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Cae's Guide to Vanguard Tanking in 2.0

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Cae's Guide to Vanguard Tanking in 2.0

Justcae's Avatar


Justcae
04.30.2013 , 04:11 AM | #11
Hey Maeghs,

First and foremost thank you for your thoughtful reply. Let me respond in kind.

Quote: Originally Posted by meaghs View Post
I would propose that the damage and threat gained by a 6% increase in critical chance to these skills outweighs the increase to HiB accuracy that Focused Impact gives, especially since HiB is something of an 'off rotation' skill... (you will likely prioritize skills that generate powerscreen for your Energy Blast over HiB).
The Vanguard class, and other force/tech classes, were fundamentally changed in 2.0. Gold mobs, and those above them have a resist chance to force and tech. All Vanguard skills are now affected by the 3% accuracy. You should never have any accuracy on your gear but taking this talent will help your damage and thereby threat overall.

Short version: Since 2.0 tech and force attacks also have a "miss chance." This helps every single one of your attacks now.

If you note above I have left 4 points free in your skill tree to do whatever you wish. You can take Blaster Augs, Demolition, Heavy Stock, or Soldier's Endurance to your hearts content. I do think that Demolition is an excellent skill. I take Demolition 2/2 in my full build. I also use my remaining two points and put them into Heavy Stock 2/2 as my Stock Strike damage far exceeds my Ion Cell damage.

I hope you can see what the above is getting at.

Side Note: You no longer build power screens as you once did. Only by shielding, or by activating your Ion cell (which because of the outlined spec Stock Strike will automatically do). Ion Pulse spam is not required as it once was. HiB should be used on CD.

Ziso's Avatar


Ziso
05.01.2013 , 06:32 AM | #12
Excellent guide thank you.
Happy to see my stats are very similar to yours

GreenLantern's Avatar


GreenLantern
05.01.2013 , 09:29 AM | #13
If you don't mind, I'd like to throw in my two cents on a few points.
1. Full Auto: Yes its crap, but in my year and a half of playing van and tanking through all the content, I can say that every now and then you will find that one special moment where you will gasp and say "Holy ****, full auto would be great here". An example of this would be Olok the Shadow in S&V. When you are on the showroom floor dealing with droids, a certain droid named the Artillery droid I believe will drop a large aoe similar to the first boss of Lost Island. When you are in a 16 man raid, real estate is limited and precious. The tactic to keep this aoe away from everyone is to become somewhat of a pseudo ranged tank. Moments like these are few and far between, but Its always good to have all options at your disposal.

2. Ion Pulse is our spam filler ability: In my experience, with the way Energy Blast has been redone, Lowering its cooldown as much as possible to keep the buff up and thus, survivability up, requires that hammer shot take on a more prominent role as the filler to maximize ion cell procs. Ion Pulse for me has been assigned more of a use to apply the debuff role.

3: Talent point in Tactical Tools: I can say with some certainty that rarely does my pulse cannon actually finish its cooldown naturally. Unless you are extremely unlucky, the proc for pulse engine should nearly always take care of the cooldown for you. Harpoon wont see enough use in boss fights aside from the opening pull usually to benefit from this talent either.

4: Accuracy: I personally believe that accuracy is a huge asset. Resists on Stock Strike and Misses with High Impact bolt hurt our survivability by keeping the cooldown of Energy blast high and cutting down on the uptime of the buff. Not to mention, it ruins DPS and TPS. The tradeoff of shield is pretty minimal in the 72 gear range as you are so far along the DR curve for shield that the actual % you will lose from swapping shield rating will be surprisingly low.

Just to give my word some credibility, I've MT'd through S&V HM 16 and for those who are fearful that the survivability of van's is gone....it's not. trust me.

Anyway....those are some of my thoughts.
Gary was here. Ash is a loser!
<Rude Dudes>

GreenLantern's Avatar


GreenLantern
05.01.2013 , 09:34 AM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by meaghs View Post
Heya, nice guide so far.

Regarding choosing Focused Impact over Demolition and Blaster Augs 8%.. I know that 'everyone' traits this way however...

Demolition will increase crit chance of all elemental attacks by 6%. In a common rotation you will spam ion pulse, Pulse Cannon (when it procs), and Energy Blast. I would propose that the damage and threat gained by a 6% increase in critical chance to these skills outweighs the increase to HiB accuracy that Focused Impact gives, especially since HiB is something of an 'off rotation' skill... (you will likely prioritize skills that generate powerscreen for your Energy Blast over HiB).

Taking this argument further if you trait Blaster Augs your Damage by Ion Cell is increased 8%. Surely this 8% is also going to generate greater damage and more threat than Focused Impact as well. Thoughts?

Again, Thanks for the guide! - M.
Taking blaster augs will give you about 3000 damage over a 15 minute fight...its worthless. I've tested it into the ground and have been posting on the forums for about a year now about how horrible of a talent it is for shield spec. It only affects the initial damage of an Ion cell proc. It does not affect the Shocked (Tech) dot that comes afterwards, nor does it affect any of your other skills. If this were somewhere around 200% instead of 8 % it might be worth taking.

ALSO!!!!! High Impact Bolt DOES Generate power screen for your energy blast thanks to the Supercharged Ion Cell talent. This makes HIB a priority skill while Energy Blast is on cooldown. You can walk into a group of mobs and HIB and how every many mobs there are, thats how many seconds will be taken off the cooldown of Energy blast. Supercharged Ion Cell is one of the unsung hero's of the Shield Spec tree. Also, it's not just HIB accuracy you are getting. from focused insight. Every offensive ability can be resisted or dodged now so it goes towards all offensive abilities.
Gary was here. Ash is a loser!
<Rude Dudes>

meaghs's Avatar


meaghs
05.01.2013 , 05:40 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
Taking blaster augs will give you about 3000 damage over a 15 minute fight...its worthless. I've tested it into the ground and have been posting on the forums for about a year now about how horrible of a talent it is for shield spec. It only affects the initial damage of an Ion cell proc. It does not affect the Shocked (Tech) dot that comes afterwards, nor does it affect any of your other skills. If this were somewhere around 200% instead of 8 % it might be worth taking..
ahhh.... it's broken then? It reads as if it would affect all of your other skills in that tree. As you say it doesn't it is quite fail then.

EDIT: I'm still off on this. With 2.0 Ion Cell nerfs all damage dealt by 5%. Shouldn't the 8% increase in damage from blaster augs likewise apply to all damage? by implication it would seem that the devs meant to offset the nerf if you traited this skill (it used to be a 3% buff pre 2.0 if I remember right). If it really doesn't apply to all skills then I'd say it is broken and needs to be fixed.

Justcae's Avatar


Justcae
05.01.2013 , 06:22 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
If you don't mind, I'd like to throw in my two cents on a few points.
Not at all. All points all welcome to newbie, and experienced Vanguards alike.

Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
1. Full Auto: Yes its crap, but in my year and a half of playing van and tanking through all the content, I can say that every now and then you will find that one special moment where you will gasp and say "Holy ****, full auto would be great here". An example of this would be Olok the Shadow in S&V. When you are on the showroom floor dealing with droids, a certain droid named the Artillery droid I believe will drop a large aoe similar to the first boss of Lost Island. When you are in a 16 man raid, real estate is limited and precious. The tactic to keep this aoe away from everyone is to become somewhat of a pseudo ranged tank. Moments like these are few and far between, but Its always good to have all options at your disposal.
Hammer shot will deal almost the same amount of damage as full auto. It doesn't cost ammo, and it doesn't lock you in place. Full auto is a terrible skill honestly. It doesn't out preform hammer shot by any margin. I know the fight you're speaking off and the only skills I'll use on tanking those, even if it's the initial target depending on how the board is set up, are hammer shot, HiB, Energy Blast, Sticky Grenade, Mortar Volley, and your taunts for taunt boosting.

Spoiler


Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
2. Ion Pulse is our spam filler ability: In my experience, with the way Energy Blast has been redone, Lowering its cooldown as much as possible to keep the buff up and thus, survivability up, requires that hammer shot take on a more prominent role as the filler to maximize ion cell procs. Ion Pulse for me has been assigned more of a use to apply the debuff role.
Ion pulse is now only used to 1) Apply your debuff 2) Spend cells when everything else should be on cooldown. They changed how the skill works for us significantly.

Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
3: Talent point in Tactical Tools: I can say with some certainty that rarely does my pulse cannon actually finish its cooldown naturally. Unless you are extremely unlucky, the proc for pulse engine should nearly always take care of the cooldown for you. Harpoon wont see enough use in boss fights aside from the opening pull usually to benefit from this talent either.
Forgive me my initial wall of text must be dry or overly long. You take a single point in Tactical tools so that you can double up on Pulse Cannon. Pulse Generator 2/2 has an internal cooldown of 18 seconds. The natural cooldown of Pulse Cannon is 18s. If you do not take a single point in this talent for all intensive purposes you can expect to only be using the procc'ed version of this skill. By taking a single point you allow yourself to double up on the skill. Pulse cannon is a very high damage skill even on a 3s channel on a single target.

tldr: Take a single point so you can use it almost back to back. PC > HS > PC

Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
4: Accuracy: I personally believe that accuracy is a huge asset. Resists on Stock Strike and Misses with High Impact bolt hurt our survivability by keeping the cooldown of Energy blast high and cutting down on the uptime of the buff. Not to mention, it ruins DPS and TPS. The tradeoff of shield is pretty minimal in the 72 gear range as you are so far along the DR curve for shield that the actual % you will lose from swapping shield rating will be surprisingly low.
You gain 3% accuracy from spec, and another single point from a maxxed out affection companion. That's already half of the max miss/resist rate. Shield, even well into the DR curve, is going to give you some mititation. Some mitigation > no mitigation. If they change how threat works in this game and make it an issue then accuracy would have an increased value. At this point in the game though there is honestly no reason to have it on your gear aside from personal build preference.

Quote: Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
Just to give my word some credibility, I've MT'd through S&V HM 16 and for those who are fearful that the survivability of van's is gone....it's not. trust me.
Wouldn't reroll to any other tanking class that is currently available. Thanks for posting!

Betadurin's Avatar


Betadurin
05.03.2013 , 11:05 PM | #17
Cae,
Thanks for the report from the field. I noticed your allotments are sorta flipped with what KeyboardNinja and dipstik are calculating. Their goal is to optimize mitigation and their Def and Shield numbers are what you posted, but switched, with you giving Shield the higher values. Is this because of the benefits Shield tree folks get from actually shielding an attack? For example faster stacks of Power Shield to allow quicker Energy Blasts that do damage (not so important) regen cells (nice to have) and bump Absorb by 25% (with no DR effect)?

Justcae's Avatar


Justcae
05.05.2013 , 04:55 AM | #18
Hey Beta! Thank you for your post, sorry for the late reply. Early may is a busy time for me!

Quote: Originally Posted by Betadurin View Post
Cae,
Thanks for the report from the field. I noticed your allotments are sorta flipped with what KeyboardNinja and dipstik are calculating. Their goal is to optimize mitigation and their Def and Shield numbers are what you posted, but switched, with you giving Shield the higher values. Is this because of the benefits Shield tree folks get from actually shielding an attack? For example faster stacks of Power Shield to allow quicker Energy Blasts that do damage (not so important) regen cells (nice to have) and bump Absorb by 25% (with no DR effect)?
There are several reasons why I've arrayed my stats the way that I have and you have touched on several of them. I'm a tank who really does promote class function over maximum calculated mitigation. Mitigating damage is absolutely a very large part of your identity as we are called "tanks" for that very reason. However, I like to think there is some nuance in the game that is not straight formula.

Lets touch on what you have already brought up. The Vanguard tank is still a "Shield Specialist" though not as prolific as before. We no longer are running about with 75% or more absorb, however we can easily be in the high 60's still with our buff from energy blast. We function better through shielding attacks than straight dodging them. Just reiterating what you have already said.

1) Shield Cycler - Regen 4 energy cells when you shield an attack. Is this a huge reason to swing points towards absorb? No it isn't. But it is a secondary ability of the class, and we can benefit by capitalizing on it.

2) Power Screen - Shield builds a stack of Power Screen (to a max of three) and each time you shield you lower your CD of Energy Blast, and can better maintain your 25% absorb buff. Not to mention that every time you use Energy Blast you regen more cells. Building your character to capitalize on your 36 point talent (capstone) is not a mistake.

Spoiler


Again, thanks for responding!

Edit: 1) Just touching again on Dodge vs Shield. For all intensive purposes your dodge and shield values are going to remain separate. The only part where they will compete is augment slots, and relics(until a larger pool of earpieces, and implants come out). Where true character building comes in is defense vs absorb as these two abilities are very much in competition with each other on both mods and enhancements.

2) I wrapped the "theorycrafting" in a spoiler tag as for the most part it is going to be hot air to most people. Read it if you desire to, but entirely unneeded from a beginner or casual stand point. Not required at all to have success in this game.

3) My main healer loves me.

stormdrakelord's Avatar


stormdrakelord
05.05.2013 , 06:37 AM | #19
Thanks for this Cae, it give Vanguard some points from me when it comes to debating Vanguard Tank or Commando Healer.
Han Solo: Great, kid. Don't get cocky.

Olostur's Avatar


Olostur
05.06.2013 , 07:31 AM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Justcae View Post
3) My main healer loves me.
So does your raid leader...in a manly and platonic way of course.
~ Darth Decimal ~