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Beginners Guide to Guardian Tanking by Camarius

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Guardian / Juggernaut
Beginners Guide to Guardian Tanking by Camarius

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camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:28 PM | #1
Beginners Guide to Guardian Tanking by Camarius


Build 1.3.1 deployed 07/03/12


Quick Info


Greetings everyone, my name is Camarius and I'm writing this guide as an introduction to Jedi Knight PVE tanking in Star Wars: The Old Republic (ToR). This guide is by and large created and scripted mostly from Phottek's Sith Warrior Tanking Guide

This is, in for all intents and purposes, meant as an introductory guide for non-tanks and those with limited experience. This guide may also be an informative read for those looking to play SWTOR who do not have much MMORPG experience but are playing solely due to their interest in Star Wars Universe. For the experienced raid tanks interested in the mechanics and numbers behind each of the tank types. Phottek suggests reading this resource posted by Gangstah.. Great read and very informative.

There is some MMO terms throughout the guide, so if you are new to these types of games or you see a foreign word there will be a glossary in the beginning that you can go back to, to reference Due to the length of the guide the sections have links to make navigating your way around much more efficient.

As those who have gamed with me in the past and read some of my guides will know, I always preface my material with... “This guide, with the exception of those sources noted within, is entirely my work and the sole property of myself. As such it is not to be reproduced or distributed without my prior express consent. Thank you”

Now let’s get to it…


****************Contents****************

This section is if you are completely new to the MMORPG genre and want to know what tanking is all about and how rewarding it can be.

1.0 What is a Tank?

2.0 How Tanks Work
*****2.1 Balance
*****2.2 Aggro/Threat
*****2.3 Damage Soak/Mitigation/Avoidance
*****2.4 Cooldowns
*****2.5 Off Tanking
*****2.6 Organization and Communication


This section is for when you get more accustomed to the genre or want Jedi Knight specifics such as talents, abilities and rotations. Jedi Knight Companions are also here along with basic tank stats and setup.

3.0 Setting Up Your Jedi Knight Tank
*****3.1 Knight Basics
*****3.2 Advanced Class
*****3.3 Knight Attributes
*****3.4 Gearing up
*****3.5 Item Enhancements
*****3.6 Consumables
*****3.7 Macros/Scripting
*****3.8 Companions
*****3.9 Crew Skills

4.0 Jedi Knight Specifics
*****4.1 Jedi Knight Abilities
*****4.2 Jedi Knight Tanking Rotations and Builds
*****4.3 Jedi Knight Talents
*****4.4 Tanking Formulas

This section is if you want to know the ins and outs of tanking techniques such as the different ways of pulling mobs, NPC positioning, the use of Focus Fire and Crowd Control, or the preparation stage of a run.

5.0 Before the pull
*****5.1 Buffs
*****5.2 Target Designation
*****5.3 Communication

6.0 Pulling Mobs
*****6.1 Straight Pulls
*****6.2 Line of Sight Pulling
*****6.3 Crowd Control and Focused Fire
*****6.4 Positioning
*****6.5 Taunting

7.0 How to hone your skills
*****7.1 Leveling as a tank
*****7.2 PVP
*****7.3 Rotation Practice


This section explains he tanks role in Flashpoints, Operations, and PVP head here. There are also links to video guides to the Republic flashpoints.

8.0 Inside the Flashpoint
*****8.1 How ToR Flashpoints are Structured
*****8.2 Coordination and Leadership
*****8.3 Objectives and Ground Rules
*****8.4 Healers
*****8.5 Flashpoint Guides

9.0 Operations Tanking
*****9.1 Know your enemy
*****9.2 Teamwork
*****9.3 Loot

10.0 PVP
*****10.1 Tanks in duels/World PVP
*****10.2 The tanks role in Warzones


This section answers the Frequently Asked Questions that seem to crop up now and then about Jedi Knight Tanks such as how to AoE tank better, which companion to use, how the tanks compare etc. The appendixes and glossary are also located here.

11.0 Jedi Knight FAQs

12.0 Glossary

13.0 Contributors

14.0 Update and edit log



1.0 What is a Tank?


Well let’s start with a definition from Wikipedia “A tank (also known as a meat shield) is a style of character in gaming, often associated with a character class. A common convention in real-time strategy games, role-playing games, MMORPGs and MUDs, tanks redirect enemy attacks toward themselves in order to protect other characters or units. Since this role often requires them to suffer large amounts of damage, they rely on large amounts of health or armor, or alternatively evasiveness and misdirection.”

TLDR version “A Tank is designed to absorb damage whilst making enemies want to hit them more than they want to hit anyone else” Sounds fairly elementary but like all rewarding things there is more than meets the eye. You'll find that as you level you will pick up certain characteristics that make you a better player. Once you reach 50 and beyond youll find you will have some of the following:

• A high degree of situational awareness

• The ability to react quickly to changes and modify their strategy to compensate

• The ability to multitask, monitoring multiple Characters, NPCs, Debuffs and Cooldowns simultaneously

• The ability to form and lead groups in combat

• The knowledge of the environment and layout of flashpoints in advance

• The ability to position yourself and enemies to reduce the incoming damage from NPC’s

• The ability to know most or all enemy and player abilities and how to best use them to achieve the groups objective

• The ability to know how to modify yourr tactics, abilities and setup to suit a particular fight

• The ability to effectively co-ordinate with other tanks

• The capability of explaining strategy and organizing other players in the group

• The ability to deal with pressure (Especially during progression fights or new content)

Some people might panic and think that "this sounds more like a job, not a game" or "I was drafted to serve justice to the Sith Empire with the tip of my lightsaber not be wailed on." Well honestly, tanking can be hard work, but as I've said already it is quite rewarding. As a tank the rewards for your courageous efforts include being able to stand face to face with the toughest (most of the time ugliest) enemies in the game. You are right there in the trenches not safely tucked in a corner or smack the bosses butt from behind him. You will also have a higher chance of gearing up fairly quickly and with some of the best gear the game has to offer as tanks make up a smaller portion of any large group than any other roles in the group. At the end of the day, you'll wipe your brow and know that your contribution, everything you had to offer to the group has not only made your play time fulfilling, but your entire teams time well spent..

One of the unseen responsibilities of a tank is maintaining the guilds reputation. Everything you do might be under a microscope, A tank especially as you become more popular as your gear and "fandom" grows, is seen by those outside of the guild as the quality and mindset of the guild you are in. Your guild leadership or officers may allow you invite others to apply to the guild and ensure the guild is held in high regard as you group with skilled players that seem to hold the same standards as your guild. A guild tank needs to take the higher moral ground and not be party to flaming or that may show up in party/general/pvp situations. I'm not saying not to speak or think that everything you say is wrong. Im just imploring you not only for your guild but for the tanking community not to resort to the petty things (i.e. rage quitting because a person went with a DS choice, etc). Always remember, Treat others as you would like to be treated. Your reputation and that of the guild lasts for a very, very long time. (see: Leeroy Jenkins)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ben Parker
With great power comes great responsibility

2.0 How Tanks Work


2.1 Balance

When it comes to setting up your character tanks have to balance many different attributes to be at their most effective. Having twice the health of anyone your level is worthless as a tank if you do not have any avoidance and low mitigation. Similarly having very high health, avoidance and mitigation is useless if you can’t put out enough threat to get the NPCs interested in hitting you. A good tank will have an optimum balance of Threat, Health, Avoidance and Mitigation in order to perform at their best.

2.2 Treat em mean to keep em keen


Threat or “Aggro” generation is a primary concern of any tank and is essential before any other consideration. Threat at its most basic definition is getting the NPCs to want to focus their attacks on you more than anyone else. The tank does this by making use of special tank talents and abilities that enable them to do more threat per point of damage done than any other AC type in the game. For the Jedi Knight this is achieved primarily by the Soresu lightsaber form.

2.3 Give me your best shot

Once you have all the NPCs beating on you a tanks’ second primary attribute is the ability to soak up, mitigate and sometimes altogether avoid incoming damage, during which time the DPS and the tank eliminate the NPCs.

A tanks first way of soaking incoming damage from mobs is a having a high health pool. High health pools allow the tank to take much larger strikes than other ACs and give healers time to respond to incoming damage in a controlled manner. Cooldowns (explained in next paragraph) can also help a tank soak damage by temporarily granting extra health.

Mitigation is the tanks ability to reduce incoming damage below its regular level. This is achieved in several ways

• Armor : Static modifier that reduces the value of incoming melee and energy damage

• Resistance: Static modifier that reduces the value of incoming elemental and internal damage e.g Fire resistance

• Shield: A percentage based modifier that reduces the value of incoming melee and ranged damage with a random percent chance to activate

• Cooldowns: On use abilities that reduce damage by a certain amount or percentage, or increase resistance to certain types of damage

• Permanent abilities: Static modifiers that decreases damage taken (e.g. Soresu Form)

Avoidance is the tanks ability to completely avoid incoming damage. This is achieved by dodging, parrying, missing and deflecting incoming damage. Some Cooldowns may also be considered avoidance such as those that grant temporary immunity to damage (None yet confirmed ingame)

For a more advanced breakdown of these mechanics go to the Tanking Formulas section

2.4 "I win" buttons

Cooldowns are a key element in the tanks toolkit. Cooldowns in tanking circles are abilities that are on relatively long reactivation timers and that greatly increase a tanks primary attributes (Threat/Health/Avoidance/Mitigation). Understanding the mechanics of the flashpoint you are running and the main bosses’ abilities are vital in knowing the best time to make use of your defensive and offensive cooldowns. A well timed cooldown can often make the difference between a clear and a wipe. In progression raiding and with some of the harder bosses in game proper use of cooldowns is an essential to staying alive.

2.5 Not quite leading from the front

Often a second tank will be required to operate in an offtank role. An offtank can be needed for several reasons

• To tank multiple bosses at a time when encounters have more than one

• To pick up trash that are called in to aid the main boss (Confirmed boss ingame calls for reinforcements while moving to cover)

• To pick up stray trash while the Maintank concentrates on the primary raid target

• To swap threat between yourself and the main tank. An example would be that a particular boss or NPC has a stacking DoT that needs to be rotated between tanks to allow the DoT to expire and avoid stacking too high on any particular player. (If this sounds like gibberish don’t worry, by the time you have to do this, you’ll know exactly what it means )

2.6 Leadership

Tanks may and I repeat "MAY" be asked to be responsible for the setup and coordination of group runs and raids, especially in small flashpoints. This has come about as a result of the expectation that the tank knows the layout and tactics for the flashpoint about to be attempted. Getting groups together can be an arduous task and often requires a degree of patience. If you haven’t run with the particular players before always inquire as to their knowledge of the flashpoint before setting out (Often you will discover new strategies and knowledge about a flashpoint this way) Also you will often be responsible for forewarning other players of any important mob abilities and just generally setting the pace throughout the flashpoint. Try not to be an egomaniac about your position of responsibility and treat other players as you yourself would like to be.

That’s enough basic tank theory, now let’s get into the fun stuff!

camarius's Avatar


camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:29 PM | #2
3.0 Setting up your Knight tank



3.1 Guardian Basics

Parent Class: Jedi Knight
Mirrored by: Sith Warrior
Primary Weapon: Single Blade Lightsaber, Vibroswords
Off-Hand Items: Shield Generator, Force Focus
Armor Class: Heavy
Primary Attributes: Strength, Endurance
Aesthetic Inspirations: Mace Windu, Obi-wan Kenobi
Skill Trees: Defense (Tank), Vigilance (Melee DPS), Focus (Shared Tree)
Resource: Focus (Max: 12; Combat Focus Recovery: 1 Pt / 6 Seconds in soresu form untalented)

A symbol of hope in dark times, the Jedi Knight stands for the legacy of the Jedi Order—more than twenty-thousand years of protecting the Republic and keeping the peace across the galaxy. Though Jedi Knights have served as generals, guerilla fighters, and warriors for generations, their legendary combat prowess faces its greatest test during this age.

Whether defending allies by deflecting a barrage of blaster-fire or charging in to challenge a Sith Lord, the Knight’s role is crucial in any conflict. The Jedi Knight enjoys the benefit of ancient teachings that have been passed down through hundreds of generations. Combining these time-tested maneuvers with the natural guidance of the Force, the Knight is capable of achieving extraordinary feats.

A wall between the good people of the Republic and their enemies, the Guardian stands firm in the face of overwhelming odds and dares opponents to attack. Perfect concentration and use of the Force allows smooth movement even in heavy armor--making the Guardian a hard target to take down. Leaders on and off the battlefield, Guardians are known for inspiring allies to amazing feats, making them invaluable for conflicts of any size.

Quoted from various areas of SWTOR Holonet

3.2 Advanced Class

The first step to tanking greatness is selecting the tanking AC, this can be done at level 10 at either the Republic Fleet: Carrick Station or Coruscant. The advanced class trainer is displayed as a quest giver located next to the class trainer. Once you have selected the Guardian AC you should start taking the appropriate abilities in the Defense tree. I’m sure Yoda would agree that “Heavy armor only, does not a tank make” The talent points to be selected are those within the tanking AC that increase your primary tanking statistics and abilities; Threat, Health, Mitigation and Avoidance with a lesser focus on other helpful tools such as increased movement speed and resistance to impairments such as stuns and slow. I have listed current builds from myself and others in section 4.2.

3.3 Knight Attributes


When prioritizing your character stats the primaries for tanking will be Endurance and Strength along with any straight modifiers to defensive capabilities such as defense, absorption. Remember that a good tank balances his stats and don’t fall into just stacking endurance
Currently the main tank stats do the following

Strength
* Melee Damage
* Melee Critical Chance
* Force Damage
* Force Critical Chance

Endurance
* Health
* Health Regeneration

Defense DFR
* Increases Avoidance (Deflection of ranged/Parry of melee)

Shield Absorption
* Increases the amount of damage absorbed when shielding an attack

Shield Chance
* Chance to block that an attack will have its damage reduced by your shield

Armor

* Increases baseline mitigation to physical and energy damage



For more detailed information of tanking stats go to the Tanking Formulas section

3.4 Gearing up


Choosing gear is easy for a tank. Make use of the GTN, crafters and quest rewards to accumulate a set of armor with defensive stats. If you regularly tank Flashpoints you will find yourself neck deep in appropriate tanking gear quickly. You do not however "need" to purchase or craft gear to keep your tank or your companion geared on your way to max level. Quest and Commendation rewards will keep you adequately geared throughout the leveling experience.

Two important notes with regards to gearing are 1; It doesn’t have to look good as long as it gets the job done, always take the ugly gear with the better attributes (with the following proviso) 2; Don’t take medium armor over heavy armor no matter how good the attributes look.

3.5 Item Enhancements

In SWTOR you have the ability to enhance your armor and weapons. Lightsabers have up to four modification slots (Hilt, Mod, Enhancement and Color Crystal). Armor modification slots vary from 2-3 depending on what is is. Always modify your armor and weapons with the best enhancements possible within your budget if you wish to boost your tanking performance. Enhancements to armor and weapons should boost your defensive and threat capabilities. The mods are sometimes given as quest rewards and can be purchased from vendors for both credits and commendations. Never fit a fancy looking lightsaber crystal over a tank specific one. What good is a cool looking weapon when it’s lying next to your corpse?

3.6 Consumables


Always keep your tank topped up on consumables. At current the confirmed consumables ingame are medpacks, cantina buffs, and adrenals.

Medkits restore health. Some versions restore health both to you and your companion.

Adrenals are 15 second very strong buffs on a 3 minute cooldown. They do not stack.

Stimulants take one character stat and boost its value for a set time (1hour adrenals). They do not stack with each other.

Cantina Buffs can either boost presence which improves your companions’ performance or increase out of combat regeneration.

Special Hint: Both Cantina buffs can be stacked with adrenals allowing all 3 types of long duration buff to run concurrently. Cantina buffs are cheap and very useful whilst leveling or grinding.

3.7 Macros/Scripting

Bioware has announced that Macros and Scripting is being developed. Macros are a set of commands that are a set of input commands that you map to an action button to achieve a set of output outcomes. These are written in a particular script (language) that is unique to the game. In layman's terms, type a series of actions that you wish to be performed in sequence or together and bind them to a button on the GUI. When you press that button the macro runs, performing the actions where possible. An example would be.

/Target Imperial Slime [exists]
/use Thermal Grenade
/laugh

The script language here may be different from that in game but in this case your character upon pressing the button mapped to this macro would target Imperial Slime if there were any in range, throw a Thermal Grenade, and then laugh.

These macros can be invaluable to streamline your tanking experience. Common uses are to combine targeting and taunting, to combine defensive CDs, and to combine targeting and threat rotations.

3.8 Companions

Depending on the content you are completing you may have a companion with you. Companions can be set to operate in several different roles such as DPS, healing, and tanking. As a tank you will have to decide on which companion best suits your circumstances at the time. Having a DPS companion at you side will decrease the time taken to burn mobs down but at the expense of being healed. Whilst having a healer will make you more robust when facing harder NPCs, it will take more time to defeat them than if you had a DPS companion at your side. A companion in tank setup may be useful for swapping threat and bouncing a target between the two of you.

The Jedi Knight Companions and their roles are as follows. I have posted them in the order in which you unlock them. While I list the planets you can acquire them on, I don't want to give away any of the story so Ive placed spoilers for all entries.

Tython
Spoiler


Coruscant

Spoiler


Corellian Defender Starship
Spoiler


Balmorra
Spoiler


Hoth
Spoiler


After Hoth
Spoiler





Special Hint:
Spoiler


3.9 Crew Skills

Every player has a choice of up to 3 crew skills. They are separated into 3 catagories, Crafting, Gathering, and Mission skills. You can have a maximum of 1 Crafting skill. For Force using tanks there are 3 primary crafting skills that I would recommend. Each of these has an associated gathering skill and at least 1 complimentary mission skill. Your crafting trainer will tell you which gathering and mission skills are needed when you pick up the craft.

I will only list the general outline of the recommended ones. I expect all 3 force crafting skills to be viable for tanks and all (some easier than others) should be able to make a good income.

Artifice

*This skill specializes in creating lightsaber modifications, enhancements, generators and focii - something Jedi will covet during their journeys. The item categories the Artifice skill can craft are: Color Crystals, Enhancements, Lightsaber Hilts, Focus, Generators, Shields and at lvl 400 actual lightsabers.

Artifice not only makes upgrades for yourself but other force users as well. A good example would be magenta lightsaber color crystal which are very rare ingame but may be crafted if you are lucky enough to get the recipe. The mods to go into armor and weapons will always be in high demand.

Synthweaving

*This skill specializes in creating armor, allowing a player to craft light, medium and heavy variations for force users.

Synthweaving is good at making armor both for yourself and your force using companions while you level and in preparation for operations once you hit maximum level.

Biochem

*Allows the creation of performance-enhancing serums and various implants. You can consider this the 'potion maker' of The Old Republic.

Biochem is good both as you level and for end game by allowing the use of "infinite use" adrenals and medikits. Meaning that every time you wipe you don't need to waste money on replacements.

camarius's Avatar


camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:29 PM | #3
4.0 Jedi Knight Specifics

UPDATED FOR 1.3

4.1 Jedi Knight Tanking Abilities

Here I will outline the abilities essential to a Jedi Knight tanks survival and threat generation. As there a quite a few I’ll separate them out into Offensive, Focus Builders, and Defensive Abilities to make it a little less overwhelming. Some abilities fall into 2 or more categories such as Force Stasis which can be used as a Single Target Ability, Focus Building Abilities, and Defensive Abilites.

Offensive


Blade Storm
Instant - 4 Focus
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Range: 10m
Uses the Force to project a wave of energy toward the target, dealing X kinetic damage. In addition, standard and weak enemies are knocked senseless, stunned for 4 seconds.
Combined with talents it grants a defensive shield and should be used every time it comes of CD. One of the Knights highest damage abilities.

Riposte
Instant – 3 Focus
Cooldown: 6 seconds
Ripostes a parried or deflected attack, striking back at the target for X weapon damage. Riposte can only be used after a successful melee or ranged defense and does not respect the global cooldown. Cannot miss, be parried or dodged. Should be used every time it comes off CD after level 22. Combined with talent in tier 3 it grants 2% to 6% defense for the duration of the CD.

Force Sweep
Instant – 3 Focus
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Strikes up to 5 enemies within 5 meters with the Force, dealing X kinetic damage. Also stuns weak and standard enemies for 1.5 seconds. Combined with tier one talent is a potent defensive ability, lowering multiple NPCs accuracy. Should be used every time it comes off cooldown if talented.

Guardian Slash
Instant – 4 Focus
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Strikes the target with a powerful blow, dealing X weapon damage and applying 3 stacks of armor reduction for 15 seconds. Targets affected by 5 stacks of your armor reduction suffer Y weapon damage instead.
31pt Defense Talent. Golden.... nuff said

Hilt Strike
Instant – 3 Focus
Cooldown: 1 minute
Bashes the target for X kinetic damage, stunning it for 4 seconds. This ability generates a high amount of threat.
Your go to threat ability, does good damage and great threat.

Master Strike
Channeled: 3 seconds – No cost
Cooldown: 30 seconds
Performs a series of lightsaber attacks that deal X weapon damage over 3 seconds. Standard and weak enemies are additionally stunned for the duration of the effect.
No Focus cost and good damage over 3 seconds. Due to channeled nature can be shortened by activating any other ability and is best used against when fighting single targets.

Slash
Instant – 3 Focus
Slashes the target for X damage. Attacks with both weapons if dual wielding.
This is your single target Focus dump ability. Has no CD and does moderate damage.

Force Push
Instant – No Cost
Cooldown: 1 minute
Range: 1m
Deals X kinetic damage, knocks the target back several meters, and knocks the target down for 2 seconds. Resets the Cooldown on Force Leap.
Position NPCs against a piece of environment before using to ensure they remain in melee range whilst prone.

Opportune Strike
Instant – No Cost
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Punches the target, dealing X kinetic damage to weak and standard targets, and X kinetic damage to strong targets. Only usable on slowed or immobilized targets.


Pommel Strike
Instant - No Cost
Cooldown: 45 seconds
Bashes the target, dealing X kinetic damage to weak and standard targets, and Y kinetic damage to strong targets. Only usable on incapacitated targets. Does great damage to standards and weak NPCs.

Cyclone Slash
Instant
Slashes up to 5 enemies in front of you for X weapon damage each.
Second AoE ability. Has low damage but no CD and can be used as an AoE Focus dump.

Focus Builders


Force Leap

Instant
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Range: 10-30m
Jumps to a distant target, dealing X damage with the main-hand weapon, immoblizing the target for 2 second and interrupting the target's current action. Builds 3 Focus. Cannot be used against targets in cover.
Used to open when making a pull. Can be used during a pull as a Focus builder if you strafe out to 10m. Cooldown reset by using Force Push

Sundering Strike

Instant
Cooldown: 4.5 seconds
Strikes the target for X damage, and reduces the target's armor by 4% for 15 second. Stacks up to 5 times. Builds 2 Focus.
Your number 1 low CD Focus builder. Can be talented to grant 2 Focus even in tank form.

Force Stasis
Channeled: 3 seconds
Cooldown: 1 minute
Range: 10m
Subdues the target, stunning it while the ability is channeled and dealing X kinetic damage every second. Builds 1 Focus per second.
Can be talented to remove channel, effectively doubling its DPS, as you can continue to use other abilities during that 3 seconds. Useable as a second interrupt on some NPCs.

Strike
Instant
Inflicts X damage with a series of quick melee attacks. Generates 2 Focus.
Focus builder with no CD. Only generates 1 Focus while in tanking lightsaber form.

Saber Throw

Instant
Cooldown: 30 seconds
Range: 30m
Throws the main-hand lightsaber at a distant target, inflicting X damage and building 3 Focus.

Combat Focus
Instant
Cooldown: 1 minute
Immediately generates 6 Focus.

Defensive and Utility Abilities


Taunt

Instant
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Range: 30m
Taunts the target, forcing it to attack the Knight for 6 seconds. Player targets deal 30% less damage when attacking anyone other than you. Lasts 6 seconds.
Prior to obtaining Challenging Call at level 30 if multiple party members have threat use based on priority. If the NPCs are all of equal difficulty always taunt off the healer first, then highest DPS, the second highest DPS etc. Great for PVP.

Challenging Call
Instant
Cooldown: 45 seconds
Taunts all enemies within 15 meters, forcing them to attack the Knight for 6 seconds. Player targets deal 30% less damage when attacking anyone other than you. Lasts 6 seconds. Another great ability for PVP.

Guard
Instant
Range: 30m
Guards the target while it remains within 15 meters. While active, the target takes 5% less damage and generates 25% less threat. In addition, 50% of all incoming damage from enemy players is transferred back to you. Requires Soresu Form.
Make sure this is applied to the healer or highest threat party member before commencing a pull. If using a companion apply it to them. A Great PVP ability.

Warding Call
Instant
Cooldown: 3 minutes
Reduces all damage taken by 40% for 10 seconds.

Saber Ward

Instant
Cooldown: 3 minutes
Raises a lightsaber ward, increasing melee and ranged defenses by 50% and reducing the damage taken from Force and tech attacks by 25%. Lasts 12 seconds.

Call on the Force

Instant
Cooldown: 20 minutes
Calls upon the Force to aid you and your companion, immediately finishing the cooldown on Saber Ward and restoring 2% of your maximum health every 3 seconds. Requires an active companion. Lasts 1 minute.

Enure
Instant
Cooldown: 1 minute
Temporarily increases maximum health by 30% for 10 seconds. Health is lost at effects end.
Good for boosting health when big boss abilities are about to land.

Force Kick

Instant – 1 Focus
Cooldown: 8 seconds
Kicks the target and interrupts its current action, preventing that ability from being used for the next 4 seconds.
Low Focus cost interrupt on all casting NPCs below boss level (And even some at boss level)

Resolute
Instant
Cooldown: 2 minutes
Breaks you free from all incapacitating and movement-impairing effects.
Standard CC breaker with no Focus cost



4.2 Tanking Rotations

A rotation is the sequence of abilities a tank uses to build threat and increase defense.
The Jedi Knight uses Focus to make special attacks and will start a pull with little to none of it initially. The Knight will then concentrate on building Focus using abilities such as Strike and the lightsaber form Soresu, then expending that Focus using a priority rotation. A priority rotation is where you rank your abilities from most to least effective and use the highest ranked ability you have resources for every time the GCD resets.

Depending on the number and difficulty of the NPCs being fought several varieties of a priority rotation may be used. When fighting single bosses or other NPCs a tank will use a set of abilities designed to do maximum damage to one mob. When pulling large groups the tank will concentrate on using AoE abilities to ensure they have threat on all the NPCs. Both during single target and AoE rotations a tank must decide on the proper threading of defensive cooldowns within their rotation. These abilities are generally on high CDs and must not be used rashly. A Jedi Knight blowing his 3 minute cooldown on “Warding Call” 10 seconds prior to a boss's massive explosion ability will be something they quickly come to regret it.

Here is a breakdown for the Jedi Knight builds and matching single target rotation at various stages of the leveling process. I start at 14 as this is when you acquire your tanking lightsaber form. Prior to this you are a DPS in heavy armor despite having selected the Guardian AC. For multiple NPC target rotations always use Force Sweep immediately after Force Leap and Cyclonic Slash throughout the early stages of the pull while multiple targets are still active. Force Stasis is listed in Focus building priority and is situational.

You should always use Blade Storm, Force Sweep and Riposte whenever they are off cooldown (or close to it) above all other abilities. These three abilities are tied to defensive talents in the Defense tree and maximum uptime is essential. For the most common talent build progression Blade Storm grants a damage shield around level 25, Force Sweep applies an accuracy debuff from level 11, and Riposte grants a 3% defense increase from level 15

Talent Build 1 is what I run with. It concentrates on single target and AoE threat through Accuracy and with extra internal and elemental damage reduction with Inner Peace. More of a focused MT single target build.

Talent Build 2 is the hybrid spec that some people run with. I personally do not i find there are to many Pros with the 31 Defense spec compared to the Pros in this spec. This spec buffs Force Sweep and Blade Storm even more. It gets rid of the Focus cost of Force Sweep and adds Damage Over Time to Blade Storm.

If you have a build you would like to recommend for PVE tanking, please PM me with a link and an explanation of its benefits and why you took the path you did. The more diverse opinions we can show in this thread the better. Once endgame has sorted itself out at launch I will label one build up as the "Cookie Cutter Spec"

Level 14-24 Rotation


Talent Build 1
Talent Build 2
(The specs right now are identical as something to build upon, gets the basics quick and easy)

Lead off with Force Leap and immediately Blade Storm and Force Sweep (Order dependent on single or AoE pull) followed by Sundering Strike. After that, use a priority rotation for both offensive abilities and Focus builders.
Offensive Priority: Blade Storm, Force Sweep, Riposte, Force Stasis, and Overhead Slash
Focus Build Priority: Sundering Strike, Strike

From 14 to 18 your single target threat is pretty good compared to the DPS classes as they have yet to sink many points into their trees. Your AoE is weak compared to classes such as Trooper, where Mortar Volley will rip threat off a mob even after 2 applications of Force Sweep. Use target priorities and ensure the hardest hitting NPC is aggroed to you. Most pulls contain 1 or 2 hard hitters or elites and 1 to 3 weaker NPCs. Get your sunder up to 5 stacks on the main target as soon as possible and once at full it is extremely difficult for any DPS to take threat. From around 19 onwards the DPS roles start getting more powerful and correct target selection becomes important as you will rarely have all the NPCs sticking to you.

Level 25-30 Rotation
Talent Build 1
Talent Build 2


Combat Focus first then lead off with Force Leap and immediately Blade Storm and Force Sweep (Order dependent on single or AoE pull) followed by Sundering Strike. After that, use a priority rotation for both offensive abilities and Focus builders.
Offensive Priority: Blade Storm, Force Sweep, Riposte, Pommel Strike, Master Strike, Force Push, Overhead Slash
Focus Build Priority: Sundering Strike, Force Stasis, Strike

Level 20 to 30 has now rounded out on of your bread and butter abilities as a Guardian tank, Force Sweep. The DPS have been accumulating large amounts of damage boosting talents and you are yet to receive Hilt Strike for single target threat or Cyclone Slash as a second AoE. Your Focus depletion is decreasing through talents and your survivability is high. The real trick will be trying to get as many NPCs to stick to you as possible, with Force Sweep you will put 4 armor sunders up on anyone it hits. Use target selection to prioritize the NPCs you want to ensure are not hitting the party. Taunting becomes easier when you are given your AoE taunt at level 30.

Level 30-39 Rotation

Talent Build 1
Talent Build 2


Combat Focus first then lead off with Force Leap and immediately Blade Storm and Force Sweep (Order dependent on single or AoE pull) followed by Hilt Strike and Sundering Strike. After that, use a priority rotation for both offensive abilities and Focus builders.
Offensive Priority: Blade Storm, Force Sweep, Riposte, Hilt Strike, Savage Kick, Pommel Strike, Master Strike, Force Push, Cyclone Slash, Slash
Focus Build Priority: Sundering Strike, Force Stasis, Saber Throw, Strike

At this stage you are almost fully developed, your Focus depletion is very low and your survivability and threat generation much improved. You will find yourself using Focus dumps (Slash and Cyclone Slash) much more often. Opportune Strike is acquired at level 34 and does high threat to targets under movement impairing effects or stuns.

Level 40-50 Rotation
Talent Build 1
Talent Build 2


Combat Focus first then lead off with Force Leap and immediately Blade Storm and Force Sweep (Order dependent on single or AoE pull) followed by Guardian Slash and Sundering Strike. After that, use a priority rotation for both offensive abilities and Focus builders.
Offensive Priority: Blade Storm, Force Sweep, Riposte, Guardian Slash, Hilt Strike, Savage Kick, Pommel Strike, Dispatch, Master Strike, Force Push, Cyclone Slash, Slash
Focus Build Priority: Sundering Strike, Force Stasis, Saber Throw, Strike

You are now tanking to your full capacity. Guardian Slash is your 31 point talent and becomes your top priority ability when off cooldown. Dispatch is your execute ability granted at level 46 and does good damage to targets below 20% health. From level 41 onwards you start sinking more points into the Vigilance and Focus trees to further improve threat generation through such means as increased damage, a cooldown reduction on Force Sweep, and increased accuracy.

4.3 Jedi Knight Talents

The primary Jedi Knight Tanking talent tree is Defense and you will want to go the full 31 points up it. Lower level talents in the other trees tend to rely on the associated trees lightsaber form. What use is a great damage talent for a tank if you need to be in a DPS form to use it? I will outline all the talents in the Defense tree and my opinion of them, as well as those in the bottom 2 tiers of Vigilance and Focus you may wish to take to fill up your last 10 spots.

Please Note: My opinions of these talents is based on endgame single target tanking as a priority with the ability to tank flashpoints as being viable rather than primary. I am not focused on trash tanking or CC protection because to be quite honest there are far better AoE tanks out there. The Trooper Vanguard is an AoE monster and the Jedi Shadow Slow Time does more threat than Force Sweep. My focus is on improving the Jedi Knight's strengths as I see them, single target threat and mitigation/avoidance. For diversity of opinion I have included the strengths of talents I would personally not take but are seen in many builds. You should try the various talents out and make up your own mind; it is certainly not for me to say which talents are best for you.

Defense Tree

Tier 1


Momentum
2 Points
Passive
Force Leap and Zealous Leap have a 50/100% chance to make the next Blade Storm activated without a Focus cost.
Good when leveling but not an endgame tanking talent imo. Force Leap gets used only once on most boss fights. In a 6 minute fight you are spending 2 talent points for 0.5 Focus points extra per minute. You could add one point as a filler to get to tier 2, but if you like a free "storm" every charge then take the 2.

Victory Rush

2 Points
Passive
Sundering Strike has a 50/100% chance to build 1 additional Focus.
Good talent for generating more Focus from your primary Focus builder. Over every 13.5 seconds in combat using Sundering Strike every CD this talent will grant 3 extra Focus. That’s equal to the Focus benefit from Momentum for 3 points spent and over 15 seconds. Every fight that lasts longer than 18 seconds makes this talent all the more superior to Momentum.

Dust Storm

3 Points
Passive
Force Sweep has a 33/66/100% chance to lower the accuracy of affected targets by 5% for 18 seconds.
A must have for any tank. Lowers damage taken significantly. The more targets you engage the better it gets. NOTE: Due to the Force Sweep mechanics the debuff will not apply to more than 5 NPCs.

Tier 2


Guard Stance
3 Points
Passive
Increases your melee and ranged defense by 2/4/6% while in Soresu Form.
Another must have talent that grants non DR avoidance whenever you are in tanking form.

Lunge
2 Points
Passive
Reduces the Focus cost of Riposte by 1/2 while Soresu Form is active
Riposte is a priority ability to be used upon every CD as such this talent is a must for any tank and enables the use of Riposte more consistently.

Solidified Force
Passive
2 Points
Reduces the Focus cost of Freezing Force and and decreases its global cooldown by .25/.5 seconds.
Freezing Force is only of use for you to apply a Force Kick and the Cooldown helps make it more able to be spammed. This talent is more of a PVP orientated one in my opinion keeping people near by for free can be a good thing

Tier 3


Blade Barricade
3 Points
Passive
Riposte now increases melee and ranged defenses by 1/2/3% for 12 seconds.
This talent is the primary reason that you spam Riposte upon CD. Another 3% of non DR avoidance. Take all 3 points.

Warding Call

1 Point
Instant
Cooldown: 3 minutes
Reduces all damage taken by 40% for 10 second.
Your first ability available through the Defense tree. Great damage reduction and an easy point spent.

Purifying Sweep
2 Points
Passive
Force Sweep applies 2/4 stacks of armor reduction to all affected enemies.
WHAT!?!? This one talent makes our AOE threat much, much, MUCH better. Now once we use Force Sweep we can put up 4 stacks of sunder on up to 5 enemies. Added to that all the other things Force Sweep offers, its now a staple MUST HAVE to the tanking Guardian.

Pacification
1 Point
Passive
Increases the damage dealt by Hilt Strike, Force Sweep and Cyclone Slash by 8%.
A nice damage and therefore threat increase to 2 primary and 1 situational ability.


Tier 4


Blade Barrier
2 Points
Passive
Blade Storm has a 50/100% chance to grant Blade Barrier, which absorbs a moderate amount of damage. Lasts 10 seconds.
Turns one of your primary threat builders into a damage shield. Now you have even more reason to spam Blade Storm on CD. Take both points.

Courage
2 Points
Passive
While in Soresu Form, parrying, deflecting, shielding or resisting an attack has a 25/50% chance to grant Courage, reducing the Focus cost of your next Blade Storm or Force Sweep by 1. Lasts 10 seconds and stacks up to 3 times.
Focus reduction on 2 priority abilities that procs from avoidance. This talent should be filled and will help keep your Focus bar healthy at all times.

Stasis Mastery
1 Point
Passive
Force Stasis no longer needs to be channeled, applying its full effect over 3 seconds.
Effectively doubles the damage done over the 3 seconds of Force Stasis by enabling the use of other abilities. Allows the use of abilities such as Force Kick while the target is being held. In my opinion definitely worth the single point.


Tier 5


Shield Specialization
2 Points
Passive
Increases shield chance by 2/4%.
Adds to your passive ability to shield incoming blows. When you take this your shield chance will increase from 20 to 24%. Not on diminishing returns.


Hilt Strike
1 Point
Instant
Cooldown: 1 minute
Bashes the target for X kinetic damage, stunning it for 4 seconds. This ability generates a high amount of threat.
Your go to threat ability. Stuns almost anything and does really good damage even when untalented. A must have.

Command
2 Points
Passive
Reduces the cooldown of Force Push by 7.5/15 seconds.
Force Push is already on a long cooldowns and not part of your primary rotation. However lots of people like this talent so check it out for yourself if you want to shorten the CD on your range ability.

Tier 6

Cyclonic Sweeps
3 Points
Passive
Increases the frequency at which Soresu Form can generate Focus by 1 second. In addition,
Cyclone Slash and Slash have a 33/66/100% chance to reduce the active cooldown of Combat Focus by 1 second.
Increased Focus = increased damage and threat. The proc from Cyclone Slash and Slash also reduces the long CD on Combat Focus which also grants 6 Focus. Take all 3 points.

Inner Peace
2 Points
Passive
Increases the duration of Enure Pain by 2.5/5 seconds. Increases elemental and internal damage reduction by 2/4%.
Increases the uptime of one of your defensive CDs and also helps reduce elemental damage, something which all tanks are weak at mitigating. Take both points.

Tier 7


Guardian Slash
1 Point
Instant
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Strikes the target with a powerful blow, dealing X weapon damage and applying 3 stacks of armor reduction for 15 seconds. If the target is affected by 5 stacks of your armor reduction, Guardian Slash damages up to 2 additional nearby enemies, applies 3 stacks of armor reduction to those enemies, and knocks down all affected standard and weak enemies. Does not damage sleeping, lifted, or incapacitated enemies. Generatae a high amount of threat.
Our 31 point talent and a very good one at that for both PVEand PVP. Gets your sunder up very quickly and does a good amount of threat. And if you have 5 already up which shouldn't be a problem it spreads a blanket sunder and damage to 2 enemies near by. I feel this is a great revamp and makes the hybrid tanking spec fail utterly at this point. I really shouldn’t even have to say “Take It”


Vigilance Tree

Tier 1



Improved Sundering Strike

2 Points
Passive
Sundering Strike has a 50/100% chance to apply one additional stack of sunder armor.
Getting to maximum stacks of Sunder quicker means more threat over time and easier recovery should you miss with a refresh and have to rebuild. Good 2 point filler to get to Tier 2.

Single Saber Mastery
3 Points
Passive
Increases your skill in single saber combat based on your currently active Form:
Shii-Cho Form: Increases all Force damage dealt by 2/4/6%.
Shien Form: Increases all melee damage by 2/4/6%.
Soresu Form: Increases melee and ranged defense by 1/2/3% and increases the threat generated by Force Sweep and Cyclone Slash by 10/20/30%
Amazing overhaul. EVERY spec should have this in their talent build. For Tanks using Soresu it makes our bread and butter abilites have even more threat and also counter balances the loss of defenses in the new blade barricade.

Tier 2


Defiance

2 Points
Passive
Generates 2/4 Focus when stunned, slept or knocked down.
Taken by many tanks due to the large amount of this type of CC in the PVE environment. Not essential, take if your personal preference.

Perseverance
2 Points
Passive
Increases total Strength by 3/6%.
A good threat and absorption increase. Worth 2 points if you have them spare.

Accuracy
3 Points
Passive
Increases the accuracy of melee and Force attacks by 1%
A flat out threat increase. We only have 90% accuracy with many attacks and this boosts it. Accuarcy is not something tanks look for as a primary stat on armor or weapons. Same as Perseverance, take it if you have the points and making sure every hit lands is your thing.


Focus Tree

Tier 1


Swelling Winds

2 Points
Passive
Increases the damage dealt by Force Sweep by 10/20% and lowers its cooldown by 1.5/3 seconds.
Good for adding AoE damage and threat. The cumulative effect of 20% damage increase and 3 seconds less CD is 61.5% more damage with Force Sweep over time. A well spent 3 points and worth making one of your main abilites even more powerful.

Insight
3 Points
Passive
Increases the critical strike chance of your Force attacks by 2/4/6%.
Increase to burst threat and damage. Works out to around 3% more damage and 5% more threat over time. Worth taking if you have the points.

Master Focus
2 Points
Passive
Reduces the cooldown of Master Strike by 1.5/3 seconds and increases its damage by 4/8%.
Master Strike is a medium damage attack but its need to be channeled is its downfall, however i do find myself using it enough to warrent this CD reduction and damage increase.


Tier 2



Swift Slash
2 Points
Passive
Increases the critical strike chance of Slash by 7.5/15%.
Gives a healthy damage boost to your single target Focus dump which already does decent damage. Take for the same reasons you would Insight in Tier 1.

Visionary
1 Point
Passive
You now generate 1 focus when attacked in Shii-Cho Form. This effect cannont occur more than once every 6 seconds.
NOT a tanking talent, you should not be in any other form other than Soresu >DO NOT TAKE<

Zephyrean Slash
2 Points
Passive
Slash critical hits while in Shii-Cho Form have a 50/100% chance to refund 2 focus.
NOT a tanking talent, you should not be in any other form other than Soresu >DO NOT TAKE<

Second Wind
2 Points
Passive
Resolute has a 50/100% chance to heal you for 10% of your maximum health.
Definitely worth picking up if you use Resolute alot. I feel this is more of a PVP talent but it can help your survivabilty in PVE in a clutch instance. Definately for those who are finding themselves pinned by CC often.

4.4 Tanking Formulas


All credit must go to Gankstah for compiling the following information, check out his Tanking Primer for more info.

Character Stats• Armor Damage Reduction = AR/AR+(200*Level+800)• Deflection/Parry = (5% Base Chance) + 30*(1-(1-(0.01/0.3))^((DFR/Level)/0.55))• Shield Absorption = (GeneratorBonus) + 50*(1-(1-(0.01/0.5))^((AbsorbRating/Lvl)/0.18))• Shield Chance = (GeneratorBonus) + 50*(1-(1-(0.01/0.5))^((GlanceRating/Lvl)/0.32))• Accuracy = (90% Base Chance) + 30*(1-(1-(0.01/0.3))^((AccuracyRating/Lvl)/0.55))• Ability Tooltip Damage = x*MainHand + x*OffHand*0.3 + y*Bonus + zo x = weapon damage modifier for min and max values and all ranks of the abilityo y = force/tech/melee/ranged damage bonus modifier for min and max values and all ranks of the abilityo z = base damage, which can vary for the min and max values and varies for each rank of the ability• Crit% from Stats: 5+30*(1-(1-(0.01/0.3))^((Str/Lvl)/2.5))• All Primary stats yield +0.2 damage per point

- - Credit for the above calculations goes to LagunaD over at Sith Knight.
- Thanks to JDee and Freehugs for helping to maintain accuracy.

Resistance to Critical Hits
• Accuracy - (A)voidance = Hit%
• Hit% * (S)hield Chance = Window To Crit
• Window To Crit * (C)rit Chance = (O)dds of getting crit
Or
[(100-A)*S]*C=O
So to put that into context we will use the following values:
• (A)voidance: 50%
• (S)hield Chance: 50%
• (C)rit Chance: 30%
Plug it in and come up with:
[(1-0.5)*0.5]*.3=0.075
Or 7.5% chance to get crit i.e. 92.5% Crit Immunity.

Baseline DR/Shield/Avoidance

The provided calculations all assume Level 50 Premium armor values. The BAV (Base Armor Value) is representative of a full unmodded suit of armor.

Modified Armor Value (MAV)

(BAV Heavy 3601)*(Stance 1.6) or 3601*1.6 = 5761.6

Base Armor DR (BADR) = 34.78%

Modified Base Armor DR

TOR handles passive skill bonuses additively and NOT multiplicatively so let's plug in current DR passive skills:

(BADR 34.78%) + (Stance 6%) = 40.78%

Resistance: Elemental/Internal DR


(Stance 6%) + (Inner Peace 4%) = 10%

Situational Modifiers

These are situational modifiers from abilities that directly affect DR or damage taken. The effects are longer or equal to the CD so they can be applied constantly but are situational as not ALL targets will be under their influence at ALL times.

For the Knight this is Blade Barrier and at present its value is unknown (TBA)

Shield Chance

(Premium Shield Base 20%) + (Stance 15%) + (Shield Specialization 4%) = 39%

Shield Absorption

For purposes of simplicity we are going to assume a AbsorptionRating of 0.

(Premium Shield Base 20%) = 20%

Avoidance: Ranged Deflection & Melee Parry

For simplicities sake we're going to assume a base DFR of 100.

SW: (Base 5%) + (Guard Stance 6%) + (Blade Barricade 6%) =17% or 22% w/Force Sweep

Mean Mitigation

Mean Mitigation is the average mitigation you have after factoring DR, Avoidance and Shield Chance/Absorption. This gives you the average (or mean) mitigation you have. To find your Mean Mitigation use the following process:

A=Avoidance
B=Shield Chance
C=Shield Absorption
D=MBADR

{[((100-A)*B)*(1-C)]*(1-D)} + {[(100-A)-((100-A)*B)]*(1-D)} = T

100-T= Mean Mitigation
Example:
A= 22 <<-- Do Not Decimal
B= 0.39
C= 0.2
D= 0.4078

{[((100-22)*0.39)*(1-0.2)]*(1-0.4078)} + {[(100-22)-((100-22)*0.39)]*(1-0.4078)} = 39.86

100-45.32= 54.68% Mean Mitigation Baseline

To give you an idea of comparison between the classes. the Shadow is 53.17% and the Vanguard is 55.99%. As Gangstah has said "We aren't factoring in in-depth processing of Resistance or Criticals. This is only a generalization OR average. Specific parsings will yield + or - results. So don't come back here saying, "DERP! I parsed at 84% against boss such-and-such! YARP! YARP!" before thoroughly researching the definition of average/mean."

camarius's Avatar


camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:30 PM | #4
5.0 Before the pull


So you’ve specced into the tanking tree, gotten some gear, rounded up some friends. Now it’s time to zone into the flashpoint and start taking names. Before the first pull and for the pulls following there are a few things that need to be taken care of.

5.1 Buffs

First up you need to apply your tanking buffs such as guard and Soresu Form and take any consumables you have decided to use to increase your capability. Make sure that every class capable of applying a buff both to you and the rest of the party has done so and keep them up throughout the run.

5.2 Target Designation

If required designate the focus fire order for the mobs to be killed if needed. At times the use of focused dps to burn down specific targets can drastically lower incoming damage (As discussed in section 6.3). Right click a selected NPCs portrait and select the marking you want to apply. You may need to inform the group via text or teamspeak/ventrillo as to which mobs are priority burns. If crowd control is desired throughout the run inform the group of the targets before the pull and designate those responsible for maintaining the CC. I like to tell all the party members at the start of a run what the kill order is and which symbol means CC.

If macros make it into game I usually have this prepared

/p Hi everyone, lets have a good run Bullseye is first target, Flame second, Saber Third. Lightning is for CC. I'll stop pulling if I see your resource get low heals. Lets buff up and start clearing when your all ready.

NOTE: Don't mark more than you have to, it just slows runs down unnecessarily. If you can get away with 1 mark per pull then do it. I use "Lightning" for CC then mark "Bulls-eye" for FF, make the pull then mark another Bulls-eye as the first is about to die. At the end I change the Lightning target to Bulls-eye right as the second last mob is about to die.

5.3 Communication


Finally, if required issue any warnings on possible mob abilities that could wipe the group prior to pulling. Just because you know that the red glowing stuff at the bosses feet is fire, doesn’t mean the DPS do. Trash droids that self-destruct when defeated are a prime example of an ability that the others in the group should be made aware of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Napoleon Bonaparte
The secret of war lies in the communications

6.0 Pulling Mobs



It’s time to pull some mobs. A "pull" is the action of entering combat with previously neutral NPCs, accumulating threat on the NPC’s and positioning both them and yourself to best lower incoming damage. Pulling a single enemy is easy, just hit the NPC really hard and keep him in front of you while you and the DPS burn him down. When pulling groups of NPC’s with various abilities, there are several ways in which to pull them depending on the circumstances.

6.1 Straight Pulls


Straight pulls are used for melee and mixed ranged/melee packs where it is safe to engage the NPCs without pulling extras. A diagram of the standard pulls for a melee tank is as shown below. For ranged tanks ignore the tank movement arrows and stand in place at maximum range and commence attacking.

Straight Pull Image

The chronology of the all melee straight pull is simple.

1. Stand outside max range and check the composition of the group of NPC’s. Make sure that they are not likely to call for help or flee in the direction of other packs of mobs, and that there are no patrolling packs of NPC’s that will add to the pull if you charge into the first pack.

2. If you are a melee tank, jump in or throw a ranged ability at the lead NPC. As a ranged tank simple begin using ranged abilities on the lead NPC or if the NPCs are closely grouped throw a ranged AoE ability.

3. Follow immediately with an AoE attack to ensure that the healer does not draw threat from the non-lead NPCs whilst healing you.

4. Ensure that you are positioned with as many NPC’s in front of you with their back to your group to help you keep their directional aoe to only you and to help you see if they turn to attack a group member.

5. Continue to build threat on all targets, if you notice any of your group gain threat immediately taunt the NPC onto yourself and use your highest threat abilities to overtake your group members’ aggro before your taunt expires in six seconds.

Mixed Pull Image

The chronology of the mixed ranged/melee is similar with a little more complexity in the tank positioning required for melee tanks.

1. Stand outside max range and check the composition of the group of NPC’s. Make sure that they are not likely to call for help or flee in the direction of other packs of mobs, and that there are no patrolling packs of NPC’s that will add to the pull if you charge into the first pack.

2. If you are a melee tank, jump in or throw a ranged ability at the lead NPC. As a ranged tank simple begin using ranged abilities on the lead NPC or if the NPCs are closely grouped throw a ranged AoE ability.

3. As a melee tank if you have not used a range closing ability off CD, run towards the packs of NPCs and position yourself within melee range of the ranged NPCs. Position yourself behind the ranged mobs and turn 180 degrees in order to have all the melee and ranged mobs facing you.

4. Follow immediately with an AoE attack to ensure that the healer does not draw threat from the non-lead NPCs whilst healing you.

5. Continue to build threat on all targets, if you notice any of your group pull threat immediately taunt the NPC onto yourself and use your highest threat abilities to overtake your group members before your taunt expires in six seconds.

6.2 Line of Sight Pulling


LoS pulls are a way of pulling which uses a piece of the environment to break the NPCs line of sight to you and force them to move toward you to engage. Line of sight pulls are used to engage packs of NPC’s where there is a danger of aggroing another group of enemies should you use a standard pull. The first way in which this occurs is if you are pulling NPCs that flee when at low health and may run into other packs of NPCs in the vicinity. Another common way of pulling a second group of mobs accidently is if you have a second pack of NPCs that are patrolling whose aggro radius will overlap the position you wish to engage the first.

LoS pulls are performed in the same way whether you are a ranged or melee tank. They may be started either by yourself or by one of your party members using a ranged ability. If a party member is utilized to initiate the pull you will be required to aggro all the incoming mobs before they re-attain LoS with the party member. The party member method is used when you wish to position the NPCs prior to them reaching the object used to break LoS. A standard LoS pull is shown below.

LOS Pull Image

The chronology for a Tank initiated LoS pull is as follows.

1. Ascertain that a LoS pull is the preferred method of engaging the pack of NPCs. This can be done by identifying that there is a nearby patrolling pack of mobs that are likely to be aggroed during a standard pull, or that there is a high probability of extra NPCs being brought into the pull by the first group on mobs either fleeing or calling for help.

2. Position yourself beside an environmental obstacle that will act to break LoS with the NPCs, making sure you are outside of their aggro radius.

3. Attack any one of the mobs with a ranged ability and immediately strafe behind the obstacle. This will force the pack of NPCs to move to flank the obstacle in order to engage you. NOTE: Ranged mobs will move at a slower pace than melee and will arrive at your position at a later time.

4. Once the NPCs move around the obstacle to face you begin applying threat to them. If more than one enemy arrives at a time, commence by using AoE abilities to ensure the healer does not obtain threat.

5. Continue to build threat on all targets, if you notice any of your group pull threat immediately taunt the NPC onto yourself and use your highest threat abilities to overtake your group members before your taunt expires in six seconds.

For a LoS pull initiated by a team member the sequence remains the same, the only difference being that it is the party member who moves behind the obstacle whilst you may remain in front at the position you wish to fight the pack. You then begin applying threat to every NPC as they reach you. Do not allow them to move past you to the obstacle as they will attack the party member that initiated the pull.

6.3 Crowd Control and Focused Fire

The purpose of CC along with focused fire is to reduce the amount of incoming damage to yourself or the party by removing the ability of NPCs to attack your party members for a fixed time. Focused fire is the coordination of the party to concentrate their damage on a single target at a time. CC and focused fire are extremely effective at making harder level packs or mobs within them easier to handle.

Let’s look at a common scenario both with and without CC and focused fire.

You are in a 4 person flashpoint and about to pull 4 droids. Each droid has the same health does 100 damage per second and takes 1 minute for a single player to kill.

1. With no CC, and each of the 3 players dealing damage (Tank and 2 DPS) to different NPCs before finishing the final NPC together.
Length of combat : 1 minute and 20 second.
Damage Taken by tank: 26,000
Maximum damage per second taken by tank: 400
Time at maximum DPS taken by tank: 60 seconds

2. Using a 60 second duration CC, and each of the 3 players dealing damage to different NPCs before finishing the final NPC together.
Length of combat:1 minute and 20 seconds
Damage Taken by tank: 20,000
Maximum damage per second taken by tank: 300
Time at maximum DPS taken by tank: 60 seconds

3. Using a 60 second duration CC and all 3 players dealing damage focusing fire on the same target at all times.
Length of combat: 1 minute and 20 seconds
Damage Taken by tank: 14,000
Maximum damage per second taken by tank: 300
Time at maximum DPS taken by tank: 20 seconds

As you can see the differences in damage taken and time at maximum incoming damage between the examples is huge. This example was actually on the low side of reduced damage and time at max incoming DPS. Often the advantages of CC and FF are even greater if you are using your CC on mobs that do higher damage than the surrounding NPCs. FF works best on NPCs that have high damage to health ratios, allowing you to deal with the largest threat very quickly. High damage/ High health mobs and those that use certain special abilities such as stuns are the best to CC.

A common misconception with CC is that it slows down the running of a flashpoint. While it is true that CC does slow a pull if AoE abilities are used to damage whole packs, if single targets or limited cleave type abilities are used, the CC will not add to length of time required to complete a pull. Crowd control is usually coordinated by designating markings to place above the NPCs you wish to CC and informing the team member that each NPC marked with that symbol is to be CCed. You may wish to use Teamspeak/ventrillo or simply type your instructions on which mobs are to be controlled.

Focused Fire is also usually coordinated using designated markings above the NPCs however it can be coordinated easily without the use of marking if you simply instruct your DPS party members to always attack your current target.

6.4 Positioning

Whatever type of tactics you decide to use to pull packs of NPCs, positioning of yourself and the mobs you pull remains very important. Wherever possible always position yourself with any active mobs directly in front of you. Some types of tank avoidance such as dodge will not work if a mob is situated at your back and you will find yourself taking significantly higher damage over the course of a pull. NPCs at your back are also likely to receive a lot less damage from yourself and therefore threat.

Positioning yourself is often necessary to facilitate better damage by the DPS and lower damage to yourself. Wherever possible turn the NPCs so that their backs are facing the DPS as this means less avoidance of your parties’ damage by the mobs. When confronted by NPCs that have knockback abilities, try to position yourself in front of the mobs with your back to a wall or other structure.

Whenever CC is used make sure you position the other NPCs in the pull at a fair distance from the CCed mob. Most CC breaks upon the mob taking damage so you need to position the rest of the pull far enough away from the CCed mob so that AoE effects will not break the mob free.

6.5 Get over here!


One of the tanks greatest tools is the taunt. There are two kinds of taunt in the MMO world, forced attack and threat equalization. Thus far only the forced attack taunt has been confirmed as being in SWTOR so we won’t discuss equalization taunts yet.
Forced attack taunts literally force an NPC that is not currently targeting you to become the focus of your attacks for a fixed time frame. Forced attack taunts do not equalize your threat with that of its current target at the time you taunt it. With this in mind the correct way to taunt is as follows.

1. Spot other party members frame go red as they attract threat from one of the NPC’s in the pull

2. Identify which NPC is targeting the party member (Should be pretty obvious, it’s usually the crazed mob charging at them or shooting blaster bolts at their head )

3. Click on the NPC and activate your taunt button.

4. Starts hitting the NPC as soon as you can to have your threat overtake that of your party members before the taunt wears off.

At present taunt has a 6 second effect with a 15 second CD, so you’ll want to hit a taunted mob hard for that six seconds. You don’t want a hard hitting mob whaling on your healer for 9 seconds if you have failed to put threat on the mob during the taunts duration

7.0 How to hone your skills



There are many ways to increase your skills as a tank, both during the leveling process and when at max level. Making use of all of the following methods will make you a better tank and prepare you for the uncharted waters of progression tanking.

7.1 A Hero is born

At the moment Bioware has not stated whether it will be possible to change your AC throughout the game. However they have stated that the tanking ACs will be able to operate as viable DPS should they wish to select all of the talents within the tree which increase their damage output. However my suggestion to anyone seriously considering being a fulltime tank at endgame to start early and go down the tanking talent path from level 10 onwards and participate in flashpoints regularly as you go. Whilst your personal DPS may suffer slightly leveling as a tank has several benefits some of which will offset this.

* You learn to use your tanking abilities over time as they are unlocked and are not overwhelmed when trying to use them all at once if you were to switch to a tanking build at a higher level.

* Running Flashpoints regularly will ensure that your character is always in the best gear available for your level and help make up for any lost DPS

* You will be extremely hard to defeat in open world PVP by equal level characters

* You survivability against higher level mobs in heroic quests will be significantly higher than equal level DPS and Healers

* You will be more easily able to find groups for flashpoints than DPS ACs limiting downtime

7.2 PVP

Participating in PVP is one of the best ways to increase your tanking prowess. Unlike AI which is repetitive and predictable a human player will learn from their encounters with you and alter their strategies (See section 10.0-10.2 for more on tanks in PVP). Performing in PVP as a tank will help you to learn all of the best variations of your damage and defensive abilities as well as increase your skill in adapting to new situation when you are back in the PVE tanking sphere.

7.3 Practice makes perfect

Practicing your different threat and defensive rotations will make you a better tank. The ability to perform your primary rotations without thought will enable you to focus more on your situational awareness and concentrate more on your surroundings. Rotation practice can be achieved in several ways.

* Get a healing companion and find a high level mob. Fight till the healer is out of resources then run away until the NPC resets to its initial position (Rinse repeat)

* Find a mob at a much lower level than you that can only be defeated with the help of a quest item and don’t use the item, bring a healing companion with you. (E.g. Rogue droid need to have a restraining bolt fitted before you can best him. Get the quest and item. Destroy the item. Whale on Droid to your heart’s content)

* Practice targets (Yet to be confirmed ingame). Usually located in high traffic centers, a practice target is simply a pretend NPC that has infinite HP that you can bang away on.

camarius's Avatar


camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:30 PM | #5
8.0 Inside the Flashpoint


8.1 How ToR Flashpoints are Structured


Flashpoints in ToR are structured in a similar way to the small group instances in other MMORPGs. The flashpoints in ToR are instanced multiplayer content involving high level difficulty NPCs and are accessible on Carrick Station at the Republic Fleet. They are designed to be run in most cases with 4 players, however the first 2 (Esseles and Hammer Station) have been tuned for as little as 2. While 4 players are advised you can often succeed at clearing a flashpoint with up to two companions.

One of the things that sets ToR flashpoints apart from other MMOs is the composition of the trash packs within them. In ToR many of the packs will contain a variety of NPC difficulty types. Most pulls contain one to two Elite level mobs and an assortment of weak, standard, and strong. As a tank you will need to prioritize the order in which the NPCs are killed and also which mobs are important to maintain threat on. Generally speaking in a pull with 2 elites, 2 strongs, and 1 standard mob you will want to hold threat on the 2 elites at all times. The preferred order of kill will be Weak then Strongs then Elites. NPC abilities may influence both threat and kill targets eg. Those with CC likely to effect the healer would be a priority. The highest damage mobs should be kept on you regardless of type.

Flashpoints award high level rewards such as armor, weapons, and mods. They provide good XP through their associated quests when leveling and help hone your tanking skills as you progress. They also help cement relationships with other players you may end up running with at endgame and are well worth the effort to complete.

8.2 Too Many Chiefs


Prior to endgame and perhaps even during it you may often find yourself as a tank being responsible for the coordination and leadership of the flashpoints you run. As a tank at an early level you will find yourself receiving tells from other players asking if you would be interested in running a particular flashpoint, or being asked if you would like to team up to achieve harder quest objectives. Once inside you will often be required to lead the team through and will be expected to know what you are doing. The logical extension of this is that often you will be required to lead other party members and coordinate strategy. Don’t be phased by this and simply do your best to communicate with the team. Try to avoid saying stuff like “**** NOOB! I TOLD YOU NOT TO STAND THERE!!!” It doesn’t help anyone and it makes you look like a big jerk.

8.3 Setting the Scene


One of the best ways to avoid disagreements within the group when running content is to be clear on your objectives and ground rules from the beginning. Things you will want to agree upon before starting a run may include:

* Will all party members be available for the entire run? (It’s no use starting a 90 minute run if your DPS needs to go in 30 minutes)

* Will we be completing bonus objectives?

* Will the party members be selecting lightside or darkside options? (e.g do they want to kill or spare the captain?)

* Does anyone want any particular pieces of loot (i.e. Will anyone else be rolling on tank loot, or does anyone else want the lightsaber that drops off the last boss)

8.4 Your Healer...Your Wingman

Always keep the lines of communication open with your healer. Ask him questions throughout the run to let them know their opinion is needed/valid. “How much resource do you want before i make every pull?”, "How do you think the DPS are doing?”, "Am I taking too much damage? Would you like some CC?" If you are new to a flashpoint let the healer know at the beginning in whisper and ask them to send you a tell if they see any pulls done incorrectly. Healers will often notice a lot more than you simply due to standing at the back watching what everyone else is doing. Lastly ALWAYS thank a good healer for a job well done at the end of a run. The DPS stroke their own "epeen" enough already without needing praise from you

8.5 Flashpoint Guides


Here is a series of links to video guides for the various flashpoints in TOR. These are not my work so please do not critique them in this thread. I have listed them in the order in which they are available and listed the recommended minimum level ranges. NOTE: Some of the guides are too long for my preference and I will be listing more succinct versions when they become available. I have not listed Hard Mode guides as this is a beginners guide to tanking but i have Hard Mode availability noted with a "!".

The Esseles "!"
Recommended Minimum Level 10-12


Guide Video Link



Hammer Station
Recommended Minimum Level 16-19


Guide Video Link



Athiss
Recommended Minimum Level 19-22


Guide Video Link



Mandalorian Raiders
Recommended Minimum Level 24-26


Guide Video Link

Cademinu
Recommended Minimum Level 26-28


Guide Video Link

Taral V "!"
Recommended Minimum Level 31-33


Guide Video Link


Maelstrom "!"
(you must complete Taral V before being able to do this in normal mode)
Recommended Minimum Level 34-36


Guide Video Link

Colicoid War Games
Recommended Minimum Level 40-42


Guide Video Link

Red Reaper
Recommended Minimum Level 44-46


Guide Video Link

Directive 7 "!"
Recommended Minimum Level 50


Guide Video Link


The Battle of Ilum
Recommended Minimum Level 50


Guide Video Link


False Emperor "!"
Recommended Minimum Level 50


Guide Video Link

Kaon Under Siege "!"
Recommended Minimum Level 50


HardMode Guide Video Link
(sorry cant find a normal mode yet... ill have to record one myself i guess =P )



9.0 Operations Tanking



9.1 Know Your Enemy


Operation mobs have significantly more health and hit harder than regular flashpoint mobs. Trash pulls in raids can have many more mobs than flashpoints and the bosses can have quite interesting threat mechanics and abilities. For these reasons and others, when preparing to raid any instance for the first time prior research is of the utmost importance. Not only should you read the strategies posted on the guild forums and other prominent tanking websites, you should also endeavor to watch (where possible) video guides posted for the boss encounters. You may be required to explain the fight to the OT/DPS/Healers and video guides will assist you by showing you raid placement, the length of the various phases, and healing priority. A tank who doesn't know the fights in an operation can quickly cause a wipe and most likely will not remain in the group very long.

9.2 There's no I in Team

Always work hard with your other tanks in raid to support each other. Tanking is not a competition with each other. If you are an OT and the MT only selects a target for themselves, pick another target and hold aggro on it while the raid burns the primary. Ask if they would like to give you an assist to mark the secondary. As an OT you should always be on the lookout for mobs that add to the pull or split from the pack to run towards dps and taunting them (except for the primary) The MT is concentrating on keeping his TPS above the best single target dps in the raid on the primary target and will not often pick up these adds in time to stop a dps from death. NEVER taunt off the MT unless asked to do so (having your taunt button spaced away from your primary tank rotation, whilst still within reach is advised) If you are given an assist, never run organizational functions unless asked. Allow the Operation leaders to do their job. If the Ops Leader forgets an important part of any encounter always wait for them to finish explaining the fight before adding anything. Constant interjection during instructions to raid is not good raid etiquette.

9.3 Raid Lewtz

Loot systems and rules in Operations are often not the same as in 4 mans. In almost any heroic raid a Master Looter system will be set (Not yet confirmed ingame). This is done to stop ninjas or misloots of high quality and rare items. If you are in a pug always ask at the beginning what the loot rules are so that misunderstandings and nerd rage can be avoided. If you don't like the pugs loot rules then leave in a nonchalant manner and no harm has been done.

NOTE: You should always check with the guild leader/officers to determine what content can be pugged. Having yourself saved to an Operations when the guild needs you is definitely not cool.
If you are running with a guild, loot will often be distributed based on raid/guild needs rather than a simple all main sets roll system. As with pure pugs when you are participating in a raid made up mostly of members of a particular guild always ask about loot rules prior to commencement.
Please Note: This section will be clarified when I have more first-hand information on endgame content.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shurik
When it comes to endgame progression ; DPSing is Fun, Healing is Responsibility, Tanking is Work
10.0 PWNAGE



Just because a tank is considered a primarily a PVE class doesn’t mean you can’t kick butt and take names in PVP. Tanks when properly geared and played can have great success in all forms of PVP, and fill some specialty PVP roles as good as or better than any other.

When in PVP you will notice that some classes do far more damage to you than others. This is due to the type of damage they are putting out.There are four damage types in TOR. Kinetic, Energy, Internal and Elemental. There are three important things to note about damage types:
• Force powers and Tech powers, unless otherwise listed, are considered Kinetic damage.
• Armor increases DR to Kinetic and Energy damage only.
• Some skills/equipment/abilities increase specific types of damage (i.e. Inner Peace in the Defense tree).
What does this mean? This means that certain trees will have a DPS advantage vs. tanks. Trees with a high yield of Elemental and Internal damage which bypasses our high armor rating. Examples would be Lethality for Agents (Elemental), Madness for SI's (Internal) and Advanced Prototypes for BH's (combination of both).

Credit to Gankstah for this info

10.1 Mano a Mano

In one on one combat a tank must make use of all of their abilities to survive. Having a large health pool and high avoidance will not guarantee victory. The use of your CC is essential in order to burn down both DPS and Healing classes. One of the toughest matchups for tanks is when facing a healer. The best strategy to defeat a healer is to work their health down below 50% while building your resources up. Once they are below 50% immediately use CC to stun or prevent casting and use all of your highest damage abilities to burst DPS the healer down. The longer a fight with a healer continues the less your chances of winning get. No matter what class you are fighting, remember to make use of your defensive and offensive CDs.

10.2 The Tanks Role in Warzones

Tanks can fulfill many important roles in warzones better than any other AC. Depending on the objectives of the warzone in which you are participating some of the tasks to which you are best suited are.

• Damage Soak Assist. Your guard ability as well as your taunts allows you to soak up and reduce damage to other players on your team. You can transfer damage to yourself using guard as well as reduce the damage done to a team member using taunt. In ToR these are the tanks greatest PVP tools.

• Holding a strategic point. A tank and healer can hold off strong zerging groups of opposition for long periods while help arrives. (No 1 priority is protecting the healer. Use CC and interrupts on those focusing on the healer)

• Ball Running. Your high health and avoidance makes it easier for you to absorb the focused damage of large groups of republic scum

• Baiting. When a strategic point needs to be taken from the enemy, run in (preferably with a healer in tow) and try to draw off as many enemies as possible. This allows your teammates to swarm in after you and capture the now less secure point.

• DPS. Tanks in ToR can do a surprising amount of damage (some more than others). Don’t overextend yourself and fight within the group and you can often see yourself doing a decent chunk of a warzones damage.

Here is a excerpt from an interesting post by Tersidre on Sith Warriors on tanking in PVP. He describes the use of the defensive abilities in the PVP context that really make the Tanking Classes shine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tersidre
PvP of course. As a tank i was THRILLED to learn that TANKING IN PVP IS MORE THEN JUST VIABLE ITS DOWNRIGHT NECESSARY SOMETIMES.

You have two abilities at your disposal that make life as a tank in pvp awesome. The first of which is "guard" Ill put it into context for you guys.


Lets say your playing huttball and your bounty hunter or sith inquistor buddy pick up the ball and FOOLISHLY decide to run it themselves instead of giving it to you. Well you can literally act as an escort. Apply "guard" to them now 30% of the damage they would be taking is automatically transferred to you. On top of that if you "taunt" anyone who is attacking them they will again do 30% less damage to their target until the debuff wears off at which time you can just apply it. While all of this is going on you also have saberward which again reduces the incoming damage.

So how does all this work? Lets just put it this way. 5-6 People could be focus firing on the ball carrier and not killing him with you supporting him. of course he will die eventually but if you have a healer around then they will have no problem keeping them alive.

Here is a great example. Me and three buddies teamed up for some huttball action. two Sith Warriors (both of us tank specced) one sith inquistor (healer) and one imperial agent (sniper) We decided to experiment. The IA would run the ball.. i would put guard on him.. and then the other tank would put guard on ME.. and we would be taunting like crazy and if someone decided to switch and try to kill our healer he would take guard off me and put it on the heals.

The end result? 15 straight wins as complete shut outs. Nobody could stop us once we got the ball rolling even with an entire team focusing on the ball carrier then the healer then back on the ball carrier... they combined could just not do enough damage even with CC applied to one or more of us.

Alot (of the) time people would make the mistake of trying to focus down one of us tanks. Personally even without a healer around 4-5 people can focus me and I will sit there and laugh as i can just stand there and take it. Of course i personally did not get many kills. You lose the ability to kill to gain the ability to basically become a moving wall.

This worked out great on the battle of alderaan warzone as well. Once i started defending a point there was absolutely no point for one.. two.. or even three stray DPS to come up at a time and try to take the point from me. No i couldnt kill them but i was able to hold them off laughing the entire time while my team would come and mop them up.


I was pretty much always on the bottom of the "kills" list for a warzone but i always placed number 1 as defense and often times people would vote me as MvP for the warzone because i would try to seek out the most deadly DPS i could find on our team and basically act like his personal body guard.. so he would go around killing and killing and killing and just not dying. Or i would act as an escort to a healer.

Really the possibilities are endless. Especially once you start to aquire some PvP gear. Oh man at lvl 50 in full pvp gear it was basically pointless to try and kill me. You didnt need to RUN from me because i couldnt kill you unless you were already low but acting as a bodyguard to someone who COULD kill them i was something to be reckoned with.

Easily the most fun ive ever had in pvp as a tank in any mmo ive ever played.
11.0 Jedi Knight FAQs



Which is the “best” tank class?

In truth there is no overall “best” tank. Each of the 3 tank classes has their strengths and weaknesses. The Guardian is best at single target threat and avoidance, while the Trooper excels at AoE threat and shielding and the Shadow is in the middle of both. What’s important is which style of play you prefer and to a lesser extent that classes story. If you are finding the lack of AoE threat on your Guardian to be a big issue there are steps you can take to help minimize this. See later question in the FAQs with regards to this issue.

Is it better to level Defense?


If you wish to be at your maximum tanking potential during the leveling process then Defense is where you will want to sink all your points. However, just because you want to end up a tank doesn’t mean you need to always be one. You may find the leveling process easier by going down the DPS Guardian path and switching at a later date. You may also choose to sink points into the other trees earlier that level 40 in order to boost your DPS while at a low level. Build 3 in the rotations section is a good example of this.

Should I always use Soresu form during leveling?


Almost always “Yes” if you are running a Defense tree build. What you sacrifice in order to get the extra few % damage in other forms does not outweigh the benefits you receive from your tanking form as a Defense tank.

I can’t seem to hold threat on multiple NPCs, what am I doing wrong?

The Guardian tank is the weakest of all 3 tanks when it comes to AoE threat. Some classes with high damage AoE attacks can regularly pull mobs off you during a pull. What the Guardian excels at is single target threat, which you can use to ensure that the most damaging mobs in every pull are firmly stuck to you. My strategies to help deal with threat during trash pulls is to:

• Take all 3 points in Swelling Winds from level 10 to 12. 30% more damage to Force Sweep and a 3 second reduction to the cooldown will greatly increase your threat on packs prior to obtaining Cyclone Slash at 32.

• Take all three points in Pacification. Another 15% damage to both Force Sweep and Cyclone Slash.

• Use target marking to help keep the dps focused on your primary target. As the great single target threat tanks we are, it will be very hard for any class to continually take threat on a target we have marked and are focusing on.

• Prioritize your targets. E.G. If there are 4 NPCs in a pull (2 Elites and 2 Strongs) make sure that you are applying threat to the 2 elites with your single target abilities and taunt. If the 2 strong NPCs go astray don’t waste the time to try and pull them all back together on you. It is elite and champion difficulty NPCs that must be tanked, the strong, normal and weak NPCs are easily handled by DPS

• Switch your threat target early. In a pull with 2 elite class NPCs, switch your target when the first is down to 10% HP. This allows you to gain a handy lead on the second NPC when all the DPS switch over a few seconds later.

• Use CC and learn the range of your Force Sweep. Mark one elite on the side of the pack as a CC target with lightning icon, then Leap in to the far side of the pack, FS on the primary target, strafe out to beyond the range of Force Sweep on the CCed mob whilst still covering the other NPCs with it.

• Save your taunt for priority NPCs. Don’t waste a taunt on a strong/normal NPC unless it is absolutely essential. Using a taunt on a strong NPC headed towards a Trooper DPS only to have an elite NPC make a B-line for the healer 3 seconds later is a daunting experience.

Who should I use my guard ability on?

When solo always put it on your companion unless you like sharing the threat and damage of NPCs around.

When in a party use guard on the highest threat DPS. I start a run with it on the healer and watch to see which DPS (if any) are pulling threat. If one particular player is regularly taking aggro from NPCs then ensure that it is always applied to them.

Note: Guard has a 30 meter range. Other players who fall behind, most often to collect gathering nodes, will have guard "fall off" (as in not recieving the benefit) them before making their way back to the party for the next pull. Make a habit of often checking that the target is in range.

Which companion is best for a tank?


There are 2 schools of thought on this and it all depends on personal preference.

Option 1. DPS Companion.

You get the extra damage to burn through targets very quickly but miss out on having a pocket healer. This option works very well if you have taken Biochem and have been crafting infinite use medipacks as you level. At level 24 the infinite use pack will heal half your health every 90 seconds helping make the loss of healing from your companion less noticeable. If you go the DPS companion route then pick whoevers personality appeals to you. Kira is very powerful and can be a blast to have around (Watching 2 Jedi deliver swift justice through a pack of hoodlums certainly feels heroic.)

Option 2. Healing Companion.

The healing you get from Doc or C2N2 is not insubstantial. The sacrifice for this is greatly decreased DPS. One good tactic is to set the Healing companion to DPS mode on their cast bar. This increases the cooldown on their healing abilities but brings their DPS up to close that of a pure DPS companion. Just as with the DPS option, take the companion whose personality appeals to you most.

When will I start seeing tanking specific gear?

In the mid 20’s you will start seeing gear with defense on it. This will happen sporadically at first but at around level 30 it becomes more common. Stats such as Shield absorb are seen a little later. Defense should be your primary concern as we have a relatively low shield % to begin with.

Which crafting skill best complements a Guardian tank?

Whichever you prefer. Biochem, Synthweaving, Artifice and Cybertech can all be rewarding. I will make special mention of Biochem and Cybertech with regards to leveling.

Biochem enables you to make infinite use Meds,Adrenals and Stims. This is invaluable to the SW as we do not have our own in combat heal. The crafted meds heal a lot more than a regular and having a 50% heal every few pulls can speed things up a great deal.

Cybertech is good for leveling and beyond due to the mods it allows you to create for armor and weapons. As armor with mod slots derives pretty much all of its power from the mods you can run with the same armor for 40 levels should you keep its mods regularly updated. Making your own mods allows you to keep your gear at the cutting edge throughout the leveling process.


Why are people taking the Dust Storm talent?

Provided you have less than 5 targets at a time and you are applying Force Sweep once every 15 seconds then 5% lowering of the accuracy on NPCs is the same as 5% avoidance. For 2 points this is a great talent both during leveling whist taking on large packs and during endgame when you have to deal with hard hitters.

Is Master Strike a good skill?


Early on Master Strike is a good skill but as you gain more skills you will find yourself using it less and less. Master Strike has 3 negatives. Firstly its channeled nature makes it easy for you to inadvertently interrupt by hitting another ability. Secondly, the first negative is compounded by the fact that most of Master Strike’s damage is back ended and occurs in the last second. Thirdly, it just takes ages to use. At high levels when trying to keep up you Sunder stacks, FS shield, Force Sweep debuff and Riposte buff a 4.5 second lockout while you go through the Master Strike animation is a long time.

Do I have to be a leader in flashpoints and raids?

A tank does technically “lead” solely because they are the first to initiate every pull during a run. This however is as far as the tanks leadership needs to go. If you don’t want to organize a run, designate target, explain fights and tell people when they DIAF, then you don’t have to. You are paying to play, and playing to have fun. If leading drains the fun out of your run then just don’t do it.

I was rejected from a group because of my class. Are Guardians underpowered?

First off, no person should be prevented from joining a group because people don’t think their class is good enough. If this happens to you take some comfort in knowing you wouldn’t want to run with that type of person anyway.

With regards to Guardians being underpowered, yes they are some ways while in others they are definitely not. Overall the class is well designed but may be due a little tweaking (especially during the leveling process)James Olhen has stated that the Guardian is likely to receive some attention in an upcoming patch but I wouldn’t hold out for some magical cure all if you have a particular problem with the class. I would say that every tank class has its advantages and disadvantages and the Guardian in its current state is certainly viable if played to its strengths.

That being said, all tanks need to invest heavily in their associated tank tree before they can adequately reduce incoming damage. You will not feel particularly tankish until the late 20’s if not later. Some tank classes have the advantage of high AoE damage from an early level to help make threat on large packs easier to handle. Prior to level 32 the Guardian can be seen as an inferior tank by some due to their lackluster AoE threat. Due to Focus mechanic we are not heavy front loaders. This can exacerbate the perceived threat problems of the class.

All I can say is that if you love the playstyle of the Guardian tank then stick with it. At higher levels and especially in raids and heroic flashpoints where very hard hitting single target encounters are common, the Guardian tank is second to none.
Back to Contents


12.0 Glossary


AC- Advanced Class. Selected at level 10, allows the selection of talents pertaining to a particular class role or playstyle

AoE- Area of Effect. Abilities that effect a large area or multiple targets.

Aggro- Another term for threat.

Avoidance- Avoidance is the negation of all damage from an individual attack via in game mechanics such as Parrying or Deflection.

Buff- An ability that increases a Player or NPC statistics for a fixed period of time

CC- Crowd Control. Removing the ability of NPCs to attack or move for a fixed time

CD- Cooldown. The period of time before an ability or attack can be reactivated

Clear- When a group or player successfully completes a flashpoint or encounter

DR- Damage Resistance, This is the % that incoming damage is reduced by. If your DR is 50% and you are hit by a 100 dmg blast you only suffer 50 points of dmg. DR can also refer to Diminishing Returns (See next entry)

DR- Diminishing Returns, In a more basic way this means that as you accumulate a high amount of a particular stat is effectiveness is decreased above a certain level. In ToR this only applies to secondary attributes such as Defense and Critical Chance. Endurance and Strength are exempt.

DFR- Defense Rating, This is a stat found on tanking armor and directly effects your Parry/Deflection on a 10:1 scale. That is to say, for every 10 points of of DFR you gain 1% Parry/Deflection.

Debuff-An ability that decreases a Player or NPC statistics for a fixed period of time

DoT- Damage over Time. An ability that is applied to a player or NPC that does a set amount of damage over a fixed time period.

DPS- Damage per second. Refers to either damage being done or the advanced classes of player that specialize in doing damage.

Epeen- Slang for Electronic ego

FF- Focused Fire. Concentrating all damage on a particular target.

GUI- Graphical User Interface. What you interact with to control the game

LoS- Line of Sight. Using a piece of the environment to break a player or NPCs line of sight to you

Mob- Refers to an enemy non player character

MT- Main Tank. The primary tank (You may also see this in chat channels when someone makes a miss-tell)

NPC- Non Player Character

OT- Off Tank. A secondary Tank

Pug- Pick up group. A group of players assembled at random

PVE- Player versus Environment

PVP- Player versus Player

RL- Raid Leader

JK- Jedi Knight

Threat- A measure of how much a NPC wants to attack you

Toon- A players character

TPS- Threat per Second

Trash- NPCs within a flashpoint that are not bosses and easy to defeat

Wipe- When all characters attempting an objective die

Zerging- Rushing in or attacking with all available forces


12.0 Contributors



If the contributors name is blue, please click on it to see their respective thread or guide.
A huge Shout Out to Phottek for all the work he did, most of this guide is based on this thoughts and adventures. I was trult lucky to be able to take his work and expound upon it and make a great guide for "the other side" (the better side) =)
A big thanks goes out to Gankstah his thread covers a lot of the math behind the tanks.
Quoted Tersidre on his PVP thoughts and experiences.
Respect to the people at Sith Knight.com for the numbers in tanking formulas.
Special mention to Freehugs, Vilda, Xalkyrie, Talyn_Rahl, Astares, JDee, LagunaD, Takira and MercArcher for all their hard work on various figures contained throughout.
Wikipedia quote in What is a Tank? section.
Quoted SWTOR holonet in Knight Basics section.

13.0 Update and Edit Log


02-16-12 Posted and ready for consumption Om, nom nom
02-22-12 Recolored sections and made some color cosmetic changes
02-23-12 Scanned and replaced some beta terms pointed out by others
02-24-12 Cleaned up some grammatical errors in Sections 1-4
02-25-12 Updated Sections 3 and 4
02-26-12 Added direct links to Phottek's guide and to all the companions
02-28-12 Updated "Enure" Cooldown and fixed typos on "Momentum"
06-29-12 Completed the 4.0 Talent and Abilites section for 1.3

camarius's Avatar


camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:31 PM | #6
* reserved *

camarius's Avatar


camarius
02.16.2012 , 05:31 PM | #7
* and one more just to be safe*

To Do list...
[1] add links to subsections
[2] prepare an alternative hybrid leveling guide
[3] bake everyone nerf brownies

Phottek's Avatar


Phottek
02.16.2012 , 08:14 PM | #8
Great work Camarius.

This guide was written with my consent so please don't try and flame the author for copying it. A lot of work went into its conversion to JK venacular, and the author will be maintaining it over time as new patches go live. Keep up the good work.
PVE Tank for Three Thousand, Casual Progression Raiding on Master Dar'Nala

Janrek's Avatar


Janrek
02.16.2012 , 09:22 PM | #9
finally! good effort, and kudos to Phottek too for the base.

aroim's Avatar


aroim
02.16.2012 , 09:57 PM | #10
Great guide, very very extensive and worth the read if you want to know everything about the class. Keep it up man, I will be looking over this frequently when I create my guardian.

Thanks!
~Delta
(RedRancor)
Member of - RED RANCOR - The Official TOR Fansite
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