Ranged – Easy Mob (30m range)
– Sticky Grenade (once)
– High Impact Bolt (if they are screaming and not shooting back)
– Hammer Shot / Explosive Round (spam these 2 until dead)
Ranged – Boss (30m range)
– Sticky Grenade (once, this will hurt the boss only a little but blast his boys all over the room)
– Hammer Shot / Explosive Round (spam these 2 until dead)
– High Impact Bolt if you get a DoT (good luck)
– Option: charge to melee range (and see below)
Melee – All (if they charge you, or you charge them)
– Pulse Cannon before contact (10m range)
– Ion Pulse
– Stock Strike
– Hammer Shot
The Prime Rule
– if you run low or out of ammo, use a Recharge Cell
– when you run out again, spam Hammer Shot while you regen ammo
Attributes to Look For in Gear
– all other attributes
– note: I am a tank, my first priority is to keep my group alive so they can do their thing (DPS). In order for them to survive, I must survive. So I need defense before offense. yada yada, that is the tank’s traditional creed but also remember that we must adapt, and I have a feeling that firepower will end up being an important component of a good tank in this game. Why? a) the fellowships are small and that means every player must provide DPS for the group b) the fights are typically short and intense and tanking 6 mobs for 25 minutes while your fellowship bangs on them is not going to happen here. c) killing mobs is a great way to keep your group alive. My gut tells me (and remember I have only played to 16) that further down the line, a ‘tank’ in this game is not going to be horribly different from a DPS Trooper. The good Vanguard will be a bit more tanky, and the Commando will definetly put out more DPS, but we ain’t gonna have the tradional roles of the impregnable main tank who does zero DPS and the glass cannon mage/archer that can’t take a hit. Yojack’s Beast build (http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=2770) may very well become the prototypical Trooper Vanguard build for tanks in this game.
How to Not Die
– upgrade your gear at every opportunity.
– put Guard on your live friend.
– put No Retreat on your Companion if things start to go bad, or at the start of a bad fight.
– use a medpac if you hit 50% health.
– use Reactive Shield at 50% health.
– still pretty squishy at 16 vs. big bosses or multiple bosses, without a dedicated healer you may need to split up tanking mobs with another Trooper etc in order to survive.
– I know that ain’t much, still not feeling very tanky yet.
How to Keep Your Pals Alive
– groups of easy mobs – just murder them all, tank and DPS attack separate targets, these fights are cake.
– groups with a boss and several easy mobs – tank just the boss and DPS burn down the easy mobs first.
– run into aggro range first, attack first and tag all mobs not attacking you.
– use Neural Jolt to drop a big ol’ helpin’ of threat on mobs who are ignoring you.
– one tactic we have used is to have the Companions attack first to draw some aggro. they are very handy but also expenadble. You can pull aggro off later in the fight if need be or let them be eaten up, saving the health of the live players for the last part of the fight.
What is Different from Sword and Board Tanking
– for experienced tanks – most of Tank 101 applies in this game even though most combat is ranged.
– in a medieval type game, a good tank will run through the mobs and turn around to face the fellowship. This has many benefits which are a) allows the entire fellowship to have a visual indicator of who has aggro by seeing who the mobs are attacking b) prevents frontal-arc-AOE attacks from hitting the rest of the fellowship c) allows the tank to watch for adds coming into the fight behind the fellowship d) allows the DPS players to do increased damage because in most games there is a damage increase (or defensive penalty) for being hit from behind.
– since this is the new shiny and improved concept of Ranged Tanking, I’m not sure this is a valid tactic. I have tried it a bit and I am still undecided whether this tactic gives the above advantages in this game.
– some may say, “You talk about ranged tanking like it was something new!” Well, I have heard the term many times in games but the typical medieval sword & board game is not designed for the tank to tank at range and this game is. What that means is that in other games, the meat and potatoes aggro skills that the tank has are melee-range skills. In most games you can generate some limited or initial aggro from range but you’re not gonna control aggro through the duration of a fight unless you get up close and personal. think of a game where you tank 5 archers. Most games have a further dynamic that makes an archer switch to melee combat if their attacker gets within melee range. This is advantageous to the tank and the fellowship because archers are optimized through skills and attributes to DPS at range and not attack or defend up close. So back to our example, if faced with 5 archers a tank would charge in close, round them up – because once they go to melee combat they will stay close to you – turn them around and let the DPS have at them. In SWTOR the mobs will not switch to melee combat and continue to fire at you at point blank range. If you back away they will not come to you but stand and fire, so they cannot be rounded up unless you cattle herd them using walls, corners, etc. In other words, LoS them to control their movements and positioning. Also, there may be a disadvantage for the tank to get close to mobs because they have close-range attacks like us, and getting close allows them a greater skill selection and possibly-to-likely more damage output.
– now there are light-saber wielding mobs of course and they will charge you. These are basically melee mobs and all normal (traditional) rules of tanking apply. However you very rarely encounter a group of pure melees, typically there will be 1 or 2 in a group of 4-6. this makes for a wild melee while the control-freak tanks are trying to keep all the mobs in line.
– bottom line like i said previously I am still experimenting with ‘ranged tanking tactics’ in order to find the most effective one or ones.