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New to tanking, newish to SWTOR


DemonicPenguin

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My extent of MMO knowledge has come in the last 3 or 4 months while getting my Sent up to level 50. We'll ignore the 2 or 3 months I spent on GW 5 years ago. Now that I've got HK as a comp and will unlock him with CC on my alts I'm never going to do HM fps. That being said I'm trying to figure out to be the most efficient tank possible and not mess stuff up for groupmates on heroics or the occassional SM fp. I've heard many people say that the assassin is arguably the best tank in the game.

 

So far I'm level 13/14 and have Khem, but I don't understand how to tank at this point. I haven't gotten my advanced training yet, but I don't get how a toon in light armor can be a beast of a tank. I feel like a DPS using force instead of lightsaber at this point.

 

Hmmm. Mid-post it hits me. I suppose all my tanking abilities will come from my advanced training won't it? I still don't get the light armor aspect of it though. Any advice on abilities, gear and strat would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Hmmm. Mid-post it hits me. I suppose all my tanking abilities will come from my advanced training won't it?

 

Yes. The Assassin Advanced class has the Darkness path for your skill points which give you the tanking skills you're going to need. That and levelling up and getting your other abilities as an Assassin.

 

I still don't get the light armor aspect of it though. Any advice on abilities, gear and strat would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

Dark Charge improves your armor's capabilities so that even though you're wearing light armor, it's far more effective at being armor.

 

That, and it increases the percent chance your shield has to absorb damage.

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The aim of tanking is obviously to keep the attacks from enemies on you.

 

You should generally open the attacking (Assassin's have a decent CC ability to which is handy for dealing with the weaker foes first) your DPS party members should attack the same target as you whilst you keep an eye on additional foes to make sure they don't attack your party members if they're hit by AOE's.

 

It's easy to pick up but hard to master. A good tank can definitely make a party that much stronger.

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The goal of tanking is to protect your team from getting hit as much as possible so DPS can deal damage and Heals can heal. IMO Assassins are the easiest to learn how to tank with because most of their high-threat attacks are AOE so picking up mobs is fairly easy. The downside is that some of the AOEs break CCs so you have to be careful.

 

Gear/Defense wise, you want to target about 25% defense chance, 50% shield chance & 50% absorb. Those numbers are for Campaign Geared end-game. Leveling will be a lot lower but the ratios should stay roughly the same. You definitely want to be in Dark Charge stance to increase aggro generation and get the armor buff. Also make sure you have a Shield Generator instead of a focus. You get Dark Ward fairly early (mid 20s i think) which gives you +15% shield chance for 8 charges - each successful shield reduces the charges. You want to keep that up at all times until you learn which enemy abilities can't be shielded.

 

Ability wise, the big hitters are Shock, Wither, Discharge, Force Lightning and Spike. Early on, probably just Shock, Discharge and Force Lighting. Discharge is an AOE and will break CCs, so be careful with it. Discharge is a staple since it puts a reduced accuracy debuff on those affected. Wither is the top of the tanking tree, so you won't get that until about mid 40s at the earliest. Spike is from stealth only until you take the talent around 37 or so. Wither is a staple since it puts a -5% damage debuff on those affected. Wither also is "smart", meaning it ignores those that are CCs so you don't need to worry about breaking CCs with it unless you are actually targeting a CC'd enemy. Force Pull is also a high threat ability which is good for opening some fights and pulling mobs back that are going for healers/dps.

 

As for how to tank mobs, that's fairly easy. If you have Mind Trap (the 60s CC for non-bots from stealth), use that at the opening against the highest enemy that is not immune to CCs. Positioning can be a factor too as you want to CCs those on the outside of the group to minimize breaking CCs. After that attack the next highest mob and start wearing them down while the DPS burns down the little guys / guys you haven't picked up. As a tank, you can rarely pickup the entire mob, but should be able to pick up most of them. In fact picking them all up can be an issue since you'll take too much damage rather than have it spread out a little to the DPS. Once all the little guys are taken care of, DPS switches to the CCd guys if they broke or the guy you are on. The point is that the tank controls the heaviest hitters and let the DPS burn down the rest especially the ones beating on the healer.

 

As to tanking bosses, generally these are fairly easy. Just pick em up and face them away from the group. This does two things. The first is a lot of bosses have a frontal cone attack that can damage the entire group. Second, it will become easy to tell when the DPS or Heals steals aggro since he's no longer facing you. You'll have to learn the individual boss mechanics for when to move, taunt, etc. Some bosses will reset their aggro tables and immediately go after the DPS or Heals so you'll have to taunt them back. Some will stun you and then reset, which is fun. The other thing to watch out for is to interrupt abilities. For the most part, you want to interrupt as many abilities as possible. You generally won't be able to get them all yourself, so you'll have to learn which ones are most important to interrupt.

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Wither is the top of the tanking tree, so you won't get that until about mid 40s at the earliest.

 

If you go straight up the darkness tree, which you probably should do, you get Wither at level 40. Then you spend the next 10 levels getting those other 10 points to toss around into the lower tiers of the other trees.

 

That's the 31-whatever-whatever build, at least.

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A little situational awareness will go along way when tanking. If you look at a lot of this good advise they are giving, you will notice a bit of a common theme.... Awareness.

Things like always knowing where your people are at so you don't get them cleaved by the boss, or catching that one *****h@le trash mob that wants to wander off from the crowd and tries to hump your healer. You are in essence the overprotective father of the party....and Daddy sees all!

(healers are the mom's, and DPS Operatives are that drunk Uncle Frank you see maybe twice a year)

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Tanking can be one of the hardest things you, but can also be the most rewarding.

 

Some Hints/Tips/Thoughts:

* mark targets, and state what the mean. people may ignore them but it is a good thing to learn.

* learn what other Classes can do, who can CC, who can re-CC in a fight, who heals, who can off tank etc...

* Tanking you have to some what be the leader of a party, and set the pace. Decide what you tank, and what other people DPS

* Tank the Strong mobs -> Weak, DPS kills the Weak -> Strong Mobs. does not always happen

* 99% keep your back to the party, even better against a Wall (to prevent knockbacks). This will keep DPS/Heals out of Cleaves, Channeled Cone Attacks (Flame Thrower type moves) gives you better visibility of surrounding mobs and players so you can see that one mob going towards the healer.

* most of the things that you get blamed for in a group is generally not your fault, best thing to do if a situation gets too heavy is to drop group. usually what may happen, ecspecially at lower levels when you do not have all of your skills and toys is that DPS will either pull, or cause too much threat and pull mobs off of the tank, not follow kill orders, or break CC resulting in the Healer getting killed, resulting the Tank getting killed, and then killing the DPS. Then DPS yells at you.

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