Fire vs Ice vs Earth

Discussion in 'Powers, Weapons, and Movement' started by Coconuts, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Coconuts Active Member

    Hello everyone,

    I know everyone now a days is starting threads about "FIRE NERF ICE BUFF" and this is just to inform that this is not this kind of thread. (Just so some of you don't run away due to the title lol). Now, on to the post :)

    In the 2 years of playing DCUO, i've always found myself playing with controller/healing powers across 3 characters (more specifically nature/sorc/gadgets). I noticed that I have spent very little to no time playing any of the tank powers mentioned in the title. From threads I've read before, i've come up with the following regarding the playstyle of each power:

    Ice: shields like crazy, very high defense but is capped, damage deflection back to enemy
    Fire: self-heals galore (I think i remember hearing something about a fire tank at about 8k health after powers and stuff), damage deflected back at enemy
    Earth: don't know much here, but i think i read that it was a great crowd control tank that deflects incoming damage to constructs like a golem or something of the sort

    Please correct me if i'm wrong and add to the info I have here. I currently am a Sorcery DPS but I kind of wanted to delve into DPS-ing with one of these 3 powers. But, seeing as I spend a lot of time doing solo content as well as helping out my league in my off role, I wanted a more in-depth look at these powers side-by-side in case the situation calls for me to be tanking, I know what i'm doing in each power. Thank you all in advance.
  2. Kristyana Community Round Table

    It really depends on playstyle. Ice is the friendliest tank from an "oops" standpoint as you can make mistakes that will turn you into a greasy smear if you're fire or earth, but once you hit the higher levels of the game (T3+ content and +70 SP) ice starts to lag a little in terms of sheer potential but nothing that a good player can't compensate for. Up until about T3 content you can play an ice tank like a tough DPS and not really have to worry about things like blocking (but you should still learn how because not blocking is a very bad habit)

    Fire is very good but has a few quirks that can get you into trouble if you don't learn how to use them properly, such as the self healing. You also have to play like a tank and turtle a lot more than ice to get the most out of the set. Fully buffed with everything in T4 gear my health is just north of 13.5k.

    Earth takes tools from both powersets but has a very steep learning curve that causes many players to give up on it because you have to do everything "right" and there's very little room for error. It also tends to be a bit more powerhungry than the other two tanks in order to get their damage mitigation up to the fullest, but they make the most out of healers (moreso than fire tanks do, even with their healing bonus.)

    Sadly I'm not as knowledgeable about DPS as I am about tanking, but all three powersets seem to do just fine in the solo-DPSing department. I would say that from a personal preference that Fire is better because of the power interactions and DOTs (Earth and ice both have them but they're a little more powerhungry)

    EDIT: Also wanted to point out; Fire has no ability to "deflect" damage. Fire has a move that will damage something if it attacks you, or heal you if it attacks you, but does nothing to actually lessen the damage you take the way that Ice's "Reflect" does.
    • Like x 3
  3. Dump Truck Well-Known Member

    I know you do not intend it to be that kind of thread. I have created some in the same vein - hoping that players will realize both powers are not intended to be mirrors of each other. Hopefully your attempt will work but someone will surely chime in otherwise. Good luck to you.
    • Like x 1
  4. Coconuts Active Member

    Thank you for your response, first and foremost :D

    Yeah, I have heard and read that across the forums that Ice is kind of like the Staple's "Easy Button" for tanking. Could be the reason why in about 80-90% of the raids i'm in, tank is always ice.

    The one I don't see often enough is the Earth tank. I mean, I had one of them wreck me in open world near Steelworks, but it's rare for me to see them tanking in raids. I think, seeing as I know nothing about that powerset, it's the one that interests me most. (also, the animations are kinda cool lol). I see you mentioned a steep learning curve for earth. If you can, please share some more details on what makes it more difficult than Ice to use?
  5. Coconuts Active Member

    Yeah, it's unfortunate that most of these thread styles get derailed by things like "OmGz FyURBUrZT iz OP!!1!! FIx IT bkuZ iM IcE" :mad:

    Someone in a previous thread said it best (wish i knew who so I could give them the credit for it) but they said something along the lines of "Ice should realize that, by them asking for the sun, the moon and the stars, they will soon create two powers [fire and ice] that are mirror images, minus their hue".

    It was brilliant.
  6. Dump Truck Well-Known Member

    Thanks... that was me. LOL

    I think I am more concerned by reading the 10-1 ice to fire testing threads and several of them literally list fire's powers and 'ice's _____ doesn't do that - please fix so ice's does'. I think by the devs announcing fireburst was a two year oversight on their part opened up pandora's box for ice players to look into all of fire's powers. While that seems fair to me... I hope the devs take into account that both power sets should be different and unique. Not every power fire has ice should have the identical form of (and vice versa). Hopefully the devs use discretion because on the testing feedback it seems a little carried away.
    • Like x 2
  7. Kristyana Community Round Table

    Sure, I'll be glad to provide examples. Keep in mind, I'm coming from the PC side of the game and my experiences may be different.

    In my opinion, I think the reason that you don't see more earth tanks is the same reason you don't see as many HL trollers or Electric healers as you do with the "vanilla" powersets. While all three powers are just as good in their non-DPS roles, they haven't been around as long. At least on the PC side, people had a habit to try and learn, say, Earth tanking, they used it in one raid, and then condemned the entire powerset because it didn't go as "smoothly" as it did with Fire or Ice. Same thing with Hard Light. When it first came out it was condemned as being useless for DPS and trolling, and Electricity was considered horrible for healing.

    These form a bit of a ripple through the community and new players just kind of expect it. There also isn't nearly as much info out there on Earth tanking as there is on the other two sets, and Earth is the newest powerset.

    Earth relies on an absorption mechanic that's unique in the game. You can basically negate 25% of all damage coming in and you can buff this up to 50% through two different ways, either using the pet or using aftershocks. I'm personally not a fan of the pet (not saying it's not good, but it doesn't suit my playstyle) because I would have to sacrifice a few crowd control powers to get the most out of it.

    Earth also seems to be the easiest tank to dual-spec with. Some of earth's best DPS moves are also its best tanking moves. Reinforce boosts your precision (a must for DPS and aftershocks) and in tank mode will shift some damage from the teammate with the lowest health to you. However, this can be a bad thing because the damage that gets shifted goes straight to your HP without any other modifiers from your own statistics. If a squishy with Reinforce gets hit by an attack that does 4k damage, 1k of that gets transferred straight to you and it doesn't matter if you're blocking, have a shield up, etc.
    • Like x 3
  8. Coconuts Active Member

    LMFAO was it really!? That's awesome man. Genius way to describe what's going on. I read that and I thought "man, if only EVERYONE that's complaining about fire/ice could read this".

    I don't understand why everyone would want the powers to do EXACTLY the same. I mean, looking at powers that I've played before, Nature and Sorcery are very different, so when swtiching, it feels almost like a new game because you're now looking at boss battles in terms of different strategies. Same with gadget and mental trolling. While power out stays the same, the crowd control and PI set up aspects are vastly different.

    Fire and Ice, in the real world as elements, are also near opposites. Why limit them to performing the same tasks the same way?
  9. Coconuts Active Member

    Hmm. That last part is very interesting. So 1k damage would come through regardless of anything that I can or may do. I see how some people would run away from this because let's face it, nobody wants to get hit in the face for 1k damage lol. But, at the same time, these are the kinds of things that make a powerset, and the overall game appealing to me; a challenge. About the dual-spec, I LOVE that aspect about sorcery. Almost every power that sorcery uses for healing is on the way for the DPS powers that are necessary, or at least good to use [ex. Rejuv, and IoR on the same tree where CoP is the last power, used by BOTH dps and healers]

    Another question I was wondering, I know the PI for Ice is that they either root/encase enemies to prevent damage to themselves or teammates. Fire's PI if i remember right is that they gain healing based off of enemies that they set on fire OR that attack them while on fire (something like that). What exactly is Earth's PI and how does it work? I saw you mentioned aftershocks, could you explain more on those please?
  10. Kristyana Community Round Table

    I think that all tanking powersets should have a way of accomplishing the same goal, whatever it is (buffing the group, cleansing, crowd control, snagging aggro, mob positioning, etc). The problem is, a lot of players don't want to put in the effort if one powerset can do one of them more efficiently with a single power and instead want something identical.

    Perfect example I see all the time: Ranged pulling. Ice has Inescapable Storm which is without a doubt the best ranged pull available to any tank. Now, if you're Earth/Fire and Flight, you can do the same thing with Low Pressure; but Low Pressure lags about a second behind where your targeting reticle faces and is a bit more picky about line of sight.

    If you're one of the other movement powers, the quickest way to group mobs is to lunge at them, get their attention with a spammable or grouping power, then roll away towards the spot where you want everyone to converge so they follow you. Does it take more effort and a little more time than just hitting Inescapable Storm? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean that Fire and Earth should have a clone of Inescapable Storm.

    Similarly, Earth and Fire have Epicenter and Backdraft which are PBAOE pulls that group everything around you right on top of you. Ice doesn't have this ability and usually has to lasso the mobs in individually using Inescapable Storm once they move out, using more power and more effort than those other two moves. So the ice tank spends a little more effort keeping mobs grouped once he has them. That doesn't mean Ice should be given a pull like Backdraft.

    I hate using the phrase "good earth tank" or "good fire tank", etc. I instead use the term "A good tank who happens to be earth" or "a good tank who happens to be fire." Good tanks (or trollers and healers) will always find ways in their respective powersets to not only maximize their own potential, but to find ways to emulate or lessen the impact of things that other powersets are superior with.
    • Like x 3
  11. Coconuts Active Member

    I agree 100%. People want the easy button just so they can get their gear and consider themselves "elite" without really learning the power set and how to use it to it's full potential. By no means am I saying that I am the all-knowing, all-seeing sorcery master (I think someone like WhizzKidd could use that title lol), but I do experiment all the time with new loadouts and even iconic powers suggested by those who know more than I do, such as yourself when talking about Earth.

    All of the power sets, like you said, should have the ability to perform the same tasks you mentioned. But hopefully the Devs don't feel that they all have to do it the exact same way. Keep things different. It keeps things interesting Let the criers cry when they don't get what they want and the others will be grateful for what they did get. That's whats most important. Be happy for what the Devs did for your powerset and forget the rest.
  12. Kristyana Community Round Table

    Reinforce is an amazing power BUT the group you're running with has to be skilled to use it. If you're the one being targeted by Reinforce it's a clear red flag that says "You're taking too much damage, turtle up." But most players won't do this and continue eating attacks. It's more of a "help me to help you" power.

    For tanking, Earth doesn't have a traditional PI that relies on enemies being encased/frostbitten/burning like Fire and Ice. Instead it works through Damage Absorption. When you pop a power in tank mode your Dominance gets added to your Defense and you get an innate 25% damage absorption buff. There are two ways to get it up to 50% - you can use the pet "Brick" and an ability called "Damage Shift" which transfers half the damage you take directly to him, or you can use something called Aftershocks.

    There are two Earth powers that use Aftershocks like this; Jackhammer (when you see someone pounding the ground repeatedly this is what they're doing) or Upheaval. Once you cast the ability, you can hit the melee button to immediately cast it again if you have the power. Each successful aftershock raises your absorption by 8.33% and stack 3 times up to a total absorption buff of 50%. This buff lasts for 12 seconds.
  13. Coconuts Active Member

    I see how Reinforce could definitely be a gift if everyone knows what they're doing, and a nightmare if they do not. The damage absorption mechanic is really catching my attention because it's new and like you said, most tend to run from it.

    I forgot to ask this in a previous post: you mentioned that low pressure is pretty much the long range pull used by fire/earth. I think I saw Mesmerizing Lasso from the iconics was a pull move as well? or is that just a move to ground and CC enemies in PvP?

    Lately I've been running the Steelworks/Ace Chem. solo content to pick up the unattuned gear (and hopefully a 131 unattuned weapon) as well as Greeding tank gear during raid runs (I'm no ninja scum lol !) .All of it has been getting tossed into the bank and I'm trying to get a full set so that when I decided to finally switch over, I'm atleast caught up in terms of gear for the end game content.

    Any suggestions on tank weapons? I know ranged weapons like rifle/bow/pistols CAN be used, but most tend to steer clear seeing as you get a nice buff from a Melee weapon and tanks will pretty much always be in melee range. I currently have a 125dps unattuned shield that might be my tank weapon unless something better comes up.
  14. Kristyana Community Round Table

    Low Pressure is a long ranged AOE pull and it only takes a skill point and not a power point to get to. When I'm trying for a 4 man Prime Battleground I'll use Mesmerizing Lasso because it's instant and it's full range. Superspeed tanks tend to use ML as their long range pull because the range on it is farther than on Tornado Pull. It's also very useful in PVP for those reasons mentioned.

    As far as weapons go, pick whatever fits best with your playstyle, but I would recommend something that has alot of knockdowns, knockbacks, knockups, and stuns. You can combo those with powers that do the same for some amazing CC and juggling capability.
  15. BrotherMutant Well-Known Member

    You forgot the Gem power (can't recall the name). It too does the Aftershock effect. And very nicely too. You have one crystal when u activate (the base 25% dmg abs). Then, if you tap your melee attack 1, 2 or 3 times, you get an additional crystal each time. After that 4th crystal shows up, you attack automatically whatever you are targeting so be warned. You may start a fight or blow up a barrel without meaning to. Good news is the Gem shield seems to be a damage SPONGE as well, kinda like the ice reflect(?) power.

    I love my earth tank and will list my loadout at the end for random troll-flaming to ensue. BUT the things I don't like about Earth are:
    a) You have no way of knowing (aside from the 4 crystals) how many "aftershocks" are currently on you.
    b) This means you are more likely to recast an aftershock power to make sure you have that 50% dmg abs, which means MANY Earth tanks (myself included) run out of power because of a concern for "full" protection, protection that ALL ice and fire tanks get by clicking ONE power (not exactly fair).
    c) Aftershock attacks (after the initial cast) are Precision (white number) based damage, which I hear does NOT get agro as much or at all (?) compared to Might (yellow number) based damage.

    Having said all of the above, I luv the Earth set. Very fun, looks cool, good damage if you are DPSing too. My Earth tank is a Superman wannabe so the loadout is:

    Jackhammer (After Shock)/Gem shield (A.S.)/Low Pressure (for pulling)/Unstoppable (for CC protection)/Heat Vision/SC of choice (I am flight so I go Vacuum Bubble).

    ALL powers activate your 25% dmg abs ability and give you a boost to defense based on your Dominance IIRC. Only two up there can increase my dmg abs to 50% but they work well and I didn't see the need for a 3rd A.S. ability that causes me to lose power even faster. And before the flaming occurs, I like Heat Vision (just don't be flying when u use it, or it runs the WHOLE animation). I use it as a laser pointer of sorts, to warn others of an impending attack/hidden bad guy.
  16. Kristyana Community Round Table

    If you check the buff menu, Gemstone Shield's aftershocks only affect its own strength. It doesn't affect your total absorption buff. I thought that was weird so I ended up verifying it and commenting on it in a thread where it might be a potential bug but I never heard back one way or the other.
  17. Nitemare Kosmos Active Member

    Did you try totem? It does dots and works for me.
  18. AIpha Well-Known Member

    I just recently posted my guide to earth. Sometimes I feel like the only earth tank on the ps3 servers lol. Never see em ever. Some misconception about Earth is that is pulls a little from both ice and fire that is not the case. Earth is very much its own distinct power. Yes it buffs it's defense but even without that buff Earth would be a good tank. Its main tanking mechanic is absorption like some have pointed out. Absorption is applied AFTER your defense mitigation calculation on anything that gets through your defense. Yes there is two ways of boosting it to the max 50%. One however is not quite 50% and my guide explains that. Aftershocks will get you the true 50% but pet tanking does not. It allows you to absorb 25% then transfer 25% of that damage you took to your pet so it ends up being around 42% absorption truely. The benefit of course though is management. With the pet you don't have to worry about what powers you are using but with aftershocks you have to make sure you are using jackhammer or upheaval. I could go into a lot more stuff but my guide does that for me. If you have any questions about Earth in particular feel free to PM more or post in the guide I'll be happy to help.
  19. Nitemare Kosmos Active Member

    I earth tank a little. Still trying to get use to it so i experiment every now and then. I use epicenter, unstoppable, jackhammer, totem gemstone shield, word of power for SC or earth grip for single long pull. I use epicenter to pull in all the adds in if i get horde and need to get some breathing room i hit unstoppable then i pull them back in with epicenter then hit jackhammer to get my mitigation up and to knockdown enemies ( juggle effect like fire tanks lol). I use totem to keep aggro and knock adds down also. Gem shield to helps protect me.
  20. AIpha Well-Known Member

    Most of this is correct. Gem Shield is not exactly a shield in the since of blocking damage. It absorbs incoming damage based on how many aftershocks were done. It cannot keep your 50% absorption like jackhammer does and does not have a set damage it can take before breaking. Basically at full aftershock you will absorb 100% of the next attack but after that the shield is gone even if the animation persists. Jackhammer was the only power on your loadout giving you a 50% absorption for the 12 secs. Everything else was correct though. The thing about prec. not drawing aggro is true but the inital cast of jackhammer is might based and will draw aggro and gemstone even though it does precision damage at the end will draw aggro just like HL shield would even though it doesn't do damage at all. It is a power after all and all powers in tank role will draw aggro upon activation.

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