Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer

Tanking: A Primer

Gankstah's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 06:58 AM | #1


While not exclusively for the Tanking community this thread is specifically modeled for the tanking community in mind.

This is NOT a Tanking guide. I'm not here to tell you how to do your job as a Tank. This is NOT an itemization guide. I'm not here to tell you how to gear your Tank. I'm here to give you information in order for you to make educated decisions on your own. Likewise, my goal is not to fill your head with "X" class is the best Tank. My goal is to accumulate factual information for the Tanking community as well as a list of FAQ's which I observe posed by the community all in one nice, tidy and easy to find place.

If you discover any information within that is inaccurate please feel free to PM me with said inaccuracy (because I might miss your post) and it will be fixed, crediting you, ASAP. This thread will be heavily monitored by myself and I encourage others to do the same. Discussion and freeform thought is always encouraged. Berating one another for differing opinions is not.





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.

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

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


Popular calculators are Torhead and DarthHater.


  • 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 Absorb = (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))
- Credit for the above calculations goes to LagunaD over at SithWarrior. To see a more extensive list of calculations head on over there or see this thread authored by Freehugs.
- Thanks to JDee and Freehugs for helping to maintain accuracy.
- You can also find a spreadsheet at SithWarrior which helps to automate the process; Credit to Sujin for taking the time to create and maintain this contribution to the community.


Primary stats are assigned by your core class. Str = SW/JK, Aim = BH/TR, Cunning = IA/SM and Will = SI/JC.
  • Crit% from Stats: 5+30*(1-(1-(0.01/0.3))^((Stat/Lvl)/2.5))
  • All Primary Stats yield +0.2 bonus damage per point


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 and abilities increase specific types of damage (i.e. Dark Blood in the Immortal 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).


The way TOR works when it comes to "rolling to hit" is that there are two rolls. The first roll is to determine whether or not any given attack is defended via your defense stat. In other words, if it misses. If the attack isn't defended then a second roll is made to determine whether or not the attack is a crit, a shielded hit or a normal hit.

The "flow" of how this system works results in a crit never being shielded and a vice versa. As your Shield Chance and the Crit Chance of the attacker rises the odds of a normal hit landing is reduced until it is pushed off of the table. When the odds of a normal hit landing reach zero it becomes a push/pull struggle between Shield vs. Crit on the results of any given landed attack and Crit is the high man on the totem pole.

To illustrate this visually use the following examples:

Example 1
Roll #1 Roll #2 Avoidance 20% Crit 20% Hit 80% --->> Shield 50% Hit 30%
Example 2
Roll #1 Roll #2 Avoidance 25% Crit 30% Hit 75% --->> Shield 70% Hit 0%
Example 3
Roll #1 Roll #2 Avoidance 30% Crit 35% Hit 70% --->> Shield 65% Hit 0%
Understanding this concept is essential to understanding your Crit Immunity as described in the section Crit Immunity Theory.


Before reading further it's IMPORTANT to note the following:
  • For the sake of my sanity I'm only listing the Imperial side of the 3 archetypes. Since they are direct mirrors of their Republican counterparts the math is exactly the same. You'll just have to swap out class/skill names yourself. If you want Republican lexicon do the damn math yourself you Republican DOGS!
  • I cannot stress enough that these numbers are SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Two months ago these numbers were very different than they are today. I want you to remember that before going ape **** on the forums, "ZOMG SW IS SO OP!" blah-blah-blah. What we see today may not be what we see tomorrow.
  • I'm putting this here for information comparison purposes only. This is in no way indicative of a "X" class is better than "Y" class. The following numbers are only one part of a very large picture. Many abilities (particularly high CD abilities) are not factored in for a reason. There's a lot that goes into making a tanking class and DR/Shield/Avoidance is just one part.
  • The provided calculations all assume Level 50 Premium armor values. The BAV (Base Armor Value) is representative of a full suit of each armor class (i.e. Heavy and Light).

Modified Armor Value (MAV)
SI: (BAV Light 1909)*(Stance 2.5) or 1909*2.5 = 4772.5*(Eye of the Storm 20%) or 1.2*4772.5 = 5727 SW: (BAV Heavy 3601)*(Stance 1.6) or 3601*1.6 = 5761.6 BH: (BAV Heavy 3601)*(Stance 1.6) or 3601*1.6 = 5761.6*(Rebraced Armor +16%) or 5761.6*1.16 = 6683.5
Note: Armor bonuses are multiplicative exceptions to TOR's mountains of additive calcs. Now, we plug our MAV into our DR calculation (found in the Game Calculations section) to come up with our Base Armor DR (BADR):
Base Armor DR (BADR): SI = 34.65% | SW = 34.78% | BH = 38.22%
Modified Base Armor DR TOR handles passive skill bonuses additively and NOT multiplicatively so let's plug in current DR passive skills:
SI: (BADR 34.65%) + (Sith Defiance 2%) = 36.65% SW: (BADR 34.78%) + (Stance 6%) = 40.78% BH: (BADR 38.22%) + (Stance 5%) + (Ion Shield 2%) + (Power Armor 2%) = 47.22%
Resistance: Elemental/Internal DR As mentioned earlier in this thread, Elemental/Internal DR does NOT factor in Armor. So after subtracting Armor and adding passive Elemental/Internal bonuses we get the following:
SI: (Sith Defiance 2%) + (Charge Mastery 9%) = 11% SW: (Stance 6%) + (Dark Blood 4%) = 10% BH: (Stance 5%) + (Ion Shield 2%) + (Power Armor 2%) = 9%
Situational Modifiers These are situational modifiers from abilities that directly affect DR. I mention these separately because the effects are longer than the CD so they can be applied constantly but are situational as not ALL targets on the board will be under their influence at ALL times.
SI: (Wither 5%) SW: (Sonic Barrier Value Unknown) BH: (Combust 4%)
Shield Chance For the purposes of simplicity we are going to assume a GlanceRating of 0.
SI: (Shield Base 5%) + (Stance 15%) + (Dark Ward 15%) = 35% SW: (Shield Base 5%) + (Stance 15%) + (Shield Specialization 4%) = 24% BH: (Premium Shield Base 5%) + (Stance 15%) + (Shield Vents 2% + Empowered Tech 10%) = 32%
Shield Absorption For purposes of simplicity we are going to assume a AbsorptionRating of 0.
SI: (Premium Shield Base 20%) + (Hollow 4%) = 24% SW: (Premium Shield Base 20%) = 20% BH: (Premium Shield Base 20%) + (Ablative Upgrades 6%) = 26%
Avoidance: Ranged Deflection & Melee Parry For purposes of simplicity we are going to assume a DFR of 0.
SI: (Base 10%) + (Premonition 2%) + (Lightning Reflexes 4%) = 16% or 21% w/Discharge SW: (Base 5%) + (Guard Stance 6%) + (Blade Barricade 6%) = 17% or 22% w/Smash BH: (Base 5%) = 5%
- Thanks to Xalkyrie, Talyn_Rahl and MercArcher for help in maintaining accuracy.
- Thanks to Astares for clearing up DFR/Lexicon issues.


First off, what is 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:

B=Shield Chance
C=Shield Absorption

1-(1-A)(1-D)(B*(1-C)+(1-B)) = Mean Mitigation

Make sure to put your percentages into decimal format.
Sith Inquisitor Assassin A= .16 B= .35 C= .24 D= .3665 1-(1-.16)(1-.3665)(.35*(1-.24)+(1-.35)) = 51.26% Mean Mitigation
I'm sure people are curious so here are the other two Mean Mitigations: SW 53.21% and BH 54.03%. We aren't factoring in in-depth processing of Resistance or Criticals. This is only a generalization OR average. Specific parsings will yield +/- results. So please don't come back here saying, "You're wrong! I parsed at 84% against boss such-and-such!" before thoroughly understanding the definition of average/mean.

Big thanks to Tanis for simplifying the original equation.

Mean Mitigation w/ Crit% Factor

The following is a Mean Mitigation calc originally submitted by Baltazarr and then further improved by Tanis which takes into consideration your target's Crit%. Baltazarr was also kind enough to provide a chart illustrating mitigation change with Crit% variance.

For a detailed explanation of how this calculation works see this post provided by Tanis.

A= Avoidance
B= Shield Chance
C= Shield Absorption
X= Mob's crit chance (so if mob has a 48% chance of critting then X= 0.48)
Y= Mob's crit multiplier (to our knowledge this is a static 1.5% modififer)

1-(1-A)(1-D)(B*(1-C)+1-B+X*(Y-1)) = Mean Mitigation
Sith Inquisitor Assassin A= .16 B= .35 C= .24 D= .3665 X= .25 Y= 1.5 1-(1-.16)(1-.3665)(.35*(1-.24)+1-.35+.25*(1.5-1)) = 0.4460 or 44.6% Mean Mitigation


For purposes of this discussion in order to prevent confusion we will group mods into two separate categories. When I say "Mod" and it's capitalized that means I'm referring to the actual modification slot that is labelled in game as "Mod". When I say "mod" or "mods" lower case that is short hand for "modification(s)" which is the category which all slots fall under.

Don't blame me. Look at BioWare. They're the ones that decided to name one of their mod slots "Mod".

Now, mods for armor consist of 3 different slots. Armoring, Mod and Enhancement. There is a 4th slot which is available only on critical success crafting pieces of armor. That special slot is called Augment. Currently, Augments cannot be crafted. They can only be looted off of Slicing missions.

The way mods work in regards to defensive stats, currently, is pretty simple.
  1. Currently the highest defensive stat that a mod can yield is +41.
  2. There are two types of mods capable of yielding a defensive stat. They are Mods and Enhancements.
  3. Only one defensive stat may be present on any given Mod. Enhancements may contain up to 2 different defensive stats.
  4. There are five pieces of Armor that can hold Enhancements. They are Chest, Legs, Feet, Hands and Head. All Armor pieces may contain Mods.

So, to give you an idea of how these stats may be distributed we'll create a simple chart illustrating what a level 50 character will yield with certain mod combinations (MOD = # of 41 point mods assigned, DFR=DefenseRating%, SHC = ShieldChance% and ABS = Absorption%):

MOD#      DFR%      ABS%      SHC%

1             1.48         4.4           2.52
2             2.88         8.41         4.92
3             4.22         12.06       7.19
4             5.9           15.4         9.35
5             6.7           18.44       11.4
6             7.85         22.22       13.35
7             8.94         23.75       15.2
8             9.98         26.06       16.96
9             10.96       28.16       18.62
10           11.9         30.08       20.21
This is not an entirely accurate depiction of possible totals and is intended solely as a "guesstimate" chart for you to eyeball and see approximately where in the neighborhood of defensive totals you might be with theoretical totals.

These totals are additive to previous totals calculated earlier in this thread (see Baseline DFR/Shield/Avoidance).

Now to talk about Augments. Augments can be found on crafted critical success gear as well as some high level looted gear. The way Augments are handled is as follows.
  • Currently, the highest stat an Augment can yield is +34.
  • Augments can be equipped to Chest, Legs, Feet, Hands, Head, Wrist, Waist and Shield Generators.
This gives you a total of 272 points to assign to any given stat in 34 point increments. For example, if you wanted to assign 7 Augment slots strictly to Accuracy then that would yield a 7.63% bonus to Accuracy netting you a total sum of 97.63% Accuracy. Just under 3% shy of TOR's statistical cap.

Due to the fact Augments yield a lower stat total than that of other mods and the inherent nature of diminishing returns with in game calcs there's no easy way to just plug them into the above chart. At least, not on a forum. You will have to add the total mod sum found above to the total assigned Augment sum to come up with your net stat sum.

For example,
2 Mods (82 points) + 3 Enhancements (123 points) + 5 Augments (170 points) = 375 points
Then plug that sum into one of the calculations you can find in the Game Calculations section and voila! You have your bonus % to that stat.

- Thanks to Vilda, Lucubration and Voar for helping to maintain accuracy.


Crit Immunity is the premise that at some point, you will eventually hit a level of defensive capability as to be immune to critical hits. In some games this is represented as an actual in game stat. Ex: Toughness in Rift. TOR doesn't have this kind of deliberate stat mechanic. At least, not to my knowledge.

As described in the Rolling "To Hit"? section any avoided attack cannot land ergo it cannot crit. Any shielded attack is, likewise, incapable of a crit. But we simply can't add one percentage with another and say, "Voila! We have our crit immunity!" We have to account for Crit Chance and Accuracy.

What we know for certain is you cannot attain an Accuracy Rating higher than 100%. So in order to determine a true Crit Immunity we have to assume an Accuracy value of 100%. So, assuming that Accuracy and Avoidance are directly related, that is to say it's as simple as subtracting Avoidance from Accuracy, then the following is true:
  • Accuracy - (A)voidance = Hit%
  • Hit% * (C)rit Chance = Odds of being crit
  • 100-Odds of getting crit = Crit Immunity %
100-((1-A)*C)= Crit Immunity %
Put simply "Crit Immunity" is basically the odds of any given attack both landing and critting. Using the examples given in the section Rolling "to hit"? we come up with the following Crit Immunity results:
Example 1 = 100-((1-0.2)*20) = 16 or 84% Crit Immunity
Example 2 = 100-((1-0.25)*30) = 22.5 or 77.5% Crit Immunity
Example 3 = 100-((1-0.30)*35) = 24.5 or 75.5% Crit Immunity
Rapha_Ehyeh was kind enough to whip up a spread sheet illustrating various Crit Immunity plots for readers to eyeball in order to get a better understanding of how this theory functions. It's a work in progress so any questions regarding this utility should be directed to him.

For further explanation as to sources please see this post.


In theorycrafting on forums you'll normally find all sorts of different styles of Rotation Plotting. What is Rotation Plotting? Rotation Plotting is basically planning out what abilities you are going to use in a series of GCDs before you actually use them. Essentially it's a list. You'll see theorycrafters doing this a lot because they like to squeeze every ounce of resource management out of every second of combat that they can.

Simply put, it's all about efficiency.

It's always good to have a series of rotations in mind when you're playing. Spamming your abilities all willy nilly without any sense of organization leads to empty resource pools and, if you're tanking, loss of aggro. For instance, when AoE tanking you don't normally want to go more than 2 GCD's without doing some AoE aggro damage. When you're DPS'ing you don't want to run out of resources just to be sitting there looking at the rest of your group like, "Ok, I'll just sit here and wait for my Bounty Hunter to stop over heating, good luck guys!"

So, to get the most bang for your buck, rotations are plotted for different situations. You'll have rotations for AoE aggro, single target aggro, opening rotations, sustainment rotations, rotations for PvP against specific classes etc. etc. The possibilities are numerous. Here is what a typical opening rotation plot would look like:
  • Enrage/6>Charge/8>Smash/5>Scream/6>Sunder/7>Crushing Blow/3>Backhand/3

Now, you're probably looking at that, especially if you're not a theorycrafter, and wondering to yourself, "Kaaaay...?" It's actually really simple once you understand the key ingredients or what we call, "markers". One marker is very obivious: ">" clearly means "Next" but it also indicates something important: A GCD lapse. GCD, if you don't know, means Global Cool Down. What that means is the span of time that you're locked out of doing anything after you fire off an ability. Some exceptions do apply but we won't talk about that right now.

In TOR the GCD is 1.5 seconds. That means that if you fire off Smash you have to wait 1.5 seconds before you can fire off another ability.

The next marker is "/#" where "#"= a given number. That number is typically what your resource total is. So if you're a Sith Warrior then "/4" means that at that time you have a total of 4 rage sitting in your pool. Now when you see "/#" that means that is your resource total AFTER the ability that it is listed with gets fired off. For instance, using the above example, "Enrage/6" means I have 6 Rage in my pool AFTER Enrage was fired off.

Finally, and this one is a less common occurrence but is usually inserted as a courtesy, you have "__" which indicates a GCD where Resource gain has occurred AUTOMATICALLY. For instance, again using the above example, Sith Warriors gain 1Rage every 6 seconds in Soresu Form (or 3 seconds if you spec for it). This is automatic and independent of any Rage they might gain from Rage building abilities. Again, this isn't AS common but it is common enough that you will see it from time to time. Mostly because people will be asking, "Hey yo maff dont add up yous gots too much rages yo!" Using "__" saves you the headache of having to explain why the numbers are what they are every time you post a rotation.

SO! Given our above rotation you can see:

First, he fires off Enrage netting him 6 rage. This happens before combat has started. He then Force Charges bringing his total up to 8 and starting combat. He Smashes bringing his total to 5. The next GCD generates 1 Rage bringing his total to 6 Rage and he uses Scream. Now the total doesn't change here. Why? Probably because he has Battle Cry so Scream is free. Next he Sunder's bringing his total to 7. Why only 7 and not 8? Again, he's probably using Soresu Form (so one less Rage Gen) and he probably doesn't have Enraged Sunder. His next GCD he uses Crushing Blow bringing his total Rage to 3 and closes the rotation with Backhand netting him 3 Rage. Finally, the closing GCD was a Rage Generating GCD so he generated 1 rage but he probably has Backhand spec'd so it only costs 1 Rage.

As you can see that's a lot of "What if's?" to account for. Which is why it's customary to post a build with a rotation OR if the topic of the thread is a specific build then any rotations posted without build links are automatically considered to be applicable to the OP build. It's not a perfect system and usually each board has it's own idiosyncratic tendencies but in general these are the three most common markers you'll see in Rotation Plotting.


For purposes of this discussion, Threat is the value in which any given action provokes a mob into attacking, Aggro is the state in which you acquire hostility from a mob and it begins attacking you. What we know about threat:
  1. We know that all damage has a threat rating of 1.
  2. We know that all healing has a threat rating of 0.5.
  3. We know that all abilities listed as "does additional threat" have a threat increase of 0.5.
  4. We know that tank stances increase all threat ratings by 0.5.
  5. We know that in order for aggro to change targets from melee range, the aggressors threat pool has to be trumped by a rating of 1.1.
  6. We know that in order for aggro to change targets from range, the aggressors threat pool has to be trumped by a rating of 1.3.

Now that we have laid out what we know let's take a look at what we don't know.

The first thing that immediately springs to mind is how Factor C and Factor D react to one another. That is to say, is threat modification additive or multiplicative? This question results in three wholly different sums. If it's simply additive (0.5+0.5) then we get a threat rating of 2. If it's multiplicative based on threat increase BEFORE stance modification (0.5+(0.5*0.5)) then we get a threat rating of 1.75. If it's multiplicative based on threat increase AFTER stance modification (1.5*1.5) then we get a threat rating of 2.25.

The next thing to consider is the function of Factors E & F. If the hypothesis is correct then this is both a blessing and a curse. It means established aggro will be harder to lose but it also means that aggro lost will be harder to reacquire. What these factors do is create more realism and less "ping pong" effect when aggro is being lost/gained like you might have experienced in other MMOs. When you lose aggro, you're going to have to work to establish it again. What this means is targets that are pulling aggro from the Tank have to completely dump their rotations (probably for 3 or 4 GCDs) in order for the Tank to create a large enough deficit that you do not threaten to pull aggro again. What this also means is that Taunt is a more precious commodity than previously understood.

Another factor that is unknown at this time is how exactly threat is distributed to other non-primary targets on the board. Other MMOs (such as Rift and WoW) for instance split threat generated by healing evenly among all targets. So if you have 5 targets and you heal for 2000 you generate 1000 hate which is then divided up 5 ways amongst the targets for 200 threat per target. Whether or not TOR behaves this way is unclear.

Yet another factor which is unknown is whether or not taunt mechanics generate a threat value. We know that they force affected targets to attack the caster for 6 seconds but it is unknown whether these mechanics hold actual threat values themselves.

- Thanks goes to Freehugs for his input on this topic.

So now I'm going to go over some analysis. I see these questions constantly both in game and on the forums. So let's review a little bit of math first to show you how threat works from our current understanding.

So, let's pretend for a moment that we're fighting a boss. This boss's name will be Deathstar. Our tank's name is Luke. Our DPS's name is Porkins. Now, we're gonna say that Luke currently has 990 threat built up. We're also going to say that Porkins currently has 1,280 threat built up and he is 20m away. A moment later Porkins hit's 1,301 threat and Luke stands at a current threat of 1,000.

Porkins has just trumped Luke's threat by a factor of 1.3 and has now aggro'd Deathstar. Deathstar closes in and starts attacking Porkins. Now, we're going to pretend for a moment that Luke doesn't have any taunts. So he has to close with Deathstar to Porkins location in order to build up enough threat to get Deathstar's attention. Now since both Porkins, Luke and Deathstar are all within 4m of one another they are all considered "melee" regardless of what types of attacks they use.

Ok, Gankstah, that's all fine and dandy but what does this mean?

I'm glad you asked, what this means is that Luke, without any taunts has to trump Porkins threat total by a factor of 1.1 (because they're all within melee range of one another). With Porkins at 1,301 and Luke at a total of 1,000 that means Luke has to reach over 1,430 threat in order to get Deathstar's attention. Or to put it simply, he has to generate over 40% of the current threat he's already established prior to Porkins going overboard.

This is all assuming that Porkins drops what he's doing and doesn't do any healing or damage from that point on because any threat generating abilities he uses increases Luke's threshold even more. Basically Porkins is screwed.


In case you're a little lost at this point let me put that into perspective for you. If you and a buddy are fighting an enemy who has 3,000,000 hit points, you have done 1,000,000 damge and your buddy has done 1,300,000 damage and you guys have been plugging away at this bad boy for over an hour... you would have to almost kill that mob before you ever got aggro back.

Now, let's introduce Taunt. The current theory that is floating around in theorycrafting circles is that Taunt increases the Tank's threat level to that of whoever pulled the aggro to begin with. I believe that this theory is not entirely accurate.

As evidenced in this video.

Vette's DPS stops at roughly 50% or 5,000 dmg. With the current theory that means that she would have to get the mobs health down to 3500. Now, without a combat log we can only guestimate as to the exact point in which aggro swaps. But we can see through the video from frame by frame that the aggro actually swaps somewhere between 2,554 and 1935. Putting the aggro factor more in the neighborhood 1.5 not 1.3. Which possibly suggests that Taunt has an inherent threat value itself OR the bonus from tanking stance (in this case Soresu) modifies the sum which Taunt produces.

So, what have we learned from this? The power of Taunt is ASTRONOMICAL. If you are blessed with a Taunt cooldown reducing talent in your tanking tree and you ever plan on pugging... take the talent. Without hesitation take the talent. It could mean the difference between wiping and punching through that pain in the arse boss.

But we're not done yet.

Take a look at this video. Watch it. Then come back when you've soaked it in. See if you notice anything interesting.

In case you have watched it a few times and are wondering what exactly the point is, allow me to give you a hint. Note when Quinn is approaching on passive. What happens when he get's with 4m of the mob? That's right.

He aggro's.

What does this tell us? That tells us that both threat and distance variable (i.e. 1.3 v 1.1) are constant. So if you're ranged DPS are close to pulling aggro, say by a rating of 1.2, and are either pulled in to the target or manage to get close to the target, that they will pull aggro. So your ranged DPS and healers NEED to stay at range. If they don't, they risk pulling aggro from you through no fault of your own.

Ever wonder why it is that BH keeps pulling aggro from you? Maybe it's because he keeps closing for PBAoE dps effects. I first noticed this when one of my DPS friends kept pulling aggro on me. It was quite annoying. So then I started Frapsing fights to see what it was that I might be doing wrong. Then I noticed a pattern. It only happened when he would use Rocket Punch.

Voila! Problem solved. Rocket Punch and other close target DPS moves were taken out of his rotation and BAM! No more threat issues. Just some food for thought.

I will update this section further after I test out a few more theories in game.


The following is a list of guides related to tanking.

Note, I do not endorse nor condemn any material found within any of these works. They represent the experience and opinions of the authors and solely the authors. Don't come to me bemoaning someone else's take on Tanking theory.

I'm not a forum junky who scours the forums looking at every post that pops up. So if your work is not mentioned do not take it personally. If you have written a guide that has gone unmentioned and feel it would contribute to the Tanking community PM me and I will add it to the list.

Gankstah's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 06:58 AM | #2

Warning: The following section contains linked content containing spoilers. If you do not wish to have content spoiled for you do not follow the links provided.

The Esseles: Early Game - Republic
"When a Republic transport secretly carrying a high-profile passenger is attacked by Imperials, your team must defend the ship and eventually must decide the passengerís fate."
Guide 1

The Black Talon: Early Game - Empire
"The captain of an Imperial transport refuses official orders to intercept a Republic transport, and your team must seize control of the transport and carry out the mission. Will you kill or spare the captain?"
Guide 1a
Guide 1b
Guide 2

Athiss: Early Game - Empire
Guide 1

Hammer Station: Mid Game - Both
"The expansionist Advozsec have recovered the Hammer Station, a powerful weapon developed by the Republic but lost during the Great War. Your team must stop the Advozsec before they can activate the Hammer Station and become a threat to both Republic and Empire alike."
Guide 1

Taral V: Mid Game - Republic
"Imperials are holding a Jedi prisoner who is critical to the Republic war effort. Your team must travel deep into enemy territory to recover the key to liberating this Republic hero."

Boarding Party: Mid Game - Empire
"When a high-level Republic prisoner escapes from an Imperial prison, your team must track down the target and prevent an audacious attack to destroy the Sith Empire."
Guide 1

The Streets of Cademimu: Mid Game - Empire
Guide 1

Mandalorian Raiders: Mid Game - Empire
Guide 1

Directive 7: End Game - Both
"Mutinous droids on a remote moon develop a technology that could lead to massive destruction for both the Republic and the Empire. Your team must shut down the rebellion before itís too late."
Guide 1a
Guide 1b


Warning: The following section contains linked content containing spoilers. If you do not wish to have content spoiled for you do not follow the links provided.

Eternity Vault: End Game - Both
Guide 1a
Guide 1b
Guide 1c
Guide 1d

Hutt Hospitality: End Game - Both
Guide 1



Can I tank with any build?
Yes, and no.

You CAN tank with most builds but the builds with a predisposition to tanking will obviously be those builds which contain heavy amounts of skill points invested in their respective tanking trees. It's been made abundantly clear by BioWare that "hybrids" aren't intended to be optimal.

The primary difference between the three archetypes is essentially, "Can I garbage tank?" What that means is can I tank without ANY points invested in the tanking tree? The answer is two archetypes can: SW/JK and BH/TRP. Allow me to clarify. Say you and your two buddies are waiting for a tank. You are a JK they are both SMG's. Instead of hanging around waiting for a tank you can switch to tank stance and still function as a tank without any points invested in your respective tank tree.

Will you do well? You'll do ok. Could you tank a raid? Proooobably not. I mean...maybe? LOL you could try! It wouldn't be pretty but you could give it a try. The third archetype, SI/JC, doesn't have this luxury. A consular wouldn't be able to "switch to tank stance" and just wing it. That isn't going to happen. Not at this point in time. There are too many absolutely vital abilities that tanks NEED in order to function that SI/JC's just aren't afforded by default but instead have to invest in their tank tree in order to acquire.

To put it simply: SW/JK's and BH/TRP's are tanks with DPS trees. SI/JC's are DPS'ers with tank trees. ALL of them can tank equally well provided they are all equally invested in their respective tank trees. But with zero investment in tanking trees SW/JK's and BH/TRP's will actually be able to function (albeit not so well) as tanks whereas SI/JC's could not.

Why am I mentioning this? Because until dual spec'ing is allowed this might be a deciding factor for the reader. Once dual spec'ing is implemented this point becomes moot as most people will have a Tank spec and a DPS spec. Until then... food for thought.

What is the difference in resource managment between the three Tanking archetypes?
"Rage/focus has the advantage of being very much on demand with good sustainability. You always have what you need when you need it for the entire fight (because you make it as you need it, or as you will need it, at the cost of being heavily back loaded or having a slower start.

Heat/ammo is front loaded and has good sustainability with having fairly reliable relatively 'fast' regen at the cost of having little room for spike loads in demand. This is because heat works on a tiered regeneration system where your regen is better when you have less heat to dissipate (or more ammo in the cartridge for Troopers). You could use your resources at a fairly reliable rate but you always have a very hard ceiling, where by if you fell behind on your regen you were reliant on a CD to get back into the comfort zone.

Force has the best front load but at the cost of being inherently more finite of a resource due to it's relatively slower regeneration. Once it is gone you would get stuck into a low maintenance routine to sustain yourself. However, you have a nice big cushion generated by a big front load so it's not as bad as it sounds."
~ Fraserl

Is there an Anti-Crit/Crit Immunity stat like Toughness in Rift?
There's no actual stat dedicated to reducing crit chance in TOR. There is only one way for you to actively lower the odds of being crit: increasing your Avoidance rating. For a more detailed explanation see Crit Immunity Theory

Is Tanking hard?
I ran across this post by Dobbel a few years ago and it's always stuck with me. Albeit I would change the thought process around.

DPS is fun, Healing is a responsibility and Tanking is work.

The reasoning behind my opinion is that no other role has to learn how to "fight" against his own group. That is to say, Tanking can either be easy or it can be hard and your group decides which one it's going to be. More often than not it's DPS who decides this. Pulling aggro from the Tank because they're not focusing the correct target, not paying attention to where they're standing and pulling adds are some of the more common blunders you will see. And when these happen, who's job is it to keep the group from wiping? That's right.

It's your job.

You're the one who has to correct that guys mistake or your whole team is going to have to start over. Of course this has a trickle down effect on your Healer as well. Now he has to stress over the Tank taking more damage then he would have normally. Do I heal that fool that pulled aggro? Hell no. He dies. I don't have the time to be splitting my attention between keeping him alive and keeping the Tank up. If I can rez him later, I will.

The Tanks "work" is most especially profound when in PUGs. Because you never know what you're gonna get with a PUG. It can either be really easy or it can be infuriatingly hard. Most experienced healers, you'll spot them, they'll be following you almost exclusively and staying in the back. They don't talk much. They're focusing on those health bars and getting ready to start rotations. The DPS though... zomg the DPS... they're jumping all over the place, dancing like it's a disco, jumping the gun on your opening rotation hoping to squeeze some more deeps out of their damage meters.

It... never... ends.

So, yes. Tanking is work, or it can be, if your group makes it that way. And always remember to thank your healers. Healing is a thankless job. Mostly because if you're a good healer your efforts aren't noticed by DPS. Tanks know better. Tanks have to pay attention to their health bars in order to get a sense if the Healer is going to lapse. This way the Tank knows if he has to pop a CD in order to compensate for this lapse. It's understandable if DPS doesn't say, "Good job" to the healer. But you, the Tank, you know better.


I hold no claim to fame other than being able to solve a Rubix Cube in under a minute. Which isn't even good compared to others out there. = ) I'm not a genius. Hell, I'm not even good at math.

I am however a man of principle. I encourage the free expression and transfer of information and ideas. As such any and all information within this work belongs to no "one man". It is the collective work of many people. Most of it is mine. Some of it is not. What work is mine could not have been accomplished without the way being paved by brighter minds than my own.

As such this work is the property of the community as a whole. I neither require nor expect credit or citation for any information found within. Do with it what you will. I ask only that you do it with grace. Information is the right of all mankind. Do not lord it over those who do not have it.

Share it freely.


Gankstah's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 06:59 AM | #3
Reserved: Final

Austegard's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 07:03 AM | #4
Gj Bro. Im not even rolling a Tank and I appreciate this lol

Internetosaura's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 07:07 AM | #5
Nice work mate.Deserves Sticky
Jedi Guardian Tank/Mdps
Udgaard - Tomb Of Freedom Nadd

Konstabel's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 07:14 AM | #6
gief sticky

TheMajin's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 08:06 AM | #7
You are doing great work, thank you! I have not "worked" as a tank in a while and won't be playing as one, at least not at first, but this is a great resource and deserves much stickiness!

Willmatic's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 08:07 AM | #8
Thanks for copying this over Gankstah, love the guide. I had a question I was dying to ask. What tank would you suggest for PvP play? I am sold on Assassin and Jugg tanking, but I also plan on PvPing as a tank. So what would you suggest?

Gankstah's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 08:43 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Willmatic View Post
Thanks for copying this over Gankstah, love the guide. I had a question I was dying to ask. What tank would you suggest for PvP play? I am sold on Assassin and Jugg tanking, but I also plan on PvPing as a tank. So what would you suggest?
I would suggest all 3. = )

Seriously, I keep from making those kinds of comments in this thread to ensure that I remain impartial for obvious reasons. Besides, the only tank that I have extensive experience with in PvP is a Jugg so my point of view would be skewed to begin with.

Gankstah's Avatar

12.13.2011 , 08:46 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by TheMajin View Post
You are doing great work, thank you!
Thank you but I have to say that it's not just me.

There are many people who have contributed either directly or indirectly to the production of the information that is found within the Primer. People like Bobcat from the cake have contributed countless hours in helping us get a lot of information to help us base these equations and theories on. And people with brilliant minds like LagunaD over at Sithwarrior. It's a communal effort and credit belongs to everyone.