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Shadow / Assassin tank discussion going forward


Voths

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The other thread is getting fairly bogged down and it's difficult to get some of the information from it. The Sent / Mara forum is doing something similar so here's one for us. Note that I tend to think aloud and in doing so, will attempt to use words like IN MY OPINION or FOR SOME / FOR ME whenever possible.

 

Problem (in my opinion)

Shadow Assassin tanks have been in a strange spot for a while now. We had an armor nerf that set back the hard and nightmare level tanks in PvE. To attempt to balance this, several changes were made, most notably the removal of our self healing ability via Telekinetic Throw / Force Lightning and Combat Tech. / Dark Charge. This was replaced by a damage reduction buff from TKT / FL as well as a change in talents with Elusiveness / Swelling Shadows and an increase in armor from our stance. The issue present is that FOR SOME in the PvE community this was not a welcome change. Similarly, IN MY OPINION PvP tanks have been adversely affected to the point that they are not wanted or overly not fun to play because of their weakness.

 

Solution

There has been some good discussion on how to round things off in another thread that was started in the Shadow forum. With the recent class forum merge, this is a good time to restart such discussion and hopefully come to some sort of agreement in what we want for 3.0 and beyond. I will now go into the two main issues of the subclass (IN MY OPINION).

 

Shadow Protection / Dark Protection

The 12 second duration is far too short a time to keep four stacks of this ability. It is easily lost in both PvE and PvP due to issues in mobility that are directly linked to building Harnessed Shadows / Darkness and channeling TKT / FL.

Suggestions:

 

  • Increase the duration of this effect to at least 18 seconds.
  • Possibly even change it to a flat 4% DR bonus and eliminate the need to acquire four stacks.

 

 

Harnessed Shadows / Darkness and TKT / FL

This has been at the core of our tanking rotation since day one. Now that is required to sustain our defensive buff through a rotation that FOR SOME is too tedious, it has become a liability. Specifically in PvP or high mobility PvE encounters, channeling a three second ability with 10* range every 12 seconds is not easily doable. Add to the fact that you can be knocked back and stunned to ruin a channel. And this is supposed to be the compensation for the removal of heals.

Suggestions:

 

  • With full stacks, make TKT / FL channel and tick twice fast. Adjust the damage bonus as needed to balance for the increase in DPS.
  • Change Upheaval / Chain Shock to provide two stacks of Harnessed upon firing a second Project / Shock. OR Slow Time / Wither grants two stacks of Harnessed. OR Lower the maximum number of stacks required to produce Protection to two.

 

 

Discuss and flame.

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The other thread is getting fairly bogged down and it's difficult to get some of the information from it. The Sent / Mara forum is doing something similar so here's one for us. Note that I tend to think aloud and in doing so, will attempt to use words like IN MY OPINION or FOR SOME / FOR ME whenever possible.

 

Problem (in my opinion)

Shadow Assassin tanks have been in a strange spot for a while now. We had an armor nerf that set back the hard and nightmare level tanks in PvE. To attempt to balance this, several changes were made, most notably the removal of our self healing ability via Telekinetic Throw / Force Lightning and Combat Tech. / Dark Charge. This was replaced by a damage reduction buff from TKT / FL as well as a change in talents with Elusiveness / Swelling Shadows and an increase in armor from our stance. The issue present is that FOR SOME in the PvE community this was not a welcome change. Similarly, IN MY OPINION PvP tanks have been adversely affected to the point that they are not wanted or overly not fun to play because of their weakness.

 

Solution

There has been some good discussion on how to round things off in another thread that was started in the Shadow forum. With the recent class forum merge, this is a good time to restart such discussion and hopefully come to some sort of agreement in what we want for 3.0 and beyond. I will now go into the two main issues of the subclass (IN MY OPINION).

 

Shadow Protection / Dark Protection

The 12 second duration is far too short a time to keep four stacks of this ability. It is easily lost in both PvE and PvP due to issues in mobility that are directly linked to building Harnessed Shadows / Darkness and channeling TKT / FL.

Suggestions:

  • Increase the duration of this effect to at least 18 seconds.
  • Possibly even change it to a flat 4% DR bonus and eliminate the need to acquire four stacks.

 

Harnessed Shadows / Darkness and TKT / FL

This has been at the core of our tanking rotation since day one. Now that is required to sustain our defensive buff through a rotation that FOR SOME is too tedious, it has become a liability. Specifically in PvP or high mobility PvE encounters, channeling a three second ability with 10* range every 12 seconds is not easily doable. Add to the fact that you can be knocked back and stunned to ruin a channel. And this is supposed to be the compensation for the removal of heals.

Suggestions:

  • With full stacks, make TKT / FL channel and tick twice fast. Adjust the damage bonus as needed to balance for the increase in DPS.
  • Change Upheaval / Chain Shock to provide two stacks of Harnessed upon firing a second Project / Shock. OR Slow Time / Wither grants two stacks of Harnessed. OR Lower the maximum number of stacks required to produce Protection to two.

 

Discuss and flame.

 

I would be against the 18 second Shadow/Dark Protection. 18 seconds is forever. you can always channel once every 9 seconds if you get no Energize/PA procs, and usually faster than that. That would give you 6 globals to screw around, instead of 3. It's unnecessary, and you lose any incentive to try harder, which I think is bad. I think 15 seconds would be more reasonable. Instead of even that, though, you could just implement a faster Harnessed Shadows/Darkness stacking and eliminate the problem altogether. I'm definitely in favor of shortening the channel time of Force Lightning/TKT in exchange for the extra damage. Flat out halving the the channel time in exchange for the damage is a nice tps and dps increase and decreases the amount of time standing still, which is great for PvP.

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Yeah, PT and Juggs are trying so hard to keep their rotations :D

Oh, please Aelanis...

Just becouse hard raiding person will feel his tank more "boring", it doesn't mean everyone else will agree with him.

 

Sin/shadow rotation provide TOO SMALL place for tactics.

You can't maintain stacks on trash, becouse they dying too fast for maintaining it.

You can't maintain stacks during moving/hiding phases on bosses.

 

 

Im not tell to lower rotations to the ground.

But 18 seconds would provide much better perfomance than you think...

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Yeah, PT and Juggs are trying so hard to keep their rotations :D

Oh, please Aelanis...

Just becouse hard raiding person will feel his tank more "boring", it doesn't mean everyone else will agree with him.

 

Sin/shadow rotation provide TOO SMALL place for tactics.

You can't maintain stacks on trash, becouse they dying too fast for maintaining it.

You can't maintain stacks during moving/hiding phases on bosses.

 

 

Im not tell to lower rotations to the ground.

But 18 seconds would provide much better perfomance than you think...

 

I would love for you to tell me how the rotation doesn't leave enough time for Assassins/Shadows to be the tank of choice on one of the most mechanic heavy boss fights in the game. While I'm going to have to go with: on almost no relevant boss is it really that hard to keep up your stacks, I feel it might also be relevant to say: heaven forbid any boss in this game be hard for a Shadow/Assassin tank.

Spoilers for boss discussions because it's really long.

 

Of all story mode level 55 bosses, 9 have some sort of enforced downtime that will cause you to lose your stacks, and 0 of them stunk the tank. Story mode is hardly a good representation of where that difficulty can kill you.

In HM, Titan VI gets a new forced downtime mechanic AND a long duration stun, the former of which causes a tank swap and the latter of which doesn't happen at a time that makes it impossible to keep your stacks (unless you let them fall off and don't try to reapply them for a good 10 seconds). Grob'thok gains an ability that interrupts casts and channels, but it is infrequent, and happens on a set timer. Even Pipe Smash immediately afterwards gives you enough time to both get 3 stacks of HD/HS and then get a full channel.The six finger phase of Brontes, slamming the orbs makes it more difficult to maintain your stacks, but so few people play full tank for that fight that it's hardly a relevant point. The final addition is the Council fight, in which it actually becomes somewhat difficult to keep up stacks due to the knockbacks, tank swaps and Calphayus kiting necessary. However, it is the only fight in which it is actually difficult to maintain stacks in Hard Mode.

Nightmare Mode adds mechanics in Corruptor Zero, Brontes, Raptus and the Council fight that make it harder to maintain stacks, but again: there are no stuns or knockbacks that prevent them from being immediately regained, and tank swaps can help on some of them. Heck, Olok Nightmare adds a mechanic that makes it easier to maintain stacks for more of the fight.

Trying to say there are bosses in this game that make maintaining your stacks impossible is basically saying that you haven't yet learned how to keep them up on those fights, or that you think that enforced downtime is the bane of all tanks.

 

Personally, unless the ability bugs out and simply doesn't give me my stacks, I don't have trouble maintaining my stacks on even the trash pulls you think are tough to keep them up on. And no, it won't provide "much better perfomance" than I think, it'll give you more time than you'll know what to do with in PvE. It'll give you 9 seconds from the end of your last project/shock to channel your next TKT/FL at a minimum. If you count the globals you don't have to spend on shock/project, wither/slow time and FL/TKT, you would have 9 globals of every 14 to do whatever you want. And honestly? I'd spend that time building and using stacks, because executing the fastest TKT/FL rotation provides you with the optimal threat in your rotation, bar none.

 

As it stands, we have 5 globals out of 10 right now to do what we need. The only relevant abilities we have that aren't off the global cooldown are Force Pull, Force Wave/Overload, Force Breach/Discharge, Slows/stuns, and abilities that speed up our TKT/FL rotation. Of those that don't speed up the rotation, only 3 are even possibly useful on boss fights. In PvE, as long as you're trying your best to keep up your rotation, you have plenty of time to use all of your relevant abilities within those 5 globals.

 

If you want to talk PvP, then yes: it's very possible to lose stacks, due to the fact that you add guard swapping as well as a much greater percentage of stuns into the mix. That's why I'm in favor of building stacks faster, or channeling faster, or both.

Edited by Aelanis
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I would be against the 18 second Shadow/Dark Protection. 18 seconds is forever. you can always channel once every 9 seconds if you get no Energize/PA procs, and usually faster than that. That would give you 6 globals to screw around, instead of 3. It's unnecessary, and you lose any incentive to try harder, which I think is bad. I think 15 seconds would be more reasonable. Instead of even that, though, you could just implement a faster Harnessed Shadows/Darkness stacking and eliminate the problem altogether. I'm definitely in favor of shortening the channel time of Force Lightning/TKT in exchange for the extra damage. Flat out halving the the channel time in exchange for the damage is a nice tps and dps increase and decreases the amount of time standing still, which is great for PvP.

 

Shut the eff up aelanis you and KBN have done nothing but keep us as a **** pvp tank for the last year ,year in a half ,, 8 days and my sub is up going to the other game that came out last week. Shadow tank cool downs are ******** compared to the other two specs. really a gcd between all out weak *** melee and force abilities by the time I set up my instant shadow strike the dec/mad assas has preformed from what I can tell twice as many offensive attacks we flat out do not have enough instant abilities thast proc and or piggy back off of other abilities we are gimped by the gcd more than any other ac out there purely a ****** design for pvp. slowtime is pure **** force breach is **** atleast for combat technique ..You win I am done with this ******** !... take your numbers , percentages and algorithms shove them up your ***.

Edited by Jiminison
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Shut the eff up aelanis you and KBN have done nothing but keep us as a **** pvp tank for the last year ,year in a half ,, 8 days and my sub is up going to the other game that came out last week. Shadow tank cool downs are ******** compared to the other two specs a gcd between all out weak *** melee and force abilities by the time I set up my instant double strike the dec/mad assas has preformed from what I can tell twice as many offensive attacks we flat out do not have enough instant abilities thast proc and or piggy back off of other abilities we are gimped by the gcd more than any other ac out there purely a ****** design for pvp. slowtime is pure **** force breach is **** atleast for combat technique ..You win I am done with this ******** !... take your numbers , percentages and algorithms shove them up your ***.

 

So you're mad that I'm standing up for what I think, in terms of PvE. I've said only that the duration could be a little short for PvP. Chill out.

 

By the way, the global cooldown is the same for all classes. We have one ability that takes 2 of them, otherwise we attack at the same rate as anyone else. I'm still not sure why you think that tanks need to deal as much damage as DPS specs, but okay.

 

Moving on, I'd like to reiterate that most of what I said in my previous post was directed at PvE, and that I put a little blurb about mobility/non-stunned time could be problematic in PvP.

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Ban me I don't give 2 ***** ,you can go back I hardly ever curse in any of my post ,but I have had it....this was my escape and my hobby!, this last year has been anything but fun. Fix shadow assas tanks BW stop ignoring us damn it!

 

Please bottle those tears so that I can consume them.

 

 

I love baby tears.

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You do both realize you're talking about 4% right? Check your logs after a fight and check how much damage it really is, most healers won't even notice. You're talking about 400 extra dmg you mitigate on a 10K hit that is actually affected by the DR. I'm not saying 4% doesn't matter at all, just trying to put it on perspective on how low 4% actually is.

 

I do feel that Assassin/Shadow tanks are the weaker tank compared to guardian/Juggs (don't have a vanguard/PT) but it doesn't have to do with the difficulty or lack of difficulty keeping up 4% DR. Juggs just have better CD's and mechanic buffs. I made a comparison in the other thread between defensive cooldowns and showed Juggs in general are better for similar effects, also showing assassins have nothing like Invicible which is a HUGE DCD for both PvP and PvE. I didn't mention the absorb shield from Force Scream or the group shield from Jugg tanks.

 

I really don't think there is a problem with the rotation, except that it's a rather low bonus for executing it. Here's my proposed change; bring back a self heal equivalent to the damage the Force scream/AoE taunt provides, this will even out mitigation a bit and hearlly help with PvP survivability. Let blackout be usable in combat and have it provide 10% DR for 4 seconds; It's cheezy to copy a deception ability but Shadow/Assassin need something on par with invincible (length of CD vs bonus).

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You do both realize you're talking about 4% right? Check your logs after a fight and check how much damage it really is, most healers won't even notice. You're talking about 400 extra dmg you mitigate on a 10K hit that is actually affected by the DR. I'm not saying 4% doesn't matter at all, just trying to put it on perspective on how low 4% actually is.

 

I do feel that Assassin/Shadow tanks are the weaker tank compared to guardian/Juggs (don't have a vanguard/PT) but it doesn't have to do with the difficulty or lack of difficulty keeping up 4% DR. Juggs just have better CD's and mechanic buffs. I made a comparison in the other thread between defensive cooldowns and showed Juggs in general are better for similar effects, also showing assassins have nothing like Invicible which is a HUGE DCD for both PvP and PvE. I didn't mention the absorb shield from Force Scream or the group shield from Jugg tanks.

 

I really don't think there is a problem with the rotation, except that it's a rather low bonus for executing it. Here's my proposed change; bring back a self heal equivalent to the damage the Force scream/AoE taunt provides, this will even out mitigation a bit and hearlly help with PvP survivability. Let blackout be usable in combat and have it provide 10% DR for 4 seconds; It's cheezy to copy a deception ability but Shadow/Assassin need something on par with invincible (length of CD vs bonus).

 

Except that you're thinking of the 4% in static terms, not as an additive buff. Without the buff, my Shadow sits at 40.98% DR. With it, it's 44.98%. I go from 17,706 damage on a 30k unshielded hit to 16,506 damage taken. That's 1,200 damage. On back to back 30k hits (DP NiM Council tank swap to Calphy with NiM power up), you save your healers 2,400 damage. You take 93.22% of the damage you otherwise would, not to mention the huge increase to DR against I/E damage. When you AoE taunt during the final burn phase of that fight, you're taking ~240 less Internal damage per second. When you're not taking huge damage, yes, it can seem inconsequential. But when you're tanking the hardest content in the game, you need the extra DR. This is an MMO, where everything is about marginal gains and seemingly inconsequential advances that add up over time.

 

As for mean mitigation, Shadows do much, much better than Guardians passively. With all non-DCD buffs applied, my Shadow's defense chance is ~3% better, shield chance is ~18% better and shield absorption is, on average, ~23% better, with exactly 6% better I/E DR, at the cost of 7.88% extra DR at the full 180 level. Before cooldowns, Shadows trounce Guardians in "passive" mitigation.

 

As for suggesting how to "even out" mitigation: your suggestions would put Shadows far and away ahead of Guardians. Would it help with PvP survivability? Absolutely. Would it break the delicate survivability balance that currently exists in PvP? Also absolutely. While I'd enjoy an extra 6 second long cooldown (it is 6 seconds, by the way, not 4) tied to Blackout, and on a minute long cooldown, that would push Shadows way ahead of the other tanks. It's also not equivalent to Invincible, which lasts twice as long and gives quadruple the bonus of your suggestion. While they both reduce incoming damage, as opposed to raising DR, that's where the similarities end. Besides, Shadows have Battle Readiness, which is far better on K/E attacks and roughly equal on I/E attacks (considering the percentage decrease in damage taken), lasts for longer, has a shorter cooldown AND gives significant healing.

Edited by Aelanis
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Except that you're thinking of the 4% in static terms, not as an additive buff. Without the buff, my Shadow sits at 40.98% DR. With it, it's 44.98%. I go from 17,706 damage on a 30k unshielded hit to 16,506 damage taken. That's 1,200 damage. On back to back 30k hits (DP NiM Council tank swap to Calphy with NiM power up), you save your healers 2,400 damage. You take 93.22% of the damage you otherwise would, not to mention the huge increase to DR against I/E damage. When you AoE taunt during the final burn phase of that fight, you're taking ~240 less Internal damage per second. When you're not taking huge damage, yes, it can seem inconsequential. But when you're tanking the hardest content in the game, you need the extra DR. This is an MMO, where everything is about marginal gains and seemingly inconsequential advances that add up over time.

 

Making the numbers bigger doesn't change 4%. Operative/Scroundral HoT's tick for more then 1.2k. Really all you're doing is increasing their effective healing. Show me a parse where the healers have 95% effective healing and I'll agree.

 

As for mean mitigation, Shadows do much, much better than Guardians passively. With all non-DCD buffs applied, my Shadow's defense chance is ~3% better, shield chance is ~18% better and shield absorption is, on average, ~23% better, with exactly 6% better I/E DR, at the cost of 7.88% extra DR at the full 180 level. Before cooldowns, Shadows trounce Guardians in "passive" mitigation.

 

Yes, Shadow/Assassin have better mean mitigation but unless you're going into a fight not using any talent buffs this point is void.

 

As for suggesting how to "even out" mitigation: your suggestions would put Shadows far and away ahead of Guardians. Would it help with PvP survivability? Absolutely. Would it break the delicate survivability balance that currently exists in PvP? Also absolutely. While I'd enjoy an extra 6 second long cooldown (it is 6 seconds, by the way, not 4) tied to Blackout, and on a minute long cooldown, that would push Shadows way ahead of the other tanks. It's also not equivalent to Invincible, which lasts twice as long and gives quadruple the bonus of your suggestion. While they both reduce incoming damage, as opposed to raising DR, that's where the similarities end. Besides, Shadows have Battle Readiness, which is far better on K/E attacks and roughly equal on I/E attacks (considering the percentage decrease in damage taken), lasts for longer, has a shorter cooldown AND gives significant healing.

 

I believe I compared Overcharged Saber to Battle Readiness. This is part of the PvP problem, Assassins have 2 DCD's in 1. Overcharged Saber is slightly better then both on their own but I'd rather take 2 DCD's. Really PvP is about CD's, using the right one at the right time to drop or save someone.

 

Aelanis you and KBN have solid math. Here's something I'd like you to check. In the same 5 minute fight, damage wise, who really mitigates more damage with proper use of defensives including total of "healing".

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Making the numbers bigger doesn't change 4%. Operative/Scroundral HoT's tick for more then 1.2k. Really all you're doing is increasing their effective healing. Show me a parse where the healers have 95% effective healing and I'll agree.

See, the thing is that I have, many times, seen wipes prevented because a tank survived that 30k+ hit with their stacks up. Eventually, after enough time spent tanking, you'll see where all the extra bit saves you. It's when things go wrong, and healers are, temporarily, getting 100% effective healing that the extra mitigation is most important. With downtime in fights, healers will start to quickly overheal, but their overheal numbers are typically less on tanks.

Yes, Shadow/Assassin have better mean mitigation but unless you're going into a fight not using any talent buffs this point is void.

I forgot to factor in Blade Barrier and Blade Barricade, but that tips the scale slightly in favor of the Guardian on defense and gives static absorption to the Guardian that gets much worse as damage goes up.

I believe I compared Overcharged Saber to Battle Readiness. This is part of the PvP problem, Assassins have 2 DCD's in 1. Overcharged Saber is slightly better then both on their own but I'd rather take 2 DCD's. Really PvP is about CD's, using the right one at the right time to drop or save someone.

 

Aelanis you and KBN have solid math. Here's something I'd like you to check. In the same 5 minute fight, damage wise, who really mitigates more damage with proper use of defensives including total of "healing".

 

Yeah.... the 3 total cooldowns is a little painful in PvP.

 

Anyway, KBN did the math for a fight of unspecified length, using average dtps numbers and damage breakdowns for bosses in each of the two NiM operations, and with all class tools factored in based on average uptime. Shadows get edged out by Guardians by the tiniest of factors, and less so on bosses with fewer "defendable" hits. However, this effort assumed perfect use of Focused Defense, which is nigh impossible, and the difference between the usage on a real fight and a theoretical fight is more than enough to tip the scales into the Shadow's favor. I also do not believe he factored in adrenals, which further tips the scales in favor of the Shadow, due to the obscene (10%!) K/E DR boost a Shadow gets from the Exotech Absorb adrenal. In a 5 minute long PvP fight, however, it would be no contest, the Guardian would win, though not by as much as people think, assuming there is enough healing to keep the tanks at ~50%-~70% health at all times, to capitalize on Focused Defense.

 

Take note: these numbers have not changed since HM DF/DP were introduced. On Nightmare damage levels (pre-nerf) I am fairly certain Shadows would have won out.

Edited by Aelanis
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See, the thing is that I have, many times, seen wipes prevented because a tank survived that 30k+ hit with their stacks up. Eventually, after enough time spent tanking, you'll see where all the extra bit saves you. It's when things go wrong, and healers are, temporarily, getting 100% effective healing that the extra mitigation is most important. With downtime in fights, healers will start to quickly overheal, but their overheal numbers are typically less on tanks.

 

The same arguement could be made for 1% mitigation. I don't want to come of as saying 4% is useless; It's definitely a min/max increase. What I was trying to point out is that for PvE the rotation is easy enough to maintain for the amount of mitigation it provides AND in PvP the lack of 4% really isn't the issue but rather the lack of DCD's.

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^^^

This!

 

I've been experimenting with hybred builds to get darkswell (so that Blackout becomes a 6 second long, 45 second cool down for 25% multiplicative DR), and it's.... OK. But you give up quite a bit of damage and utility not getting Wither and Harnessed Darkness/Shadows, and Juggernauts don't have to make that kind of sadistic choice. The fact is that juggernauts/Guardians have 3 CDs (4 if you count their 5 second reflect shield), and a self heal is incredibly powerful compared to the Darkness tank 1-2 (deflection is situational at BEST given the prevalence of non-defendable damage; I still don't understand why it doesn't have the +25% DR versus F/T like the juggernaut/guardian equivalent). This problem is not unique to us; PTs have the same issues: not enough cool downs to be competitive. Yes, Overcharge Saber is AMAZING, but as someone else said I would rather have 2 separate, weaker cool downs that I can pop separately OR together at my judgement than a single one.

 

Similarly, Harnessed Darkness/Shadows, as the original post alludes to, is quite hard to use effectively in PvP. I feel the idea of a doubled channel rate is good. Or perhaps the caster should simply be immune to CC while channeling with 3 stacks., SOMETHING! I wouldn't know if there's any truth to the statement that it's hard to use in PvE as well; I don't really do it. The 4% DR is not the end of the world but the damage is - Assasin/Shadow tanks are widely seen as the highest damaging tanks, and I believe that's true in a parse against a target dummy, but a lot of that damage comes from HD, and it's a VERY hard tool to use in an environment as mobile as PvP. When it healed for 12% it was worth the trouble; now that it imposes a small DR buff... it's questionable.

 

I can't speak to the raiding environment, but I know that in PvP, assassin tanks definitely need a buff. Or, if assasins and powertechs are 100% working as intended then juggernauts need a serious nerf, because right now there is a clear performance gap.

 

TL;DR: 3 second channels are HARD TO USE in PvP and, as someone else said, PVP tanking is about the effective use of cooldowns and juggernauts have 2-3 times more of them than the rest of us (depending on the situation and how you're counting).

Edited by Valentyna
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Stealth is awesome. It lets you get the jump or avoid player groups in PvP, and avoid killing mobs in PvE. I like that the CC is based around stealth. I think it's pointless though to have multiple "only in stealth" abilities. Blackout is really a crutch talent except when used with Deceptions Darkswell. I'd like to see it have use in each spec and in Darkness spec there is a need for more GCD's.

 

I've re-thought my suggestion and would rather see it "heal caster for 100% of damage done during duration.

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See, the thing is that I have, many times, seen wipes prevented because a tank survived that 30k+ hit with their stacks up. Eventually, after enough time spent tanking, you'll see where all the extra bit saves you. It's when things go wrong, and healers are, temporarily, getting 100% effective healing that the extra mitigation is most important. With downtime in fights, healers will start to quickly overheal, but their overheal numbers are typically less on tanks.

 

I forgot to factor in Blade Barrier and Blade Barricade, but that tips the scale slightly in favor of the Guardian on defense and gives static absorption to the Guardian that gets much worse as damage goes up.

 

 

Yeah.... the 3 total cooldowns is a little painful in PvP.

 

Anyway, KBN did the math for a fight of unspecified length, using average dtps numbers and damage breakdowns for bosses in each of the two NiM operations, and with all class tools factored in based on average uptime. Shadows get edged out by Guardians by the tiniest of factors, and less so on bosses with fewer "defendable" hits. However, this effort assumed perfect use of Focused Defense, which is nigh impossible, and the difference between the usage on a real fight and a theoretical fight is more than enough to tip the scales into the Shadow's favor. I also do not believe he factored in adrenals, which further tips the scales in favor of the Shadow, due to the obscene (10%!) K/E DR boost a Shadow gets from the Exotech Absorb adrenal. In a 5 minute long PvP fight, however, it would be no contest, the Guardian would win, though not by as much as people think, assuming there is enough healing to keep the tanks at ~50%-~70% health at all times, to capitalize on Focused Defense.

 

Take note: these numbers have not changed since HM DF/DP were introduced. On Nightmare damage levels (pre-nerf) I am fairly certain Shadows would have won out.

 

Using hybrid for tanking in PvP with dps or tank gear and full for PvE. Full is of the worst specs in PvP. The difference between the two tanks and Jugg makes it the only choice for ranked. And oc the 1% dr in PvP is a mockery. It would make the change if the armor was 9k+.

Edited by Aetideus
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When I started trying the other tank classes I was actually amazed to find I didn't miss stealth at all. the ability to ambush an unprepared target is incredible for DPS... for a tank, not so much. The ability to escape an unfavourable engagement SEEMS really powerful, but the nature of warzones doesn't make it so in fact: generally speaking if you escape and run away but your opponents cap the objective you were guarding, kill the healer your were protecting, or otherwise succeed in whatever they were trying to do because you ran away to hide and heal back to full that's actually WORSE for your team than if you had died fighting and bought an extra couple of seconds in the process. The only exception I can think of is hypergate where kills ARE the points, and arenas (where, of course, you don't respawn to get right back into the action if you die), and the latter is a bit questionable unless you're part of a well coordinated pre-made team. Its good for node guarding - darkness tanks are great at that. Beyond that, not much. I do agree that the CC is both appropriate and useful though; that's never been the main problem.
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From a pve point of view :

 

Sins are the best tank atm. Receiving the least dmg, being able to cheese mechanics with phase walk/Stealth and having a hybrid tankspecs that allow to make aoe bossfights easier for healers. As others have said Sins have the best passive mitgation and their threat generation is better than threat of the other tanks without using CD's like saber reflect or shoulder cannon.

 

The changes removed the selfheal from the sin but gave him an armour buff. Before the patch Sins could die due to a single blow of a Boss, like Kephess Nm. Many raiders criticized that. So they got the changes.

 

The only change BW/EA should make is to make the hybrid specc unavailable for tanking. Its a huge difference in some boossfights and makes Sins overpowered, but yet you want to make sins even stronger.

 

Instead of thinking about possible new skill mechanics and how to improve sins, you might be better off to learn the class the way it is right now. Because all tank classes need to be changed. But before 3.0 this wont happen. With an eventual lvl cap rise sins can go full tank + get the 30% aoe dmg reduction in case they dont overwork the talents. This will make any sin tank perform like a good even without using Fl at all.

 

Juggernauts take in kinetic fights as much dmg as sins do, but in F/T fights they are the worst tanks, because they have the least shield rating and the least absorb rating when comparing to the other tanks. As it seems to become popular within the BW/EA team many fights are F/T fights. Juggers also have a hybrid build, but that build has a bad tps generation and you get rageproblems pretty soon in a fight. In addition the dtps difference is very low, abt 40-60 dtps less while sin hybrids can receive 200 dtps less than a full tank sin.

 

PT's have bad Cooldowns and their passive mitgation is mostly between jug and sin. In some fights pt's mitgation is even worse than the mitgation of the juggernaut. Furthermore PT's dont have abilities like force shroud, Saber reflect . Making them unattractive for DF Nm for example.

 

From a semi pvp point of view :

 

but I know that in PvP, assassin tanks definitely need a buff

 

Sins got stealth, therefore they can defend quite good. They got 2 aoe's that do impressive dmg in zerg situations. They have spike, phase walk which can be used for mobility. They lack in stuns. The problem that Force lightning is interrupted is a problem to any tank. Juggers Ravage is often interrupted, Pt's flame thrower as well. The only difference is that Sins get a 4% dmg reduction for their Fl. We are talking about 50 dtps less... In addition Sins have the highest shieldrating and a pretty good amount of absorb which are the best defstats for pvp.

For ranked sins are not the best tanks, however they arent the worst either.

 

For unranked :

Sin

PT

Jugger

 

For ranked :

Jugger

Sin

PT

 

So sins need a buff in pvp so that they are #1 tanks in ranked as well? Honestly if you experience your sin to be bad in pvp ever thought about that it might not the class but you or your equipment?

 

Sins dont need buffs, they just need buffs for players not playing good otherwise the Buff this nerf this is never going to end...

Edited by Methoxa
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^^^

This!

 

I've been experimenting with hybred builds to get darkswell (so that Blackout becomes a 6 second long, 45 second cool down for 25% multiplicative DR), and it's.... OK. But you give up quite a bit of damage and utility not getting Wither and Harnessed Darkness/Shadows, and Juggernauts don't have to make that kind of sadistic choice. The fact is that juggernauts/Guardians have 3 CDs (4 if you count their 5 second reflect shield), and a self heal is incredibly powerful compared to the Darkness tank 1-2 (deflection is situational at BEST given the prevalence of non-defendable damage; I still don't understand why it doesn't have the +25% DR versus F/T like the juggernaut/guardian equivalent). This problem is not unique to us; PTs have the same issues: not enough cool downs to be competitive. Yes, Overcharge Saber is AMAZING, but as someone else said I would rather have 2 separate, weaker cool downs that I can pop separately OR together at my judgement than a single one.

 

Similarly, Harnessed Darkness/Shadows, as the original post alludes to, is quite hard to use effectively in PvP. I feel the idea of a doubled channel rate is good. Or perhaps the caster should simply be immune to CC while channeling with 3 stacks., SOMETHING! I wouldn't know if there's any truth to the statement that it's hard to use in PvE as well; I don't really do it. The 4% DR is not the end of the world but the damage is - Assasin/Shadow tanks are widely seen as the highest damaging tanks, and I believe that's true in a parse against a target dummy, but a lot of that damage comes from HD, and it's a VERY hard tool to use in an environment as mobile as PvP. When it healed for 12% it was worth the trouble; now that it imposes a small DR buff... it's questionable.

 

I can't speak to the raiding environment, but I know that in PvP, assassin tanks definitely need a buff. Or, if assasins and powertechs are 100% working as intended then juggernauts need a serious nerf, because right now there is a clear performance gap.

 

TL;DR: 3 second channels are HARD TO USE in PvP and, as someone else said, PVP tanking is about the effective use of cooldowns and juggernauts have 2-3 times more of them than the rest of us (depending on the situation and how you're counting).

 

23/23/0 or 17/29/0 as a tank in pvp... you're welcome

 

also in ranked, jugs >>>>>> pt > sin

Edited by Arkillon
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From a pve point of view :

 

Sins are the best tank atm. Receiving the least dmg, being able to cheese mechanics with phase walk/Stealth and having a hybrid tankspecs that allow to make aoe bossfights easier for healers. As others have said Sins have the best passive mitgation and their threat generation is better than threat of the other tanks without using CD's like saber reflect or shoulder cannon.

 

The changes removed the selfheal from the sin but gave him an armour buff. Before the patch Sins could die due to a single blow of a Boss, like Kephess Nm. Many raiders criticized that. So they got the changes.

 

The only change BW/EA should make is to make the hybrid specc unavailable for tanking. Its a huge difference in some boossfights and makes Sins overpowered, but yet you want to make sins even stronger.

 

Instead of thinking about possible new skill mechanics and how to improve sins, you might be better off to learn the class the way it is right now. Because all tank classes need to be changed. But before 3.0 this wont happen. With an eventual lvl cap rise sins can go full tank + get the 30% aoe dmg reduction in case they dont overwork the talents. This will make any sin tank perform like a good even without using Fl at all.

 

Juggernauts take in kinetic fights as much dmg as sins do, but in F/T fights they are the worst tanks, because they have the least shield rating and the least absorb rating when comparing to the other tanks. As it seems to become popular within the BW/EA team many fights are F/T fights. Juggers also have a hybrid build, but that build has a bad tps generation and you get rageproblems pretty soon in a fight. In addition the dtps difference is very low, abt 40-60 dtps less while sin hybrids can receive 200 dtps less than a full tank sin.

 

PT's have bad Cooldowns and their passive mitgation is mostly between jug and sin. In some fights pt's mitgation is even worse than the mitgation of the juggernaut. Furthermore PT's dont have abilities like force shroud, Saber reflect . Making them unattractive for DF Nm for example.

 

From a semi pvp point of view :

 

 

 

Sins got stealth, therefore they can defend quite good. They got 2 aoe's that do impressive dmg in zerg situations. They have spike, phase walk which can be used for mobility. They lack in stuns. The problem that Force lightning is interrupted is a problem to any tank. Juggers Ravage is often interrupted, Pt's flame thrower as well. The only difference is that Sins get a 4% dmg reduction for their Fl. We are talking about 50 dtps less... In addition Sins have the highest shieldrating and a pretty good amount of absorb which are the best defstats for pvp.

For ranked sins are not the best tanks, however they arent the worst either.

 

For unranked :

Sin

PT

Jugger

 

For ranked :

Jugger

Sin

PT

 

So sins need a buff in pvp so that they are #1 tanks in ranked as well? Honestly if you experience your sin to be bad in pvp ever thought about that it might not the class but you or your equipment?

 

Sins dont need buffs, they just need buffs for players not playing good otherwise the Buff this nerf this is never going to end...

 

The only change that BW should *not* do is make hybrid specc unavailable for tanking. Would make the tree completely useless for pvp.

 

From your notion of defensive stats appears that there is no much of PvP exp. Flat DR and dcds are the most important and where full shadow tank fails.

Edited by Aetideus
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Shadow Protection / Dark Protection

The 12 second duration is far too short a time to keep four stacks of this ability. It is easily lost in both PvE and PvP due to issues in mobility that are directly linked to building Harnessed Shadows / Darkness and channeling TKT / FL.

Suggestions:

  • Increase the duration of this effect to at least 18 seconds.
  • Possibly even change it to a flat 4% DR bonus and eliminate the need to acquire four stacks.

 

The only real argument for 12s being too short is in the (relatively rare) situation where you have to Shock for a 3rd stack, channel immediately to refresh stacks, and then break channel after the initial tick. You'll be left with 3.5s of Shock CD to contend with and 11s of DP duration left. If you manage to use every GCD with no gaps and get zero Energize procs, you'll Shock @ 8.5s of DP duration and 2.5s of DP duration meaning you have a 1s gap to start your channel to keep stacks. That may not always be possible, but that's literally a worst-case scenario.

 

4% flat DR would be a horrible change. It would be OP from a mitigation perspective and would have a negative impact on Assassin's rotation. I'll talk about that latter one below.

 

But yeah, Assassin's DTPS is already inline with Juggy and PT (lower on a lot of current fights thanks to hybrid). We don't need more steady-state mitigation and a reduced skill floor. Might as well just play PT at that point.

 

Harnessed Shadows / Darkness and TKT / FL

This has been at the core of our tanking rotation since day one. Now that is required to sustain our defensive buff through a rotation that FOR SOME is too tedious, it has become a liability. Specifically in PvP or high mobility PvE encounters, channeling a three second ability with 10* range every 12 seconds is not easily doable. Add to the fact that you can be knocked back and stunned to ruin a channel. And this is supposed to be the compensation for the removal of heals.

Suggestions:

  • With full stacks, make TKT / FL channel and tick twice fast. Adjust the damage bonus as needed to balance for the increase in DPS.
  • Change Upheaval / Chain Shock to provide two stacks of Harnessed upon firing a second Project / Shock. OR Slow Time / Wither grants two stacks of Harnessed. OR Lower the maximum number of stacks required to produce Protection to two.

 

Discuss and flame.

 

There's nothing wrong with the mechanic seeing as the stacks fully refresh off even 1 tick. It's rare to not be able to get off even 1 tick, although doing so intentionally does increase the amount of forethought and needed to ensure you rebuild stacks again in time and don't Force-starve yourself.

 

You should be so lucky that someone in PVP will waste a hard stun on you to interrupt Force Lightning. Seeing as how the first tick is instant, you still get your stacks refreshed and you get resolve to boot.

 

Plus, it's tight but 100% feasible to always have HD stacks in time even if you get no Energize procs so long as you're within 10m at all times. Considering you only ever need 1 tick to keep stacks up so long as you got them up to 4 at some point, you can be substantially mobile and keep your stacks so long as you're sufficiently skilled and attentive.

 

Assassin is the "skill" tank and it does actually provide measurably superior performance (especially in PVE) with sufficiently skillful play. It's still very much in line with Juggy an PT even if stacks do fall off occasionally, and its overall performance is directly proportional to your ability to get the most out of your CDs and manage your active mitigation.

 

Maybe it could be more user-friendly, but quite honestly it's very balanced at an average level of play and perhaps slightly too good (to offset the difficulty of execution) when played near-optimally.

 

*shrug*

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Assassin is the "skill" tank and it does actually provide measurably superior performance (especially in PVE) with sufficiently skillful play. It's still very much in line with Juggy an PT even if stacks do fall off occasionally, and its overall performance is directly proportional to your ability to get the most out of your CDs and manage your active mitigation.

 

Completely summarizes my views, at least as far as PvE is concerned.

 

With respect to PvP, I think it might be interesting to add a talent that refreshes Dark Protection when stunned. Ultimately though, hard stuns are rarely the reason I drop stacks in PvP. I drop stacks in PvP when I decide to drop stacks in PvP. Basically, if I judge that another function (stunning, Assassinating, yanking, etc) is more important than 4% DR for a few seconds, I'll let my stacks fall and I'll perform that function. I don't think this is a problem with the class, really, it's just a decision we get to make. Keeping DP up is important, but it's not like you turn into a marshmellow without it.

 

Or, you know, make Force Lightning channel in 1.5 seconds. :-) It'd be OP as heck from a damage perspective, but I would absolutely love it if we were no longer tied to a 3 second channel.

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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Completely summarizes my views, at least as far as PvE is concerned.

 

With respect to PvP, I think it might be interesting to add a talent that refreshes Dark Protection when stunned. Ultimately though, hard stuns are rarely the reason I drop stacks in PvP. I drop stacks in PvP when I decide to drop stacks in PvP. Basically, if I judge that another function (stunning, Assassinating, yanking, etc) is more important than 4% DR for a few seconds, I'll let my stacks fall and I'll perform that function. I don't think this is a problem with the class, really, it's just a decision we get to make. Keeping DP up is important, but it's not like you turn into a marshmellow without it.

 

Or, you know, make Force Lightning channel in 1.5 seconds. :-) It'd be OP as heck from a damage perspective, but I would absolutely love it if we were no longer tied to a 3 second channel.

 

It wouln't be as OP if they took out the damage boost. Sure, it'd still be doing more damage and threat if they halved the duration, but a little extra threat never hurt, and would honestly be appreciated. Damage out among the tanks, over the course of a long fight, is relatively even (in single target situations), and I don't think a regular strength FL at half the channel time would be too strong. You could even reduce the damage an Assassin does with it to compensate if you want to keep them from getting more damage. Might even convince people to not use it as a dps.

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I am not super experienced sin tank, but I did fair amount tanking in PvP and PvE and played the other tanks as well. In both PvP and PvE the margin between all three tanks is very small. PvE wise, as posters above me mentioned, sin tanks are in a strong spot. They are the most prone to burst, but also have the strongest mean mitigation and have strong DCDs and anti-burst tools. PvP is highly debatable. Many highly ranked players in group ranked say sin is the best tank, but some also say jugg and some go with PT. I find all three play different in PvP and have different advantages and disadvantages. It is probably the only role that devs have well balanced in PvP.

 

Does sin tanks have a problems in PvP or PvE? No. Are they behind in performance? No. My only grip is that in PvP harnessed darkness is bound to fall off often. What should 3.0 provide sin tanks? If it aint broke, do not try to fix it.

Edited by Ottoattack
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I already pointed out that, Yes that Sin tanks have the highest mean mitigation. I also pointed out that unless you are going to just stand there; not going through your rotation, which provides additional mitigation, or use a single Defensive CD mean mitigation is just a paper stat.

 

Really Sin/Shadow tanks are great in PvE. Keeping up stacks is only difficult if you make a mistake in the rotation or if boss mechanics get you at the wrong time. The only issue in PvE is when they do get hit it's usually for more dmg. Ok, it's not really an issue, they're just the spikest tank.

 

Hybrids should have a place so long as you're trading off a bit of survivability for damage. Right now you're about par for survivability with a dmg increase. The extra DCD leaves hybrid with equal survivability. Which basically proves there's an issue with tank DCD's.

 

BW stated that Sin/Shadow tanks have the lowest win rate by 3%, this is proof they are not the best PvP tank. They didn't include a ratio of how many people are actually playing the spec. Think about how often you come across a Sin/Shadow tank.

 

So why are they the lowest winning ratio tank? Pretty sure it's NOT because the rotation and keeping up 4% DR. Defensive CD's are just as important for a tank as Offensive CD's are for DPS. Juggs have more DCD's (sorry don't know about PT/Vang) then Sin/Shadows. All that is needed to put them on par is another DCD to deal with high incoming damage, something to mitigate as much dmg as invicible.

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