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Tanking on SWTOR v. Tanking on WoW, how to explain it to DPS

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Tanking on SWTOR v. Tanking on WoW, how to explain it to DPS

AlixMV's Avatar


AlixMV
01.15.2013 , 05:57 PM | #1
Background:
This is my first MMO. I've been playing for over a year now, love it, have multiple tanks, but I am just now starting to get serious about doing endgame content (thank you HK-51). I've learned a lot about class roles from friends of mine who are experienced MMOers and one who has been doing endgame (HM FPs and Ops) on SWTOR for over a year now. I've personally done a few HM FPs (including one as a tank PT), tanked some Level 50 FPs and Heroic-4s and have only heard one person (a DPS who was jumping into the fight before me and then stealing my aggro) complain. Gotten a few compliments, so I don't think I'm doing too terribly.

I'm about to start doing regular endgame sessions.

I've been soaking up knowledge like crazy on stats, how to play tanks and such (*), but a lot of what I know is seat of my pants--I can't break it down in terms of verbalizing it in game mechanics. I also call things by the way they're used in SWTOR. And due to my lack of familiarity of other MMOs, I can't translate what I do know into terms someone more familiar with WoW would grok.

(*) - I also play DPS and healers and have played them in FPs and endgame content, so I have a pretty good grasp on their roles as well.

My dilemma:
One of the people I'm about to play regular endgame content with has played extensively on WoW but hasn't, as far as I know, done many (if any) FPs and zero endgame content on SWTOR. I leveled with her from about 15-50 with a DPS character, but now I'm playing one of my tanks. She's a DPS. She's very used to playing DPS with her SO tanking on WoW.

The way I learned DPS should play on SWTOR was validated/confirmed by this comment I found in the forum trying to find out if this question had been asked yet:

Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
your best bet (as a tank) is to work your way *down* through the enemy ranks (champ>elite>strong>standard), getting aggro on anything while making sure that your DPS starts chewing through their way *up* through the enemy ranks (standard>strong>elite>champ). DPS that decide to go outside of the proper kill order can make your life *very* annoying, which is why idiot DPS are the no. 1 cause of tank aggravation.
The way she learned it on WoW would be 'going outside the proper kill order'--attacking whatever the tank is attacking. And, yeah, is aggravating me already. We've already butt heads over it (nicely)--she thinks the method described in that quote is 'my' peculiar 'way', rather than what I've picked up as "standard" to SWTOR. I'm wanting the ability to correct her in the future, if need be, in terms she'll be able to understand given her WoW background.

What I need is help coming up with the (WoW) language to explain why the attack order above is how it works best in SWTOR--and especially why it is DPS need to start at the bottom and work their way up the order, and not by attacking what the tank attacks. If this is different from WoW, then why is it different? What mechanics/stat-based reasons make this the best way? My endgame experienced friend offered one reason--if the DPS aren't attacking the trash, the healer is going to get the aggro--but wouldn't that be the case in WoW?

I suspect there is mechanics/stat-based reasons for why there's a difference, but having someone lay it out (basically playing translator for me ) would be incredibly helpful. I don't need detailed numbers or anything, high level will suffice, but if numbers would help demonstrate it better, don't let me stop you. (I may just have to ask questions if I don't grasp it myself.)

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobis, you're my only hope. TIA for any assistance you can provide!
~ Jedi Covenant ~
Sollyni ~ Brixyl / Serateh ~ Ydris

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
01.15.2013 , 06:22 PM | #2
The basic reason is because SWTOR and WoW use vastly different enemy group compositions.

For 99% of group content, WoW throws out lots and lots of identically ranked enemies: they all deal roughly the same amount of damage and require roughly the same amount of time to kill. As such, since everything deals the same amount of damage and takes the same amount of time to kill, you just need to have a defined kill order so the the DPS doesn't yank threat off of the tank and stuff dies as quickly as possible to decrease incoming damage as quickly and efficiently as possible.

TOR is *drastically* different. Rather than just throwing out groups of elites, you can find the full spread of enemy ranks in content: weaks, standards, strongs, elites, *and* champions are all present in trash groups. In addition, the damage capability of the relative ranks is not the same progression as the time-to-kill: damage increases by roughly 25-50% per rank whereas time-to-kill increases by roughly 100% with each rank. As such, the most efficient way to reduce incoming damage is to kill the lowest ranked enemies first: a standard takes half the time to kill compared to a strong but deals 75% of the damage. In addition, trash packs in TOR are *substantially* larger than trash packs on WoW: you can expect to see 5-7 enemies in a *small* trash pack in TOR (2-3 strongs, 2-3 standards, 1-2 elites) and upwards of 10-12 in a large trash pack; WoW generally throws out 2-3 elites at a time with large packs cresting 7 *at most*. Combine this with the fact that WoW trash trends to prefer to congregate in melee whereas trash in TOR almost always has at least a few ranged enemies that will never move from their spot and will just stand where they are, spread out, and happily shoot you all day long. WoW's trash makes it *really* easy to keep aggro on a group by having the NPCs themselves do the work of sticking together; TOR trash generally prefers to stay spread out so you can't just keep aggro on everything by using tangential AoE. Furthermore, WoW very rarely hits the tank with CCs or knockbacks; if you've tanked in TOR for any appreciable period of time, you learn that you're gonna get tossed around and stunned *all* the time in trash.

In plainer text, it's because WoW doesn't use varied ranks in group content, doesn't use loads of enemies that exclusively use ranged attacks, and doesn't use the same degree of control effects on the tank.
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Listen to Kitru. Kitru knows all.

Banegio's Avatar


Banegio
01.15.2013 , 06:34 PM | #3
I would ask your mate, which companion she uses when she solo/questing (it doesn't really matter but just to start the conversation).

Whats her kill order when she solo/questing?

Get her to solo a challenging H4, pull a pack with 2 golds, 2 silvers and 4 normals. Whats her kill order?

OlosBC's Avatar


OlosBC
01.16.2013 , 01:08 AM | #4
Just copy kitrus post and send it to em, in like 20 separate tells.

Or link to this thread.

Pretty well explains it.



I tanked, healed, and dps'd in both games, and it explains pretty much exactly.

When I DPS in tor, I like to see like how few gcds I can kill the trash with, that sorta thing. Helps to remember to not get gold fever.
Olos - 55 Hybrid Powertech
Fonia - 55 Madness Sorceror
<Dark Fury> of Jedi Covenant
Previously Fonia and Daygoru of Tempest server in SWG.

AlixMV's Avatar


AlixMV
01.16.2013 , 05:04 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
The basic reason is because SWTOR and WoW use vastly different enemy group compositions.

[...] In plainer text, it's because WoW doesn't use varied ranks in group content, doesn't use loads of enemies that exclusively use ranged attacks, and doesn't use the same degree of control effects on the tank.
I had to prevent myself from replying immediately yesterday because I probably would've come off as a raving fangirl. As it is, thank you SO much for the explanation. It was detailed enough that I feel comfortable explaining it, but clear enough that I can easily sound bite it.

Also, that it was so quick!

Quote: Originally Posted by Banegio View Post
I would ask your mate, which companion she uses when she solo/questing (it doesn't really matter but just to start the conversation).

Whats her kill order when she solo/questing?

Get her to solo a challenging H4, pull a pack with 2 golds, 2 silvers and 4 normals. Whats her kill order?
I played with her in a trio for almost a year and talked your comment over with a mutual friend who played with the mate in question for the same amount of time, and the third-hand conclusion is 'kill order? What kill order?'

I don't think she's put that much thought into it while leveling and, as mentioned initially, I'm pretty sure she hasn't done many (if any) ancillary stuff like Heroics or FPs.

I might put the question to her if it comes up again, though, because I'm wondering if part of the issue/problem is that she simply hasn't thought about it at all, and maybe asking the question will make her do so.
~ Jedi Covenant ~
Sollyni ~ Brixyl / Serateh ~ Ydris

tXHereticXt's Avatar


tXHereticXt
01.25.2013 , 04:33 AM | #6
As DPS in games such as EQ2, CoX (though a DPS toon could tank, man I do miss the combat in that game), and how I'll have my companions in TOR act was by working from the bottom up. Unless if you're AE heavy and confident you can burn everything down - such was the case of adds from the smuggler in BoI that used to be problematic - my philosophy was always that leading to creating an opening for support/healers.

Here, I've tanked primarily and that was the way I preferred it. In most skilled groups I would be confident knowing my friends could take out adds while I deal with a champ before it enrages - with practice and experience on the encounter. Then there are those fights such as Foundry or the smuggler in BoI that give you no choice but to parse the adds down first.

todorovh's Avatar


todorovh
01.28.2013 , 03:32 PM | #7
no offense BUT there is no ''right'' and ''wrong'' there is 1. personal preference and 2. not all trash packs are the same.

Personally i like the dps attacking what i am attacking.. it makes it harder for them to pull off me ( they still do though ... no one bothers to drop threat during trash )

To make it easier for them use either verbal calls or marks .. for example bind flame on a easy key and mark your current kill target with it .. when it drops mark something else ..etc..

If the DPS start whacking random targets they'd better be geared enough to take the damage.. especially so in random LFG groups.

In actual ops I don't even try to tank trash anymore as no one bothers to follow any type of a kill order and to be fair trash in the new instances is so much easier than in EV and KP ( especially in 16 man )

OlosBC's Avatar


OlosBC
01.29.2013 , 12:34 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by todorovh View Post
no offense BUT there is no ''right'' and ''wrong'' there is 1. personal preference and 2. not all trash packs are the same.

Personally i like the dps attacking what i am attacking.. it makes it harder for them to pull off me ( they still do though ... no one bothers to drop threat during trash )

To make it easier for them use either verbal calls or marks .. for example bind flame on a easy key and mark your current kill target with it .. when it drops mark something else ..etc..

If the DPS start whacking random targets they'd better be geared enough to take the damage.. especially so in random LFG groups.

In actual ops I don't even try to tank trash anymore as no one bothers to follow any type of a kill order and to be fair trash in the new instances is so much easier than in EV and KP ( especially in 16 man )
If the other mobs are normals or strings, DPS can solo them in a small amount of time while taking minimal damage. This will greatly reduce stress on the healer (since some of those mobs may be hitting healer if they havent been hit yet) and the number of mobs you have to worry about holding onto.

In fact, operations trash is about the only time that DPS are supposed to be attacking what the tank is hitting. And frommy experience, the trash in 16man is more annoying than 8man, and the trash in EV and KP was not any easier than the newer stuff.

So yeah, I guess I disagree with pretty well every point you made.
Olos - 55 Hybrid Powertech
Fonia - 55 Madness Sorceror
<Dark Fury> of Jedi Covenant
Previously Fonia and Daygoru of Tempest server in SWG.

paul_preib's Avatar


paul_preib
01.29.2013 , 02:24 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by todorovh View Post
no offense BUT there is no ''right'' and ''wrong'' there is 1. personal preference and 2. not all trash packs are the same.

Personally i like the dps attacking what i am attacking.. it makes it harder for them to pull off me ( they still do though ... no one bothers to drop threat during trash )

To make it easier for them use either verbal calls or marks .. for example bind flame on a easy key and mark your current kill target with it .. when it drops mark something else ..etc..

If the DPS start whacking random targets they'd better be geared enough to take the damage.. especially so in random LFG groups.

In actual ops I don't even try to tank trash anymore as no one bothers to follow any type of a kill order and to be fair trash in the new instances is so much easier than in EV and KP ( especially in 16 man )

This is essentially the opposite of everything I have found as a tank. As a vanguard I have a lot of aoe at my disposal, which means I pretty much prefer to run flashpoints without CC. As such, I generally operate on the idea that a sticky grenade or aoe taunt alone will keep the regular or weak mobs occupied long enough to get dead.

If the dps decides instead to all pile on the 1-2 elites then the healer is worked harder, making it more likely for some small sub mob to break off me and onto the healer, which means I have to see the healer's health go down, identify the breakaway, break rotation to pick him up, then return. All the while taking 5-6 mobs worth of attacks.

If instead dps simply assumes Weakest--> strongest kill priority then by and large the weak mobs will be dead before the taunt wears off/sticky grenade aggro is lost/etc.


In an operation if the dps doesn't stick on the tank's target then all of a sudden trash is going to hit hard enough to either overtax the healer or get the dps dead.


Whilst everyone has their own opinion, personally reading through your list I'd have to say I would probably rather not run content with you as my tank.
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oleost's Avatar


oleost
01.29.2013 , 07:04 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by paul_preib View Post
This is essentially the opposite of everything I have found as a tank. As a vanguard I have a lot of aoe at my disposal, which means I pretty much prefer to run flashpoints without CC. As such, I generally operate on the idea that a sticky grenade or aoe taunt alone will keep the regular or weak mobs occupied long enough to get dead.

If the dps decides instead to all pile on the 1-2 elites then the healer is worked harder, making it more likely for some small sub mob to break off me and onto the healer, which means I have to see the healer's health go down, identify the breakaway, break rotation to pick him up, then return. All the while taking 5-6 mobs worth of attacks.

If instead dps simply assumes Weakest--> strongest kill priority then by and large the weak mobs will be dead before the taunt wears off/sticky grenade aggro is lost/etc.


In an operation if the dps doesn't stick on the tank's target then all of a sudden trash is going to hit hard enough to either overtax the healer or get the dps dead.


Whilst everyone has their own opinion, personally reading through your list I'd have to say I would probably rather not run content with you as my tank.
Totally aggre.

Many mobs in flashpoints have 5-7k health. DPS that are skilled can easily burn these down without taking any damage, dependent on gear you can almost 1hit these ads. And if DPS gets aggro many of us have defensive cooldown(STUNS, increase defense)

Its just insanely stupid to have these mobs alive while killing a 30k target.. Since its alot of dmg on group, even if tank manage do hold aggro, and its very easy for someone to break away and turn to healer..