Stalker Tank Guide [RMT Updated]

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Stalker Tank Guide [RMT Updated]

Postby Fraya » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:06 pm

Introduction

Sup folks. This guide is meant for everyone. I'm going to try to work in an order that is initially suited for someone who hasn't even started his/her Stalker Tank yet, and it will slowly progress into the more advanced stuff meant for players who are already progressing in Datascape. It seems pretty long, but I assure you it is pruned to the absolute minimums. That said, feel free to take it in bites.

Before I get going here, I'd like to note that this guide is not going to be perfect. It was written fairly quickly, and I'm not one to babysit a guide. There is a very high chance that it will get out-of-date quickly, and that I will fail to update it when it does get kooky.
Last updated on Nov 7, 2016.

Redmoon Terror Changes (With Class Set)
► Show Spoiler


Summary of Drop 6 (F2P) Changes
  • Raid Bosses hit much, much harder. On the order of 1.5-2.5x. Survival is now a much larger concern.
  • Stalkers are no longer the obvious 'Fat Tank'.
  • Very little has changed with regards to AMP and Ability selection, only exceptions being Bloodthrist and Amp Spike are viable now, and Prep has taken a massive nerf.
  • Threat is considerably easier.
  • The new rune system requires a fair bit of learning, but has surprisingly low impact on your survivability.
  • The Waller T8 Class Set from GA facilitates an extreme change in rotation in combination with Unfair Advantage.

Should I Roll Stalker Tank?
*It's worth noting that I initially had this section in when there were larger differences between the Tanks. Current Tank design is pretty homogeneous, so the choices between the Tanks are somewhat superficial. I've kept in what little does separate them.

Pros
  • Capable of running T8 Bloodthrist on the fights that facilitate it (your Stalker DPS will love you)
  • The base Deflect on Stalkers synergizes very well with some of the new, fast recharge Shields.
  • Extremely mobile.
  • Rotation has some elements of nuance.
  • Unlike Engineers, we have a good blanket Taunt.
Cons
  • Holding threat can be difficult in certain situations. Several bosses require moved or kited, and keeping threat through that can be a pain.
  • LAS is very inflexible. You will be stuck unable to use a lot of skills you really want for certain fights.
  • Lack of control over your own survivability. Our Defensive CDs are shorter than Engis/Warriors, but they are much less impactful.

Leveling Up
► Show Spoiler


The Spec

AMP Builds


LAS

I'm going to try and explain how to build up your LAS, and what to shuffle around for different fights. If you just want to copy/paste an obvious build, skip to my builds.

► Show Spoiler


I use the following builds for:


Gear

General Rules:
  • Boss Critical Multiplier cannot go below 105%. Critical Mitigation works subtractively from the original value.
  • Boss Crit Multis are 153.17% for Vets, 165.36% for GA, 184.2% of Early DS, and 187.0% for Late DS.
  • Raid Bosses crit 20% of the time, Dungeon 10%, and Open World 5%.
  • Item Level tends to be the only factor worth noting. The Armor and Health on an item trump all its secondary stats.
  • Percent increases to stats are also subject to the same Diminishing Returns that Ratings are. This is particularly important with regards to Deflect and the Frenzy T8. If you have 30% Deflect before, the 12% Deflect from Frenzy will not take you to 42%, rather something around 38%.

Understanding the Stats:

Defensive:
  • Crit Mit - Get to cap, Priority #1. Crits that deal real damage will wipe you off the face of the earth.
  • Armor - Armor is still our top dog. The golden child of stats. It is the only stat that reliably increases time-to-live and reduces strain on healers simultaneously.
  • Health - Health gives the greatest boost to time-to-live out there. If you're getting bursted down, this is what you need. That said, it also costs the healers great strain.
  • Deflect - Converts at 666:1%. Soft Caps at 30%. Decent Stat, but mostly due to it's synergy with fast-regen Shields.
  • Glance - Converts at 172:1%. Improved greatly from it's old values, but retains it's position on Stalker stat priority. Glance rolls mutiplicatively, AFTER Deflect. If you've got 30% Deflect and 30% Glance, you will Deflect 3/10 attacks, but only Glance ~2/10. Better only than the Threat stats.

Threat:
  • Support Power - Approx 75% of the damage on a Support Skill comes from SP. Not that you can 'choose' to get SP on any slot. Just a random factoid.
  • Strikethrough - Shouldn't need to get it. Better than Multi Hit, but worth less than all Defensive Stats, including Glance.
  • Multi Hit - Avoid this like the goddamn plague. You don't need the Threat. Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad.

Gear Choices
  • Item Level wins in nearly all scenarios.
  • After that, the stats you want are the following, in order. (This is for Secondary Stats on Gear, NOT Runes)
      Crit Mit
      Deflect
      Glance
      Strikethrough
      Multi Hit
  • Ideal Runes are Earth/Life/Air/Logic. Water and Fire are worthless, either reroll them or put a Fusion rune in them.

Shields
Drop 6 has made a dramatic change in Shields, and there are some VERY important things to note.

  • #1 - Higher Shield %Mitigation is NOT better. You want the lowest possible percentage in most scenarios. The reason for this is a failure by most people to understand the way that shields actually behave. You need to treat your Shield not like health, but rather like a damage mitigation buff. A 67.5% mitigation shield will cause the first auto you take to hit for almost nothing, but the following hits will destroy you. You want a low mitigation Shield, like 25%, because it will actually last, and give the healers the most consistent incoming damage on you.
  • #2 - Fast Recharge Delay and Rate are very valuable. Most bosses swing on a 2s timer. The shields with a 2.7 Delay and 20% Recharge Rate will completely fill themselves every single time you deflect, or the mobs cast something.
  • #3 - Completely ignore #1 and #2 if you have a dedicated Medic healer. In that situation, just wear the largest, spongiest shield possible, as they will want to be the ones filling it.
  • #4 - Save your old Shields. Different Shields are better in different situations. Fights with constant DoT damage will make Fast Recharge worthless. Bosses that hit for low damage may make High Mit + Fast Charge shields the best, despite their low total shield. Bosses that hit like trucks may do the exact opposite. Be prepared to use a tailored shield for new boss fights.

Runes
► Show Spoiler


Gadgets
I'm not sure right now exactly what Gadgets are 100% best, as there's no Database running right now, but generally speaking you're going to want to run the gadgets that Heal or give Absorbs. Many Armor/Deflect gadgets only work out to be a 3-4% damage reduction for their duration.

Consumables:
Whatever floats your boat, man. Just be speed flasked.

Rotation

The Stalker Tank rotation should, for a new player, go through several stages of evolution as you become more capable of executing the nuances without making other execution mistakes.

In Dungeons/GA

► Show Spoiler


For Datascape

► Show Spoiler

Variants:

Waller 8/8: You will be using Innate nearly once every 8 seconds. You will no longer need to use Nano Virus as a filler to sustain your rotation. Even Punish is negotiable here. Deci will no longer be your only option for getting into stealth safely, safest way in otherwise tends to be a Jump ->StealthFrenzy, just make sure you're off the GCD when you do so.

UI:

► Show Spoiler


Gameplay:

I'm going to cover this chronologically. If you're in Dungeons, master the early stuff first. Jumping ahead to more advanced raid-related stuff is just going to make you shitty. Focus on Threat for Dungeons, Positioning for GA, and Survivability/Taunts for DS.

Dungeons

You need to hold threat before you think about anything else.

► Show Spoiler


Raids

► Show Spoiler

Find out exactly what is optimal for the raid, and do it quickly.

► Show Spoiler

Be predictable.

► Show Spoiler

Serve your healers, stand the fuck still.

► Show Spoiler


Save the raid. Your healer will save you.


Quick Terms
    GA - Genetic Archives
    DS - Datascape
    SP - Suit Power OR Support Power (Use context)
    AP - Assault Power
    TPS - Threat Per Second
    LAS - Limited Action Set (Your 8 skills)
    ILvL - Item Level
    Crit Mit - Critical Mitigation
    Mit - Mitigation
    Taunt (Reaver)
    Intimidate (Razor Storm)


Anyways, that's about it. If anyone has questions feel free to post here or find me in-game. I'll try and check the thread every couple of days.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Shrii » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:30 am

I am reasonably sure you were a bit sleepy when you wrote this:
"Once you've got full Ability Points, you'll want Whiplash 8, Prep 8 and you can choose between Bloodthirst 8/Nano Virus 8/Nano Virus 4/Razor Storm 4/Steadfast 4."

Also, you don't like exanite weaponry for your weapon?

Specifically what one of the threat meters do you use? Since this drop I've tried both, and they both seem to sometimes just flip out, freeze and show nothing mid fight. It's super annoying and I've never had this issue with either one of them before.

Also, thanks for the guide, now I can shove it up some ppls faces who likes to argue with me about things they shouldn't. :p

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Cercie » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:50 am

Thank God you still think Nanofield is trash, and I'm not losing my mind. I keep seeing people trying to sell it to new stalker tanks, and I want to shake them! xD

Thank you, also, for the clarification on shields. I haven't gotten to test with a 25% one yet, so I wasn't sure if it was better (currently most commonly using 62% with 5 sec reboot. I see a LOT of reboots). It makes sense to try different ones on different fights.

What do you think about the tanking runes for weapons that drop from dungeons? I have found one that does an armor increase of over 400 for 5 sec with each hit you do (doesn't stack). There is also the KV one (5% damage reduction for 5 sec + extra threat gen, but only every 30 sec), but I feel the 30 sec cooldown is too long to be really useful.

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Cercie » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:05 am

Shrii wrote:
Specifically what one of the threat meters do you use? Since this drop I've tried both, and they both seem to sometimes just flip out, freeze and show nothing mid fight. It's super annoying and I've never had this issue with either one of them before.


I have found Threatmeter still to be the most generally useful threatmeter out there. However, the best thing ever are those Minimalist Nameplates. I can tell in a quick glance what I do and don't have threat on, and it's made my tanking life about a million times easier.

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Shrii » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:33 pm

Cercie wrote:
Shrii wrote:
Specifically what one of the threat meters do you use? Since this drop I've tried both, and they both seem to sometimes just flip out, freeze and show nothing mid fight. It's super annoying and I've never had this issue with either one of them before.


I have found Threatmeter still to be the most generally useful threatmeter out there. However, the best thing ever are those Minimalist Nameplates. I can tell in a quick glance what I do and don't have threat on, and it's made my tanking life about a million times easier.


Right, I just prefer knowing before I lose threat so I can prevent it from happening at all. My threat meter freezing and not showing anything at all does not help with this. :(

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Cercie » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:27 pm

One more questions re: shields and medics. My medics aren't running Shield Surge anymore. They are running protective surge with overflow. Does that affect what kind of shield you want? You said ignore the low mit/fast reboot if you have medic healers, but does that still apply if they've dropped shield surge?

I see in your medic's heal guide that they still have SS on the LAS. Mine tell me it's just not worth it due to it's high focus cost and the ability to gain shields with the amp + runes. Thoughts?

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:08 pm

I am reasonably sure you were a bit sleepy when you wrote this:
"Once you've got full Ability Points, you'll want Whiplash 8, Prep 8 and you can choose between Bloodthirst 8/Nano Virus 8/Nano Virus 4/Razor Storm 4/Steadfast 4."

Fixed. I appreciate the find, I'm so bad at proofing.

Also, you don't like exanite weaponry for your weapon?

Still doing analysis on a few Fusions. Which one is Exanite Weaponry though? I can't recall it by name.

Specifically what one of the threat meters do you use? Since this drop I've tried both, and they both seem to sometimes just flip out, freeze and show nothing mid fight. It's super annoying and I've never had this issue with either one of them before.

I actually use a section of a really old addon called XPS. I don't think there's a working version around anymore though.

What do you think about the tanking runes for weapons that drop from dungeons? I have found one that does an armor increase of over 400 for 5 sec with each hit you do (doesn't stack). There is also the KV one (5% damage reduction for 5 sec + extra threat gen, but only every 30 sec), but I feel the 30 sec cooldown is too long to be really usefu

Still toying around with what's best. Thinking about avoiding Weapon Fusions in general, if my threat is a non-issue.

One more questions re: shields and medics. My medics aren't running Shield Surge anymore. They are running protective surge with overflow. Does that affect what kind of shield you want? You said ignore the low mit/fast reboot if you have medic healers, but does that still apply if they've dropped shield surge?

I see in your medic's heal guide that they still have SS on the LAS. Mine tell me it's just not worth it due to it's high focus cost and the ability to gain shields with the amp + runes. Thoughts?

Yeah, not running Shield Surge seems to be pretty viable right now. If they're not, just treat them like any other healer, and run a Fast Recharge shield. Bandwidth Spikers is the best 120 out there, I'm not sure what its GA equivalent is.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Myatha » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:58 am

This is the Forgemaster rune mentioned earlier. Would you think its better than Siphon? Seems iffy due to the thirty second cooldown




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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:15 am

It could be good, but I don't think so for general usage. You'd need a really specific fight that lets you keep the ICD synced with incoming burst.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Shrii » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:41 pm

Exanite weaponry is basically the same as someone linked a picture of, but gives 600 strikethrough instead.
I basically put it in before I looked at all the other ones and have been hesitating taking it out cause I really don't know if anything else is worth putting there.
Does siphon actually make a noticeable difference (doesn't it scale off AP?), or is it just cause you should have something there and that seems best?

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:04 pm

Its base value is pretty high. The healing isn't noticeable, but the damage is.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Shrii » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:38 am

Nvm, I'm retarded. The rune I was talking about is the same as the one that was linked, but it gives me 600 strikethrough instead. Scales from SP I guess.
I just named the special, lol.

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby blackjeans » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:10 pm

Thank you for your hard work in putting this together and updating it. It has been an immense help for someone new to Wildstar.
Fraya wrote:Skills that are shit:
Nano Field

Could you comment further on why you think so? On paper the % damage reduction seems very strong (with consideration to how often it would come up with Waller, potentially with reflexive nano skin as well?). Is there something about how Nano Field works in reality (mechanically) that makes it unappealing, or is it just simply worse than Frenzy (statistically)? Would love to hear your thoughts on whether or not there exists a Nano Field build worth consideration especially with "survival [being a] much larger concern."

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:16 pm

Sorry for the late reply. Regarding Nano Field:

    #1 - The Tank debuff is necessary, which limits NF from usage in around half of DS. Either that or you get a DPS War to run Jolt 4, but they won't be happy about it.

    #2 - You need Tiered Whiplash to keep threat with it. Which limits you from running Bloodthirst.

    #3 - The damage reduction from Stealth+NF doesn't average a substantial amount more than the 12% Deflect on Frenzy.

    #4 - The fact that Stealth+NF up with the 25% reduction from Innate creates a situation where we have more when we don't need it and less when we do.

On the plus side though, NF does let you use your innate purely defensively, as opposed to rotationally.

I haven't done any real world DS testing of NF, so if someone wants to and post results, it could be interesting. I likely won't though given the above reasons.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Oxtube » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:31 am

Nice guide !
There are so few stalker tank theory craft possibilities that i love reading these.
Few questions though.


-Taunt/ intimidate logic
If someone else is higher on threat than me, and i use TAUNT to become to target, and then i use INTIMIDATE.. according to your logic i should be copying my own threat?

-Speed fusion in boots.
Currently i'm running no fusion in my boots. Do you really think it's worth it, seeing as you also said: stand still as much as possible for your healers?

-sp regen
If you don't take punish/ NV, do you have enough SP regen to keep casting frenzy constantly?
Or do you still take punish? (you mentioned potentially dropping it but not sure if you have/can)

-deflect
I feel that stalker tanks are quite dependent on getting deflects to keep up our survivability & threat, which is why i runed it up to 25% base deflect. (frenzy will bring me up to 35.5%ish)

-amp spike
I'm a fan of amp spike (from from a design p.o.v. but whatever) in this meta since we have so few defensive cooldowns.
I have it on T4 because it lowers the cooldown to 44 seconds and T8 furor almost cuts that in half. On top of that it also increases healing received by 30% which helps in those oh-shit moments when you are casting it anyway.

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby CK Jester » Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:56 pm

Oxtube wrote:Nice guide !
There are so few stalker tank theory craft possibilities that i love reading these.
Few questions though.

-Taunt/ intimidate logic
If someone else is higher on threat than me, and i use TAUNT to become to target, and then i use INTIMIDATE.. according to your logic i should be copying my own threat?

-Speed fusion in boots.
Currently i'm running no fusion in my boots. Do you really think it's worth it, seeing as you also said: stand still as much as possible for your healers?

-sp regen
If you don't take punish/ NV, do you have enough SP regen to keep casting frenzy constantly?
Or do you still take punish? (you mentioned potentially dropping it but not sure if you have/can)

-deflect
I feel that stalker tanks are quite dependent on getting deflects to keep up our survivability & threat, which is why i runed it up to 25% base deflect. (frenzy will bring me up to 35.5%ish)

-amp spike
I'm a fan of amp spike (from from a design p.o.v. but whatever) in this meta since we have so few defensive cooldowns.
I have it on T4 because it lowers the cooldown to 44 seconds and T8 furor almost cuts that in half. On top of that it also increases healing received by 30% which helps in those oh-shit moments when you are casting it anyway.


Taunt / Intim - you can intim your own taunt its fine, you will match top threat not gain threat equal to who has threat so you can intim mid taunt and be fine.

Speed Fusion - he said to not move when inc dmg isnt worth dodging the tele and potentially your healer's heal. but you need to move bosses and when you do you need to move fast. examples, SD, Fire/Water, Air/Earth, Air/Life and a bunch others. when you dont ahve to move dont move make it easier for healers, dont dodge a 5k tele, do dodge a 30k tele haha.

SP Regen - i havent gotten full set yet so idk about this one but i trust fraya.

Deflect - with defiance / Alleviation you should have around 21-22% base deflect so 2-3% less than what you have. deflect isnt as huge a deal as it was because its harder to get it consistently. just keep those runes in Armor/HP/Crit Mit let your steadfasts do the deflecting for you.

amp spike - no comment on this yet, wait for fraya to chime in.

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:18 pm

SP Regen - The recent change to Enabler is making it look like Punish can be dropped. I only had 1 week of real-world testing though, so I can't be completely sure. The only real risk is that when you run out of SP it creates a pretty brutal feedback loop that keeps you out of SP.

AMP Spike - I haven't run it tiered up yet, don't really have the ability to now that I'm running Bloodthirst 8. It's still okay at base though, I'm probably going to be running it more if I can keep my SP stable without Punish.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Sesshoumaru » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:03 am

Quick questions:

In terms of threat what is better:

Siphon versus Enrage (hand fusion)

and also which amp is better for threat: boost or counter? Id imagine boost with our shields almost always above 50%.

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:01 pm

Depends on the fight.

Fusions: If Enrage is rolling because of constant damage, Enrage is more. If it's falling off, Siphon is more. IDK why you'd be comparing them though. Siphon is a Weapon Fusion, Enrage is a Glove.

Worth mentioning that Venom is now more TPS than Siphon.

Boost vs. Counter: Boost is considerably better than Counter. I am not a fan of Counter. On most boss fights you only deflect around once every 10 seconds. These are bosses that only average a swing every 3-4 seconds (their swing timer is 2.0, but casting makes Wildstar bosses lose their minds). So you're looking at one proc every 20 seconds on Counter, for an uptime of 30%, which is pretty pathetic for 8% Glance and 15% Threat.

Also worth mentioning on Counter, I can't be certain how the Threat% modifier is working. Some instances of Threat% add, and some multiply. If it's additive, the true value would be cut in half or more. That said, I have no idea what it is. It's very possible to test this though.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:11 pm

-Taunt/ intimidate logic
If someone else is higher on threat than me, and i use TAUNT to become to target, and then i use INTIMIDATE.. according to your logic i should be copying my own threat?

Taunt / Intim - you can intim your own taunt its fine, you will match top threat not gain threat equal to who has threat so you can intim mid taunt and be fine.


Just did some testing. Looks like Taunt/Intim got fixed at some point. I'm not sure when.

It is no longer an issue to Taunt off of an Intim or Intim off of a Taunt.

Will have to test this behaviour on Hydroflux at some point.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Oxtube » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:19 pm

Any gadgets good for threat?
If so, which one(s)

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:49 pm

I honestly have no idea. I wish there was a list of gadgets somewhere.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Huch52 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:29 pm

I'd like to know, low level dungeons you should use AP abilities, instead of support one. I read what you said, but AP abilities dont provide any defenses?

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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Fraya » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:31 pm

Huch52 wrote:I'd like to know, low level dungeons you should use AP abilities, instead of support one. I read what you said, but AP abilities dont provide any defenses?


Nor do SP Abilities, at least at low level. There is very little you can do to improve survival in low level dungeons besides bring interrupts, and hope your healer is pushing buttons.
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Re: Stalker Tank Guide [Drop 6]

Postby Cercie » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:18 pm

Now that new shields with the new specials are out, it looks like they really want the high mit shield to be the "tanky" one. What are your thoughts on the new shield specials and how they affect our picks as tanks?


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