Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dark Armor Sucks

A long time ago in a galaxy within the computer, someone really pissed me off. Hang on, that's a terrible way to start this post. Rewind!

One of my favorite characters to play in the City is my Dark Armor tank. Now, Dark Armor has a horrible reputation as being one of the worst armor sets out there. I only say horrible because the reputation is erroneous. By the numbers, Dark Armor is one of the most capable sets, assuming you know how to play it and can handle the endurance costs. At the high end, with the right build, Dark Armor is arguably the strongest defensive set, with the exception of Stone Armor (which was designed with offensive drawbacks to compensate its ridiculous survivability).

So there I am, frolicking happily through the City when I see a broadcast for a "Master of Statesman" task force that is looking for a tank. Statesman's task force, at the time, was intended to be the most difficult task in the game (which isn't actually saying much). In this task force, you face off against four of the toughest arch-villains in the game that are four levels higher than your team. Then you proceed to fight the big bad, who is an even tougher AV, surrounded by four towers providing him with a literal rainbow of steroids. Tacking "Master of" before Statesman places the team under certain challenge restrictions, namely "no outside help (temporary powers)" and "no one can die." Knowing myself to be capable of handling the task, I send a private message to say "I can bring my Dark Armor tank for that." The reply was such a kind declination of my offer, obviously sent after careful consideration.

"Dark Armor sucks. It can't tank anything."

That pissed me off and caused me to do two things. First, I formed my own Master of Stateman task force that same weekend and succeeded. The second was to take my tank up against the toughest enemy groups I could find, set at the maximum difficulty of +4/x8, record it, and put together a little music video.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you, Soulburn Sands, my Dark Armor tank. That sucks.

This video shows the segmented start to finish fight against Malta. It includes snippets from fights with Carnival of Shadows, Arachnos, and Knives of Artemis. I also spend a few seconds juggling for a group of giant monsters. Keep in mind, while watching this, that the offensive set here is Fire Melee. This means that every bit of survival I have is coming from Dark Armor and Dark Armor alone. There are no controls, no debuffs, and no heals coming from anywhere but Dark Armor.

The video was recorded before the Alpha Slot, before inherent fitness, and before the bruising effect was added to tankers. Since these upgrades, I am planning to make a second video. I've also resolved to create other characters with Dark Armor, to get a real feel for how the set performs across the spectrum of archetypes.


  1. Haha nice job. I've only played CoX for a few months now so I'm still boning up on my knowledge of how things work. I'm currently lvling a dark/dark scrapper (among other toons). I keep seeming to end up in groups that feel the need to have it on +3 or +4 though and at 32 I just don't have the slots to put enough accuracy in for that and try to have enough end redux to be viable at all. I need to figure out if I need to get other toggles like maneuvers and what not too or if I even need to mess with defense... not show I'll suppose the extra toggles if so even with +end procs it seems a daunting task haha.

    Also nice choice on the music...Sandstorm I haven't heard that in years...though this post is prolly really old lol

  2. How did you get that drop down box in the beginning you used to toggle on your armors? I cant find that in the options.

    @Dr Stan

  3. @Dr Stan
    Looks like a POPMENU to me...
    Look for info on it on the CoH Forums.

  4. i have a spine/da scrapper. he would be good if i could the end problem down.
    what is the name of the techno song u r using
    i still play CoH on Lib and Freedom

  5. @Stan, Yes, it is the Popmenu and there is a guide on the forums.

    @Anon, The song is Sandstorm. I thought it fitting, considering the sand theme of the character. The endurance problem will probably go away if you grab the Theft of Essence proc and put it in Dark Regen.

  6. Replies
    1. No Bosses? Hardly the "maximum difficulty" if you turned the bosses off... Nice vid all the same.

    2. Bosses aren't any tougher to survive against, they just take longer to defeat. I wanted the video to end before the decade. Remember that this was recorded before Bruising. If I ever go back and do another, you can be sure the bosses will be there.

    3. I've not found that to be the case. Carnie spawns with 2 Master Illusionists at +4 can stack enough holds to get through my mez protection. Their dark pets (forget what they're called) can quickly drop my tohit chance (normally 95%) to 10-20%, making both attacks and my heal less effective. Dark Ring Mistresses massively debuff defense. Tarantula Mistresses both debuff defense and recharge, so not only am I taking more damage, my heal takes forever to recharge.