The Jedi Guardian is one of the Advanced Classes of the Jedi Knight. It is a tank and dps class with 2 dps trees and 1 tank tree. It uses a 'rage' like mechanic called 'focus' (in fact the Sith equivalent is 'rage') whereby being struck or using certain abilities produce resource and other abilities consume the resource. It is capped at 12 while a typical ability costs 3 to use.
Defense is the tanking tree, with a focus on defenses and damage reduction, with some small threat generation boosts.
Vigilance has a number of DoTs with some damage reduction thrown in; kind of a half-tank half-dps spec.
Focus seems more like a PvP tree, with movement, crits, and armor reduction.
A Jedi Guardian can withstand a fair amount of punishment, with 2 shield walls, a last stand, and a prep/cold snap+heal to reset one of those shield walls when your companion is out. It also has some nice mobility with leap, throw (your saber and your target), and intercept. It will feel familiar to WoW players who've played warriors extensively.
Jedi Guardian has cool companions (so far). T7 and Kira are awesome. Unfortunately, neither of them are a healer (which is an excellent complement to a tank class). I expect I'll get a healer later on (currently on Alderaan @ 36)
Low threat. This may be ameliorated as I get more abilities, but at 36 it still feels like I'm barely ahead of the DPS, and Thana (shadow) at 26 could easily pull threat from me in tank spec.
Too many buttons. Here's the current Guardian decision tree:
1. Combat Focus [low on focus]
3. Force Kick [target is casting]
4. Saber Throw [target is distant, focus not full]
5. Force Leap [target is distant]
6. Pommel Strike [valid target]
7. Opportune Strike [valid target]
8. Force Stasis [focus <= 10]
9. Sundering Strike [focus <= 9]
10. Force Sweep [AOE]
11. Blade Storm
12. Force Sweep [single target]
13. Cyclone Slash [AOE]
14. Hilt Strike
15. Guardian Slash
17. Master Strike [no movement, nothing to do next GCD]
18. Force Push [most stuff on cooldown, leap off cooldown, and you're bored]
That is too much, and it does not even include our 4 available cooldowns.
Many abilities have 'upscale' versions (sundering strike -> Guardian Slash, Opportune Strike -> Hilt Strike, Slash-> Cyclone Slash), but they aren't replacements, they are additions, so you have to manage both the old versions and the new versions on asynchronous cooldowns (several of them as long as a minute).
The reason Guardians feel similar to WoW Warriors is because it's virtually the same class, except made needlessly more complicated. They really need replacement-grade abilities (ex: sunder armor upgrades to devastate and you never use sunder again). It could also do with some macroing (removing the need to manage Riposte, which is off the GCD, would help keep a rhythm going).
I feel like, overall, Star Wars features an over-abundance of buttons, but the Guardian seems particularly egregious in this respect. I'd like to know what percentage of Jedi Guardian players can successfully manage a 20-item decision tree in their head every 1.5 seconds while maneuvering a recalcitrant boss and dodging floor effects. I'm guessing that number is rather low. I'm wondering if this contributes to an alleged tank shortage and the relative scarcity of guardians that I have encountered as I adventure.
I do like many of my tools and have a stubborn affection for the class (as I do for Warriors in WoW) but I also feel like I'm not very good at it (like my Warrior in WoW), and if I play it for long stretches I need a break afterwards because it can become pretty stressful for me.
I like the story (even if it's a new Death Star-type doomsday device every planet; to be fair, the original Star Wars was a fairly uncomplex affair in regards to plot and morality, and the narrative arc is well within the same vein) and really like my companions. I have hopes that BioWare will address the unmanageability of the class and make it a real delight to play. If they take too long though, I may burn through the storylines on my alts and then put the game down.