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Zanumas' Guide to PvE Shadow Tanking

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Shadow / Assassin
Zanumas' Guide to PvE Shadow Tanking

Thrombin's Avatar


Thrombin
02.12.2013 , 12:46 PM | #91
Speaking as a relative newbie, I have to say I love the guide, thanks!

Of course, as a relative newbie I don't know any better

I started playing when SWTOR came out but I got distracted by Mass Effect 3 and have only just returned to the game. I have a 29th level Shadow which I am speccing as a tank. I tend to solo a lot and I'm more interested in the story and levelling than end game content. I like the build on this one as it maximises the mitigation which I reckon I need if I'm going it alone.

One thing I'm considering changing, though, is taking most of the points out of balance and picking up shadowy veil, infiltration tactics and misdirection from the infiltration tree. I find being able to stealth can help me do quests that I'd otherwise have a hard time on and the extra movement speed sounds handy too.

Do I lose much from the missing balance ones? I figure I'll still keep resistance.

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
02.12.2013 , 12:56 PM | #92
Quote: Originally Posted by Thrombin View Post
Do I lose much from the missing balance ones? I figure I'll still keep resistance.
*Yes*.

First off, Shadowy Veil does *absolutely nothing* for a Shadow tank: you run around in Combat Technique, not Force or Shadow Technique. As such, it does nothing. Misdirection is *way less valuable* than you think: remember, you have Blackout for when you need to sneak past stuff; the added stealth levels are minor at best so the only really benefit is the increased movement speed, which only applies while in combat because it doesn't stack with Sprint (and you have Force Speed for when you need to run quickly as a tank). Infiltration Tactics is similarly worthless: you're a tank; anything you fight should be staring you right in the face and Shadow Strike (which is what Infiltration Tactics makes worthwhile; Shadow Strike is *terrible* otherwise) requires you to be staring at your opponent's backside. As such, all 3 of those talents are functional wastes of space. Also, though you didn't mention it, Shadow's Respite is pretty much worthless for you: you don't spend enough time in stealth to make it useful and the only way it would be useful in combat (re: Force Cloak) is counterproductive to the whole "being a tank" thing.

As to the Balance talents, the only one that is mediocre is Force Synergy and, even then, it's pretty good because, while 90% of your damage is Force based as a Shadow tank, 8% functionally permanent free crit to Saber Strike, Spinning Strike, and your once-per-minute Double Strike is actually not all that bad of an effect. Upheaval and Psychokinesis are *simply amazing*. Upheaval is functionally a 22.5% increase to your Project damage (and Project is second only to TkT as your absolute highest damage contributor, so 22.5% increased damage to it is *amazing*). Psychokinesis is functionally required because, without it, Project costs a flipping *ton* of Force (it still costs a ton of Force without it, but it's not as much): when you have the talent points to branch out into the Balance tree, you're pretty much going to be using Project on CD so that ends up being a *lot* of saved Force over the long run.
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Thrombin
02.12.2013 , 04:43 PM | #93
Thanks for the reply. Bear in mind i'm not trying to squeeze every last drop of damage or threat here. i'm prepared to compromise if it makes the levelling easier or more fun.

There are times when I use force technique while levelling because it kills mobs quicker so, if it's not too dangerous a fight, I change my gear and technique to be more dps based. As such the extra armour in force technique appealed.

Blackout only lasts 8 seconds so it wouldn't do for what I had in mind. On the odd occasion I do group, travelling to the start of an instance is much easier if I can stealth through all the mobs. Plus you can sneak into places and activate items without even having to fight sometimes. I'm not sure blackout lasts long enough for that.

The speed is just for travelling, I wasn't thinking about it for combat. Does it affect speeder travel or is it just on foot that is faster?

Assuming that I take your advice and aim for the balance tree, should I take any balance at level 29 or should I just fill up the kinetic tree first?

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
02.12.2013 , 04:53 PM | #94
Quote: Originally Posted by Thrombin View Post
The speed is just for travelling, I wasn't thinking about it for combat. Does it affect speeder travel or is it just on foot that is faster?
Movement speed buffs don't stack. As such, the *only* benefit that Misdirection applies is 15% increased movement speed while in combat, and you don't have Force Speed active.

Quote:
Assuming that I take your advice and aim for the balance tree, should I take any balance at level 29 or should I just fill up the kinetic tree first?
You want to fill up the Kinetic Tree first. The Balance talents are nice, but they're not as nice as what you get out of Kinetic. It's pretty much a universal rule of specs that you go up before you go out (up your primary tree before you go out of it).

As to using Force Technique, if you're Kinetic Combat and you end up killing things faster in Force Technique, you're doing it *painfully* wrong: while you're leveling, Particle Acceleration is a *major* component of your total DPS and you only get it while you're in CT. You're generally doubling your incoming damage as well as sacrificing your best source of AoE damage (because, other than Force Breach and Slow Time, Shadows have *terrible* AoE) in exchange for *maybe* 5% more total ST damage: it's a terrible conversion and, even if you're kiling *slightly* faster, you'll end up wasting more time after combat recovering.

There is pretty much *never* a reason to not use the Technique relevant to your primary tree, especially when you're a tank: there are simply too many tangential benefits attached to them thanks to your talents.
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Thrombin
02.12.2013 , 06:20 PM | #95
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Movement speed buffs don't stack. As such, the *only* benefit that Misdirection applies is 15% increased movement speed while in combat, and you don't have Force Speed active.
I didn't mean Force Speed, I meant the Speeder (or whatever the flying hover car thing is that we get to ride around on). Just wondered if the speed buff helps with that too?

Quote:
As to using Force Technique, if you're Kinetic Combat and you end up killing things faster in Force Technique, you're doing it *painfully* wrong: while you're leveling, Particle Acceleration is a *major* component of your total DPS and you only get it while you're in CT. You're generally doubling your incoming damage as well as sacrificing your best source of AoE damage (because, other than Force Breach and Slow Time, Shadows have *terrible* AoE) in exchange for *maybe* 5% more total ST damage: it's a terrible conversion and, even if you're kiling *slightly* faster, you'll end up wasting more time after combat recovering.
Ok, maybe I didn't have particle accelaration last time (this was round about patch 1.1). When I logged on, all my talents had been reset so I have no clue what I used to have! I certainly remember fights being faster up till now in Force Technique but, mind you, that's probably because I've been favouring endurance over will power for my Combat Technique gear and Will Power over Endurance for the Force Technique gear so I've been swapping both gear and technique which probably muddies the water a bit!

Quote:
There is pretty much *never* a reason to not use the Technique relevant to your primary tree, especially when you're a tank: there are simply too many tangential benefits attached to them thanks to your talents.
What if I want to dps some content and let someone else tank? Combat technique doubles my threat doesn't it? I'm sure that would be a good time to switch Combat Technique off!

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Kitru
02.12.2013 , 08:34 PM | #96
Quote: Originally Posted by Thrombin View Post
Just wondered if the speed buff helps with that too?
Let me repeat that again: movement speed buffs do not stack. Force Speed, Sprint, speeders, passive buffs like Misdirection; every single one of those is a speed buff and, as such, do not stack. If you have multiples active, only the largest counts. The *only* time you'll see any benefit from Misdirection is when you have absolutely none of those other buffs active, such as when you are in combat.

Quote:
that's probably because I've been favouring endurance over will power for my Combat Technique gear and Will Power over Endurance for the Force Technique gear so I've been swapping both gear and technique which probably muddies the water a bit!
While you're leveling, it doesn't matter what the Endurance or Willpower on a piece of gear is; you'll get rid of it so fast that, honestly, the rating on the piece of gear matters more than the relevant stats as long as they've both got your main stat (Willpower) on them. Having 2 different sets of gear for "kinda DPS" and "tanking", especially at the point where tank gear hasn't yet understood that it should actually have tank stats doesn't really make sense when you're leveling, especially when tank stats like Shield and Absorb are largely worthless until you actually get a large enough itemization budget for them to add up to something useful.

Quote:
What if I want to dps some content and let someone else tank? Combat technique doubles my threat doesn't it? I'm sure that would be a good time to switch Combat Technique off!
At that point, you've got 2 tanks and you're either doing something wrong (re: you've screwed up your composition) or it doesn't really matter what you do (it's super easy content or someone drastically overgears it). Either way, it shouldn't matter which one of you "wants" to tank: in the first case, you're gimping your DPS and you're not really going to improve much by "swapping" to being a wrongly spec'd DPS; if the other person is really such a diva that they can't stand the idea of someone else yanking threat off of them, you're better off respecing or learning to use Force Cloak when you get aggro (and the other tank should learn to use his Taunts if it's *really* a big deal) since you're not going to be a particularly functional DPS anyways. In the second case, it doesn't matter who "wants" to tank because the person that overgears it definitely is going to tank, regardless of the intent of the other, and if it's easy it simply doesn't matter enough for it to count.

It begs the question: why are you tank spec if you don't want to tank, especially considering Field Respecs?
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Thrombin
02.13.2013 , 01:55 AM | #97
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Let me repeat that again: movement speed buffs do not stack. Force Speed, Sprint, speeders, passive buffs like Misdirection; every single one of those is a speed buff and, as such, do not stack. If you have multiples active, only the largest counts. The *only* time you'll see any benefit from Misdirection is when you have absolutely none of those other buffs active, such as when you are in combat.
I hadn't realised speeders were considered a buff, I just thought they were vehicles! Thanks for the clarification..

Quote:
It begs the question: why are you tank spec if you don't want to tank, especially considering Field Respecs?
What are field respecs?

I like the tank spec because I like to solo play. I always feel uncomfortable in groups - too much pressure to perform!

I figure I can survive more content on my own as a tank than as dps.

Thank you very much for the feedback. It is much appreciated.

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Alouch
03.11.2013 , 04:20 PM | #98
First of all, thanks to the OP and others for their contribution.
I'm switching from DPS to Tank, and it helped me a lot.

Otherwise :
Quote: Originally Posted by Thrombin View Post
I figure I can survive more content on my own as a tank than as dps.
I played up to the 50 level almost alone as an Infiltration DPS, and i never encountered a fight when i said myself '**** i should've gone with tank spec'
Shadow Dps is awesome. You can in general deal with enemies way before you'll have to worry for your health bar.
Later on, when you'll have the healer pet, with all trinkets and CCs you have, it even becomes easy mode
You can easily deal with H2+ instances / Epic mobs alone.