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PVP Tank spec, damage higher than intended. [Design flaw]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Shadow / Assassin
PVP Tank spec, damage higher than intended. [Design flaw]

Mize's Avatar

03.05.2012 , 10:47 PM | #1
I've read countless forum threads, and lots of whine threads, about nearly every class. I never saw myself posting one, but I do so in the vain hope that it will get some kind of attention that may eventually reach the ears of those who control class balance.

Many of you know the spec, and abuse it heavily. I really can't blame you because who wouldn't use the most powerful build in PVP? We're talking about 31/0/10, or 27/0/14. When the Shadow/Sin class was designed, I'm very certain the devs had intended people using the tank tree to be using tank gear. However, by using DPS heavy stats and stacking power/surge while using a focus, PVP Shadows/Sins have found they are much more mobile and able to dish out large amounts of consistent damage.

This stems mainly from a few abilities that, when used with the aforementioned heavy DPS stats, do much greater than intended damage (Note I have spelled out terms for both Shadow and Assassin):

Energize/Particle Acceleration: When using Dark Charge/Combat Technique, each hit of Double Strike/Thrash has a 30% chance to finish the cooldown on Project/Shock and cause it to auto-crit. If Force Potency/Recklessness is popped, it adds +50% crit damage (This hits VERY hard with FP/Reck popped).

Bombardment/Electrify: Makes Project/Shock do +15% base damage.

Harnessed Shadows/Harnessed Darkness: Project/Shock has a 100% chance to grant a stack of HS/HD, which causes the next Telekinetic Throw/Force Lightning to be uninterruptible and have no pushback. Also, each stack adds 25% damage, to a max of 75% bonus damage with 3 stacks.

Force Synergy/Exploitive Strikes: Critical hits with Force attacks add 9% melee crit for 10 seconds. With crit Project/Shocks going off, this ability has a long and dependable uptime.

Upheavel/Chain Shock: Project/Shock has a 45% chance to activate a second Project/Shock that does 50% of normal damage.

Force in Balance/Death Field: Deals 1002-1066 damage to up to 3 targets in an 8-meter radius, healing you for 1% of max health for each target struck.

The above abilities, when used in combination with gear heavier on Willpower, Crit, Power, and Surge, are able to deal very high and consistent damage. It is my opinion that the devs did not balance these abilities around DPS gear, but rather to give tanks sufficient damage to hold threat and maintain decent DPS.

This spec, 31/0/10 or 27/0/14, is a very resilient build as well. By using Dark Charge/Combat Technique, armor is automatically increased by 150%. White damage is still a significant source of DPS in this game, and that boost to armor is nothing to scoff at. Also, by using the Darkness/Combat trees, players will pick up many defensive and utility abilities as well, making this the most mobile and defensive of all Shadow/Sin builds. Just to touch on this, here are the advantages gained in the mobility/utility department:

- Force speed cooldown reduced to 20s, and breaks roots/snares on use.

- Force Shroud/Resilience lasts 2 seconds longer, and has a 15 second shorter cooldown. (this is a VERY powerful cooldown, on a 45 second timer!)

- 10% max health every 2 min (Impact Control/Hollow in tank tree)

- Force Pull, I think this one speaks for itself. Basically a melee/short-range DPS class that can pull targets to them. Yes Vanguard/Powertech can do this anyway, but I'm just citing how this adds a lot to the utility of this build.

- Spinning Kick/Spike usable out of stealth. This gives Shadow/Sin two stuns and an interrupt.

- Force Lift/Whirlwind activation time removed, instant cast, and adds 2s stun if broken early on damage. This depends on build, but adds a great level of battlefield control on a 1 min cooldown. You have to ditch Harnessed Shadows/Darkness for this though, so damage is traded for utility.

Those of you that play this build and gearing know how powerful it is. I cannot blame you at all for (ab)using it, as every PVP player will take any edge they can get. However, you just can't claim that the Tank tree was intended to be played this way. It is out of balance, and for lack of a better term, just straight OP. You can respond with L2P, how you die all the time in this spec, etc. etc. It doesn't really matter, because you are defending something you don't want to lose. Are these players un-killable? Of course not, and PVP for the most part is a team affair. One Shadow/Sin with the FOTM build is not going to win the WZ for you. But properly supported, they can be absolute machines that tip the scales far too much in their team's favor. In numbers, this build is downright scary.

I hope I've shed some light on an imbalance, and again my only intention was to make a public explanation in the hopes that a Dev might see or hear about this. Not looking for support or criticism. If you don't believe me, play it yourself with real gear (read: Champ/BM) and learn how to excel with the build.


P.S. If this strategy is indeed nerfed, Infiltration/Deception and Balance/Madness NEED to be buffed somewhat to make Shadow/Sin DPS more formidable when they have less survivability. In no way am I saying to adjust the popular spec and not make up for the shortcomings of the true damage specs.

Crazysithslayer's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 12:02 AM | #2
It is overpowered but in the current state the other specs are not realistically usefull. So I agree without you on both accounts.

In my opinion Infil should get some kinda of debuff, faster force regen and a shadowstep type ability.

anstalt's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 08:33 AM | #3
Getting high damage in a warzone and doing effective DPS are two different things entirely.

Kinetic Shadows get high damage numbers purely through AoE. Thats it. against a single target, their DPS is much lower than a proper DPS spec. KC shadows win 1v1's through mitigation and self healing, not through damage.

Whilst we may have great utility and good DPS when tank-specced-but-dps-geared, its not over the top. You are gaining DPS whilst becoming more squishy against marauders and snipers.

For the record, I play both KC and Inf specs on about an equal basis atm and do indeed pvp as a tank using dps gear. As KC i almost always post bigger numbers than I would as inf spec, but it is always due to AoE. Whenever I get in to a 1v1, I never beat the other person because my damage is great, I beat them because I outlive them through self-healing. Whenever I get in to a 1v1 as inf spec, I win due to CC and DPS.

Different strokes for different folks, seems fine to me. Choose KC for AoE and survivability, choose Inf for burst
Anstalt - lvl 50 valor 81 Shadow Consular

Currently retired due to poor design decisions within the game that have killed its longevity. Get rid of Hickman before he ruins the game completely!

SamuraiJedi's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 10:30 AM | #4
Lol posting a list of our abilities and calling it OP doesn't do anything. 1v1 with any class with tank build and any form of decent gear and your going to lose. The bottom line is our class would be useless without the skills they have given us. We can't jump in any spec. As infil we have 1 closer on a 30sec CD, so it would make sense to give the tank an ability to keep the enemy he is tanking in arms length. As for resilience on shorter CD, have you even played the game? The chain CC is out of control, this barely does anything. Yea we might put up better dps than other tanks, but we also don't mitigate damage as well as the others. I seriously hope Kitru pops in for a visit on this post..

Kai-Eurah-Tird's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 11:48 AM | #5
Why do you say "abuse" ? >_> What are we exploiting here?

I've been playing 23/0/18 at launch, they changed that build, now I swapped to 31/0/10.

They'll probably make changes to Shadow/Assassin in 1.2 but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

isast's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 12:23 PM | #6
lol @ "abusing heavily" our class. should we purposefully build as something worthless? is that what you do OP? do you build the least effective build possible for your class? oh, you don't? then why are you flaming us for using the best combination of talents and gear that we are given? hrm...

Kai-Eurah-Tird's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 12:39 PM | #7
Shadow/assassins were broken when the game launched. A lot of the things in our tree weren't doing what they're supposed to:

- Particle Acceleration did not give 50% extra crit damage when used with Force Potency.
- Slow time did not do a whole lot of damage (it was later buffed up to do 15% more damage) and did not give Harnessed Shadow stacks.

At launch the Kinetic Combat tree was only viable for 23/0/18 builds, and the damage in that build is a bit subpar compared to infiltration. Only with the recent patch that nerf hybrid specs and FIXED pure specs did people start to notice Shadow/Assassin tank spec.

I suspect we'll be the next FoTM, if not already.

Hethroin's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 01:54 PM | #8
When you are a hybrid tank, and in 31/0/10 with DPS gear you are a hybrid tank, you do reasonable damage, and have reasonable survivability. Neither is over the top. You do not do enough DPS to burst a target down through heals, nor do you provide the same kind of impenetrable firewall that a high-mitigation 23k HP tank guarding someone does. It's pretty middle of the road.

Competent healers laugh at 31/0/10 trying to "burn" them down. All tanks in this game can gear for DPS, and do reasonable damage.
Corellian Run formerly Mind Trick
<White Talons>: Tigerwoods - Vanguard, Limbaugh - Sentinel
<Black Talons>: Ereldys - Assassin

Zintair's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 01:54 PM | #9
No. Just no.

1)The truth is 31/0/10 and 27/0/14 are very different builds and not all the abilities will be able to fit on a single build.

2)Using DPS gear heavily reduced our secondary tanking stats. If a player uses a Focus over a Shield Generator then they are not completely a tank anymore either. Sure they can stay in combat technique and guard/taunt but they will not shield ANY attacks. (and like you said) "White dmg" accounts for a lot of damage in this game.

3)Other classes can crit 1.5x as hard as the Shadows BIGGEST crit and they have Heavy armor which totals more armor than us with Combat Technique by about 4-6%.

The people whoa re performing so well are really not even Tanks. Yes they can take damage but they can take damage only slightly better than DPS. Especially if they lack shield all they have to rely on are perfect timing cooldowns of Resilience/Deflection/Battle Readiness(10% heal)

There are other things in this game that need work. Nothing about this is broken but it's definitely being tweaked so we'll see where it goes.
Joriana Severblade - Jedi Guardian - Defense
Zintair Severblade - Jedi Shadow - Kinetic Combat

Vyndeta's Avatar

03.06.2012 , 02:28 PM | #10
lol is the reason u made this wall of text because this guy beat u into the ground ?

Vyndeta <Seal Team Sith> ~The Fatman~
RobinHoe <Reckless> ~Warriors of The Shadow~