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Tanking Relics for PVE

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Tanking Relics for PVE

TheronFett's Avatar


TheronFett
09.24.2012 , 02:38 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
The logic between those 2 statements is completely contradictory. The tank controls when to use the use relics, so the tank has the ability to specifically activate the ability when needed. The proc has a 100% chance to activate when you successfully shield, which, unless you're not stacking Shield whatsoever, is going to happen within 1-2 GCDs of the ICD coming off. The proc relic may be "random", but it's got a good enough uptime on a short enough ICD that it more than offsets it.
No, not really.

On use and proc trinkets have a cooldown, which means they could be unavailable when you need them. Granted, a lot of the mechanics for boss fights are on a timer or % of health and can be predictable. But that doesn't change that you still run the risk of not having a boost when you need it most.

My tank is a Powertech, which excels at static mitigation. I will equip an on use relic for boss fights that demand it (Foreman Crusher, Garg, etc.) during their frenzy mechanic. Aside from that, I don't need it, and it arguable whether I need it even then.

Healers tend to prefer PT/Vanguard tanks, (at least most of the ones I talk to) because they're more predictable as far as the amount of damage they take. My healers know that they can leave me be for awhile and heal up others who may need it without worrying that I'm suddenly going to take a ton of spike damage.

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
09.24.2012 , 06:55 PM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by TheronFett View Post
On use and proc trinkets have a cooldown, which means they could be unavailable when you need them. Granted, a lot of the mechanics for boss fights are on a timer or % of health and can be predictable. But that doesn't change that you still run the risk of not having a boost when you need it most.
First off, the ICD on the proc relics is miniscule. It's like bringing up the CD on Kinetic Ward: sure, it's there, but it's so short no one even pays attention to it other than to make not of it while theorycrafting to learn about contributive values.

Secondly, the entire point of the use relics is that you don't use it until you actually need it. If you are using it when you wouldn't need it for whatever reason, then you're a bad tank that has no idea how to manage CDs. Saying "it might not be up when you need it" concerning a CD that you have direct control over when it is used is essentially a complaint that you suck at using it. If you don't suck at cooldown management, it's a substantially stronger benefit.

Quote:
My tank is a Powertech, which excels at static mitigation. I will equip an on use relic for boss fights that demand it (Foreman Crusher, Garg, etc.) during their frenzy mechanic. Aside from that, I don't need it, and it arguable whether I need it even then.
You could tank effectively with DPS relics up (I've actually done it before). It's not a binary question of "needed" or "not needed" but instead one that exists on the sliding scale of "optimal". Hands down, the proc relic is the most optimal tanking relic: it provides the most increased survivability averaged over its 20 second proc cycle. You can bring up the 14ish seconds that the buff is down for whatever reason, but that is more than made up by the fact that you get 4 times the rating that the passive relic provides while it is up. There's a reason that every theorycrafter that I've seen tells people to use the proc relic. Beyond that, the second place spot is entirely dependent on the mechanics and incoming damage rates of the fight at hand. Since there aren't any fights that are without distinct phases of higher and lower levels of M/R damage in the current or next of content that are easily predictable, there isn't any reason to reliably claim that passive relics are more valuable than use relics unless you're either lazy or ignorant of fight mechanics.

Quote:
Healers tend to prefer PT/Vanguard tanks, (at least most of the ones I talk to) because they're more predictable as far as the amount of damage they take. My healers know that they can leave me be for awhile and heal up others who may need it without worrying that I'm suddenly going to take a ton of spike damage.
The only reason many healers prefer to run with PT/VG tanks is because it is *stupidly hard* to screw up a VG tank because almost all of their mitigation is static and you just have to faceroll your attacks. Shad/Sin tanks require a fair amount of skill to be appreciably durable because it requires that you pay attention to buffs, restrict the use of attack until you have the appropriate buffs, and know what types of attacks are being thrown at you. Guard/Jugg tanks are incredibly easy to screw up because of their resource generation mechanism. Pretty much anyone that actually understands the tanks will tell you that a bad VG is better than a bad Shadow which is better than a bad Guardian. On the other hand, a skilled Shadow is going to be better than a skilled Guardian which will be better than a skilled VG. The fact that it's so painfully difficult to screw up a VG tank also prevents VGs from operating at the same level that it's possible to get Guardians and Shadows up to.

Also, the fact that VGs have such static survivability and the fewest CDs means that they have the least burst survivability. On Kephess, it's way better to have a Shadow or Guardian than it is to have a VG because the Guardian and Shadow have more than 1 CD (not to mention that their CDs also provide more than the VG's). As a VG, it would actually behoove you to take a use relic specifically because it helps offset that weakness.
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grallmate's Avatar


grallmate
09.24.2012 , 08:59 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
The logic between those 2 statements is completely contradictory. The tank controls when to use the use relics, so the tank has the ability to specifically activate the ability when needed. The proc has a 100% chance to activate when you successfully shield, which, unless you're not stacking Shield whatsoever, is going to happen within 1-2 GCDs of the ICD coming off. The proc relic may be "random", but it's got a good enough uptime on a short enough ICD that it more than offsets it.

The only advantage to the passive relics is that they are just that: passive. The proc relic has the best mean contribution even though it's only active for ~30% of the time, and the use relics have the most controllable/burst damage resistant nature (because they're functionally an extra CD). The passives are only best if you're largely unwilling to learn fights and then react to the changing situation and varying damage levels virtually every boss operates with now as well as unwilling to cede to the mathematical superiority of the proc relic (which, regardless of how you feel about randomness, provide more mitigation than the passive relics do).
Again, the downside of the proc relic is it doesn't affect the attacks that are likely to kill you and it doesn't reduce the likelihood of you dying. It only applies against attacks that are already mitigated, so while it is excellent for mean mitigation, it is uncontrolled and merely improves the mean. It does nothing to reduce spikiness (in fact it increases relative spikiness) and doesn't reduce the chance of you dying to a string of unmitigated attacks. You know: the situations that kill tanks.

I'm also iffy about your numbers since all relic will vary in usefulness thanks to DR, and we can all agree that the 415 absorb from the proc relic is pushing it into the high DR area. IMO that Absorb proc relic is the worst relic to use for those reasons.

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Kitru
09.24.2012 , 09:34 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
It does nothing to reduce spikiness (in fact it increases relative spikiness) and doesn't reduce the chance of you dying to a string of unmitigated attacks. You know: the situations that kill tanks.
I play a Shadow tank (the tank with the highest spikiness of incoming damage) and I've never found spikiness to be all that much of a complex survivability factor. With 30% defense chance and 65% shield chance, there's only a 6% chance that any 2 consecutive attacks would be normal hits. The only time that would actually kill a tank is against phase 2 Kephess, wherein the tank should be burning a CD anyways, further reducing the chance of consecutive attacks getting through.

Quote:
I'm also iffy about your numbers since all relic will vary in usefulness thanks to DR, and we can all agree that the 415 absorb from the proc relic is pushing it into the high DR area. IMO that Absorb proc relic is the worst relic to use for those reasons.
I really don't think that DR is as big of a factor as most people think it is. It's important to remember that, because mitigation mechanisms are percentage based, the more of any specific mechanism you get, the more valuable that specific percentage increase becomes (a 5% increase in defense is a 5% decrease in incoming damage if you have 0% defense, but it's a 6.67% decrease in incoming defense if you have 25% defense; the effective difference between 60% and 70% absorb is a 25% improvement in total performance from successful shield effects). As such, DR is effectively countered by the progressive increase in effective decreases in percentage damage taken. The entire point of DR is to balance out specialization contributions so that they don't completely overshadow diversified mitigation mechanisms. DR is not the massive evil that so many people make it out to be (unless you're completely ignoring a specific mitigation mechanism, wherein you are shooting yourself in the foot).
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TheronFett's Avatar


TheronFett
09.24.2012 , 10:37 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
I'm also iffy about your numbers since all relic will vary in usefulness thanks to DR, and we can all agree that the 415 absorb from the proc relic is pushing it into the high DR area. IMO that Absorb proc relic is the worst relic to use for those reasons.
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
I really don't think that DR is as big of a factor as most people think it is.
I'm inclined to agree with grallmate.

Any decently geared tank is going to be pushing the boundaries of DR just with normal gearing + augments. The DR thresholds have been pretty well documented and nearly universally agreed upon, and pushing well beyond those limits with a proc or on use relic is counterproductive. The reason most healers don't care much for Assassin/Shadow tanks is because they're high maintenance and rely on smoke and mirrors. That's exactly what proc trinkets are, more smoke and mirrors. I can't for the life of me understand why any tank would want to worry about managing another cooldown, but to each his own.

On use and proc relics have more use for an undergeared tank than anything else. Anyone who is Rakata geared or better really shouldn't have much use for them.

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Kitru
09.25.2012 , 07:49 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by TheronFett View Post
The reason most healers don't care much for Assassin/Shadow tanks is because they're high maintenance and rely on smoke and mirrors.
I'd be really interested in seeing how many healers you actually find that prefer VG to Shadow tanks and how experienced those healers happen to be.

I can tell you, in all of my personal experience (I've got one of each tank at 50 and have done all content on both my VG and Shadow and I've healed as both a Commando and a Sage on all 3 types of tanks through all content), that a properly played Shadow is a better tank from both a threat and a survivability standpoint than a VG. I do say "properly played" because I've run into more than my fair share of Shadows that are largely incompetent and, as such, suck miserably as a tank. Properly played, a Shadow tank is going to require less overall attention than a VG tank.

It's not just my personal experiences either. The healers (and parsers) I've run with stand to support this: Shadows require less healing overall compared to VGs (or Guardians). Shadows do have higher spikiness in their incoming damage (by dint of lower K/E DR and higher reliance on defense and shield/abs) but the spikiness just as easily favors Shadows as it hurts them, not to mention that a well played Shadow should have no problem offsetting burst damage intensive phases with use of CDs. The risk of spiky incoming damage is *vastly* overstated by many people that purport it to be a substantial factor in TOR tanking. The number of consecutive hits that are required in order to kill a tank quickly are high enough that the statistical likelihood of having your mitigation be completely ignored and causing a tank death is infinitesimally small except in a small number of high burst damage circumstances wherein you're, as a tank, expected to offset that with CDs.

It's also important to note that spikiness is not a problem to Shadow tanks exclusively. Because of their higher Defense/Shield/Absorb compared to Guardians and especially VGs, the chances of a VG getting hit with 2 consecutive unmitigated attacks is almost double that of a Shadow (15% Defense + 60% Shield chance = 66% chance of mitigating an attack; 34% chance of having an attack unmitigated equates to an 11.56% chance of 2 consecutive attacks being unmitigated; 30% defense + 65% Shield chance = 75.5% chance of mitigating; 24.5% chance of having an attack unmitigated equates to a 6% chance of 2 consecutive attacks being unmitigated), and it's important to keep in mind that it generally takes more than 2 consecutive attacks to bring down a tank (making unmitigated strings even *less* likely to be a major factor). Yes, VGs take less damage than those attacks against them that get through their defense and shield, but they're substantially more likely to have those events occur in the first place. If you only ever care about what is *possible* but outright *implausible*, then the only tank stats that matter even remotely are Endurance and Armor, since those are the only stats that actually factor in to the *extremely* unlikely cases that you seem to care so much about. I've never had a problem dying due to unmitigated strings. The times they do occur are so rare that I've more had wipes occur due to DCs than I have had due to unmitigated strings. The things that actually pose a real risk to a well played tank are instant death mechanics (Kephess' insta-gib after knockback) and healer incompetence. The tank can explicitly control the first by learning and knowing fights, but there isn't much else that a tank can do beyond increasing mitigation to offset the second.

As to the DR curves, yes they're well known, but they aren't the entire story concerning DR and its application. Looking at the DR curves exclusively does nothing to analyze the comparative reduction in incoming damage at those various stages of DR. If you're stacking one stat *exclusively*, the DR curves will demolish you, but the DR curves don't have such a substantial impact that the contributions of 113 defense are greater on whole than the contributions of 430 absorb with ~30% uptime (assuming a healthy shield chance). On a point for point basis, absorb mitigates more damage per point of rating than defense does (Absorb contributes to its percentage at roughly 4 times the same rate as defense; with a 60% shield chance, this means that Absorb, exclusive of DR, would contribute to mean mitigation at 2.4 times the rate of Defense; to render them to equal mean mitigation, the DR curve would have to reduce Absorb to only 40% of the same percentage contributions of Defense; DR hits hard, but it doesn't hit Absorb that much harder than Defense).
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TheronFett's Avatar


TheronFett
09.25.2012 , 10:57 AM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
I'd be really interested in seeing how many healers you actually find that prefer VG to Shadow tanks and how experienced those healers happen to be.
Assassin/Shadow tanks are few and far between on my server, in PvE at least. I've seen several of them during Flashpoints while leveling up alts, but it seems that a lot of them don't make it to endgame. In the hundreds of times I've run Operations, I can probably count the number of them I've seen on one hand. This is personal experience of course, and your mileage may vary. I won't deny that the skill cap is higher for an Assassin/Shadow tank versus a Powertech/Vanguard, which is probably why there aren't as many...especially skilled ones.

SgtKlavier's Avatar


SgtKlavier
09.25.2012 , 12:18 PM | #18
Quote:
It's also important to note that spikiness is not a problem to Shadow tanks exclusively. Because of their higher Defense/Shield/Absorb compared to Guardians and especially VGs, the chances of a VG getting hit with 2 consecutive unmitigated attacks is almost double that of a Shadow (15% Defense + 60% Shield chance = 66% chance of mitigating an attack; 34% chance of having an attack unmitigated equates to an 11.56% chance of 2 consecutive attacks being unmitigated; 30% defense + 65% Shield chance = 75.5% chance of mitigating; 24.5% chance of having an attack unmitigated equates to a 6% chance of 2 consecutive attacks being unmitigated)
Just curious, how are you calculating the math for these probabilities?

TheronFett's Avatar


TheronFett
09.25.2012 , 02:27 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by SgtKlavier View Post
Just curious, how are you calculating the math for these probabilities?
Please, don't encourage him. I can't decide whether he's actually attempting to help the tanking community, or if he just likes to hear himself talk.

CitizenFry's Avatar


CitizenFry
09.25.2012 , 02:36 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by SgtKlavier View Post
Just curious, how are you calculating the math for these probabilities?
Chance of not mitigating two consecutive attacks is
(% not shield attack 1) * (% not dodge attack 1) * (% not shield attack 2) * (% not dodge attack 2)

so, for Kitru's scenarios
Vanguard, 15% dodge, 60% shield
(.85) * (.40) * (.85) * (.40) = 11.56%

Shadow, 30% dodge, 65% shield
(.70) * (.35) * (.70) * (.35) = 6.00%
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