View Full Version : Gameplay: Tanks

12-19-2011, 05:30 AM
So my main is a Sith Warrior Juggernaut spec'd into the Immortal tree. His job is to tank, but at level 27 I've still yet to see any real potential in this roll. Vette, my medium armour wearing ranged DPS companion, is a better tank than I am. One of my alts, a level 16 Trooper Commando spec'd as DPS, has a few abilities I would kill for (plus seemingly all the benefits of both heavy armour and DPS). As a tank, my primary abilities should be absorbing damage and holding aggro. It doesn't seem I can do either very well. At halfway to the level cap, surely by now my character should have enough abilities to be at least moderately efficient at this roll.

What are the thoughts of other tank class players? How do tanks in TOR stack up? In particular SW Juggernauts and their mirror class the JK Guardians. Are they flawed, or am I just playing wrong/inefficiently? If the latter, suggestions on strategies would be appreciated.

12-19-2011, 12:31 PM
I played a BH Powertech in the beta and tanking with that mostly consisted of always attacking first, and using a couple taunts to pull aggro, I never really had an issue with survivability as long as I was using my healing companion. I haven't played with a Sith Juggernaut or a Jedi Guardian, so I'm not too sure how they work, you could try reading this guide (http://blackrabbit2999.blogspot.com/2011/12/swtor-warrior-tanking-guide.html), haven't really looked at it much myself, so i can't promise it'll be useful. Let us know what you learn!

12-19-2011, 11:57 PM
Yeah I have seen that before. It's pretty old now and outdated regarding some game elements. Also, it's mostly fairly generic MMO tactics rather than TOR specific (which is understandable, given it was written during the beta).

I think a good portion of my issues are related to gear. It seems to me that while you can get by with the side-quest and story loot drops/rewards, to really be at your best you need all slotted gear with constantly upgraded mods to keep your stats maximised at all times. I mean it took me until level 27/28 to finally surpass Vette in hit points, and even then it was only by like 200 or so (current stats at level 29 are 6025 vs 5560). That's not really ideal for the supposed meat shield. Granted my endurance is higher, but obviously not enough. A big problem at this early stage is that I can't actually buy the mods I need (endurance + absorption), either from commendation/ordinary vendors, nor on the Imperial or Hutt player trade networks. At least not stuff at my level.

I'm not interested in any sort of hardcore raiding, so I've always been wary of the whole guild thing, but I think joining one is probably the only way to reliably get the sort of gear you need crafted.

Concerning strategies and tactics, towards the end of Tattooine I finally started to get a few abilities that helped me come up with ways for dealing with single high-end targets (strongs and elites). Basically force charge/leap them, force choke to do some mild damage, draw aggro and immobilise them for a couple of seconds. Hopefully by that time Vette has whittled down their health and I can help finish them off fairly quickly with the standard attack rotation. For melee targets, you can also add in force push at the start - order Vette to attack, let them charge at her then just before they close force push them away, then when they come back force choke them. Elites often have counters for stuns and such though. A bigger problem for me is large groups, especially large numbers of melee mobs, as I don't really have a lot of AOE tools. I have one AOE stun, but it only works on weak and normal enemies and the cooldown is a problem. The quest chain on Tattooine that deals with the archaeology team features several fights where you get repeatedly swarmed with waves of melee mobs whilst fighting an elite. I had a lot of trouble with those fights.

EDIT: Ah, just dinged 30 and got an AOE taunt. Maybe now I can actually generate and hold aggro.

12-20-2011, 03:03 PM
I play a Jedi Guardian spec'd into the Force tree. This is a tank class but a dps tree. I have been successful tanking up to lvl 21. My general strategies are as follows:

1. Jump First - This can not be stressed enough - Use force leap before party members pull.
The worst pulls and most chaos has occured when I have party members that get over zealous on tough groups and pull before I do. With a taunt that has a 15 second cooldown and the inability to out-dps my party members regaining aggro on a whole group of mobs is very tough.

1a. Use the correct form. You don't generate focus points quickly but you mitigate dmg better.

1b. It may be useful to use your Saber Shield (or whatever you use to block/dodge dmg for a short period) once you jump in. Especially if it's a big group with hard hitting mobs.

2. Immediately use Sweep (and repeatedly when it pops) or whatever your area of affect skill is. This gathers a little extra aggro to keep secondary targets off the healer.

2a. If you think you're just out of range of extra mobs when you're about to use sweep move closer so you maximize your aoe dmg and aggro build with secondary targets.

3. Zoom out so you can see whats happening and pay attention to your healer. Be sure you use your taunt at opportune times as you only have one (at least I do so far).

4. Your job isn't to do dps it's to take dmg for others. Be sure you don't use up all your focus points as you may need to use them when you don't have them to try to pull aggro or leap or sweep or something.

5. Kick (interrupt) your mob when you can. This will reduce a lot of dmg to the group and yourself throughout a fight.

I know some of this (a lot of this) is generic but it has worked for me in SW: TOR.

Additionally, I have done the synthweaving crafting skill along with underworld trading and archeology. So far the crafted gear (heavy armor) has been sufficient to be a valid tank. I've also found some blue and other colored drops that have further increased my viability as a tank.

12-20-2011, 07:33 PM
I only just got my first AOE saber attack at level 32, which hits up to 5 enemies directly in front of you. The only other AOE I have is Smash, which I believe is the mirror to Sweep. It's not actually a saber attack animation-wise in the SW's case. That is my usual follow up to Force Charge (mirror of Leap) when dealing with groups.

Btw, if you spec'd into a DPS tree then you are DPS, not a tank. Granted you get the same base abilities of the Juggernaut/Guardian AC, but the real skills for a given roll come from the tree you spec into. Just wearing heavy armour doesn't make you a tank.

12-21-2011, 11:05 AM
I realize about the DPS vs. Tank tree. It's close enough for these lower lvl instances for now. Plus it makes soloing a lot easier. The early defense tree didn't really offer much in the way of dmg mitigation for at least two tiers so I just decided to go with dps for a few lvls then I'll switch once I get enough points to spec properly as a tank.

12-21-2011, 11:45 AM
Btw, if you spec'd into a DPS tree then you are DPS, not a tank. Granted you get the same base abilities of the Juggernaut/Guardian AC, but the real skills for a given roll come from the tree you spec into. Just wearing heavy armour doesn't make you a tank.

While I agree with you.. if the tank can't do any significant damage, he can't grab/hold aggro. Played far too many MMO's where the "tank" had a ton of hitpoints, but couldn't keep the aggro. :)

If the tank has to "chase" the mob/boss, then they're doing it wrong :xp:

Hope ToR offers some significant tank taunts in their tree to counter-balance a hard-core DPS'er. Haven't played ToR yet, so just going off past experiences.

12-21-2011, 05:57 PM
Yes, holding aggro is a real problem. At level 33 I have two taunts, a single target one and an AOE one. I also have two attacks that generate high threat. But with their cooldowns it is nigh on impossible to keep all the threat on me, especially with groups. Fortunately now it seems I have suficient gear that I can afford to use Guard on my companion, which transfers 50% of their damage to me and reduces their threat generation. Still doesn't hold aggro, but lets them survive long enough to get the job done.