Thursday, July 5, 2018

Taalias Tank Tips Part 1

Taalias Tank Tips Part 1
Author: Taalia (Rosmerta)

Tanking is the art of absorbing the attacks the boss delivers, keeping them from hurting the rest of the team. But the role of the tank is much more than that.

To be a good tank you need three things:

1. Confidence
2. Communication
3. Positioning and awareness.

But before we talk about these, what is a tank? We discuss basics today. In part 2 we'll talk builds, and part 3 talk about how to raid.

We assume the tank is a warrior class, but she needn't be. Non-warrior tanking we'll cover later.

Please feel free to disagree or add to the discussion in comments.

Keeping the boss attacking you and off your friends:

Celtic heroes boss targeting is determined by an "aggression table". Any boss or mob will have a table - a list - of those towards it feels aggression. It will move towards and attack the player at the top. Certain things will increase a mob's aggression towards you:

Attacking it
Attacking its allies (an 'add' will gain aggression against anyone who attacks its boss)
Healing or supporting someone that it has aggression towards
Being low level
Being close to it

Three things reduce aggression:
Dying (puts you at the bottom of the list)
Logging out and in (same)
Druid calm skill

A tank will want to increase the aggression the target feels towards the tank, and keep it higher than that of the dps team or other support teams.

There are two skills that increase aggression towards you

Taunt. Causes one target to increase aggression towards you

Warcry. Causes all in an area to increase aggression towards you, but more weakly than taunt.

A tank needs both. Warcry alone isn't enough to hold aggression on many bosses, so you need taunt. But a tank doesn't just tank single bosses, she has to hold hordes of adds too. So you need to carry warcry as well.

Both taunt and warcry can miss. If you find they miss too often, use gear to increase melee combat ability.

Also note that while tank dps is low, damaging an opponent generates aggression. Skills which cloak - that do a small amount of damage to all who attack you - can help keep a horde of adds stuck on tight.

Surviving the incoming damage:

Once you have aggression, attacks will be landing on you. You need to survive. How?

Let's take this in stages

1. Avoiding incoming attacks
2. Resisting attacks you can't avoid
3. Surviving damage you can't resist

1. If an attack misses you, you're good.

Autos. To avoid autos you need high defence. Defence comes from dex, or defence gear. Using the skill defensive formation will boost your defence score materially. Keep this running permanently during a battle.

Other classes can help with this: because your defence is matched against the boss's attack, reducing that attack is helpful. The druid skill howling wind is very useful here. Equally, reducing the frequency of autos landing on you can help. The ranger skill entangle is a often a tank's best friend.

Skill attacks. Evading skills cast on you, quelle surprise, requires maxing evasion abilities. These needs to be trained, by using wisdom lix whenever you're being hit regularly by skill attacks, and by certain gear such as mord helms, pets and mounts.

The skill enduring guard improves evasion vs physical attacks, but I haven't found it particularly useful. The druid skill bless gives a noticeable improvement and helps against non-physical attacks which are often the killers.

2. Resisting attacks that hit you.

Armour is physical resistance (pierce, slash, crush).
Elemental resistance is important depending upon the boss (fire, ice, magic)
Poison resist is so rare it can be ignored
Chaos resist is the important one

The skill protective stance increases armour (pierce, slash, crush resist). A tank should run this permanently. The druid skill bark also increases armour. Armour kites can be useful if you find armour is short and physical damage hurting.

Druid ward skills increase resistance vs a particular type of damage and are necessary to resist being swamped with elemental damage from certain bosses (ice ward on monolith, for example, or magic ward at 215.6)

Just as my ranger tips suggested maximising divine damage over other forms, my tank tip is to focus on chaos resistance. DL and EDL armour helps here. DL and EDL shields and arcane rings all add to chaos resist. The endgame and raid bosses a top end tank spends most of her time fighting will dish out bucket loads of chaos damage. The only ward against chaos damage is the druid DL and EDL offhand skill, and without decent chaos resistance you will find the going tough.

Some jewellery adds armour or elemental resists, but I've found that the slots are better used for other things - though don't ignore it entirely (e.g. the poacher amulet adds armour)

3. Surviving the damage you take.

Before it hits your health, damage hits screens and shields. The tank may use a boar feral protection skill which reflects a small amount of damage, or the bear skill resilience, which is stronger but does not reflect. I run these both, alternating with shield wall, which is your true 'blocking' skill. Running shield wall as soon as it cools down reduces the overall damage being taken, but it really comes into its own when timed with boss skill attacks (blocking 205.6 or mordirs fireballs) or at the moment a boss rages. It gives valuable seconds to move.

A deep pool of health points gives your druids time to heal you. How much do you need? Well it depends upon how many other defences you have. Most raid bosses can be tanked with 15-17k hp, but your other protections need to be strong. 20-22k is healthy. I run 25k usually but have gone up to 30k on occasion. Some of our tanks have much higher, and we've had Forever tanks with >30k in battle.

Health comes from vitality. Apart from vit and vit gear, and direct health boosting gear, you can increase maximum health with horns and kites. I keep a 15% max health kite running permanently.

The druid skill abundance helps up the maximum health.

Regenerating health

Your health will fall during the battle. How to get it back up? Druids and rangers can heal, obviously.

If you can bash or bolas the target and there are no adds, you can get far enough back that you're no longer considered in combat, and can heal rapidly using health sigs (out of combat healing) but this can be tricky to arrange.

Lux gear that regenerates health is useless as the rates of recovery are too low to matter - energy regeneration is more important.

Part 2 we'll discuss builds and gear.


Taalias Tank and Damage Tips Menu

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