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05.31.2019 , 06:13 PM | #1
[CENTER]Fair warning upfront: this write-up is lengthy and in-depth. It also is specific to PvE gearing. First "Spoiler" section is some background/rambling on my part.

EDIT (04 JUN 19): Updated with comparison's to 246's as many have stated crafting the 258's is not feasible at this point. Also yes, all of this will be moot once the 6.0 update drops, so looking forward to writing a completely new one later this year.


The following shows the entirely of the methodology I employed while doing my analysis of Tank gearing at the highest level, with an assumption that the player has access to all Armorings, Hilts/Barrels, Mods, Enhancements, Relics, and Augments at the 258 item level and comparisons to 246's craftable BiS's. I will make several suggestions about each of the 3 classes as they are laid out, but the intent is to show a thought process and give the player the tools so they can tune their builds to what is "best" for them.


Much to my surprise when returning to theory-crafting, the calculations for stats in SW:toR have not changed, save for 2 very minor exceptions. The "max level" divisor in the exponents has of course been increased to 70, and the Endurance factor has been raised from 10.5 to 12. Oddly enough, in other guides on "optimal stats" the equations are not shown. Not sure if authors deem them unnecessary to prove their points or don't want others doing their own calculations, regardless -- here are the 4 main ones Tanks will be concerned with:

Defense Chance = 30 * ( 1 - ( 1 - ( 0.01 / 0.3 ))^(( DefenseRating / MaxLevel ) / 1.2 ))
Shield Chance = 50 * ( 1 - ( 1 - ( 0.01 / 0.5 ))^(( ShieldRating / MaxLevel ) / 0.78 ))
Absorb Percentage = 50 * ( 1 - ( 1 - ( 0.01 / 0.5 ))^(( AbsorptionRating / MaxLevel ) / 0.65 ))
Max Health = (Base Health + Endurance * 12) * 1.01
Note: the " * 1.01 " in the Max Health equation is presently only if one has unlocked the appropriate reward from Companion Affection.
Stat Efficiency

Each Tank has its own unique buffs to the above-mentioned stats, so each of them utilizes the stats differently. I needed a starting point with the gear to work from, so when I got to individualizing it was a matter of making adjustments to a baseline rather than doing a complete ground-up for each class.

I decided to find the most stat-efficient set of 258 gear, that is to say the most increase to all attributes of Health, Defense, Shield, and Absorb per point invested. The order in which you look at pieces of gear matters when doing this, because 3 of those stats suffer from diminishing returns. So once you start putting items into slots, every next item gives you less than the previous. Order matters because for example, if you calculated for all 14 Augment slots first, it would drastically change how you looked at putting in your Enhancements.

The last time I did this, I started with the Mods as a baseline as they are unavoidable and all contain the same stat of Defense. However, in reading other guides (even the out-dated ones) I ran across the notion of not having Warding Mods at all due to the over-abundance of Defense in general. Curios to see how this played out, I decided to push the Mods until much later and start with the other pieces of gear one cannot escape when equipping a Tank.

In an attempt to go from the most unavoidable pieces of gear to the most superfluous, this was the order I chose:
  1. Ear/Implants
  2. Enhancements
  3. Augments
  4. Relics
  5. Mods
  6. Crystals
  7. Hilt/Barrel

Before getting started though, there were certain baselines that had to be addressed:
  • Base Health: 23750
  • Base Endurance: 765
  • Datacron Endurance: +56
  • Fortitude Stim: +240 Endurance, +99 Defense
  • Resistive Armor/Hilt/Barrel x9: +2394 Endurance

This means before equipping anything further to your Tank, and before adding any of the class-specific buffs, every Tank starts with the following: For simplicity's sake I am currently omitting the baseline Defense, Shield, and Absorb ratings. Showing the increases to these stats is the more important aspect of the picture at this juncture in my opinion.
  • Health: 65862.1
  • Defense: +1.18%

Next it was a matter of proceeding to slot 1 item at a time and see which gave a higher boost to its respective stat. As the Defense Rating remains a constant during the Ear/Implant and Enhancement comparison, the only really values to look at were Shield vs. Absorb. Due to the exponent in the Absorb equation being divided by 0.65 compared to Shield's 0.78, Absorb has a naturally higher stat efficiency and it is a matter of reaching a point where the diminishing return favors Shield and then alternating between the 2 as they progress down their respective curves.

The first 2 equips of Ear and/or Implant favor Absorb, increasing it by +5.31% and a further +4.75% respectively. Shield wins out for the 3 slot, increasing by +4.47% compared to Absorb's newly diminished +4.24% increase.

After this, I looked at Enhancements. There are 3 pairs (the following is values for 258's):
  • Bastion vs. Bulwark: +211 Endurance, +122 Defense, and +253 Shield/Absorb
  • Immunity vs. Sturdiness: +162 Endurance, +179 Defense, and +253 Shield/Absorb
  • Steadfast vs. Vigilant: +253 Endurance, +74 Defense, and +240 Shield/Absorb

Given the vast complaints about the over-saturation of Defense Rating, the Immunity/Sturdiness set is without question the worst option. Naturally, this means it is the default option on gear you get from the vendors. The Bastion/Bulwark and Steadfast/Vigilant sets are available, they are just too expensive for most people to feasibly be expected to obtain them.

Enhancement Optimization by Efficiency:

Absorb wins the first round and then it alternates back and forth until the very last slot when Shield wins for the second time in a row by +0.04%. Leaving the Enhancement spread at 4 Immunity, 3 Sturdiness.

As the next part of gear to check will be Augments, I took a step back from the Shield vs. Absorb comparison to see how the current choices affected the other stats. Baseline Defense increase from solely the Stim + Ear/Implants + Enhancements is granting the player +18.96%. Base Defense Chance is 5% before any class-specific buffs are accounted for, so currently sitting at a 23.96% Defense chance means there is literally no reason to slot a Redoubt Augment. Once again making this a Shield vs. Absorb question in terms of efficiency.

Short version: Absorb wins the first 2, then alternate, Shield wins the last 2. Meaning 7 of each.

With Augments done, the next question is about Relics. I'd seen multiple people mention it is better to run the DPS/Healer Relics as opposed to the Tank ones as the RNG component does not help as much when compared to the damage/threat increase the others give. It's also noted that the Tank ones give Shield Rating where the DPS ones give Endurance. Doing another step back back to check in with where our stats currently lie, this time adding in the base values for Shield and Absorb:
  • Health: 108294.22
  • Shield: 45.77%
  • Absorb: 49.04%

There is no other slot from which one can gain Absorb, and the Relics are the last discussion point that involves the possibility of increasing Shield. From a non-passive stat comparison, the Tank vs. DPS Relic discussion can be summed by the following: 1.29% Shield Chance vs. 6738.72 Health. Combining that with knowledge of what the passives actually provide, and my strong suggestion mirrors most others when I say Tanks should be slotting the DPS Relics.

Now, since we know the 258 Enhancements available at the vendor are the worst possible, it warrants comparing them to the "BiS" craftable ones found all the way back at the 246 ilvl.

If you swap all of your Enhancements for BiS 246's, this is the trade-off:
[*]Bastion/Bulwark: +1781.64 Health, -2.61% Defense, -1.21% Shield, -0.94% Absorb[*]Steadfast/Vigilant: +4920.72 Health, -4.32% Defense, -1.67% Shield, -1.29% Absorb

This is just an overview for now to show the total difference, I will refer back to this when we get to class-specific gearing.

Next is the question of Mods. As I said before, the current Defense Chance is at 23.96% without class-specific buffs. Meaning one can realistically ignore Warding Mods altogether as anything above 25% is adequate, and the Powertech (having the lowest Base Defense) is sitting at 27.96% right now. So the question lies in 258 Lethal Mods vs. the 246 Lethal B Mods (258 Lethal B Mods are unquestionably BiS for all Tanks if you can acquire them).
  • Lethal (258): 135552.1 Health, +2034 Mastery, +1764 Power
  • Lethal B (246): 138715.42 Health, +1521 Mastery, +1251 Power

The long and short of it is 246 Lethal B's have +3163.32 Health over the 258 Lethal's, but the 258's trade in for +513 Mastery and +513 Power. First logical thing to do is obtain your 258 set and buy/craft 246 Lethal B's (or have them prior to obtaining your 258 set). As for swapping them into 258 Lethal's -- dealer's choice on what you feel you need. But it does inherently require building and almost wasting an entire 258 DPS set just to accomplish if you plan to switch them out. Again, if you can acquire 258 Lethal B's, they are BiS without competition.

The only other gear to touch on at a baseline level before getting into the class-specific discussion is Crystals and the Armor/Hilt/Barrel of your Mainhand/Offhand, as some Tanks will slot a DPS Mainhand A/H/B to help with their threat generation.
  • Crystals: +496.92 Health vs. +41 Master/Power each
  • A/H/B: +315.12 Health vs. 25 Mastery each

Class-Specific Adjustments







With all that concluded, and all other gear slots accounted for, Crystals comes down to a comparison of which of the following do you want:
  • Indestrucible: +993.84 Health
  • War Hero's: +16.4 Bonus Damage, +0.1% Critical Chance
  • Hawkeye: +18.86 Bonus Damage

Closing Thoughts, and Augment Flair

Like everyone else, I am waiting eagerly for more details on the Sept. update's gearing system overhaul and honestly cannot wait to see what kinds of things there will be to figure out with the new item slot they announced. Defense is definitely over-saturated as has been said by many players. Juggernaut's/Guardian's seem to get the most out of the current gear available, as the excess Power from the Lethal/Lethal B Mods subtly enhances their mitigation by increasing the amount Sonic Barrier absorbs.

One thing with Augments that I discovered while putting all this together is there is a much higher amount of Endurance on the DPS Augments. Now, normally it would be heresy for a Tank to intentionally reduce their Shield/Absorb Augment numbers as the slots to get those stats back are so limited, but it is worth looking into in my opinion. Every Augment swapped nets the same amount of Health as a Crystal (+496.92) and costs only -0.9 to -1.23% Shield / -1.25% Absorb.

So if you're willing to sacrifice a single percentage point in either stat for ~500 Health, you can additionally gain more offensive stats. The Mastery Augment will net you +99 Mastery vs. the +80 Power on the Shield/Absorb ones. This is actually an increase to your Bonus Damage by +1.4 in addition to the minor Critical Chance buff it will also provide.

If you want some real spice you could play with swapping in some Alacrity Augments. They don't affect your defensive cooldowns or your Taunts, but getting your "Generates a High Amount of Threat" abilities back faster is something to be considered.

Apologies for the long-windedness, but I do hope this helps provide a better overall picture of where Tanks are at currently with gear (or at least a more up-to-date one).

May the Force serve you well.
- Sevrahn -
Don't ever learn how to tank.
They won't let you do anything else once they know you are good at it.