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Trying to pick the tank that's right for me

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Trying to pick the tank that's right for me

sutasafaia's Avatar


sutasafaia
12.02.2012 , 10:56 PM | #1
After about eight months I've finally been talked into coming back and giving this game a try again. Considering how long I've been gone I plan to restart my characters after moving all my goods onto a mule so that I can re-learn them from the ground up, seems to be the best course of action at this point.

Anyway, I want my main to be a tank. Not for end-game stuff mind you, but for dragging my lazy friends around who want to be taken through instances alone instead of going with groups, farming world champions (the ones with diamond portraits, I forget if they are called champions or not), stuff like that. Obviously as the content gets lower and lower level it's going to matter less and less which tank I am using, but which would you say would generally be the best for those purposes? I've been doing a lot of reading on the three tanks but it's mostly endgame stuff, not much info on what is best for soloing or helping out only a single other person. I do plan to solo this character most of the time I'm not helping out a friend(s).

Thanks in advance, any help is appreciated. All the info I have except for what I've read today is basically almost a year out of date, I'm going to have to relearn most of the game :P

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sumuser
12.03.2012 , 07:04 AM | #2
I don't know about juggs or assassins, but BH tanks cannot CC (crowd control). For those low level 4-man heroics being able to CC would be useful. You will also need to have top line tank gear for your level (only blues or purples, NO greens). You will need to make sure you really understand how to prioritize your tanking stats as well. Finally, you will need a well geared healer companion if your friend or friends cannot heal.

So, I would do some research into juggs and assassins and see if any of them can CC and what their stat priorities are. Don't get me wrong, a BH tank is a bad *** tank with heavy armor and lots of utility... But unless you are over-leveled there isn't much you can do when you have too much enemy DPS coming your direction.
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RendValor's Avatar


RendValor
12.03.2012 , 08:19 AM | #3
Jugg tanks are the most sturdy but have the lowest threat
Assassin tanks are not quite as sturdy as Juggs but have the highest threat (because of their high damage)
PT tanks are somewhere in between
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Kitru
12.03.2012 , 11:15 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by RendValor View Post
Jugg tanks are the most sturdy but have the lowest threat
Assassin tanks are not quite as sturdy as Juggs but have the highest threat (because of their high damage)
PT tanks are somewhere in between
Most of that isn't true (Guard/Jugg tanks do have the worst threat and Shad/Sins have the best, but it's not for the reasons you indicated).

Shadows actually require the least outside healing of all of the tanks and have the best overall survivability. The only way this isn't true is if said Shadow tank has no idea what they're doing. The issue that many people have is that Shadows have the least stable damage profile. What this means is that damage coming at a Shadow tank will be very spiky but that they will end up needing to be healed the least (which is a combination of their self healing as well as less reliance on DR which always works for def/shield/abs which have chances to work). Also, they've got the best threat not because they've got the best damage; they've got the best threat because they've got good damage *and* have a number of high threat abilities that are used *a lot* to deal a lot of damage (Project gets 15% bonus threat, Slow Time and Force Breach are both high threat abilities).

Guard/Jugg tanks are the de facto worst threat generators and damage dealers. There's no question about it whatsoever. They're also the hardest tanks to get proficient with (Shadows are the hardest to get truly amazing at, but there's a difference between proficient and amazing and you seem to be asking about proficiency more than amazitude) because of said threat generation and the most complex resource maintenance. For survivability, they're actually in the middle of Shadows and VGs: they have a more stable damage profile than Shadows but more overall damage taken and vice versa VGs.

VG/PTs are the simple tanks: they've almost entirely devoted to passive mitigation (meaning you don't have to push buttons to keep yourself alive) and very simple attack priority (I generally call them the faceroll tank because you can really get away with just smashing your keyboard and playing one pretty effectively). Their threat is decent but not amazing (better than Guardian, worse than Shadow) and, for survivability, they'll end up taking the most damage of all of the tanks but have the single most stable damage profile of all of the tanks.

If you're not really looking for something for absolute top tier performance and don't really care too much about learning the ins and outs of tanking, I'd recommend going with a VG/PT tank: it's simple and effective. The only problem with it might be that you find it too boring to play and just get tired of it.
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Larity's Avatar


Larity
12.03.2012 , 02:48 PM | #5
I played and leveled each class and its mirror. (Jugg/Guard. Shadow/Assassin. PT/Van) and have to say

Shadow/Assassin tanking is booooring. It's slow and tiring, sure you can pull a target, but, eh...

Guardian is a bit faster, and I love the ability to jump at my target.

But overall, I think PT/Van are the best tanks because you can Charge/jump to a target and pull another target to you. ALSO you are ranged so you can keep attacking everything even after knockback without running back at them.

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IronScarlet
12.03.2012 , 09:33 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Most of that isn't true (Guard/Jugg tanks do have the worst threat and Shad/Sins have the best, but it's not for the reasons you indicated).

Shadows actually require the least outside healing of all of the tanks and have the best overall survivability. The only way this isn't true is if said Shadow tank has no idea what they're doing. The issue that many people have is that Shadows have the least stable damage profile. What this means is that damage coming at a Shadow tank will be very spiky but that they will end up needing to be healed the least (which is a combination of their self healing as well as less reliance on DR which always works for def/shield/abs which have chances to work). Also, they've got the best threat not because they've got the best damage; they've got the best threat because they've got good damage *and* have a number of high threat abilities that are used *a lot* to deal a lot of damage (Project gets 15% bonus threat, Slow Time and Force Breach are both high threat abilities).

Guard/Jugg tanks are the de facto worst threat generators and damage dealers. There's no question about it whatsoever. They're also the hardest tanks to get proficient with (Shadows are the hardest to get truly amazing at, but there's a difference between proficient and amazing and you seem to be asking about proficiency more than amazitude) because of said threat generation and the most complex resource maintenance. For survivability, they're actually in the middle of Shadows and VGs: they have a more stable damage profile than Shadows but more overall damage taken and vice versa VGs.

VG/PTs are the simple tanks: they've almost entirely devoted to passive mitigation (meaning you don't have to push buttons to keep yourself alive) and very simple attack priority (I generally call them the faceroll tank because you can really get away with just smashing your keyboard and playing one pretty effectively). Their threat is decent but not amazing (better than Guardian, worse than Shadow) and, for survivability, they'll end up taking the most damage of all of the tanks but have the single most stable damage profile of all of the tanks.

If you're not really looking for something for absolute top tier performance and don't really care too much about learning the ins and outs of tanking, I'd recommend going with a VG/PT tank: it's simple and effective. The only problem with it might be that you find it too boring to play and just get tired of it.
This guys right about everything except juggs have 2 tanking profiles the immortal which sound like your description and hybrid which is becoming the norm for jugs and is far more sturdy than the immortal.

Hybrid juggs have the mitigation of a PT but with the Cd of a shadow, but with the least threat of all the other builds. A hybrid has 3 Cd saber ward (50% damage reduction) 3 min , Invisible (40 %) 3 min, Deafening defiance (20%) 45 sec, and 4th if u want to count unstoppable (20%) 15 sec, and a 1 k absorption shield every 9 sec.

This makes hybrid juggs the most sturdy Tank in game. The least able to control big trash mobs but great at boss fights. Also Hyrbid Juggs are becoming a healers best friend in pvp. I myself have met some great IA that we have held location 6 v 2 till team re spawns, the trick is to keep jumping/ interceding, your now reduce a healers damage by up to 90% roughly at times.

This leads me to a power which make juggs different in pvp, and that is Intercede. It allows the jugg to add 20% damage reduction that's 20% more than any other tank can do. Now on top of 50% reduction on ally with guard, you have Intercede which is another 20% and another 30% reduction on target with taunt.

Explained, Healer (50% guard + 20% intercede) 70% damage reduction, Attacker ( 30% damage reduced taunt).
Healer and jugg Hold where other tanks fall in pvp.

All Tanks are good and are different, you will want to play them all I am playing shadow now and love it. It is allot easier because of the threat. There are times you play a jugg and your team just s*#ks that's where shadow are more forgiving. Keep threat easier faceroll, but the experience with a jugg hybrid in pvp, is one in itself worth it if you have the chance.

My opinion in for tanking purpose only.

Shadow pve (group friendly)

Jugg hybrid ( pvp dominant)

PT ( easy mode)

There all fun

Kurugi's Avatar


Kurugi
12.03.2012 , 11:41 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
If you're not really looking for something for absolute top tier performance and don't really care too much about learning the ins and outs of tanking, I'd recommend going with a VG/PT tank: it's simple and effective. The only problem with it might be that you find it too boring to play and just get tired of it.
That's pretty much what happened to me on my VG. Got to 28, got bored. There's really no thought process to tanking on a VG. It feels like you're just hitting things as they come off cooldown and peppering hammer shots in between to keep your ammo up.

Shadows/Assassins are good. If you wanted to play one of them as a tank though I'd probably start out speccing in infiltration/deception as opposed to the tanking tree until the 20s or 30s for a couple reasons.

1. The tanking tree for shadows/assassins don't really seem to give anything substantial until the 20s and 30s. In the early levels you don't really have the tools to make anything feel efficient or worthwhile until you get talents like energize or harnessed darkness (don't recall the name of the talents for shadows), and since you aren't specced into deception maul isn't going to be efficient enough to use, so you end up mainly spamming thrash most of the time which is just boring.

2. You start off with a tanking companion and don't get a new one till your mid 20s (assassins get a DPS companion next and I think shadows get their healer?), so I say take advantage of using your companion to tank at least until then and spec deception/infiltration to stab the mob in the back while solo questing. You can still tank heroics and flashpoints by switching to your tanking form as that's all you really need at low levels anyway, then you can respec later. I will say though, even if you do spec tank right off the bat sins and shadows feel the squishiest of all the tanks, mainly from not having any defensive cooldowns early on.

Personally I'm liking my Guardian a lot. I really like their resource system even though people say it's the most complex. It also feels more dynamic than either VG or Shadow, but shadow gets funner later on, it's just kind of a late bloomer. Even if Guardians might be the weakest tanks atm (or at least the hardest to be good with) that just adds extra depth and challenge to it, and overcoming adversity is half the fun.

sumuser's Avatar


sumuser
12.04.2012 , 01:55 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Larity View Post
But overall, I think PT/Van are the best tanks because you can Charge/jump to a target and pull another target to you. ALSO you are ranged so you can keep attacking everything even after knockback without running back at them.
I personally love the utility of PT tanks myself. I agree with others that there is a lot less button pressing to activate defense migration compared to the other two tank classes. This can lead some people to believe PTs are easy mode tanks. To that I say, there is no easy mode to good tanking.

I've been playing my PT (mostly as a ST) for 6 months and I got to say, the combo of jet charge / grapple with both long range (ED, RS, unload) and short range attacks (FS, FT, RP shoulder slam) gives the PT lots of vesitilty. From weak mobs to single target tank & spanking there is an effective rotation and rymth if you take the time to learn it.

My only complaint is the lack of any type of PvE CC. I find this makes it more difficult to solo heroics that you're not over-leveled for. The OP of this thread expressed a desire to be a tank so that he could run a friend or two through 4-man heroics. I personally think CCs and good gear make all the difference when undermanning heroics, hence my original suggestion.
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thatPERSON
12.04.2012 , 02:15 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by IronScarlet View Post
Explained, Healer (50% guard + 20% intercede) 70% damage reduction, Attacker ( 30% damage reduced taunt).
Healer and jugg Hold where other tanks fall in pvp.
I'm not a tank but i do know your math is wrong there, when you add another percentage it doesn't add like 50+20=70.
so like 50% of 100 is 50. if you put another 20% on that, it is 20% off of 50 (which is 10) so it is dropped to 40. another 30% would than make 28 (30% of 40 is 12). just trying to clarify stuff, cause the way you explained it is the healer would not receive any damage for a small amount of time which is not true. but after all is said and done, that is still a lot of damage reduction.

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
12.04.2012 , 05:58 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by IronScarlet View Post
Hybrid juggs have the mitigation of a PT but with the Cd of a shadow, but with the least threat of all the other builds. A hybrid has 3 Cd saber ward (50% damage reduction) 3 min , Invisible (40 %) 3 min, Deafening defiance (20%) 45 sec, and 4th if u want to count unstoppable (20%) 15 sec, and a 1 k absorption shield every 9 sec.
Focused Defense (the Guardian Version of Focused Defense) provides only 15% damage reduction, not 20%, consumes Focus, already a high value commodity to the hybrid spec, both at activation and over its duration, and is a threat drop (20% of total threat every second). No intelligent tank is going to use Focused Defense as a tank CD unless absolutely everything else is on CD because of all that: it impedes your ability to generate threat by eating a crapton of Focus and it impedes your ability to maintain aggro by dropping your threat continually over the course of its duration (even if you use taunts, you wouldn't be able to keep aggro the entire time because of the continual threat dropping; you'll either lose threat during the duration or after it's over).

Focused Defense is of such marginal use to most hybrid tanks that I actually tell a vast majority of the tanks I see to simply remove it from their bar so as not to be tempted to use it. Guardians already have threat issues. They don't need those compounded doubly so by a mediocre survivability CD that eats Focus like sweet delicious candy.

Quote:
This makes hybrid juggs the most sturdy Tank in game.
Hybrid Guards have a survivability advantage over full Defense, but it doesn't really improve them enough to overcome Shadows: getting more Blade Barrier is nice, but it's still nothing compared to Harnessed Shadows (~1000 abs every 9 seconds amounts to ~111 hp/sec; a Shadow should get *at least* 150 hp/sec from their healing mechanisms) and trading out 4% I/E DR and 4% shield for 4% all DR is a great move that makes you take less damage, but not enough to offset the fact that a Shadow still has a well known and well defined advantage in total mitigation (30/65/60 w/ 40% DR and a 5% damage debuff compared to 30/50/50 with 50% DR demonstrates this). The *only* advantage that hybrid Guardians have over Shadows is in the form of a more stable incoming damage profile, of which VGs have an even *more* stable damage profile.

Guardians are not the most sturdy tanks in the game: they are simply the compromise between Shadows (lots of mitigation and active survivability with an unstable incoming damage profile) and VGs (the least mitigation, almost complete reliance on passive survivability, and the most stable incoming damage profile). They are utility tanks, not specialists like the other 2, whether they are hybrids or full Defense.
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