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Guard!!! The Tanking ability most DPS need, but most healers cry out for!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
Guard!!! The Tanking ability most DPS need, but most healers cry out for!

Skornlord's Avatar


Skornlord
01.23.2014 , 09:44 PM | #1
Ok, let me start by saying I'm a returning player after around a one year break and using this game to kill time until the next WoW expansion (Killing Heroic Garrosh loses its charm after a while). However I have come across a disturbing trend amongst the healers when tanking "Flashpoints" (I'm at level 36 if that gives you a point of reference) at this time. There is a lot of them that refuse to heal, until they receive the "guard" ability.

Now my "Train" of thought is this ability is best used on the highest DPS of your current party to maximise there efficiency, as healers generate the lowest amount of threat. As far as I am aware a heal generates 0.5 threat per 1 point of health healed, divided amongst the mobs in a pull. So in conclusion, as long as the "Tank" or "DPS" is hitting the mob, healing aggro should not be a problem.

Soo, unless this information is wrong ( and if it is please explain why! I wanna learn!) Why do so many players believe healers should be guarded over the DPS?

Solar_Breeze's Avatar


Solar_Breeze
01.23.2014 , 09:55 PM | #2
Guard increases the amount of security the healer feels in any given situation allowing them to freely heal without worrying about other less important things.

Think of it more as a comfort blanket because the dps aren't going to be pulling agro any time soon :P
Emrys - Red Eclipse
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Banegio's Avatar


Banegio
01.23.2014 , 09:59 PM | #3
There is no general consensus of what is best practice...

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=678624

but really it should be up to the tank to decide who to guard or not guard at all.

Khevar's Avatar


Khevar
01.23.2014 , 11:00 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Banegio View Post
There is no general consensus of what is best practice...

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=678624

but really it should be up to the tank to decide who to guard or not guard at all.
You show me a player that insists that guarding the healer is the best thing to do, and I'll show you many more that will argue with math why it isn't (for most fights).

Skornlord is 100% correct. Healing threat is 1/2 of effective healing, divided among the mobs present in the encounter. Also, note that effective healing does NOT include overheal.

Here are some of the main the reasons why many players continue to insist that guarding the healer is the best way to go:

1. An unguarded healer is getting attacked by mobs and thinks it will help.
2. The healer getting hammered by mobs wants the 5% general damage reduction.
3. The player misreads the tooltip and thinks the 25% damage transfer works outside of PvP.

Now, the healer getting attacked by mobs is not due to a lack of guard. It's because NOBODY ELSE IS ATTACKING THE MOB. Therefore the healing threat is right at the top of the aggro table for the mob in question.

Let's look at the math of how easy it is to keep aggro away from a healer.

Take the first big pull in HM FE. 2 sith mauraders, 2 big droids, 3 ranged in the back. Let's just pretend for the sake of the argument that you're healing 1500 hps. 1500 * 50% / 7 = 107 threat per second. A dps can beat that with occasional free attacks while having tea and scones with his teddy bear.

It's simple. If the healer has aggro, the other players in the group are not doing their job.

Now, one thing I can say for certain is, in many cases guard is not needed at all. When I first got my Shadow tank to 50 (wayyyy back), I wanted to practice holding aggro. I was moderately geared (few pieces of Columi and a couple pieces of Black Hole). I queued for the group finder and ran a dozen pugs. I never guarded anyone (on purpose).

With using my standard rotation, and taunts as needed, I was able to keep aggro away from the healer. If the dps had
gold fever it would make my life a bit more difficult, but I would keep my area taunt in my pocket just in case.

So. With the fact than in many cases you don't even NEED guard, it truly doesn't matter if you put it on the healer, the dps, or nobody. Heck, use it as a placebo if you want.

This is different from saying it is a GOOD IDEA. Which it isn't in most cases.

Adaliaya's Avatar


Adaliaya
01.23.2014 , 11:18 PM | #5
That's right. I don't play tanks but when I play healer and get guard I kindly ask tank to guard DPS.
Also, yesterday I was playing Directive 7 fp as Sentinel and I was getting aggro even if I and tank attacked same enemy and tank would have leapt first. Tough I had 7k more HP than tank so I maybe saved him for few deaths but still:-P

Red_rocks's Avatar


Red_rocks
01.24.2014 , 12:29 AM | #6
The only time a guard is required on a healer in flashpoints is when dps have gold fever and leaving bunches of weak mobs beating on the healer.

DPS your job is to kill all the weak mobs while the tank gets control of the dangerous ones, this means getting agro off the healer if necessary. If you don't then the healer has no alternative than to ask for a guard as a little bit of extra insurance when taking a lot of threat from multiple weak mobs.

TLDR: If dps do their job properly the healer never needs guard in flashpoints.
If dps are blithering idiots, put it on the healer.

grrrly's Avatar


grrrly
01.24.2014 , 03:11 AM | #7
When I heal, I want to see the guard going on the dps who is taking the most agro, and it becomes apparent very quickly which dps this will be. A guard on that player has the potential to make my job as a healer so much easier than it would be if the tank had just stuck the guard on me. I don't enjoy healing both a tank who is taking large amounts of damage, and a dps who is continually close to death due to stealing agro from the tank. If I'm taking large amounts of damage, I can use my threat drop or run to the tank, but I really just need the mobs that are hurting me to be dealt with by the dps. DPS need to learn to perform their role to assist in reducing the damage taken by everyone but the tank, but in lower level content in particular this is sometimes too much to expect. If a lower level tank puts a guard on me, I think its nice that they know they have one and bother to use it, but they'll soon be told if it needs to go on someone else.

slafko's Avatar


slafko
01.24.2014 , 05:13 AM | #8
A tank who gives up his guard upon healer's demands is not a good tank. Initiate a vote kick on the healer. That usually sobers them up.

Kymerous's Avatar


Kymerous
01.24.2014 , 07:29 AM | #9
I have recently been kicked from a 55 HMFP, as a tank...yes thats right kicked as a tank....for refusing to guard the healer...My tank has 42k HP, and I was running with 2 dps around the 30k hp mark and a healer around 32k hp, and they kicked me for not guarding the healer.

septembersphinx's Avatar


septembersphinx
01.24.2014 , 08:16 AM | #10
Because people assume that because the healer is the squishiest, they need the damage mitigation most. And (mostly) no one's explained calmly and rationally to them otherwise, and their experiences in low level flashpoints, at least, lead them to be very wary of trusting tanks to actually hold aggro and dps to actually kill the adds that mob the healer.

I do think that healers who flatly refuse to heal unless things go their way are being utterly ridiculous. Particularly if things are explained calmly. I do have some trouble believing there are that many of them (of course, since I'm usually the healer, I guess I wouldn't know.)

I do know that for the longest time I just assumed I was supposed to be being guarded. I wouldn't make a big fuss if I wasn't, but for a while in the mid levels, it did seem easier on me if I was guarded (of course, the alternative was usually that no one was guarded). Especially on trash mobs, I tended to pull aggro off the tank more than the dps in mid levels, before I had an aggro dump. I even read guides and things that seemed to reconfirm that I was supposed to be guarded. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and sometimes it seems to come down to one side going "DPS should be guarded, duh!" versus "healers should be guarded, duh!" which really doesn't help people understand why guard should go on the dps.

Basically, people are often still learning. In a perfect situation, certainly, the dps almost always need guard more than a healer. But in the lower levels there's no guarantee that the tank, dps, and healer know what they're doing, and as a healer it's nice to know that the tank is looking out for you somewhat, and that you'll have a few extra seconds before you go squish from all the adds the dps are ignoring trying to eat you.

So explain. Calmly. Ask if they mind trying it your way once. If you wipe because the healer goes down, maybe the dps are at a state where guarding the healer won't make things worse and might make things better.

TL;DR Most of them don't know any better, and people have only tried to browbeat them, rather than explaining. There's lots of correct seeming misinformation out there. Also, low level flashpoints can be brutal for healers depending on the gearing and skill of the tanks and dps. If a tank is actually using guard, it probably means he's one of the better ones.