Ran some pugs in a bunch of vet dungeons this last week with a couple friends and we encountered some players who were just starting to try tanking. Was a pretty entertaining experience.
For some context, the three of us were leveling new characters as DPSes and our 4th, a tank, had to leave. We were just running non-DLC veteran dungeons we had run a million times before, so we turned to the infamous group finder instead of trying to hunt down a guildie to waste his time. Surprisingly, we got a bunch of shiny new tanks. Not fake tanks, but real real new tanks. Even more surprising, each time they told the group up front what they were doing and their experience level so we would know what to expect. All of them were receptive to being told where to face the boss, where to stand, etc. It was like I was in an alternate, friendly ESO universe. Some died on the bosses, no big deal, nobody was shooting for no-death runs. It was also pretty entertaining to hear what sets these tanks were slapping together. If you were an elitist, you probably would have quit in disgust. As in Thunderbug and Livewire would be considered meta in comparison to these combos.
I only had 3 takeaways from this. First, when you ask for gear suggestions, please don't dismiss really, really, really good tank gear by saying you don't want to run the meta but also want to run vet trials and vet DLC dungeons. Especially when the meta suggested is Yolno, Alkosh, Ebon, or Torugs, or any other universally accepted tanking sets. Your tanking career will be very short and unpleasant. Second, don't make lame excuses for dying on bosses or try to blame the healer. Especially when there was not a healer. Its okay. These were pug runs, nobody cares. Just shrug it off and keep going. Third, I would totally suggest this as a legitimate way to learn how to tank. COA 1 or Elden Hollow 1 are mind-numbingly easy to run and seem like perfect places to learn the basics of tanking with very little downside.
Yeah, you might run into the tryhards you hear about on these boards, but we were totally cool with it because we knew what we were signing up for. What's the worst that can happen? They say no and you move on.