Based on heavy feedback regarding the viability of tank classes in PvP, Bioware is making some massive shifts for ALL tank-based disciplines in the 5.9.2 patch to Star Wars: The Old Republic. The primary change relates to how Critical Hits interact with Shield and Absorb abilities.
One of the topics we have seen quite a bit of feedback about is the viability of tanks in PvP. There are a few reasons for this which we would still like to address down the line, but we have one change planned for 5.9.2 which we hope will help their survivability in PvP. This will also help incentivize tanks to wear tanking gear in PvP.
In the current version of Star Wars: The Old Republic, only regular hits are affected by the tank’s Shield and Absorb instantiations. This new patch will make it so that players can now mitigate Crits much more effectively. Tank players should have a lot easier time dealing with incoming burst DPS in SWTOR 5.9.2, and that should hopefully help address the lack of tanks in PvP modes currently.
Currently, only regular hits from players can be impacted by shield procs. By including crits, this gives the potential for much more damage mitigation for tanks when being targeted by DPS classes. Here is a very basic example. Let’s say a normal hit would do 1,000 damage and a critical hit would do 2,000 damage. You are a tank and when your shield procs, you reduce damage by 25%. Previously you could reduce the normal hit to 750 damage, but would always take the 2,000 from a crit. After 5.9.2 you can also reduce the critical hit damage down to 1,500. This allows shield and absorb to be a direct counter-stat to Crit Rating for DPS classes.
It’s also worth noting that PvP is the focus here, given that PvE doesn’t even get a passing mention. So that means players can still get insta-popped by a boss if they stack enough crit hits in a row. Another interesting tidbit is the lack of mentioned buffs to base Defense, meaning that Shield and Absorb Augments will have a chance to jump in price on the GTN, depending on what other changes get announced for this version.
Game update 5.9.2 for SWTOR was due to land in July 2018, but it might not given that we don’t know too much about the patch yet, and certainly don’t have patch notes for it, it might get pushed.