Tanks gotta still be viable, right? (in General)

Todd March 9 2005 6:31 PM EST

I struggled with the type of character I wanted to use here in CB2 land. I mean the obvious strategy that many people adopted is the single mage, or multiple mage with a ToJ. Really, no need for much of anything else. Just fight, and save cash.

But, that little itch inside of me would not let go of the possibility of using a tank in my strategy. So, I got one. Spydah, who is somewhat familar(hehe) with the single tank strategy started his own, but with just single minion tank. I wimped out and got a mage as well as an enchanter.

Then we started to fight away. Well, I have an elbow. Spid had an elbow and a BoNE. Im more of an archer, I guess. Let's try and klill 3 in ranged. No problemo. What quickly became painfully obvious is that it's danged hard to get any cash flow with a tank. Ammo costs are a killer. You need to upgrade those weapons to keep up with those mage hit points and DD damage. The happy-as-a-lark-mages just keep fighting, spending not even nickel on equipment. Can you say "Ka-ching"?

Ok, so training time for my tank comes along.. let's see.. HP? yup, need that. Str? well, not so much, I'll get that later. Dex? Oh yeah.. those ToJ familiars are a nice wall to get around, I need to compete with those suckers. Oh yeah, Im a tank, I better get archery or BL. Wait. that's a 4th stat I need to train.. sigh. ok. I'm sure I will still pull ahead. Someday.

"Hey Spid.. how you making out? I mean, I'm spending all my cash on ammo and weapon upgrades just to keep up"

"Well, not so good. I get schooled by tats and magic."

"Get AMF you silly boy, and maybe switch to a ToA to simply overwhelm these magic users and their tats."

Well, here we both are, with ToA (2 largest ones in the game, I think). Still, we can't seem to save a nickel, and we struggle with these ToJ wearing mages.

Is all lost for the tank user? Will the joker see the errors of his ways and give up? Stay tuned.

CT [Monopoly] March 9 2005 6:36 PM EST

Personally, I feel the same way. I gave way to my Tank side and just followed everyone else by making a single mage. But, I still just want so bad to have a tank.

It's obvious that Jon wants tanks to have NW and mages to have experience, but when you think about it, tanks aren't getting much of an edge on the experience part of it.

Anyone else?

GnuUzir March 9 2005 6:37 PM EST

Single Tank - Maybe gone (at least a lot tougher)

Tanks with Enchanter(s) - Working for me...

CT [Monopoly] March 9 2005 6:37 PM EST

It should read:

It's obvious that Jon wants tanks to have lots of NW and mages to put experience into DD to be effective,

CT [Monopoly] March 9 2005 6:39 PM EST

I think that the reason why tanks are so much less effective are because of these blasted Tattoos. ToJs especially, make it hard to get to a mage team :(

Todd March 9 2005 6:41 PM EST

But tanks need exp (in 4 stats) too. Mages just need 2 (HP, DD).

Im not talking enchantments either. I suppose AMF is the equalizer since it both reduces the damage taken AND sends some damage back to the caster. But, if its anything like CB1, your AMF needs to be somewhere around 2.5x - 3x the level of the DD spell to hit 100% effective.

I'm talking more about the financial viability of the tank.

sasquatchan March 9 2005 6:48 PM EST

I dunno. I've managed to save up a bit, and I'm not spending $usd on anything. I manage to keep a score:pr ratio around 1.. Not great considering most of said mages with oversized TJKs can have 3-5:1 ratios.

But I do have AMF. I tried DM at one point, and had my head handed to me. So I think to be viable you need a counter to the magic. For a SMT, that can be a meat shield TJK, a ToE, AMF, or just more NW.

While my NW growth may be slow, it isn't non-existent.. (Balance of save up for next item versus pumping up weapons I own)..

Barron [CB2BANK Investors Club] March 9 2005 6:52 PM EST

I'm sticking with my single minion tank and the strat seems to be working. My "strat" included the effect of the items and weapons I equipped my single minion. Altogether, its working well.

Don Kixothe
Score / Power Rating: 154,485 / 107,592

Lumpy Koala March 9 2005 7:09 PM EST

Well it's not about number of stats to train, Todd. In the long run, when Spid finally get x100 or above ELB , he will be able to smash any ToJ in ranged itself and with double and tripple hit in melee, mages just can't stand a chance.

It's just a process to get there, mages are easy at the beginning, I don't think they will still leash out as much damage when weapons become "very large". After all tanks had always been so expensive :P You will feel it's as easy when you start to buy accounts like you used to in CB1 :P

Undertow March 9 2005 7:09 PM EST

Remember that CB1 had about a million times more cash in it to. When I started a single tank in CB1, I didn't have any problem getting all the equipment I needed, and quickly, to become competitive. There simply isn't that much money in CB2 yet. You can't dump the 60 mil you have from selling your old char into a new one. Not yet.

Caedmon [Revenge of the Forgers] March 9 2005 7:15 PM EST

I'm going with a traditional tank, but supplemented by a big honking AMF. That two minion combo is working well for me. I have a mid-range (70k) ToJ, so the 2nd minion also gives me a place to slap the tat without giving up good armor.

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] March 9 2005 7:39 PM EST

Finally you're catching up Todd =P

Mages = cheaper (duh), stronger when no NW is involved (obvious but still took a lot of people a long time to realise) and the cheaper option comes back for buying BA. A mage never needs to miss buying BA whereas a tank without USD to back it up will either have to stop buying BA or camp/forge which sends the mages further in front.

All of which can be carried over from CB1, it's basically the same game for these purposes.

Tanks however need NW, they're king with a lot of NW but if you want to be number 1 early on, you need a mage. If you want to be number 1 in a year, sure, use a tank. But go single mage up until 100-200k pr to save up first, use the tank and camp/forge occasionally to keep NW up, ToA to keep stats insane and hope that the owners of the mages quit. ;P

The stats spreading out isn't a big deal, you really have two main stats at the moment HP/ST, your skill takes minimal EXP and correct me if I'm wrong but with a ToA, you really need to train DX? I doubt it.. now with tattoo rentals taken out of the game, if it wasn't already the ToJs DX will end up quite wimpy in comparison to ToA.

In summary, you guys are as good as dead for a while but it wont take long for tanks to look to be the stronger of the two.

NotSuitablForChildren [Yeeeaahh.................] March 9 2005 7:51 PM EST

Granted these "extremely large" weapons will be dealing more damage. But the incredible thing about ranged weapons in CB1 was the expounding damage. Damage with ranged weapons in CB2 seem to be a linear change, while the price to upgrade continues to rise per point. The only similar change with DD is the experience it costs to train one point of a spell. In the long run, weapons will get more expensive, and continue to suck. Meanwhile single mages like my char Lord Nacho Cheese will do very well hitting up to 90k damage in one round. So how is a tank supposed to save up to get NW to even compete with mages, especially if he has to fight below his pr, or take heavy losses?

Barron [CB2BANK Investors Club] March 9 2005 7:57 PM EST

Answer: When everyone switches to mage strats, the mage will be nerfed and the tank will get some boosts. Jon has a way of making thing like that happen.

Wahooka March 9 2005 8:45 PM EST

If mages are nerfed, I'll have nobody near me to fight, except The Apocalypse Book... oh yea, we're the only ones above 400k score right now anyway :)

maulaxe March 9 2005 9:37 PM EST


I cant believe no one has thought of that so far... and you could equip them all with sword chucks!!

just kidding.
but seriously, think of the three main tank stats - HP , ST , and DEX. there are spells for all of those! get four minions, and have the fourth one train something else, like AMF or GA. but train NOTHING but those four stats. you will actually end up having more xp than a single minion would, and you would be putting it into the same things !

BooDiggens March 9 2005 11:26 PM EST

maulxe, that has to be the most expensive strategy there is, the enchanter tank strategy. I believe the discussion was how to save money and be a viable tank. I am also sorry to say that you weren't the first to think of this. It was done in CB1 as well. You need much NW to make it work well though. And CB1 didn't have dispel magic, which would hinder that strategy.

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] March 9 2005 11:44 PM EST

And CB1 did have EC which killed that strat. CB2 has the two options, EC/DM, you really want to take the chance that your opponents don't use EC or DM?

Also, Mage tanks are a good option ;) unfortunately very few people have been smart enough to figure out how to make them work. Will be interesting though when people do start using them.

Mechanical Dragon March 10 2005 2:56 AM EST

Hmm, so I should replace my tank minion with another mage/enchanter?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 10 2005 3:31 AM EST

I tried a Mage Tank (ToA for Str Dex, and an Axbow), but for Mages ToE is king. Reduced damage from physical, magical, GA return, AMF backlash. Phew. What more could you want as a Mage? Some dex + Eva to stop double hits? Let 'em hit you for a pitance. Train GA so that each hit they do land hurts them as well.

AMF backlash and GA really hurt mages. With a ToE all AMF really does now is reduce the damage you do...

If you wanted to dump xp into Archery, with a ToA and an ELB you could probably make a good Archer/CoC fighter-mage.


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 10 2005 4:09 AM EST

Oh, and as for Tanks being viable, I've been beaten by Gyaxx, a 69K PR ToA/ELB/BTH Tank, compared to my 155K PR.


Maybe, at this stage of CB2 Tanks with ranged weapons need to use as close to base ammo as possible (and merge hgher ammo for free...) to keep ammo costs down.

But Mage minions being cost effective has always been the case. That's why farm teams are mages. ;)

And ToJ's are walls to get round for Mages as well. Especially if the team you face has AMF. AMF+HP+Endurance make one sturdy anti magic wall. Especially if you ise FB/CoC, which will lower your total damage spread.

Magic does do too much damage at the moment. Just look at how many people use AMF. It's needed. But reduce DD damage and DD spells suck. Especially as they only get one attack per round, compared to the theroretical unlimited number of hits physical attacks can get.

Maybe AC should be changed to full AC reducing Magical damage, not just AC+. That might help a little...

Mythology March 10 2005 4:27 AM EST

Tanks are the future, always have been always will be (unless Jon makes a mage item that increases magic by % with reference to + ).

What people are doing is trying an archer, calling it a tank and saying, hey this dosent work!

There is a guy who often rents my tank equipment that gives over 150 AC, he dosent wear a ToA. Last time I looked his PR was 50K and score 150K.

If you say tank's dont work, try using one first...

As for you and Spid, Spid only had to train about 10K into AMF on his tank and he'd have been fine (decay was killing him) instead with an AMF minion his tank is weak in the long run. Same with yours Todd, you have a tank in a 3 minion team and you wonder why it is hard keeping it going?

QBJohnnywas March 10 2005 4:47 AM EST

I think most people's problem with any strategy is they have come to CB2 straight from CB1 and expect their teams/strats to work straight out of the box like they did on the Other Side. Spid in CB1 worked, as was said many times, because of the NW and more importantly because of the amount of time that had been put into the character. You simply can't expect a character thats only been around for 2 months to have the same success.

I think for those tank strats patience is the best policy. Take your time making him the strongest character he can be, even if you have to stay low in score for a time. Don't bother using enchantments, other minions. Build him up. Even huge NW weapons aren't going to be effective if your tank is wimpy. If you have to add other minions wait until he is absolutely huge. What is the point in a weak tank?

QBJohnnywas March 10 2005 5:00 AM EST

By the way GL, check out Alucard for a good mage/tank. I was running a CoC archer but I my lousy compound couldn't compete with an ELB. NW NW NW!!!!

AdminG Beee March 10 2005 7:49 AM EST

So I'm not big on strat...

I do however unequip my ammo from my tank when I fight. I only equip my speciality ammo when I'm offline. My tank works ok and I don't spend too much on ammo. Fighting without a ranged wep I can still beat most of the same guys I beat with ranged equipped.

My score is higher than my PR and has been since I put some extra CB$'s into the gear I have. Speciality ammo helps keep my score that way... Can't wait until I can stop saving for that "next piece of equipment" and actually get down to levelling the stuff I have.

Todd, I'd be interested to hear if fighting your normal list without ranged makes a big difference or if it's only a case of dropping 1 or maybe 2 guys from your normal routine. If, as I suspect it makes no great difference you may want to consider buying yourself some uber speciality ammo and only using ranged when you're not actually fighting as attacker.

PS. As I said at the start, I'm not big on strat, but it works for me.

Disclaimer: G_Beee is a self acknowledge clicker and not a thinker.

QBsutekh137 March 10 2005 9:32 AM EST

Todd, I am able to pack quite a bit of money away. No, not like the top net worth people, but then I haven't spent any USD, CB1, camping, bodily fluids, etc. My "bank" character has over 1 million on him. I would say that is fairly decent.

How much cash are you expecting to save? Ammo isn't THAT expensive, is it? I buy only 8x4 and 8x5 arrows from the store, and don't spend a thing upgrading it. I am gaining cash. If you need even more, don't buy BA.

You have to realize that the top folks in the game are machines like nothing CB1 ever experienced. We have several near-continuous fighters, people with large starting nest-eggs (from USD and CB1), and folks who dominated the camping scene right out of the gate for some sweet gear. Strategy is not going to overcome these "edge effects" just yet.

Tanks will catch up. They have to. Mages do not have anything they can spend net worth on other than armor and rares. Once we all have the rares we need, then what? Tanks will start pulling ahead as they get massive armor, multiple hits (from +), etc. However, I don't expect to see anything like that until teams reach 1 million PR or so (just a guess).

dnnx March 10 2005 11:49 AM EST

I also gave up on the single tank idea.
added what at the time was another meat shield so the mages could take care him in a round or 2 and my tank could live one more round or 2. At the same time the GA fromt th tank would hit them back. When I get melee, its over. That meat shield has turned into a nice mage. I train equal parts on HP, AMF and MM. So even if my tank could not hit you, you were still getting hurt one way or another.

Myonax March 10 2005 4:02 PM EST

Your best bet is to think of cb2 as a really long Tourney. Creating a tank in a tourney was never a good idea. I know several folks that plan to only play mage teams till they can afford tanks. I never really liked tanks so I don't think i will invest in one this time around.

Devil Burrito March 10 2005 4:23 PM EST

/start meaningless post

I like my little tank

/end meaningless post

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] March 10 2005 4:42 PM EST

Well I had a similiar problem, but in reverse. I had great gear on a tank on a 4 minion team, EETM and it was doing squat for me. So I dumped all the great gear (got from camping proceeds :) to a single tank farm I had, added a ToA and I am off and running. With my seekers equipped I dont need AMF to help against anyone with less than 3 mages, most mages do not last more than a single ranged round against me, unless they are single mages, and the single mages I can usually if nothing else draw, because we are talking about 100K damage from four of my ranged shots on a AC challenged, no stat having NON ToE wearing single mage. The aforementioned Nacho, I can beat him say 40% of the time right now, and as soon as I am able to be certain to have enough HP to absorb his huge FB, then he is toast. I am able to train mostly HP from wearing the ToA, and my big weapons so far are carrying the day, so hopefully this means the single tank is not dead, check out the graph on my single tank Gyaxx. GRANTED, my nw comes from good camping, and not everyone can or will want to go that route in conjunction with a single tank, but if you do, and keep the weapons well bumped there is hope for the single tank just a matter of wealth distribution at the moment I think. Just my 2 cents.

QBJohnnywas March 10 2005 4:56 PM EST

I have the dubious honour of being in Gyaxx's favourites list. My char Raven is about the same score/pr and is a EEMM. Single tanks are normally easy meat for me but Gyaxx beats me every time. This char is definite proof of how much a tank benefits from NW. Proof positive too that a tank needs a ToA, in the same way that a mage can't really do without a ToE. =)

spydah March 10 2005 10:36 PM EST

All of this is obviously my own opinions and observations and blahblah... Flame On!

Also remember I tend to, ah, wander :p

let us set some things straight, shall we?

First and foremost:
"As for you and Spid, Spid only had to train about 10K into AMF on his tank and he'd have been fine (decay was killing him) instead with an AMF minion his tank is weak in the long run. Same with yours Todd, you have a tank in a 3 minion team and you wonder why it is hard keeping it going?"

10k mine arse. Did you know that Mater Xi (I think it is) does 100k damage to 1 minion wit hhis CoC? go ahead and do the math, I'll wait... done yet? Right, ANYTHING will die to that in 1-3 rounds right now... unless you have AMF. Never mind that those will do naught but get bigger, we are only at 300k ro so pr here people.

So, let us look at tank with AMF vs. 2nd minion.

Tank + AMF:
a) Heavy Tank (Spid in CB1) Magic pens out the wazoo, 'nuff said.
b) Ninja Tank (Spid in CB2) Some Magic Pens, not too bad. However, here I disagree With, um, apaprently everyone. I've been doing some unscientific stuff, and Jigs STILL dodge me as well as hit me twice. I have 150k dx... HP = needed, ST = needed, DX = needed, Archery/BL = needed. So, add AMF, hmm. Read on.

Tank + Enchanter:
Tank is free to continue doing whatever it was doing before. Enchanter gets to focs on AMF until it is say x2 the highest DD in the game (read: forever). The tank would never be able to do that and actually be a tank.

So, now lets throw in the ToA. Wonderfull little beast that. So, my Dx/STR is now a bit over 65k, with ToA it jumps to just over 150k. Enough? Well, I had 136k before AMF and the new ToA. My sc was approx. 2/3rdsish of my pr. um, ouch? So, I grab the biggie ToA. Difference? Not so much. A bit help (especially after the rental/jig/fix/thing), but nothing compared to the AMF minion. My sc is currently 274k, pr is 210kish. Just a few days to do that.

Had I not gone with a 2nd minion, I wouldn't have gotten the 'free' xp boost to move the AMF to 30kish directly, and I would have given up a lot of HPs and such.

Before the minion:
I have the most damaging (or did at last check) melee weapon in the game. I have an ok ELB. Largest ST/DX. 2nd largest ToA. I still suck :p

After Tat insta:
same, same, same, largest ToA, I suck slightly less. SC is still well below PR.

After Minion:
same, same, same, same, wait a min, not only do Decay punks mean near 0 now, but lowish DDs as wel, and even large ones take some damage, enough that I can kill some.

well, look Spid up :p

Had I went 1T, I would not be doing as well. Less stats, including a smaller AMF. Not nearly the xp I am geting now (I am getting DOULBE the XP I was 2-3 weeks ago... this heps slightly :p), plus, it would really muck with future plans that I'll share, um, in the future.

I'm not even going to attempt to re-read this, as that usually ends up in a delete and forget the thread :p If you read this far, feel free to poke holes in my swiss cheese.

Oh, 3 minions, ya, I think that the Tank will be a bit weak, but I think I know where T is going with it, and methinks it won't matter for that plan.

I'm sure there is other stuff I left out or got wrong, mayhap I'l come back and read the replies this time...


QBsutekh137 March 11 2005 12:29 AM EST

Spydah, you have great points, and yes, Myth's 10K AMF was very low...that wouldn't do squat.

But I still tend to agree with him.

You have diluted your concentration. The extra minion gains you little more than dilution (I will explain more on that later). He can't even wear your tat for you! (a viable reason in some other strategies).

Do you realize how quickly you could have gained a large AMF on the single tank? It took me 5 days (full focus) to gain an AMF double-barrel of 2x30K. That's 60K. I am guessing here, but that is close to where yours is now? 5 days. Maybe 7-8 for you, sleepyhead. *smile*

And if it was a wrong choice? Then you take a tiny 5% hit and unlearn it. Remember back in the day? When Spid and RedDwarf were learning and unlearning an enchantment a week? Pain don't hurt. Neither does unlearning an enchantment.

What you have done is not so easy to undo. You spent money on this new minion. He has an even larger AMF now, and firing him would result in 100% loss. The other way you could have tried it and punted later (if necessary). In either case, the ToA grows and grows -- no change there.

Then there is Sefton's point. Seekers are a wonderful thing. A smaller AMF on the tank and seekers could have kept the tank alone that much longer. Remember, future minion purchases are based on your largest minion (or so I have been told). The longer you hold onto that first minion, the more you can leverage your empty slots later.

Finally, if you are going to go buy a second minion, why pay the cheaper price? (At least I think that is what your graph shows...a ~15% jump instead of closer to 30? Correct me if I am wrong.) If you are going to embrace the madness, at least give it a bear hug and go the full nine yards. *smile*

But what do I know. There are forges that need sulkers. I better head off and get to it, eh?

spydah March 11 2005 8:35 AM EST


Actually, no. For me, I planed either way (becuase yes, I did agonize over which way to go for some time) to use 50% of xp, forever, for AMF. This way it farily forces me to do so. As a bonus, I get 1/2 FB damage for one round, no MM damage, no Ranged, or whatever.

AMF is currently 73kish, 78k with magic EQ on, something I could not have done had I left it on Tank. Plus, I still do not have a CoI, so that'll be that much more.

It wasn't a wrong choice. And back in the day, all that unlearning sucked arse :p

I don't plan on undoing it. I do have a clue about this game. I won't be purchasing minions in the future (assuming we don't get more spells and such in the future :p).

Sefton's point doesn't work in the slightest. How many seekers do you suppose gen in a week, and how many tanks are there? Bingo!!

I did not pay the cheaper price, that option is only for the really impatient or, well, you know.

Again, there are other reasons I did this, which will stay undisclosed for now. Gimmie another couple hundre PR or so and you'll see, I know you are all waiting with bells on, or baited breath, or something... :p


QBsutekh137 March 11 2005 9:24 AM EST

Good point about AMF< and I did not know you never planned on getting more minions. 4-minion is always the far end-game in my mind.

Never said you were wrong...and if this is what you wanted all along and want no more minions in the future, it has to be right.

Sefton has no problem staying in seekers, apparently, but then he is a master camper as well as a wily tactician.

I will have to look at your PR graph again and see what I was thinking. I thought adding a minion to a single tank would make PR jump by roughly 30% (one third the highest minion).

I am actually not waiting for anything, just glad to see your tank growth (ToA notwithstanding) is now the same as mine. That is a Good Thing in my eyes.

Arorrr March 11 2005 9:36 AM EST

Spydah character is very good. I agree that ET is the way to go. His AMF is really wrecking havock. I had Spid on my fav list for quite a while; but I dropped him from the list yesterday because the AMF is finally catching up to my DD. This is not couting his gear isn't that high yet. In the long run, his NW ET strat will triump while EM strat stucks with exp.

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