Monday, January 2, 2012

Tanking hybrid mania

I've noticed on the forums lately that there is a lot of discussion (read: argument) about hybrid specs for tanking. Right now there seem to be three main specs being thrown around. I would NOT say that any one of these specs is inherently "better" than the others in every situation. They just take tanking in slightly different directions. While your personal spec is probably a couple points off, it should fit into one of these general categories:

The tanking spec we all know and love. This is the baseline spec that others are measured against.  The main idea of this build is to be as easy to heal as possible while generating sufficient threat to hold aggro off any DPS. Main points:
- Heat Blast, an ability which costs 24 less heat than most of your abilities and does about half the damage of a normal Rocket Punch
- 10% increased shield chance

This build is for those who feel that the top two tiers of the Shield Tech tree are lackluster and not worth the investment. Instead, those points can be applied in the AP tree to get extra threat. Supercharged Ion Gas is not taken here because it is not a significant threat increase and because Retractable Blade's DoT already ensures that Rail Shot will always be usable. Main points:
- Retractable Blade, an ability which costs 16 heat, has an internal damage DoT component, and overall does about the same damage as Rail Shot
- Heat control from Flame Barrage, giving Flame Burst a chance to make Rocket Punch free

This spec gives up a little more survivability than the ST/AP spec in exchange for even more threat. Rail Shot is the key to this build. Everything revolves around making it as strong as possible. Incendiary Missile's DoT should always be up so Rail Shot can be used every time it comes up. Main points:
- Incendiary Missile, a 25 heat ability with a large elemental DoT that does about the same damage as Rail Shot
- Flame Burst and Rocket Punch have a chance to reset the cooldown of Rail Shot and make it free
- Rail Shot returns 8 heat if it hits a burning target (Incendiary Missile's DoT, mainly)

Each of these specs is completely viable at this time. What you choose should depend on personal preference and your raid's performance. I am running 31/8/2 because I have had no threat problems yet and my personal feeling is that I would rather go overboard on survivability than on threat. Also, my main healer is a guildmate who hasn't healed before and gets stressed easily. If your healers are having no problems keeping you up and you find yourself slipping on aggro sometimes, consider trying out one of these hybrid builds. Remember, this is just the start of a new MMO. Don't allow yourself to get stuck in cookie-cutter mentalities just yet. Move points around, experiment, and find the build that works for you.


  1. Just wanted to say, I spent about an hour just reading a few of the posts, so far I think you're doing a great job! Keep up the good work and expect me to be many hits to this page!

  2. The first link is an unfinished spec. Can you fix? Just found this site and I love it so far as I am also lvling a Powertech Tank!