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 Tanking: A brief course

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Join date : 2009-07-19
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Tanking: A brief course Empty
PostSubject: Tanking: A brief course   Tanking: A brief course Icon_minitimeTue Jun 14, 2011 10:48 pm

This guide is designed to familiarize readers with the basics of tanking. If you are Guardian, Dark Templar or Conquerer and plan to tank instances, you should first give this guide at least a quick go-through.

By section:

I. The tanks and basic duties of a tank
II. Basic skills, terms and feats to remember/understand
III. Proper "pulling" techniques
IV. Aggro: Getting it, holding it, losing it
V. Tank rotations and off tanking

I. The tanks and basic duties of a tank

The duties of a tank are simple: pull safe groups of enemies to your group of allies and keep the enemy attacking you. You are the heavily armored soldier, it is you that should take the brunt of the enemy's attacks. A good tank will always do their best to keep their teammates from being struck in combat.

There are three 'tank' classes. Each class can also be feated for doing damage in some fashion, but for the sake of this guide, we will assume you have already decided to be a tank and have feated up as such or plan to feat up as such.

The classes are:

-Guardian: The guardian has the highest health of three classes and the most innate 'mitigation' (explained later) and health regeneration. They are the only class who's raid armor is fullplate, and the highest quality tank armor there is obtainable through raiding. A guardian is given several straight forward options for buffs that allow for extra mitigation, extra hate, higher protection, higher evade and other abilities that will help in tanking. They are your straight forward frontline in battle, and can take a high volume amount of damage without ever nearing death.

-Dark Templar: The dark templar has less health and innate mitigation than a guardian. But what they lack in innate front line abilities they make up for magical buffs and many feated abilities to aid them in tanking. They are a very complex tank to use because of the sheer amount of magical abilities they use to keep themselves alive. These magical abilities and innate health tap percentages allow them to push the limits earlier than a Guardian can. Their raid armor is centered around dealing health sapping damage (sapping the enemies health and giving it to you) and is 'heavy' instead of full plate. They can be an invaluable tank despite their lack of innate abilities and full plate raid armor.

-Conquerer: Ideally, a conquerer plays the role of offtank (explained later). They have less health, health regeneration and mitigation base amounts than a Dark Templar. They make up for this by dishing out the most amount of damage of the three classes while specced for tanking, and offer the most amount of CC power (Crowd control abilities like stuns, knockbacks, etc). They offer several group buff options to aid them and their allies, which can also be turned into short duration rally cries which benefit their team in different ways - from a group healing effect, to a self damage reflection bubble, and even a fire AoE to scorch your enemies. Their raid armor is also only of heavy quality.

II. Basic skills, terms and feats to remember and understand

Before you can begin learning to tank, you must familiarize yourself with the basic skills, techniques and feats that will be of high importance to you as a tank and the terms involved in tanking:

-Hate/Aggro: Hate or aggro is how much hate or aggression the current enemy target has for you or a team member. An ideal tank keeps themselves as the enemy's target, which requires them to remain at the top of that enemy's hate and aggression. How to do so will be explained later in this guide.

-Pull: Pulling is the basic idea of drawing a desirable amount of enemies to you and your group safely without stepping too close and drawing too many enemies in at once.

-LoS: Line of sight; this is an enemy's ability to hit you from a distance with ranged attacks. They can only do this when they have a direct line of sight to you. Using this to your advantage will be explained later.

-Mitigation: Your ability to avoid a percentage of damage per hit. The higher your mitigation, the more hits you can take; a higher mitigation percentage lowers the amount of damage you take per hit.

-Protection: Lowers the damage you take from magical sources; think of this as your magic mitigation.

-Evade: Your chances of evading and thus, completely avoiding, a physical attack.

-Immunity: Your chances of being immune to, and thus, not being hit by, an incoming magical attack.

-Add/Adds: An add or adds is an extra enemy or enemies that came with your pull or that are called in as reinforcements of the enemy you initially pulled or tried to pull. As a tank, it will be your duty to minimize adds and to 'pick up' (as in draw the hate of) any adds during a fight to keep them off of your team. This duty can also be delegated to a weaker tank (also called an offtank).

-Pat: Short for patrol or pather, a pat is an enemy that walks on a set path and doesn't remain idle; sometimes it is best to remain patient to pull any pats to keep them from becoming an add during another fight.

-Main tank/Main tank group: A main tank is the group's main source of tanking. They are ideally a guardian or dark templar that is better geared than any other soldier in the group. They will do the pulling and draw primary hate of the enemies. A main tank group is the grouping of 6 in a raid that holds the primary tank power for that raid and will do the most pulling and main tanking.

-Off tank: An off tank is usually a conquerer, or a lesser geared guardian or dark templar that is in a group with a superiorly geared tank, who's primary duty and function in a group is to draw the hate of any adds or to share the hate of an enemy that hits too hard for a main tank to tank for the duration of the fight.

-Irritate: Irritate is your basic self learned aggro technique. It gives you a small, extra burst of "hate" or "aggro" on your enemy.

-AoE taunts: These are feated abilities that draw aggro and hate in self centered area of effect; they are Cry of Havok, Seal of Chaos and Retaliation, depending on if you are Guardian, Dark Templar or Conquerer, respectively.

-Goading: Goading by use of Goad or Goad Mob (both feated abilities in the general tree) is an attempt to reset the enemy's aggro and hate to place yourself at the top of the enemy's hate table. Most effective when an ally has caused the enemy to target them instead and knows to slow down their attacks to allow you to take the hate back.

III. Proper "pulling" techniques

The first thing you need to learn as a tanking oriented soldier is the proper way to pull mobs to the group. Usually, you will want to tank a zone that you know your way around to make pulling easier. However, a good tank can still pull wisely even if in a zone totally unfamiliar to them.

Pulling, in short, is drawing an enemy towards you and your group without stepping too close and causing a much larger - and unwanted size - group to run you and your team down, causing you to be overrun and causing a wipe.

Methods of pulling
-Irritate: Irritate is your basic aggro technique, but can also be used as a method of drawing an enemy or small group of enemies from a crowd. This can sometimes cause larger groups of unwanted size to attack you, and should be used primarily when there are decent enough sized gaps between the enemies.

-Ranged attacks: Thrown weapons or the use of bow and arrow can also be used to pull. This method is most effective when enemies are closely grouped together, as the risk of pulling an unwanted amount of enemies is decreased. For added range, zoom in as far as you can and use the target recticle.

When pulling enemies with ranged attacks
If you are trying to pull targets that use spells or arrows as their primary attack, it is best to have a clear path backward towards a cleared portion of the dungeon. After pulling, run backward quickly to break the range limit of their ranged attacks. This will cause the enemy to have to try and close the gap to continue attacking you; which allows you to safely close distance yourself to resume attacking without stepping too close to the other enemies and drawing an unwanted group of more.

You can also use the "LoS" or Line of Sight method (explained above as a term to know) to break the line of sight a ranged attacker has on you. By ducking behind a wall or around a corner, you will cause the enemy using a ranged attack to chase you, causing them to end up in a range much safer for you to fight in.

Failing to use LoS or to break the range of a ranged attacker can risk causing multiple adds, so it is best to understand this part well and make good use of these simple techniques during tanking.

IV. Aggro: Getting it, holding it, losing it

A good tank can get aggro when they need it, hold it off of the others in group, and loses it only when they need to.

Keep in mind that some people - admittedly I am one of these people - just do far too much damage as a "dps" class and make it extremely hard on tanks to consistently hold aggro. It is nearly impossible to hold aggro all the time, especially with a great dps player in your group.

This section will help you better understand techniques used to hold aggro, gain aggro, and even how to lose it when you need to, to become an overall better tank.

To pull aggro, ideally you want to set off irritate and land a good combo or two before the rest of your team starts going bonkers on the enemy. Utilize your taunts wisely. When you first pull an enemy, you want to get off your quickest-yet-highest-damage combo almost instantly after setting off your iritate. This gives you a good leg up on anyone else in aggro, and makes holding the aggro easier.

To hold aggro well though, you will need to remember that spamming irritate, or other taunting/aggro inducing skills, only goes so far. Ideally, you want to use irritate often to ensure you remain as the top threat to your enemy, and keep them from turning to attack someone else. But you do not want to have your irritate or other taunting abilities on cooldown when you really need them. Knowing if you need to throw in an extra taunt at the end of a fight comes with experience; but obviously however, you will not want to use an irritate when the enemy is already nearly dead. Save it for the next pull or enemy to be fought. In between taunting abilities, you will need to make sure you do damage to your opponent in a way that keeps them constantly provoked by you, and thus, hitting you and not someone else.

A consistent high volume of damage can pull hate/aggro of an enemy, and so can extremely high short bursts of damage. But as a tank, you can do neither of these things. Damage dealt, to a tank, is more about just retaining some aggro/hate in between taunts rather than using it to pull the aggro or hate. You willl likely never outdamage a good dps class. But you still need to keep the aggro off of them. To do so, you want to keep dealing a steady stream of damage on your opponent. Again, a steady stream of damage. What this means, is that sparing an extra second or two to use a three step combo slows down your stream of damage. In this gap in time, you are allowing the dps classes of the group to gain too much ground on you in hate/aggro of the enemy. You want to minimize the gaps in the stream of damage you are putting out as often as possible. You need to find a good rotation of 1 and 2 step combos that offer decent damage in a quicker time frame to rotate through, while ignoring the use of lengthy 3 step combos that offer slightly increased damage but a much longer gap between landed combos.

Remember that it is not the amount of damage that matters to a tank, it is the constant damage that matters. Do not be afraid to use two different ranks of a combo, do not be shy about taking your highest ranks off your combo bar entirely. Stick with quicker landing attacks that can keep your rotation doing and keep those combos landing quickly, and you will have a much easier time holding aggro.

In the situations where you need to rotate aggro/tanking duties with another tank (such as major boss fights), you will need to know how to be able to pull hate off of another tank, as well as keep your hate easily taken away as well. I will explain this in it's own section next.

V. Tank rotations and offtanking

It is of vital importance to your tanking career that you learn to rotate tanking duties with another tank. THis makes major boss fights much simpler, as in some cases, no tank can take the entire fight's worth of hits from the enemy. To do this, you need to remember that you can't hog all the aggro and hate, and need to allow the other tanks the ability to take some too. This is a skill all in itself.

The basic idea is to do your best to avoid goading or using your other feated taunts. Instead, rely on irritate, and don't spam your irritate. Use it sparingly, while remembering also that you do still need to keep the enemy off the others in group. When you are ready to allow the other tank to pick the enemy from you, hold down X to block all attacks and hold it until the other tank has effectively taken aggro.

While waiting on your turn to take aggro in the rotation, be sure to use your full combo rotation and keep your steady steam of damage consistent, but do not irritate. When it is your turn to pull, hit your irritate and your AoE/feated taunt but do not goad or goad mob. If you still did not take it from the other, you may want to give it another irritate - but if the other tank is about to die, then obviously to save their life, you will want to goad.

You should now be proficient with all you need to tank in AoC. The biggest factors outside of the know how is experience and confidence, neither of which can be learned from reading anything. So go out there and beat up some baddies!

cause too large of a gap in time between your attacks, and allow the stream
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