Home > Uncategorized > Renown Abilities Then and Now

Renown Abilities Then and Now

Before I jump into today’s post, just wanted to quickly refer you over to Sir Tru’s Questing Guide Site. Today I wanted to briefly discuss the ‘Renown Abilities’, you know, those abilities you unlock at Renown Rank 10,30, and 40 and hardly ever use (if at all). These abilities are attained via renown rank, and it is presumed that if you are getting renown, you are killing players, ideally in RvR lakes. To better assist your killing of players, particularly in keep sieges, these abilities were designed to address particular elements of the keep siege. However, these abilities only look good on paper, and in the end they are hardly used by their careers. In today’s age of Warhammer these abilities make little sense in the tiers they are handed out (what is a MDPS going to lockpick in T1…? what oil is a tank going to deflect?) and clearly need some re-adjustment – not to mention with 5 minute cool-down timers the abilities are less attractive. Let’s take a look at the individual archtypes and see what they have and how it can be improved.


  • Deflect Oil at RR10 which is a 15 second channeled 10% reduction in oil damage on yourself and two other group-mates. First of all there is no oil in the tier RR10 is achieved. Secondly, a 10% reduction? Oil damage scales poorly in RvR. In Tier 2 (now R16-25) the oil in keeps is arguably at its strongest where this ability would make most sense, but protecting only two members limits its utility. As you progress in tiers oil becomes less of a factor in keep sieges as heals become way stronger rendering this ability useless. This ability would gain some utility once more if two conditions were met – first of all oil damage has to be made more significant in higher tiers, secondly the ability could shield more than three people.
  • Modify War Engine at RR30 allows tanks to reduce the cooldowns of siege weapons by 50% for 30 seconds. Again with a 5 minute cooldown it would take 10 tanks to keep one siege engine topped off. Secondly, it doesn’t affect rams or oil – and if there is anything a tank should be manning it is those two items, not the cannons in the back. For this ability to become appealing it would first of all need to be switched to affecting rams, so tanks can fulfill this role as intended, and secondly the cooldown would have to be reduced, say to 2 minutes, and lastly it should be made available at RR20 so tanks can begin to utilize it in Tier 2, not Tier 3.
  • Bulwark at RR40 is a 15 second channel on a door that heals it for 5% of its health. However, once a door is bulwarked, it cannot be bulwarked again for another 5 minutes making this a one-man job with the cooldown of the ability. First of all I don’t think Bulwark should repair doors as that isn’t really the idea behind the verb – it should support them to reduce damage. Secondly multiple tanks should be able to bulwark. My suggestion – change the ability so it is a channeled damage reduction of -10% per tank for 15 seconds with a lower cooldown, having a maximum effectiveness of 5 tanks at -50% incoming damage. With the incoming proposed changes to repair doors this ability would become even more useless, so how about redesigning it into a more fitting ability?


  • Reinforce War Engine at RR10 reduces incoming damage to a war engine by 10% for 30 seconds and doesn’t work on rams or oil. Once again this ability makes no sense in Tier 1. Secondly, war engines are hardly ever primary targets for the enemy and even if they were a 10% reduction in damage isn’t too great. Two factors here – if I want to kill the war engine it is easier to kill the operator, and secondly most of the time war engine operators hide inside the war engine making them harder to target. As a support classes RR ability I would restructure this ability to match the tank’s ‘Modify War Engine’ so it only affects oil and rams, since these are the primary targets on keep takes.
  • Cleanse War Engine at RR30 removes a debuff from a war engine (including rams and oil). With all the debuff’s being thrown around in keep sieges I can’t really see the utility in a cleanse on a 5 minute cooldown. Also, I am unsure if regular cleanses work on Siege Engine’s currently… I believe they do? Once again, I would modify this ability to cleanse only oil and rams and give it a lower cool-down.
  • Shield of the Skies at RR40 is a 15s channeled 10% reduction from range siege weapons for yourself and two allies within 40 feet – so like ‘Deflect Oil’. Once again 10% damage reduction doesn’t get you far. A better idea would be an area-of-effect bubble that shields more allies from all range attacks (not just siege, but excluding oil), but a much smaller bubble.

Range DPS:

  • Magical RDPS get Enhance War Engine and Physical RDPS get Bolster War Engine at RR10, both a 10% damage increase for 30 seconds. I would redesign this ability in general for the three range mirrors. BWs and Sorcs can retain the original design but with perhaps a more potent value; SWs and SHs can have a buff which either increases the AoE of AoE siege engines OR decreases the cross-hair focus-time for single-target war Engines; Engies and Magi would have the ability to repair all siege engines.
  • At RR30 Magical RDPS get Hex War Engine and Physical RDPS get Hamper War Engine both which increase the build time of a siege engine by 2 seconds with a 30 second duration. I would consider redesigning this so it disables the siege engine for a few seconds. Also the range of this ability and the following one should be increased as many siege engines on the walls are ‘out of range’
  • At RR40 Magical RDPS get Abate War Engine and Physical RDPS get Deminish War Engine which reduce a siege engine’s damage by 10% for 30 seconds. I would up the damage reduction from this.

Melee DPS:

  • At RR10 MDPS get Bypass Defenses which for 30s allows MDPS to enter posterns (with charge, MDPS can enter both outer and inner posterns in some keeps). This ability use to be available at RR30 making it more of a prize for high-end T3 MDPS, but now it is available in T1 so MDPS can bypass into… Festenplatz. I have no idea why its at RR10 now. This ability works well but gained incredible potency with the 1.4.0 patch for three reasons – 1) it was shuffled down to RR10 allowing MDPS to bypass in T2 and render those keeps defenseless rather fast; 2)Keep NPC guards were removed taking away any possibility of MDPS encountering ‘opposition’ in empty keeps; and 3)Guilds lost the right to claim keeps and deadbolt posterns. While the ability itself is good and needs no addressing, the latter three points do.
  • Siege Wrecker at RR30 deals 375 damage to the engine and all enemies within 40 feet of it. I would consider redesigning this into a more potent damaging ability akin to the Gutter Runner’s Booby-Trap ability, because honestly why would a MDPS use this above any of its other abilities which do more damage?
  • Lastly we have Faultfinder at RR40 which increases melee damage to range siege weapons by 10% for 30 seconds. There is certainly something here that is want of fixing, but I don’t really know what. I suppose you could just up the incoming damage debuff for more utility, but in the end MDPS don’t scale the walls to kill siege engines (you can get other siege engines to do that for you), they go on the walls to kill the people manning the siege engines and their RDPS and Healer friends.

Maybe ‘then’ these abilities made sense, but in the ‘now’ of Warhammer they really don’t. Sure Bulwark and Bypass Defenses are still used, but for the most part these abilities don’t make it on many player’s hotbars. If we’re to get improved RvR experiences and keep takes, mayhaps Mythic should also take a look at our RvR abilities which directly pertain to the keep siege itself.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dilek
    March 29, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Working on the third year of WAR and I finally put a renown ability on my hotbar, the cleanse, which I use often on rams. The cooldown makes it a little ridiculous but more silly is how useless all of these skills have been for so long. Most people, that I know, don’t bother to keep them on their hotbars.

  2. Elemenstor
    March 30, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    I dunno, I love using the tank’s ability to cut the cooldowns on the AoE cannons by half. I don’t even have to aim, I just fire off shots and do about 400 damage AoE every second. It’s really only effective at killing people if you have 4 or more going, but you can still leech renown like mad.

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