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Guardian or Shadow?

symke's Avatar


symke
01.03.2013 , 03:14 AM | #1
There are few threads with the same topic, but they are all old and considering constant balancing changes, I thought that maybe something has changed to those two classes.

I would like to roll a Tank. I am currently still very happy with my Sent, but having a Tank would help me play this game a bit longer. And I would like to try my hand at class that has different role in combat.

Vanguard is probably not suited for me as I am a terrible kiter. So it's either Shadow or Guardian.
What are the main differences between them? I am especially interested in WZs and FPs. Is Guardian still considered weaker than Shadow? If I make either as a full Tank, how is tanking or DPS comparison between them?

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
01.03.2013 , 07:35 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by symke View Post
Vanguard is probably not suited for me as I am a terrible kiter. So it's either Shadow or Guardian.
Vanguards aren't kiters. They actually operate best just standing toe-to-toe rather than arbitrarily trying to kite their targets. I'm curious how exactly you arrived at the conclusion that VGs must kite to be effective tanks. If you really just don't want to play a VG for reasons other than "I think they're supposed to kite, and I don't like doing that", then ignore any mention of them to follow. If the only reason you didn't want to play one was because you thought they had to kite, feel free to consider them (they actually make an excellent "my first tank" because they're simple and easy to play which allows you to focus on the mechanics of tanking rather than the mechanics of your class).

Quote:
What are the main differences between them?
Guardians have the worst threat and damage of all of the tanks. Shadows have the best damage and threat of all of the tanks. VGs are in the middle.

All of the tanks have pretty much the same survivability when played proficiently. When played poorly, a Shadow has the worst survivability, a Guardian is in the middle, and a VG has the best. When played proficiently, they're all pretty much the same. When played *well*, Shadows are the best, Guardians are in the middle, and VGs have the worst (though it's still perfectly serviceable for everything endgame).

Guardians are, pretty much, universally agreed to be the hardest tanks to learn to play proficiently while VGs are the, de facto, simplest tank outright; Shadows are somewhere in the middle. When trying to play the class at the absolute top tier of performance, Shadows are the hardest, Guardians just below, and VGs are still pretty much the same (this stems from Shadows having a lot of active mitigation and attack interaction with their attack priority whereas Guardians and VGs are pretty much static once you've learned how to play them, not to mention the power and specificity of Shadow CDs compared to the general applicability of Guardian and VG CDs).

In PvP, tanks are generally considered not that impressive. Guardians, as pure tanks, are probably the most useful because of their high mobility (Force Leap and Guardian Leap) and utility (slows, stuns, etc.). Shadows are generally preferred to run as the hybrid tank spec (23/1/17, generally) while running in DPS gear which gives them a great combination of utility (instant-Force Lift, 30m 3 target hit, stealth), impressive damage (PA proc for instant crit with Project), and adequate survivability (tank grade K/E DR coupled with Shadow CDs; the loss of shield and defense rating doesn't mean much because the ratio of M/R to F/T in PvP is vastly different than in PvE). VGs as tanks aren't really considered all that useful since they don't get impressive burst or mobility and their only real utility is Harpoon, which can be brought along with better damage and utility, by the hybrid Shadow. Of course, for PvP, you can always swap to an Assault VG which is considered to be one of the best burst DPS classes there is.

As to the ability to switch to DPS, all 3 classes can do it, but VGs are probably going to get the most bang for their buck out of it: Assault VGs are top tier DPS. Shadow and Guardian DPS are respectable enough that you're not going to get kicked out of raid groups, but they're not top tier either.
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symke's Avatar


symke
01.03.2013 , 10:20 AM | #3
Thank you for this clarification. As I mentioned, I've been Sent so far and understanding Tank principles was somewhat difficult to me. That is one of the reasons I want to try one.
I thought that VGs are suppose to kite as they are range or mid-range class. I know this "false" logic can be applied to Shadows as well, but I thought they are more melee as they have a saber. Now you made my decision even harder.

Especially with all those distinctions between them. I actually had to read your post three times, as I was amazed how differently those three classes are. And how much different those same differences are when you aply them to either PVP, survivability, proficiency or DPS. Talk about complicated .

I think I will first try Shadow or VG. All those differences mean that I would need to try all three of them, but considering I have already played through Knight's story several times, I think I will try Shadow first.
Oh, one more thing. If I wanted to make a Tank for protecting healer in PVP (even though Rep healers are extremly rare these days), which class would be best suited for this purpose alone?

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
01.03.2013 , 11:16 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by symke View Post
I thought that VGs are suppose to kite as they are range or mid-range class.
VGs are the most functional at long range of all of the tanks (mostly because they're the only ones that get to regularly attack at 30m), but they still operate best within the 4m range: Stockstrike is the single biggest hitter they get and it comes up *all* the time. If you're not in melee as a VG, you're screwing yourself over.

The ironic thing about this is that, thanks to DS and Saber Strike dealing so little damage be being used so little by a top level Shadow, they have almost no real drop in effectiveness at 10m as opposed to 4m; every other tank sees deep drop offs when not directly in melee. Shadows can really just coast along with the occasional wasted GCD.

Quote:
If I wanted to make a Tank for protecting healer in PVP (even though Rep healers are extremly rare these days), which class would be best suited for this purpose alone?
Guardian is going to be your best bet for that thanks to Guardian Leap: the other tanks only really have Guard to keep their healer alive; Guardians can Guardian Leap to throw a nice big survivability buff on their heal buddy (not to mention that it can bounce them over to their heal buddy immediately if they're pulled out of Guard range or whatever), not to mention the slows, pushes, stuns, etc. that they get. You're not going to do terribly impressive damage as a Guardian in PvP, but you can play interceptor and defense quite well.
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symke's Avatar


symke
01.04.2013 , 05:06 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Guardian is going to be your best bet for that thanks to Guardian Leap: the other tanks only really have Guard to keep their healer alive; Guardians can Guardian Leap to throw a nice big survivability buff on their heal buddy (not to mention that it can bounce them over to their heal buddy immediately if they're pulled out of Guard range or whatever), not to mention the slows, pushes, stuns, etc. that they get. You're not going to do terribly impressive damage as a Guardian in PvP, but you can play interceptor and defense quite well.
For some reason I can't play Healer class. Tried it and it just doesn't work for me, so I would like to make a tank.

Lately I've seen a surprisingly low number of healers in WZs. There are a lot of healer classes, but in 7 out of 10 WZs (according to scoreboard) there are no healers that heal. I am a watchman and I regularly see myself and my measly healing at the top of healing numbers. Rarely do I see one or maybe two (can't remember the last time this happened) that excel at healing. There are usually several of us with low healing numbers but so, so few real healers.
I try to protect them when we have them, but I can only protect them by focusing on their attackers. That is not enough. There has to be a tank with some sort of guard on a healer.

So I thought that maybe the lack of protection is the reason many healers do not heal in WZs or even go there. I would like to try tanking WZs with the sole purpose of protecting this so much needed class in every WZ. Maybe that could make a slight difference.

PinnyFox's Avatar


PinnyFox
01.05.2013 , 01:27 PM | #6
The reason you don't see healers in PVP is because as a healer you CANNOT change the tide of the battle yourself. You RELY on everyone else to kill people, you rely on everyone else to keep you alive, you rely on everyone else to defend the points.

If the rest of your team is terrible and uncoordinated (which is the case in 99% of all warzones ever) your experience as a PVP healer plummets to the point where you don't want to bother.

symke's Avatar


symke
01.09.2013 , 02:36 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by PinnyFox View Post
The reason you don't see healers in PVP is because as a healer you CANNOT change the tide of the battle yourself. You RELY on everyone else to kill people, you rely on everyone else to keep you alive, you rely on everyone else to defend the points.

If the rest of your team is terrible and uncoordinated (which is the case in 99% of all warzones ever) your experience as a PVP healer plummets to the point where you don't want to bother.
I admit ... I don't know much about healer classes (besides how to kill them faster ), but I see sages, scoundrels or commandos at the start of the WZ and I think there will be healing in this one just to see myself at the top of the healing numbers at the end. Which would either mean that all those "healing" classes were specced as something else (DPS) or they simply didn't heal. Please, correct if I am wrong.

I don't agree with your assessment of healer's value in WZ. To me they are probably the most important class in warzones. Imo they can have the most impact on progress of battle, which is why I would like to ask you how you would change this trend of "non-healing"?
I agree that healers get immediate attention by the other sides's DPS classes and are thus extremely hard to play well, but there has to be some solution to get healing and healers back to WZs.

PUGs will always be harder to play as a cohesive group, but that goes for all classes. Maybe healers could announce themselves at the start of the WZ and ask for a guard. They would get marked by their own team and maybe others would then start to pay more attention to them as well. Something like discussing tactics at the start which happens a lot even in a PUG.

In my experience, the lack of communication is the biggest reason for failing the WZ (PUG against pre-made is something else). Would better communication help in this case?