I wrote a “New To Dungeons guide” that went over well but has also provoked a lot of questions from newer players and surprisingly more from CP810 players who had no idea what a tank does other than not die.
After responding to a few I thought a simple guide to the role might help. It also might help people try the role of Tank as we really need more people to do it.
Most common questions…
Why does a tank…(bunch of different ones but stuff like) run ahead and in front of us?
What is aggro, what is a taunt?
So, this is not the expert meta tank guide for trials but rather the beginners guide of how in general things work.
If you come from other MMO’s like WOW or FF4 the support roles are different. Healers are easier, tanks are more complicated.
ESO has a taunt system and an aggro system.
Taunt is applied to a single target (excluding one set of armor you can get but speaking generally here.) There are no area taunts. Tanks will taunt the boss and usually the hardest hitting trash mob character. Taunt lasts for 15 seconds. It’s the first ability on the 1H +shield skill line. If you’re in a dungeon and a fake tank doesn’t have it, kick him.
Tanks use taunt to turn bosses away from the group so you will see a tank taunt a boss, run past him and the boss will turn away from the group to face the tank with his back to the group.
The tank will take the majority of the damage but not all. Depending on the mechanics the boss can still give area damage or one-shot dps and healers if they don’t see a mechanic coming and block or dodge roll away. That isn’t a tank problem.
Now what I really wanted to talk about is aggro. Bosses and trash mobs can get aggro (focus attention on a player) in a number of ways. If they are not taunted they will target whoever is doing the most damage or if the heals outnumber the damage then the healer. That is a hard aggro and will continue until he is taunted again.
There is also a soft aggro which gets the boss and trash mobs to focus on who ever hit (or healed) them first. So if a healer is first in a room and puts down an area heal he will be very popular with the bad guys in the room. Same for dps. That my friends is why you want the tank in the room first. You will see them lay down area damage like wall of elements for example and also light attack the trash mobs while moving towards and past the boss. Most if not all the trash mob will follow and stack up on the boss turned away from the group. The group can then melt them all at the same time and make the dungeon run really fast.
The tank can also use a distance taunt for bad guys that turn back to the group or chains to pull archers into the group for example.
Allowing the tank to get the initial aggro will make everyone’s life easier in a dungeon run. Also, if tank lets taunt expire but got initial aggro there is a chance the boss aggros him because of first hit. If tank is stunned then he losses hard aggro.
Memo to the super awesome just look at me DPS that likes to run ahead. You’re actually making it take longer by being selfish. Solo the dungeon or play your role. The tank cannot pull more damage than a dps so to group all the trash mob to the boss the tank would have to individually taunt everyone or use a skill to individually pull them to the boss. This is where you normally see a dps or healer die with trash mobs because the super awesome dps aggro’d everyone then moved to the boss but moved fast enough where the trash mob didn’t follow but instead focused on the baby accounts trying to keep up.
To the new players who have experienced this I just want to say not all of us are elitist. We were all noobs and I thank you continuing to breathe new life into a very old game.
But now you know why you as a dps should not run ahead of the tank and why the tank isn’t waiting for you. He is, but he’s taunted the corridor or room ahead and has position on the boss.
So that handles the primary tank jobs in what you’ll see in a random, normal, non-DLC dungeon.
Tank stays alive, tank positions boss, tank stacks trash mobs.
If you want to try tanking it is super easy to start with just that.
As you develop you will also debuf the boss (make him easier to kill) and buff the group (make their attacks stronger, give them shields etc).
As you get good tank gear you will have sets that add to the group. You will use weapons that weaken the enemy or make him easier for others to kill.
I encourage you all to try tanking and if you play with a good tank make sure you say thanks at the end of the run, and tip your healer as well. The support roles make the life of a DPS easier, they are selfless roles and you really appreciate the good ones. Also thank the not so good ones but the ones who really tried. With encouragement they may be a good one and at the very least, they made your cue shorter. Be well everyone.
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