I fall firmly into the category of players who were greatly intrigued by Friday’s Dev. Update, as much for what it didn’t say for what it did. We learned that the Sith Inquisitor will have an Advanced Class that will be fully capable of Tanking, for example, which came as a pleasant surprise to many (myself included).
At this stage, the tanking rogue has now been done before, breaking from the “Tanks must wear plate” paradigm, so the Assassin tank will not necessarily be groundbreaking. We know that the Sith Inquisitor wears light armor also, which has led to a number of speculations. Will the Assassin be a completely avoidance-based tank, utilizing high Dodge and/or Parry rates to minimize incoming damage (rather than mitigating it outright through high armor rates)? I initially also thought of the Swordmaster class from Warhammer Online, which also fulfilled the tanking role without the usage of a shield. It was from looking at the Inquisitor’s mirror class, the Jedi Consular, that the picture became somewhat less fuzzy.
Take a look at a screen grab of this talent, called Kinetic Ward, which I believe sheds some light onto how this mechanic may function:
As a mirror class, I’d say it’s probably safe to assume that the Assassin will be using something similar. This fits in with the description of the Consular (specifically, the Jedi Shadow) using “Lightsaber defense and Force powers.”
And as an aside, we knew that the Inquisitor/Consular were going to have access to some degree of Stealth, but take a look at the last line in this tooltip. I hadn’t anticipated the playstyle of “Stealth Tank” but that is exactly what it seems to suggest. We can probably also count on seeing the Imperial Agent and Smuggler healers making use of Stealth in some way as well. That has the potential to be a really interesting mechanic – I’m most curious to see how it plays out in PvP though.
So as it stands, while SWTOR may not be rewriting the rules of the Holy Trinity, they are at the very least, providing these tools to a number of different classes. It remains to be seen whether or not the developers will give in and allow Advance Class respecs or not. While this may not be the most popular stance to take, I’m actually kind of hoping that they don’t. I can imagine this feature being a popular “Paid Service” feature if they ever offered it.
All in all, I can safely say that I am completely stoked to play this beast!
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