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Having a hard time with my Vanguard

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Having a hard time with my Vanguard

hunterraaze's Avatar

12.31.2012 , 07:35 PM | #1
I have a level 26 Shield Spec vanguard. Obviously I queue as tank in the group finder for Flash Points. But, I'm having trouble tanking. My biggest problem is, I blow through my ammo. About seven seconds in, I'm down to using Hammer shot, as this is the only ability I can. Even with that, I still have a hard time keeping threat. Now, this might be that, I'm only level 26, so I don't have all the abilities yet, or, I just suck. I'm in good gear, keeping up on that. I'm using THIS build. I put my guard on the Healer (I understand there is a pretty large argument going on on who to guard). I usually open with throwing sticky grenade in the middle of the mob, shoot off Hammer Shot while running up, use Harpoon on anyone awhile off, then Explosive surge, after that I just do some random abilities. I really have a hard time on the mobs that are really spread out. I try alternating from target to target, but still loose threat very quickly. Surprisingly enough, I don't have these problems with my Juggernaut. He is about the same level (25), and I can keep threat alot easier. I really want to improve on my Vanguard, as he is really fun to play. I mouse turn, and use a G600 mouse, so I'm not clicking on my ability's. What exactly am I doing wrong? For my Jugg, I have been using THIS guide, and it has helped me tremendously. Is there anything similar for a Vanguard (or power tech in that matter). Also, have I been doing anything wrong? Or am I just not a high enough level to effective with this class? Thanks for any help in advanced.

Icerose's Avatar

12.31.2012 , 07:53 PM | #2
Is your teams dieing alot because you cant keep aggro up? If they arent, then slow down your attacks, and use hammer shot more. Juggs have an easier time keeping aggro because they have an easier time with end mangemant. They have end builders in thier attacks, so that they can use the higher threat attacks more often. VGs dont. Its should get easier when you get storm as now you get a leaping attack into a group instead of walking fire to a target. There is also a skill that allows you to use explosive burst without any ammo usage twice after using a storm coming soon. It should get easier to control the aggro of large groups, but still even end game widely dispersed groups are a problem to control.
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Kitru's Avatar

12.31.2012 , 08:30 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Icerose View Post
Juggs have an easier time keeping aggro because they have an easier time with end mangemant.
First off, that's just laughable. Juggs actually have both worse threat generation *and* a harder time maintaining their resources specifically for the reason you mentioned.

To the OP, the first lesson you should learn is to never let your ammo drop below 8. As a Trooper, you have a resource with variable regeneration; the lower your ammo gets, the slower it regenerates. If you're running out of ammo, you're doing it wrong. Don't use Ion Pulse or Explosive Surge unless you're already at full ammo; keep Stockstrike, HiB, and (when you get it) Energy Blast on CD; open an AoE fight with Mortar Volley and follow up Pulse Cannon as they approach, then just setting into your ST priority (remember to keep your ammo up) to whittle your enemies down. Honestly, you should have no problem keep aggro as long as you don't gimp yourself by blowing through all of your ammo.
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hunterraaze's Avatar

12.31.2012 , 09:05 PM | #4
I haven't had anyone die (I quickly find out who's attacking who, and taunt them).

_gideon's Avatar

01.01.2013 , 08:55 AM | #5
Kitru's advice about energy management is good, although you won't have energy blast for a while and I imagine shield cycler isn't proccing as much as it would for a geared 50 tank with a high shield chance.

Weave in more hammer shots generally. Take explosive shot off your bars and try to avoid using explosive surge unless it is free or you know you won't need ammo for a while.

Also, pay attention to who is hitting what. Healers don't generate much aggro but something like a gunslinger does. Use your proper rotation on the DPS focus target and sprinkle a few hammer shots on things going for the healers. Sticky grenade loses out to abilities that benefit from spec points later on but even at 50 it's a useful ghetto cc and does enough damage to beat healer aggro.

For bosses or mobs with a lot of health you can afford to waste ammo early on for a big burst of threat and then coast on taunts after that.

Edit: No guide is perfect but I liked this one.

ladwar's Avatar

01.02.2013 , 05:04 AM | #6
i use target of target alot to see whos attacking what becuase holding a whole group of mobs from the dps is impossible, focus on the heavy hitters and pull fight first and watch for the dps that think they are a tank and pull whatever they want and switch before killing it and just remember dps can fight a strong npc by themself most of the time healers not so much so make sure to prevent the healer from getting banged up and u should be fine without using all of ur ammo at once.

wetslampigduex's Avatar

01.02.2013 , 08:58 AM | #7
dont worry buddy life get much easier soon.. i think you get pull and your aoe taunt in the next few levels. Just when you open on a mob try and get your aoe to hit as many targets as you can(cause if you dont touch them they aggro the healer) I also found it much easier to ask the dps to focus fire with you at that lvl seeing as you don't have your aoe taunt yet. Also if your loosing 1 or 2 normal mobs dont fret the dps should be kiling these to start anyways.

OlosBC's Avatar

01.02.2013 , 10:44 AM | #8
Yea as others have said just make sure the DPS are killing normals, then strings, the elites, then champions. Normal mobs die fast, and killing the early greatly reduces the amount of damage the healer has to worry about. Additionally, every class has abilities that stun normal/weak mobs, making them take even less damage.

This gives you time to pick up the strings/elites/champions, and get a head start on threat before DPS start hitting them.

If you're using cc, make sure that you attack before the cc goes off, even if its just a basic attack or a leap when you get it, or tossing explosive dart at a clump(which won't do damage till after the cc goes off even). This will give you all couple seconds of everything running to you instead of whoever CC'd(often the healer).

When you get it, don't open pulls with grapple, unless its a single mob and you want a specific position. Its better to usethe pull to bring a ranged mob into the pack for aoe once you get started .

Easiest way to always hold threat is to be the first into the grind. Make sure your healer's ready, and you can start on the next pull as the DPS finish off the last mob in the current one. Powertech is great for this as you can shoot the last mob while strafing to the next pull.

Hang in tgere , it gets a lot better as you pick up the last several talents in the shield tree, jetpack charge, free flame surge, heat screen, heat blast are all amazing. For now, watch your ammo(just remembered this is VG instead of PT heh) and weave in hammer shots before overheating, rather than getting to max heat and being forced to use nothing else.
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Previously Fonia and Daygoru of Tempest server in SWG.

Furiel's Avatar

01.04.2013 , 10:07 AM | #9
One of the things I've NEVER understood about tanking in this game is why in a game that's so trash pack/group heavy that they purposely don't give you your group taunt until mid to late game. It's like they purposely want to irritate tanks as they level, or discourage them from doing the low level FPs because their AoE threat ability is limited until mid-game.

But as Kitru said, if it's off CD open up with mortar volley on trash packs. The damage will give you a nice threat lead since a number of the DPS don't have their big AOEs yet.

A trick the VG tank in my guild told me awhile back is to use I think it's explosive surge, (whichever ability is the point blank aoe stun/root) then step back a couple steps and use Ion Pulse so you hit everyone. It's a little resource heavy at lower level but it should help give you the AoE threat you need. Plus it's a good habit to get into as it's something you are going to be going routinely as you level up more.

Lastly, is harpoon use. As someone said and this is vitally important, harpoon is not generally a tool to initiate a pull with it's for repositioning ranged mobs. Say there are 5 mobs in a trash pack, 3 in 1 group and 2 in another. When you pull that group, charge the 3, ST taunt one of the ones in the other group, and harpoon the other. So now you have them grouped up 4 and 1. And if you communicate pre-pull you have them focus fire your taunted target, which will probably be almost or totally dead by the time the taunt wears off, but in the mean time you've now had a few seconds to get the otehr 4 positioned and to get a threat lead on the DPS before they rain tasty AoE destruction down upon the remaining 4 mobs.
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