Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dungeon tanking techniques

So I'm not the world's greatest tank. I can accept this. There are things I only do so-so like holding aggro and mitigating damage. I'm not a slouch, but I've seen better. Some things I do pretty well though, and these are the little things that other tanks may not do at all.

1. The pull: when, where and how. WAR has relatively easy pulling, Mobs don't seem to link based on proximity, which is normally a big concern. Still there's more to the pull than just throwing an axe. Does the mob include ranged dps? you'll need to either walk over to them to engage them in melee and then walk them back, taunt to interrupt casts (when applicable), or my favorite, use a line-of-sight break to make them run to you (LoS pull).

When possible pull back to a clear, out of the way area. This will help you avoid patrols and minimize the danger of runners wandering into other groups. runners don't aggro other groups automatically in WAR, but they may reset if left alone and if you have to chase into another group, you will body-aggro them.

2. the Turn: An important but often overlooked technique. When you bring mobs into melee range, run around them so that they turn without moving to face you. This does two things: it exposes their backs to melee (I assume that like WoW there's no blocking from behind) and lets you face your party, so you can easily see if a mob attacks someone else.

3. the Intercept: save your taunts for mobs that are trying to run after a healer, so you can intercept them and easily bring them back into the fold. Tanks should not taunt off each other. It's a waste. It happens of course, from time to time, but there are lots of better uses for taunts.

4. the Juggle: The hardest technique of the bunch. Often you'll need to tank multiple mobs, when you do so, you can't simply attack one target. If you do, the others will eventually switch to the healers. But if you spread your attacks to broadly, the target being focus-fired (hopefully that's what your dps is doing) will turn on a DPSer. So you put the majority of your attacks on one target, and try to corral the others with AoE, taunts, and occasional attacks.

There's no magic formula to this, but if you watch what happens and adjust you can easily figure out a good balance.

Offtanks share these responsibilities, tending to focus on intercepts and strays. The offtank can also be the eyes in the back of the main tank's head, seeing what's coming up from ahead of the party, while the MT focuses on the mobs in play.

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