Introduction: Welcome to Boot Camp
How do I tank and really get the job done? What do I do if I'm not just queuing as a tank to skip long que times? What if I really like the idea of tanking, I seriously want to do well? How do I build my character? More importantly, when I'm in the dungeon, what exactly do I do to be successful? What even determines what a successful tank is?
If you are asking these questions then strap in, my man! We are about lay a foundation for greatness. We aren't going to accept anything less from you.
Most tanks in eso are in one of two ditches: (or you are just now dreaming of tanking and haven't had a chance to get into one of these ditches)
1. They are a fortress of tankness and the mobs weep over the task of attempting to kill them, yet if there were perfectly honest they feel useless in 90% of the content. Unless there is a monster that can cave in mountains so that they can show off their tankiness they aren't sure what their purpose is. But the real rub is that they have a terrifying suspicion that the role of tank is completely unneeded in ESO outside of trials. So they walk around with an inferiority complex complaining about game design. To cement their fears, elite DPS laugh about tanks and actually tell them that they aren't even needed in all but a few dungeons. Well chin up little fellow! I'm going to show you how to be the most important person in the fight, every fight, every mob, every dungeon, from big nasty bosses to the most random of trash packs!
2. The second group finds themselves trying to build a hybrid tank/dps so that they can be more useful. They are very excited and certain that they are the greatest thing that could grace a group casual gaming peasants, and could even be hitting 10k+ DPS as they lead the charge! Nice parses, pal! Heck, they are probably singing "You're Welcome!" from Moana while they run the dungeon. But aside from the way the hardest content treats you like a rag doll, the real problem is your group never pulls their weight, am I right? PUG after PUG your damage dealers are a pile of crap, and you probably laugh and joke with your friends about how you out do their damage half the time, ya? I know, its like I'm reading your mail. What if I told you there is a common denominator in all your groups? Yeah, I'm going to let you in on something every person in your group but you knows. The reason your group's DPS sucks is because of you. You aren't carrying your group, you are killing your group. You've sacrificed The Job, for your own personal parsing goals.
Both these groups of tanks, no matter how great the difference may seem, struggle because they don't understand the job of tanking. Well to be fair, some of them don't care about The Job, they just want faster group finder times. But I'm talking about the ones of you who are serious about being a tank. You wish you knew why this wasn't working and bit by bit you are starting to assume the problem is ZOS.
So here is what this guide is going to cover, in general and then a summary of the sections. First, there are always, no matter what role you choose, three aspects of being good. 1.) Build 2.) Skill using your particular build. 3.) Knowledge of the specific content you are playing. This guide is going to be about the first two. I'm not going to give you a build though, you didn't want treated like a baby, right? No, I'm going to teach you the WHY's of builds. And then you get to be a big boy, or lady, and decide how you want to get The Job done. We are going to talk about "skill." By skill, I mean the exact job you as a tank are trying to do, and exactly how to get it done. We will not talk about number three. We won't cover specific dungeons. Though you need to understand that knowing the dungeon will be a real component of tanking well and you should consult sources and learn from experience. @xynode
has a really fun video dungeon guide library he is building. But there are plenty out there.
Part 1: Understanding The Job of Tanking. Getting firm in your mind what you are trying to do.
Part 2: Going above and beyond. How do I add to the group's damage in a big way?
Part 3: Getting ridiculously tough. Time to put the tank back into tanking.
Part 4: Getting off the regen crack. Why striving for high mana regen is killing your potential. (yeah, this one will *** people off)
HEADS UP: There is now a giant additional section in post 22 (I think) of this thread.
This is a guide to "traditional" tanking. Some of you guys come up with crazy unorthodox builds and you still get The Job done. I respect that. As long as you do the job well, you and I are friends. But this guide will be on making what most of us think about when we think an MMO tank. And I believe following these principles will out perform the outside of the box builds ultimately.
I'll be making some place holder posts for each of these sections and then adding the content. Stay tuned...