So I was talking to a longtime associate and applicant player for Tinderbox today about his character concept. I was shocked when he explained that he'd traditionally avoided the Battlemind class because it was almost universally reviled on boards, and had a worthless mark. I didn't doubt his words--I avoid boards of most any sort like a sane man avoids the plague, so I wouldn't know what they do and don't like today. The part about the mark being worthless, though, really caught me off-guard. One of the games I'm currently playing in has a battlemind defender, and I've never noticed any deficiencies. My associate went on to explain that the mark's damaging effect seemed difficult to trigger, particularly in the following two situations: 1) When the marked target chooses to move away from the battlemind, rather than shifting (battleminds have an opportunity at-will that shifts) and 2) When the battlemind has marked 2 (or more) creatures. My associate compared Battlemind's Demand, longingly, to Swordmage Aegis...and I found that even more interesting, since I'm markedly less bullish on the swordmage (though oh how I wish I could be).
I thought the swordmage comment was useful, though, because it highlights what I consider to be the two most important questions when considering relative mark quality: what are you consider the "base" defender, and what do you expect out of a mark? I'm only going to address the first question in this post, however.