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Altering Tanking Stats

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Altering Tanking Stats

LordEvaader's Avatar

01.26.2012 , 10:28 AM | #1
Class forums are always full of comparisons of this or that class, asking which is better. Frequently, this comes down to personal opinion, play what you like.

Tanking isn't like that.

Everyone in the raid has an expectation of the tank. They want high hitpoints, high threat, reliable mitigation and survivability, and if given half a chance will tell you exactly what to play, how to spec, and what gear to wear, all the way down to what mods you socket.

This makes tanks significantly more vulnerable to a real MMO killer, which is class homogenization. When everyone has the same powers and the same stats, does it really matter which one you play? That question seems, more often than not, to turn into "Does it matter IF we play?", and suddenly subs are falling off, nobody is raiding, and pretty soon people joke about the game as if it was already dead.

It is vital to any MMO that it's classes all be viable and all be worth playing, else the programmers made that class for nothing, anyone playing it feels like a reject, and the game suffers as a whole.

With tanks, in this game, I'm noticing something. There are 4 stats for tanking mitigation, they aren't equal, and that lopsidedness is pushing all tanks to similar designs.

Listing them with my personal opinion of usefulness

Defense is best, because it reduces 100% of the incoming damage, and cannot be easily reduced.

Damage reduction, which includes both talents and armor, is consistent, but only a %, and it is reduced by that amazingly common stacking sunder effect.

Shield rating is nice, but I haven't seen a rating over 60%, and it really does nothing without

Shield absorb, a great idea, I like the mechanic of chance to block and ammount blocked displayed so clearly, but again, does anyone have super high shield absorb, to the point that they take NO damage on a shielded attack? And shield absorb is still only as good as your shield rating

Really, this only leaves 4 paths to tanking, and one of them, IMO, is a very bad thing.

You can tank with defense. This is ok, you get a huge lead on the dps for ability to not die. It saves the healers a lot of anguish since your life tends not to drop.

You can tank with armor. Again, ok, you will drop continuously, but you will not tire the healer as much as a dps would

You can tank with shields. Not ok. You will sometimes drop quickly, sometimes slowly, this will be randomly distributed across the incoming attacks, with some huge attacks hitting the shield and some minor ones slipping through to feel like consistency and then suddenly a big attack will slip through the shield and you will lose 80% of your hp in one blow. Healers dislike this, tank players dislike this.

You can tank with HP. From a distance this looks good, lots and lots of hp takes longer to get rid of, giving the life bar a nice, slow drain. But I've healed those tanks, and it isn't pretty. Up close, they are taking every single point of damage. That HUGE lifebar is moving past very very quickly, and that means that someone has to HEAL every single point, and that creates a huge drain on healing resources, and a huge ammount of threat for the healers. It does something worse, though. It gives the game designers the middle finger, because it ignores all the stats, all the mechanics of the entire game. I have 600 bazillion hp, your boss doesn't have an attack that deals that much, I have four healers putting out more heals than his dps, I can stand in fire and button mash taunt and I'm a tank.

This last tanking method rises to the top when the previous ones don't give tank's what they need to do the job with mitigation.

Right now, defense and armor are the methods that work, and they combine well. For everyone. Doesn't matter what class, doesn't matter what spec, what matters is that got high defense and high armor.

Shield tanks have twice as many stats to worry about, with less effective yield, and the hp stackers are already muttering in the wings.

This IS a bad thing. You want skilled players liking this game, they have to have something to spend their skill ON.

I suggest that each tanking spec should work on a different method of tanking, and each should be capable of investing heavily in it. Moreso, the primary stats used by each tank should contribute to that method.

Arguments can be made for all manner of combinations, here I suggest the following:

Immortal Jugg should have armor and def rating, with little investment in shield chance, they storm through the battle deflecting and absorbing attacks with light saber and armor. Somewhere in the Immortal spec, Str should give Def rating and or armor.

Darkness Sin should have high defense and shield procs, negating incoming attacks before they can reach them. Somewhere in Darkness spec, Wisdom should give a boost to shield absorb (to compliment the existing talent that boosts shield chance) or possibly def rating.

Shield Tech Powertech should use Shields and Armor, and not need def rating, allowing their machinery to do the defending for them. Aim should give them a consistent boost to shield rating, allowing the player to focus on absorb, as the powertech angles his body to catch incoming attacks on the shield.

I know that these are already very close to what IS, that's on purpose. I'm pushing for that extra little bit that can let each tank have a distinct style, and take pride in it, and excel at it. To get this, Shields have to be made more effective. Because without that, two of the three setups I described are inherently weaker, and wish they could be Jugg tanks. Without giving shields just a bit more oomph, every tank will reach a point where armor and def rating are better than shields, and it's just one more step from there to having all tanks be exactly the same.

Because right now, between Dark Sin and Immo Jugg, there is almost no difference in desired stats, Shields blow and people diss Powertech tanks in general chat, and I hear people talking about minimum hp to run flashpoint such and such as if it were the only number you needed.

I want to see Powertech tanks rocking insane shields that can handle massive damage, and I want to see Sins' and Juggs' statlines drifting apart.

I think how bioware handles this distinction now will be a big part of how ops and flashpoint play rank in playing The Old Republic.

I want to see the game grow and become more popular.
Peace is not only a lie, but boring as well.