Welcome to the war, comrades. You have been selected to receive the latest training and tactics fresh from the warfront. The tried-and-true strategies you are about to hear are extremely effective and CLASSIFIED. Let’s get to the briefing. Today, we will discuss the value of different secondary stats in PvP with regards to tanks.
More after the Jump…
This week we are continuing last week’s series with a look at secondary stats that are specific to tanks.
One quick note: Again, I will remind you that because of diminishing returns, I am a big proponent of stat prioritization instead of stat stacking. I like to have a balance of stats with an emphasis on certain areas, rather than pushing all of my points into one stat.
Georg Zoeller posted this a long time ago (long enough that I cannot remember where, but it is quoted in about 400 places on the internet, so I am not making it up).
First is a hit roll, accuracy versus defense, and if the attacker misses then no damage occurs. If the attacker rolled poorly enough to miss even discounting the target’s defense then a “Miss” result occurs. If he misses because of the defense then the result varies based on the attack type, the cover state of the target, and the target’s equipped weapons. All the possible results – Dodge, Parry, Deflect, Resist, Cover – are mathematically the same, but they can trigger different effects and are visualized in different ways.
If the attacker hits, then a second roll is made with the crit chance of the attacker versus the shield chance of the target. If a Crit or a Shield occurs then the damage is adjusted up or down (based on Surge/Absorb), and then it goes through to the armor and damage resistance. A critical can never be shielded, and an attacker with a high enough crit chance can push the target’s shield chance off the table. It shouldn’t be possible to get your passive crit chance high enough to start pushing off the target’s shield chance, but there are short-duration buffs that push these chances high enough to come into conflict.
This is important to know, simply because it helps us understand things like critical rating going against shield rating, etc. I will reference this later.
Damage Types and Attack Types
Another thing that is important to know is the difference between the damage types and the attack types. Every skill in the game has an attack type and damage type. Basically, when a skill is used, the attack type determines how the skill’s damage might be avoided, and the damage type determines how the skill’s damage will be mitigated.
An attack type is specific to each skill, and is broken down into “White” and “Yellow” damage, based off of the color of the FlyText that you see when you do or receive damage. Melee and Ranged are White attack types, and Force and Tech are Yellow attack types. To find out what kind of damage we are talking about for a particular skill, look at the skill in your skill panel (default P). More on this in a bit.
A damage type is also specific to each skill, but is a sub-classification of the attack type. Essentially, after we decide whether or not the skill hits, the damage done is calculated taking into account the damage type and the mitigations of the target. The four types of damage are Energy, Kinetic, Elemental, and Internal. Energy and Kinetic are mitigated by Armor. Internal and Elemental are not.
A good example of a skill that can have several layers of defense involved is Blade Storm/Force Scream. This Knight/Warrior skill is a Kinetic Force attack. It cannot be shielded or defended against (except through the rare resistance) because it is a Force attack, but it is mitigated by Armor because it is Kinetic damage.
Here are the stats that are specific to tanks in their benefits.
Shield rating increases shield chance. Yellow attacks (Force and Tech) cannot be shielded directly, but White attacks can be shielded. Guard damage (damage that you take because of the guard mechanic) can also be shielded. This is regardless of whether the guarded person took Yellow or White damage.
As mentioned in the quote from Georg Zoeller, critical attacks cannot be shielded, so critical rating is the counter for this defense type.
Obviously, shield rating is useless without a shield equipped.
The Defense tooltip breaks down into several subclasses. Melee dodge, ranged dodge, and resistance are all piled in here. The first two obviously are for White attacks only; resistance is for Force and Tech attacks. That being said, pumping points into defense does not raise resistance, only dodge. There are only a few skills in the game that boost resistance past the baseline 0% level (Assassins and Shadows have one, and it may be the only one). So boosting defense raises the avoidance of White damage types, but doesn’t help against Yellow.
Accuracy cuts through defense, making it the counter for this defense type.
Absorb simply determines how much damage you will take from a shielded attack. As can be imagined, shield rating takes priority over this stat. Like shield rating this is a useless stat without a shield equipped.
Armor is a special stat because everyone has it, and it is universally useful to all classes. The degree to which it is useful depends on the class, though. Tanks can really take advantage of this stat, since guard damage is mitigated by armor. Also, two of the direct damage types, Energy and Kinetic, are mitigated by armor. That does mean that Elemental and Internal affect all targets equally, regardless of armor.
Which Kind of Tank Are You?
Something to consider when it comes to tanking in PvP is the playstyle of the tank-like player. Unlike in Operations, there are multiple ways to be “tanky” in PvP.
This is essentially a playstyle that is focused on surviving damage from players, but not necessarily on being a tank. Like any good tank in PvP, you will use your taunts to help turn the tide, but you won’t be guarding allies, and you won’t be in tank stance. This is usually when you are specced in a different talent tree than your tank tree.
Tanks that spec to be Sturdy DPS should try to stack Endurance and rely on weapon damage skills, rather than Force or Tech skills. The reason for this is by going for Endurance, we are not getting as much of our primary stat (Aim, Strength, and Willpower), which is the primary contributor to Force and Tech damage. The primary stat has less effect on weapon damage (which is determined mostly by the main-hand and off-hand weapons and the Power stat).
You also might consider equipping a Focus or Power Generator to help fill in the extra Force Power or Tech Power lost from your trade to Endurance from your main stat.
Because you will want to use the Focus or Power Generator, you are somewhat limited in defensive stats. Armor is always good, but again, it only works against Energy and Kinetic attacks. Defense is also good, but only against White attacks. You are really left vulnerable against players that know what they are doing. Therefore, don’t worry about being a hybrid. Go ahead and emphasize Power or Critical Rating over the defensive stats.
Tank-stance, not guarding
This is what a lot of Guardians and Juggernauts do. Because they are excellent ball-carriers in Huttball, they will often forsake guarding people in lieu of being a mobile powerhouse. If you are not guarding, but are in tank-stance, you will still want to go for Armor and Endurance like above, but with more Shield Rating and Defense instead of the DPS stats like Power and Critical Rating.
This is what tanks in Ranked Warzones tend to favor. Guarding a healer will mean that you will take a ton of damage, and I mean A TON! It is very important to stack Shield Rating and Absorbance if you plan on keeping people guarded. Endurance is also critical, as a high health pool will help you survive longer when they really start to focus the healer.
It is important to note that you will not be directly more survivable as a result of these stats, because the same limitations with damage and attack types exist. That being said, the healer will take a lot less damage, and you should survive guarding them better with this stat makeup. If for some reason they decide to attack you directly, that healer will return the favor and keep you alive.
I hope this gives you an idea of what tanks should be looking for in PvP when it comes to stats. Let me know if you have any thoughts or if I missed anything.
Use this information well, soldier. Fight for victory and die with honor. Till our next briefing, DISMISSED!