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2 questions: Rampart vs. Shield Bash; GuardianFollow

#1 Oct 11 2009 at 8:34 PM Rating: Good
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I'm sitting at Sword 8/8, Shield 4/4, Crit 4/4, Sentinel 5/5, Chivalry 5/5, Fealty 1/5, Enmity 4/4, HP 8/8 and am wondering what to do next. Couple questions:

1) Shield Bash seems more important to me than Rampart, because it's a stun, creates more enmity, and I can use it to get up shadows in an emergency. But I've heard some people say that there are fights where Rampart is invaluable, and ScarShiva's meriting guide (often quoted here) suggested Rampart 5/5. Is that true aside from just kiting, where I can typically cure cheat my way to max hate?

2) Has anyone actually parsed the effects of Guardian? Some here have argued that it's a bit of a waste because it reduces enmity lost from blood damage during Sentinel, but you already have the damage-down itself + shadows there. Does it also effect the decay of Sentinel's VE in general? Thinking I might max Fealty unless I see some good evidence or convincing testimonials on Guardian.

Thanks, any advice would be very appreciated^^
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#2 Oct 11 2009 at 9:19 PM Rating: Good
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Maybe I'm limited in my scope of end game NMs, but I can't think of a time where Fealty going from 20min to 10min would have done anything at all. 20min to 2min would be nice though :D

Rampart timer staying in line with Sentinel timer is nice for a 2nd hate spike on something that lasts 5+ mintues or just nocked 1500hp off you for whatever reason. Plus Rampart in general is a valuable tool.

I do agree that Shield Bash is more valuable in general. I use it against everything I tank, Rampart more often than not is just something I use for hate.
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#3 Oct 12 2009 at 2:42 AM Rating: Good
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Now that Shield Bash is a reliable stun I'd merit that over Rampart. I still have Rampart merits though I might redo them some day.
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#4 Oct 12 2009 at 7:46 AM Rating: Good
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I personally went with Shield Bash. Stunning is great, especially when none of the BLMs have their timer ready. It's also quite useful if you ever see yourself getting an Aegis.
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#5 Oct 12 2009 at 2:36 PM Rating: Good
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Pre-Relic Shield I went with Rampart recast as I fought a number of magic intensive mobs usually in a co-tanking setup. With good rotation of rampart it made a noticeable difference when used properly before -ga's and such.

I converted to shield bash right before I finished shield since the -25% on shield more then compensates for a longer rampart recast. Much of it comes down to what do you fight more often and how smart you are about using the abilities.

It's been a while since I did some testing and working on VE/CE numbers but I found Guardian started to have diminishing returns after 3 merits for me.



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#6 Oct 12 2009 at 3:57 PM Rating: Good
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Shield Bash 5/5 Sentinel 5/5 here.

I prefer the extra Stun that Shield Bash affords me, not only to compensate for a BLM not catching something but also to help soloing. (Shield Bash can help get Stoneskin or Ichi up).

Not only that, but unless your entire PT is always in range for Rampart to hit them, Shield Bash will generate more VE if you're using it as a VE spike.

As for Guardian, I'm not aware of any conclusive testing so I'm also sitting on my 4/5 Guardian, 5/5 Chivalry, 1/5 Fealty until I see such tests. I'd love to be able to ditch Guardian for Fealty. (No I won't use it every 10 minutes, but if I don't get any use out of the lowered hate decay from Guardian, why bother having the merits?)
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#7 Oct 12 2009 at 11:55 PM Rating: Good
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NCCoda wrote:
No I won't use it every 10 minutes, but if I don't get any use out of the lowered hate decay from Guardian, why bother having the merits?)


This is why I had 3/5 Fealty merits done. I really feel that Iron Will and Guardian are crap merits (now - Guardian had it's place before the sentinel change).
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#8 Oct 13 2009 at 11:24 AM Rating: Good
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Shield bash vs Rampart: I'd put down to personal choice and playstyle. I went with shield bash as I liked the stun aspect and it's always featured in my hate build routine so having the same recast as sentinel seems to work nicely for me. When Rampart is good though it's amazing, so there is nothing wrong with meriting it IMO if you use it a lot.

I also have 5/5 Guardian merits and I love them. I just don't use chivalry enough to justify 5/5 and even fully merited the recast on fealty pretty much limits it to one use per mob. It's nice, but not great in my opinion. Guardian is awesome for any event you're trying to hold hate on though, remember the modern pld way is to hit hate cap asap and guardian effectively gives you a free provoke to add to sentinel (1710 VE from decay alone, plus what you'd save if you get hit) on paper that sounds nice but I find in practice it's even better than it looks. If your DD's are pushing you hard (as they should be) then I'll take extra enmity over a JA I can only use once during the fight regardless of how many merits I put into it.
#9 Oct 13 2009 at 4:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Artemizthepld wrote:
I also have 5/5 Guardian merits and I love them.

IF I can ask, WHAT do you love about them? Sentinel already does a tremendous amount for CE decrease from blood damage... I don't see how reducing any more is really helping. The excel file I've run on the "predicted" numbers shows the same thing... If you've got concrete evidence that Guardian does anything, please share.

Artemizthepld wrote:
I just don't use chivalry enough to justify 5/5 and even fully merited the recast on fealty pretty much limits it to one use per mob.

What are you tanking that you feel you can't use Chivalry enough? It's the closest we get to "free" mp at the cost of a single weapon skill. Now that we have Atonement, I can see this being an issue, but no matter what type of PLD you are... I don't see why you wouldn't want this on as low a timer as possible.

Artemizthepld wrote:
Guardian is awesome for any event you're trying to hold hate on though, remember the modern pld way is to hit hate cap asap and guardian effectively gives you a free provoke to add to sentinel (1710 VE from decay alone, plus what you'd save if you get hit) on paper that sounds nice but I find in practice it's even better than it looks.


Do you have empirical proof of this? All the tests I've seen verified that Guardian does NOT decrease the VE gain at all. My friend who ran a controlled test with me noticed that VE dropped at exactly the same rate (I pulled hate with a dia exactly when I should have whether Guardian was up or not). If they've changed something, it's been a ninja fix and would justify Guardian merits, but, again, all the tests I've done showed that it never affected VE decrease at all.

Artemizthepld wrote:
If your DD's are pushing you hard (as they should be) then I'll take extra enmity over a JA I can only use once during the fight regardless of how many merits I put into it.


I agree with this point if Guardian affects VE decrease which I'm contending that it doesn't. However, I can't test this any farther so it would be up to someone else to verify at this point. If the empirical data shows that VE is, in fact, decreased, I'll agree that this would be beneficial. Remember, though, that Guardian is tied to Sentinel and, as such, still tied to a 4:10 timer. If the mob is still alive for a second use of this timer then you'd get nearly as much of an enmity (albeit later in the fight) by using Chivalry and Cure Cheating yourself up. This would put it in the course of personal preference.
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#10 Oct 13 2009 at 7:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Dracoth wrote:
IF I can ask, WHAT do you love about them? Sentinel already does a tremendous amount for CE decrease from blood damage... I don't see how reducing any more is really helping. The excel file I've run on the "predicted" numbers shows the same thing... If you've got concrete evidence that Guardian does anything, please share.


Dracoth wrote:
Do you have empirical proof of this? All the tests I've seen verified that Guardian does NOT decrease the VE gain at all. My friend who ran a controlled test with me noticed that VE dropped at exactly the same rate (I pulled hate with a dia exactly when I should have whether Guardian was up or not). If they've changed something, it's been a ninja fix and would justify Guardian merits, but, again, all the tests I've done showed that it never affected VE decrease at all.


Dracoth wrote:
I agree with this point if Guardian affects VE decrease which I'm contending that it doesn't. However, I can't test this any farther so it would be up to someone else to verify at this point. If the empirical data shows that VE is, in fact, decreased, I'll agree that this would be beneficial. Remember, though, that Guardian is tied to Sentinel and, as such, still tied to a 4:10 timer. If the mob is still alive for a second use of this timer then you'd get nearly as much of an enmity (albeit later in the fight) by using Chivalry and Cure Cheating yourself up. This would put it in the course of personal preference.


I've bunched these three quotes together as they all revolve around one concept, whether or not Guardian reduces VE decay, the game description is typically vague, it simply reads: Reduces enmity loss while using Sentinel. It doesn't differentiate between the two types of enmity and I've never seen any tests or even theories regarding the fact that Guardian only effects CE. For some strange reason you've also requested that I prove myself twice, yet provided none yourself. I'd actually suggest that the burden of proof actually lies with you, considering the description given by SE. If proof does surface then I'd gladly admit you where right, I'd still go 5/5 on Guardian though (see below)

Dracoth wrote:
What are you tanking that you feel you can't use Chivalry enough? It's the closest we get to "free" mp at the cost of a single weapon skill. Now that we have Atonement, I can see this being an issue, but no matter what type of PLD you are... I don't see why you wouldn't want this on as low a timer as possible.


It's not so much that I can't use Chivalry enough, it's that I don't want to as rather use the tp for Atonement. With the amount of refresh available to us now I simply don't have mp problems. If Fealty could be merited down to a 5 minute timer then I'd merit that but 10 minutes is just too long and I'd rather take the help with hate that Guardian provides.
#11 Oct 13 2009 at 8:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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You quote me and say I offer no proof... Yet the quote HAS my proof. I didn't spell it out, so maybe I should. I'll start by requoting myself.

Dracoth wrote:
All the tests I've seen verified that Guardian does NOT decrease the VE gain at all. My friend who ran a controlled test with me noticed that VE dropped at exactly the same rate (I pulled hate with a dia exactly when I should have whether Guardian was up or not). If they've changed something, it's been a ninja fix and would justify Guardian merits, but, again, all the tests I've done showed that it never affected VE decrease at all.


Let me spell it out. To begin with, I messed up the spell I pulled hate with - I used Flash, not Dia, as that would kill the target mob... Given Kanican's testing strategy:

Two PLD's, both level 75. Identical enmity from gear (+24). Only difference - one has 4/5 Guardian merits, the other doesn't.

Target mob: level 0 bee outside Bastok in S. Gustaberg.

Open with Provoke from PLD #1 on the mob. Net effect: 2232 VE + 200 for original target. 2432 total enmity. Sentinel activated 5 seconds later. Boost to 2132+2232=4364 VE.

PLD #2 flashes. PLD #2 now has 223 CE and 1674 VE. Clearly, PLD #1 has hate.

He should maintain hate until his VE drops below the CE of PLD #2 (since #2's VE will diminish before #1's does). The question is, how long until this occurs.

If Guardian affected VE decrease rate, it should take longer than 70 seconds. At 70 seconds, the mob turned to PLD #2. 70*60=4200. 4364-4200=164 VE, which is obviously less than the CE from #2.

70 seconds is exactly what happens if Sentinel wasn't used (and is exactly what happened when we reversed the test). As such, my personal testing showed Guardian had no effect on VE decrease. Again, I say this may have been ninja'd as I did this test almost two years ago and, as I don't play now, I can't repeat it. If Guardian affected VE rate, it would have taken longer than 70 seconds. And, yes, I'm aware that Sentinel doesn't last 70 seconds - but the 30 seconds it's active should have some bearing and increase the time a little.

In answer to your Burden of Proof, here's my Proof.

Artemizthepld wrote:
Dracoth wrote:
What are you tanking that you feel you can't use Chivalry enough? It's the closest we get to "free" mp at the cost of a single weapon skill. Now that we have Atonement, I can see this being an issue, but no matter what type of PLD you are... I don't see why you wouldn't want this on as low a timer as possible.


It's not so much that I can't use Chivalry enough, it's that I don't want to as rather use the tp for Atonement. With the amount of refresh available to us now I simply don't have mp problems. If Fealty could be merited down to a 5 minute timer then I'd merit that but 10 minutes is just too long and I'd rather take the help with hate that Guardian provides.


Your choice of merits is yours. I've already mentioned that I personally feel that if Guardian affects VE decrease that it would come down to personal preference and I won't walk away from that. But, if my test can be repeated and shown that Guardian doesn't help VE decay at all, then your last line contradicts your last line previously quoted in that you now no longer have that reason to pick Guardian.

Also, as a side note, I'm under the impression that you think I'm attacking you. You seem to grow more and more defensive to our posts. I'm not intending that - this is a discussion that can ultimately affect the ability of PLD's to improve. As such, I'd like to thank you for asking the questions you're asking. And, my question for proof and reasons for your decision stemmed from nothing but that. I don't think you're stupid or inferior for making your choices at all.
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#12 Oct 14 2009 at 4:33 PM Rating: Good
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I like to open fights with a melee attack to get on the hate list, followed by a Sentinel > Rampart > Flash. Normally I'll get a second Flash off before Sentinel is down (unless I'm busy putting up shadows). Every time Sentinel is back up, I prefer to Sentinel > Rampart. Normally Rampart hits me, my co-tank, and the bard, but if we're fighting a dragon or similar mob it will hit my entire party. I know that I'm going to get at least double enmity on triple the people (so 1800 VE) from Rampart. Add this to 1800 from Sentinel and 2 x double enmity Flash (2560 x 2) and you have: 1800+1800+5120 = 8920 VE right off the bat (or more if I hit over 3 targets).

Honestly though OP, you can do 5/5 Sentinel and as long as the other 5 merits are used on SB and Rampart, they are good. How you divvy it up is more personal preference than anything. I'm happy with how I did it, but you should do it the way you think will work best for you.

Every time Flash is up, it's being cast (approximately every 22seconds), so in very short order I'm at the 10,000 mark from there. Shield Bash I save for emergencies (shadow timers are fried, back-row stun timers are down, big nuke turned the mob, etc). For such things, I'd love to have it on as short of a timer as possible, but uncoupling Sentinel and Rampart would be a real pain for me, and I don't expect emergencies to pop up that quickly. Even if they do, my co-tank also has Shield Bash so it would have to be a triple emergency in a 5min span to really be a problem, and the merits would only matter if they were the difference between bashing my way out of it or not (ie: if the 3rd emergency happened in the last 50 seconds of a 5 minute window). That seems like a serious stretch.

(If I'm soloing, it will be on another job typically so I'm only looking at uses for endgame tanking.)

As for tier II, the following quotes are from Kanican's LJ:
* Nothing known in game affects the -60 VE/sec decay rate

* Burtgang "enmity reduced when taking damage" is -10% CE loss - still using the damage taken formula

Since I'm coupling Sentinel with Rampart, I literally am taking as close to 0 damage during that time as possible. Since the VE decay rate is not affected, this makes Guardian almost totally worthless for me, and is the reason I won't touch it. I'm therefore going 5/5 Chivalry, 5/5 Fealty. (I fight mobs for longer than 10 minutes.)

On Chivalry: Even though Atonement is amazing, there are plenty of mobs who take limited or zero damage from it either all of the time or some of the time. Examples of this include Armed Gears (25% Atonement cap), Tinnin (Atonement Immune), any Wyrm that is airborne, Proto-Omega (after Hate Reset), Proto-Ultima (after Hate Reset or with M-Shields up), any NM that can charm you (Hate Reset), any mob that can put up magic shields, etc... In other words, Atonement is amazing, but so is turning 300TP into 450MP (or whatever you happen to get back with yours). I can't imagine not capping this.

On Fealty: Here is a move that doesn't just prevent Paralyga's from landing on you, but it also makes you near-immune to Astral Flow, Mijin Gakure, Meteor! Consider how much enmity you lose if any one of those goes off. ****, consider how much you lose if a simple Charm goes off. I'm pretty happy being in a state of immunity or near immunity to such things, and I look forward to capping this so I can sit in that state a full 10% of the time. Sure, Fealty might amount to no more than a simple 300VE hate bump (600VE with Sentinel up), but what really matters is that when Fealty is good, it's REALLY F-ING GOOD! When Guardian is good, do you even notice? I co-tank with Guardian merited PLD's all the time (I have none), and there is no clear difference in how well we hold hate. Either they can't keep it off me until I take a hit, or we bounce the mob between us. I've never tanked with anyone I couldn't turn it off of when needed, and I've never noticed anyone's Sentinel doing more for their ability to hold the mob than mine does for me.

On Both: Don't forget that even if you only use each move once per battle, the 10 min timer can be great for situations such as KSNM99, where you don't exactly want to wait to start your next run because timers aren't up. Once per battle doesn't always translate to once per 20min, if you take my drift.

Edited, Oct 14th 2009 5:39pm by NatePrawdzik
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#13 Oct 14 2009 at 9:19 PM Rating: Good
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Nate wrote:
I like to open fights with a melee attack to get on the hate list, followed by a Sentinel > Rampart > Flash. Normally I'll get a second Flash off before Sentinel is down (unless I'm busy putting up shadows). Every time Sentinel is back up, I prefer to Sentinel > Rampart. Normally Rampart hits me, my co-tank, and the bard, but if we're fighting a dragon or similar mob it will hit my entire party. I know that I'm going to get at least double enmity on triple the people (so 1800 VE) from Rampart. Add this to 1800 from Sentinel and 2 x double enmity Flash (2560 x 2) and you have: 1800+1800+5120 = 8920 VE right off the bat (or more if I hit over 3 targets).


I wouldnt merit rampart 5/5 just for more hate. After the first use, by the time its back up again, your hate would be capped if not near capped, and if uncapped its only the CE value that wouldnt be, as you can cap your VE in seconds, by the time if rampart is up again, you wouldnt even need its hate to cap yourself off with VE. Its not a bad merit to invest, imo though *I* get more out of SB than rampart.

Imo rampart merits are best served for events where you are taking a lot of magic damage, but then again, a shield bash would of prevented that all together. . .

However for me thats my opinion, as is respectfully yours.
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#14 Oct 15 2009 at 12:47 AM Rating: Good
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I stick with Shield Bash 5/5 since I use Sentinel + Cure swaps instead of Sentinel + Rampart to open up a fight.

It's a slight drain on my MP but I prefer having Shield Bash on as low a recast as possible, especially since I'm often tanking things that my mages are not in range for Rampart to hit, hence SB offers me a higher VE.

I open a fight with a melee hit to get on the hate list, then Sentinel, Flash, Cure IV, Ni if it's needed, Cure IV, Flash.

From there, I keep Reprisal up, I tend to use Ichi as much as possible and save Ni for "oh ****" moments" (Or obviously if Ichi isn't ready). I Flash as often as the recast (And keeping shadows up) allows, and do a Cure III swap every second or third Flash.

Between this and Atonement, hate is pretty darn solid, and of course I balance with my co-tank if I can't reliably solo-tank the mob in question and my co-tank is having trouble keeping up. (I'm not bragging, I just take PLD much more seriously than some people who play it every now and then and as such have more gear dedicated to it that allows me to build and maintain capped Enmity more easily than your average casual PLD).

All of that being said, I reserve Shield Bash and Rampart for saving my ****, stunning something that the backline isn't catching, soaking up a spell that's hitting me for whatever reason, etc. I also will use Sentinel + Shield Bash if for some reason I don't have the MP to allow me to Cure IV swap every Sentinel cycle, or use SB or Rampart for a quick spike if I take some unexpected damage or get nailed with a hate reset.
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#15 Oct 15 2009 at 8:59 PM Rating: Good
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Fair enough then guys, it seems I didn't understand Guardian as well as I thought I did. Sorry for any miss-information I might have spread and thanks for correcting me without being ***** about it. I've got to have a good think about my merits now as Guardian obviously doesn't do what I thought it did, I use /rdm a lot in low man situations so it still might have some benefit for me. I'll just have to mull it over as I'm busy doing other merits at the moment.

Dracoth wrote:
Also, as a side note, I'm under the impression that you think I'm attacking you. You seem to grow more and more defensive to our posts. I'm not intending that - this is a discussion that can ultimately affect the ability of PLD's to improve. As such, I'd like to thank you for asking the questions you're asking. And, my question for proof and reasons for your decision stemmed from nothing but that. I don't think you're stupid or inferior for making your choices at all.


Well if I've appeared defensive then it's not intentional, I've enjoyed our discussions and didn't feel like I was being attacked or anything. I've learned something in a discussion on the internet without being insulted, that's a good result if you ask me lol.
#16 Oct 16 2009 at 12:34 AM Rating: Good
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yeah at first glance guardian looks hot. But since it does not effect VE its kind of lame, especialy if you have af2 feet.

Since i am remaking my character, and dealing with merits now, i am giving thought to:

5/5 iron will
4/5 chiv
1/5 fealty

The thing i like about iron will is that it has been verified that the effect happens to all that is in rampart range. so your giving 95% spell interupt down to potentialy all your party. I have a friend that uses this, hes is even able to put up stoneskin/ustusemi ichi/Cure Spells during mnk mob hundred fists. It is that potent. Since, i cant get an effective hate tool out of guardian, i think ill go for the utility of iron will.
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#17 Oct 16 2009 at 1:18 AM Rating: Good
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TheWillrikerofOdin wrote:
The thing i like about iron will is that it has been verified that the effect happens to all that is in rampart range.


Links?^^

Thanks for all the help by the way guys!
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#18 Oct 16 2009 at 7:12 AM Rating: Good
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Two friends on Odin server tested this.

Izman and Ringthree. The effect helps all that is hit by the rampart. meaning its a nice way of helping your co-tank, a Melee having issues with utsu, or even a mage with stoneskin/blink/sleep/AMII or whatever.
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