SWTOR DPS Guard Changes – A Step in the Right Direction?


Recently, Bioware Gameplay Designer, Chris Durel, announced changes coming to Guard for DPS on the Forums. These changes will be tested on the PTS first.

Hi all,

I wanted to communicate some changes we are making to guard for 6.1.4 that are going to be live on PTS soon. We’ve heard your feedback about Guarding in PVP and we are hoping to address some of those concerns with this change.

We’ve added a 50% damage penalty to DPS disciplines while they are guarding allies. The full text of the new DPS guard is:

“While active, the guarded player takes 5% less damage and generates 25% less threat. In addition, so long as you remain within 15 meters of the guarded player, 50% of all incoming damage from enemy players is transferred back to you.
You deal 50% less damage while guarding.”

All this means is that while you guard allies as a DPS discipline, you do less damage while you are guarding that ally. It’s worth noting that this only applies to the DPS disciplines, Tank disciplines do not suffer this penalty and can freely guard as usual with no penalty.

The purpose of this change is to discourage the use of guard in every situation in PVP. While we feel like guarding is a useful skill and important to the advanced classes that have access to it, it has become clear that it is being abused in PVP by guarding and guard switching with no penalty. This makes PVP unbalanced towards the disciplines that have access to guard.

With this change, we are hoping that guard is used more thoughtfully in PVP while still retaining its usefulness in certain situations. We’d love to hear your feedback on this change, specifically if you think it helps the PVP experience overall if the penalty feels fair, and after you get your hands on it if there’s any noticeable difference to guarding and team composition in PVP.


Basically, they are reducing the damage you do as a DPS while Guarding. While these changes are aimed at addressing Guarding in PvP, it will affect PvE as well.

Theorycrafters Discord – Chris Schmidt, Game Design Director


DPS guarding in PvP has been an issue for many, many years now. DPS being able to guard is very powerful in PvP. Not only are they protecting someone but they are also able to dish out a lot of damage unhindered. It can effectively change the outcome of matches in the hands of the right players. It is nice to see the developers finally addressing this issue. I believe it makes sense for there to be some sort of sacrifice for DPS to use a ‘tanking’ ability. Reducing DPS output makes sense and is overall a good first step.

Will this actually fix the problem?

Even with a reduction in damage output, a Guard will still be quite valuable in Ranked PvP scenarios. If anything it could prolong ranked matches where even skill match up is present. For regs, it will probably be used less but will still, again, be useable in certain scenarios nonetheless.

I guess the question for the developers is do they want DPS to be able to Guard at all?

If they don’t want DPS to guard, wouldn’t it be better to just chuck the Guard ability in Discipline trees? I guess this would take more development effort but might be a better long term solution.

How will this affect PvE?

In certain encounters and scenarios, it is not unheard of for DPS to guard in more difficult Operations content. This is why you’ve probably seen some PvEers complaining about this change. Yes sometimes DPS will Guard in easier content but realistically, this change should not have a negative impact on easier content eg. Flashpoints or Story Mode Operations (content should still be clearable despite DPS loss).

Either way, this change is a positive step in the right direction for PvP. Hopefully, it will get tested thoroughly on the PTS. At this stage, I don’t see this happening without further rewards and incentives from Bioware.

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