Ironbreaker needs a little something

Disclaimer right at the top here: I am not by any stretch of the imagination trying to argue that Ironbreaker is unplayable or non-viable. Apologies in advance if this is a bit rambly, I’m pretty sleepy and my brain is not running quite as smoothly as usual.

Right, now that that’s out of the way…

While IB is definitely not unplayable, I feel a strong argument can be made that it is one of the weaker careers in the game at a high level of play. I am of course aware that IB is an extremely popular (and powerful) choice at lower difficulty/skill levels. However, the careers usefulness takes a huge hit once you start getting to higher levels of play. By higher levels, I don’t mean truesoloing deathwish, I mean Legend and experienced players in general.

The issue I think is on a concept level. The only thing the career brings to the table is tankyness. Don’t get me wrong, I know tankyness is a useful thing, I just don’t think that alone is enough of a reason to bring him over Ranger Vet or Slayer, for example. The reason being, tankyness becomes less and less of a benefit the higher you skill level you get to. Higher skill players are not getting the same kind of value out of it as lower skill players, because higher skill players know how to use dodge, block, push and positioning much more effectively. With that being the case, damage output becomes the other main criteria for success, and IB just does not have the melee kill ability that I think he should. One might be tempted to say that IB is supposed to be a noob friendly career, and therefore is functioning perfectly well. I say nuts to that. I’m fine with some careers being noob friendly, but not when it means a career becomes weak at high levels of play.

So does he actually only bring tankyness to the table? Well, the ult is really a tanking ult, although it must be said it definitely has some clutch potential. Every single talent he has is geared towards tanking, with the possible exception of the one which reduces overheat generated by drakefire weapons (and that one is really arguable). He does not have a single talent that makes him kill faster or harder, and zero talents given over to mobility (not that I particularly think IB needs to be some dodge-monster).

As comparing him to Slayer is a bit pointless IMO (Slayer being such a special case), I’ll instead compare him to Ranger Vet. RV has a movement speed talent and a 5% attack speed talent, neither of which IB has. For godssake, Bardin’s ranged oriented class has more melee damage output than Ironbreaker, which has none of the ranged bonuses that RV has. Again, the only thing IB brings is being able to get hit more. Just in general, RV brings way more to the table in a group. Bombs/pots, ammo, more DPS, better ranged capability, on top of what I think is honestly one of the best ults in the game (useful for many things).

What about other “tanky” careers?

Zealot has vastly superior melee capabilities.

Foot Knight, which is probably the closest comparison, has a high-mobility ult that is useful in many different circumstances and a 5% attack speed talent. Again, the only thing IB brings in comparison is even more tank.

On a personal preference level, I just find Ironbreaker to be incredibly passive as a playstyle. Nothing about his kit encourages active play, it’s just all about taking less damage by sheer outlast potential.

So, in a nutshell: Ironbreaker only brings tankyness to the table, and at higher levels of play, I don’t think that’s enough to make up for the things the career lacks.

What would I want to do about it?

First, I’m hoping for something that encourages a more active playstyle.

Second, I really think that the solution is to nerf his tankyness a bit, and introduce some killing power to replace it. Even something as small as a 5% Attack Speed talent would help greatly, because again, good god, even the ranged career outdoes IB in melee damage output. I’m not saying remove his tankyness altogether, I’m just saying I wish he did something on top of just being something that’s hard to kill.

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He also dumps all his aggro onto whatever unlucky teammate happens to be standing near him when he hits F.

I actually like IB’s playstyle because he has no talents/skills that boost his killing power. He’s pure fundamentals. No abusing dodges, no oneshotting everything that comes at you, no escape move if you corner yourself. Just you. Spending some time on IB with the axe and shield made me better with every other career and every other weapon.

People say he’s noob-friendly, but he’s one of very few who has to actually fight enemies while everyone else simply slaughters them, and if he gets overrun he’s still going down just like everyone else.

His simplicity is why I like him.

You’re right though, for a more support-ish hero, he’s kind of self-centred with his talents.

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Exactly, I actually noticed that while I can kill way faster as Handmaiden, my dash and 3s of invisibility sometimes get people killed. During horde the bleed effect taking out clanrats and fanatics kind of balances it out, but vs patrols and when I don’t slay a whole bunch of enemies it actually makes my teammates’ situation way worse.
And IB simply stands there and hacks away. With barkskin and engaged ulti I often go against chaos patrols and just trying to maximize damage, yes, I dodge, but only to avoid overhead strikes, my goal is to remove the enemies ASAP and take the pressure off my team. And it’s really rewarding when a bunch of not-so-great players manages to survive relatively unharmed at the expense of a few dozen of my HP (and IB has lots to spare).

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My answer is just simply no in every aspect about basically everything except that he’s good for new players as well. He’s just so easymode that I and many other Legend players don’t touch him. So you rarely see him used to the full extent. Granted this now without temp hp on ranged not as outrageously easy as it used to be (you could just carelessly went and hittrade without having to think).

Now it has been a very long time since I last played him but I didn’t see changes to this anywhere so:
Your dmg resistances reduce the dmg you take from venting.
Your ultimate not only taunts it gives you 50% dmg resist on top of your passive resistances. Seeing an IB mostly blocking during ult is an easy way to know how much he actually knows about the class he plays.
His unique access to drakefire weapons can also not be understated.

I only remember having incredibly easy runs with this career. I used Drakefire pistols as the primary weapon and a 1h melee for mobility.

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The new Dual Hammers gave IB a lot more mobility. I often find myself using drakefire pistols with this class, as @Haxorzist stated. What is great about it is the ability to take agro on bosses, so a shade or anyone else can eliminate them with ease. Same goes with patrols or any time things start to get crazy. I think the biggest problem with IB is that people play too reserved. Let loose, go crazy, and take on more than you can chew, because you can likely handle it even though you think it’s certain death.

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well i cant really agree on anything apart from that he is easy for newbies aswell
which is a good thing

you hoping for a more active playstyle but that is up to the players not the class
mr, ironbreaker can be very active in the hands of a good player

you want to nerf his tanking abilty, dont see that going well, would hurt newbies alot and wouldnt make a diffrents to people that allready know how to slaughter with him

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A lot of this “problem” is playstyle-related. I do agree that there are some things that could be done to encourage a little more active style, but there’s nothing forcing the IB to play defensively or passively.

While I originally (when I opened up the Career, and a while after that) did consider IB nice to play and liked his forgiveness, the novelty wore off after a while as I learned to play better, and as the playstyle was mostly the same all the time. So I got bored of him. Then later, after a few more-or-less random chats with one of my teammates, I picked him up again - with a different, way more active playstyle, and that way found him quite fun to play again.

As mentioned, his Career Skill gives, in addition to 100% BCR, a huge Damage Resistance. That can be used very well, and enables a lot more tricks than the BCR part. I find that actually a far more useful and important aspect of it, as standing around blocking and pushing is rarely that useful, and usually boring (although even it has its places). Far more fun (to me, at least) is to pop the skill and then swing away like a madman, not caring about damage. And frankly, berserker IB feels kinda insane at times.

And that takes me to a particular thing that I’d like to see. IB (as most other Careers) has very rarely-chosen Talents at level 25. In this case, I’d say it’s the extended area (although I don’t think Boss taunt is that often picked either). On the other hand, the huge DR during Impenetrable means that IB is the only Career where I’d consider uninterruptible attacks a useful option. So replace the increased Taunt area with uninterruptible attacks; if felt necessary, balance it by removing the infinite block or maybe even reducing the DR a bit; and thus give us a more aggressive style option for IB, give him some real choice in Talents, and get an actually good “uninterruptible attacks” -Talent.

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I forget that this is often what people do. I guess that’s why so many people think he’s only got that super passive playstyle. It’s a shame really.

The range extension is the best option IMO. The others are too situational to be worth picking. I like the idea of uninterruptable attacks, but I’d replace the boss taunt before the range extension.

15s is the best one. You can pretty much demolish a few CWs in this timespan, and not worrying about block costs and taking damage (with barkskin it’s like 85% dmg reduction) for 50% longer s IMO way better than ability to aggro enemies from a bit further away.

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Like @Krator, I think the longer duration is the best one, directly giving way more use out of the ability. It straight makes it 50% more effective, while the Bosses can often enough be manipulated anyway , they still hit hard enough than even IB feels it, and blocking isn’t often useful against them anyway; and the extended range goes to waste in many (most?) locations, as the default range already covers the whole area where enemies are clustered.

Of course, combining the two could be an option. I don’t think it would make it too strong, as both are quite situational (in my opinion) already, and in all honesty, wouldn’t still compete for me in usefulness.

Hmm… Just to gather more info (and out of curiosity), let’s try this:

Which is your most used Ironbreaker level 25 Talent?

  • Heart of Gromril (duration)
  • Booming Taunt (range)
  • Oi! Wazzok! (Bosses)

0 voters

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I htink you’re forgetting about his drakefire weapons with infinite ammo. Weave those in when meleeing and you have a very active playstyle with IB.

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And with swift slaying and barrage you’re getting faster firing pistols and harder hitting axe. These 2 things synergise so well, almost like daxes with swift slaying for fanatics and warpick with parry (in case you screw up) to kill dense horde with great speed (due to aswift slaying enabled via axes) and 1-shotting CW’s with headshot (contrary to popular opinion, one does not need crit or any stacks to do that, just +20chaos +10 armor).

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There has to be some kind of balance to his extreme survivability. In any game with these types of classes, the heaviest of tanks are damage and agro sponges. Meant to take the attention away from th more fragile heavy damage dealers. People play this game with individual statistics in mind, but the best way to play it is to play your role. Anyone who has played a fantasy based MMO will know what I’m saying here.

I will also make a note here as well, the new dual hammers are NOT limited to slayers. They are not 100% on the level of the dual axes in my opinion, but they’re damn close. Instantly transforms IB into a DPS machine.

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Or you can run dual hammers and a drakegun and be a killing machine… i’ll hate you for it because drakegun is stupid, but hey… you’ll prolly be top damage and kills from insta nuking waves zzzzzzzzz

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The IB definitely needs an update to make his tankiness more useful. His talents are designed to keep him alive longer, but with very little offensive capability.
It would be great if his talents/traits instead doubled his push range, strength, cleave, and aggro on enemies. He should be able to taunt enemies more so his high health and armor is actually important.
Having high health and low damage output makes the class more useless on Legend. Where killing potential is better crowd control than shoving enemies around and trading hits.

On legend you just hack away with axe, use swift slaying and switch to drakefire pistols to dispatch large groups of enemies. Pretty damn effective if you ask me. Also pistols grant dorf a decent boss dmg, so he can just blast away and vent with little HP loss.

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I mostly see IB Bardin’s sitting in the back blocking like a bot lol

My thinking is that if you’re at the point of a fight where you need the extra time on the DR, you’ve waited too long to use your ult. I prefer to use it to keep the fight under control rather than try to salvage it after it’s started to go south, and there’s usually not much reason to want the DR at all, let alone for longer than normal, while your team is still around and fighting with you.

It’s not so much aggroing things, but interrupting things at longer range that makes the range extension useful. Drake pistols won’t save a teammate who’s been grabbed by a disabler in the middle of a horde, but an AOE knockdown with a decent range will. That said, the range can be useful to grab the attention of an entire horde wave on open ground while your team fights a boss.

Huh, there’s more people picking the boss taunt than I thought there would be. Can someone who voted for this give some insight? I feel like I’m missing something, because this one seems like the one that you’re hardly ever going to get good use out of.

It’s not so much aggroing things, but interrupting things at longer range that makes the range extension useful. Drake pistols won’t save a teammate who’s been grabbed by a disabler in the middle of a horde, but an AOE knockdown with a decent range will.

Well, yeah, but generally IB should stay close to his team anyway. And I really rarely get in a situation when I can’t just blast through horde drakefire pistols - I may take a few hits, but 85% dmg reduction.
So it’s still a rather rare scenario and I find 5 more seconds if being virtually unkillable :slight_smile: a bit more useful.

Fair enough. I just don’t think I’ve ever had a situation where I’ve thought “If only I had the DR for just a bit longer…”. Different playstyles and all that, I guess.

Usually easier said than done.

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