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PT Tank Quality of Life Suggestions


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Mods, I posted this in the Powertech forums, but it is more appropriate here. Please delete: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=658076


I play a Powertech tank in both PVE and PVP. This is a collection of suggestions to remove some outlying frustrations that I hope get looked at when assessing PT tank balance and design going forward (assuming a 2.4 balance pass?). With the singular exception of lacking an immunity cooldown comparable to Saber Reflect or Force Shroud that can negate/trivialize some boss mechanics, I actually think PT tanks are quite balanced and performing well at the moment. I also understand that buffing or changing things probably means the developers will need to apply a nerf in other areas to keep balance sometimes.


IGC Only Procs on Ranged Attacks


In 2.0, IGC procs generate stacks of Heat Screen, which increase the uptime of the 3% Absorb Heat Screen buff and the Heat Blast 25% Absorb effect. This means that the way to maximize your mitigation is to increase the number of IGC procs you get.


In tank spec, the following attacks generate IGC procs:

Rocket Punch - 100%

Rail Shot - 100%

Rapid Shots - 15%

Unload - 15%


Attacks that are used that do not generate IGC procs:

- Flame Sweep - free after a charge

- Flamethrower - free with Flame Engine

- Flame Burst - Good damage filler

- Explosive Dart - Generally not used except for when caught at range or boss immunity phases (like precasting on Golden Fury while shielded)

- Missile Blast - Generally not used except when caught at range and can afford the Heat

- Death From Above - AOE burst, weak add control


Unload does poor damage compared to other options for filler, is Ranged so it has a 10% added chance to miss, and is channeled so it is susceptible to pushback.

Rapid Shots does poor damage and is Ranged so it has a 10% added chance to miss, but it generates no heat so it is the basic filler to allow Heat to vent a little (which will never be needed if you choose to maximize IGC procs).


Flamethrower procs, Flame Sweep procs, and Flame Burst filler are all valuable skills and enjoyable gameplay, but using them regularly vs spamming your basic attacks decreases your mitigation potential.


With the exception keeping Combust up (one Flame Burst or Flame Sweep every 15 seconds), if you want to maximize mitigation, the PT tank priority is the following:

* Use Heat Blast (off GCD) when available

* Rocket Punch on CD

* Rail Shot on CD

* (Possibly) use Unload on CD (if it is an improvement in damage and IGC procs compared to 2 Rapid Shots, as it ticks every second)

* Spam Rapid Shots.


Some may argue that choosing between mitigation and damage/threat output is a valid gameplay mechanic, but I'd argue that resource management is a more valid avenue to demonstrate player prowess. Spamming your basic attack to increase mitigation completely trivializes resource management gameplay, is boring, and removes player skill in maximizing DPS/threat output.



- Make IGC proc on Ranged and Tech attacks (potentially drop the proc chance if it creates a balance issue).


Defense Makes Shield/Absorb Weaker


SWTOR uses a two-roll system with Defense on the first roll and Shield on the second. This means that Defense and Shield chances are not additive, and your Shield chance % is actually lower than what it is on your character sheet, since it is only applied to the amount of attacks that fail the first roll.


Let's say you have 15% Defense and 40% Shield and you are getting hit by a Melee attack.

You will Defend 15% of the time on average, leaving 85% of attacks capable of being Shielded.

Your actual chance to Shield is 85% of your Shield chance, so 85% * 40% = 34%


The more Defense you have, the weaker your Shield and Absorb becomes. It is like if a DPS player added Crit % and their existing bonus damage went down.


The 2.0 changes (Shield works on more types of attacks) helped a bit, but a large amount of damage is still Melee/Ranged, and susceptible to Defense. While it is valid to compare the relative value of stats against one another when gearing your character, it is extremely frustrating that having more of a stat makes your existing stats worse.


While this is an issue for all tanks, the Powertech is most affected:

- Shield Vents: vent Heat when you Shield

- Hydraulic Shield: reset Rocket Punch when you Shield

- Heat Screen: generate a stack and lower CD on Heat Blast when you Shield



- Long-term, make Defense and Shield work on the initial combat roll, such that your chance to shield is your actual shield percentage, and adding more Defense increases the amount of damage that is defended without lowering the amount that is shielded.

- Change affects that proc on Shielding an attack to work on Defending an attack as well (like Lightning Reflexes, Lightning Recovery, Revenge, etc). TMK, the only non-PT effect in the game that procs on Shield but not Defense is Dark Bulwark, which is a preventative measure to smooth out damage if you are in danger of losing Dark Ward.


Kolto Overload in PVE


Kolto Overload is a great skill for PVP, but is really lackluster in PVE because of its limited uptime, and the necessity to be low in health in order to trigger.


If you and your healers are doing well, the skill will not be used at all. Using it proactively (activating Health Monitor) runs the risk of wasting it completely. Pre-casting the Health Monitor and anticipating incoming damage spikes usually does not work, because you are competing against your healers, or in danger of being gibbed. A Health Monitor that does not trigger is a 4 minute cooldown that achieved nothing , which is really depressing. Being killed during the 8 second window of Kolto Overload is extremely depressing, especially if one compares the effect against a 5 seconds of Saber Reflect or Force Shroud (which are able to be used on demand and proactively on extremely lower cooldowns).


The Coolant skill in the Shield Tech tree would be a great avenue to buff Kolto Overload without imbalancing PVP or affecting DPS players.


- Suggestions:

- Lower the CD, and/or make Health Monitor expiring not trigger the cooldown on Kolto Overload. A 2 minute cooldown on Kolto Overload, and the ability to re-cast Health Monitor if it expires would be very welcome improvements.

- Raise the health percentage that can trigger it to 40% for tanks. I dip below 40% health in PVE fairly frequently, but 30% is far more rare. In PVE, there are dedicated healers, so the primary benefit of Kolto Overload is a single spike heal up to 30% and then the 2% health every second from Coolant.

- In the absence of increasing its uptime / usage such as above, make Health Monitor provide some sort of benefit when activated or expired, such that the ability serves some use when running successfully with competent healers.


Other Quality of Life issues I would like to see addressed:

- Allow Shielding of Crits in PVP.

- Change the secondary stat on tanking augments to be Endurance, rather than Power, like every other augment in the game.

- Resolve uard Behavior Frustrations (PVP): http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=6492039

- Fix Shoulder Cannon Appearance (total vanity lawls): http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=650912

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