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Tanking against force/tech

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Tanking against force/tech

theblaznee's Avatar


theblaznee
08.30.2012 , 04:22 AM | #1
I have a hard time coming to grips with the current tanking mechanics in this game.. There seems to be a bunch of different attacks at different phases in bossfight that are force/tech based, and I really have no idea what Bioware's thought is behind this.

From what I can gather it makes no difference if you're a tank of the squishiest dps class, you will take the same damage from an F/T attack. The only "defence" a tank has then is the higher hp pool..

In my old MMO the tanks had "protection" for magic based attacks, and "armor" for physical attacks.. The 2 different tanks in the game then had an advantage against each type, but they were still viable against the other type.. Especially by boosting certain stats through gear and abilities.

I'm at a loss why BW hasn't designed their game close to this philosophy now that they actually do have 2 different attack types.

TL,DR: Why does the game only carry one type of mitigation mechanic, but 2 types of damage. Effectively rendering mitigation useless against "half" the attacks..
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Codemancer's Avatar


Codemancer
08.30.2012 , 07:00 AM | #2
You have an indirect mitigation effect - that are your defense-rating and shield-rating. Both affect any attack before it gets the opportunity to cause damage to you.

First, the mechanic look whether an attack hits you or not. If it hits, another "dice" determines if an attack is critcal, normal or shielded. After that, the damage will be inflicted - where your armor may drag out direct mitigation depending on it's damage type.
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Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
08.30.2012 , 07:39 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by theblaznee View Post
TL,DR: Why does the game only carry one type of mitigation mechanic, but 2 types of damage. Effectively rendering mitigation useless against "half" the attacks..
Well, you're a bit off base on claiming that Force/Tech is completely unmitigated.

First off, tanks have damage reduction than DPS and/or heals thanks to stances, heavier armor, and talents. DR is applied regardless of attack type; damage type is the only thing that matters for it. As such, purely based off of spec, tanks are gonna take less from Force/Tech attacks compared to a DPS or heals.

Secondly, it is still possible to mitigate the Force/Tech damage to some degree: VGs and Shadows both have a 2% resistance chance and Guardians simply have their absorb barrier (which, when you get down to it, is better than the 2% resistance chance). Tanks also get access to CDs which are your real survivability tool: VGs get Reactive Shield (which is simply *amazing* since it gives you 25% more DR on top of your ~50% k/e ~20% i/e DR), Shadows get Resilience (which is, quite easily, the best survivability CD in the entire game; 5 seconds of complete invulnerability to Force/Tech attacks every 45 seconds and it comes with a cleanse attached as well?), and Guardians get Warding Call, Enure, *and* Saber Ward, all of which are functional against Force/Tech attacks).

Third, in response to your claim that other games give tanks all kinds of survivability mechanisms to apply to magical effects, I'd honestly have to say that TOR is pretty well in line with what you should expect since very few games provide effective and efficient means for generating resistance to "spells" (which is what Force/Tech attacks are within the traditional framework of fantasy MMOs) via gearing. In general, the defensive counter to spells are cooldowns, which is what TOR has done. Of course, TOR has a problem in that going with a discrete separation of damage type from attack type, such that you can have a "spell" deal "physical" damage (something that no other MMO I've seen does), there are distinct areas where tanks have a large amount of wasted itemization, especially if encounters are designed without properly factoring in the discrepancy.

I'm reasonably confident from reading your post that you don't have a strong grasp on the underlying mechanics and definitions used when explaining them. You probably don't realize that there is a difference between the type of the attack and the type of damage an attack deals. The attack type of an ability (whether it is melee/ranged or Force/Tech) determines whether the target applies Defense chance or Resistance chance on the initial roll and whether Shield chance is applied at all for the second roll (this is assuming you understand that TOR uses a 2 roll system to determine the results of an attack). The attack type has no bearing upon which type of damage reduction (k/e or i/e) is applied. The damage type (internal/elemental or kinetic/energy) determines whether you use the higher DR value that factors in armor (k/e) or the lower value that only factors in talents, set bonuses, and buffs (i/e). A K/E Force/Tech attack (like Shock or Project) is going to deal less damage to a tank (thanks to the comparatively high k/e resistance that they get thanks to armor buffs and DR talents) than it is to a DPS or healer, though not to the same degree as that damage would have been mitigated if it were a melee/ranged attack. Pretty much all tanks are going to take less damage from all attacks than a DPS would (though there is a bit of a sliding scale; in general, a tank will take substantially less from a k/e melee/ranged attack, slightly more than that from an i/e melee/ranged attack, a good deal more than that but still less than a DPS from a Force/Tech k/e and only marginally less from a Force/Tech i/e attack) so it's not necessarily appropriate to make the claim that tanks are somehow equally vulnerable to Force/Tech (or any attack for that matter) when compared to non-tanks.

Now, having said all of this, I agree with you. I just don't think that your argument is given in such a way as to accurately describe the situation. When the game was released and I started tanking Soa, I noticed that none of my gear made a whit of difference when tanking Soa (since he's a fight that is entirely Force/Tech attacks that deal I/E damage); tank spec (and the VG and Shadow tanking set bonuses, but I generally assume that goes hand-in-hand with the spec) was the only thing that mattered (since that's the only source of Force/Tech resistance and I/E DR that you can get) appreciably and the difference that it made, considering that Soa deals so little damage by default, is so minor that you might as well just get any DPS with a taunt to play "tank" during that fight. The exact same argument can easily be applied to tanking Zorn (since he's purely I/E Force/Tech) and Stormcaller (same as Zorn). The difference in being a tank and being a DPS with a taunt on fights that are pure Force/Tech I/E aren't really appreciable when you consider that taunts render threat pointless after the first 10 seconds of a fight (though Toth and Zorn and Tanks both solve this by forcing tank swaps). The fact that some fights render a vast majority of our itemization worthless is really irksome.

Thankfully, the developers have recognized that this is an issue (I recall a developer comment to a question about this a few months back, just a bit after EC was released). Whether they plan on having the 3 tank ratings apply in some way to Force/Tech attacks or plan on changing the designs on future fights such that there aren't entire fights or portions of fights where tank itemization is pointless, we won't know until the developers reveal it. Either way, they recognize that, as it stands, tank itemization is less valuable than it should be (and it's even worse in PvP where player damage is even more skewed to Force/Tech attacks and I/E damage than PvE is; there's a reason you'll see a fair number of tanks running in DPS gear for PvP).
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theblaznee's Avatar


theblaznee
08.31.2012 , 01:32 AM | #4
It might be that whole wall of text that confuses me, but it's a little funny that first you state that I pretty much don't know what's going on.. And then you agree with me afterwards!?!..

Force/tech is not shielded - ever.. I don't understand why you even take that into consideration.. Only our pure Damage reduction works.. Shield/absorb is useless..

And my whole point was exactly as you state.. Much of our gear is pretty much useless against these attacks.

So yes, I guess I was a little bit off the mark that tanks take pretty much the same damage from force/tech that a dps class does.. But it's not far from.. And I'm still standing by my point that tanking gear is close to useless against it - and that itemization in general doesn't allow tanks to boost their abilities against force/tech..
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Kitru
08.31.2012 , 02:23 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by theblaznee View Post
It might be that whole wall of text that confuses me, but it's a little funny that first you state that I pretty much don't know what's going on.. And then you agree with me afterwards!?!
I did not say that you don't know what's going on. I said, right in the beginning, that you're a bit off base, which means that you were partially correct (which, as explained in detail in the post in question, is completely true). I agreed with the general intent of your post (positing that tank itemization is worthless against these attacks which are remarkably common) but felt the need to point out that it's not as if tanks are completely without recourse to deal with Force/Tech attacks (since there are things other than itemization that are useful) nor is status as a tank completely redundant when faced with enemies that use Force/Tech attacks in the majority (since, as a tank, there is still some small modicum of improved survivability even in the most disadvantaged situation). The "don't know what you're talking about" part really only applies to the statement that I quoted wherein you conflate attack types and damage types, which is why I went into the rather involved explanation of the reality of the situation.

In short, I agreed with your conclusion but disagreed with your reasoning, which was either hyperbolic or outright incorrect, which is why I corrected it.
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Dhariq
08.31.2012 , 03:55 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Thankfully, the developers have recognized that this is an issue (I recall a developer comment to a question about this a few months back, just a bit after EC was released). Whether they plan on having the 3 tank ratings apply in some way to Force/Tech attacks or plan on changing the designs on future fights such that there aren't entire fights or portions of fights where tank itemization is pointless, we won't know until the developers reveal it. Either way, they recognize that, as it stands, tank itemization is less valuable than it should be (and it's even worse in PvP where player damage is even more skewed to Force/Tech attacks and I/E damage than PvE is; there's a reason you'll see a fair number of tanks running in DPS gear for PvP).
That is a way more positive reaction than BioWare deserve given their track record. My guess is that they will do nothing what so ever. At most they will make it so that the new content they code will be more defendable against and leaving the underlaying mechanic as it is since it would require skill (and work) to fix that. Given that it has been this crappy for close to a year now... I truly belive skill is something they lack. Regarding work... well this is just a cash cow now anyway so I guess not many hours will go into this game.

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Kitru
08.31.2012 , 02:53 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Dhariq View Post
That is a way more positive reaction than BioWare deserve given their track record.
It's less of a positive reaction so much as a recognition that they realize that it's a problem. Whether they go through the effort to tweak the underlying mechanics of the game (which shouldn't be *too hard* since it should only involve tweaking the 2 roll algorithm a bit to create a Force/Tech shielding chance and tweaking Def/Shield/Absorb to apply against Force/Tech attacks at a lower rate; the greater problem would be in determining the exact amount by which resistance and the potential Force/Tech shielding should benefit from various ratings) or change how they develop content from now on, it's up to them. The reason why I state that the developers might still tweak the underlying mechanic rather than adjusting content development is because the developers have even stated that they understand that there is a problem with the low comparative value of tanking stats in PvP (in which the simplest way of solving this problem is by tweaking the underlying mechanics rather than trying to rebalance the entirety of PvP to make tank stats more worthwhile).

Either way, it means they're going to do *something* since they realize it. At a minimum, they're going to make tank stats more important for future content, so at least there is some change.
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Dhariq
08.31.2012 , 03:30 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Either way, it means they're going to do *something* since they realize it. At a minimum, they're going to make tank stats more important for future content, so at least there is some change.
No it mean they realize it and you think (or hope) that they will do *something*.
Cool they are? Any links to that since I must have missed that they said they would do that. I am however hoping ofc that they will at least do that since I have no faith what so ever that will ever fix anything they screwed up before since that would mean extra work.