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In The Elder Scrolls Online, a tank is one of the three main types of group players whose role involves protecting the group from attackers, much like healers. Tanks are "meat shields", so to speak, putting themselves between monsters and the rest of the group. The other main roles in most groups are damage dealers and healers.
Below is a primer for Veteran Rank Players on tanking, but any player of any level can follow it.
A Tank's role is protecting the other, more vulnerable group members from harm by keeping the monsters attacking them instead of the rest of the group. This is done by keeping themselves alive, using taunt and crowd control (CC) abilities and taking advantage of a mechanic known as aggression, or "aggro", to stop monsters from attacking the group.
Many monsters determine their target through a mechanic known as aggression, or aggro as it is known to players. Aggro is caused by damaging enemies, healing attackers of enemies, and using taunt abilities. A monster will thus attack the player who instills the most aggro, and will change targets if another player instills higher aggro.
Tanks have three main things to do, in order of importance:
- Keep the healer alive. The healer is unarguably the most important part of any group. The healers keep the tanks and the damage dealers alive. Without a healer, a group would most likely falter before they even reach the first boss of a dungeon or trial. All healing spells generate aggro, so the tank is responsible for refocusing the target on to them.
- Keep themselves alive. Survival is at minimum a two-person job, and both the tank and healer are responsible for this. For tanks, survival comes by having a very large pool of health or health regeneration, using crowd control, blocking and avoiding hits, interrupting enemy spells, having a high armor rating, and most importantly, having a healer.
- Keep the party alive. This is the most obvious one. To tank most effectively, the tank must have at least one taunt ability on their ability bar, and be able to use it frequently. They can choose Puncture if they use One-Hand and Shield, or if they don't, Inner Fire from the Undaunted skill line. But also remember that tanks will most certainly die without using crowd control, as dungeons feature packs of enemies which will certainly outnumber the group.
Sufficient aggro generation is the key to tanking effectively.
The most important aspect of a tank is survivability. Without survivability, a tank is essentially just a damage dealer who gets themselves killed every time they run into a pack of enemies, and all their groupmates are killed.
First and foremost, tanks must be able to withstand quite a bit of damage, because they'll be getting a lot of it. For this, heavy armor is most suitable for tanks as they provide a high armor rating (which mitigates damage from hits) and substantial health bonuses. But armor isn't enough; a lot of aspects depend on good survivability, such as race, class, passives, enchantments, food, abilities and weapon choices. Any combination of these can tank and do it effectively, but there are, of course, the most effective ways.
Remember that what is mentioned below is NOT a requirement for all tanks. They are just recommended things that are good for tanks, and players can use whatever playstyle they wish.
The first step is to obtain a very high pool of health and armor rating. Tanks depend on all three resources, but health is the most important. The Lord grants a boost to health, and so is the best Mundus Stone for tanks. Heavy Armor grants boosts to health, health regeneration and boast the highest armor rating. Combined with 49 points in health (for Veteran Rank players, lower level players can use whatever attribute combo they wish) and Consummate food which increases all three resource pools, tanks will have a vast resource pool. Also remember to keep food bonuses up at all times.
The next step is to obtain a good ability combination. Area of Effect abilities are an absolute must for tanking, and at least one AoE crowd control and one taunt ability should be on your action bar. You should be able to use these abilities frequently, so potions are helpful too.
As said above, you may use whatever you want, but above is the most recommended and arguably the most effective way of tanking.
- The concept of tanks have been around since even before the first MMORPGs were released, for example, in the popular board game Dungeons and Dragons.