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50 PvP Tanking: What are our best survival options?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
50 PvP Tanking: What are our best survival options?

BigGoatBR's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 10:09 AM | #1
Hi guys,

First of all, I really have no intention of creating another thread about complaining. Forums have everything there is to be said about class balance/unbalance, defensive mechanisms, issues, and so on. So this is not another post asking for BioWare to change things. It is just a discussion on what works better given the current scenario (if you know details about 1.4 changes, you can also consider those).

But, in order for this discussion to work, it is important for everyone to know about how the defensive mechanics work and the issues concerning survivability in warzones right now. This old post about MITIGATION details is important, as is this very interesting article about Optimal Tanking Gear.

So, to the matter:

I would like see some opinions on what are the best options us TANKS have right now in PvP. Most of the tank players I know have long abandoned the tanking roles in PvP, and become either hybrid or full DPS based. "War Leader" is a very rare set right now. If I see a Guardian/Jugg, Vanguard/PT in full War Hero, it is usually DPS gear and build.

I honestly think I will eventually give up and go DPS myself (although I don't really like the idea of a Jedi Guardian DPS, not sure why). But before I do that, I'm trying hard to become a reasonable tank in PvP. I had to change my strategy a lot (I can humbly say I was pretty good in sub-50 WZ, often MVP) but I can already help my team in many interesting, important ways. But since survivability is a issue for any tank, I wonder what are best options right now.

The article I mentioned above shows that Endurance is actually more effective than other defensive stats for many classes, specially Jedi. How ever, I don't see huge HP numbers on WZ. 30K is not uncommon in PvE, but even 21K in PvP can be very rare.

I'm well aware that Expertise is #1 concerning anything PvP-related. But I haven't seen discussions on how it can be balanced with other def stats.

To give specific questions and try to focus the problem, I wonder:
  1. Is it worth it dropping some of the expertise on a custom gear for endurance? Is there a tradeoff point, or shouldn't mess with expertise at all?
  2. Is it worth it changing anything in War Hero's War Leader gear stats? Maybe giving up shield for endurance, or even defense rating for endurance?
  3. Are there specific mods (armoring, enhancements, etc) that tanks should be aiming for right now? How expensive can those get?
  4. How much HP does your current tank have? With "full expertise rating" from WH gear and this HP, are you doing all right?

I thank you for your time and any opinions.

funkiestj's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 12:34 PM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by BigGoatBR View Post
[*]Is it worth it dropping some of the expertise on a custom gear for endurance? Is there a tradeoff point, or shouldn't mess with expertise at all?

google SWTOR stats formula mmo-mechanics. You can probably find stats calculators and/or spreadsheets on the internet.

[*]Is it worth it changing anything in War Hero's War Leader gear stats? Maybe giving up shield for endurance, or even defense rating for endurance?
Yes, folks make a lot of changes to their WH gear. I think the difference between fully optimized WH gear and stock WH gear is pretty small. Exactly what constitutes an ideal gear set for a particular skill tree spec is an open question.

[*] How much HP does your current tank have? With "full expertise rating" from WH gear and this HP, are you doing all right?
I think my guardian tank (5 pieces short of full WH, fully augmented) has ~20.5k health.

Mr. Hat says "BW support is the best"!
I am a bad player, so what?

CBRGhostRider's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 01:44 PM | #3
I try to gear up for HP and defense on my juggernaut tank. A lot of skills that we get as juggernauts, become better with more HP. EndurePain + medpack combo heals more, intercede heals more (w/ 2pc bonus), self heal ticks for more with more HP. Also with all the yellow damage (internal/elem) in PvP which bypasses defense/shield and damage that bypasses armor (e.g. carnage armor pen, PT RS, or internal damage), a big HP pool is a good bet for you. This is in contrast to PvE where you want to get mitigation stats more than HP.

That being said, the most important thing for a tank IMO is to focus on protection for your healer. Don't leave his side, and annoy the hell out of the dps that are focusing on him. Healer + tank is a symbiotic relationship, where the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. A good healer+tank combo can hold an objective for a long time (until help arrives). This to me is way more important than min/maxing gear (i.e. how you play your tank accounts for a lot more than how you gear him up). That being said, dont use dps gear if you plan to really tank, good teams will notice the difference when they focus on you and your healer.

As for your questions, this is what I do:
1. Everything pvp expertise based. But could possibly switch out bracers/belt for orange ones in the future (but mod should still be pvp mod with 30ish expertise). You get a lot more health with this.
2. I'm still grinding out my WH set (about half way done) so I haven't switched anything out yet. That being said, I will probably gear for HP and defense more than shield/absorb.
3. I think for jugs the boots are best in terms of mods (but dont quote me on it)
4. 23k buffed/stimmed with about half WH and half BM gear (all augmented). Expertise > 1200.

Malkavier's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 02:26 PM | #4
PvP Tank Survival essentially boils down to:

Do I have a healer? If yes, make DPS miserable. If no, spend most of the WZ running back from spawn.
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Polebreaker's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 03:56 PM | #5
Obligatory "roll a sent/mara" comment!

Endurance is your best bet really. My mix of war leader / vindicator guardian stuff gets me around 23k hp and over 1200 expertise (also make note that some bm pieces are *better* than warhero in this regard due to their retarded itemization.) You could probably get more but there comes a point where it doesnt make any difference. One extra k of hp is like one autoattack from someone. As has been stated many, many, many times, tanks dont have much of a real role in swtor pvp due to all sorts of factors, including ridiculously low ttk and putting the best defensive cooldowns (which are the only really effective ways to survive) on dps classes.

Stack end/power and you can be semi tanky, but that's about it.

BigGoatBR's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 04:26 PM | #6
Thanks for the replies everyone. Yes, I'm aggreing with you in and I am going to do some math regarding gear so that I stack as much Endurance as possible without losing too much Expertise.

Also, Augments can play I big role here. Im already stacking Critical Augments, which gives +12 endurance as a secondary stat. I will look some fortitude augments too. With full WH and augments, I'm expecting to be around the 23-24K hp. Sounds good enough.

As for gameplay and roles, Im still having fun and helping out my team, so no worries. The healer + tank combo is good, but even without a healer I'm working on some strategies that are really helping out. AoE taunt, Leap+Push+Leap combo and Force Freeze are some of the abilities that still make a Guardian worth it in PvP. So I have to adapt but still not going to give up on my tanking.

Thanks again.

denpic's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 04:45 PM | #7
For me I play a vigilance guardian in pvp
My surviablity is based on my defence cool downs and wz adrenals and med pack
EOL Marster Dar Nala
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TheronFett's Avatar

09.21.2012 , 04:56 PM | #8
Stack endurance and some defense.

It's been well documented that shield/absorb is largely a waste in PvP, as it only affects white damage. You'll see some results versus two classes on the battlefield in that department, and against auto attacks...but not much else. In my opinion, it's worth it to have some shield/absorb, but don't go nuts with it.

For my Jugg tank, I have defense stats on the left side of my character sheet (ear/implants/relics) and DPS gear in all of my armorings and weapons. That has struck a good balance for me, and allows me to still be somewhat of a threat. Otherwise, you hit like a wet noodle.

BigGoatBR's Avatar

09.22.2012 , 05:43 AM | #9
For you guys that are also playing with Guardian / Juggs, would you mind posting some stats?

I am still working my way to full BM, but right now I have (unbuffed):
HP: 18440
Defense Chance: 23,22%
Shield Chance: 28,37%
Absorption: 43,51%

Bonus Damage: 250 (pff)
Critical Chance: 20,17%
Critical Multiplier: 66,45%

So as I make my way to full Battlemaster and then War Hero, I will try to change some of that absorption and shield for endurance and defense chance.


Ridickilis's Avatar

09.22.2012 , 07:54 AM | #10
I replyed to a similar question in the Guardian forums here.

Stack Defense and the rest offensive stats, don't bother staking shield or absorb. Looking at your stats your absorb is way too high. You also didn't post your expertise.

Going by memory I think my stats are around these give or take a percentage point.

HP 17,500
Shield 26%
Absorb 23%
Defense 26%
Crit 20 %
Surge 76 %
Power around 320 ish (+85)
Expertise 1196 for plus 22 dmg, 19 defense, 12 healing

EDIT: that's with no agments at all, two WH pieces of armor, all three WH implants/ear, rest BM armor, weapon and shield and still have the two campaign relics.