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KeyboardNinja
07.15.2013 , 04:02 PM | #28
Quote: Originally Posted by insaneric View Post
Terminate, yes, but i believe it's a badly designed move rather than the assassins fault. If they made it deal 90% of the target's health or something similar then it would keep that, you want to have the tank topped mentality without 1 shotting them. The kel'sara combo has never been an issue for me. Huge grenade u'd normally only take every other one and it doesn't do enough damage to warrant the use of a cooldown.
Depends on your strategy. Obviously you take every other one in HM. In NiM, some strats dictate that both grenades are taken by tanks, which means that you're taking all of them.

As to whether or not it does enough damage, that depends entirely on your HP. I haven't done Titan in NiM yet (bad week for scheduling), so I can't say how hard it hits me.

Quote: Originally Posted by insaneric View Post
I don't use my cooldowns whenever I take a spike of damage due to bad rng I use it when i'm anticipating an increased period of damage. When you take spikes of damage due to bad rng it's up to healers to keep you up (one of the trade off from taking an assassin tank). The danger of death as an assassin is when a period of burst from the enemy lines up with bad rng, this is why you use your cooldowns here. There aren't any fights where you require more cooldowns than you have for these increased periods of damage.
The problem is not that the healers need to work harder (this is just part of healing an assassin tank), it's that the damage can and will outpace what a healer can reasonably do. The kel'sara combo drops me by 88% in the span of GCDs when neither of the abilities are shielded or defended. Sure, healers *can* react to that, but they need to land their big heals before the next ability in the chain, which is a 7k Discharge that will not be shielded (as it is internal damage). Is it possible to anticipate and heal through this? Yes. It comes with a very specific timing and a really good healer will know this. Is it realistic to expect this? No. Will it lead to overheal and wasted effort? YES. It's RNG whether or not this combo does any appreciable damage at all (when I shield, I take embarrassingly low damage levels). If the damage levels are that low, then the healer probably just wasted a precast heal on me.

Terminate is the rule in new content, not the exception. While it is the highest spiking single damaging ability, it's far from the only one. Dash'roode and Thrasher both have brutal swipes (especially Thrasher). The snipers on Thrasher are practically "shield or die". Even Writhing Horror, who is otherwise a pushover, carries a risk of nearly instagibbing an assassin tank. I generally roll cooldowns in scripted sequence on that fight to avoid Nasty Bite RNG from compounding.

Your point about Terminate is valid, it *is* in a sense the ability's fault, but it's not a problem for the other two tanks. You can look at this in one of two ways: the content is biased against assassins, or assassins are biased against the content. In either case, it's bad news. Two of the three models put forth by the theory crafting community to quantify this issue take content into account and demonstrate what happens when you fiddle with burst levels.

The point is that assassins are spiky beyond their control on current content, and that spikiness is so severe in places that no amount of healer skill will save them. If you get hit by Terminate, you either a) defend, b) shield, or c) lose 100% of your HP. That's just a coin flip, really. No amount of healer skill (or tank skill) will save you. Terminate is nice because it's a single ability that we can point at, but as I said, it's far from the only example of this problem.

Regarding proactively hitting CDs when you know heavy damage is coming… duh? :-) That's like, tanking 101. CDs are occasionally good emergency buttons, but if you're running with a healer you trust, you're probably not going to use them as such unless you see the rest of the raid is in worse shape. If you're running with good DPS, you won't need them to negate an enrage, so you can use them strictly as part of your mitigation profile when heavy damage phases are about to hit. Unfortunately, your assertion that no boss has a heavy damage phase which comes more frequently than CD availability is simply false. Thrasher is a great example of this, since his swipe happens once every 30 seconds (on the dot) and is melee damage, meaning you have only Deflection and BR to deal with the issue. The snipers pose a similar problem to the off-tank. Kel'sara's high damage phases come once every 15-20 seconds, though her burst is definitely lower than Thrasher or Operation's Chief (and split into many abilities, thus less RNG prone and more healable). We already mentioned how Terminate comes once every 40 seconds, which means you can use Deflection on one for a *chance* to live and BR on another for slightly better odds (assuming really good healers), but you can't keep it up indefinitely. Better hope your DPS can kill the boss before you have to take a third Terminate!

Quote: Originally Posted by insaneric View Post
The assassins are not even with the other tanks for their mitigation but you take them for their utility. There's nothing wrong with having a tank class that is designed to fill this style of role. If that's not their intent then that's a problem that Bioware should fix but doesn't stop them being equally viable for endgame content.
The utility that shadows bring is generally out-matched by the other tanks, which is why I don't accept this argument. Stealth is useful situationally, but far more rarely than one would think. Vanguards bring the pull, and Guardians have a more targeted knockback (I rarely use my knockback anyway, and then only on trash). Stealth Mez is cool, but only useful on certain trash pulls (my raid group essentially never CCs anything). That leaves cooldowns…

Shadow cooldowns obviously roflstomp vanguard cooldowns, but that's primarily because vanguards don't have cooldowns worth speaking of. Unfortunately, shadow CDs are categorically out matched by guardians in every possible respect. If there's a mechanic you can cheese with Resilience, you can also cheese it with Saber Reflect, and Saber Reflect works 100% of the time (vs 95% for Resilience) and affects more attacks. If there's a reason to pop Deflection, then you may as well have popped Saber Ward to receive a brief 100% buff to defense, followed by the same defense buff and a *superior* force/tech buff. Battle Readiness for a 25% DR buff? Try Warding Call for a 40% DR buff! Now that Guardian CDs are on 2.5 minute timers, shadows no longer have a significant advantage in CD availability.

Overall, I see no significant utilities that shadow tanks bring which the other tanks cannot match or exceed, and certainly nothing that even remotely justifies their near unhealability on certain fights. The best thing you can say for shadows is that they take less damage averaged over time than other tanks do. This is absolutely true. Unfortunately, it's not a *lot* less (guardians are really close in terms of mean survivability) and the advantage is essentially swamped by the extreme difficulty of keeping a shadow tank alive through spikes and bad RNG.
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