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Tanking Workshop Brainstorm

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Roles > Tanking
Tanking Workshop Brainstorm

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
08.12.2013 , 01:13 PM | #1
My guild is probably going to do a "tanking clinic" at some point in the near future. We're basically in a situation where we have a couple of very good tanks, and a whole bunch of tanks who areweak in various ways. The trick is to figure out the most efficient way to get everyone up to speed and at least in possession of the appropriate information.

So, I'm curious as to what the community's thoughts on this are. What topics are important to hit? How would you present/practice them in a controlled and repeatable group setting?

My current thoughts are to use Lucky as a training dummy, since he's an absolutely inane tank-n-spank fight that hits back at a high enough rate to keep energy management decent and also has enough hitpoints that we're not going to kill him by accident. Bring a bunch of tanks, a healer with a lot of patience and a couple high-burst DPS out and go to town. Everyone would have to be willing to /stuck to avoid getting the boss on respawn lockout. A couple practical things we can practice:
  • Openers - Get a geared Combat Sentinel and a Sharpshooter Gunslinger and don't guard either of them. Precast Orbital and pop Inspiration on leap. Get the tanks to hold agro. Openers are really important, and most tanks screw them up royally. All tanks *can* hold agro under these circumstances, but it does require some precision.
  • Rotation - Have each tank hold the boss and tank for a minute or two. Watch their abilities and critique rotation and priority queue. Sustained damage is part of every tank's job. Live parsing will probably help.
  • Active Mitigation - More important for some tanks than others. Just by watching a buff bar, it's pretty easy to tell if a shadow is screwing things up. Guardians are harder to mess up (keep it all on CD), but it's worth checking. Vanguards have a bit of variance with Energy Blast. The main thing they have to worry about is Shoulder Cannon, which is hard to time without bugging the GCD.
  • Kiting - The Lucky arena is fairly large, and he has some physics effects. We could practice kiting him around at a pace that is acceptable for melee.
  • Cooldown Usage - This one is harder, because Lucky hits like a wet noodle. Maybe have the healer pause healing at certain intervals to simulate distraction/death/burst damage?
  • Tank Swapping - The number of tanks who screw this up is depressing. Swapping smoothly without extra cleaves or refacing/repositioning the boss is a simple skill that's worth practicing.

We could also head out to Makeb or the Czerka daily areas. There are some trash packs that are fairly large, and some which have interrupt or facing mechanics. We could use this to practice cotanking trash, which is an art form unto itself. The DPS could simulate focus targeting, or just complete spread-fail targeting. It's not as good as it could be, since all the packs have very low health, but it works. Maybe the pre-bridge pull in the Section X heroic would be better?

My favorite trash pull in the entire game for learning how to tank difficult trash is the double-carver trash pack right before Titan VI. Unfortunately, that requires an op instance, and thus is harder to orchestrate.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Insults?
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Dragonexadon's Avatar


Dragonexadon
08.12.2013 , 01:34 PM | #2
One contest/test my guild use to do was "threat wars". You already mentioned one way to do it with DPS. Another way to do this is to have only tanks compete with each other. All tanks taking part will remove all taunts from their tool bars. Then , after letting someone else (non-tank) get initial argo, all tanks jump in and bound their rotation out, trying to remain on top of threat WITHOUT using taunts and keeping the boss agroed to them.

Found it was a good fun competition that encouraged tanks to learn their 'rotation'.
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Gnimish's Avatar


Gnimish
08.12.2013 , 02:11 PM | #3
I think this is a really good idea. Good feedback is important to tanking. I honestly don't know if im a good tank or not i hold threat finish instances but other then that i dont ever hear any feed back about what im doing wrong what i need to do better. So i think this would help alot of tanks are cause chances are if they are a bad/ok tank they don't know it. Unfortunely i am on harbringer

Muert's Avatar


Muert
08.12.2013 , 05:59 PM | #4
I am thinking you could do a KP Nim run (possibly undermanning a 16 man to make it more challenging.)

On trash pulls you assign two tanks to grab whatever. The rest act as DPS. Since this is presumably a mostly tank group, you can simulate overeager DPS by taunting off them and seeing how long it takes them to react.

Bone Gnasher is your awareness/reaction test. Everyone stands in a cluster except for the current target. The goal is to not cleave the group, and not pull him out of the cluster's melee range. No voice callouts for who has agro.

Jarg and Sorno are used for tank swapping. You can add in additional requirements, for instance: Must be kept as far from eachother as possible. Jarg has a cleave/knockback, you must stand with your back against a wall. Swap in tank groups at will.

Foreman Crusher is the annoyingly easy test of proactive cooldowns.

Use the droid thingy to make them pay attention to their cotank's debuffs. They must use focus target, and call out when the other tanks must taunt off them as quickly as possible.

Karraga is your slow kiting test.

Or you could just run EC Nim, and if they pass that they can probably handle any tank swapping at least. :P

Grumpftard's Avatar


Grumpftard
08.12.2013 , 10:31 PM | #5
Some of the things we do with our tanks....

Solo world bosses / Champions *way* above your level (trying to, anyway): This one we use mostly for tanks that are leveling. spend 15 minutes with your heal companion just to get the bastard to 5% then you die....then you gotta go back.... try again. You learn to balance CD's and some INTERESTING ways to lessen damage.

Down-grading gear (ie: half-naked runs)

NiM KP: Solo tanking Jarg & Sorno, but split the DPS so it's REEEAALY fun for he tank

HM Mando Raiders: Tell the tank he is not allowed to AoE taunt with no straight line pulls. Basically he/she can single target taunt, but must LoS all pulls. Gets them in the habit of controlling packs and therefor controlling incoming damage (plus works on aggro building)

Quote: Originally Posted by Muert View Post
Karraga is your slow kiting test. :P
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Lord_of_Mu's Avatar


Lord_of_Mu
08.12.2013 , 11:05 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Grumpftard View Post
HM Mando Raiders: Tell the tank he is not allowed to AoE taunt with no straight line pulls. Basically he/she can single target taunt, but must LoS all pulls. Gets them in the habit of controlling packs and therefor controlling incoming damage (plus works on aggro building)
I already do that but with saber throw.

When ever looking at tanking prospects I've always found it best to simply take them on a few hardmode flashpoints and rock the boat a little. It might make you look like a total scrub and make the recruit question how good your guild really is. But their reaction and how they deal with the issues will be a great indicator to the quality of tank you're looking at.

It's also a good idea to bring a mix of heavily and lightly geared dps and be a little short on the heals. Keep an eye on things like interrupts, threat distribution, movement and ability usage (CC and threat generation).

If you're looking to improve the performance of your current tanks, it's a good idea to first identify the areas they're weak at. Solo challenges and extreme dps conditions might not be too effective if the tank is playing a clunky class like say the guardian. Each tanking class has a strong point and a week point and thus can't be held to the same standard.

But in general I'd apply the hard mode flash point test to identify the weak spots of the tank, unless they are otherwise known. From there I'd make suggestions on ways the tank can improve their game play. I'd also consider rotating the tanks around different jobs in raids.

My old WoW guild never had a main tank, instead they had a group of tanks that would take turns at tanking different bosses. Only during certain fights where a specific class had a clear advantage or we were really short on time would we consider going with X tank over Y tank.

kennethdale's Avatar


kennethdale
08.12.2013 , 11:15 PM | #7
I've gotten told off for mentioning this before but my favorite test of tanking skills is HM TC adds. Assign your highest DPS to the adds and simply blow them up from the start. No matter the class its a challenge to control two adds and interrupt at the same time and it forces you to react as opposed to following a set rotation. My opinion at least.
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Omophorus's Avatar


Omophorus
08.13.2013 , 07:45 AM | #8
For CD usage, you might actually be best served by Outlaw's Den or some other dueling site for starters.

There are plenty of classes with attacks or attack patterns that do a ton of damage left to their own devices. Can probably identify either set attacks or set attack strings that can be used to train reactive CD use.

The advantage of using PVP is that you can pre-define the attacks and the timing, and work up from easier reactions (popping Saber Reflect mid-Ambush) to significantly harder (popping Saber Reflect right after a SS GS pops into cover to catch an insta-snipe, or something).
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Kuciwalker's Avatar


Kuciwalker
08.13.2013 , 10:11 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by kennethdale View Post
I've gotten told off for mentioning this before but my favorite test of tanking skills is HM TC adds. Assign your highest DPS to the adds and simply blow them up from the start. No matter the class its a challenge to control two adds and interrupt at the same time and it forces you to react as opposed to following a set rotation. My opinion at least.
Absolutely. IMO the HM TC adds are the hardest threat challenge in the game right now, unless there's something in NiM TFB/S&V I don't know about.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
08.13.2013 , 10:32 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Kuciwalker View Post
Absolutely. IMO the HM TC adds are the hardest threat challenge in the game right now, unless there's something in NiM TFB/S&V I don't know about.
I'm going to agree with this, and I've done the Nightmare content. Kephess is pretty annoying to tank because of the circle thing, but it's just a question of positioning. Nothing else is of particular interest. The HM TC adds are legitimately hard and require a significant amount of attention. Saber Reflect makes it almost trivial though, so raid groups who roll double-Guardians can just swap off and easy-mode it, but everyone else has to work.

Regarding the other suggestions, I want to avoid things that require an instance, just because I want a) the time commitment to be reasonable, and b) the setup to be fairly low. I don't want it to require tedious clearing in order to get to the object lessons. Though, solo tanking NiM Jarg and Sorno is an awesome suggestion. :-) I did this once a few months ago with four DPS who were (at the time) parsing over 2.9, one of which who was a Focus sentinel that got a 3.3 on the fight. It was one of the hardest bits of tanking I've ever done, strictly on a planning and threat tabulation metric. Really fun. But also requires an instance, so

All of these tanks are familiar with how to tank KP, so I'm not sure that any of the bosses in there would make for a good object lesson without doing something cheesy, like taking off gear or AFKing the healers.

I do somewhat like the HM FP suggestion, though it would have to be one of the newer ones since the 2.0 HM FPs are absolutely terrible for tanks of all shapes and sizes. The tanking mechanics on those bosses are so stupid (not challenging, just stupid), so it's hard to glean information. The other thing that's tricky about HMs is a) people have run them a bazillion times, and b) it's not entirely like what you see in a raid, where you have a second tank to coordinate with. Not sure how to resolve that issue, or if there is even a way, but I thought I'd put it out there.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dragonslayer on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)