Dark or Light

The Conundrum of the Dragon Knight

Josh Hay Posted:
Columns 0

We’ve talked a lot about class balance and general balance in Elder Scrolls Online but lately it seems like one class is getting more attention than the others and no, it’s not the Warden. Dragon Knight has been in an odd spot for a long time now and even when I play my DK, it just doesn’t feel right.  If you’re going full Stamina, you’re probably in an alright place. But Magicka DKs feel differently.

If you don’t play a lot of Dragon Knight or ESO in general, a lot of people assume the role of the DK is Tank or Tanky DPS. That really hasn’t been the case for some time now and even for me. My Dragon Knight is light armor, full magicka. You might be asking how in the world could that have happened…

I really want to preface this: I don’t find this as troubling as some other people do. I have stated in the past that I love the way we can play our characters the way we want. I do see some issues with this though, that doesn’t really persist with others. Dragon knights are in my opinion the best tanks in the game.

Draconic Power and Earthen Heart both provide amazing tanking skills and CC abilities. They provide the Dragon Knight with some insane survivability and enough CC to help the healer and DPS if needed. When utilized correct they are a unstoppable force. Sure, they don’t do a lot of damage in the process but in PvP and PvE they are extremely hard to kill.

Back to my Dragon Knight. There is a reason why I don’t play that build of full health, stack armor and defenses and tank. I typically don’t like that play style and there is another variable in play as well. My group/guild typically runs dungeons without a tank. By God, I know it’s horrific to hear that but honestly, we don’t need one. The majority of us run restoration staves as our secondary and we sort of just DPS everything down and heal everyone around us that we don’t really need a tank.

I’ve seen plenty of other groups do this as well. The question is then asked: Do we really need tanks then? Do we really need the holy trinity? I think that is where Dragon Knight gets screwed the most, they have an amazing skill tree dedicated to tanking in a game that I feel like really doesn’t NEED a tank to succeed.

What do you all think? Am I wrong to think this way? Am I wrong for playing without the “Holy Trinity”? We just never needed to have a tank with us and my magicka Dragon Knight does plenty of damage with Ardent Flame skill tree that I really don’t find much use for the other two lines. Now, I do see the flip side of things. The side where people love to be that unstoppable force. The lovey playing the tank role.

Tanking for a lot of people make the game more fun and more power to them but I don’t really think DK or Elder Scrolls Online properly rewards tanks in this game. I’ve pretty much thought that since the dawn of the ESO. “Why do I need a tank, when my squad can just run all restoration staves and win game?”

I know other games do this as well, but I feel ESO is a big offender in this. The bigger questions I can ask about all of this: Can and should this issue be fixed? Is it too late to matter? I kind of feel like I’m so used to all of these balance conundrums that I sort of just work around it like we have been. I’ve been asked often “why do we need a tank?” I never really have a straight answer for that. My guild/group has been rolling without one for going on two years now, why change something that works right?

For those of you who do play the class, do you play tank, or do you play something else? Do you feel like your class is missing something to make it more viable for tanking or is the design flawed? I mean, I honestly feel like it’s flawed. If there is no need for the trinity, why use it right? If everyone can keep themselves afloat why use a tank right? Honestly, I am so used to the way it is that I really don’t want it to change. What about you, would you change it the way it is? 


Josh Hay