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Are Engineer "tank" builds viable?

mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
I consider myself an expert on both TAC and SCI builds. Having played the game for years now, I was originally of the opinion that Engineers were "noob" traps, and for a large segment of the player base (at least on console), that remains true. However, I've seen some creative uses of Engineers spec'd as TAC or SCI in the last year that have challenged some of my assumptions. Recently, I've been reading about some players (on PC) who have actually spec'd Engineers as they were intended - as tanks - and are successfully fulfilling that role in TFOs.

My question therefore is how are they doing this in Advanced or Elite TFOs where the higher DPS builds tend to dwell? Given the flawed game mechanics concerning threat management, in that high DPS builds will typically out-aggro anything that is built for tanking (which by its nature requires the ability to take and hold aggro), I find myself puzzled about this. I realize there are consoles and abilities designed for generating threat, but these are often poorly optimized for Engineers, such as Weapon Signature Amplifiers that utilize SCI console slots of which Engineering ships traditionally have fewer available. So what are players doing to generate enough threat to out-aggro a high DPS build? Not to mention that for a tank to take and hold aggro, they would also require a lot of survivability which necessary means they wouldn't have high DPS, certainly not more than a pure DPS build. I imagine there is some level of compromise from the DPS builds to cooperate with tank aggro, such as not running Redirected Arrays in lieu of the tank running that Starship Trait, but I doubt it's that simple considering that DPS builds need to meet a minimum threshold for Elite TFOs.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Perhaps share some general build information if you're knowledgeable on this topic?

Comments

  • casualstocasualsto Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    This is an interesting question. And I'm also looking for resolve in this matter.
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,351 Community Moderator
    I successfully tank with all 3 captain types. This will take a bit to explain so bear with me. Since you asked the question I'm going to break stuff down for you Any of the 3 captain types can be made into a viable tank. Tac, engineer, science. Any t5u, t6, and even many t4s can be made into successful tanks. what matters is what you load them with and how you fly the ship. There is no set in stone best ship to do this with as tanking is not purely a static thing in STO and is a spectrum of 3 things.

    Threat generation: How well you keep threat and enemy attention
    Damage Negation: how well you ignore and shake off damage up front
    damage recovery: how well you recover from damage and heal back up

    You can keep your ship at the middle of the spectrum with a balance of all 3 parts, or tilt the ship towards one part of the spectrum or the other without short changing it. If you tilt the ship more towards the damage/threat side of the spectrum that focuses more on firepower than survival, you would be classified as an "off tank" if you will. Off tanks have great knockdown power however if a fight doesn't end quickly enough or they take too many large hits too quickly, an off tank will buckle since they're not meant for longer duration fights. Typically you'll see off tanks in runs where not as much survival is required or picking up threat when the primary tank dies. The other side of that would be the more survival oriented tanks. These tanks focus more on survival and not as much on damage. These are the tanks you will see more of in longer duration queues and more so on the harder or elite mode queues that require the extra survival stats. While they may not kill things as fast as an off-tank or a standard tank, they carry the most survival of the 3 tanks and can be some of the most durable tanks there are if not the most. It's essentially a balancing act. You can slant towards one side or the other without short changing your build but you want healthy levels of each in the build.

    For an engineer they natively have more powerful heals in the form of their damage reducer Rotate Shield Frequency and Grace Under Fire. They also can cheese extra power with their remaining captain powers. Point being engineers are great with tech type abilities. While they're great with healing and tech abilities, they don't have as many debuffs/HoTs natively as science captains or as many general damage boosters like tactical captains do. While each captain has more of an edge in certain areas than others, each captain can tank.

    There are 2 big misconceptions related to DPS vs threat. The first one is that the only way to generate more threat is to generate more DPS. While generating more DPS can help with threat generation there are other ways to generate threat out there. The second misconception is that the person with the most DPS will be the person generating the most threat. This isn't the case necessarily as the threat multipliers can change dramatically between 2 players depending on setup and overall damage they're putting out. Being able to do DPS is an important process most certainly, but folks subscribing to one or both of those misconceptions severely overestimate the importance of DPS and do not yet grasp the full picture of what's going on behind the scenes. Idk what kind of numbers you're able to generate, but for sake of argument lets assume you and I both have toons that are doing 50k DPS, but yours is geared towards damage, and mine geared towards tanking. Because of certain abilities and threat boosts that are available in game, I'm going to out-threat you everyday of the week and twice on Sundays because my threat multiplier is going to be much higher than yours. I say that not to be arrogant but to make the point that based on your post I can tell you're not yet aware of some of the additional interactions going on. With that in mind I'm going to break down how you can boost your threat multiplier and various abilities you can call on for this.

    As it sits right now for a tank you have a healthy collection of abilities you can draw from.

    Threatening Stance: Native 200% boost to threat generation
    Threat Control: Skill tree modification that adds an additional 100% boost to threatening stance.
    History Will Remember: starship trait from Narendra and Vor'al cruisers. worth 300% threat when stacked to maximum
    Adak'ukan: duty officer that grants 100% threat boost while AP Delta is active. Can stack up to 3 times for total of 300% threat boost each time Delta is pressed in addition to Delta's other effects.
    Attract Fire: cruiser command granting a 100% threat boost while active. does not stack with other iterations of command from other players.
    imposing presence: personal space trait granting 25% additional threat
    diversionary tactics: activated ability from strategist that functions as AoE taunt granting 50% additional threat while active.

    Now if the goal is purely as much threat, at it's peak a tank can put out 1025% threat boosting counting everything but your AoE taunt as that's more an emergency situation thing, though if you do count it that brings the total to 1075% threat boosting with the taunt active. When Delta is not active to proc the Adak'ukans that means a boost of 725%. There will be minimal downtime for delta ideally but in the interest of completeness i included that figure. Now that 725-1025% boost is a 7.25-10.25 times multiplier BEFORE you ever touch the threat boosting embassy consoles. If you count the embassy consoles those numbers go higher.

    Weapon signature amplifier mk xv epic: at mk xv worth 157.5% threat boost per console. can stack generally up to 5 times depending on ship.

    Most ships won't use these consoles today as there is no need and even then it will be in limited quantities if they do. Again for sake of discussion let's assume that someone is running all 5 consoles as a threat booster. That's an additional 787.5% threat boosting for a total of 1812.5% threat boosting or a 18.125 times multiplier. This again assumes the goal is pure threat generation. Generally you will not see a tank pulling that high of a multiplier even if it is possible. Now what this essentially means is whatever threat you're generating, you would pull 10.25 times the amount of normal or 18.125 times the amount of normal. That's very significant as these higher multipliers are part of what allows tanks to gain and hold threat.

    The actual number is different, but let's assume for sake of discussion that one point of DPS is equal to one point of threat generated. So 50k dps would mean 50k threat generated. Now revisiting the earlier example. If you and I are both pulling and sustaining 50k DPS, but I'm set as a tank, as far as the foes are concerned I'm as threatening as someone dealing 512.5k DPS. This would mean in order to pull from me, you would need to pull and sustain 512.5k at a minimum at the 10.25 times multiplier. The amount of DPS you would need to pull and sustain to pull off me only goes higher as my damage goes higher. So this would mean if I'm pulling and sustaining 100k DPS you would need to pull and sustain 1,025,000 DPS in order to pull from me. In other words, unless I die or you directly taunt off of me, it's not going to happen as that's not a number that is possible without very very VERY specific circumstances. 90% of the playerbase I would say will never see numbers like that. This is why in runs with Timberwolf or similar folks I rarely ever lose threat to him or anyone else in the run is because I'm generating at least 10 times the threat they are on average even though I'm doing less damage than him/them.

    Point being DPS has a part to play certainly, but your threat multiplier more important. If you are not dealing damage you are not generating threat. This is why sometimes you will notice in runs that if a tank's weapons get shut off, sometimes it can be possible for a high damage player to overtake them on threat temporarily and pull from the tank. If you have a higher multiplier but no damage backing it up, that multiplier is useless. So you do want a bit of damage to go with your threat multiplier but you don't need some absurd amount of DPS either.

    At the end of the day it's a balancing act between your damage, threat multiplier, what kind of setup you have, and how well you use it. In other words 20% setup, 80% piloting.


    As for you specifically it sounds like you're not running a high enough threat multiplier and potentially a couple other issues at play though I can't say for certain what your specific issue is without knowing more.
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

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  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,351 Community Moderator
    With all of that said above if either of you are looking for help getting started feel free to drop me a PM and I will help you out as much as possible
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    No APA just increases damage. Damage directly translates threat, but it is specifically and massively modified by your threat modifier. If you're not running threatening stance, it is entirely possible to be running around with (I think) a constant -125% threat modifier with no special equipment. That helps anyone who is running in threatening stance actually hold aggro with a lot less effort.

    Again, my ships that run in threatening stance, and aren't primarily DPS ships, have no real issues holding aggro unless I find someone with extreme DPS, at which point I definitely don't need to hold aggro because it is already dead.
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,351 Community Moderator
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    This is 100% incorrect. Attack Pattern Alpha does NOT modify threat in any way. And no, DPS is not everything. If you and I both are doing 100k DPS, but you're built for pure damage and I'm built as a tank, you're never going to pull threat from me because I'm generating 10.5 times the amount of threat you are. If we are assuming 1 DPS = 1 threat this means you would need to pull and sustain well over 1.05 million DPS if you wanted any chance of pulling off me without directly taunting or me dying. Furthermore if you are running with threatening stance off, it lowers your threat. Plus if you are effected by an Attract Fire from another player you can get a -150% threat modifier. If I run into a person like that who has negative threat compared to my positive, then it's as though I am running a 1200% modifier on my build. This means as far as the game is concerned I am doing 12 times the amount of threat as that person. Whoever told you it was purely about DPS straight up lied to you. Damage has a part to play but once again you severely over-estimate its importance.
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
    First of all, a big thank you to @darkbladejk for taking the time to respond in such detail. This was extremely helpful.

    I do have some specific questions about some of the areas you covered. I've attempted to re-organize them below and quoted the relevant sections for reference, with some added commentary to address your own questions concerning my build experience.
    I successfully tank with all 3 captain types. This will take a bit to explain so bear with me. Since you asked the question I'm going to break stuff down for you Any of the 3 captain types can be made into a viable tank. Tac, engineer, science. Any t5u, t6, and even many t4s can be made into successful tanks. what matters is what you load them with and how you fly the ship. There is no set in stone best ship to do this with as tanking is not purely a static thing in STO and is a spectrum of 3 things.

    Threat generation: How well you keep threat and enemy attention
    Damage Negation: how well you ignore and shake off damage up front
    damage recovery: how well you recover from damage and heal back up

    For an engineer they natively have more powerful heals in the form of their damage reducer Rotate Shield Frequency and Grace Under Fire. They also can cheese extra power with their remaining captain powers. Point being engineers are great with tech type abilities. While they're great with healing and tech abilities, they don't have as many debuffs/HoTs natively as science captains or as many general damage boosters like tactical captains do. While each captain has more of an edge in certain areas than others, each captain can tank.

    1. I'm aware that outside unique captain abilities, each captain can effectively be spec'd as something else, whether it's TAC, SCI, ENG, or a hybrid. However, the trinity design that was intended by Arc/Cryptic lends itself to TAC as DPS, SCI as DPS or healer, and ENG as tank or healer. I have of course seen many variations to this, such as SCI DPS builds that are fairly "tanky", ENG DPS builds, and SCI-TAC hybrids. So I understand that captain roles can be somewhat fluid, but my understanding is that ENG captains in ENG ships lean much more heavily towards the tank role given the larger number of ENG console slots they support, in addition to Command abilities such as Attract Fire and ship Mastery bonuses.

    As it appears that threat generation can be universally applied, do you feel that other captains (TAC/SCI) can be as effective as ENG when it comes to damage control, which is arguably equally as important as threat management? If so, why? And if you are using a SCI or TAC captain as a tank, are you still flying an ENG ship?
    There are 2 big misconceptions related to DPS vs threat. The first one is that the only way to generate more threat is to generate more DPS. While generating more DPS can help with threat generation there are other ways to generate threat out there. The second misconception is that the person with the most DPS will be the person generating the most threat. This isn't the case necessarily as the threat multipliers can change dramatically between 2 players depending on setup and overall damage they're putting out. Being able to do DPS is an important process most certainly, but folks subscribing to one or both of those misconceptions severely overestimate the importance of DPS and do not yet grasp the full picture of what's going on behind the scenes. Idk what kind of numbers you're able to generate, but for sake of argument lets assume you and I both have toons that are doing 50k DPS, but yours is geared towards damage, and mine geared towards tanking. Because of certain abilities and threat boosts that are available in game, I'm going to out-threat you everyday of the week and twice on Sundays because my threat multiplier is going to be much higher than yours. I say that not to be arrogant but to make the point that based on your post I can tell you're not yet aware of some of the additional interactions going on.

    2. This example assumes that the "tank" is doing relatively equal DPS, which I find difficult to see if they are built for threat and damage control. While you can certainly make a beefy DPS build, which you often seen in PvP, it will never do as much DPS as a pure PvE DPS build which doesn't have to sacrifice consoles or traits for excessive amounts of Defense and Accuracy (the bread and butter of PvP builds). Furthermore, in PvE, I'm typically running either FaW or CSV (whereas I run CRF or Overload in PvP). In the former case, I'm hitting up to 12 targets with 6 beams during FaW, which often generates far more aggro than merely hitting 3 targets with CSV. The other issue I see here is proximity to the tank.

    For instance, one of the phases in Korfez is a picket line. Your team has to spread out along that picket line to prevent the enemy ships from crossing. If I'm on the far left, and the tank is in the middle or the far right, how is that threat management helping me? Is his threat range limited to 10km, or is it map-wide? This begs the question of which TFOs are better suited for an actual tank? Elite Hive Onslaught comes to mind as the perfect TFO for a tank, whereas Elite Storming the Spire, Elite Korfez, or any other TFO where the team is forced to spread out seems like it would severely diminish the role the tank is there to provide. For these TFOs, is it better to just bring another DPS in the tank's place?
    As it sits right now for a tank you have a healthy collection of abilities you can draw from.

    Threatening Stance: Native 200% boost to threat generation
    Threat Control: Skill tree modification that adds an additional 100% boost to threatening stance.
    History Will Remember: starship trait from Narendra and Vor'al cruisers. worth 300% threat when stacked to maximum
    Adak'ukan: duty officer that grants 100% threat boost while AP Delta is active. Can stack up to 3 times for total of 300% threat boost each time Delta is pressed in addition to Delta's other effects.
    Attract Fire: cruiser command granting a 100% threat boost while active. does not stack with other iterations of command from other players.
    imposing presence: personal space trait granting 25% additional threat
    diversionary tactics: activated ability from strategist that functions as AoE taunt granting 50% additional threat while active.

    Now if the goal is purely as much threat, at it's peak a tank can put out 1025% threat boosting counting everything but your AoE taunt as that's more an emergency situation thing, though if you do count it that brings the total to 1075% threat boosting with the taunt active. When Delta is not active to proc the Adak'ukans that means a boost of 725%. There will be minimal downtime for delta ideally but in the interest of completeness i included that figure. Now that 725-1025% boost is a 7.25-10.25 times multiplier BEFORE you ever touch the threat boosting embassy consoles. If you count the embassy consoles those numbers go higher.

    Weapon signature amplifier mk xv epic: at mk xv worth 157.5% threat boost per console. can stack generally up to 5 times depending on ship.

    Most ships won't use these consoles today as there is no need and even then it will be in limited quantities if they do. Again for sake of discussion let's assume that someone is running all 5 consoles as a threat booster. That's an additional 787.5% threat boosting for a total of 1812.5% threat boosting or a 18.125 times multiplier. This again assumes the goal is pure threat generation. Generally you will not see a tank pulling that high of a multiplier even if it is possible. Now what this essentially means is whatever threat you're generating, you would pull 10.25 times the amount of normal or 18.125 times the amount of normal. That's very significant as these higher multipliers are part of what allows tanks to gain and hold threat.

    3. I was aware of everything you listed except for History Will Remember and the DOFF.

    A couple things here I wanted to clarify. Many TAC/DPS builds run Strategist as their secondary for the DPS boost. If the DPS build is running the same Specialization, wouldn't that effectively cancel out that threat bonus for the tank? Also, as I had already mentioned, Amplifier Embassy consoles require SCI console slots. Most ENG ships (which seem to be the best suited for tanking) are starved for SCI console slots, typically having only two or three. This goes to my point how ENG ships are poorly optimized for building for additional threat generation and aggro management, and how DPS builds might need to compromise in cooperation (in this case, by not running that Specialization). This also goes to my earlier point about Redirected Arrays. Yet that Starship Trait and DOFF you mentioned seem more than sufficient to offset that disadvantage. Do you typically run those consoles on your builds, especially if you're using an ENG captain? If not, are you still able to generate enough threat and hold it against a really good DPS build?

    Additionally, how do you handle DPS spikes from consoles such as DPRM and DOMINO? Do your DPS teammates communicate with you when they use those so that you can spike your threat generation with activated abilities such as Diversionary Tactics?
    The actual number is different, but let's assume for sake of discussion that one point of DPS is equal to one point of threat generated. So 50k dps would mean 50k threat generated. Now revisiting the earlier example. If you and I are both pulling and sustaining 50k DPS, but I'm set as a tank, as far as the foes are concerned I'm as threatening as someone dealing 512.5k DPS. This would mean in order to pull from me, you would need to pull and sustain 512.5k at a minimum at the 10.25 times multiplier. The amount of DPS you would need to pull and sustain to pull off me only goes higher as my damage goes higher. So this would mean if I'm pulling and sustaining 100k DPS you would need to pull and sustain 1,025,000 DPS in order to pull from me. In other words, unless I die or you directly taunt off of me, it's not going to happen as that's not a number that is possible without very very VERY specific circumstances. 90% of the playerbase I would say will never see numbers like that. This is why in runs with Timberwolf or similar folks I rarely ever lose threat to him or anyone else in the run is because I'm generating at least 10 times the threat they are on average even though I'm doing less damage than him/them.

    Point being DPS has a part to play certainly, but your threat multiplier more important. If you are not dealing damage you are not generating threat. This is why sometimes you will notice in runs that if a tank's weapons get shut off, sometimes it can be possible for a high damage player to overtake them on threat temporarily and pull from the tank. If you have a higher multiplier but no damage backing it up, that multiplier is useless. So you do want a bit of damage to go with your threat multiplier but you don't need some absurd amount of DPS either.

    You can keep your ship at the middle of the spectrum with a balance of all 3 parts, or tilt the ship towards one part of the spectrum or the other without short changing it. If you tilt the ship more towards the damage/threat side of the spectrum that focuses more on firepower than survival, you would be classified as an "off tank" if you will. Off tanks have great knockdown power however if a fight doesn't end quickly enough or they take too many large hits too quickly, an off tank will buckle since they're not meant for longer duration fights. Typically you'll see off tanks in runs where not as much survival is required or picking up threat when the primary tank dies. The other side of that would be the more survival oriented tanks. These tanks focus more on survival and not as much on damage. These are the tanks you will see more of in longer duration queues and more so on the harder or elite mode queues that require the extra survival stats. While they may not kill things as fast as an off-tank or a standard tank, they carry the most survival of the 3 tanks and can be some of the most durable tanks there are if not the most. It's essentially a balancing act. You can slant towards one side or the other without short changing your build but you want healthy levels of each in the build.

    4. As I play on console (Xbox), we don't have a lot of the tools available to us that PC players do. No buff/debuff tray in our UI. No hot bar for easier and quicker ability management (the wheel sucks). No macros (this one alone is HUGE). And no parser. What we do to work around some of these issues is we set conditions on many of our abilities so that we can focus on the ones that matter most. We also approximate our DPS through Starbase 234 and Japori by using a bit of relational algebra based on average (non-ISA) parses that PC players have posted for those two patrols at the same difficulty level. Obviously, it's not 100% accurate, but my averaged (averaging Starbase 234 and Japori results together) TAC DPS Phaser build clocks in at 103k, and my TAC DPS Disruptor build clocks in at 105k. When I'm running Elite queues with my fleet, however, I notice a tremendous difference in threat generation when I'm running a FaW build versus CSV. Again, in the absence of an actual parser, my actual DPS numbers may be off, but I'm definitely doing a LOT of DPS as evidenced by TTK (time to kill) in Elite TFOs compared to some of my fleet mates on their DPS builds (I often kill two or three ships to their one).

    My question here is how do you contend with someone who's doing 100k+ DPS? Do they hold off on engaging until you've established some threat control?

    For me personally, I bake in some survivability in all my DPS builds because we've never run with a traditional tank, ENG or otherwise. We have on certain queues brought a SCI healer, but again, it depends on the Elite TFO we're planning on doing. Yet it's not lost on me that I could be doing even more DPS if I didn't have to worry about surviving aggro. One of the ways I also manage aggro survival is through piloting. This is much easier with a FaW build where I can simply fly in circles at full impulse around my targets in order to keep my Defense higher. It's much more problematic on my CSV builds. So my answer to that has traditionally been to kill things faster. The quicker they die, the less damage they can do to me. Of course, more enemy dense TFOs like Elite Hive Onslaught requires a different approach, or more simply, an actual tank capable of holding aggro and surviving the damage.
    At the end of the day it's a balancing act between your damage, threat multiplier, what kind of setup you have, and how well you use it. In other words 20% setup, 80% piloting.

    As for you specifically it sounds like you're not running a high enough threat multiplier and potentially a couple other issues at play though I can't say for certain what your specific issue is without knowing more.

    5. I find this statement very interesting, since I would have thought that a good tank is the opposite: 80% setup (build), 20% piloting. I guess this goes to show that I've never experienced running with a competent tank. To address your last point, I have never personally attempted to build one, and while I acknowledge your point that you can make a tank on any captain, if I did build a tank, it would probably be with an ENG, of which I have none (I only have TAC and SCI captains).

    If you have the time and capability given that you're on PC, I would love to see a video of you (with some audio commentary) on your tank build in an Elite TFO. It would be a great way to see the build in action, and you'd be able to comment on specific points of threat management and damage control throughout the TFO. If you don't have the time or ability to do that, do you know if anyone else has posted such videos I could watch?

    Again, thank you for taking the time to respond in such detail. It's greatly appreciated.
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 9,888 Arc User
    edited March 2020
    However, the trinity design that was intended by Arc/Cryptic lends itself to TAC as DPS, SCI as DPS or healer, and ENG as tank or healer.

    FYI, STO does not follow the MMO trinity design. TFOs are designed for any 5 players period, not for a tank, a healer and 3 DPS.

    If anything, they are designed for 5 x DPS. You tanking just means the 4 DPS with you are less likely to explode then respawn.

    Many tactical / DPS ships include Lt. Commander Science so allow for Gravity Well and Tyken's Rift, i.e. control and debuff abilities. So DPS ships are also support ships at the same time.

    Science ships can do massive DPS with "megawell" Gravity Wells and either beams or torpedoes, so support / control ships can be DPS monsters at the same time.

    The trinity is not really needed in the current game.

    An exception might be pre-made teams optimizing their powers and gear as a 5-person set. Then I could see one person specializing in crowd control + DPS, another in threat control + DPS, etc. That's just a guess since I'm not in the DPS League.
  • redwren89redwren89 Member Posts: 257 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    No APA just increases damage. Damage directly translates threat, but it is specifically and massively modified by your threat modifier. If you're not running threatening stance, it is entirely possible to be running around with (I think) a constant -125% threat modifier with no special equipment. That helps anyone who is running in threatening stance actually hold aggro with a lot less effort.

    Again, my ships that run in threatening stance, and aren't primarily DPS ships, have no real issues holding aggro unless I find someone with extreme DPS, at which point I definitely don't need to hold aggro because it is already dead.

    You said captain powers don't have anything that increases threat...not threat modifiers. And extra damage increases threat. Especially any extra damage added to sci damage.

    Also threat modifiers are not exactly a multiplier as it seems not all damage is equal. My cannon tact/sci hybrids will pull aggro away from pure energy build that are doing double what I do running threatening stance while I am running neg threat. For somebody to keep aggro off me, I find they need to be doing roughly 4 times the damage I do in a beam boat. Or do more science damage than I do(which as a tact sci hybrid isn't hard). Or be a cannon boat at double my damage and stay close to the enemies. But since generally speaking, as a tank, you don't want zippy escorts to be close to enemies or be a science ship (although I have seen some good shield tanks)...yeah you need to be doing something like 300k DPS to keep aggro off me. Something like 200k for dedicate tanks that have a LOT of threat modifiers and something like 150k if you have MAXED your threat modifier. Yeah...that is you have to be pretty DPS focused. Assuming you are in a beam boat or even a cannon boat if you don't fight tight and close. Sci boats will pull aggro off me at like HALF my DPS from 10 km away. So yes my comment about pure DPS was overly simplistic...because there actually is a lot that goes into threat...like distance and damage type...but enough DPS does actually override it all...so DPS is the answer to everything. Also things can't hurt you if they are dead.

    Your point made very dynamically about dps being the ultimate threat creator is so very well founded. I had to place my tactical captain in my odyssey for this very reason, more dps pulls more agro which means you may take more damage. There are some nice +threat sources that also increase survivability like threatening stance and history will remember. win/win.

    Are Engineer ''tank'' builds viable? - this debated concept of finding a way to make engineer captain powers do something seems to lead to Engineers making threat builds. Unfortunately, unless your target has tonnes of dps and million of HP, this kind of build won't every reach an optimal standard of threat vs tank and performance. I tried this almost desperately with my engineer captain, adding as many dps abilities as possible, but still I remained unappeased. Taking the science captain, conservation of energy, ion storm generator (+500% threat and exotic damage), high aux feedback pulse, improved feedback pulse to add the 50% severity to your 50%+critH - this SCREAMS threat build. Its direct hull damage creates even more threat, just like coldnapalm indicated. Ultimately it aint bad, though there are no tactical captain powers, less you shove a tactical captain in a sci ship...

    If a tac captain performs well in a ship that can survive drawing agro like say a battlecruiser or science ship, and your sci captain does the same in a science ship or maybe carrier, why not try the engineer in an escort? just an idea.
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
    However, the trinity design that was intended by Arc/Cryptic lends itself to TAC as DPS, SCI as DPS or healer, and ENG as tank or healer.

    FYI, STO does not follow the MMO trinity design. TFOs are designed for any 5 players period, not for a tank, a healer and 3 DPS.

    For the record, I'm well aware of this, but that sentence you quoted was referring back to when STO was first released in 2010, and it was arguably intended to follow the trinity MMO model. As we all know, that's not exactly how it turned out, and for better or worse, the absence of a trinity model in this game is where we have been for quite some time now. As I went on to say, there are now variations of nearly every build on each of the three captain archetypes, as captain roles are fluid in that what role you are defined to be is more determined by your spec and ship build than your captain. The larger, underscoring point is that this entire thread was started because I wanted to find out how "tanks" can be viable considering that DPS is king in this game. I simply focused on Engineer because that's the captain being used by some PC players I had read about who are successfully tanking in Elite TFOs (among other reasons I won't go into here). Incidentally, I have four characters, all TAC and SCI captains, who are all different flavors of DPS. I'm more than acquainted with DPS roles in this game.

    That being said, there are some Elite TFOs where having a trinity group would be more ideal and efficient, or at least, having a tank and x4 DPS. I think this is what you were alluding to at the end of your response. I can say from personal experience that without a viable, competent tank build in my fleet, what we've done is run a heal boat with x4 DPS who have some better survivability (i.e. not glass cannons) in Elite TFOs where that's needed. That has worked for us, but it's not ideal because inevitably one DPS build (typically mine) starts taking the majority of the aggro and then I have to start flying evasively to stay alive, which means I'm doing less DPS (which is better than none if I'm dead and respawning).

    Which brings me back to the point of this thread. To find out how tanking can be made viable with high DPS builds in Elite TFOs.
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,351 Community Moderator
    1. I'm aware that outside unique captain abilities, each captain can effectively be spec'd as something else, whether it's TAC, SCI, ENG, or a hybrid. However, the trinity design that was intended by Arc/Cryptic lends itself to TAC as DPS, SCI as DPS or healer, and ENG as tank or healer. I have of course seen many variations to this, such as SCI DPS builds that are fairly "tanky", ENG DPS builds, and SCI-TAC hybrids. So I understand that captain roles can be somewhat fluid, but my understanding is that ENG captains in ENG ships lean much more heavily towards the tank role given the larger number of ENG console slots they support, in addition to Command abilities such as Attract Fire and ship Mastery bonuses.

    As it appears that threat generation can be universally applied, do you feel that other captains (TAC/SCI) can be as effective as ENG when it comes to damage control, which is arguably equally as important as threat management? If so, why? And if you are using a SCI or TAC captain as a tank, are you still flying an ENG ship?

    First I think it needs to be stated that the traditional holy trinity system of tank, healer, dps doesn't exist in STO and isn't really enforced at all. If anything it's more of a holy duo of tank and DPS than it is anything. Again any t5u, t6, and many t4 ships can be made into tanks. What matters is what you load them with and how you fly them. Having more engineering console slots does not mean the ship has to be a tank, it can simply make it easier for slapping universal consoles on there.

    To answer you question, my main toon is a tactical captain tank. In fact a friend of mine thought he was an engineer for the longest time due to how much healing his builds are capable of putting out and how durable they can be. So for the first bit, yes tac/sci can do just as well as engineers in controlling damage. The only difference for engineers is that they get a couple of captain based healings powers for free that the other classes do not get. While those extra powers can be helpful, they shouldn't be making or breaking you if you catch my drift. As to why sci/tac can be just as effective as engineers is due to the nature of the tank build itself. Most of the heals I have in my build are either bridge officer based or based on various set bonuses, consoles, etc that have been placed on the build. All of these items are accessible by the other captain types and are not exclusive to any one type. As for what kind of ships I prefer, as long as I can get the 4 main engineering powers I use on a ship or a viable substitute to those powers, I generally have no issues engineering wise. After that I focus on what tac and sci powers I want to use. I tend to fly some of the bigger beefier ships purely because that's typically what I like and because they tend to lend more tools to the way I build, however that isn't always the case. In fact I occasionally bust out my t5u Aquarius Escort tank, and the Aquarius had/has the lowest overall hull in game for a t5u-t6 ship. In fact I once got accused of hacking in a Days of Doom mission where you fight the planet killer because I was outlasting a guy in a much larger ship. Far as to what ships I'm flying it depends on my mood really.
    2. This example assumes that the "tank" is doing relatively equal DPS, which I find difficult to see if they are built for threat and damage control. While you can certainly make a beefy DPS build, which you often seen in PvP, it will never do as much DPS as a pure PvE DPS build which doesn't have to sacrifice consoles or traits for excessive amounts of Defense and Accuracy (the bread and butter of PvP builds). Furthermore, in PvE, I'm typically running either FaW or CSV (whereas I run CRF or Overload in PvP). In the former case, I'm hitting up to 12 targets with 6 beams during FaW, which often generates far more aggro than merely hitting 3 targets with CSV. The other issue I see here is proximity to the tank.

    For instance, one of the phases in Korfez is a picket line. Your team has to spread out along that picket line to prevent the enemy ships from crossing. If I'm on the far left, and the tank is in the middle or the far right, how is that threat management helping me? Is his threat range limited to 10km, or is it map-wide? This begs the question of which TFOs are better suited for an actual tank? Elite Hive Onslaught comes to mind as the perfect TFO for a tank, whereas Elite Storming the Spire, Elite Korfez, or any other TFO where the team is forced to spread out seems like it would severely diminish the role the tank is there to provide. For these TFOs, is it better to just bring another DPS in the tank's place?

    Like all spectrums, there are extremes to the tanking spectrum where the ability to tank is greatly diminished or outright non-existent and I will cover them below. Also PVP tanking/dps and PVE tanking/dps are 2 completely different beasts with 2 completely different types of setup. While PVP and PVE tanks may share some of their core abilities such as large mega heals, the rest of their needs are radically different. I would also question if you're running 2 torps on a single ship. Because if you are you're hamstringing yourself if you're not a dedicated torp boat. While it can certainly be done, that extra torp is slowing you down since you can't fire them both at the same time. While that extra torp isn't firing it's dealing zero damage and zero threat. At that point a mk i white ground weapon will deal more damage and threat. I never run more than a single torp on my builds unless I intend for it to be a torp boat or if I'm relying on science to do most of my damage.

    Glass tank: hyper specialized into firepower at the expense of negation and recovery. While they have impressive firepower they die if an enemy so much as sneezes in their general direction, even if they don't get sneezed on. They're basically all threat gen and no recovery or negation.
    Barricade
    : These tanks have heavy negation and firepower but no recovery. They can draw threat and negate alot of damage, but they have no recovery to repair themselves with once they've been hit. Because if this they will eventually fold like a collapsible barrier due to insufficient means of repair. They are all threat and negation, but no viable recovery.
    Unkillable turtle: These are the most well known imo of the 4 extremes of the spectrum. They have next to nothing in terms of threat generation and are all negation and recovery. While they're nigh unkillable and it takes alot of damage to kill them, they will most likely never have threat due to extremely low damage/threat output. They are little more than punching bags for the NPCs. While they will rarely ever die, they can't kill anything either. In other words they're all negation and recovery, no threat.
    Putty: this is the most unstable of the extremes as their health spikes up and down wildly due to not having any negation. They can generate threat just fine and generally recovery from damage super fast, but are the most vulnerable to spike damage that can occur in many elite runs as one hypothetical. Due to this vulnerability and the fact they have no negation to speak of, they tend to burn out their heavy healing abilities more quickly and burn themselves out faster than any other kind of tank. All threat generation and recovery, no negation.

    With that said, doing damage and being able to survive are not mutually exclusive concepts. As a tank I can crank 100k+ DPS and have ran with people that are capable of busting out over 500k DPS and never lost threat to them unless I died, they directly taunted, or my weapons were disabled for a long period of time allowing them to overtake me on the threat table. There's many a trait and power out there which can help you in that department. Secondly on that point distance can have an effect on things and there are such things as "zero distance" powers in game that generate more threat on average than normal, with gravity well being a prime example. This is because the thing actually doing the damage is right on top of foes even if the ship that fired the thing is right at the 10km weapons range. Again this should not make or break a tank, but most definitely does effect things. Most missions there are no issues with tanking. For Storming the Spire your goal is 2 fold, protect allied ships, destroy enemy transports and ships. One side generally is focused on damage, the other technically on tanking. Then nuking shuttles at the end along with that dreadnought. It's more of a conquest type of map and doesn't follow the usual models that require a tank. Korfez changes each time you go in there and once you get past the DPS check, the objectives are not always going to be the same. Some of the possible objectives you can get in Korfez are really luck of the draw based and don't really follow the standard models of other queues. With Korfez some of the objectives you can get require a tank, some of them don't. It's really luck of the draw and you won't know what you get until you're in the run and past the first stage dps check. So you might need a tank and you might not. However for me and my crew, we subscribe to the notion that it's often better to have something and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Korfez and Storming the Spire are the exceptions to the norms. While distance can definitely effect the aggro table, it doesn't have to if the tank compensates and everyone is working together.
    3. I was aware of everything you listed except for History Will Remember and the DOFF.

    A couple things here I wanted to clarify. Many TAC/DPS builds run Strategist as their secondary for the DPS boost. If the DPS build is running the same Specialization, wouldn't that effectively cancel out that threat bonus for the tank? Also, as I had already mentioned, Amplifier Embassy consoles require SCI console slots. Most ENG ships (which seem to be the best suited for tanking) are starved for SCI console slots, typically having only two or three. This goes to my point how ENG ships are poorly optimized for building for additional threat generation and aggro management, and how DPS builds might need to compromise in cooperation (in this case, by not running that Specialization). This also goes to my earlier point about Redirected Arrays. Yet that Starship Trait and DOFF you mentioned seem more than sufficient to offset that disadvantage. Do you typically run those consoles on your builds, especially if you're using an ENG captain? If not, are you still able to generate enough threat and hold it against a really good DPS build?

    Additionally, how do you handle DPS spikes from consoles such as DPRM and DOMINO? Do your DPS teammates communicate with you when they use those so that you can spike your threat generation with activated abilities such as Diversionary Tactics?

    The boost you get from Strategist depends on if threatening stance is active or not. If it is, you get the more healing/tank focused stuff. If it isn't, then you get the damage boosting type items. So the bonuses I get as a tank won't be the same a DPS person gets. His bonuses don't effect mine and vice versa. Because of my 1025% multiplier and that I'm doing a fair amount of damage to start with, I'm largely uneffected by that guy having the dps bonuses to strategist. Again keep in mind, as far as the game is concerned I'm as threatening as someone doing 10.25 times my amount of damage. If I am on my main tank pulling and sustaining 100k, he would need to pull and sustain 1.05 million dps to overtake me on threat. The only other ways would be by directly taunting, which is not damage related, me dying, or my weapons getting shut off for a long period of time. Keep in mind as well that 1025% boost to threat means I don't need the threat consoles. I've not needed the Amplifiers since before season 13. While they can have a use, they're definitely not needed unless you just want to go hog ham with the largest threat multiplier you can cause reasons. I can tell you for me the traits I've been running are, Delta Prime, Emergency Weapon Cycle, History Will Remember, Entwined Tactical Matrices, and Weapon Emitter Overdrive.

    The Delta Prime gives me more knockdown power by boosting crit chance and severity, which can translate to threat. History Will Remember gives me a large threat boost. Emergency Weapon Cycle makes my weapons take less power to fire and makes them fire faster. Weapon Emitter Overdrive makes my weapons take more power to fire but also gives me some accuracy (not really needed but nice to have) and also a large bit of crit chance for energy weapons. The weapon power cost modifiers on EWC and WEO will cancel each other out, but I still get the other benefits. Entwined Tactical Matrices means each time I activate FAW I get a free torp spread one. If I activate torp spread I get a free FAW 1. This means I will get more up time overall on my FAW meaning more AoE threat going out. It also means I get to throw more torps around which is nice. I also have my own damage spiking capability as well for when I want to kill something faster. Damage spiking isn't exclusive to DPS type builds only. DPRM is also one of those items that can be offensive or defensive. In other words I have spikes of my own I can use if I want to, and even then with the level of threat I'm generating under a 10.25 times multiplier, it's not an issue.
    4. As I play on console (Xbox), we don't have a lot of the tools available to us that PC players do. No buff/debuff tray in our UI. No hot bar for easier and quicker ability management (the wheel sucks). No macros (this one alone is HUGE). And no parser. What we do to work around some of these issues is we set conditions on many of our abilities so that we can focus on the ones that matter most. We also approximate our DPS through Starbase 234 and Japori by using a bit of relational algebra based on average (non-ISA) parses that PC players have posted for those two patrols at the same difficulty level. Obviously, it's not 100% accurate, but my averaged (averaging Starbase 234 and Japori results together) TAC DPS Phaser build clocks in at 103k, and my TAC DPS Disruptor build clocks in at 105k. When I'm running Elite queues with my fleet, however, I notice a tremendous difference in threat generation when I'm running a FaW build versus CSV. Again, in the absence of an actual parser, my actual DPS numbers may be off, but I'm definitely doing a LOT of DPS as evidenced by TTK (time to kill) in Elite TFOs compared to some of my fleet mates on their DPS builds (I often kill two or three ships to their one).

    My question here is how do you contend with someone who's doing 100k+ DPS? Do they hold off on engaging until you've established some threat control?

    For me personally, I bake in some survivability in all my DPS builds because we've never run with a traditional tank, ENG or otherwise. We have on certain queues brought a SCI healer, but again, it depends on the Elite TFO we're planning on doing. Yet it's not lost on me that I could be doing even more DPS if I didn't have to worry about surviving aggro. One of the ways I also manage aggro survival is through piloting. This is much easier with a FaW build where I can simply fly in circles at full impulse around my targets in order to keep my Defense higher. It's much more problematic on my CSV builds. So my answer to that has traditionally been to kill things faster. The quicker they die, the less damage they can do to me. Of course, more enemy dense TFOs like Elite Hive Onslaught requires a different approach, or more simply, an actual tank capable of holding aggro and surviving the damage.

    To me it's always been asinine that you guys on console don't even have a buff/debuff bar, as knowing what is effecting you is half the battle. Alot of critical information can be missed that way. So mad props to the guys on console that do what they do without some of the basic tools we have. Macros aren't really needed but they can help. I personally use a Logitech G105 keyboard that has extra buttons and Razer Naga mouse with the 14 buttons. I also have a Logitech G13 gamepad that I picked up after I hurt my wrist one time so I could still play. the wrist rest meant I could still play and what not. I can execute my powers manually or hit a button to throw my core boff powers at once. Depends on the situation really. I've been hoping they would pull some techno magic for awhile and let you guys use a keyboard and mouse, or at the very least work on the UI more over there. Time will tell if they will or not. As for parsers, the ones we have here on PC are actually 3rd party player made parsers. Despite what some of them may claim they are by ZERO means an official Cryptic backed item. The way the combat log works on PC is whenever you tell it to start recording, it will start copying items from the text based combat log in game into a notepad file that can be viewed and read later. You could go in and total up all the various values by hand which would take forever. The parsers we have here simply allow us to read an already existing gamelog type file and do the math for us without having to take hours just to total up a 3 minute parse. CSV and FAW are different animals when building and require different tactics when piloting to keep foes in range.

    If another player is doing 100k+ I've not ran into a situation where I couldn't quickly overtake them on threat within about 5-10 seconds. In other words one-two firing cycles and because of my high threat multiplier I overtake them on the threat table. This is true even of the folks who are doing over 200k+. Keep in mind again if I am doing 100k myself at a 10.25 multiplier and we're assuming 1 DPS = 1 threat, this means i'm cranking the same amount of threat as someone doing 1.05m DPS. I am going to overtake them fast. I also have enough cooldown reduction and control through things like Entwined Tactical Matrices I can guarantee I'm hitting everything enough to have threat. There is very minimal down time on my Delta threat bombing. Increasing damage and killing them faster is a valid approach but not always the best one or most plausible one.
    5. I find this statement very interesting, since I would have thought that a good tank is the opposite: 80% setup (build), 20% piloting. I guess this goes to show that I've never experienced running with a competent tank. To address your last point, I have never personally attempted to build one, and while I acknowledge your point that you can make a tank on any captain, if I did build a tank, it would probably be with an ENG, of which I have none (I only have TAC and SCI captains).

    If you have the time and capability given that you're on PC, I would love to see a video of you (with some audio commentary) on your tank build in an Elite TFO. It would be a great way to see the build in action, and you'd be able to comment on specific points of threat management and damage control throughout the TFO. If you don't have the time or ability to do that, do you know if anyone else has posted such videos I could watch?

    Again, thank you for taking the time to respond in such detail. It's greatly appreciated.

    I say it's 20% setup and 80% piloting because having gear means nothing if you don't know how to use that gear. If you give me and a new player the same exact setup, same ship, same consoles, same weapons, same rarity, same everything down to fabric color of the ship's chairs, I am going to fly circles around that new person. Reason being is they simply don't have the experience I do and I've been at it longer than they have. That's not to say they couldn't learn and pick up that experience themselves, as they most certainly will in time, but knowing how to use the gear you have is just as important as what you have.

    Ordinarily I don't plug myself here on the forums as that's not why I'm here. However since you asked here is a link to one of my most recent videos here:

    This is the video I did for the Borg Juggernaut. I'm also working on a Tanking 101 series for the channel as well. I also left some timestamps for folks that want to skip the build explanation and see it shooting stuff. I do alot of testing in Beta Thoridar Elite and Japori Elite as they do what I need them to and are largely consistent without always needing to have a full team of 5 to do things. Beta Thoridar Elite provides one of the best tests IMO as it's one of the nastiest patrols and throws damage out quite a bit. Japori is also very consistent on enemies and such also allowing reliable repeatable conditions for testing. A good friend of mine you may also like is Timberwolf who can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCec5JVF-0AmZsOJMCq0J-PA

    he is often the DPSer in my videos as we do alot of cross channel stuff. Ordinarily I don't post that stuff here unless folks ask about it but since you asked this time I did. I hope this stuff helps. You are also welcome to message me here via PM, on youtube or in game as well if you need something.
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,351 Community Moderator
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    You said captain powers don't have anything that increases threat...not threat modifiers. And extra damage increases threat. Especially any extra damage added to sci damage.

    Also threat modifiers are not exactly a multiplier as it seems not all damage is equal. My cannon tact/sci hybrids will pull aggro away from pure energy build that are doing double what I do running threatening stance while I am running neg threat. For somebody to keep aggro off me, I find they need to be doing roughly 4 times the damage I do in a beam boat. Or do more science damage than I do(which as a tact sci hybrid isn't hard). Or be a cannon boat at double my damage and stay close to the enemies. But since generally speaking, as a tank, you don't want zippy escorts to be close to enemies or be a science ship (although I have seen some good shield tanks)...yeah you need to be doing something like 300k DPS to keep aggro off me. Something like 200k for dedicate tanks that have a LOT of threat modifiers and something like 150k if you have MAXED your threat modifier. Yeah...that is you have to be pretty DPS focused. Assuming you are in a beam boat or even a cannon boat if you don't fight tight and close. Sci boats will pull aggro off me at like HALF my DPS from 10 km away. So yes my comment about pure DPS was overly simplistic...because there actually is a lot that goes into threat...like distance and damage type...but enough DPS does actually override it all...so DPS is the answer to everything. Also things can't hurt you if they are dead.

    I would have to see what you're doing vs what he's doing as that statement does not jive mathematically and is contradictory. DPS has a part to play certainly, but you're severely over-estimating its value and importance. The damage you deal isn't nearly as important as the threat modifier that you have. If someone has a 200% boost on threat and is only doing 100k then that means they're only as threatening as someone doing maybe 200k of damage. The average sci player I run with does at least 250k. So the sci guy will ultimately overtake and pull from him. If that 100k tank is running a 500% boost, then he's as threatening as a 500k DPSer with numbers only going up as the damage of the tank increases, or if the threat multiplier increases. Science powers are typically zero distance powers meaning they deliver their full damage and threat because the thing doing the damage and threat is right on top of the foe. Damage type is also irrelevant to doing threat. And I really wish this whole "DPS is all that matters" thing would die and burn in Grethor already as it's simply not true.
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
    @darkbladejk

    So much to digest here, but I think you addressed most of my questions.

    The last few I'll pose to you are as follows:

    I assumed, to a point, that Engineering ships would be better for tanking not just because they get more ENG console slots where a lot of Damage Resist (DR) consoles typically fall under, but also because their ship Masteries often provide DR bonuses. I realize that DR hits diminishing returns very quickly, but stacking DR seems to be a good place to start for tank builds. I don't see how Science ships help as much in that regard, considering that bonus EPG isn't really something I'd be working toward, unless I'm specifically building a SCI tank (which I know is possible). With a Tactical ship, you're at least getting Crit/CritD and bonus damage, so that makes some sense in the context of generating threat, but as I mentioned earlier, generating and holding aggro is only half the equation - you have to be able to soak all that damage and survive it to continue holding aggro. So is my assumption about Engineering ships wrong? Perhaps the follow-up question to this is how much DR are you generally running on your tank build? 50%? More?

    You make a good point about Strategist, and you're right, of course. But I've used it both ways as DPS. In other words, when I have a ton of aggro and I need a bigger heal, I turn on Threat for that bonus since I've already got the aggro. I know several other experienced players in my fleet who do the same thing. It's what makes Strategist such a good, versatile choice for a secondary Specialization. That's more what I meant by competing for aggro with a dedicated tank, but if you're already generating enough threat without it, then it's moot. However, along that same line of thought, I noticed you're not using Redirecting Arrays. This is arguably one of the strongest Starship Traits for beam FaW builds, assuming there's no competition for aggro. If you're running FaW, I'm curious why you aren't using it?

    You are spot on about Elite Storming the Spire and Korfez. They are, in many ways, exceptions to other TFOs and among the most difficult. I brought them up specifically because my fleet has the most inconsistent results when running those two TFOs on Elite. In particular, Korfez, due to its RNG phases. There's a lot of other variables there too, such as the players we bring and the relative strength of their builds. Are there other Elite TFOs you find challenging as a tank?

    Lastly, on the topic of spike damage. When I activate consoles such as DPRM and DOMINO, I often activate them together. That subsequent spike in damage is as you can imagine, insane. That's what concerned me about threat management, because if we're neck deep in Borg on Elite Hive Onslaught and I take aggro, I'm dead very quickly. If I build a tank, I want to be confident in the knowledge that no amount of DPS spike is going to shift aggro from me. If you tell me you're able to manage that, I'll believe you. But I think the next question I should ask is under what circumstances can you lose aggro? You alluded to losing aggro if your weapons are disabled, which can happen against Iconians. Are there other situations that tanks should be careful about when it comes to threat management?

    As for your video, I enjoyed it, and although it was more about featuring the new (liberated) Borg ship, I liked that you took time to review your build loadout. My question here is are you using the same loadout on other ships? You did say that you were using Sol Defense to compensate for some of the shortcomings of that particular ship, but when it comes to tanking sets, I think Sol Defense is one of the best, possibly better than the Kobali set. The console from the Samsar is a no brainer, obviously, given it's probably the best defensive console in the game. But are there any other "must use" consoles for tank builds?

    Questions aside, here's my responses to a couple things you mentioned...
    I would also question if you're running 2 torps on a single ship. Because if you are you're hamstringing yourself if you're not a dedicated torp boat.

    I have no idea where you got this from. I don't use two torps on any of my TAC DPS builds. The only build where I'm using more than one torp is my SCI DPS (EPG/CTRL) build because it's basically a torpedo boat.
    To me it's always been asinine that you guys on console don't even have a buff/debuff bar, as knowing what is effecting you is half the battle. Alot of critical information can be missed that way. So mad props to the guys on console that do what they do without some of the basic tools we have.

    I really appreciate you saying that, because it's been a major pain point for veteran players on console for the 4-5 years I've been playing the game. I only recently discovered that you guys on PC have an EPG stat on your ship Stats page, which we don't have on console. So when I was pointing out in another thread on this subforum how to add up Category 1 EPG values (since we have to add it all up ourselves), I was ostracized for it. In some ways it's forced me to dive deeper into the game mechanics, but what I wouldn't give for a parser in the game, or a better UI. Heck, not even all of our abilities can be conditionally set in our wheel, and that inconsistency alone can really wreak havoc with build performance. I already knew the parser you guys use on PC is third-party (it's the same in most other MMOs I've played), but there are other games out there that include damage totals at the end of a match (which would allow us to do some dirty DPS math). I only wish Arc/Cryptic would do the same. On a related note, I did hear a rumor that Cryptic/Arc might be bringing Tribble to consoles, which would be awesome.

    And of course, thanks again for taking the time to respond to all my questions, and for posting that video.
  • salvation4salvation4 Member Posts: 1,167 Arc User
    I tank and dish out enough DPS in a T6 SOV with phasers OL A2B on my ENG and TAC captains with no lobi stuff and enjoy watching all the fancy lobi/promo/event ships go boom while doing it..Rarely do I go boom..All boils down to how you build your ship..
    Adrian-Uss Sovereign NCC-73811 (LVL 65 FED ENG) UR/E MKXV Fleet Intel Assault Cruiser (April 2012) (Main)
    Adu-Uss Firefox NCC-93425-F (LVL 65 FED AoY ENG) UR/VR MKXV Fleet Intel Assault Cruiser (July 2016)
    Jean-Uss Seratoga Ravenna (LVL 60 FED Delta ENG) UC/R MKVI Bajoran Escort (April 2018)
    Dubsa-RRW Mnaudh (LVL 50 FED allied ROM Delta ENG) Warbird (May 2018)
    Marop-IKS Orunthi (LVL 50 KNG Delta ENG) BoP (May 2018)
    Kanak'lan-TRIBBLE (LVL 65 DOM Gamma ENG) TRIBBLE (June 2018)
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    No APA just increases damage. Damage directly translates threat, but it is specifically and massively modified by your threat modifier. If you're not running threatening stance, it is entirely possible to be running around with (I think) a constant -125% threat modifier with no special equipment. That helps anyone who is running in threatening stance actually hold aggro with a lot less effort.

    Again, my ships that run in threatening stance, and aren't primarily DPS ships, have no real issues holding aggro unless I find someone with extreme DPS, at which point I definitely don't need to hold aggro because it is already dead.

    You said captain powers don't have anything that increases threat...not threat modifiers. And extra damage increases threat. Especially any extra damage added to sci damage.

    Also threat modifiers are not exactly a multiplier as it seems not all damage is equal. My cannon tact/sci hybrids will pull aggro away from pure energy build that are doing double what I do running threatening stance while I am running neg threat. For somebody to keep aggro off me, I find they need to be doing roughly 4 times the damage I do in a beam boat. Or do more science damage than I do(which as a tact sci hybrid isn't hard). Or be a cannon boat at double my damage and stay close to the enemies. But since generally speaking, as a tank, you don't want zippy escorts to be close to enemies or be a science ship (although I have seen some good shield tanks)...yeah you need to be doing something like 300k DPS to keep aggro off me. Something like 200k for dedicate tanks that have a LOT of threat modifiers and something like 150k if you have MAXED your threat modifier. Yeah...that is you have to be pretty DPS focused. Assuming you are in a beam boat or even a cannon boat if you don't fight tight and close. Sci boats will pull aggro off me at like HALF my DPS from 10 km away. So yes my comment about pure DPS was overly simplistic...because there actually is a lot that goes into threat...like distance and damage type...but enough DPS does actually override it all...so DPS is the answer to everything. Also things can't hurt you if they are dead.


    [Insert eyeroll here]

    So why didn't you mention nadion inversion, eps power transfer and sensor scan as threat enhancing abilities since they can all increase damage too?

    Pointless nonsense aside, I find it hard to follow your anecdotes. What you seem to be saying is aggro is entirely random because threat and DPS means nothing. That makes no sense and should be rejected out of hand. I'm not going to pretend to know precisely how it works, but its clear that something else is going on to explain it.

    The problem I see, though, is that you're comparing a ship that does focused DPS, cannons and sci, vs beam boats which are probably spamming FAW. If you have 50k DPS and a FAW boat does 200k. If your 50k DPS is all on one target while the FAW boat is spread across 20, and randomly so, well the problem becomes obvious.

    In any case, the fact is, threat modifier, threatening stance and whatever, definitely does work. Does it work as expected? Maybe not, but we don't know all the ins and outs. This game is chock full of bugs so who knows.
  • redwren89redwren89 Member Posts: 257 Arc User
    edited March 2020
    This whole topic is so wishy washy in terms of focus on whats relevant. But its none of your fault. The lack of a trinity mmo playstyle combined with the dumb way that threat works has us all confusing builds together. Yes star trek online say you can make whatever build you want, but really you have to mix and match build styles to create anything viable. A pure tank doesn't work in this game.

    Everything about the engineer in terms of abilities and traits can be replaced with more superior versions of that which is available to every player, without sacrificing much of anything in terms of dps traits, because you're replacing your captain traits with tactical ones for instance... so disappointing :)
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,351 Community Moderator
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    The math doesn't jive ONLY IF the system actually works the way you THINK it's suppose to work.

    My tact/sci ship runs no threatening stance with a few neg threat traits and such. It does around 70k DPS between the two. Using cannons and sci, yeah I am peeling close to the target usually in a ship that has a turn rate of almost 70 per second. So...really NOT a DPS focused ship. Every time I toss out a GW with DoC or FBP or anything that bypasses shield, I will peel aggro from enemies from the tanks in a run that IS running threatening stance AND running higher DPS than me by GOOD margins...like 200k DPSers. You say damage type doesn't matter...I beg to differ as shield pen damage seems to draw aggro like nobody's business...with DOC in a group being stupidly good at pulling all the aggro. The 400k DPSer on the other hand running NO threatening stance has no problem holding aggro for me. Those number are sustained DPS...not over the run DPS. So even if the devs claim that the threat modifiers are applied directly to your DPS for threat...I'm not actually seeing that in game. Nor do I see this whole the damage type doesn't matter bit...and FYI, I'm not the only one...even in this very thread who is seeing differently.

    I say this not to be arrogant but to make the point, I've put hundreds of hours of testing into this game. I have 5500 hours into this game on my main toon alone with 1200 of those hours being testing of various systems to shake out bugs over my course as a Bug Hunter. I also main a tank and that's pretty much exclusively what I do in game. Point being I know what kind of interactions happen with this sort of thing as I've seen plenty of them, and I know what's required to pull threat from someone at the various multiplier levels. So you're saying you're busting only 70k and are pulling from tanks using science running negative threat while there is a 200k person in there deliberately running threatening stance where as the 400k guy has no issue. I'm going to be blunt and just say I don't believe it's as simple as you're suggesting with as little information as you've given here, because it doesn't give the full picture of what's going on and actually suggests some other factors at play. Assuming you both are firing off powers and sustaining those numbers, with the threat difference between you, those numbers simply do not jive without an external factor involved. Also just because someone has threatening stance turned on doesn't make them a tank.

    First, this doesn't tell me how close you were to the tank or how far away. Second, if you're running negative threat and had the typical -150% threat and the tank is running threatening stance on purpose, they get a 200% threat boost from threatening stance assuming they don't have the skill tree boost to it, meaning they're effectively generating 350% more threat than you are. So this suggests a few possibilities are going on here, perhaps more than one of them. One, you're really far away from the tank and there is a distance issue at play. Two, either you're doing more damage than you thought, the tank is doing less damage or both. Three, the tank's weapons are getting knocked out, they're dying, or are hitting the Beacon of Kahless aggro dump, thus forcing the threat to you. Four, there are one or more sensor interference platforms messing up the aggro table in the run via their taunting, or a direct taunt has taken place by someone. So unless something along these lines is going on, what you're describing simply isn't going to happen based off pure math alone as threat simply does not work the way you're suggesting. With that said, get me some video footage where I can clearly see your buffs/debuffs and all powers you're activating, as well as the buff bars of your team, and some combat logs and I can tell you what's going on. Otherwise the math simply does not work the way you're suggesting.

    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    No APA just increases damage. Damage directly translates threat, but it is specifically and massively modified by your threat modifier. If you're not running threatening stance, it is entirely possible to be running around with (I think) a constant -125% threat modifier with no special equipment. That helps anyone who is running in threatening stance actually hold aggro with a lot less effort.

    Again, my ships that run in threatening stance, and aren't primarily DPS ships, have no real issues holding aggro unless I find someone with extreme DPS, at which point I definitely don't need to hold aggro because it is already dead.

    You said captain powers don't have anything that increases threat...not threat modifiers. And extra damage increases threat. Especially any extra damage added to sci damage.

    Also threat modifiers are not exactly a multiplier as it seems not all damage is equal. My cannon tact/sci hybrids will pull aggro away from pure energy build that are doing double what I do running threatening stance while I am running neg threat. For somebody to keep aggro off me, I find they need to be doing roughly 4 times the damage I do in a beam boat. Or do more science damage than I do(which as a tact sci hybrid isn't hard). Or be a cannon boat at double my damage and stay close to the enemies. But since generally speaking, as a tank, you don't want zippy escorts to be close to enemies or be a science ship (although I have seen some good shield tanks)...yeah you need to be doing something like 300k DPS to keep aggro off me. Something like 200k for dedicate tanks that have a LOT of threat modifiers and something like 150k if you have MAXED your threat modifier. Yeah...that is you have to be pretty DPS focused. Assuming you are in a beam boat or even a cannon boat if you don't fight tight and close. Sci boats will pull aggro off me at like HALF my DPS from 10 km away. So yes my comment about pure DPS was overly simplistic...because there actually is a lot that goes into threat...like distance and damage type...but enough DPS does actually override it all...so DPS is the answer to everything. Also things can't hurt you if they are dead.


    [Insert eyeroll here]

    So why didn't you mention nadion inversion, eps power transfer and sensor scan as threat enhancing abilities since they can all increase damage too?

    Pointless nonsense aside, I find it hard to follow your anecdotes. What you seem to be saying is aggro is entirely random because threat and DPS means nothing. That makes no sense and should be rejected out of hand. I'm not going to pretend to know precisely how it works, but its clear that something else is going on to explain it.

    The problem I see, though, is that you're comparing a ship that does focused DPS, cannons and sci, vs beam boats which are probably spamming FAW. If you have 50k DPS and a FAW boat does 200k. If your 50k DPS is all on one target while the FAW boat is spread across 20, and randomly so, well the problem becomes obvious.

    In any case, the fact is, threat modifier, threatening stance and whatever, definitely does work. Does it work as expected? Maybe not, but we don't know all the ins and outs. This game is chock full of bugs so who knows.

    Because more weapon power only does more damage if you don't have it maxed out already. So I suppose if you have a terrible build or don't increase weapon power like you should, it can increase threat. Sensor scan increases EVERYONE's threat...not just YOURS as it makes EVERYONE do more damage. So yes it does increase threat...but it doesn't increase YOUR threat.

    So...yeah CSV with AOE sci abilities for the most part. You wanna talk spreading the damage around? That's me. Generally speaking, I don't draw aggro from tanks when I am using CSV...it's when I pop off my sci abilities that they come after me.

    EPS power transfer raises your max power to at least 150, and I think it could hit 160 with the Terran rep warp core. Unless you're running an intel boat, you don't have that, and unlike OSS, this doesn't decay, you get that full power for 30s. This can easily also give you more damage from say an AMP core, or the new Best Diplomat trait if you're using beams.

    Nadion inversion obviously lowers your weapon power cost which raises your DPS, and is very effective combined with EPS power transfer, and also has a lockbox trait that can directly increase weapon damage.

    Sensor scan obviously increases everyone's damage, yes. But as we are talking about running threat enhancing stuff, if everyone does double damage, for example, that counts as far more for someone in threatening stance. And as you may use it as part of a buff cycle, that can become a multiplier for yourself while someone else may be between buff cycles.

    As for spreading it around, CSV spreads it around far less than FAW, and actually increases damage slightly, unlike FAW. It is much more focused damage, so adding some other stuff on top of it could well steal aggro from a FAW boat, especially if they aren't focusing on the same target you are.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    No APA just increases damage. Damage directly translates threat, but it is specifically and massively modified by your threat modifier. If you're not running threatening stance, it is entirely possible to be running around with (I think) a constant -125% threat modifier with no special equipment. That helps anyone who is running in threatening stance actually hold aggro with a lot less effort.

    Again, my ships that run in threatening stance, and aren't primarily DPS ships, have no real issues holding aggro unless I find someone with extreme DPS, at which point I definitely don't need to hold aggro because it is already dead.

    You said captain powers don't have anything that increases threat...not threat modifiers. And extra damage increases threat. Especially any extra damage added to sci damage.

    Also threat modifiers are not exactly a multiplier as it seems not all damage is equal. My cannon tact/sci hybrids will pull aggro away from pure energy build that are doing double what I do running threatening stance while I am running neg threat. For somebody to keep aggro off me, I find they need to be doing roughly 4 times the damage I do in a beam boat. Or do more science damage than I do(which as a tact sci hybrid isn't hard). Or be a cannon boat at double my damage and stay close to the enemies. But since generally speaking, as a tank, you don't want zippy escorts to be close to enemies or be a science ship (although I have seen some good shield tanks)...yeah you need to be doing something like 300k DPS to keep aggro off me. Something like 200k for dedicate tanks that have a LOT of threat modifiers and something like 150k if you have MAXED your threat modifier. Yeah...that is you have to be pretty DPS focused. Assuming you are in a beam boat or even a cannon boat if you don't fight tight and close. Sci boats will pull aggro off me at like HALF my DPS from 10 km away. So yes my comment about pure DPS was overly simplistic...because there actually is a lot that goes into threat...like distance and damage type...but enough DPS does actually override it all...so DPS is the answer to everything. Also things can't hurt you if they are dead.


    [Insert eyeroll here]

    So why didn't you mention nadion inversion, eps power transfer and sensor scan as threat enhancing abilities since they can all increase damage too?

    Pointless nonsense aside, I find it hard to follow your anecdotes. What you seem to be saying is aggro is entirely random because threat and DPS means nothing. That makes no sense and should be rejected out of hand. I'm not going to pretend to know precisely how it works, but its clear that something else is going on to explain it.

    The problem I see, though, is that you're comparing a ship that does focused DPS, cannons and sci, vs beam boats which are probably spamming FAW. If you have 50k DPS and a FAW boat does 200k. If your 50k DPS is all on one target while the FAW boat is spread across 20, and randomly so, well the problem becomes obvious.

    In any case, the fact is, threat modifier, threatening stance and whatever, definitely does work. Does it work as expected? Maybe not, but we don't know all the ins and outs. This game is chock full of bugs so who knows.

    Because more weapon power only does more damage if you don't have it maxed out already. So I suppose if you have a terrible build or don't increase weapon power like you should, it can increase threat. Sensor scan increases EVERYONE's threat...not just YOURS as it makes EVERYONE do more damage. So yes it does increase threat...but it doesn't increase YOUR threat.

    So...yeah CSV with AOE sci abilities for the most part. You wanna talk spreading the damage around? That's me. Generally speaking, I don't draw aggro from tanks when I am using CSV...it's when I pop off my sci abilities that they come after me.

    EPS power transfer raises your max power to at least 150, and I think it could hit 160 with the Terran rep warp core. Unless you're running an intel boat, you don't have that, and unlike OSS, this doesn't decay, you get that full power for 30s. This can easily also give you more damage from say an AMP core, or the new Best Diplomat trait if you're using beams.

    Nadion inversion obviously lowers your weapon power cost which raises your DPS, and is very effective combined with EPS power transfer, and also has a lockbox trait that can directly increase weapon damage.

    Sensor scan obviously increases everyone's damage, yes. But as we are talking about running threat enhancing stuff, if everyone does double damage, for example, that counts as far more for someone in threatening stance. And as you may use it as part of a buff cycle, that can become a multiplier for yourself while someone else may be between buff cycles.

    As for spreading it around, CSV spreads it around far less than FAW, and actually increases damage slightly, unlike FAW. It is much more focused damage, so adding some other stuff on top of it could well steal aggro from a FAW boat, especially if they aren't focusing on the same target you are.

    Oh...EPS transfer raises max...okay so that would increase threat as well than (I don't use captain powers in general and engineer is my least fav class to play). Now for reduced weapon cost...once again only if you have a bad build. If you have a good build, you should be at max weapon power all the time...through all your weapon fire.

    Sensor scan won't change threat. If you can't draw aggro before sensor scan, you won't after either. You have the same percentile difference that you have before and after...which means aggro won't change from just that. You would need something else to change...like say distance.

    So...you are saying that for a tank to be able to tank, they need more DPS...you mean what I said...Oh shocker. Because you realize with the modifier difference AND the DPS difference, if it worked like how darkblade said, there is NOWAY I should be drawing aggro. NOTHING I am doing is doing 400% of the damage of those beam hits. So while modifiers help...you they don't help out on a one to one scale...and without baseline DPS, it doesn't matter at all. Because let's face it, doing even 100k sustained DPS is pretty DPS focused.

    Yes, EPS raises max and explicitly stacks with other max increases, though other max increases don't stack with each other. I couldn't remember if EPS power transfer stacks with OSS, so I tested it the other day. Yes it does, 190 weapon power for a little bit, a nice combo.

    Now I don't know how its even possible you're getting zero weapon drain normally, but Nadion inversion does give that to all of us with bad builds like you say, which I'd suspect are the great majority.

    Lets do some math for sensor scan. If it doubles damage, from say 25k to 50k for two players, with one in threatening stance and the other at the baseline threat, then 25k damage gives 75k threat at 300% threat. At 50k damage, that becomes 150k threat. (How negative threat works I have no clue honestly. -100% threat is obviously not zero threat in practice.)

    Now lets say the non-threat player was attacking the target for 2 seconds before the threatening player. At 25k dps, that means they built up 50k threat in 2 seconds. In the third second the threatening player starts attacking so now there is 100k damage on target, 75k from the first player and 25k from the tank, which is effectively 75k threat for the tank. Since they are even, aggro probably won't switch right away, but in the next second the tank has 150k threat and the first player has 100k.

    Now lets add sensor scan. Player one attacks the target for 2 seconds again for 25k a second, then the tank hits sensor scan and starts attacking. Now in the 3rd second, player 1 has done 25, 25, and 50k damage, and the tank has done 50k damage. Player 1's threat is 100k, but the tank is at 150k threat and takes aggro right away.

    So we see timing matters. And as simplistic as that example is, you know buff cycles matter too. I know that I've had experiences where no one is trying to tank, and aggro swaps back and forth between myself and another player, chiefly because we are activating buffs at different times so my damage may be bursting for the duration of CRF or whatever, and I have aggro, then it wears off and is on CD when the other player activates their buffs, but I get it back when CRF comes up again.


    I really don't see why distance would have any effect on anything aside from damage dropoff. It doesn't make sense and doesn't fit my experience. I also don't know the exact math behind the threat modifiers, but I'm quite certain they do work effectively enough that I trust my ships running in threatening stance to hold aggro from all but the best DPSers, which most people are not.

    And that is important here, I don't hobnob with the top DPSers in elites. I don't care to. However for the masses, tanking works out quite as expected. I expect to have aggro in threatening stance and do. I am sure dark is more of an expert and can better help the OP with elite tanking, but I know that threat, threatening stance works.

    Why you're claiming to see different results, I don't know, however I'm fairly sure that it is very much explainable if we had a lot more information, but we don't.

    I would believe that a big part of the problem in the highest level of DPSers is that their burst DPS is so massive. No one actually does sustained DPS, it comes in bursts with buff cycles and the game forces downtime no matter how fast your BOFF cooldowns are. Even if your traits and cooldowns let you do most of your cycles back to back, you still have activation times, and I'm fairly sure it is impossible to get captain powers down to minimum cooldown levels.
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,482 Arc User
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    I have to really push back against the idea that engineers are or are intended to be tanks. They are not tanks nor are they intended to be tanks. Captain abilities have long cooldowns, much longer than BOFF abilities. The 2 survival abilities an engineer has do not and cannot replace BOFF heals/resists, and engineers have zero threat enhancing abilities, no captain does.

    Any captain can tank. Dark covered the details well.

    Now for the basics, you really don't need to do much to get and hold aggro in advanced, in my experience. As long as you have a cogent build, aren't ignoring your DPS entirely, turn on threatening stance, you will likely be the tank.

    Actually...tact captains have a threat enhancing ability in APA as it increases damage which increases threat. And tanking in this game is DPS. Just like everything else.

    No APA just increases damage. Damage directly translates threat, but it is specifically and massively modified by your threat modifier. If you're not running threatening stance, it is entirely possible to be running around with (I think) a constant -125% threat modifier with no special equipment. That helps anyone who is running in threatening stance actually hold aggro with a lot less effort.

    Again, my ships that run in threatening stance, and aren't primarily DPS ships, have no real issues holding aggro unless I find someone with extreme DPS, at which point I definitely don't need to hold aggro because it is already dead.

    You said captain powers don't have anything that increases threat...not threat modifiers. And extra damage increases threat. Especially any extra damage added to sci damage.

    Also threat modifiers are not exactly a multiplier as it seems not all damage is equal. My cannon tact/sci hybrids will pull aggro away from pure energy build that are doing double what I do running threatening stance while I am running neg threat. For somebody to keep aggro off me, I find they need to be doing roughly 4 times the damage I do in a beam boat. Or do more science damage than I do(which as a tact sci hybrid isn't hard). Or be a cannon boat at double my damage and stay close to the enemies. But since generally speaking, as a tank, you don't want zippy escorts to be close to enemies or be a science ship (although I have seen some good shield tanks)...yeah you need to be doing something like 300k DPS to keep aggro off me. Something like 200k for dedicate tanks that have a LOT of threat modifiers and something like 150k if you have MAXED your threat modifier. Yeah...that is you have to be pretty DPS focused. Assuming you are in a beam boat or even a cannon boat if you don't fight tight and close. Sci boats will pull aggro off me at like HALF my DPS from 10 km away. So yes my comment about pure DPS was overly simplistic...because there actually is a lot that goes into threat...like distance and damage type...but enough DPS does actually override it all...so DPS is the answer to everything. Also things can't hurt you if they are dead.


    [Insert eyeroll here]

    So why didn't you mention nadion inversion, eps power transfer and sensor scan as threat enhancing abilities since they can all increase damage too?

    Pointless nonsense aside, I find it hard to follow your anecdotes. What you seem to be saying is aggro is entirely random because threat and DPS means nothing. That makes no sense and should be rejected out of hand. I'm not going to pretend to know precisely how it works, but its clear that something else is going on to explain it.

    The problem I see, though, is that you're comparing a ship that does focused DPS, cannons and sci, vs beam boats which are probably spamming FAW. If you have 50k DPS and a FAW boat does 200k. If your 50k DPS is all on one target while the FAW boat is spread across 20, and randomly so, well the problem becomes obvious.

    In any case, the fact is, threat modifier, threatening stance and whatever, definitely does work. Does it work as expected? Maybe not, but we don't know all the ins and outs. This game is chock full of bugs so who knows.

    Because more weapon power only does more damage if you don't have it maxed out already. So I suppose if you have a terrible build or don't increase weapon power like you should, it can increase threat. Sensor scan increases EVERYONE's threat...not just YOURS as it makes EVERYONE do more damage. So yes it does increase threat...but it doesn't increase YOUR threat.

    So...yeah CSV with AOE sci abilities for the most part. You wanna talk spreading the damage around? That's me. Generally speaking, I don't draw aggro from tanks when I am using CSV...it's when I pop off my sci abilities that they come after me.

    EPS power transfer raises your max power to at least 150, and I think it could hit 160 with the Terran rep warp core. Unless you're running an intel boat, you don't have that, and unlike OSS, this doesn't decay, you get that full power for 30s. This can easily also give you more damage from say an AMP core, or the new Best Diplomat trait if you're using beams.

    Nadion inversion obviously lowers your weapon power cost which raises your DPS, and is very effective combined with EPS power transfer, and also has a lockbox trait that can directly increase weapon damage.

    Sensor scan obviously increases everyone's damage, yes. But as we are talking about running threat enhancing stuff, if everyone does double damage, for example, that counts as far more for someone in threatening stance. And as you may use it as part of a buff cycle, that can become a multiplier for yourself while someone else may be between buff cycles.

    As for spreading it around, CSV spreads it around far less than FAW, and actually increases damage slightly, unlike FAW. It is much more focused damage, so adding some other stuff on top of it could well steal aggro from a FAW boat, especially if they aren't focusing on the same target you are.

    Oh...EPS transfer raises max...okay so that would increase threat as well than (I don't use captain powers in general and engineer is my least fav class to play). Now for reduced weapon cost...once again only if you have a bad build. If you have a good build, you should be at max weapon power all the time...through all your weapon fire.

    Sensor scan won't change threat. If you can't draw aggro before sensor scan, you won't after either. You have the same percentile difference that you have before and after...which means aggro won't change from just that. You would need something else to change...like say distance.

    So...you are saying that for a tank to be able to tank, they need more DPS...you mean what I said...Oh shocker. Because you realize with the modifier difference AND the DPS difference, if it worked like how darkblade said, there is NOWAY I should be drawing aggro. NOTHING I am doing is doing 400% of the damage of those beam hits. So while modifiers help...you they don't help out on a one to one scale...and without baseline DPS, it doesn't matter at all. Because let's face it, doing even 100k sustained DPS is pretty DPS focused.

    Yes, EPS raises max and explicitly stacks with other max increases, though other max increases don't stack with each other. I couldn't remember if EPS power transfer stacks with OSS, so I tested it the other day. Yes it does, 190 weapon power for a little bit, a nice combo.

    Now I don't know how its even possible you're getting zero weapon drain normally, but Nadion inversion does give that to all of us with bad builds like you say, which I'd suspect are the great majority.

    Lets do some math for sensor scan. If it doubles damage, from say 25k to 50k for two players, with one in threatening stance and the other at the baseline threat, then 25k damage gives 75k threat at 300% threat. At 50k damage, that becomes 150k threat. (How negative threat works I have no clue honestly. -100% threat is obviously not zero threat in practice.)

    Now lets say the non-threat player was attacking the target for 2 seconds before the threatening player. At 25k dps, that means they built up 50k threat in 2 seconds. In the third second the threatening player starts attacking so now there is 100k damage on target, 75k from the first player and 25k from the tank, which is effectively 75k threat for the tank. Since they are even, aggro probably won't switch right away, but in the next second the tank has 150k threat and the first player has 100k.

    Now lets add sensor scan. Player one attacks the target for 2 seconds again for 25k a second, then the tank hits sensor scan and starts attacking. Now in the 3rd second, player 1 has done 25, 25, and 50k damage, and the tank has done 50k damage. Player 1's threat is 100k, but the tank is at 150k threat and takes aggro right away.

    So we see timing matters. And as simplistic as that example is, you know buff cycles matter too. I know that I've had experiences where no one is trying to tank, and aggro swaps back and forth between myself and another player, chiefly because we are activating buffs at different times so my damage may be bursting for the duration of CRF or whatever, and I have aggro, then it wears off and is on CD when the other player activates their buffs, but I get it back when CRF comes up again.


    I really don't see why distance would have any effect on anything aside from damage dropoff. It doesn't make sense and doesn't fit my experience. I also don't know the exact math behind the threat modifiers, but I'm quite certain they do work effectively enough that I trust my ships running in threatening stance to hold aggro from all but the best DPSers, which most people are not.

    And that is important here, I don't hobnob with the top DPSers in elites. I don't care to. However for the masses, tanking works out quite as expected. I expect to have aggro in threatening stance and do. I am sure dark is more of an expert and can better help the OP with elite tanking, but I know that threat, threatening stance works.

    Why you're claiming to see different results, I don't know, however I'm fairly sure that it is very much explainable if we had a lot more information, but we don't.

    I would believe that a big part of the problem in the highest level of DPSers is that their burst DPS is so massive. No one actually does sustained DPS, it comes in bursts with buff cycles and the game forces downtime no matter how fast your BOFF cooldowns are. Even if your traits and cooldowns let you do most of your cycles back to back, you still have activation times, and I'm fairly sure it is impossible to get captain powers down to minimum cooldown levels.

    You keep your weapon at max power with overflow. Weapon fires drains from overflow first...so with enough overflow and weapon cost reduction always in place, you should be firing at max weapon power 100% of the time.

    And if we are talking people in normal or advanced PUG...you do realize that I will pull ALL the aggro in a VAST majority of those runs with NO threatening stance on...right? Having even a remotely sensible build will auto make you the tank in most of those...regardless of if you want to or not...if you have stance on or not.

    You do have a point about spikes. DOC does spike stupid high if you have a group of 10 ships in your GW. If the game works like you think however and the threat is based on the sum of the damage and not what is happening cycle to cycle however, spikes should not matter...or matter as much. Here is the thing...people who tank are basing a lot of the math on assumptions. Does distance make a difference? Who know. Does shield pen damage make a difference...once again who know. How about is it based a cycle damage or sustained? Once again...who the frak knows. All I know is that from running with elite people...it's not as simple as you and dark makes it out to be. The one thing we DO know...Enough DPS will hold aggro. Once again, that does not mean that threat modifiers don't do anything...it means we don't know the full effects of it in the grand scheme of the math of threat.

    Ah right, overflow power. Yeah that works pretty well, but you're not getting 50-60 extra weapon power to get down to zero drain if you're not running an aux to bat build, typically.

    I don't know if you understand the difference between taking a "sensible build" into advanced and tending to have aggro and turning on threatening stance and definitely tanking. What I'm telling you is the difference is massive, because threat works quite well. Whether you find a point to doing that or not is another question, but it is a dramatic difference.

    And yes, I'm making assumptions. I don't know what dark knows, but what I can tell you is that threat unquestioningly works, that isn't a question, its definitely true. No one is saying that DPS doesn't matter though. You do have to find a balance somewhere.
  • mournblade#1863 mournblade Member Posts: 74 Arc User
    edited March 2020
    @coldnapalm

    While I appreciate the additional input and fact checking, when you look at most of the mechanics behind this game, there's very little in the way of hard numbers. It's through the efforts of players smarter than ourselves who have put together formulae for a number of these different mechanics via a LOT of testing, parsing, and other information derived from Cryptic's tooltips and in-game tutorials. I have no reason to believe that determining Threat percentages and it's ratio to DPS for aggro management doesn't fall into a similar category. And although I agree that there are variables here that are difficult to account for, such as relative builds, distance from the tank, and enemy abilities that might interfere with the threat mechanics, nothing can replace tried and true experience in the game. Darkbladejk has certainly demonstrated that, and I for one have found his responses to be extremely informative and helpful. If you watched the video he posted, and the follow-up discussion at the end where they break down DPS and aggro (based on damage taken) from the parser, his Borg ship definitely took the majority of it, and the Science ship had the next highest aggro at I believe 17% of the damage taken (and incidentally had the highest DPS at 304k). I therefore think it's purely argumentative to challenge that based on conjecture without an equal amount of substantive evidence and experience to substantiate anything to the contrary.

    If you'd like to continue debating the accuracy of his information, I'd politely ask you to do so in PMs so as to not derail and hijack this thread further. If you have more accurate information to offer regarding this topic that isn't based on assumptions, please contribute that with some video evidence to support it.

    @darkbladejk I sent you a PM regarding parsing on console. Did you get it?
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