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Tanker vs Brute - SS


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I know this question gets asked to death, but I’m pretty sure I want to commit to leveling a character that is SS with either Invuln or Willpower. Right now, I have a 22 SS-Invuln brute that I enjoy more than most of the other chars I’ve leveled to 22 (I wanted to see the different praetorian stories and try out some different AT’s and combos, but I know I haven’t tested any of them near enough...  I mean, I don’t even have footstomp yet). He’s slow to warm up on the first pack in a mission, but maintaining rage isn’t too difficult these days, even with the difficulty set to low team size. I played a brute way back,, and it used to feel like a lot more work to keep their fury going. I normally float at around 150%. But I hear they just tweaked tanker damage and that they have a edge on AOE, and I love the idea of getting more out of foot stomp (although not getting it til 38 seems kinda rough). I don’t really understand how much damage I’ld be losing if I switched. Can someone more knowledgeable check my napkin math:


Brute: 0.65 (base)+0.65 (rage)+1.5*0.65 (fury) = 1.95+0.325 = 2.275

Tanker: 0.95 (base)+0.95 (rage) = 1.9


And I guess since we are talking leveling, I have to consider that the tanker doesn’t get rage til 28. So before that;


Brute: 0.65 (base)+1.5*0.65 (fury) = 1.3+0.325 = 1.625

Tanker: 0.95


So I guess there’s a pretty big difference the first 28 levels ad the. Then the gap gets a lot smaller after rage comes into play. They go pretty quick, but I’ld have to keep that in mind so I don’t get to disappointed the first 30 levels if I decided to switch ATs. 

I could throw in scrapper and stalker numbers for comparisons, but I know I like super strength so am not as worried about them. I have a 30 stalker that owns bosses, but he’s ninja blade so has no aoe and will never get one. I’ve got a 20 claws scrapper, so I know I like aoe’s. I think I can live with waiting til 32 or 38 for it.  Spinning from level 6 on is pretty sweet though. I’m leaning super strength because I find it quite pleasing to knock stuff down. I might need to try street justice on a stalker later though, since it does some knockdown and also still gets aoe. But the claws and ninja blade animations are quick and they’re low end, and I really enjoy the defense of divine avalanche and the knock up of soaring dragon, but they don’t feel like they pack the same wallop as knocking things down with haymakers and knockout blows. That’s why I’m leaning into SS. I can always play those other chars more later though. It’s just about time that I settled on leveling something to 50. I enjoy my stalker, but it feels like I am cheating (and missing easy XP) by sneaking around. Technically, I could scrap it out with every group of minions I see, but I normally end up slipping by them. I kinda enjoy just wading into the fray on a scrapper or brute more, although I like having the option to choose to play my sneaky character and he’s my highest level guy right now. But I kinda prefer the idea of throwing a hunk of concrete at the nearest baddie and then punching them in the face. I like the numbers of Titan weapons and occasional knockdown with Titan sweep (knocking down a group of foes makes me happy), and all the 120 degree arcs (flashing steel being 30 degrees makes me sad), but every fourth attack or so being super slow kinda turns me off to the set. I’ve seen chains that show five attacks before getting back to the slow one, but it feels like every fourth one is slow mo for me. Anyway, SS seems to have nice animations and lots of knockdown, and a great aoe if I stay the course. So long story short, I’m going to main a super strength char of some type and keep a stalker on the side, and probably going to put off trying these other chars more until after I have at least one fifty. I’m off topic though.


Anyway, back to the main question, for soloing, 2.275 vs 1.9 seems pretty close. Or am I oversimplifying and missing something? And the tanker would get better defense numbers while leveling and be a little easier to IO out to defense cap in the end, but the brute due to higher damage caps would be more able to do damage on teams (except for the tanker getting an edge in aoe, but arguably if I wanted to be an aoe god, I should really just roll a blaster probably.  I don’t find blaster so far to be a very enjoyable leveling experience, but maybe once I know more about the game or something. Debt isn’t as bad as it used to be though, but classes with defense give me more room to be a noob). The brute I could almost opt out of rage and still do close to a raged up tanker in damage, if I understand it right, and then not have to work around the crash. And in general, a single damage inspiration would do a lot more for the tanker than the brute, but the brute could do sick things with a tray of damage inspirations.

Also, if I made a tanker and teamed, I’m guessing people would actually expect me to tank stuff and that I should probably make room in my build for taunt. That might be fun. I don’t know. I haven’t teamed much since way back in live, and then tankers were pretty good for herding up mobs and did a lot of corner pulling and dumpster diving and what not. Is there a good resource for what a tanker needs to know somewhere, or do you just pick it up as you go along?  I guess grabbing some mobs and getting them in melee range isn’t that much different with a team than on your own. Tanking just sounds like there are complications I am missing since I’m a noob. I always thought tanking in a game would be fun, but most people let tanks lead, and I’m still pretty much a noob at this game so not the best leader. I’ve never even ran any of the major trials, much less learned where their ambushes are and what not. But am I better off just sticking with my brute with slightly higher damage and slightly more limited aoe, but less responsibility and maybe trying the tanker some other time for comparison?  Just looking at the numbers, the trade off for tanker seems a fine choice, but I’m not sure who invested I am in the idea of actually tanking stuff. 

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The thing most good tankers do is play like controllers: the job of a tanker is get and maintain aggro and keep the mobs focused on the tanker, not the team.  This is why taunt is essential to a good tanker: it's your ranged AoE "hold" power.  And it's far more powerful than any damage you can do. 


This is what separates tankers from brutes.  They sacrifice the glory of getting the big orange numbers for the benefit of the team.  Even after the recent changes, tankers still aren't going to get those big orange numbers.  They get more than they used to, sure.  And that makes soloing a lot easier.


So if you want damage, stick with Brute.  But if you want to lead teams, go Tanker.



Energy/Energy Blaster (50+3) on Everlasting

Energy/Temporal Blaster (50+3) on Excelsior

Energy/Willpower Sentinel (50+3) on Indomitable

Energy/Energy Sentinel (50+1) on Torchbearer

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You can Tank fine without taunt. Sometimes it can be handy though. But if you know what you are doing you will use it less and less. If you can fit it get it, if not then make do.


Try it with taunt and see how much you are actually using it after a while. I have played a lot of Tankers and those i didn't take taunt on i never really missed it much.


The more damage buffs added to the tanker would presumably put the tanker even closer to Brute damage due to higher base damage, though the Brute will always have 200% more cap. You would need a kinetics on your team.



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Since Tankers get higher defensive numbers but are only slightly behind in sustained DPS, consider an offensive set like Fiery Aura or Bio. You’re still survivable most content sans end game, but even then you can Tank those encounters if you focus, and with buffs you don’t even have to think about it. Considering you should hopefully be tanking for a team, buffs are frequent. I have a Fire/Energy Tank that can 2 shot bosses depending on level and buffs but also has 45%+ defense to Melee, 90% res to Smash/Lethal, Energy/Neg Fire and 50-60% res to everything else. Some content can be tough, but it’s rare that I have any issues. Fire/SS would also see similar numbers when hitting with Knockout Blow with double stacked Rage and Fiery Embrace and also be very tanky. Energy Transfer on my Tank averages I’d say at least 600-700 damage when I use both Build Up and Fiery Embrace.

Edited by Camel
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 A lot of it comes down to numbers. I think my math is oversimplified, so I don’t trust it. If we’re only talking me doing a little under 2/3rd damage pre-rage and 80-85% brute damage with rage, and getting better survivability numbers while Ievel, plus being a bit cheaper to defense cap end game, then I’ld probably be happy leveling a tanker and learning to tank for what time I do have to team. If we’re talking doing more like half the damage or less, then I’m a bit more hesitant to commit. Maybe I should delve into the pylon thread and see if I can find some brute vs tanker dps numbers in practice rather than trying napkin math. 

Granted though, taking a brute, scrapper, or stalker (obviously non-SS if I didn’t stick with my brute) roll would probably be easier for my first 50 anyway, since they are all lower pressure roles, and I could always make a tanker later. I’ll probably end up taking my 30 stalker to 50 also anyway, when I’m in the mood for that type of stealthy boss killing play style. I just want to main something more I your face, either brute, tank, or scrapper; and since I’m leaning SS, either brute or tanker. I’ll learn a lot about the dps role if I team on my stalker though, well everything does except aoe since I chose ninja blade. Lol. 

But yeah, I spend most of my time soloing story arcs and what not, and only team when I occasionally have a chunk of time that I’m not distracted. So I’ll probably spend most of my time solo whatever I play. I’m probably a pretty bad MMO player, but it is easier to read mission text and clues when no one is waiting on you.. But I do like the idea of teaming some when time allows. Last time I teamed was on my controller in live though. Haven’t tried it on anything since coming back. 

But yeah, long story short, 75%-ish damage or so and less corpse runs due to being more durable is probably a trade off I’m willing to make, and learning to tank some would probably be fun. Half damage or less would probably make soloing too slow to be enjoyable though. I’m not exactly sure where tankers stand after the changes, I guess, and rage complicates things a little. So I’m not sure what I’ld be signing up for. 

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I believe the numbers are (Base, Fury, enhancements/other estimate, Rage):

Brute: 0.75 + 0.75 * 2 + 0.75 + 0.75 * 0.8 = 3.6

Tanker: 0.95 + 0.95 + 0.95 * 0.8 = 2.66


Also, the general rule isn't that Tankers are tougher so much as Tankers are broader. The Brute version will normally have similar levels of resist/defense against common types like S/L. Where the extra value from the armor sets on Tankers comes is in terms of unusual resists/defenses. Tankers tend to have fewer 'holes' than Brutes (although obviously some of those holes are simply a feature of the set).


However, this is less useful than it might initially appear because you can just pick n' choose a Brute for an individual encounter in many cases. So while a Tanker might be built to tank both Hamidon and Lord Recluse, there are Brutes who are just as good at Hamidon and Brutes who are just as good at Lord Recluse. This means a lot of players who pick Tanker end up wondering why they bothered if Brutes can just do what they do.



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Oh, is the brute number 0.75 instead of 0.65? I was just looking at Paragon Wiki, but I know it's old.


Thanks for including enhancements. I knew I was forgetting something. I realized I left them off when I went I hit build up on a levelling scrapper and it only doubled the damage of attacks that were unslotted. I still only use 1.5 for fury, since that seems to be where the bar hovers in practice though. Maybe endgame or higher team size it is easier to cap out. I mean, it seems to stay really high on my farming brute, but still never maxed. But on my levelling brute it levels off around 1.5 when I'm running missions.


So pre-rage:

0.75 + 0.75*2 + 0.75*0.8 = 3 (perfect world brute)

0.75 + 0.75*1.5 + 0.75*0.8 = 2.4

0.95 + 0.95*0.8 = 1.52

So the tanker does 50%-62.5% of brute damage pre-rage. Half damage is the floor I wanted to stay away from, but if it's only the early levels it isn't so bad.


There's a hazy period in the middle, where the brute gets KO Blow and Rage first, but those levels go by pretty quick. Brute getting foot stomp early is game changing though, but I guess even six levels in your thirties is only a day or less of playing (talking from experience soloing story missions and what not, you could cheat through the rough period with some AE elite boss farming or team up through these rough levels too).


And post-rage:

0.75 + 0.75 + 0.75*2 + 0.75*0.8 = 3.6

0.75 + 0.75 + 0.75*1.5 + 0.75*0.8 = 3.225

0.95 + 0.95 + 0.95*0.8 = 2.66

Then the tanker does 73.8%-82.5% of brute damage post-rage.


It seems like a bad trade off pre-rage, but those levels go by pretty quick, and the numbers narrow after it. Even the pre-rage number of 60%-ish is something I could tolerate in practice, although I obviously prefer the rage enhanced numbers. I guess the numbers narrow a little more when you add like musculature or something, but I'm a long way from doing that on any character. I guess it only adds a third to 45% of base to both judging by the wiki.


Overall, I think I'm going to level both a SS-Invuln tanker and an SS-Will brute and compare them in practice and then see which one I like to play more end game. I'm honestly not sure the massive damage drop is worth even the 20-25% hit in damage, but having a tanker might nudge me into taking some roles that I would normally avoid, and it looks like leveling wouldn't be as painful as it could be comparatively speaking.

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