Aug 2, 2011

Posted by in The Bacta Tank | 19 Comments

The Bacta Tank: Tanking In TOR – The Empire Advanced Classes

In each edition of The Bacta Tank, we take a look at the role of tanking in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and discuss the strategies, tactics and theory on how to make the most of your meat shield. Wether you root for the Republic or empathize with the Empire, if you’re into tanking, take a dunk in the The Bacta Tank!

Welcome, fellow future tanks! It’s time to take another dip into The Bacta Tank.  Today I’ll be taking a look at the Empire’s Advance Classes suited for tanking.  These classes each have a mirror class on the Republic side, which you can read about in my previous post.  In my opinion the core game play between the mirror class will be the same, but the ablities and skills each class will use to achieve this core is what will separate the two classes. As always here at Ask A Jedi, for this article I will only be using officially released information, as well as how these classes may relate to other games I have played.  The rankings are solely based on my opinion only and like the game itself, are subject to change between now and launch.

HAM Scale: 1 = Highest, 2 = Middle, 3 = Lowest

Sith Warrior – Juggernaut – Immortal

Sith Warrior
“Warriors channel anger and hatred to become brutal combatants.  A stalwart defender of the Sith Empire, the Juggernaut embodies the teachings of Marka Ragnos, charging into enemies with heavy armor and pure rage.  An Immortal uses the power of the Force to increases the Warrior’s survivability in battle.” – SWTOR.com

  • Main Weapon – Lightsaber
  • Main Defense – The Force
  • Known Abilities – Invincible, Revenge

Analysis
With Bioware keeping class balance between each fraction, Sith Juggernaut is the counterpart to the Jedi Guardian.  The Immortals ability Invincible is almost just like a World of Warcraft’s Protection Warrior’s Shield Block.  I expect the Sith Immortal to have the highest health of the three Empire tanking classes. The Sith Immortal will jump right in to the fight and unleash his fury on all near him.
HAM Ranking

  • Health – 1
  • Avoidance – 2
  • Mitigation – 3

Bounty Hunter – Powertech – Shield Tech

Bounty Hunter
“Bounty Hunters are rugged, independent, and always get the job done.  The best shielding, defensive tactics, and high-powered flamethrowers combine to make the Powertech an impenetrable one-man blockade, getting up close and personal to take down enemies of all sizes.  Shield Tech further boost the Powertech’s defensive technology, allowing him to soak up attacks.”- SWTOR.com

  • Main Weapon – Blaster Pistol
  • Main Defense – Shield Generator
  • Known Abilities – Jet Charge, Combust

Analysis
The Bounty Hunter is near and dear to my heart.  When I began in Star Wars Galaxies, I was a Bounty Hunter and in fact it happened to be one of the Holocrons I needed to unlock the Jedi.  The Bounty Hunter in SW:TOR will rely on their shields and technology to reduce their enemies’ attacks.  As with the Trooper Vanguard, the Range tanking aspect opens up lots of possibilities.
HAM Rankings

  • Health – 2
  • Avoidance – 3
  • Mitigation – 1

Sith Inquisitor – Assassin – Darkness

Sith IQ
“Inquisitors harness the Force to rip life from their foes. Assassins leap from the shadows, channeling Force lightning through their double-bladed Lightsabers to disable and drain their enemies. They are masters of subterfuge, feared by even the most terrible opponents. Darkness focuses on defensive techniques to help protect the Assassin and his allies.” – SWTOR.com

  • Main Weapon – The Force
  • Main Defense – Double-Bladed Lightsaber
  • Known Skills – Charge Mastery, Wither

Analysis

The Sith Assassin, like the Jedi Consular, is a merger of a Rogue and Death Knight from World of Warcraft, but with some lightning thrown in for good measure.  You are going to use your Double-Bladed Lightsaber to defend yourself then use the Force and its infinite power to do your biding.  Sith Darkness Assassin will focus on avoiding attacks with their quickness and their lightsaber.

HAM Ranking

  • Health – 2
  • Avoidance – 1
  • Mitigation – 3

That about wraps up our intro to the Empire’s tanking classes. As more information is released (and maybe even the skill,) I will break down each class even further.

If you’re unsure if tanking in TOR is for you or not, tune in next time when I offer some basic information and insight on what it really means to be a tank in an MMO.

If you have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on twitter @cealog. Happy tanking!

  1. Nice article. Certainly a good introduction to the tanking classes for the Empire. I can’t wait to see more of these, especially as we get some more meaty information from Bioware.

  2. I like the article, but shouldn’t it be called Kolto Tank instead? Period accurate IMHO.

    • Hey, if bounty hunters can look like Boba Fett, then I think this is fair ;)

    • Even though Kolto was used in KotOR, Bacta was discovered and well in use by the time of SW:TOR. It was in use a good century before the Great Sith War, according to “Star Wars: The Essential Atlas” and is even mentioned in Tales of the Old Republic.

      That puts its use 5-600 years before the events of TOR. So while “Kolto Tank” may click a bit better with the Bioware vibe, I’d say that “Bacta Tank” is more recognizable for Star Wars fans and is not anachronistic.

  3. @Cealog – nice article. I can see you have done the homework on this, I was wondering your thoughts on the phrase ‘ranged tank’ we have heard it tossed out there. Is it really just an off tank or do you think it help control the fight for a moment in time (some sort of interrupt that hits the main tank) to allow the primary to get back control?

    • I think ranged tanks are just Bounty Hunter and Trooper tanks. We haven’t seen anything to imply that they tank from melee range, but that they can tank using blasters. Considering the fact that many enemies are likely to have ranged attacks, I imagine they will be just as viable as main tanks as the Sith/Jedi tanks.

    • When I am talking about “range tanking” I am referring to the fact that those classes main attacks are with a range weapons. I have never played a class where I could tank and keep aggro of the mob when I was not standing right next two the mob. I think Troopers/Bounty Hunters may be the best main tank from a mobility standpoint. They will be able to see and move out of AOEs fast and not lose time on maintaining aggro.

      • It will be interesting to see boss mob design with ranged tanks in mind. In WoW and similar games, as i’m sure you know, there are often bosses that require someone be in melee range tanking or they can unleash unholy amounts of damage on the group.

        In a game built with ranged tanks, this doesn’t really become a feasible mechanic. Maybe for Operations where it may be required to have each type of tank, but not in a flashpoint. I’m sure this has presented some interesting challenges and opportunities for the devs to try out some new ideas.

  4. Nice article! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It will be interesting to see how close the classes as depicted here are to the real thing.

  5. SorcererBiggz says:

    Definitely enjoyed the article.

    Although must mention one thing, a little bird says that the squishiest tank has the most health. ;)

    By that I mean, Sith Assassin supposedly have the most health, ‘currently’.

    • That may be true in the current build but again I an just going on official infomation from Bioware

      • SorcererBiggz says:

        Birds sing beautifully though!

      • As more comes out I will update the HAM rankings may go on a larger scale to show the differences more effectively.

        I am sure the devs are tweaking the stats and formulas daily to find the right balance. You never know Mitigation may be so far ahead of Avoidance they have to make it up with Health. Time will tell.

        • SorcererBiggz says:

          Actually time has told us that Avoidance Tanks tend to have the higher amounts of health.

          Druids come to mind. ;)

          • Druids were never avoidance tanks, at least not more so than the other tank classes. If you look at BC, where the tank classes hadn’t been homogenized yet, druids had the most mitigation AND the most health, but in turn the least avoidance.
            I think Bioware will go the same way and create one effective health tank (BH/Trooper), one avoidance tank (consular/iquisitor) and one that’s balanced (sith/jedi). That’s my guess anyway.

  6. The Sith Assassin, like the Jedi Consular, is a merger of a Rogue and Death Knight from World of Warcraft, but with some but with some lightning thrown in for good measure.

    “but with some but with some”? Sorry. Just making sure you fix that before too many people catch on. Typing is what it’s all about.

  7. Darkhalf says:

    Nice article, thanks for some great info.

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