SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis

SWTOR 4.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide by Aelanis.

Intro to Darkness Assassin

Darkness is one of the 3 unique tanking specializations in SWTOR. It has, under optimal play, the lowest Damage Taken Per Second (DTPS) of any of the three tanks before counting Defensive Cooldowns (DCDs), and brings some nice utility and one of the cheesiest DCDs in the game to the table. To achieve this, though, requires a slightly higher level of awareness and precision than with the other two tanks.

The 4.0 shift of Absorb from being a secondary to a tertiary stat isn’t the most pleasant thing ever, but it’s not the end of the world. We’re also really feeling the cooldown increase on Force Speed, as it has cut our mobility handily, even with the addition of Phantom Stride. With a final nose-thumbing, we also had our Assassin’s Shelter utility changed to be just about worthless, as the heal is miniscule (<1.5k) and the DR, while potentially helpful, just doesn’t pack the same punch as 5% increased healing from anyone standing in your old love puddle.

Despite all this, Assassin tanks are still in a very, very solid place. Our Dark Ward, and Bulwark, is better than ever, we have middle of the road DPS compared to the other two tanks,good snap threat, and very strong passive threat. The change to critical has also helped a lot with snap threat, in that a Recklessness Energized Shock will now hit for upwards of 10k damage on a boss in full Hard Mode gear. Between these strengths, very high mitigation chances (upwards of 60% passively on Shield and Absorb!), and some pretty cheesy moves, a good Assassin tank should be welcome in any group.

Utility Choices

Utilities as an Assassin tank, after the 4.0 changes, are a little lackluster. The cooldown reduction on Force Speed isn’t as strong as it used to be, and we lost a really useful Heroic tier utility.

  • Misdirection/Obfuscation: Movement speed is love, movement speed is life. If you can increase your movement speed, you probably should. (Skillful)
  • Mind Over Matter/Disjunction: This utility takes one of the cheesiest abilities in the game (Resilience/Shroud) and makes it last longer. For bonus points, it lets you travel further with Force Speed. This utility is extremely useful as a tank. (Masterful)

The following utilities have varied uses, and can make certain fights or phases of fights much easier.

  • Shadowy Veil/Insulation: Useful for if you know at least one person in the raid is going to take continuous, somewhat frequent damage. Lots of boss fights throw raid damage out, keep your eyes open for those instances. (Skillful)
  • Mental Defense/Shapeless Spirit: Useful for the few occasions where you get stunned and beaten to near death, such as when tanking Pearl. 30% reduced damage is huge, and should not be underestimated if you’re going to take damage while stunned. (Skillful)
  • Lambaste: Lots of adds? Sick of trash pulls taking forever? This ability will help you significantly contribute to your group’s AoE damage, and will make holding threat much easier, especially with the Lacerate damage boost on Unsteady targets (the damage boostsare multiplied in threat by your stance, too!) (Skillful)
  • Egress/Emersion:This is a utility used to make DPS Assassins jealous for a reason. It’s invaluable on fights where there are persistent slows, back to back roots, or enemies leaping to you. This utility makes The Underlurker Hard Mode a little more bearable, as well as a few other bosses.(Masterful)
  • Fade: As odd a choice as this might seem, it can actually be quite useful for a tank. In fights where you take a lot of damage (as the tank, this should be all fights), and where you can spend time not actively tanking a boss, Assassins have the neat trick of being able to reset their once-per-fight medpack by using Force Cloak. Taking Fade allows you to synchronize the cooldowns of both Force Cloak and your medpack, allowing for the maximum amount of usage of that medpack. (Masterful)
  • Containment/Haunted Dreams: Very situational. In fights with non-CC immune enemies (read: Revanite Commanders), it can be very useful to point at an enemy and insta-mez them for 8 seconds. (Heroic)

With so many situationally useful choices, the utilities I pick for each fight can vary greatly, and rarely do I have the exact same set of utilities for multiple fights (though the utility point assignment bug makes this really annoying). Unfortunately, there are too many fights now to list a set of utilities for each one, but there are guides out there for each fight (conveniently on this website) to figure out which utilities work best on which fight.

Unfortunately, since so many of the utilities we have are only situationally useful in PvE, we see a few fights where there are only 5 truly good utilities to take, and so you have some room for personal preference, though it won’t really make a difference. I like Force Harmonics/Audacity for the little extra threat bump it provides, as well as helping me be less of a slouch in my DPS.

Gearing and Stats Priority

The spike damage present in the current hard mode and nightmare mode operations varies from being unnoticeable to being near one-shots. If you’re comfortable going with maximum mitigation, read on. However, if you wish to gear against these spikes, you’ll want to skip a little bit lower. I have always preferred the mean mitigation method of tank gearing for Assassins up until 4.0, but will be using higher endurance gear this time around. For the mean mitigation theory you’ll want to view this post by KeyboardNinja, an excellent theorycrafter with an excellent program written to calculate gear for the best possible mean mitigation at discrete gear levels. As of the writing of this guide, the post hasn’t been updated to 4.0 numbers yet, but provides an excellent primer for how things work. However, dipstik has stepped up and produced some numbers, here at each gear level. This guide mostly uses Bant’s work here, though, which I’ve done my best to interpolate through gear levels.

As a side note, dipstik’s numbers do not represent achievable gear ratings (there’s no way to swap 3 points from shield to absorb at the 220 B Mod with 224 enhancements option), which is why I’ve opted to use Bant’s work.

For specific gear levels, using all gear at that level, your stat budget will look like:

Defiant:Defense: 2639, Shield: 1204, Absorb: 1338 (Total: 5181)

Exarch:Defense: 2779, Shield: 1252, Absorb: 1370 (Total: 5401)

Ultimate Exarch:Defense: 2931, Shield: 1300, Absorb: 1402 (Total: 5633)

Spike Mitigation

If you favor having some more hit points to take bigger spikes without sacrificing too much in the way of mitigation, you will want to trade away your token mods for the B lettered mods that drop in Operations and come from the Commendations vendors on fleet. Updating the previous values for B mods, you would get:

Defiant:Defense: 2441, Shield: 1125, Absorb: 1417 (Total: 4983)

Exarch:Defense: 2581, Shield: 1165, Absorb: 1457 (Total: 5203)

Ultimate Exarch:Defense: 2670, Shield: 1212, Absorb: 1490 (Total: 5372)

Beyond this, you may wish, at whatever level you are comfortable with, to trade some Absorb back into Shield. You would want to do this because you’re trying to reduce spikiness in your damage profile. When you have high absorb, but lower shield, you absorb a lot when you shield, and take normal damage when you don’t, resulting in a large difference between shielding and not shielding a hit, and Defense is a bigger culprit, since you take no damage at all from a defended hit. However, if you trade Absorb for Shield, you will shield more attacks, even if you take more damage when you do, which helps to stabilize your profile, and will help you take the edge off of big hits. However, this causes you to take more damage overall, and will cause a little more stress on your healers since they have to heal you for that extra damage you’re taking.

Here is a link to a Google Spreadsheet I made to help you out with your gearing. It has a page each for B Mods and Maximum Mitigation. If you enter your total stat budget, with your stim active, into the appropriate cell, it will spit back out at you your ideal mean mitigation budget, based on Bant’s most updated values. Feel free to copy the formulas into your own spreadsheet to keep for yourself, or you can just continue to use this one. Please be considerate of others, though. If the calculations in the sheet can be edited because I messed up the protection settings, please let me know and I will fix that as quickly as I can.
Personally, though, for gearing, despite all of what I’m said, I’m not yet sure that even using just B Mods will be enough to survive the spikes from Raptus NiM in particular. I’ll be trying out a slightly different method for gearing, where I look only at the shield/absorb values at each level, and run high endurance, medium tertiary, low defense enhancements, and see how I feel with that. It will require my healers to be more on their toes, but it should prevent one shots.

A Visual Representation

The first graph represents how much of each stat you should have, by Mean Mitigation theory, at each gear level, and shows the interpolation between points in Bant’s data. It shows it as a percent of your total gear value. The second graph is for if you’re using B mods. Those of you paying close attention at home may realize that they’re not curves, they’re two just two lines passing through 3 data points, one of which is shared. I’m planning on making a quadratic interpolation graph at some point, but the results will barely be different when I do. Should KBN ever put out his tables again, I’ll be sure to update the guide accordingly.

swtor-4.0-darkness-assassin-tanking-guide

swtor-4.0-darkness-assassin-tanking-guide-2

Accuracy: 10% given from Tank Stance + 1% Companion buff = 101% Accuracy

Armorings: Force Wielder, you need the extra Endurance, which benefits from your 3% boost in your Discipline. Also, all of your set bonus armorings will be of this type anyway.

Mods: For Mean Mitigation Theory, you want unlettered mods. For a strategy that tries to survive spikes, grab those B mods. Either way, if you’re upgrading, and trading away less than 1 point of mitigation per point of Endurance you pick up, carefully consider the trade.

Enhancements: Immunity and Sturdiness enhancements are your bread and butter. Anything else trades away mitigation stats for Endurance at a poor rate. However, if you have the choice between a 186 rated Sturdiness vs. a 198 Bulwark, you should take the Bulwark. As you gear up, always ask yourself: “am I getting more than one point of Endurance for each point of mitigation stat that I trade away?” If you’re comfortable with the trade, then take it. If you really want to stack up on hit points for those spikes, though, going with the Bulwark and Bastion enhancements is always an option.

Implants/Earpiece: The commendation pieces are actually decent, they trade Endurance at almost a 1:1 rate with Mitigation. Mean Mitigation theory still says to take the token versions, however. The Mk-2 pieces this time are far, far better than in 3.0, and you may want to run them for the extra endurance.

Relics: Reactive Warding and Shield Amplification. If you’re crazy, you can also carry around a Fortunate Redoubt relic for those fights that are 95% or more melee damage, but the difference in mitigation is going to be pretty small, along with that meaning there are not going to be very large spikes. Personally, I will be using the two I suggested.

Set Bonus

  • (2) Slow Time/Wither increases DR by 2% for three seconds. You can pick this up without sacrificing the old bonus, and it’s a really nice boost, and worth more than armorings a few stages up, if you get it on your belt and bracers (you should). Consider it a free 0.66 time averaged DR.
  • (4) Slow Time/Wither reduces the CD of taunts by two seconds. This is pretty underwhelming, but can be useful to achieve a 3 taunt rotation in your opener with an 18 second duration of taunt on the boss.Otherwise, not terribly useful in PvE.
  • (6) The duration of Deflection is increased by 3 seconds and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds. It’s pretty nifty, and with the 3.0 6 piece now baseline, there’s no reason to not pick it up.

Getting the new 6 piece is essential if you want to tank Hard Mode operations in this expansion. Please note, the 3.0 and 4.0 bonuses don’t stack, and so you can’t run both and still get the 6 piece bonus.

Abilities and Rotation

Unlike the other two tanks, Assassin tanks have to pay close attention to their buffs and ability cooldowns in order to maintain their optimal mitigation, and their threat to less of a degree. They have to build and spend 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness, manage their Dark Ward, and keep up their 2 tank debuffs on the target, which can be tough to get used to for new players, and with the changes to Kinetic Ward, potentially tough to get used to for experienced players. As a reminder, you should always open from stealth as a tank, due to the way the Conspirator’s Cloak talent works.

Abilities in your main rotation

  • Depredating Volts
  • Shock
  • Wither
  • Thrash
  • Maul
  • Discharge
  • Saber Strike

Situational abilities (out of range or AOE):

  • Lacerate
  • Force Pull

Maximum Threat Opener (no new 4 piece)

image011 1. Force Pull – this ability generates over a whopping 11k threat, and is your best immediate option, bar none. Proceed to Phantom Stride into range off the GCD (bosses are physics immune, so pull won’t bring them to you)
image005 2. Shock
 image006+ image012 3. Wither + Mind Control (taunt immediately after Wither)
image009 4. Discharge (with proc, swap with next GCD if no proc yet)
image007 5. Thrash
image005 6. Shock (if you triggered Energize, use Recklessness on this attack, for the insane threat boost from the extra damage from the auto-crit)
 image004+image013 7. Depredating Volts under Recklessness (use Recklessness here if you didn’t use it on the previous global). If you have all 4 raidwide buffs present, along with the sunder armor and extra Force damage debuffs on the target, you may see up to 6,000 damage ticks on Depredating Volts, which generates a ludicrous amount of threat. Immediately use Mass Mind Control afterwards.
image008 8. Maul (Thrash if you haven’t had an Energize proc yet)
image005 9. Shock
image006 10. Wither
image012 11. Thrash (Maul if you haven’t used it yet) and taunt again when it comes off of cooldown to ensure you maintain threat.

This rotation has a brief (2 GCD window) where you can lose top threat on the boss to burst dps, but is the best you can do without the new 4 piece set bonus.

Maximum Threat Opener (with new 4 piece)

image011 1. Force Pull
 image005+image012 2. Shock + Mind Control
image006 3. Wither
image009 4. Discharge (with proc, swap with next GCD if no proc yet)
image007 5. Thrash
 image005+image013 6. Shock (Use Recklessness first if you have Energize) + Mass Mind Control
image004 7. Depredating Volts under Recklessness (use Recklessness here if you haven’t yet)
image008 8. Maul (Thrash if you haven’t had an Energize proc yet)
image005 9. Shock
image006+image012 10. Wither + Mind Control

While you don’t have your threat from Depredating Volts under your second taunt (and multiplied again under your third) you have 18 straight seconds of taunt on the boss with no gaps, and without help from your second tank, who is free to then use their high threat rotation with their triple taunt rotation.

Advanced tip: If you’re feeling a little cheeky, you can actually pre-cast Crushing Darkness before you use your Force Pull, so long as you leave stealth as you begin the cast. You will run very low on Force in the first 2 Depredating Volts rotations, but it will produce higher threat. The trick is to be just under 10 meters, and step back as your cast finishes so you can Force Pull and Phantom Stride right back in to melee range so the boss doesn’t even move. It’s pretty beautiful when orchestrated correctly.

Ability Priority:

image004 1. Depredating Volts with 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness
image006 2. Wither (builds stacks of Harnessed Darkness, maintains Weakened debuff)
image005 3. Shock (builds stacks of Harnessed Darkness) (with or without Energize)
image009 4. Discharge (very high threat, to maintain the Unsteady debuff)
image014 5. Assassinate (execute phase only ability)
image008 6. Maul (with Conspirator’s Cloak Buff, also triggers Energize)
image007 7. Thrash (triggers Energize)
saberstrike 8. Saber Strike (< 35 Force with Shock or Wither coming off of cooldown)

AoE Rotation & ability priorities:

image004 1. Depredating Volts (if Dark protection duration almost out)
image006 2. Wither
image009 3. Discharge
image005 4. Shock (with Energize and at < 3 stacks Harnessed Darkness)
image010 5. Lacerate
image013 6. AoE taunt if you lose aggro on too many

Make sure to use Force Pull and Overload to group enemies up on AoE pulls/phases so that they can be more effectively killed.

Recklessness

Recklessness simultaneously gives you 2 stacks of the Recklessness buff and a 20 second long, 30% extra Absorb boost (that’s additive to your value). Unfortunately, you need the extra threat in your opening rotation, and so you’ll use it there, despite its value as a defensive ability. As for what to use it on, your first choice is Depredating Volts, since it does so much damage. For your second move, if you can, you want to use it on an Energized Shock, due to the incredible threat it generates, unless you’re in an AoE situation, in which case you would use it on Discharge. However, don’t delay Shock for Energize, as you need to build your Harnessed Darkness stacks as quickly as you can.

Harnessed Darkness

Your mitigation method that shapes your rotation is based around building and spending stacks of the Harnessed Darkness buff, which does nothing on its own, but provides 4% additive DR against all types of attacks when you use the 3 on Depredating Volts to maintain the Dark protection buff at 4 stacks. A single tick of Depredating Volts is enough to refresh the duration on Dark Protection, but it only lasts 12 seconds. The key to maintaining the buff is to use Shock and Wither as soon as they come off cooldown, while prioritizing Shock, since it has a much shorter cooldown. You also want to try to keep from getting stunned or knocked back during your channel, to give you as much time as you can get to use Shock and Wither again.

Dark Ward

Dark Ward is, hands down, your best mitigation mechanic. You get pretty good shield and absorb boosts from the discipline, but this ability pushes your shield another 18% higher, so long as you maintain the buff and keep at least 1 stack of the initial 15. It also does not respect the GCD, so you can use it as you use other abilities (aside from Depredating Volts) However, due to the Dark Bulwark mechanic, you should only be refreshing Dark Ward as it is about to fall off. Depending on the fight, the difference in mitigation between using it on cooldown and only as necessary can be almost as large as letting Dark protection fall off. It’s one of the things that separate the excellent from the okay Assassin tanks. To make tracking this buff easier, you can sort your buffs on your buff bar (great 3.0 quality of life change!) by duration, and by your own buffs first, which makes it much easier to find the Ward buff quickly, so you can get back to paying attention to the fight.

Sample Dummy Parse

swtor-4.0-darkness-assassin-parse

As you can see, Depredating Volts is a massive portion of your threat, even as delayed as it was on this parse. You rely a lot on enemies hitting you to recover your force, and thus on a dummy parse, you see far more Saber Strikes than you would on a real boss fight. Beyond Depredating Volts, Shock and Wither are going to be your next highest abilities. Wither has much higher threat, but you can’t use it as often, and the longer cooldown makes you delay it for Shock, in order to make sure you can keep your Dark protection buff. Maul is a smaller percentage of my threat than it should have been (again, poor regeneration while not getting attacked), but per use is much higher threat than Thrash. Assassinate, once you reach the execute phase, will take precedence over any move that doesn’t generate Harnessed Darkness stacks, because it just generates so much threat.Discharge should have been a higher percentage, but with poor Force Regeneration, I could only use it enough to maintain the Unsteady debuff.

Cooldowns Usage

Defensive cooldowns are best used to mitigate large hits, or lots of small ones, and to buy the healers some time to get the situation back under control. As anAssassin, you also have an ability (Shroud) that lets you completely negate a large amount of nasty mechanics that other tanks have to deal with, but is mostly useful proactively, when you know the mechanic is coming.

  • Overcharge Saber: Grants you 25% additive damage reduction against all damage types for 15 seconds, on a 2 minute cooldown. It’s one of the shortest cooldowns and one of the strongest defensive abilities among any of the tanks, and works on all damage types. To top it off, it heals you for 15% of your total health (icing on the cake)
  • Deflection: Grants you 50% additive defense chance against melee and ranged attacks on a 2 minute cooldown. Not nearly so powerful as the previous ability, but still highly useful against packs of adds and against bosses who hit you very often with melee/ranged moves.
  • Shroud: 3 seconds (5 with the utility you should always have) seconds of immunity to Force and Tech damage, as well as purging you of all hostile, removable effects. Extremely useful in mitigating big hits from bosses, or ignoring mechanics entirely (such as eating all load lifters and Exonium carts on Bulo, or walking through the fires on Torque).
  • Recklessness: 30% Absorb boost for 20 seconds. Enough to make you feel invincible if you get a lucky shielding streak. Not so good against single, big attacks, but very useful against a large series of hits.
  • With the removal of Exotech Absorb Adrenals, I can’t really say what adrenal is best right now. When a consensus has been reached here, I’ll update the guide.
  • Prototype Anodyne Medpack – Heals you for 9743-11649 immediately, and an additional 2648 health extra over 15 seconds. You can reset your single use per fight by using Force Cloak, just beware of the consequences of dropping out of combat.

A very important part of learning how to tank is learning how to best use your defensive abilities to survive boss mechanics and which abilities are best against what. Recklessness and Deflection are very good against a large series of attacks (Deflection only being useful against melee and ranged), whereas Shroud and Overcharge Saber are far better for dealing with single, big hits. Overcharge Saber is also incredibly good for lots of small hits, but is your only ability that works on all damage types, and so you should always consider that when deciding on whether to use it or not.

Tanking and You & How to Improve

Milas wrote a very good section in his Powertech/Vanguard guide, labeled the same as this section. I suggest that you read it if you are new to tanking, as it’s quite informative, and anything I write here would be parroting him. Vanguard Guide/Powertech Guide. Please note, the guides are outdated, so do not follow any gearing or rotational advice in them.

About the Author

Aelanis is an avid forum-goer on theAssassin/Shadow forums, hailing from The Shadowlands. Despite having only raided Nightmare content since 2.8 released, Aelanis has been playing Shadow tank since 2.0 released and mained a Shadow tank since 2.3.If you play on the Shadowlands, you can reach him on Theraton, in Exit Area on the Imperial side, or Ellendra, in Death Mark on the Republic side.

  • Secrus

    Finally. Time for some dual-saber tanking 😀

  • needsomemiracle

    Been waiting for this forever! And now for some reading.

  • Strin

    Doesn’t Depreciating Volts actually add duration to the DR buff per tick, so it takes the full 3 seconds to gain 12 additional seconds worth of DR? I’ve noticed it seems to behave like this.

    • Aelanis

      Only if you start from 0 stacks. Each tick refreshes the duration to 12 seconds, so even if you get interrupted, you still get the duration refresh. However, you get slightly hurt if they interrupt you right after the 1st or 3rd tick, which come towards the beginning of the 2 globals that DV takes.

  • Secrus

    Did i understand this right that you gear up with B mods and mitigation(token drop) enhancements?

    • Strin

      You can. The best way that I’ve found to do so is save your tokens and just run hard modes a lot to get well-optimized gear, or use Purple Crystals to get the 220 gear that’s technically equivalent to optimized 216.

    • Aelanis

      That’s what I would suggest. Your mileage may vary.

      • Secrus

        Does this system apply to other tanks as well? Or is it Assassin only? Plus what implants and earpiece should i use? Mitigation or high endurance?

  • HighPredator

    IMHO darkness sins are the most broken tanks atm. They reach mitigation ceiling too fast and require health. The most optimal gearing way I use is 224 armorings and 220 comms mods+enhancements+ear+implants (stacking health essentially). This still gives more than 50% on shield and absorb but you end up with 83+k hp. Unlike 74+k when running optimized gear set. Raptus became sugnificantly easier once I did that.

    • ThatGuy

      People have been saying Sin tanks are broken, and they’ve been saying that for years. That said, I used to rock a Sin tank when DF/DP were the new hottness. Had no issues with HM or NiM. In fact, I was usually the last one alive if the group wiped (without /stuck-ing it). It’s all about knowing how to play your class, and how to gear your toon.

    • Aelanis

      80k is about the sweet spot to feel reasonably comfortable on Raptus, so I’m not surprised. Also, defense doesn’t mitigate against a lot of the really nasty spikes in this game, so it’s no wonder things seem easier when you start surviving one shots and don’t pick up much more dtps. That, and as long as you survive, healers are so strong right now that they can heal you through any sustained damage.

  • Vendrine

    I’ve personally been gearing with operation random dropped enhancements and b mods, which give medium defense and endurance. With near full gear that puts me at 85k hp, and the extra health does more to help than all the extra defense, imo at least.

    • Aelanis

      With as much defense as we already have, it’s hard to see the benefit of running a little more, but there is a benefit. Once you get past the “one shot threshold,” you really ought to stop stacking hp. With good healers, you need to be just beyond where you’ll get one shot (plus a small amount extra for if the boss has a follow up move), you should be able to survive anything in the game, it’s just a matter of how much stress you put on their resources after that point.

  • Sven

    Started my Sin tank a month ago, today I finally managed to get 216 full set bonus, only thing missing are the relics and I’ll be optimal on gear 🙂 Thank you for the great guide Aelanis^^

  • Ruhsek

    Thank you for taking the time creating and sharing this guide with us!

    For some time now, I have been considering making a tank char( and a sin tank, not less :] ) but certain subjects made me delay diving into the world of sin tanks.. I ask them more in relation to sin tanking than in general sense. If they are not totally noob questions, please enlightment me. :]

    First would be the usage of dcd against mobs. In ops and hm fps, I noticed that healers and tanks sometimes argue about the tank’s use of dcd against mobs – or the lack of it. In a situation e.x. where there are 6 strong mob, then should a sin tank pop Overcharge Saber/Recklessness/etc, or is gear, relic proc & Dark Ward/Harnessed Darkness good enough to not use them on nearly every mob groups until we reach the boss. The arguements between spiteful healers and tanks made this question unsolveble for me.

    Secondly, threat management against every mob. When there is a fair distance between mobs, pull one of them into the middle of them and AoE + AoE taunt, right? But if the number of mobs and their distance between each other doesn’t allow you to pull them into place where you can hit them/taunt without running from one place to another, losing aggro becomes certain, they gun for the healer, so as a dps, I switch to those mobs instead of letting them nuke the healer. Sometimes I get bashed for this from the tank/healer, ‘screwing up the tank’s rotation’, ‘belittling the healer’s survivability’ ‘stealing the tank’s role’ and ’misunderstanding my role as a dps’. Should a tank let the dps handle the mobs s/he cant keep under their threat and the healer will add themselve to the people that needs healing or should the dps handle the mobs attacking the healer? Or rather, is my thinking of there are situation where keeping aggro on everything is imposible incorrect?

    Sorry, if this is not the place to ask these and/or these questions have been answered on various times on various forums. :]

    • Aelanis

      For DCDs on trash, it’s honestly up to how good your healers are. Strong healers won’t need you to, weaker ones will. If you want to make your healers’ lives easier, just pop them. Then, if they’re not up for boss pulls, make everyone wait and blame the healers 😛

      Against large packs of mobs, hold your AoE taunt as long as you can until people start pulling them off of you. If you have a cotank, rotate AoE taunts. Your healers/dps should all be attempting to group them up so that they can be killed faster. If someone tells you that you shouldn’t help keep the healer alive in a group, call them on being really bad at this game, and then keep on doing your thing. If the healer dies, everyone dies, if slowly.

      In most cases, you should be able to hold aggro on everything, but in those situations where you can’t, letting DPS kill strays is very helpful to you, as long as “strays” doesn’t become “half the enemies.”

      • Ruhsek

        Thanks for clearing this up for me. Now I have enough info to start a sin tank. :]

    • Firbolgar Avangerson

      As a sin tank, I always have a DCD up for trash mobs. It’s called Dark Ward 😉 All joking aside, I don’t run HM FPs so I have no idea how hard the trash is. For NiM trash I will often pop DCDs just to be nice, not that the healers really need it all that often. From what I remember of HM trash, I would pop DCDs for a few of them: Most in TFB, Most in ToS, Most in Rav. I haven’t run a lot of HM lately, but I think those are the only ones with mobs that hit hard enough. For all of SM and (IIRC) most of HM, if I need to pop DCDs for trash then I would have serious doubts about the healers making it through the boss fights.

      If the dps have to tank an add or two, it’s not the end of the world – they can just pop DCDs. Some DPS can do huge amounts of AOE dmg which can pull adds from the tanks between the time between the OT’s AOE taunts wears off and the MT’s AOE taunt comes back up (roughly the 35-50 second mark). This is especially true if you’re dealing with trash mobs that are ranged, spread out, and most of them are my small tank AOE dmg range. Of course, there are a few of the elite adds in the mob that you need to pay attention to and make sure they stay on you; I save single taunt for those.

  • Dvatrij

    Am I a little bit blind or too lazy but why there is no word about choosing Augmentations? (:
    Or information from yours 3.1 guide about them is actual for 4.0 too?

    • Aelanis

      If you look at the gear available to you via operation tokens, you cannot possibly reach the numbers I suggested, and so you use augments to work your way towards those goals.

      • Dvatrij

        Oh… that way. Ok, I’ll try.
        BTW, there are craftable items with 212 rating with 4.1… so… any plans to update guide?:)

        • Aelanis

          No. They’re strictly worse than anything you can get from Operations, and story mode operations are ridiculously easy now that half the mechanics from pre 4.0 are gone and you get bolstered to almost 220 item rating.

    • 9 absorbs and 5 shields

    • Firbolgar Avangerson

      Bant’s guide to stat distribution: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=847112

      He’s actually one of the leading theory crafters in the game and his suggestions are really good as a starting place. You may decide to tweak a bit here and there, especially as it relates to HP vs mitigation.

      As far as tanking gear in 4.X goes, once you have all 224 gear, you won’t notice much of a difference between optimized 224 and un-optimized 224 token gear. IIRC, Bant said it’s something like a ~4% mitigation difference. Assuming you don’t do something dumb with your augments (like use DPS augs), then I would think the same thing would roughly apply.

      It’s much more important that you learn the fights and know/plan when to proactively burn DCDs.

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