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Want To Be a Better Tank

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Want To Be a Better Tank

Droidiphile's Avatar

12.12.2012 , 11:02 AM | #1
First of all, I guess nobody has complained about my tanking skills but I am not in control of the aggro the way I feel a tank should be.

Can someone point me at links for ood guidle/tutorials on tanking ?

Should I be studying as many walkthrough vidz as possible so I REALLY understand the fights with different group compositions? If so, can you point me at links ?

Any other comments on being a badazz tank would be appreciated!

oredith's Avatar

12.12.2012 , 05:55 PM | #2
difficult to answer your question without a specific problem to point to.

tanking in this game is relatively easy, especially since they bumped up the threat a few patches ago, and gave our railshot the aoe component.

powertech have good burst threat to start the fight, as well as good aoe threat generation.

the important thing to know is that if you're tanking normal flashpoints, there are going to be times, where you're not expected to hold all the mobs. the dps is meant to go and kill the normal/silver mobs while you hold onto the gold/champs.
flipp'n yo desk, like a bauss

Droidiphile's Avatar

12.13.2012 , 10:22 AM | #3
Oredith, thanks for the input!

What you describe is what I have noticed too.

Also, an elite/champ (or two) will typically get CCed so using AoE for threat generation is limited at times. If I'm not judicious, the healer will get overwhelmed.

There are also times, like in Aurora Cannon, when we need to kill the NPC healers first. I'll bet this is an example of allowing the DPSers to do their thing, while I hold aggro on the main pull target.

Benzoprene's Avatar

12.18.2012 , 09:10 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Droidiphile View Post

Also, an elite/champ (or two) will typically get CCed so using AoE for threat generation is limited at times. If I'm not judicious, the healer will get overwhelmed.

There are also times, like in Aurora Cannon, when we need to kill the NPC healers first. I'll bet this is an example of allowing the DPSers to do their thing, while I hold aggro on the main pull target.
I've noticed that a fair amount of AoE seems to avoid CC'd mobs (at least on the tooltips).

Also, coming from almost exclusively a tank for the past 6 years, the fact that you want to be better means you're going in the right direction. Keep doing what you're doing and look for ways to improve your game in your playstyle. Thank you for taking the time to better yourself for the benefit of others.

Nickybob's Avatar

12.23.2012 , 04:24 PM | #5
I applaude you for wanting to improve as a tank. I was a main tank for years on World of Warcraft. I loved it up till ppl were being rediculous and would get mad if I couldn't pull an entire room or two and survive. I'm a lv 20 PT and do flashpoints everyday but only as dps. Not sure if I could handle being a main tank on here. I'm a casual player and therefore don't usually have the best gear for tanking. Like everyone else said just keep practicing with these flashpoints and I'm sure you'll make a fine tank.

pixieish's Avatar

12.23.2012 , 09:34 PM | #6
Well, firstly as a tank I make sure that my healer gets guarded right away, giving me a little time to notice if they're getting their head beaten in.

Secondly I always look over the group and try to preplan what I'm going to do. If there's a lot of mobs potentially running around, I like to open up with Death from Above (or charge in and Flame Sweep a couple of times), while keeping mindful of any CC golds. Gather them up, and then adjust my view so that I can see the rest of the party and how they're doing. If any mob doesn't have aggro at this point, they will go straight for the healer, and they tend to get a bit annoyed at that, but usually a couple of blaster shots can get that mob running back at you.

Naturally your healer is the most important person you need to pay attention to, and luckily (if you're paying attention), you have all sorts of tools to make sure he gets to heal in pease. You get a taunt. You get an AoE taunt, which is especially useful if there's a bunch of mobs near some CC'd golds you don't want to wake up. You have grapple hook, which not only gets that mob away from your healer right away, but it causes a good chunk of aggro too.

And don't worry about letting some dps get knocked around if things are getting too chaotic, as long as your healer stays alive. They really should've been focusing on one target at a time anyways.

Once you feel that you have that merry band of mobs somewhat under control, then you and your party can start picking off mobs one at a time (or all at once if they're weak enough, in which case flamesweep away), and so on...

The majority of pre 50 flashpoints are fairly simple enough. They tend to be self-explanatory in regards to what to touch, what to run away from... Also if it's my first time I ask the rest of the group to let me know if I'm about to do something stupid. Usually there's at least one person that knows what they're doing.

tankthing's Avatar

01.07.2013 , 12:36 PM | #7
As above, kudos for wanting to be a better tank. Here's a couple of things I learned that apply at lower levels that translate up quite well at endgame:

1) Guard whoever is pulling off you. Sometimes it makes more sense to guard that marauder or sorc that chain crits 5 times in a row for damage that would normally make you weep for joy. Guarding them reduces their threat and will make your healer's life easier. At lower levels the highest secondary threat producer is usually the healer so it's situational. Rule of thumb, guard whoever consistently pulls off you no matter what you do.

2) Situational Awareness. Always be moving your camera around. Know what's going on in all directions at all times.

3) Mark your primary and tab hit if you can't aoe. If CCs preclude aoe openers, mark a primary and make sure dps know to hit that primary. Throughout the fight, tab over to the other stuff and smack it with a flame burst or other instacast or even just a normal white hit to keep the mob on you instead of bee-lining the healer.

4) Save AOE taunts for save the healer moments. AOE as soon as possible after the taunt to "set" the taunt.

5) Flame sweep is your friend for generating low level aoe threat, especially if you can pull things away from CC'd targets out into the open.

6) Do NOT use taunt in your rotation. Save it for aggro dumps or when somebody pulls something. All your single target taunt does is make you highest threat in the combat. If you start with it, you are highest in a 0 threat run and DPS can generally outrace your threat production pretty quickly.

7) That 4 second stun is also a taunt (more or less) and can buy time for your healer to catch up. Use it when needed.

8) Harpoon CC'd enemies out of the way so AOE can happen. Harpoon does not break CC.

9) Learn recovery strategies that work for your group makeup and use them. Screwups happen often. Broken CC's, dps targeting 2 different enemies from what you're fighting, etc. A little practice in easy FPs and HMFPs means being able to pull a win from a wipe later on.

10) Sometimes just quickly aoe taunting and running behind something will get enemies that start to scatter to group up to chase you.

Just some little things, most of which you're probably already doing. Hope it helps a little.
Maybe that's the difference between being hardcore or a wannabe. Hardcore players just go and do it and often enjoy passing on their hard earned knowledge to others, wannabes hoard knowledge and play the elitism card to anybody they are capable of lording it over.

AlixMV's Avatar

01.23.2013 , 05:52 PM | #8
Leaving this here because I got pointed to it recently as well: Tanking forum on

I have a Level 50 Powertech but I'm just starting to do endgame content with my Jedi Guardian, and the posts over in that forum have increased my tanking knowledge exponentially in just the week I've been following it. A lot of it is geared (pardon my pun) towards the very high endgame content, but reading through the technical descriptions of stats, how the different abilities factor in, and gear have been invaluable, and much of it can be applied in watered down version to leveling tanks as well. Things like knowing Absorb is of more use to a PT than Defense, that sort of thing.
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OlosBC's Avatar

01.24.2013 , 12:57 AM | #9
Get DPS to kill weak/standard first, then strong, then elite, then champs. Clears out the room and makes things easier on tank and healer. If your DPS are good you can usually ignore most/all of the outliers.

Make sure any CCd targets are out of the main group. If its in the main group just aoe it. Tell them to cc farther out next time. If weak mobs are killed first, incoming damage shouldn't be a huge issue. Ptechs don't really have any "smart" aoe that will avoid cc(other than rail shot dot spread)

You can usually keep most mobs off a healer with a single rapid shots.

Make sure you are always the first person in combat. If people are CCing, charge when they are in mid cast.

Explosive dart is a stun on standard mobs, and will knock down others nearby. Can help for spread out pulls.

Don't spam your abilities so much that you overheat.

Don't be afraid to use your cool downs.
Olos - 55 Hybrid Powertech
Fonia - 55 Madness Sorceror
<Dark Fury> of Jedi Covenant
Previously Fonia and Daygoru of Tempest server in SWG.