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Thread: Rogue Tanking

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default Rogue Tanking

    I've seen many threads discussing the issues with Riftstalker tanking. I've tanked my entire time as a rogue an often comment I hear over and over again is "You're far easier to heal than a Warrior tank." I'm going to discuss both the pros and cons of Riftstalker tanking and why the RS is arguably the best tank in the game right now.

    There are many RS specs that are often discussed, but the one that offers the most mitigation and in my opinion, the only viable end game raiding spec is:

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1M...uqdRkkR.xh.xoz

    First, letís discuss mitigation. The Riftstalker has the highest "raw" mitigation of any tank in the game. When I talk about "raw" mitigation, I'm talking about mitigation that happens on every single piece of damage. We receive the following mitigation:

    35% from Riftguard
    6% from Ranger talent (Bolster)
    6% from RS talent (Exceptional Resilience)
    6% from RS attack (Phantom Blow)
    1% from Bard talent (Street Smart) - Basically gives the enemy 99% chance to hit you. This doesn't count the reduced critical... So maybe 1.05% total or something along the lines).

    That's a whopping total of 54% raw mitigation. Now, letís look at armor. My rogue with Guarded Steel up has 7,000 armor offering 51% physical mitigation. So how does this look on a 1,000 hit physical strike.

    1000 gets mitigated 51% so I take 490 damage. Then all of our other mitigation kicks in... So of 490 we mitigate 53-54% more, and we end up taking 226 damage. Thatís a total mitigation of 77.4%... That's right on par of what Warriors are mitigating with block up. The only difference is, Rogues are producing that mitigation 100% of the time vice 70% (Average warrior block rating).

    In short, Rogues are less spikey tanks. When a warrior happens to not Block, dodge or parry a strike, they take large amounts of damage. An average Warrior tank has about 97% uptime on block, dodge and parry. Exceptionally geared warrirors see about 98 or 99% uptime.

    There are many perceptions about Rogue tanks that are clearly wrong in my honest opinion. Letís take a look at a few:

    1) AOE threat isn't up to par. This simply just isn't the case. I've never had a problem holding threat even with the deadliest of Warrior or Storm Callers. What many Rogues lack is the how to tank multiple mobs. For instance, many Rogues "face tank" meaning they will blink in with Shadow Blitz to start a pull. This is probabl the worst way to pull multiple mobs. So, we'll take a look at a common rotation I use pulling 5 mobs (3 melee 2 range).

    First start off using your Ranger Skill (Quick Shot) to build up 2 quick combo points on a melee mob. At the same time you're running towards the mobs and as they get close you use Rift Disturbance. Next thing you do is select a ranged mob and cast Shadow Assault. This now gives you threat on 4/5 mobs also delaying damage from the melee mobs as they run to you. You should Instigate the last ranged mob, and then cast Shadow Blitz as all mobs come close to you. By the time Rift Disturbance will be up again and you use that on all 5 mobs. You should have no problems maintaining aggro by tab targeting mobs (Build up 2-3 combo points then finish) and casting Rift Disturbance as much as possible. (Keep in mind, you don't have to have 5 combo points to use Rift Guard. 95% of the time, I use it with only 3 combo points when I first pull. I use guarded steel with only 2-3 combo points as well). Once the encounter settles down, you can easily use 5 combo point finishers.

    A large amount of problems with RS tanking is how people tank. I've run many dungeons where RS tanks complain about many of the same issues you see on the forums. The fact of the matter is, RS tanks must be the smartest of any type of tank. We don't have the CDs that Warriors or Clerics have so we always have to be one step ahead of the game. This means knowing encounters extremely well so you can use well place cool downs. All of our cool downs should be used proactively vice reactively. This means paying attention to healers and when the raid takes large amounts of damage, this is time to use your cool down so they can worry less about you and more about the raid. When a healer becomes CC'd, pop a cool down to remove the pressure of off healers or give other healers time to switch. Essentially, RS cool downs are better used proactively. Let your healers use their "oh crap" buttons because that's more what they are made for.

    2) Dodge > raw mitigation. Many rogues believe going into Bladedancer tree for the added dodge is worth missing out on 6% raw mitigation in the Ranger tree or the Armor and health increases from the Bard tree. This simply isn't true. Healers HATE avoidance tanks. This causes you take huge spikes in damage. There are very few cases when dodge is needed over mitigation. For those reasons I run a 2nd tank spec with that looks like this:

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1M...uqdRkkR.xb.x0d

    Again, this build I use less than 5% of the time.

    3) What is effective HP? One of the huge advantages of a Rogue tank is our enormous HP pool. Currently in my guild, I have 1500-2000 more HP than our Warrior tank who is our MT. He's nearlly full T3 with almost full BIS items. I have a few pieces of T3. If my gear was on par with his, I'd easily have 3-3.5k more health. I'm currently over 15.4k HP raid buffed. Our MT is about 13.5 maybe 14k hp raid buffed.

    4) Rogue tank is the best in the game!?!? No ways! --- I totally disagree. Letís discuss a few of the pros and cons of Rogues vs Warriors. First, Rogue mitigation is up 100% of the time while Warrior mitigation is up about 95 or 96% of the time. (I didn't even include Rogue dodge or parry. On my rogue i'm about 20% avoidance). The major difference is Rogue tanks don't discriminate damage. Warrior have to spec specifically for high magic damage encounters such as Lord Greenscale. We don't care what type of damage a mob has, we're still mitigating a large portion of that damage. We also have higher base resistences than a warrior. Lastly, Rogue flexibility in movement. Warriors are very unmobile. They don't have the blinks and recalls that rogues do. For instance, on Duke, I can nearly kite the entire enrage phase w/o the use of shamblers. This is impossible for a Warrior tank.

    Why are Rogues the best over all tank:
    1) 100% uptime in mitigation
    2) Non discrimitive towards damage types
    3) Higher base resistences
    4) Mobility

    What do warriors have that Rogues don't?:
    1) Interupt
    2) Cool downs - Warriors have a huge amount of cooldowns.
    3) A way to steal threat (Intercept)
    4) 4 Tank trees - Gives them a lot more options when it comes to tanking. Naturally Rogues have only 1 tank tree. This being said, I believe the Rogue tank is balanced very well. We get a lot with only 1 tree. Warriors often spend points in three different trees to maximize mitigation. Rogues are 1 stop shopping with exactly the same effectiveness.

    I'll be happy to answer any questions or debate any issues anyone has. For Rogue tanks not experiencing success, think about how you're using your cool downs. You can't be brainless about spamming things. You have to leave

  2. #2
    Shadowlander
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    Well i've only been playing Rift for about a week now, but have spent years playing other mmo's, and all I have to say is if a leather wearer can walk in and tank a raid boss then there is something very very wrong. Tanking adds or getting a group through a 5 man is one thing, but us tanks sacrifce a lot for what we do, don't take our one purpose away from us and give it to someone else.

    That said, what do you do when when your healer gets aggro, or that nuckleheaded dpser goes out of his way every pull in a dungeon w/o a taunt?

  3. #3
    Sez
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    The Bladedancer tree is too beneficial to pass up.
    Sez is now Zes on Dayblind

    - Rogue Lead - <Gestalt> - Defiant - Dayblind Server -

  4. #4
    Plane Walker TJ74's Avatar
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    think of a WoW bear tank. that was a leather wearer.... just had buffs and passives to make up for it. same here.
    since y'know... WoW had to set standards and everything has to follow that and not be creative right. right?? pfft
    RS has one taunt, but they depend more on teamwork. owait, again like a bear tank in WoW...
    (wish that game would wipe already and/or new ideas were being made)

  5. #5
    Soulwalker
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    Rogue's have a taunt, granted it's not the best but yeah. Rogue's tank raids just fine. I myself tank Duke in a guild that just started doing GSB, it's not like wearing leather is any sort of hindrance to us. Rogue's, like the OP stated, are probably one of the better tanks right now. They aren't as versatile as a Warrior can be. More like the Jack of All Trades when it comes to tanking. We even have an aoe taunt.

    Thinking that a leather wearer can't tank is just silly and shows how long you've been playing wow. The whole idea behind having multiple souls is to not pigeon hole anyone into a specific group role. I tank WAY better then any of the Warriors in my guild. (with exception of one, who would be awesome if he had time to gear up.) It's not that they couldn't tank, but rather they prefer to DPS. I should not have to roll a Warrior and run around in goofy looking plate armor just to tank in this game. :/
    Last edited by Drkshine; 06-15-2011 at 10:30 AM.

  6. #6
    RIFT Community Ambassador Sodahelm's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that Rogue damage reduction buffs (like any other class) are multiplicative, not additive. In other words, you'll have substantially less than 54% damage reduction.

  7. #7
    Shadowlander
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    To the both of you...


    Didn't realize you had a taunt.

    Second. It's not about prejudice, it's about FEEL. I've discoverd there's one thing I miss in this game as I have in other mmo's is that lumping of what would normally be seperate classes into others. Case in point, pallies with warriors and what I typically refer to as hunters or rangers with rogues. Yes both rangers and rogues stalk through the shadows and take out their prey with deadly efficiency, but in two very different invironments.

    I tanked for years in WoW on a pally, even back when pally tanks were "wtf pally tank noob" I rolled several warriors, and deleted them. I just didn't like the style, but once I rolled my pally I was hooked. I could tell the difference in a pally tank versus a warrior tank. Then again anyone could tell the difference just by looking at them, and certianly in the way they tanked. Even many of the mechanics were different in what we looked for in gear. But at the end of the day we still accomplished the same task, it was just a matter of taste and feel.

    Likewise I spent many years pvping on my hunter. I had about 700k in pvp kills on that toon and it was by far my favorite for just about everything. I could track just about anything, wich was a truly awsome ability for pvp and grinding. One of the things I miss most is traps. It took a good player to use them effectively but they were unique to the hunter class and set them apart. There's a thread not more than a few threads up from this one that the guy is complaining about noticing this very same effect. There's just nothing that realy makes us a class that slips through the woods far from civilization, ambushes his kill quietly and efficiently and slips away, can track anything in telara and take it on with only himself and his trusty pet versus a lowly backstabbing poisoning thug crawling out of a slum somewhere and knifing someone for his change purse. About the only thing different here between the them is that one runs around with a pet and uses ranged weapons, and the other uses blade weapons. Everything else is just mechanics. But I'll reserve judgment till I get farther in the game.

    OH and btw, hunter's pets in wow NEVER were as good as a player character filling the same slot. They were good in a pinch when needed, but never as good. Nothing promotes teamwork more than having a role and doing it, and expecting others to do theirs. Quite frankly when I think of tank, I think of some one that's big, covered in plate, and has a terrible manners. Not some unwashed rufian that just crawled out of the back slums of some ally. But hey if duality is what you after, might as well let the mages tank too. Right? RIGHT? It's all just mechanics.

  8. #8
    Soulwalker
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    @ cider - 1) much thanks for your videos, been a fan of yours for years. 2) it does stack multiplicatively, roughly 50% from armor (depending), then 40 (ish) percent from rift guard, depending on how you spec, plus 6% from phantom blow.

    The damage mitigation from guarded steel (armor enhancement) and phantom blow seems to be the first factor, in the combat log I'll see a number from an attack, then a number that was absorbed, such as "Gurooth hits Stabberwocky for 5400 damage (5301 absorbed)." The implication here is that the PB and GS reductions are taken into account first.

    Most 51 stalkers will have reduction in the 90s, if I understood your question.

  9. #9
    Plane Walker TJ74's Avatar
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    To the both of you...
    Didn't realize you had a taunt. - it suxass
    Second. It's not about prejudice, it's about FEEL. I've discoverd there's one thing I miss in this game as I have in other mmo's is that lumping of what would normally be seperate classes into others. Case in point, pallies with warriors and what I typically refer to as hunters or rangers with rogues. Yes both rangers and rogues stalk through the shadows and take out their prey with deadly efficiency, but in two very different invironments. I tanked for years in WoW on a pally, even back when pally tanks were "wtf pally tank noob" I rolled several warriors, and deleted them. I just didn't like the style, but once I rolled my pally I was hooked. I could tell the difference in a pally tank versus a warrior tank. Then again anyone could tell the difference just by looking at them, and certianly in the way they tanked. Even many of the mechanics were different in what we looked for in gear. But at the end of the day we still accomplished the same task, it was just a matter of taste and feel. - i agree RS doesnt feel right, but its better than a bear tank. tanks in this game are just as easy to tell the difference
    Likewise I spent many years pvping on my hunter. I had about 700k in pvp kills on that toon and it was by far my favorite for just about everything. I could track just about anything, wich was a truly awsome ability for pvp and grinding. One of the things I miss most is traps. It took a good player to use them effectively but they were unique to the hunter class and set them apart. There's a thread not more than a few threads up from this one that the guy is complaining about noticing this very same effect. There's just nothing that realy makes us a class that slips through the woods far from civilization, ambushes his kill quietly and efficiently and slips away, can track anything in telara and take it on with only himself and his trusty pet versus a lowly backstabbing poisoning thug crawling out of a slum somewhere and knifing someone for his change purse. About the only thing different here between the them is that one runs around with a pet and uses ranged weapons, and the other uses blade weapons. Everything else is just mechanics. But I'll reserve judgment till I get farther in the game. - only thing i miss is the world was a hunters petshop
    OH and btw, hunter's pets in wow NEVER were as good as a player character filling the same slot. They were good in a pinch when needed, but never as good. Nothing promotes teamwork more than having a role and doing it, and expecting others to do theirs. - not true, extreme BM Hunter Solo'ing was the funnest and often times better way of doing things.
    Quite frankly when I think of tank, I think of some one that's big, covered in plate, and has a terrible manners. Not some unwashed rufian that just crawled out of the back slums of some ally. - wutevz, explain wow druid tanks lol
    But hey if duality is what you after, might as well let the mages tank too. Right? RIGHT? It's all just mechanics. i agree 100% and would bet some could do it even

  10. #10
    Soulwalker Dark Inquisitor's Avatar
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    Is there a reason you took Anthem of Glory rather than another point in Street Smart? I would assume in a raid situation Anthem of Glory would be overwritten by somebody else's more powerful buff.

    I can understand it for running around by yourself though.

  11. #11
    Telaran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Inquisitor View Post
    Is there a reason you took Anthem of Glory rather than another point in Street Smart? I would assume in a raid situation Anthem of Glory would be overwritten by somebody else's more powerful buff.

    I can understand it for running around by yourself though.
    A better question is why would you take bard instead of bladedancer. 5% dodge, auto attack on dodges and off-gcd combo move in reprisal, 5% more dodge from false blade, oh and one of the better cds as a rogue side steps. Also raid bosses don't miss and you should be toughness capped so street smarts is not helpful.

  12. #12
    Soulwalker
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    @ Cider

    You're right it is multiplicitive... But you wouldn't end up with substantially less than 54% ... I've found little research on which mitigation happens first... For instance, does the mitigation from Exceptional Resilience or Bolster happen first? Where does the mitigation from Rift Guard happen... So it's really rough if not impossible to find out how things are mitigated.

    In my spec, I have several things that mitigate raw damage (both magical and physical)

    1)Rift Guard (35% all damage)
    2)Exceptional Resilience (6% all damage)
    3)Bolster (6% all damage)
    4)Phantom Blow (6% all damage)
    5)Armor 7,080 with riftguard up (52% physical)

    ... My question is in what order are these mitigated... makes a huge difference in how talents are prioritized?

    Any insight or links to information would be greatly appreciated.

    My stats are:
    14.3k health self buffed (15.5 raid buffed)
    7,100 armor
    15% dodge
    5% parry

  13. #13
    Soulwalker Dark Inquisitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talon9 View Post
    A better question is why would you take bard instead of bladedancer. 5% dodge, auto attack on dodges and off-gcd combo move in reprisal, 5% more dodge from false blade, oh and one of the better cds as a rogue side steps. Also raid bosses don't miss and you should be toughness capped so street smarts is not helpful.
    Actually, he answered why he doesn't usually use Bladedancer in his original post. So, I was just wondering about the specific reasons why he was opting to build it with Anthem and not more Street Smarts.

  14. #14
    Telaran
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    His argument is taking ranger (for mitigation) vs. bladedancer (avoidance) not bard vs. bladedancer. I say why not have both ranger and bladedancer. I am in agreement on the fact that mitigation is better than avoidance but thats only if you have to choose one vs the other. He makes no argument for bard vs. bladedancer except in an inferrerence in his third point about hp pool size. The 10% avoidance from bladedancer is better than 10% hp from bard. While the extra hp is nice and doesnt hurt its not as beneficial as the avoidance especially when it comes to long boss fights. The extra hp usefulness is only proved by the fact the OP said the warrior main tank has 1.5-2k less hp than he does.
    Last edited by Talon9; 06-15-2011 at 05:18 PM.

  15. #15
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Likuidwar View Post
    In my spec, I have several things that mitigate raw damage (both magical and physical)

    1)Rift Guard (35% all damage)
    2)Exceptional Resilience (6% all damage)
    3)Bolster (6% all damage)
    4)Phantom Blow (6% all damage)
    5)Armor 7,080 with riftguard up (52% physical)

    ... My question is in what order are these mitigated... makes a huge difference in how talents are prioritized?

    Any insight or links to information would be greatly appreciated.
    It is really pretty simple to calculate. The only place where the order these things gets applied matters is how much damage your Rift Guard absorbs before it is gone. Other than that, the order of the calculation doesn't matter.

    Your total mitigation looks like this:
    Mitigation = 1 - (1-.52)*(1-.35)*(1-.06)*(1-.06)*(1-.06) = 74.1% mitigation
    Against magic damage, your mitigation would be 1 - (1-.35)*(1-.06)*(1-.06)*(1-.06) = 46.01%

    So an attack that normally hits for 10,000 damage is going to hit you for 2590, and a magic attack for 10k would be reduced to 5399.

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