Hi! I have just started out in Achaea and this is my first post here! I looked into the classes a bit first before I created my character and I decided to go with a dwarf runewarden. This is mostly because I wanted to both play and RP a very tanky character! Runewarden seemed great with all the rune buffs (vitality, regeneration, damage reduction etc.) and I could go with a fullplate and packing steel... err, tower shield! RP-wise, I would be very content with these choices! I guess I could also focus on constitution traits and race specialization.
However, my question is this: is this really viable in the game? Will I be able to efficiently bash my way to dragon like this? How about helping my city in raids or defending myself against other adventurers if needed, or in the arena? For example, I wanted to avoid the nimble trait because it seems to lessen my tankiness, but would I be OK at bashing or combat like that? Is there another Knight class tankier than runewarden perhaps, or another weaponmastery specialization better for survivability? My focus would mostly be bashing, but I wanna engage in combat too and I would be very interested in learning the answers to these questions before I go down that road and can't go back (at least not without lots of credits)!
As far as other knight classes and specs are concerned, would they be more tanky than a runewarden? I think infernal has some weird abilities in necromancy and paladin has healing? Are they more tanky in combat perhaps instead of bashing? Also, can I make my sword a glowing runeblade or is it only for dual-wielding weapons? That would be a bit of a turn-down because the help files seem a little conflicting or not up-to-date...?
But it's OK for now, I'll remain Runewarden and perhaps consider changing to Paladin for RP reasons later on! Now on to find a good full plate armor, tower shield and broadsword! I'll have to figure out how to use them to kill pygmies...
It's certainly possible to make choices like picking a tankier race, more defensive traits, specialising for constitution (more health) over strength (more damage), picking the sword-and-shield Weaponmastery spec, etc.
I absolutely recommend what you're doing, which is making choices that reflect the character you enjoy playing and roleplaying. It's more important to have a character that you enjoy than one that's twinked out. If you want to bash your way to dragon, optimising your race/class/traits/etc will help, but results come more from commitment and the willingness to keep on bashing for the very long time it takes to get there. If you want to help defend your city in raids, all permutations of class/race/etc can do that. If you want to be the best at PVP dueling, it's not until you reach the higher echelons of skill that all the little optimisations - like the Nimble trait - start to factor in to a significant degree, and you have many bridges to cross before you reach that level.
Granted, I don't like that the alternative is essentially 'be the tank and the dps and the etc. yourself.'
Edit : Still need nimble, actually.
[ SnB PvP Guide | Link ]
For example, comparing the three knight classes, runewarden has better damage reduction than infernal or paladin. Unless the infernal/paladin get runes from a runewarden, in which case they have better damage reduction than runewarden (unless the runewarden also gets toughness from a priest/paladin, then they beat paladin again, but not infernal). Paladin and infernal have strong active healing abilities (hands/vigour) though, so if you count those towards "tankiness" then they probably beat runewarden.
And then monk and apostate have numb/apathy, which gives them extremely high damage reduction, but they get the reduced damage all at once when the ability wears off, which is often more dangerous than simply taking more damage in the first place. So in the right situations, they can be the tankiest classes.
Then there are different damage types to consider. When it comes to non-physical damage, serpents/alchemists/bards have better damage reduction than infernals/paladins, and equal to runewardens (and again better than runewardens if they also get runes).
And then there are room effects, which can increase tankiness a lot but aren't practical to use all the time. With harmonics, bard might be the tankiest class against non-physical damage (assuming you aren't counting numb and making monks the tankiest), or if you ignore anthem then alchemist with endorphin might be better.
And then all of this goes out the window when it comes to PvP because it doesn't matter much (which isn't to say it doesn't matter at all, it's still important to an extent) how well you can soak up damage, and curing/hindering becomes more important defensively than damage reduction/healing.