So, when I rolled my Consular I rolled it with being a tank in mind. Tanking PvE content with guildies can be both fun and rewarding, and having played a tank (amongst other things) in WAR’s PvP I figured it would be great fun in SWTOR too. I leveled as a tank and then intended to continue on as a tank at level cap. One big problem though… the bulk of my guild had the exact same idea!
Finding a group of people to do a Flashpoint with was next to impossible (1 tank limit), particularly when the person you tend to play alongside the most plays the exact same class and spec as you, and is dead set on tanking. Getting into operations as a tank seemed similarly impossible (2 tank limit). Who’d of thought that there would ever be a lack of DPS players in an MMO lol! Kudos to Bioware for making tanks/heals viable in all aspects of the game!
I PvP’d 25 ranks of Valor as a defensively speced and geared tank. That is to say, I PUGGED 25 valor ranks as a defensively geared and speced tank. 25… frustrating… valor rank levels. PvP tanking in SWTOR is nothing like PvP tanking in WAR, despite having the exact same mechanics. All your defensive stats mean jack shit in PVP. Defence, Shield Chance, and Absorbtion don’t work with the majority of the attacks levelled at you in a PvP environment. Armor and Expertise are the mitigation kings! A tank in defensive gear is almost as squishy as a DPS, and is no less squishy than a tank in offensive gear. With that in mind, if all your gear and all of your spec is geared towards defensive play (like mine was), you are just a squishy blob of free-kill that hits enemies with a wet noodle. You run in, guard a player (taking his damage), debuff, taunt, get no heals, die. Rinse and repeat. Not fun, and I’m pretty sure Spock would not be impressed either.
With all this in mind, just what is a girl to do? Respec to DPS on a trial basis, that’s what! I chose a spec that was mainly focused on PvP but also excellent for PvE. At first I HATED it. I tried to do some dailies and just died over and over and over. Dieing is something I had done very little of in PvE, so this was something new. I wanted to quit the spec there and then but decided to slog through it and really give the spec a chance. Eventually, I worked out the right companion to use, and how to play something that was a lot squishier than I was used to. Basically, it just boiled down to “learn 2 play noob”. I’ve since run Flashpoints as DPS and have no problems in the day to day PvE content I face. Playing DPS isn’t as engaging or as complex as playing as a tank, but it is more fun than I first thought.
PvP as DPS was HELLA FUN! It felt good to finally hit somone with my light saber and actually make a dent in their health. Not only that, they DIED! That was something new for me! I did however miss the idea of being somewhat more useful than just DPS. That’s when I lucked onto this idea. If I ran in Combat Technique stance, I could still guard players, and as a Shadow I could still taunt and the like. Being in DPS gear didn’t matter because defensive gear doesn’t work in PVP. So, I reasoned, I could be DPS speced and geared and play as PvP tank.
OMG sooooo much fun! I had all the tank’s utility, with none of it’s drawbacks! In Combat Technique (and with a shield generator equiped) I was no less squishy than when tank speced, but I did a hell of a lot more damage. Sure, I did less damage than if I was in Shadow Technique stance, but it was still respectable. An unexpected bonus I found was that because I could actually kill players, my survivabilty went way up. The biggest bonus though was the amount of medals I could rake in. I got most of the medals I would get playing pure DPS, as well as all the medals I would get playing a tank. Click on the thumbnail of the score screen to see what I mean. That was with only around 120ish Expertise. Sure, I didnt top the dps charts, but it is respectable for the gear I had and for playing as a tank whilst guarding an objective. 12 medals was pretty sweet though. I think we can all agree on that! I can’t wait to see how things go with some better gear!
So, after a couple of weeks I feel like I have given the DPS spec a good go. So what is the result? I like it. I do prefer to tank in PvE then be melee DPS, but it is still enjoyable. If circumstances weren’t so dire for tanks in my guild, and in this game as a whole, I’d prefer to stay a tank. But things being as they are, DPS is most certainly the better option of the two. As for PvP (my main interest), I love the spec and would be loath to change to anything else. It is useful, flexible, and fun. So I guess this is how the pie crust crumbles (everyone knows pie > cake). Alostrael is now, and for the forseeable future, DPS speced. Sad, but it is what it is. The silver lining is that I still get to be a great tank in PvP, and in the end I’m more than happy with that.
I had to respec from tank to DPS. DPS isn’t bad in PvE and makes a better tank in PvP. Colour me DPS now.