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The Secret to Guardian Tanking


seraphimm

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I definitely agree that Defense needs stronger top-tier talents. I also want to add that some mid- and top-tier talents (especially the Focus-saving ones\damage-enhancing) could easily be folded together to unbloat the tree a little.

 

Yeah. I think the whole tree is much too heavy on Focus reduction. It's sadistic to saddle a character with Soresu and then require spending all your skill points to overcome the form's weaknesses. There's none of that in Vigilance or Focus - in those trees you work with your form, not against it. Guard Stance and Lunge are examples of good Defense skills. Courage, Solidified Force, and even Victory Rush are evidence of poor design.

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You're oddly want some validation for your time in MMOs, so you list it out like some badge. If you're right, you're right regardless of having played a feral druid. End of story.

 

 

 

Games have commonalties, yes. Shall we look at them?

 

1. They are games.

2. They have coding.

3. They is the concept of aggro, aggro range, hate/threat, and hate/threat ranking and generation.

4. You have a resource by which you generate the above that needs some level of management, and makes ability prioritization/ranking valuable.

 

Done.

 

Now, for a real discussion where you want to toss around math you're missing actual stat values. Stat weighting is the meat of any nuts and bolts discussion because you cannot know the mathimatically valuable choices without an value-based assignment -- and you cannot have stat weighting yet because there was no combat logging by which to pull and parse raw data. Sans this, these threads are just annoying circle jerky speculations disguised as fact, that are ENTIRELY premised on things like "I played a feral druid so I obviously understand an entirely different game that didn't have logging turned on".

 

Honestly, the opinions people toss out are great. The fact you have to append your gaming history to it, which you think turns opinion into fact, is unhelpful. It's the same mechanism that led to the last few weekend betas parroting "guardians are the weakest tanks!" with no actual data to substantiate the claim, by people who knew they were the weakest tank because they played WoW.

 

Points 3 and 4 are exactly what this post is based on.

Notice I never said WEEKEND beta? You do know there were full time beta testers right?

Raw data is available at several locations that I'm sure you won't check

 

I posted several times that these were my opinions. the guide (like the word implies) is to be used as an aid, since you didn't read it I thought I'd let you know I agree to the fact/opinion point of your reply.

 

If nothing else, this post will keep the theorycrafting to a minimum, which will have the bonus side effect of keeping the number of posts for you to troll to a minimum.

 

You don't have to read the guide, you don't have to agree with the guide if you do read it, and you don't have to like the guide in either case.

 

Though I submit, you making a special post to tell us how unhelpful it was to include my tanking history, was equally unhelpful. If that is the issue you have with the guide, ignore it.

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Yeah. I think the whole tree is much too heavy on Focus reduction. It's sadistic to saddle a character with Soresu and then require spending all your skill points to overcome the form's weaknesses. There's none of that in Vigilance or Focus - in those trees you work with your form, not against it. Guard Stance and Lunge are examples of good Defense skills. Courage, Solidified Force, and even Victory Rush are evidence of poor design.

True enough. I'd want to see more defensive synergies with offensive skills.

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I did all content available to my highest level in beta (46 guardian).

 

But, to a better point, I'm not offering up a "HOW TO PLAY A TANK BECAUSE I PLAYED WOW" guide, which was my actual gripe.

 

If my opinion is worthless, and you responded to me, what does that make you?

 

Then think of it as a

 

"How to Play a Guardian by a level 50 Guardian, concentrating on tanking mechanics from an experienced tank from a dozen other games"

 

Guide

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Well, Seraphimm, you know I was skeptical when you brought this idea up before but you won me over. I do plan on trying this out on my Guardian this time. The no-cost Force Sweep and being able to hit things with Overhead Slash every 9 seconds should both really help us in the threat department, which I think is our biggest weakness. The only thing that I don't like giving up is Cyclonic Sweeps, doubling the Focus regen we get from Soresu is going to be hard, but I think it can still work.
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Well, Seraphimm, you know I was skeptical when you brought this idea up before but you won me over. I do plan on trying this out on my Guardian this time. The no-cost Force Sweep and being able to hit things with Overhead Slash every 9 seconds should both really help us in the threat department, which I think is our biggest weakness. The only thing that I don't like giving up is Cyclonic Sweeps, doubling the Focus regen we get from Soresu is going to be hard, but I think it can still work.

 

You get about 20 focus every minute for Cyclonic Sweeps (assuming you are getting hit every 3 seconds)... and you went Defense specced. If you are Vigilance... you gain (or not spend... same thing) 12 focus every minute due to Effluence... assuming you Force Sweep every 15 seconds..... you gain 15 focus if you Force Sweep every 12 seconds. It's about the same. The only thing this doesn't take into account is how many Courage procs you get.

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Points 3 and 4 are exactly what this post is based on.

Notice I never said WEEKEND beta? You do know there were full time beta testers right?

Raw data is available at several locations that I'm sure you won't check

 

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume we just had a comprehension problem -- yes, I'm aware that I wasn't a weekend tester and just made a specific point using weekend testing. I see how confusing that could be.

 

Data sources I won't check? You mean custom secondary logging you have to take the word of the data source on? You're right, I won't check them because I doubt both accuracy and authenticty -- more to the point, basing data runs from a custom log, against constantly changing beta values doesn't come across as a valid approach to me, and seems like it could really send people the wrong direction early on.

 

I do, however, get your point.

 

I posted several times that these were my opinions. the guide (like the word implies) is to be used as an aid, since you didn't read it I thought I'd let you know I agree to the fact/opinion point of your reply.

 

The name of the thread is 'The secret to guardian tanking'. The body of the post very rarely uses the word opinion, and starts off with some silly credential about how you know what you're talking about. You may not like being called out on it, but you didn't present this as opinion with questionable data that will most certainly change - you presented it as an authority on topic, which is odd.

 

You can say I'm being semantic, and you're be correct -- but to pretend you're presenting this as opinion isn't really shown anywhere. The distinction is important given all the views the early threads will get, and the 80 guhzillion people from WoW who need to be told how to play and spec.

Edited by Drakks
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You get about 20 focus every minute for Cyclonic Sweeps (assuming you are getting hit every 3 seconds)... and you went Defense specced. If you are Vigilance... you gain (or not spend... same thing) 12 focus every minute due to Effluence... assuming you Force Sweep every 15 seconds..... you gain 15 focus if you Force Sweep every 12 seconds. It's about the same. The only thing this doesn't take into account is how many Courage procs you get.

Courage helps out immensely, by the time Force Sweep is off CD I find that I probably have 3 stacks which makes Force Sweep zero cost, as long as I haven't used Blade Storm in the interim. It doesn't seem to have an internal cooldown unlike some of our other abilities so it can stack up pretty quickly. I'm pretty sure it's not going to be the same at all.

 

I do hate the fact that you can do a free Blade Storm after Force Leap (with Momentum) and still use up your Courage stack, and you need at least 1 point of Momentum to get to the second tier of the Defense tree. That turns me off of Courage completely and makes the guaranteed free Force Sweep from Effluence far more appealing. With the Vigilance/Defense build, you have a guaranteed free Blade Storm after each Leap, and a guaranteed free Force Sweep every time the skill becomes available, which does free up Focus you're going to need for Overhead Slash. Gather Strength also helps out a little (as the tank you'll probably get snared/rooted fairly often).

 

As long as you can keep yourself from running out of Focus I think that Defense/Vigilance might be the better bet overall, just because there's not much at the top of the Defense tree that seems essential and there are some good things in the middle of Vigilance too good to pass up.

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As you see from my list of skills there are a TON of skills to use. Challenging call, Force Push, Riposte, Force Leap, Guardian Leap, Sundering Strike numerous times, Saber Throw, Overhead Slash, Force Sweep, Blade Storm. I have a 12 button Razor mouse and I had 10 of those buttons mapped as well as another 9 keyboard binds. Moving with the mouse and using all the buttons often. Seraphimm

 

If you don't mind, what are your keybinds and how do you move?

 

Thanks.

Edited by Delphis
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Drakks - The only issue with you saying I never say this is my opinion is the third line of my post, where I say (and generally I think it rude to quote oneself):

 

"This is my opinion (with the help and support of many who wish to be the best Guardian Tank possible). Any recommendations herein represent my thoughts and experiments while Beta testing. This information is valid as of the last build used during the last test, and I do not promise similar results in any future builds."

 

I assumed this was edited it after the discussion started -- so if I overlooked this and it was there originally then I again stand corrected.

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If you don't mind, what are your keybinds and how do you move?

 

Thanks.

 

 

This is always a touchy subject, everyone has their own way of doing things. That being said I LIKE the way I had things set-up.

 

My Gear:

Logitech G-13 Gamepad (left hand)

Logitech G-19 Keyboard

Razer 17 button mouse (right hand)

 

Mouse is my movement. All of it. The 12 button thumb grid holds my movement keys and any skill I can't use while moving.

 

I generally map the first row of thumb grid to A-W-D center button (where my thumb rests is W. Then strafe left and right are left and right to the center button in accordance. Steering with the mouse. The next row up were skills I could only use while standing still (channeled) or my stun break buttons. I also attached Force Leap to my mouses center button

 

On my G-13 I set up a 9 button grid with my center 3 fingers in the center. The center 3 buttons are my 3 primary strikes (In the guardians case, Riposte, Sundering Strike, and strike. The upper rows are my second most frequent (again using the guardian; Force Sweep, Blade Storm, and Challenging call/taunt). The lower row I used to bind Slash, overhead slash, and a macro trying to cast both pommel strike and opportune strike (only 1 is going to work depending on the condition).

 

My thumb has 2 big buttons one doing Warding call, and the other doing Force kick.

 

My pinky has 2 buttons. 1 a macro that targets my healer and casts guardian leap (used this button for force freeze prior to 50) the other button mapped to shift that lets me use the same 9 button grid for my infrequent skills (force stasis, cyclone slash, etc.)

 

When I play the bounty hunter cast heals goes on the thumb grid, instant heals goes on the upper left hand grid.

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To keep form, and have an entire page just to me ---

 

On the level 50 talent build, there are two talents I think have questionable benefit.

 

1. Lunge

2. Blade barricade

 

On lunge, the cooldown and trigger (a defensive response) will always limit how often this skill is available -- and with focus management, you really should most of the time be able to swing it at full cost (really, it's the GCD capping you). The second part of the statement comes down to.. what else might you get? Well, you already took swelling winds and effluence -- pacification plays nicely into this, and makes the already free ability hit harder, as well as boosting hilt strike, which I think is a good grab for snap threat generation in a pinch. It's just got a silly CD on it, which I'm hoping gets reduced.

 

Blade barricade, if I understand it correctly, just doesn't work out right. The problem is that it's not flat damage mitigation, but it's a defense increase based on your current totals -- 6% may easily only work out to 1% mitigation for 3 points, which is just a bad investment.

Edited by Drakks
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To keep form, and have an entire page just to me ---

 

On the level 50 talent build, there are two talents I think have questionable benefit.

 

1. Lunge

2. Blade barricade

 

On lunge, the cooldown and trigger (a defensive response) will always limit how often this skill is available -- and with focus management, you really should most of the time be able to swing it at full cost (really, it's the GCD capping you). The second part of the statement comes down to.. what else might you get? Well, you already took swelling winds and effluence -- pacification plays nicely into this, and makes the already free ability hit harder, as well as boosting hilt strike, which I think is a good grab for snap threat generation in a pinch. It's just got a silly CD on it, which I'm hoping gets reduced.

 

Blade barricade, if I understand it correctly, just doesn't work out right. The problem is that it's not flat damage mitigation, but it's a defense increase based on your current totals -- 6% may easily only work out to 1% mitigation for 3 points, which is just a bad investment.

 

I agree on both of those. Don't confuse blade barricade (a percentage) with Blade Barrier (a small flat amount) I assume you didn't but I want to keep the two clear.

 

The issue is that while those aren't the strongest abilities, they're somewhat better than the others you have the option for.

 

Even 1% mitigation means quite a bit with so little other choices for mitigation. The reason for lunge is to take into account you won't have the added focus from cyclonic sweeps. Reducing the cost of force sweep alone doesn't account for the bonus you would get from reducing the focus trigger on Serosu Form. I do think the cost reduction in riposte (and then adding the mitigation defense) makes the combo worth the points if purchased in totality.

 

Breaking the set frees up points, but those points don't have a better home that I see.. Unless you had something in mind

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Breaking the set frees up points, but those points don't have a better home that I see.. Unless you had something in mind

 

Not really "better", I think it may come down to functionality though.

 

The extra damage from sweep may pay off in AE situations, where our AE threat is closely tied to our AE damage output -- but, outside of that, and maybe leveling, I think you hit the nail on the head in that it's a package deal. You either bump up riposte with the talents, or you go somewhere else with them.. but it's lacking the nice synergy if you go elsewhere.

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Thanks for posting this, even if it is not 100% right it is always a very good starting point and gives something to compare against. I have tanked in many games before, but each one has their own unique element and unfortunately I was not able to get up to 50 in the beta to test all the different build types. Sucks that there is always ******* on the forums that would rather rip apart someone else for putting what they know and have experience and not contribute to an article to better assist everyone.

 

If you don't have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself...or at least anything constructive then keep it to yourself.

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Not really "better", I think it may come down to functionality though.

 

The extra damage from sweep may pay off in AE situations, where our AE threat is closely tied to our AE damage output -- but, outside of that, and maybe leveling, I think you hit the nail on the head in that it's a package deal. You either bump up riposte with the talents, or you go somewhere else with them.. but it's lacking the nice synergy if you go elsewhere.

 

Also a cheaper riposte means an earlier riposte. Blade Barricade adds essentially another guard stance on top of the permanent version. With a full price Riposte if it becomes available immediately it would use the entire amount of focus gained with your leap netting you zero focus. Two sundering strikes would then allow an overhead slash.

 

With Lunge you can use riposte (If it becomes immediately) and then apply 1 sundering strike which would be enough focus for overhead slash.

 

I think that's how the math worked out... Sorry if I'm off by a focus point I'm currently looking for a guild to join :)

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To keep form, and have an entire page just to me ---

 

On the level 50 talent build, there are two talents I think have questionable benefit.

 

1. Lunge

2. Blade barricade

 

On lunge, the cooldown and trigger (a defensive response) will always limit how often this skill is available -- and with focus management, you really should most of the time be able to swing it at full cost (really, it's the GCD capping you). The second part of the statement comes down to.. what else might you get? Well, you already took swelling winds and effluence -- pacification plays nicely into this, and makes the already free ability hit harder, as well as boosting hilt strike, which I think is a good grab for snap threat generation in a pinch. It's just got a silly CD on it, which I'm hoping gets reduced.

 

Blade barricade, if I understand it correctly, just doesn't work out right. The problem is that it's not flat damage mitigation, but it's a defense increase based on your current totals -- 6% may easily only work out to 1% mitigation for 3 points, which is just a bad investment.

 

Both abilities that you mention apply to riptose. What makes riptose really special is that it's not connected to the GCD. So even if you are in the middle of a non-channeled ability, you can still use it once it comes up. The additional argument is that Blade Barricade increases defense percentage.

 

Now, I like to use numbers. I live on numbers. From one calculation on damage reduction that I got here:

 

http://sithwarrior.com/forums/Thread-SWTOR-formula-list?page=5

 

(Not sure if this is the right formula or not, but since it's the only one I could find, I'm going to use it.)

 

Assuming that the character is lvl 50, and has 4000 armor (defense), he would mitigate 27% of the damage coming at him. You tack on 6% with Blade Barricade, you get 33%, if I understand it correctly. To me, 33% sounds a whole lot better than 27%.

 

Edit: Didn't take into account Soresu form, which increases the base armor to approximately 37%, plus a 6% damage reduction which makes it 43%. Adding 6% from Blade Barricade makes it 49%. That's nearly HALF of all damage that becomes reduced, an astounding number.

Edited by Demitries
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Both abilities that you mention apply to riptose. What makes riptose really special is that it's not connected to the GCD. So even if you are in the middle of a non-channeled ability, you can still use it once it comes up. The additional argument is that Blade Barricade increases defense percentage.

 

Now, I like to use numbers. I live on numbers. From one calculation on damage reduction that I got here:

 

http://sithwarrior.com/forums/Thread-SWTOR-formula-list?page=5

 

(Not sure if this is the right formula or not, but since it's the only one I could find, I'm going to use it.)

 

Assuming that the character is lvl 50, and has 4000 armor (defense), he would mitigate 27% of the damage coming at him. You tack on 6% with Blade Barricade, you get 33%, if I understand it correctly. To me, 33% sounds a whole lot better than 27%.

 

You're right on one point, from an angle -- and off on the other if my understanding of it is right.

 

1. Yes, riposte is off GCD, but your general ability to blow focus is tied to the GCD and the riposte CD. Realistically, you shouldn't have much trouble paying full value for riposte.

 

2. On Blade barricade, take note of the wording: "adds x to your defenses" -- it doesn't add X to your mitigation. It's adding 6% of your total defenses. So, assuming my understanding is correct and applying it to your example: it's adding 6% of 27%, not a flat 6% to 27%.

 

I took the skill and looked at my stats, and this was how I understood it to be working -- but I'm certainly not claiming I have it 100% accurate.

Edited by Drakks
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So this received a better response than I assumed it would. I had my fireproof pants on assuming it would attract the hate fueled flames from those who wanted to play today and couldn't and are willing to take it out on any post they find disagreement with. After all I'm suggesting people Tank without maximizing the Defense tree.

 

Instead the post was flagged as a 5 star rated post (thanks to whoever did that) and the conversation has largely been a positive exchange of ideas.

 

Also an early leader in the forums based on number of replies.

 

Not counting the threads complaining about not being able to play on day one of pre-release.

 

Anyway, Thanks again all

 

Seraphimm

Edited by seraphimm
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