I'm playing a defender in the new season of encounters. Never payed one before. Always been a leader or controller. Never played a striker either, but thats another matter. Only played one encounter and I was dazed, restrained and prone before I even came up in initiative on the first turn, so haven't got any real tactical experience. I'm trying to get my mind into the role of being a defender.
I have always loved the defenders ability to lock down baddies (and keep them from hitting me) when I was playing other roles. So, I always tried to give them as many buffs as possible - temps, dmg resist, combat advantage, bonus to attack - so that they could be as effective as possible. But now I'm in the role and I'm not really feeling it. I'm not really feeling up to getting pounded on. Now I did play a dwarf sentinel, build with con primary, and went off-tank all the time, sticking myself and my animal companion right up "in the sh*t" as much as possible, because I had HP and surges. I loved it. I missed alot, but I was doing the leader thing, with the aura from the animal companion and throwing out temps and healing all over the place. Now the defender I'm playing - battlemind - is con primary and should be sloughing off hits with high HP and surges, and should hit more (and damage more) than the sentinel, but I'm still not as into it. I feel like I should be. I love the class concept, I really enjoyed putting it together and spent alot of time think about how it should roleplay and how he would react to different things. I want to love this character, I want to love the tactical combat role. I want the other PC's to value my characters role.
Maybe that's it... I want him to play well and be valued by others in combat... but I'm not able to get to that point yet. Maybe its because the one combat encounter we played was so unbalance and I was rendered incapable of acting by conditions that was frustrating. And thate none of the leaders - 3 in the party - had the ability to grant a save (nice work with those build fellas, real helpful).
So I guess I need to work on it more, try to be more mobile (dazed, restrained, and prone don't help) and mark some enemies. Also, only having a 19 AC (lvl 1, scale, heavy shield) and 13 reflex, I don't feel like I will be able to avoid getting hit enough. Maybe the DM will give me some decent magical armor before to long and I won't have to feel so cautious and I can embrace the role of getting in the enemies grill and making them afraid of me and afraid to run from me cause I'll crush them for that too.
Maybe as I level up it will get better. Just writing this has given me some perspective. My AC is better than the rest of the party. I got lots of healing behind me. Several others are built for melee, so as I mark the enemies they ought to be able to getting into flanking positions. We have a couple of good ranged character (sorcerer, witch, and pyromancer). So should be able to mark some enemies and the rest bring some focus fire and take down the enemies quickly. I hope some of them can provoke some OA from marked enemies so I can mind spike them.
Ok so I'm feeling totally better now. I can do this, I can be a juggernaut on the grid force them enemies onto me. I can lock them all down so the strikes and controllers can pop them. I can be the wall that keeps the squishies safe. And maybe I can take done a few allow the way.