I had planned to roll a Warden when Moria came out; I knew nothing about the class aside from the name when I made that decision. Visions of ‘friend of nature’ style gameplay and all that. Then when Moria finally launched, well, it seemed like *everyone* was rolling a Warden and I was playing 35 other games so I just let it slide, until tonight.
Look, I’m all of level four, but I’m going to join the chorus praising the class (which isn’t even remotely tree-huggerish, I might add). Or at least, Gambits (the gameplay system that comes with it). At level 4 I have 3 basic skills I’ve learned, each of them doing a different style of damage. As you string these types of damage together, you activate your “Gambit” skill. There are a bunch of Gambits, all triggered by 1 hotkey, and which Gambit triggers depends on the order of skills you’ve used.
Examples might help. Doing two “thrust” skills lets you do a gambit that just does extra damage. Doing two “shield block” skills lets you do a gambit that short-terms buffs your shield blocking. Doing a “thrust” then a “shield block” lets you do a gambit that does damage with a chance to stun. And so on. Apparently at higher levels you get gambit ‘strings’ of more than 2 skills.
The system isn’t totally unique: in a way its very similar to EQ2’s Heroic Opportunities, with two exceptions. First, as far as I can tell all Gambits are done ‘solo’ in that what the rest of your party is doing won’t impact your Gambit. Second and more importantly, the end effect isn’t random (EQ2’s Heroic Opportunities do involve the whole group and have randomness in their results.)
I can see the Warden being a class that is very powerful in the hands of a skilled player, and less so in the hands of a button masher. I suspect it’ll be a hard class to come back to after an extended break. As you learn more and more gambits and skills it’s going to take a lot of concentration to look ahead and determine what you’re going to want to do and then how to do it.
I’m looking forward to playing the class more. Again, I’m all of level four, so I very much welcome corrections from people who’ve gotten their Wardens to higher levels.