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Thread: True Confessions of a Tier 2 Rogue Tank

  1. #1
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Dunharrow's Avatar
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    Lightbulb True Confessions of a Tier 2 Rogue Tank

    I've been tanking Experts for a good while now as a Riftstalker and I wanted to put my thoughts and concerns about Riftstalker tanks in general, based on my experience and feedback I get from my healers and other Riftstalkers.

    Issues

    Rogue tanks lack avoidance

    In my excellent Tier1/2 tanking set, with the standard tanking spec, my combined dodge/parry sits around 11-12%. This means we get hit by the vast majority of attacks, and since Rogues can't block we bear the brunt of those attacks.

    It's possible to boost our avoidance by dipping into Bladedancer, but at the significant cost of reduced mitigation and endurance because of the loss of points in Improved Guardian Phase, Improved Rift Barrier and the Bard and/or Ranger mitigation/HP talents.

    Even a max avoidance build only gives Rogues 30-35% combined avoidance in Tier 2 gear (with Improved False Blade active), at the cost of a whopping 22% of our endurance and 9.5% combined mitigation compared to the standard tanking spec.

    Rogue tanks lack itemization

    This is something that will probably be addressed, but is worth mentioning just the same. It's very hard to find any tanking leather outside of the Skirmisher/Auxilla sets. For accessories, trinkets, and essences, many of these have the +block stat which is actually useless for Rogues. The high +endurance items also tend to have copious amounts of Str, while Rogue tanks want Dex as a secondary stat.

    Rogue threat does not scale

    This issue does not become apparent until Tier 2, where you start running with DPS that is heavily geared. In early experts, Rogue threat is fine. No one will ever pull aggro off you. However, Rogues do very little damage compared to other tanks. I usually sit around 100 DPS and might get near 200 DPS on AOE pulls. Cleric and Warrior tanks tend to do more than double that amount of DPS. While tanks are not there to do damage, this means that our threat does not scale well.

    The bottom line is that Rogues do about the same amount of threat in full Tier 2 as we do in level 48 blues, while DPS is constantly increasing with gear. So far, I've never had issues with threat in single target fights, but in AOE fights, its already at the tipping point for aggro loss to DPS in Tier 2 gear. In Tier 3 it will almost certainly be too much. Yes, in small AOE pulls, we can compensate by tabbing to each target, but with 5+ mobs this gets to be too much for tab targeting to work. Yes, the DPS could just back off, however with a war/cler tank, they don't have to, which will make Rogue tanks a poor choice in instances in the foreseeable future.

    Rogues take too much damage from multiple mobs

    Rogues raw mitigation is high enough that in single target fights, we can be healed despite having low avoidance. Rogues mitigate about 45% of attacks from armor, 12-18% from Phantom Blow, Exceptional Resilience and Bolster and 35% from max Improved Rift Guard. Since these stack multiplicatively, this gives us a raw mitigation of about 73%, which is a bit higher than other tanks. However, since we have no shield and low avoidance, this mitigation quickly becomes ineffective in multi-mob situations.

    When many mobs are attacking, avoidance begins to act like mitigation. Because of the sheer number of attacks coming in, the law of large numbers states that a 1% increase in dodge or parry becomes just like 1% damage reduction. Blocking further reduces this damage by large amounts and abilities that heal when blocking become incredibly powerful under these circumstances, offsetting large amounts of damage.

    Because Rogues have low avoidance and no block (and no abilities which heal us on dodge/block), our damage received quickly becomes far greater than that of other tanks in multiple mob/AOE fights. Basically, Rogues are very tough to heal on trash and even more so on bosses with adds that must also be tanked.

    The rogue talent which grants a heal based on remaining combo points at mob death is ineffective in these situations, because damage is highest and death is riskiest at the start of the pull when all mobs are at 100%. While this talent is useful in certain situations (like the final boss of FC), it is not useful in the majority of AOE pulls, where mobs die at relatively similar rates.

    Suggestions

    Until recently, the Boosted Recovery talent made up for these differences by allowing healers to compensate for the additional damage rogues receive through additional healing. Rogues in turn stacked hit points. This provided a balance: Rogues would take more damage, but they would have more hit points, and receive additional healing.

    The problem with the Boosted Recovery talent (and the reason for its subsequent nerf) was its very accessible location in the Riftstalker tree for Rogues to combine it with other specs, especially in PvP. I have some suggestions for improving Boosted Recovery to return it to the 30% healing received state, but making it inaccessible and/or ineffective for Rogues trying to abuse it for non-tanking purposes. All of these suggestions assume Boosted Recovery will be returned to its 30% state.
    1. Move Boosted Recovery deeper into the Rift Stalker tree
      This could be placed at the 20+ tier without hurting our tanking ability. However, this would make it prohibitive for other souls (none of which are tanking focused) to use as a subspec. Unlike Warriors, Rogues only have one tanking soul. Rogues also tank differently, gear differently, and face different issues when tanking. The talents don't need to be exact clones of each other.
    2. Make Boosted Recovery only work on healing from others
      If Boosted Recovery doesn't work on self heals, it will reduce its power as a subspec, while retaining its power as a tanking talent, where 99% of healing comes from other players.
    3. Make Boosted Recovery only work in Guardian Phase
      If the Rogue must be in Guardian Phase to gain the benefits of boosted recovery, he won't have any use for it except in a tanking role.
    Improving Boosted Recovery is not the only thing that could be done to improve Rogue tanking, but it is the simplest. Rogues could also benefit greatly from a talent in Riftstalker to increase parry and another to provide a damage mitigation or avoidance benefit after a parry. Because Rogues are the only class that uses two weapons while tanking, it is sensible that they should parry more often than other tanks, and benefit from those parries.

    I don't see any other method for improving Rogue tanking other than boosting avoidance or boosting healing received. Further increasing our mitigation could become problematic with certain boss mechanics and Rogues already have the highest raw mitigation.

    To improve Rogue threat, it makes sense to improve the damage scaling of Planar Strike, Phantom Blow, Rift Disturbance and Shadow Blitz. Rogues do the least damage of the tanks, so improving the damage on our threat abilities would be helpful in both threat generation and in tanking parity.

    Thanks for reading. I know its a book but Rogue tanks really need another look if we're to be a viable option in the long term. Until then, I'll continue to spam pots on trash and hope for good healers.

  2. #2
    Plane Touched
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    Thanks for sharing. I've been tanking quite a fair amount as a Rogue as well and am experiencing similar issues.

    It seems like end game T2+ Rogue tanks cease to be viable and we're better off filling the RDPS roles.

  3. #3
    Shadowlander
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    Simply amazing post I hope they take a nice look into this.

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    Prophet of Telara StealthStalker's Avatar
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    Having just started delving into T2 experts, I whole-heartedly agree with everything said. Especially in regards to the AOE pulling, those little bug things in Abyssal are intense when first pulled, and until a few of them start to go down.

    Don't forget to support Dual Targeting in SWTOR and Prime Online.
    We didn't get it here, but perhaps we can help make the next games into what they should be.

  5. #5
    Shadowlander
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    Good ideas.

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    Prophet of Telara StealthStalker's Avatar
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    On the idea of parrying, perhaps something that converts into into Parry, like attack power, would be something to consider?

    Sort of like the Justicar branch ability that converts 195% of spellpower into parry rating or something.
    Last edited by StealthStalker; 03-16-2011 at 11:45 PM.

    Don't forget to support Dual Targeting in SWTOR and Prime Online.
    We didn't get it here, but perhaps we can help make the next games into what they should be.

  7. #7
    Rift Disciple
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    4) Keep it as it is at 6% low in the tree, but add a 1 point talent in tier 5 or 6 that boosts it up an additional 24% to restore it to it's former glory (and make some other talent cost 1 point less).

    It's a good skill for leveling, and shouldn't be made inaccessible or useless because of the other issues you bring up.
    Welcoming newcomers to Faeblight daily...we have cupcakes.

  8. #8
    Prophet of Telara StealthStalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schnorplepiffle View Post
    4) Keep it as it is at 6% low in the tree, but add a 1 point talent in tier 5 or 6 that boosts it up an additional 24% to restore it to it's former glory (and make some other talent cost 1 point less).

    It's a good skill for leveling, and shouldn't be made inaccessible or useless because of the other issues you bring up.
    Are you sure you're not confusing Boosted Recovery with Rift Scavenger?

    Don't forget to support Dual Targeting in SWTOR and Prime Online.
    We didn't get it here, but perhaps we can help make the next games into what they should be.

  9. #9
    Plane Touched
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    As someone who has tanked T2 with bard/ranger and then switched to BD/ranger, I think bard is over-hyped a bit.

    When it came to deciding between dropping bard or ranger, it came down to 3% more physical mitigation through the armor buff, which I would be getting regardless in a raid along with 5% more HP. Or I could take 4% damage reduction which is physical and magic reduction.

    Overall when I switched my self buffed HP went from 9k to 8.4k, so not a bad hit at all. Considering that I did gain 10% dodge once my finisher is on, and the one thing that is neglected so much a 2 min CD skill that gives you 50% more dodge for 15 seconds. 15 seconds. I should repeat that again, it is fifteen seconds long. What do I get from bard? A endurance buff that gets overwritten by half the souls in the game. Ranged combo point builder? I have quick shot from ranger, thank you.

    I know this is supposed to be about tanking tier 2 as a rogue so here is the point of all this. That little extra HP you got? I don't think it is very important. A while back a lot of theory crafting went on and bard and ranger were deemed the best and most people go that. Now that people are actually hitting 50 and getting first hand experience, I am glad that I decided to give BD a try and I find tanking much, much easier with a third CD skill.

    I honestly have never had a problem with threat, but I am only at the beginning of doing tier 2. Haven't really partied up with people who have full tier 2 gear. Though if you are saying you lack avoidance, then spec your tank into BD or something else instead of stacking mass HP. It only takes 8 points to get 10% dodge, you don't have to go 22 in or however much it was.

  10. #10
    Ascendant Ianto Jones's Avatar
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    So far I've just done a few expert Rifts and started looking at T1s, and already I can see the AOE aggro problem. I find myself looking frantically at the Planar Lure cooldown while I struggle to tab around and AOE when there are 8+ mobs around.

    Itemisation... ugh. If I had a plat for every awesome item I've seen with +block on it.

  11. #11
    Shadowlander
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    Ive just started tanking t1's and finding it fine. Hope by the time i get to T2 this issue is addressed.

    Great post, need attention!

  12. #12
    Rift Disciple
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunharrow View Post
    Rogues raw mitigation is high enough that in single target fights, we can be healed despite having low avoidance. Rogues mitigate about 45% of attacks from armor, 12-18% from Phantom Blow, Exceptional Resilience and Bolster and 35% from max Improved Rift Guard. Since these stack multiplicatively, this gives us a raw mitigation of about 73%,
    I thought damage mitigation was additive, The entire 'classes of Telara' forum is spammed with proof of it being additive.

  13. #13
    Rift Chaser
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    While I dont really want to say "Get better, learn to play..", because you really do bring up a few valid points...


    You do realize dropping Ranger for Bladedancer would fix a lot that you are concerned with? Your avoidance will rise, your utility will rise, and you'll get one amazing *** OP tank cooldown.


    Only go Ranger for pure caster boss fights.


    t1/t2/Raid Rift Riftstalker MT
    Last edited by Zephris; 03-17-2011 at 03:42 AM.
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  14. #14
    Plane Walker Mercy's Avatar
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    If you instead spec into 8 BD/7 Bard

    You will be gaining 10% dodge and Reprisal/Strike back which will boost your threat quite a bit addressing two of your main issues. On top of that you are getting a cooldown for 50% dodge.

    You will be losing 4% less damage taken.

    Seems like BD is the clear winner here.
    Last edited by Mercy; 03-17-2011 at 06:25 AM.

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  15. #15
    Soulwalker
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    OP's post was actually made of sensibility and constructive feedback, good work.

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