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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

PhantomMalice's Avatar

01.30.2013 , 12:29 AM | #11
Most of the stuff is already covered by others, so I will only add this one. I know people don't noticed this much because under ideal circumstances, the adds die too fast for anyone to notice, but this is the trend/pattern I noticed in SWTOR trash pulling.

Generally, in a mixed group, I find that the weaker mobs have special abilities that makes them more dangerous than their apparent rank. For example, if you look at the first trash pull in the False Emperor FP, you will notice 2 Elite droids, 2 Strong Sith marauders and 3 Standard Imperial Troopers. The Imperial Troopers are equipped with very fast firing rifles that deals damage every half a second. The Sith have force leap that will root their target for 2 seconds and they like to follow it up with Force Choke. The Elites however, have the least special ability, which is just a simple knock-back.

Due to their special traits, the 3 Imperial troopers will actually do the most DPS (note damage per second, means over a period of time if left alive) than the 2 Elites combined due to their rate of fire. Due to their speed of their shooting, their damage will quickly stack up and if they are shooting at the healer, they will cause serious spell push-back effect on them.

Sith Marauders come with 3 sec channeling Force Choke which they like to spam on their target. Even if their target used the CC breaker skill, it is not uncommon that the tank will get chain Force Choked because there are 2 of them. When the tank or worse, the healer is getting choked, they won't be able to do their job, which will result in a wipe.

The above is just a single example. If you observe carefully in SWTOR, you will noticed that weak mobs tends to serve the role as "CC-er", "De-buffer", "Buff-er" or "Specialist (ones with special weapons like Heat Beams, Full Auto weapons, heavy artillery etc. etc.)" which will make your experience in SWTOR significantly harder if you let them live. Hence, that's another reason why you target the lowest ranked mob in the pack first.

slafko's Avatar

01.31.2013 , 04:10 AM | #12
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.
There is right and wrong. DPS should clear the weaker adds and work their way to stronger ones. Too many times has the healer been killed by weak/standard stragglers because the DPStards focused on the tank's target.

A note to all WoW players - Please leave WoW at the door once you load SWTOR.

grallmate's Avatar

01.31.2013 , 05:04 PM | #13
Another nice example (with numbers!!).

Assume you have a group of 1 tank (500 DPS), 2 DPS (each at 1500 DPS) and a healer who only heals (about 1500 effective HPS).

Next assume a relatively normal pull of 2 elites (30k HP & 1.5k DPS), 2 Strongs (20k HP & 1k DPS) and 4 normals (5k HP & 500 DPS). This gives an initial incoming DPS of 7k from 8 mobs.

Now look at the 2 kill orders, attacking weak -> strong and attacking the tanks target while the tank holds the elites and strongs.

Weak -> Strong:
0s = 7k incoming DPS (DPS start on a nromal each)
4s = 6k incoming DPS (2 normals down, DPS grab the other 2)
8s = 5k incoming DPS (4 normals down, DPS join tank on a strong)
14s = 4k incoming DPS (DPS finish first strong and move onto second)
20s = 3k incoming DPS (Both strongs down, move onto an Elite)
29s = 1.5k incoming DPS (Elite goes down, everyone on last Elite)
38s = 0 incoming DPS (everything dead)
Total incoming damage: 146.5k

Attacking the tanks target:
0s = 7k incoming DPS (everyone on Elite)
9s = 5.5k incoming DPS (Elite down, everyone on second Eilte)
18s = 4k incoming DPS (Both Elites down, everyone on a Strong)
24s = 3k incoming DPS (Strong down, everyone on second Strong)
30s = 2k incoming DPS (Second strong down, onto Normals)
34s = 1k incoming DPS (2 normals down)
38s = 0 incoming DPS (everything dead)
Total incoming damage: 166.5k

Now that's 13.5% more damage taken if you attack the tanks target. Sure its only 13.5% more and your healer can probably handle it. However, this is also assuming the tank can hold everything and more importantly, nothing is attack the healer. Compound this with the fact that most tank AoEs only affect 5 targets, holding 8 is quite unlikely. It is also important to note that I assumed only single target DPS. AoE's would tweak this, since they tend to just mow down the normals.

It would not be unreasonable in the above to assume that a Pyro PT using DFA+ED could take out all the normals in 4.5 seconds and make a noticeable dent in the rest of the pull, makes it harder on the tank but it gets the job done. It's also important to remember that many attacks stun weak and normal mobs, which reduces the incoming DPS.

All that said, the more worrying figure is the 9 seconds of 7k incoming DPS if you focus on the tanks target vs 4s if you kill weak to strong. Now the tank has mitigation (I'm assuming 65% net mitigation given the relative gear level) so if everything is on the tank including all healing, then incoming DPS drop below incoming HPS at 14s killing Weak -> Strong and 18s killing tanks target. This also puts the tank down 7.7k using W->S and 12.4k down attacking the tanks target before healing offsets incoming damage and starts to bring the tank back up.

Thats all assuming both methods are executed perfectly and the tank can hold everything. That doesn't happen and killing weak -> strong also gets rid of potential points of failure in the system, in that tank doesn't have to hold onto dead things. Similarly, the tank gets to build extra aggro on the tougher targets while the DPS are killing the normals so the likelihood of a DPS pulling off the tank is lower. Given the DPS doesn't have 65% mitigation, if they do pull they will greatly increase the healing required.
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Sivar's Avatar

01.31.2013 , 06:25 PM | #14
I was a DK tank in WoW for a couple of years and oddly enough I'm an assassin tank here in SWTOR, and I find myself holding a great deal to habits picked up by tanking in WoW that are otherwise ignored by most tanks that I ran next to in raids or when I'm on my dps or healer in HM FPs.

In WoW, when dps pulls agro in a raid (even if it was trash) there was a problem somewhere and the only time that it was accepted to happen was on AoE pulls, while here it is more accepted and it's almost to be expected when I'm healing or dpsing for the tank(s) to not even bother trying to hold all of the active mobs.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but that drives me nuts. When I'm tanking it doesn't matter if it's a raid or a FP, I make damn sure that I hold threat on my half of the mobs (everything when I'm the only tank, better that the healers are healing me than the dps).

The non-guild groups that I get into with group finder/whatever are often stunned by my point of view on the subject, and even in my old guild the two old tanks (jugg/PT) admitted that they just grabbed "whatever" and picked stuff up as it came.

Am I really in the minority that tanks should protect the group from agro on more than just the boss?

Rant aside...

If you want the dps to understand why you set a kill order to be what it is, then just make them understand that in WoW you took out the most dangerous mob(s) first whenever possible, and that more often than not the Gold is not the most threatening mob in a pull, in fact it serves more as the tank of the group since it has the most health and typically the most annoying abilities. While the multiple silvers in the pull, which themselves are putting out high dps and are much easier to kill, thereby taking pressure off the tank and the healer by taking them out quick(ish).

As for mobs being spread out, in more than a few cases (not all obviously) you can use LoS to group entire pulls so that even a jugg can AoE tank the given pull. It just becomes a matter of how much time the group is willing to spend on a particular pull, in WoW the pulls take as long as they have to while in this game people tend to want to drive through them without any mind for a clean pull.
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PhantomMalice's Avatar

01.31.2013 , 11:32 PM | #15
Look, all of you are thinking too much with all these numbers and analysis. If they play any type of MMO at all, they should understand one universal concept that applies both in PVP and PVE.


Ask them, if they were in PVP of any kind in WoW, what do they kill first (besides the healers)? You kill Cloth--> Leather -> Chain -> Plate, because even though the Plate wearer might be the least geared of the group, you kill off the Clothies first because most of the time they are the most annoying, high damage casters that will obliterate your team if left to their own device. Combined the fact that they have the lowest armor mitigation and HP in the group, it make sense to eliminate them as a source of damage early in the fight.

Same thing goes for the trash pulls here, except much easier. The weak and standard mobs are your Clothies with lowest armor and HP. Most DPS if they are not complete scrubs can kill them in 3 hits, maximum. Which means it is not even worth the tank to try grabbing their attention off DPS because 100% they will be dead before they have a chance to fight back at the DPS. Even if you do take damage from weak and standard mob as a DPS the damage received will be miniscule; your natural regen will probably heal you faster having a healer cast a heal on you.

slafko's Avatar

02.01.2013 , 04:00 AM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by PhantomMalice View Post
Look, all of you are thinking too much with all these numbers and analysis. If they play any type of MMO at all, they should understand one universal concept that applies both in PVP and PVE.

This post is on point.

todorovh's Avatar

02.01.2013 , 11:58 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by OlosBC View Post
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.
maybe you should learn to read then .. it seems like you're agreeing with me.

OlosBC's Avatar

02.02.2013 , 01:19 AM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by todorovh View Post
maybe you should learn to read then .. it seems like you're agreeing with me.
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 )
Well, let's see, let me know which parts of this I misread.

1: DPS should attack the tank's target.

I disagree, I think they should kill the normals and strongs first, while the tank should focus on holding champions and elites first.

2: Using marks and verbal calls:

I guess I don't completely disagree with this, but it's way more effort than any FP is worth and I never find the need to waste the time doing it. However, as you are using this to facilitate having dps attack your current target, going to have to say I disagree here too.

3: Whacking random targets:

It sounds as though you are complaining about them attacking things you are not tanking. I say, let them kill the normals and strongs while you take the elites.

4: Trash in newer ops is easier than old.

Disagree. Other than the packs around fabricator droid in KP, trash in the KP/EV tier, while long, was/is easy.

5: Trash is easier on 16man.

I feel that the opposite is the case.
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Killjester's Avatar

02.11.2013 , 05:40 AM | #19
I, too, played a DK tank in WoW and now play a Inq tank in SWTOR, and from what I can tell, there are some basic truths. The best way I can see how to explain the difference between the two style is that the SWTOR DPS should act like an "off tank" in a riad. The main tank in a WoW raid *usually* tanks the boss, and the off-tank (or secondary tank) will sort out any adds, with DPS being applied to necessary targets as laid out by the main tank.

DPS in SWTOR simply take on that role and sort out any problematic mobs to protect the healer from drawing too much aggro, that's all.

I remember playing my first FP as a Merc, and that's what I did. I asked the tank what he wanted, and he said to hold the adds to prect the healer. Easy, I though - the role of an off-tank.

But that's just from my own perspective as a long-time WoW player coming to SWTOR.

I think it comes down to communication and not wanting to rush through like some feral coked-out monkey with ADHD. A little fire discipline and communication go a long way.
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slafko's Avatar

02.15.2013 , 02:40 AM | #20
I manage to rush through and keep aggro on stuff I engage just fine. Problems arise when the DPS, or the healer, start imagining they know the run and the path better than me. I simply let them tank the cc's they broke and mobs they aggroed. Smart ones fall in line. Dumber ones get killed and trolled for their efforts.