Vanguard tanking - better than Commando because of...

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25 posts
By Malleable at 2011-12-08 07:57:38

I know Vanguard is the tank, while Commando is the healer. So Vanguard has a Shielding spec, but is that the only reason they are tanks?

They can use a shield generator, rather than an assault generator. Can Commando equip a shield generator?

Does Vanguard have more innate bonuses? Or is it just the Shield Spec and shield generator?


By asakawa at 2011-12-08 09:44:13
Ion Cell is specifically what makes Vanguard's able to tank. Their spec and abilities all play into it but Ion Cell is like "defensive stance".
By Malleable at 2011-12-08 10:02:15

Wow! Yep, that sure is a nice ability. Definitely makes Vanguard a superior tank. Finally nailed down my decision.

Thanks much,

By Malleable at 2011-12-08 10:02:49

Wow! Yep, that sure is a nice ability. Definitely makes Vanguard a superior tank. Finally nailed down my decision.

Thanks much,

By kimmilvang at 2011-12-09 07:13:36
Not to mention Guard, Neural Jolt, and Harpoon. I am guessing that Vanguards will be a lot better at getting and holding agro.
By asakawa at 2011-12-09 07:42:38
Better than other tanks? I don't see that.
For the Vanguard's Harpoon the other tanks have an equivalent Force Pull or a Leap. The more numerous range options of Trooper and BH tanks will make them interesting to play but I don't see any reason to think it will be a big advantage. Certainly not in terms of "holding" agro.
By Phabien at 2011-12-09 09:21:49

I admit the idea of a ranged tank seems interesting, like a mage in plate lol, but I agree I'm sure their ability to tank will not be per se better than "traditional" melee tanks.

The only real hinky part comes when you think of the advantage of being able to establish high threat from a distance verses melee tanks who have to physically run to targets, usually taking "free damage" from ranged mobs and losing valuable time on target to deal damage and build theat, both issues which would not at all be concerns of ranged tanks. This might give them a tactical advantage in some respects but I'm betting thier threat, damage, or mitigation will be adjusted to compensate otherwise everyone would be ranged tanks because they could hold aggro without having to move (loosing precious time traveling) and wihtout taking as much damage because they were out of melee range longer and are really only vulnerable to other ranged units damage (kite-tanking?). And I don't think leap, force pull, electorcute, force speed, and force slow (among other similar abilites) are fair compensators as those mean that to close distances and do the same thing that ranged tanks can do by default and for free, without pushing extra butons and losing GCD/NRG. I know someone might be tempted to point those skills out, but those involve more skill, lost time, and expended NRG (resources) that ranged tanks will not have to account for. So there must be some adjustment or there would be a serious imbalance in the classes in that regard.

That said: I'm sure BW has addressed this issue otherwise they would have a firestorm of pissed of players when everyone rolls ranged-tanks as a result of this "imbalance." My guess, off the top of my head and without researching it, is that they would adjust each classes TPS (threat per second) so that ranged tanks and melee tanks would build aggro equally. I don't mean if it tanks a melee tank 3 second to run to a target and begin to build threat by dealing damage, and a ranged tank 0 seconds to reach a target and establish threat. The melee tanks should build threat at 3xSecond more than a tranged tank. What I mean is that if you set an arbitrary threat number, say 100,000 threat, both tanks should be able to establish that threat in the same time period, say 30 seconds. So since ranged Tanks start building threat at range, instantly, the melee tanks would need to have higher threat gains incramentally to compensate. Again, I would sincerly hope and expect BW to have forseen and adressed this issue probably even before the closed beta started, however it will probably take some time to perfect (maybe not, but as lng as they are atleast attempting to address it I supoose is whats important).

By asakawa at 2011-12-09 10:01:17
They really are not "ranged tanks" - they definitely aren't "mage in plate".
Their parent class gives them various options for ranged abilities but the core tanking abilities really do require being close to mobs. In that sense the other two tanks have a few ranged abilities to use either while getting into range or to get them into range which will even things out just fine.
By Phabien at 2011-12-09 10:11:40

I was kidding with the mage in plate comment.

Though I havent played a Ranged tank class, my BH experience was as a Merc, from the trooper videos I've seen they seem to be tanking at range and primarly trying to use space to move and kite. Granted though, they are dev created movies and only a small handful of videos, but I based my statements largely on that and the fact that they are both ranged classes. Unless you mean that by selecting the Vangaurd AC that the Trooper imediately ejects his magezine and then proceeds to beat mobs to death with an empty rifle. Certainly implying that a ranged classe tanks primarly at close range simply because they have a handful of melee abilities for when mobs closes the distance is like saying that a melee tank can "ranged tank" because Shadows can throw rocks and Assassin can use Shock. At the end of the day they still close the distance and melee just like at the end of the day ranged tanks apper to try and maintain range and kite. It even refers to rangend tanks a "Mid-Range Tanking" as thier ACs function in the description. It doesn't say, "shoots a few rounds off then greco-roman wrestles mobs into submission," lol.

Finaly, consider the BHs. They have some 10 or so abilities beyond melee range (beyond 5 meters) that they gain from chosing the tanking AC, and only 2 or so melee range (less than 5 meters) abilities. Of the ranged abilities I'm refering to that is -including- (at least for BHs) thier 31-point Talent which is a -ranged- ability, yeah... the LAST talent at the top of the TANKING (shield) tree, is a ranged ability.

By asakawa at 2011-12-09 11:13:08

Read what I said:
"the core tanking abilities really do require being close to mobs"
Now if you go and look up the "Shield Specialist" talent tree you'll see that they gain three usable abilities from the talents. Two of the three are close range abilities (10m is very close) and the third is a gap closer.
There are bonuses throughout the tree to the class's melee ability and to the close range AoE (5 meters).
There is no such thing as a "tanking AC" there is a tanking spec within certain ACs. As such not all abilities gained by the AC are for tanking.

I'm not trying to ruin your dreams here. BH and Trooper tanks will totally have a different feel from the other tanks and they'll have lots of ranged options from their main class. I'm just saying that their spec plays around getting mobs close to them and keeping them there.
Range options != range tank.

edit to add:
Powertech AC description says "getting up close and personal to take down enemies of all size."
The Vanguard one doesn't really mention much so I guess the latest in-game description might differ from the one here on Torhead.

By Phabien at 2011-12-09 11:59:29

LOL. You're not ruining my dreams. I plan on rolling Merc with a BH and Assassin for tanking. Further more I think you missunderstand what I mean when I say melee vs ranged tank. When I say ranged tank, I don't mean Ranged Like a Smuggler, Sorc, IA, etc. I mean ranged as in NOT melee. I mean MID-RANGE 5-20 meters. Kiting them around, hitting them with a melee attack or two if they get in to close, then breaking back a few paces and continuing to keep them out of arms reach. In other words, keeping the mob close (and away from the ranged classes) and hitting them with gunfire, but not allowing them to get in close and melee them to bits, like Jedi Knight would want to, for more than a few moments. I don't mean Range Tank in the form of the idea that they will be standing at 30meters (100feet-ish) away firing behind cover or something silly like that. Let's not allow the semantics of the what is considered 'Range' monopolize this conversation (in my opinion, and I believe other would agree, range is considered anything beyond melee reach).

10 meters, btw, is not really that close, it is around 33 feet, as a meter is around 3.29 feet. And in game melee range is (i believed) considered 4 meters or less, so its around 2.5x fater than that. I think thats where the 'mid-range' comes in. I wouldn't consider a 3 story building a short building to fall off of, but thats neither here nor there. My point is I don't think the dev's invisioned ranged tanks standing toe to toe taking massive melee damage from mobs, I believe based on what I've seen and read, that the intention is for them to maintain space (10-20meters I'm guessing is the intention) just as a melee tank is required to maintain proximity and it works much the same way as druid used to kite in old school EQ and how frost mages kite in WOW. It's a really creative mechanic in my opinion. The only thing I was suggesting is that the dev's will likely need to impliment something to ensure that ranged tanks and melee tanks have comperable TPS and tanking ability as Range and the space that comes with it allows for some backdoor damamge mitigation and also allows you to get extra attacks off that a melee class could not in the same timeframe. That's all I was refering too.

It's like in Wow, how every melee class has options for speeding up run speed (perminent speed increases, not in burts or on a CD, in and out of combat) to help copensate for the fact that they have to constantly maintain melee range to ensure max dps. There have been numerous studies that show mathmatically that there is a direct and quite large drop in DPS between melee classes WITH +15% move speed talents verses identiacally geared/spec'd characters of the same class WITHOUT the +15% move speed. So yeah melee is at a dissadvantage when it comes to throughput without some sort of compensation. It's another reason why in the last WoW patch they adjusted the +AP from things to give melee +20%AP and Ranged +10%AP bonuses, because again, ranged classes are at a clear advantage for damage/threat production. Ever try tanking in WoW and have a mage fire off pyroblast when you're still 30ft from the mob, its very frustrating, same thing is true here.

I don't buy that BH/TRP are not supposed to range tank to some extent (see paragraph one for what I mean by range). If so, why is it that you always see them standing at range tanking in the videos? Why haven't they highlighted more of their Melee abilities and shown them rushing in an going all melee crazy? And again, i'm NOT saying that they won't be close to a mob, 10 meters is "close" to a mob compaired to the true ranged classes like Mercs, unslingers, and Marksman, but I'm saying they will not be MELEEing them, atleast not in the same way that Marauders, and Assassins would be. They will be keeping some distance (out of melee range) but not standing at 50 feet away from behind cover. That is to say, where a melee tank will be in your face smelling your breath a ranged tank is going to be a few yards away shooting you and trying not to let you close into melee range to much.

I could be completely wrong, but based on what I have seen and read thatm I believe is how the dev's invisioned the ranged tank classes. and I hope they stick with it, because I think it's a really great idea and a very different way of tanking.

By asakawa at 2011-12-09 12:45:51
Phabien said:My point is I don't think the dev's invisioned ranged tanks standing toe to toe taking [...] melee damage from mobs

Yes, I think that's absolutely how they're expected to play.

I believe based on what I've seen and read, that the intention is for them to maintain space (10-20meters I'm guessing is the intention) just as a melee tank is required to maintain proximity

I not only think this is not the intention but it will be impossible for them to do so.

A BH/Trooper tank is built around mitigating incoming damage just as much as the other tanks. They're going to be taking hits, not kiting to avoid them.

I have no idea which videos you're referring to but the only official videos I've seen of BH/Troopers have not included tank specced characters and certainly haven't shown tanking in real situations.
I really just don't want you to be disappointed when you find that these tanks have nothing like the play style you're imagining for them.

By Phabien at 2011-12-09 13:53:03

I won't be dissapointed, I see get that as the idea. If it doesnt happen I won't loose sleep over it. Anyway, you very well may be right, I've never really disagreed with that. Merely, I stated that I feel based on what I've read and seen (it was the flashpoint video where the trooper was the tank, I don't recall the name of it, I can find it if you really care that much and maybe that was in an earlier build, who knows this is all speculative anyway), that was the impression that I got. However I must and do acquiesce that it will or atleast may be difficult to have the class work that way, but that certainly doesnt mean its impossible. Also, I do not disagree that they will take hits either, they are tanks after all, merely they could take less direct hits because they are ranged and could kite.

However, -none- of this at all disproves my statement that due to thier wide selection of ranged abilities (just because you can use them at Point Blank Range, doesn't change that they are still ranged attack and still usable at 10meters and, in some cases, beyond), that they are not, be merit of thier abilities, more range friendly than the melee class tanks (see previous post about the advantage of range vs melee). I stand by the my position that there will likely be some adjustments made to TPS, or elsewhere perhaps, to account for the fact that due to the inherent advantages of thier ranged abilties they will have an easier time gaining and regaining threat and will do so at father distances and faster than a melee class (without some sort of adjustment in place) and also that thier dps may potentially be higher by virtue of the fact that they are ranged and thus have more time of target on average than melee, unless BW has (which as I stated initally I believe they likely have already forseen this and addressed) implemented some steps to adjust for these differences.

You have made an excellent case for your belief in how the mechanics will work, but not really addressed my core point of the advantages of range vs melee especially from the standpoint of tanking as it pertains to threat acuisition and maintainence. And maybe, as I've also stated, once tested at release, I could come to see that I am comletely wrong and over analyzing the situation. Until adequate datamining and testing can be done to compare the differences it's all just speculation and theorycrafting. I was and am merely expressing a concern.

This is all probably just a moot point, more likely than not, though. As I have stated, if this ever was an issue it was likely discovered in early beta, or even alpha testing, and addressed and my concerns are merely that and have already been fixed or never existed in the first place. BW has to polished of a game and combat system for something this silly to have gone unnoticed I would imagine.

By Elviswind at 2011-12-10 11:22:08

This is a fairly decent video of a powertech tank from beta.

By Amythiel at 2011-12-10 11:44:21
You definitely won't be kite-tanking mobs around as a Powertech/Vanguard. You have the advantage of a few more ranged abilities but once the mobs get in melee you'll stay there and deal with them in melee. They have the same mitigation as Juggernaut/Guardian and Assassin/Shadow, trying to run around kiting would be counter productive, and melee dps classes would hate you for that.
By vortae at 2011-12-10 18:25:50
The powertech/vanguard is a ranged tank is so much as. If the enemy, for whatever reason stands just out of melee range you can engage it. But you will not be "choosing" to fight at range. Stock strike/rocket punch is one of your bread and butter abilities for single target tanking.
At present powertech is one of the stronger tanks, if not the strongest. Juggernaut is surprisingly squishy for a tank class. Not saying it can't tank but atm the powertech is quite a bit stronger, partially because of its abilities at range and its abilities to draw aggro of adds etc without having to get melee close to them.
Check this vid. its pvp but it is epic and shows the survivability of a powertech
By Phabien at 2011-12-11 07:54:44
You have the advantage of a few more ranged abilities

atm the powertech is quite a bit stronger, partially because of its abilities at range and its abilities to draw aggro of adds etc without having to get melee close to them

This was 100% was and is my point since my first post. This advantage is concerning because it will make the ranged tanks more disrable than traditional tanks for this reason alone.

That was my original point and then we kind of got off subjuct with the ranged tank concept, but the original concern I had expressed was the possibility of an inherent advange of being able to gain sugnificant threat/deal dps from range as a tank over melee tanks, which I'm not going to reidderate since I've already posted on it several times in this thread so you'll have to read those if you want to catch up.

As for the ranged tank and kite tanking, all I was trying to say was it would be possible given the ranged abilities, and at one point they we're being touted as "mid-Range" tanks. And I don't think the dps would care or should care of the tank is moving. Static tanking is a thing of the past. Atleast 1/4, if not closer to 1/2 of scripted fights (bosses/encounters. non-trash fights) involving moving these days in similar games, and even if BW has not implimented it yet, to be competitive with other titles, they will. It's to bad that people don't use thier ranged advantage more--I would. Hense why I thought it could be an issue as that advantage really stood out to me the first time I read they could be tanks. It seems to me that would be the intention (again as I have discussed) based on what I've seen and read. But as I said I played a Merc in Beta so I never say that side of a BH and I tanked with an Darkness Inq and was purely speaking on the potential to do so. Still it doesnt change my concerns about TPS because regaurdless, as the many, many ranged abilities are still there.

As for PvP and BH tnkas being tough comment, thats a whole other animal from pve tanking, but I imaging BHs will be one of the dominent classses in PVP (or else they would be a lame excuse for a BH, lol). And I never once doubted thier survivability, so I don't know where thats coming from (directed at op maybe? or simply people just don't read everything someone is saying or take it out of context). Anyway thanks for the imput. It's to bad that they are played that way, as it seemed like a creative idea, but as I also stated in a previous post I'm not surprised it wasn't practicle, either. Still, after reading Vortae's confirmation of what I was already concerned about being true I'm certainly hoping BW addresses it before we see nothing but Trooper and BH tanks running (or rather, Flying) around, lol.

By AstralFire at 2011-12-11 07:58:44
Based on my experience with a Jedi Shadow, Ranged Tanking means that you'll be able to keep threat on secondary and tertiary targets from mid-range, but your primary target will require that you be melee. Mid-Range isn't an advantage to avoid taking damage in a game where almost everyone has a gun - it's an advantage to avoid having to spend forever positioning with things like Line of Sight.
By Phabien at 2011-12-11 08:05:30
@ Astralfire

Again this was and is is my concern because melee tanks do not have this kind of capibility. Also, that is esentially ranged tanking, if you can keep a mobs aggro (even on secondary targets) without having to melee them and dps are hitting them, well, that sounds a lot like ranged tanking, just not in the same sense I mentioned earlier. Still I don't know if that would be possible for a melee tank to do, atleast without running to the mob, hense the advange of ranged tanks.

A similar issue has occured in WoW time and again, where certain tanks are desired so much that if you want to tank end game you had to role that class. I played a Warrior tank since vanilla, and I can tell you know tank class was more shafted than they were. Pallies were desired for the 969 and Conc for AOE aggro and because of DI and buffs and the mere fact that with bubble and LOH and stun-heal they essentially had 2-3 lives before they go down, and Druids because they had the best dps and aggro of other tanks. Warriors were "ok since we can't find anyone else we'll take you," tanks. This is what I dont want to see with Ranged tanks vs the rest because one tank type (the rnaged tanks) has a clear advantage over the the others. Not saying they should be nerffed, just saying the TPS will probably have to be adjusted or some other minor adjustment made to account for what is clearly a pretty sugnifficant advantage on paper.
By AstralFire at 2011-12-11 08:33:20

Keeping threat on multiple mobs is definitely a relative weakness of the Jedi Guardian, but how much of a weakness it is with mobility CDs for moving around in combat remains to be seen. It's not as though the JG lacks 10m moves either, it just has fewer of them on longer CDs.

A Warrior playing since vanilla complaining about having been 'the most shafted tank class' kinda makes me laugh, though. :P

By Phabien at 2011-12-11 08:40:43

Well, it was more getting shafted in BC and beyond. LOL, but yeah... there was a reason I rolled a warrior tank, and it wasn't to get not just competition from Pallies/Druid, but completely replaced by them in the expansions... lol :)

Well having played a SI Tank I can tell you even with the movement stuff and Cds its still a dissadvantage because we have to burn cds, use NRG, move to the target, and worst of wall it some ways: trigger the GCD when all a Ranged tank has to do is point and shoot, they don't even have to move, really, lol. That's a pretty bigg advantage if you ask me, hense an adjustment to compensate, I don't know what, it's to early to tell, if anything needs to be done but it is just a concern I had from minute one.

By AstralFire at 2011-12-11 08:53:48
As a Jedi Shadow (SI mirror), I didn't feel disadvantaged versus vanguards at all once I broke the 30s. 6s CD on Project, Force Pull, spammable PBAoEs, about every 15s or so a 10m range high threat channel that can't be interrupted, 20s CD on a blazing fast sprint... threat is really not a concern for a Jedi Shadow.
By Phabien at 2011-12-11 11:11:30
As a Jedi Shadow (SI mirror), I didn't feel disadvantaged versus vanguards at all once I broke the 30s.

You shouldn't have to wait until the last 1/3 of the game to not feel dissandvantaged. So I hope they tweek this a little so that it is on par with other classes. Also, that still doesn't adress the core issue here, mobs that you don't already have threat on. I know that once you have establish threat all the tank lcasses seem pretty good about keeping it. But I'm talking establishing threat initially and specifically refering to tanking ranged units and also regainingaggro if a dps pulls it off a add before you had a chance to establish aggro.

By AstralFire at 2011-12-11 11:18:29
1) It's more like the last 2/3 of the game, because your level rate slows.
2) Be nice if they fixed it for lower level tanks, but it's not a big deal IMO.
3) Establishing threat initially is not a problem for the Shadow and Assassin. Crit Project/Shock is really nice.
By Amythiel at 2011-12-11 11:29:02

Level 30 is nothing. And don't Vanguards get their charge ability only at 30? All of the true tanking abilities of Vanguards have only a 10m range, which really isn't a lot. Shadow/Assassin tanks also have a few 10m range abilities, the can even get a 30m one if they chose to sacrifice the top tier tanking talent for one in the other tree. The only 30m abilities a Vanguard gets are the few you receive until level 10.

I imagine it will be possible to tank stuff up to lvl30 without even throwing any talents into the tanking trees, simply using the "threat stance". Someone specced into the tanking tree will simply have an easier time.

It's only going to start to matter if you're specced into tanking around 30-35 an onward and by then all the tanks will have their crucial skills unlocked.

In the end all that matters is whether you enjoy your class or not.

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