I’ve done it before – on my Sorc and Arti and I do believe Pally. Somethings are definitely possible to solo, due to lower difficulty over all but also because you’re not running into lots of high save, high HP mobs. Like the 1st quest in Web of Chaos or the House of D one out of the level 4 Wilderness. They’re doable eventho things can hit hard the mobs are generally not that big. Basically; if you have the resources to spare and if you have to DC to make it possible, anything can be done.
Now, I don’t solo these things because of the challenge. I’m still trying to get stuff done – so challenge to me just add more resource waste including time spent. But now and then it’s a good way to test some stuff – because on EN and EH things can break fast and it’s hard to say if that improved trip is any good when soloing if it’s almost automatic because you’re playing EN or EH.
Plus it gets skewed by critters too – some times it’s the level of the quest and sometimes it’s the critter itself. Like trying to trip an earth elemental or spider. It can be done but it’s not easier than say a human. I mention this because of several things; first off I managed to pull the boots out of Fleshmaker. Actually strike that; I got it as a choice in the end reward chain list. Finally. That combines permanent greater heroism, 3 tactical boosts (+12 shatter, stunning and vertigo) and adds Speed XV – so 30% run, 15% melee and ranged alacrity. Basically 3 items before that. The collar out of TOR, a seal out of MOTU 2nd chain and your average GH clicky. Oh, did I mention it adds +11 resistance too? Yeah – that’s nice.
Being able to combine all these items into one I ended up removing the Cannith challenge belt I’ve been using since 20. It gives combat mastery which adds to all tactical feats. It also adds some UMD but that was not the primary reason for using it. Instead I added a belt with dodge and fortification.
And with the collar gone I could add the necklace out of haunted halls that I had banked. Which means +4 insightful Dex and more importantly con. So together with the purple knight shield and the true imperial blood augment I managed to put together 40 con. That translates to roughly 1150 HP running Stalwart with all the right stuff. That’s not the most I’ve seen – some run around with 1600, but given the excellent tanking features of my Vanguard tank and it is a good chunk. With nearly 150 PRR and 85 MRR it can take a lick.
I also equipped the ring out of Shadowfell, EN Consuming Darkness – that’s 10 Seeker and more importantly Combat Mastery (the reason I could switch out the challenge belt). And in the other ring slot (the great thing about consolidating things into 1 gear piece) I’m using the Epic unknowing origin ring for now. It’s basically there until I find something better.
I also changed some augments around. Primarily slotting the totemic trinket with a death block augment. That way I could remove the devotion augment from the shield and slot another meteoric. The idea is this; with so much proc’ing I can get a few meteor strikes out of it and knock stuff down while they try to gang up. With one in both shield and sword I get the dual proc effect and a greater chance for one.
I kept the goggles from TOR, they have Truesight no them and I’ve yet to find anything better to replace them with. Currently it’s either (of the slots I have over) goggles and helmet (or perhaps trinket) but none seems to fit my needs.
So the test. I went into the 1st quest of the Web of Chaos chain with my Vanguard tank. This was to check several things. Can it survive a swarm with consecrated ground. Can it aggro stuff and more importantly will the tactical feats work. And they do. Even on orange stuff. I also picked out the Epic tactical feat for some more points, the idea is to be efficient in EH and useful at least some times in EE. In this lowend EE quest it went off like a charm. All attempts to stun and trip. Against orange named. It only failed once against the final orange name kittie.
Second – survivability. I’m not done yet; I still have a fully upgraded thunderforged shadowscale armor with addition DR on it. I’m hoping that will add more PRR, MRR and the additional edge of the DR. But for now the Epic black dragon armor worked and added all the protection I needed. The only noticeable different is the end boss. He hits like a truck so having 1100 was nice. Using consecrated ground worked and adding the odd cocoon. Without having to jump around a lot. It got close some times but it did its job. And the tier 2 thunderforged bastard sword plus purple knight shield did the job DPS wise. And that’s important. If you don’t have the DPS then healing is just a matter of running out of resources. And it worked. The shield can hit for a good 600-1k in damage. The average seem to fluctuate around 600.
The bastard sword seems to crit for about 400-600. Granted, I’m running in Divine Crusader so it’s not the premier DPS destiny but it seems to be an okay average adding a melee smite cleave plus the ones my fighter already has and with shield bash you have several very good sources of more then average DPS.
Add survivability and self healing potential. I’m right now using a lootgen 20% heal amp pair of bracers plus the 30% from the gloves out of E3BC. That’s decent. Add 10% racial (human) and it’s a good 100+ tick from consecrated grounds and cocoon (say 60-100 something per tick).
Now there was a mentioning of someone doing EE low end quests with your basic purple knight tank with basic gear and leaving disgusted over how super duper it was taking basically no damage. That has not been my experience at all. Some quest will surprise you with massive and brutal damage and others will seem almost like a cakewalk. To me tanking is a matter of combining lots of features and using some tactical feats. It’s not just stand and take it – if that’s true we’re talking about some quests that you can do that successfully with other builds too. But the Vanguard tank works; at least in respect to some quests. The tactical feats work, the consecrated ground together with tanking works and the DPS is good enough. Now that’s not like walking into a high end EE and declaring victory but it does mean that with a competent group it will fill an important spot without being entirely worthless. And on my own I will keep pushing content to see where the build breaks down. Where tactical feats stop working, PRR and MRR seems add very little and where the DPS just don’t get the job done. And it’ll be interesting to see how different this will seem using say Legendary where you now put the edge on DPS and let healing and defense take the backstage.