Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 230
# 51
10-05-2012, 02:08 AM
I think we need to come to a common definition fo "tank" before we can get anywhere.

Quick googleing gives as definitions for tank:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://geekdictionary.computing.net/define/tank
When used online, especially while playing an MMORPG, this term is used to describe a player character class which is designed to absorb damage from others or computer aided characters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tank
A player-character, typically in a MMORPG, that is able to occupy an agressor and take the brunt of the aggressor's attacks while the other players deal damage, heal, or perform some other action. The "tank" can survive longer while taking damage than the other characters. Typically, the tank has higher hitpoints (health) and a higher armor rating than the other characters. Less commonly, a character with a lower armor rating can perform the actions of the tank by using avoidance abilities. Ultimately, the tank needs to be able to occupy the agressor without dying. The method employed, whether avoidance or absorption, does not matter, as long as the tank can mitigate damage in some way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://mmoterms.com/full-mmorpg-terms-glossary
As a noun, refers to character classes that can take a lot of damage. As a verb, refers to the act of drawing aggro from mobs before other team members strike with their abilities.
All of these descriptions correspond to what I would consider a tank: Someone who draws aggro (usually by taunting skills or something that forces aggro on him despite the tank not being as much of a true threat as real damage dealers) and takes a lot of damage so that the other players don't have to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
Because the game sais so?
Could you point to what exactly you are referencing?

I looked up the engineer description in the character creation screen again, and the description there doesn't sound particularly tank-like to me. But it mostly deals with ground stuff anyway. It sounds more like a support class with high survivability - exactly what engineers in space pvp are doing these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
And a tank is not just someone who can take damage, he is also a threat that needs to be removed and cannot be ignored. In games, this is usally achieved by giving them "attack me or be debuffed" abilities.
As you can see, none of the definitions quoted above mention that "threat that needs to be removed" quality of a tank that you mention. (Of course these are only the first couple results I found.) Could you point to other sources that support your definition?

If it really worked as you say, then tanking should be a viable playstyle in pvp in many games. Could you point to games where players whose main goal is damage absorption are viable pvp classes?

(In case you disagree that damage absorption is the defining characteristic of a tank (and can provide sources other than yourself for this), what makes a tank different from say control/debuff classes?)
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,168
# 52
10-05-2012, 02:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakehilbert View Post
I think we need to come to a common definition fo "tank" before we can get anywhere.
Agreed.



Quote:
[...]
All of these descriptions correspond to what I would consider a tank: Someone who draws aggro (usually by taunting skills or something that forces aggro on him despite the tank not being as much of a true threat as real damage dealers) and takes a lot of damage so that the other players don't have to do this.

The definitions that you find online lack one decisive piece, though: There needs to be a reason why the opposing side should attack the tank (being the most hard to destroy target) in the first place.

Of course, a "real tank" Engineer in STO will not (and should not) achieve this by doing as much (or more) damage as a Tactical Officer or by doing as much Crowd Control as a Science Officer. Instead, the reason needs to be something that "draws aggro" even from other players, that is, it must be tactically useful to attack the tank instead of anyone else despite the fact that he does not do as much DPS or CC as the others.

Quote:
Could you point to what exactly you are referencing?

I looked up the engineer description in the character creation screen again, and the description there doesn't sound particularly tank-like to me. But it mostly deals with ground stuff anyway. It sounds more like a support class with high survivability - exactly what engineers in space pvp are doing these days.
Well, I don't have the game available right now, but in the words of Stowiki:

http://www.stowiki.org/Engineering

"Survivability, support generators, and controlling the paths of enemy advance with fieldworks. The Engineering officer can withstand the most damage by improving the performance of their personal shields, while supporting their away team with power generators or by bottlenecking the enemies advance with defensive mine fields. The Engineer's own combat effectiveness is improved by modifications to their firearms or support fire from fabricated turrets and drones.

Engineers have advanced technical skills that are available in both space and ground combat. They are adept as using Starfleet technology to its best advantage. They can help in reducing the amount of damage done to your ship, repair systems quickly, and even do things not in the Starfleet Operations Manual.

On the ground, Engineers can disable enemy technology, build force field generators, and perform various sorts of technological feats.
[...]
Careers

Engineers can choose from three different careers. Technicians (buffs and debuffs), Fabrication (turrets), and Combat (battlefield manipulation and explosives).
[edit] Technicians

Focus on buffs and debuffs. Their buffs focus on the entire group, unlike a Scientist.
[edit] Fabrication

Uses turrets. Most damage focused career for engineers.
[edit] Combat

Manipulates the battlefield for the advantage of the engineer. Combat engineers use demolition and explosives to hold the enemy.
"
""

Quote:
As you can see, none of the definitions quoted above mention that "threat that needs to be removed" quality of a tank that you mention. (Of course these are only the first couple results I found.) Could you point to other sources that support your definition?

If it really worked as you say, then tanking should be a viable playstyle in pvp in many games. Could you point to games where players whose main goal is damage absorption are viable pvp classes?
I get to see this more in P&P games, where everything is essentially PvGM ( both being human), such as D&D4, where the tanks specifically have abilities like "Mark that target. From now on, if it attacks anyone but me, it gets a debuff of some kind". Which means despite the fact that the Tank is the hardest to kill, the marked target is still better off by attacking the tank than anyone else while it is marked in that way. This is just one example on how to make tanks viable in PvP, of course. I am sure the devs could come up with others.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Last edited by sophlogimo; 10-05-2012 at 02:41 AM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 230
# 53
10-05-2012, 02:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
The definitions that you find online lack one decisive piece, though: There needs to be a reason why the opposing side should attack the tank (being the most hard to destroy target) in the first place.
Indeed. And it appears to me that often this is done via a threat mechanic that only works in PVE. A tank can "spec" into threat (like in STO since the skill tree changes) and create an amount of threat that is much larger than what he would do just by his damage numbers or control abilities. There is also the concept of forced aggro: abilities that force enemies to attack the tank for x seconds (and thus allow the tank to build up enough threat to hold aggro with his threat-specced regular abilities).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
Well, I don't have the game available right now, but in the words of Stowiki:
...
That doesn't sound to me like a class whose primary goal is to absorb damage. It's all about supporting buffs and (on the ground) support gadgets. (And independent of how the tank manages to grab aggro, if absorbing damage isn't its primary objective, then it's not a tank.)
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,168
# 54
10-05-2012, 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakehilbert View Post
Indeed. And it appears to me that often this is done via a threat mechanic that only works in PVE. A tank can "spec" into threat (like in STO since the skill tree changes) and create an amount of threat that is much larger than what he would do just by his damage numbers or control abilities. There is also the concept of forced aggro: abilities that force enemies to attack the tank for x seconds (and thus allow the tank to build up enough threat to hold aggro with his threat-specced regular abilities).
And there is what I described above: Making it most viable to attack the tank by forcing a debuff on the target if it doesn't. Or there is a "buff the group" approach that is not healing, such as "that cruiser is upping our enemy teams power levels! If we don't take him out, we loose!".

And so on. There are options to do this that do work perfectly in PvP without any artificial "forced aggro" or the like.

Quote:
That doesn't sound to me like a class whose primary goal is to absorb damage. It's all about supporting buffs and (on the ground) support gadgets. (And independent of how the tank manages to grab aggro, if absorbing damage isn't its primary objective, then it's not a tank.)
The very first word is "survivability"... apparently we read these passages differently. Let us just say that apparently, many (if not most) engineer players don't want to be healers - I guess your observation of that will fit mine. So, how to make engineers actual tanks...
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...lM_skuv4#t=584

Last edited by sophlogimo; 10-05-2012 at 03:04 AM.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,671
# 55
10-05-2012, 03:12 AM
tanking- healing and defending yourself

healer/supporter- healing and defending others

imo
Captain
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,749
# 56
10-05-2012, 03:13 AM
In discussing "tank" - it's difficult because it's one of those terms that mean different things to different people.

Some people see it as the aggro guy with enough resists for the heals to keep him alive while the DPS frag the Hell out of the stupid mob that ignores the heals and DPS to focus on the guy that's not going to die. No, I'm not a fan of the Trinity...ahem.

Some people see it as simply a means of damage that can be absorbed/resisted. How much damage can somebody tank? Player A is "tankier" than Player B.

Even there, people will digress into discussions about passive and active tanking. Some will include the ability to self-heal in that discussion.

Given that PvP doesn't run the artificial Trinity system that PvE does, I usually see tank referred to as the ability to absorb/resist/soak/tank damage. It's part of the overall defense side of things. Tank 'n Gank. Defense and Offense. Heals for others tends to get lumped in with the tank side. Since it's still a defense aspect.

Say you start with 100. If a person goes 50/50 Tank 'n Gank, one might say they're balanced at the baseline. Now if that person is splitting their "Tank" between themselves and another, they need to split it. So maybe it's 25-25/50. Course, that leaves them open. So they might go 25-50/25. Issues arise when folks can go 50-50/50 or even 100-100/100 while somebody else can't. If everybody can go 100-100/100...then it's not really an issue.

Lots of folks hate the "Tank Mage"... then again, they're playing what's rolled across the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and Asia for a very long time. A tank.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 230
# 57
10-05-2012, 03:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
The very first word is "survivability"... apparently we read these passages differently. Let us just say that apparently, many (if not most) engineer players don't want to be healers - I guess your observation of that will fit mine. So, how to make engineers actual tanks...
The second sentence is "The Engineering officer can withstand the most damage by improving the performance of their personal shields, while supporting their away team with power generators or by bottlenecking the enemies advance with defensive mine fields.". It is a heavily shielded support class. And this is why Eng/Cruisers are the healing backbone of most teams. They have enough survivability to be able to support their allies without opening themselves up for easy counterattacks. The survivability is a tool to allow engineers to bring support, it's not their sole purpose to survive.

Nowhere does it even hint at something like "taking fire to protect allies". And therefore I think that it is futile to contemplate "how to make engineers actual tanks". This game does not have tanks and has never had them.

Could one imagine a different Star Trek game with tanks? Maybe. But in my opinion altering core gameplay concepts in a running game is a bad idea.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,168
# 58
10-05-2012, 03:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakehilbert View Post
The second sentence is "The Engineering officer can withstand the most damage by improving the performance of their personal shields, while supporting their away team with power generators or by bottlenecking the enemies advance with defensive mine fields.". It is a heavily shielded support class.
Note that this, in theory, fits my above proposal that I feel you may have overlooked. The engineer is survivable and does lots of buffing, so it makes sense to attack him instead of the Tactician, because the Tac is so buffed by the engineer.

Now, that is what the text (which came from the game, I think) sais, and that probably means that this is close to what the design intentions were.

It does not say "the engineer is the healer" or anything like it, it merely mentions repairs as a secondary among many things the engineer can do.


But as we know, this does not work out as well as it could in space PvP. There, "healer" pretty much sums it up, despite builds that can be a bit useful in other roles. (But only a bit, sadly.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...lM_skuv4#t=584

Last edited by sophlogimo; 10-05-2012 at 03:42 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 12,749
# 59
10-05-2012, 03:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakehilbert View Post
Could one imagine a different Star Trek game with tanks? Maybe. But in my opinion altering core gameplay concepts in a running game is a bad idea.
The systems and mechanics are already there. The three career options and even the ships...everything's pretty much set up to support the Trinity (please, no!) - but the requirements aren't there on the PvE side to run with it (thank you!)...
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 797
# 60
10-05-2012, 04:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
Note that this, in theory, fits my above proposal that I feel you may have overlooked. The engineer is survivable and does lots of buffing, so it makes sense to attack him instead of the Tactician, because the Tac is so buffed by the engineer.
except the tac is not buffed by the engineer, the tac is self buffed or buffed by the science.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
Now, that is what the text (which came from the game, I think) sais, and that probably means that this is close to what the design intentions were.
you cant begin to think what the intentions were, the entire first half of that talks about the ground part of the game. the engineers role on the battle field is vastly different on ground then in space.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
It does not say "the engineer is the healer" or anything like it, it merely mentions repairs as a secondary among many things the engineer can do.
to counter that, it also doesnt say "the engieer is the tank". it simply says they are more survivable. and since this game deals in survival by heals, the engineer is the only captain to have heals built into his powers out of the three making him more "survivable" then the other 2 classes of captains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
But as we know, this does not work out as well as it could in space PvP. There, "healer" pretty much sums it up, despite builds that can be a bit useful in other roles. (But only a bit, sadly.)
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