggro
Let's talk about Dealing Damage first. There are 3 ways that an enforcer deal damage to the mob he/she/it is tanking:
1) Weapon Damage
The most basic way to annoy anyone is to poke em in the ribs with a pointy stick. Take your biggest weapon, swing it as fast as you can and annoy the mob to no end. It is best if you choose weapons with Specials like Brawl, Fast Attack, Sneak Attack and Dimach if you can afford the IP expenditure and weapon cost.
--> Practical Steps:
To hit harder and more often:
i) Max your main weapon skill. (Perklines help too)
ii) Ensure that you hit your specials immediately once they recharge
iii) Get +Dmg items like Ring of Power or Arul Saba Bracelets. Various professions also give nice +Dmg buffs)
iv) Get your best SL Element nanos. These not only give you an +dmg boost, but allow you to customise your damage type against specific mobs.
(For detailed, hard-core information on damage-type choices, look here)
v) Get your best Challenger nanos. Caution: use them if you're sure you won't lose aggro in the next 24s cos you can't Mongo! anymore due to the Nano Recharge timing.
--> Practical Steps:
To swing faster:
i) Max your Melee Init
ii) Set your AggDef slider to optimal levels using the AggDef Calculator
iii) Get your best Rage nano and use them CAREFULLY (not in SL unless you got uber healers)
(see this page for detailed explanation on how inits work)
There are 2 peculiarities about Damage-based Aggro that should be noted.
a) Dealing more damage per hit creates more aggro: e.g. Enforcer hits Rollerat Queen 20 times over 1 minute for 50 dmg = 1000 dmg. Then an Agent outside of combat Aimshots for 800 dmg, and will gain aggro immediately.
b) The first hit on the mob gains a lot more aggro than all subsequent hits: e.g. The puller hits mob for 50 dmg, gains aggro and runs away. Enforcer hits mob for 100 dmg but still requires another few hits to regain aggro.
--> Practical Steps:
i) If you're tank, volunteer to be puller to ensure that you get the 'First Hit' aggro
ii) Convince the squishy agents and annoying soldiers to allow you time to build aggro before they Aimshot/FullAuto
2) Perk Attacks
Perk Attacks in both the 1HB's Blunt Mastery and Slice and Dice perkline do massive damage and have other aggro building abilities as well. Generally, 1HB holds aggro better due to tauntprocs, but 2HE are uber in PvP.
3) Damage Shields
An often overlooked component of the Enforcer's aggro arsenal is their Damage Shields. These nanos not only give you a nice HP boost, but also inflict damage on the mob each time it hits you.
Sidenote: Don't be confused between the Enfo/Engi/Adv Damage Shields (DS) and the Engi's Reflect Shields (RS). Here's how they work:
1) Enfo with 20point DS: Mob hits Enfo for 100 dmg, DS hits mob for 20 dmg
2) Engi with 20point RS: Mob hits Engi for 100 dmg, RS reduces damage taken to 80dmg, RS deals 20 dmg to mob.
3) Enfo with 20point DS + 20 point RS: Mob hits Enfo for 100dmg, DS hits mob for 20dmg, RS reduces damage taken to 80dmg, and RS deals 20 dmg to mob. (Total reduction of 20 dmg and extra 40 dmg per mob hit :lol: )
Point to note: All dmg from the RS and DS are attributed to you, the 'buff-wearer', not the 'buff-caster'. Thus these shields help you build aggro by 'damaging' the mob while you tank.
--> Practical Steps:
i) Always have your best DS on
ii) Befriend a reliable Engi for RS and promise him/her/it some Atrox Wonder Pie
Executing Nanos can Draw Aggro too!
Simply put, there are 3 ways Nanos draw aggro
Mobs don't like healers for some reason, and they hate it when healing nanos are used. In ascending order of 'Hatefulness', they are:
i) Single heals (yawn!)
ii) Team heals (mmmm...)
iii) Complete Healing in RK(grrr!)
iv) Complete Healing in SL (Once a Doctor chain-casts CH's to survive, even the best Enforcer will be hard-pressed to regain aggro)
2) Taunt Nanos
These are enforcer-only. Will be explained later in the 'Taunt Tools' section.
3) Nukes, Roots and other Nanos
Any nanos executed on a mob will build up hate. Most notable aggro builders are NT Nukes and Fixer Roots.
Let's talk about Taunts. A taunt is an action to provoke a mob (doesn't work on players, unfortunately ) to attack you. Similar to damage and nano effects, they build hate, and usually have a refresh of 6s, and can be used in between weapon swings for maximum hate-building.
So what taunt tools does an Enforcer have at his/her/its disposal? Let's take a looksee:
1) Nanoprograms called Mongo!
These nanos have a wide AOE that builds aggro on any mob within it's effect radius. It has added usefulness as a health boost as well as a HoT that makes it very useful for tanks.
The pros and cons of using Mongo! nanos are:
i) Pro: You can hold aggro easily when you're swarmed by mobs
ii) Pro: You get a nice health boost and HoT that increases your survivability
iii) Con: Any 'dormant' (mezzed or unengaged) mobs within your AOE radius will attack you, creating unnecessary Adds sometimes.
Mongo! is your best friend in most tanking situations. And you can never build too much aggro on the mob you're tanking. If you can afford the nanopoints, Mongo! as often as you can. Thanks for the suggestion, Bgumble! If you don't have sufficient nanopoints to Mongo! enough to keep aggro, distribute Nanostims to your teammates and 'persuade' them to stim you till you turn blue.
2) Single Taunt Nanos
Nanos like Element of Malice and other nice nanos (from SL Garden) allow you to taunt single targets instead of risking getting Adds via Mongo! in a crowded room. It's a pity the best RK Primal Hatred is pitiful in comparison (but still sometimes useful nonetheless).
3) Mutate Perkactions (AI Perkline) Arouse Anger is a useful single taunt supplement if you're L15+. This perkline also provides an extra source of taunt+damage if you can get AI Level 6 to use Cause of Anger
4) Enforcer's Taunt Proc Nanoprograms (SL only)
For non-fr00b Enforcers, we have the Taunt Proc Nanos, which give up to a 35% chance of inflicting additional taunt damage each weapon hit.
Taunt Procs are the reason 1HB (or even 1HE, if any ) Enforcers are generally find it easier to hold aggro than an 'equivalent' 2HE/2HB Enforcer. Dual-wielders swing more often (around 24% more assuming 1s/1s weapons), which means more Taunt Procs land to irritate your favourite mob.
5) Psychology-based Taunt Utilities:
(Aggression Enhancers/Multipliers, Library of Foul Language, Da Taunter, Jealousy)
These tools all lock Psychology for 6s, so you can only use one of them for any given situation.
Here are my recommendations:
For solo usage: Use the Library of Foul Language (aka LoFL).
- You'll need to raise BM anyway, and the additional damage helps speed up fights (esp against high AC mobs). A QL200 LoFL does 850 Taunt 'damage' and a marginal 50 Radiation damage. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what taunt tools to use while soloing.
For team usage (high performance):
- Use the QL200 Aggression Multiplier (Jealousy Augmented)
While this nifty tool takes considerable investment in Psychology, it offers the best taunt/time ratio (1800 'taunt damage'!) and is easily obtained even by frOObs.
Simply camp the mob 'Jealousy' in the Steps of Madness for a Aggression Multiplier (Jealousy Augmented) and combine it with a QL200 Aggression Multiplier, which is available randomly at superior shops "Tools Terminal" or rollable with Clicksaver. (This process requires some ME and WS, so grab your friendly tradeskiller!)
- Alternatively, for those who have the AI expansion, and don't have spare IP to invest in Psychology, the LoFL can be upgraded into a Codex of the Insulting Emerto. It does 1100 Taunt 'damage' and 20 Radiation damage.
- For endgame tanking, Perfectionists can aspire to owning the Scorpio's Aim of Anger, which is about 11% better than Jealousy at 2000 'taunt damage'. Zodiac bosses anyone?
These are very useful for managing the number of hostile mobs in each fight. Since PM/BM are also used for your must-have Mongo! line, they are a 'IP cost-free' addition to your mob-management toolkit. Specific uses:
1) Removing ADDs that threaten your survival as a tank.
2) Scaring away mobs that is attacking your healer.
3) While soloing, scaring the mob away so you can sit down and heal/recharge.
4) Possibly used for blitzing missions without having to waste time fighting mobs.
Fear effects last up to 1 minute, and are breakable. After that the mob retains its hate-list and runs back into the fray to annoy you again.
Another 'Fearful' thing to note: There are some mobs that you can't seem to fear no matter how hard you try. If so, try using this oft-forgotten Drain Abilities and you may succeed after that. Thanks Deng!
Should I Mongo!? Should I not?
Every Enforcer should be watchful before engaging any mob in any environment. He/She/It should also be extremely careful with the use of Mongo!, as it can make or break a team. Let me give you some examples:
Enforcer is in a crowded room inside IS fighting a well-pulled, single mob. He Mongo!s and draws 5 Adds and gets the whole party killed.
==> Learn your Mongo! radius and watch your minimaps for mob distances.
The team is overrun by 6 Hecklers trained onto them. Enforcer Chain-Mongos!, shields up and allows the tanking/healing machinery to get started. Meanwhile, teammates mezz the 5 'free' Hecklers and allows the Doc to heal fast enough after the tank's shields go down.
==> Well timed Chain-Mongos! can save the day.
The team in Example #2 has killed 1 Heckler and is proceeding to kill off the others. Suddenly, the SLoobie Shade 'accidentally' attacks the wrong Heck and draws aggro. What should the Enforcer do?
i) Single taunt the Shade's Heck and hope you can steal aggro fast enough. (Usually doesn't succeed)
ii) Leave the Shade to die, since she deserves it.
iii) Mongo! to regain aggro, breaking the calms, knowing that the Doc is gonna CH to save the Shade and get killed in the process.
==> There is no correct answer here. Situational awareness, experience and an good understanding with your Doc will help you decide if it's worth breaking the Calms or not.
Moral of the Story: Mongo! is like fire. It can cook you a good XP supper, or throw your entire team into the supper pot.
How to use and time your Taunts
Dealing with aggro emergencies
Ok so you've been tanking well, but sometimes, things get hairy due to Pops, bad teammates, etc. And now your favourite Doc or your not-so-favourite Agent has somehow gained big-time aggro and is 2 hits away from dying. Here's what you can do to save the day:
First you run at the mob and unload all your Taunt Utils, FastAttack, Brawl and Dimach specials on the mob, then you do either of the following:
i) Chaincast Mongo! --> The most effective way as this cannot be resisted.
ii) Single Taunts --> A safer option if you've a bunch of mezzed mobs around you, also cannot be resisted. Slightly slower than Mongo but only affects a single target.
iii) Try to scare the mob away using your best Fear Nano. This is the best way if you're facing non-boss, lower level mobs, as it checks against 100% NR. Not useful if your teammate is fighting back cos it is Breakonattack
Achieving balance between taunt/damage
Ok time for some very technical stuff for tweaking your own tanking performance. If you've been using your aggro tools regularly (like you should be), you would notice that some actions cannot be performed concurrently, which makes you less efficient.
i) Clash between "Weapon Swing" and "Nano Execution"
Simply put, you cannot swing your weapon while casting nanos. Try casting a Composite Attribute Boost and you'll see what I mean.
Now notice that your fastest weapon speed attainable is 1s attack + 1s recharge. It is during the recharge time that you should cast your Mongo/Layer/Fear nanos.
And that is why Enforcers should max their Nanoinit as well as get one of Nano Formula Recompiler.
Moral of the Story: Hit your nano hotkey immediately after you swing (i.e. the moment the line "You hit Rollerrat Queen for 1352 radiation damage" appears)
ii) Clash between "Stim/Util Effect usage" and "Perk Usage"
The moment you activate your perk action, (e.g. "Regain Nano" from Genius2, "BioCocoon" from Bioshielding, etc) you will see a 'Special' timer bar on your top left hand corner, similar to your 'Nanoprogram' execution and recharge timer bars.
During the charging phase of your perks, you are able to use neither your FirstAid/Nano Stims nor your utilities like the LoFL or even your Withered Flesh shielding specials.
Moral of the Story: Hit your Stim/Utilities hotkey immediately (which is near instantaneous) before firing up your perk action(s).
MORAL of the Moral of the Story: These details may seem trivial on paper, but every half-second counts when you're facing overwhelming odds while tanking.
Click here for a great guide on tips on tanking different mobs and bosses.
Last updated on 06.24.2012 by Llie
Written by Tepamina
Some info taken from guides written by Deng, Defectorid (research)
Some info taken from various posts on official enforcer forums (alot of which by Kyai)
Tanking section of the guide written by Emi
Special thanks to Basrouge, Forcewithin Archslayer, Ilikethongs for many questions answered
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