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How can a Vangaurd play 2 roles?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Trooper
How can a Vangaurd play 2 roles?

Lordmird's Avatar


Lordmird
12.01.2012 , 11:31 PM | #1
I'm currently a level 21 Vanguard. The other day I was doing a FP and my group needed a tank. I decided to play tank, and turn on Ion Cell. Our only healer was a level 21 Commando, and he focused his healing on me. I think I did pretty well for my first time tanking. But what I really loved, was the fact that I could just switch from Plasma Cell(DPS) to Ion (Tank). How can I spec myself, so that I can do either one, depending on the situation? Am I going to have to split half and half on my skill tree? Half in Assualt Specialist, and half in Defense?

*First thread in forums.*
Thanks,
Lord Mird
"Who dares wins" "By Strength and Guile" "Per Mare, Per Terram" "Utrinque Paratus" Her Majesty's best
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Rassuro's Avatar


Rassuro
12.02.2012 , 03:16 AM | #2
If you really wanted to go fairly deep into two different trees, then Shield and Tactics are the two which you would go into. The easiest reason why Tactics would be a better idea than Assault is because a lot of the talents in Assault require you to use Plasma Cell for them to even do anything.

That said, it's really not a good idea to do this. If talenting for both roles, then when you are in Ion Cell you are not going to be as good as someone who's tank specced, and when in one of the DPS cells you are not going to be as good as someone who's DPS specced.

It's OK to just quickly change your role by changing cell when you are very low level and you haven't yet gotten a lot of talent points, I do the same whenever I am on a low level character, but once you start getting higher in level you should be aiming at going 31 points into one of the trees and using the cell which is meant for that tree. Then when you want to change your role, you should respec your talent points.
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Draloch's Avatar


Draloch
12.02.2012 , 04:29 AM | #3
As you get higher and higher level, your stats will matter more and more.

Tanking Vanguards want shield rating, shield absorb, and defense in order to stay alive better.

DPS Vanguards want critical rating, surge rating, and power in order to do more damage.

Even more than the skill trees, you're going to have a tough time being real effective in both roles because you're going to be geared around doing damage or survivability.

If you want to try to juggle 2 gear sets and do both things, your best bet would be to buy the "field respec" option from your characters legacy tab. This would let you get all your skill points refunded while you're in a flashpoint and you could quickly spend them and swap between dps and tanking that way.

Lordmird's Avatar


Lordmird
12.02.2012 , 11:11 AM | #4
Thanks for the answers guys. I will thinking about buying the field repec, when I unlock it, as you both mentioned it.

I guess for now I'll stick with DPS.
"Who dares wins" "By Strength and Guile" "Per Mare, Per Terram" "Utrinque Paratus" Her Majesty's best
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althene's Avatar


althene
12.02.2012 , 07:31 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Rassuro View Post
It's OK to just quickly change your role by changing cell when you are very low level and you haven't yet gotten a lot of talent points, I do the same whenever I am on a low level character, but once you start getting higher in level you should be aiming at going 31 points into one of the trees and using the cell which is meant for that tree. Then when you want to change your role, you should respec your talent points.
While this is mostly true, I would argue the point about the 31 point talents. I find most of them to be quite lackluster. In fact, the build I'm working on currently lacks the top talent in favor of getting Gut from the tactics tree (mostly because I like punching things with a fist dagger). Swtor, in general, is one of the best games right now at allowing "hybrid" specs. Most are just as effective if not quite as specialized as their counterparts.

I'm even starting the question the 25 point tier as well. It seems to me that you could easily do without the extra absorb from power screen since I wouldn't be taking the 31 point talent anyway. 6% shield chance is nice, too, but shields are ignored by 2/3 of the damage I normally see anyway and bypassed by crits on the things they can stop. It's nice to have potent shields and great if they absorb a lot of damage when they fire, but I'd just rather not be there to get hit (i.e. parry, dodge, interrupt, etc). If they were to add a talent to provide crit immunity (from a PvE perspective anyway), then I'd readily change my tune, but right now, shields are probably the worst of the defensive stats available.

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
12.02.2012 , 08:08 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by althene View Post
If they were to add a talent to provide crit immunity (from a PvE perspective anyway), then I'd readily change my tune, but right now, shields are probably the worst of the defensive stats available.
NPCs have no crit chance so a crit immunity talent would be worthless for PvE.

Also, it's nowhere *near* 2/3rds of damage in PvE that avoids def/shield/abs (the only attacks that do this are Force/Tech attacks). There are some fights where it's less than valuable, but there is only 1 fight where it's completely worthless (Soa) and only 2 fights where it's largely worthless to 1 of your tanks (T&Z and twin tanks) and, even then, only if you use a strat that doesn't tank swap.

I wouldn't dream of getting rid of Energy Blast for Gut: Energy Blast is roughly 900-1000 elemental damage and 1 extra ammo every 15 seconds *and it's off the GCD* so it doesn't impact your attack string other than providing outright bonus damage and more ammo; Gut is roughly 800-900 kinetic damage (which means it's reduced by armor, so it's closer to 550-600 in practice) and an extra ~1000 internal damage over 15 seconds at the cost of 2 ammo. Factoring out the "off of GCD" factor by assuming you use Hammer Shot for that GCD, Energy Blast is going to deal roughly the same damage, up front, rather than delayed over the course of 15 seconds (which is better for threat) with a 3 ammo advantage (Energy Blast + Hammer Shot provides 1 ammo whereas Gun costs 2). In short, there's really no reason, from a mechanical or optimization perspective, to take Gut over Energy Blast.
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althene's Avatar


althene
12.02.2012 , 08:33 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
NPCs have no crit chance so a crit immunity talent would be worthless for PvE.

Also, it's nowhere *near* 2/3rds of damage in PvE that avoids def/shield/abs (the only attacks that do this are Force/Tech attacks). There are some fights where it's less than valuable, but there is only 1 fight where it's completely worthless (Soa) and only 2 fights where it's largely worthless to 1 of your tanks (T&Z and twin tanks) and, even then, only if you use a strat that doesn't tank swap.

I wouldn't dream of getting rid of Energy Blast for Gut: Energy Blast is roughly 900-1000 elemental damage and 1 extra ammo every 15 seconds *and it's off the GCD* so it doesn't impact your attack string other than providing outright bonus damage and more ammo; Gut is roughly 800-900 kinetic damage (which means it's reduced by armor, so it's closer to 550-600 in practice) and an extra ~1000 internal damage over 15 seconds at the cost of 2 ammo. Factoring out the "off of GCD" factor by assuming you use Hammer Shot for that GCD, Energy Blast is going to deal roughly the same damage, up front, rather than delayed over the course of 15 seconds (which is better for threat) with a 3 ammo advantage (Energy Blast + Hammer Shot provides 1 ammo whereas Gun costs 2). In short, there's really no reason, from a mechanical or optimization perspective, to take Gut over Energy Blast.
Interesting. I could have sworn I was getting crit by mobs. If this isn't the case, than shields certainly aren't as worthless as they would seem.

The option to take gut wasn't for the dps of gut, but rather to leverage the DoT for high impact bolts. With them ignoring 60% armor and hitting like a truck anyway, the rational was that I could do without energy blast, since HIB was already in my rotation. Having another DoT on a target, or at least having one available in case the ion cell DoT falls off wile stockstrike is on CD, was a good idea in my head.

As to the ammo cost, if shields are working as you say, then I'll be getting this ammo back in relatively short order anyway. The point of my post wasn't to illustrate end game tank mechanics, as I believe an end game tank should be a "pure" spec anyway, but rather to present a case to the OP that he could still have a viable hybrid spec with wich to tank or dps without having to invest in the field respec perk. My spec was ideally designed with leveling PvE and PvP in mind, where there most certainly ARE crits to make shields next to useless.

Furthermore it's not just force/tech attacks that ignore shields. Elemental and internal damage does as well. Any attack that bypasses your armor at 100% is going to bypass your shields. Since there's very little in the way of mitigation for this type of damage, the largest percentage of the damage you take, is going to be from these sources simply by way of them ignoring defenses. You may take more overall hits to your shields, but your armor is what's stoping most of that damage anyway (until you start talking top end super silly shield and absorb rates). Most of the trash (read normal and weak enemies) in the game doesn't have any sort of elemental or internal damage mechanic. But many of the standard and higher NPCs do. It could be as simple as a short term DoT or it could be a force choke followed by shoving a tac-nuke down your pants. In both cases, your not going to have the benefit of your armor or shields and they're going to hit you for the majorityofthe damage you take during that encounter.

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SgtKlavier
12.02.2012 , 10:14 PM | #8
Get ready for Kitru's LOL and a half.

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Kitru
12.02.2012 , 10:33 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by althene View Post
Furthermore it's not just force/tech attacks that ignore shields.
You're misconstruing the mechanics of the game. There is a difference between the type of damage an attack deals (kinetic/energy or internal/elemental) and the type of attack that it is (Force/Tech or melee/ranged). All melee ranged attacks, regardless of the type of damage dealt, can be shielded. It just so happens, completely arbitrarily, that there are no internal/elemental damage M/R attacks (not that the developers couldn't create them).

Also, armor penetration has *nothing* to do with whether an attack can be shielded. Armor (re: K/E DR) is a completely different mechanic than shield/abs. The only thing 100% arpen would do is let you treat the 55% K/E DR of a VG tank as if they had 0% K/E DR. If they shielded the attack, they would still get the full benefit of whatever absorb they might have (at that gear level, it's probably 60%). The only things that have *any* effect on def/shield/absorb are attack type (which determines whether resistance or def/shield/abs is applied) and the attack's crit chance (which, if combined with the shield chance, is greater than 100%, will reduce shield chance so that the sum of the 2 is only 100%). Arpen and damage type are only affected by K/E DR and I/E DR.

Also, you're using some *very* flawed logic in your determination of damage types taken. M/R K/E attacks are in the *vast majority* of attacks, and, as such, a vast majority of damage. Yes, there are DoTs and special attacks that will hit hard, but they are nowhere near common enough or hard hitting enough to offset the massive majority of M/R attacks. The only time this isn't the case is PvP where the ratio gets screwed up a lot, largely because players have *way* more F/T attacks and the presence of high crit rates reduces the value of shield and absorb chance. Even when leveling, the big F/T attacks that lay waste to you aren't supposed to hit you. When you get wailed on by a caster enemy's Force Storm or Heat Beam or any one of a multitude of the casts that hit like a truck, you're supposed to interrupt that attack, not just eat it to the face. The only time you'll experience a greater ratio of F/T than you *should* be experiencing is if you're simply playing poorly.

As to using Gut for HiB, *any* DoT works, and Ion Cell applies its DoT whenever it procs. Hammer Shot, which is 7 separate attacks, has a 68% chance of procing Ion Cell every time it's used, not to mention that every other attack you use can proc it just as well. Stock Strike is just guaranteed to apply the 6 second DoT. Of course, I'd have to wonder when you would ever *not* have that debuff up when HiB is off CD, since it's on a 15 sec CD and Stockstrike, as a VG tank, should be up every 4.5 seconds or so. Just with Stockstrike, you should have that DoT up permanently.

Also, using the logic of Shield Cycler providing you with 1 ammo every ~9 seconds as justification that you can ignore the 3 ammo you're "losing" every 15 seconds with Gut is just wrong. Shield Cycler would be applied regardless of whether you had Gut or not and, if you weren't using Gut, it could be applied to something more useful than breaking even with Energy Blast + Hammer Shot, like using Ion Pulse or Explosive Surge instead of Hammer Shot, which means that you're losing out on even more damage.

There really isn't any reasonable argument for taking Gut instead of Energy Blast, other than a simple dislike of Energy Blast for arbitrary reasons.
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Lordmird's Avatar


Lordmird
12.03.2012 , 12:07 AM | #10
Well thanks for the answers, I think I'll just stick with one role then.

Lordmird

"Heat is weak. You are strong. Heat hasn't had 32 weeks of training like you. Remember the cold arctic, and heat shall witness defeat. Heat is weak."
"Who dares wins" "By Strength and Guile" "Per Mare, Per Terram" "Utrinque Paratus" Her Majesty's best
Could you do it?