That Tough, Tankery Guy
No background story for this one, I'm afraid. I wanted a Tanker, and I made a Tanker. Lore not included.
All I knew at the time is that I wanted a Tanker that could do that tanking thing... You know, lure the aggro cap around corners and completely incapacitate them while the rest of the team did their thing and raked in the rewards? Yeah, that tanking thing. I wanted to be that tough, Tankery guy. So I got to work. I was looking at the available powersets for Tankers, when I decided "you know, nobody else has these icy things. Lemme give those a go." And thus was born Geoff Gelid, the Ice/Ice Tanker! I got to playing around with it a bit, when I noticed that the powers seemed to be a bit heavy on the Defense side and not so much on the Damage Resistance side. Now, the merits of Defense versus Damage Resistance is a truly epic battle that will span millenia, but the fact of the matter is that I prefer the reliable protection from damage shields over the random number generator that will hate you 1/20 of the time... So I had to switch primaries. I asked a friend what kind of Tanker sets are good for resistance, and he said it was pretty much Fiery Aura... Oh, and Dark Armor, now that Issue 12 is here!
Re-rolling after level 8 or so, I now had the start to a build of Dark Armor / Ice Melee. So I needed a costume. Hmmm... Dark and Ice, two things that are often found in nature, right? Well, it took me a good half hour, but I came up with something I liked. I thought the hard part was done, but then I had to pick a name for the guy! Dark and Ice, Dark and Ice... Hey, "glacier" starts with a G, just like the words in Geoff Gelid, so now I need something related to darkness that starts with a G. And thus was born: The Grim Glacier.
I made his skin dark because you don't see a lot of black people in the game, at least not player characters. It was originally a joke with the Ice/Ice combo, since everyone knows black guys can pull off the "cool" look a lot better than white guys.
||Powers: (Hover mouse)
Shields, Heals and Mezzes
There's an ages-old axiom that Tankers are punching bags. It's understandable how this myth came about: Invulnerability and Stone Armor are definitely punching bag powersets. But don't forget how Ice Armor is an untouchable block of ice, or how Fiery Aura makes the enemies fall down before they can punch too many times. In the case of Dark Armor, though, we completely screw with the enemies' ability to attack in the first place, which is quite effective at reducing incoming damage from the get-go. No, Tankers are not punching bags: they are aggro magnets. There are different tools available to suit this purpose, but getting hit in the face isn't the only way to do it.
Dark Armor itself is a good mix between damage resistance, self-heal and mez mitigation. While resistance for the most part is only moderate, Obsidian Shield grants the highest protection from Psionic damage in the game, which for Tankers is a whopping 50% unenhanced. Dark Armor goes where most other defensive sets can't. There's also Dark Regeneration, which is arguably one of the best self-heals in the game, but it has a huge Endurance cost of 33 unenhanced and requires targets (which can miss) in order to be effective. As a Tanker, however, standing in the middle of a big group of enemies is a lovely way to refill all of one's hit points with a single click of a power icon.
And then there's the mezzes. Dark Armor can induce fear and disorientation in anyone who happens to be standing in melee range, and should the Dark Armoree fall, there's one wicked self-rez that not only refills all HP and Endurance if enough foes are nearby, but it disorients those foes for a good while and grants some temporary Untouchable to get the toggles back up and running again. Dark Armor keeps things dizzy, and has a free Extra Life button if need be.
The Best Defense...
Ice Melee's an interesting beast. It's a mix of minor Smashing and Lethal damage, whith Cold thrown in on top of everything. And being ice, it's -Recharge too, so it becomes a sort of mix between offense and debuff. This particular melee set has a fair amount of mez, as well: It's got a single target hold, a PBAoE sleep, and an area knockdown. Oh, the area knockdown. Ice Patch is extremely effective at knocking foes off their feet, which means they can't do anything about reducing your hit points. The Patch works on Bosses and some Elite Bosses too, unlike most of the mez powers available to Tankers. Mix Ice Patch with Oppressive Gloom from Dark Armor (the toggle PBAoE stun) and you get enemies that are always on their backs--except when they do manage to stand up, they still can't attack because they're dizzy.
Tankers didn't get any dark-themed epic sets until Going Rogue, at which point they could pick up Soul Mastery. Offensively the set is much nicer than Arctic Mastery, which I had been using up until that point, but much to my delight, the set also includes some good defensive perks in the form of Darkest Night. When the enemies aren't as likely to hit you, and do less damage when they do, it adds a nice layer of survivability on top of them falling down and being disoriented all the time. Couple this with the gloomy motif of Dark Armor and it really feels like what the character should have been all along.
As a Tanker
Leveling was harsh with this guy. He couldn't die, but he couldn't kill either. Tankers get offense as their secondary, which means their attacks don't come around until the late 20's and late 30's. They're just wandering around all invincible-like until then, unable to level because they can't gain XP on their own very well. On the other hand, powers from the ancillary started coming in, and quality of life shot up a hundred fold. It's the very definition of late bloomer, and it makes the whole experience worth it in the end... it's just... If you don't have the patience for it, you'll never be able to fully appreciate what a Tanker can become.