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So you're a/want to be a TANK huh? (tank tips from a bored college kid)

edited October 2017 in PvE Discussion
Hey, I'm bored out of my mind from studying for exams. I randomly wanted to make a guide (more like tips really) on tanking for everyone (1-65) based on what I have seen and experienced. Feel free to skip around, criticize me, add to what I say, and ask questions.

Some info about myself, I've been playing since about 2013 or 2014. I have a level 65 Lancer, Ninja, and Priest.
I have played most of the end level dungeons in Tera, albeit not all of the HM ones. This however should not deter you from thinking I'm naive or lacking in experience. If you are willing to put the time and effort to be a skilled tank in Tera, I think I can at least lead you on the right path.

This will be going off of my lancer, but I wanna try to make it more general to tanking so I will try my best not to reference too many things from my class.

so with that... LET'S START!

The Journey of 1-64
This isn't taken seriously enough in my humble opinion. People speed through these eager to face the next challenge and don't get me wrong, I love that kind of drive. It's that same drive that will propel you into really caring to learn your class and make life easier for you and other players.

That being said, I suggest that if you're speeding through leveling, at least do some dungeon repetitions. At 65, that's the main appeal--challenging dungeons. The dungeons starting at high 40, low 50 (like Akasha or Golden Labyrinth) are one of those dungeons that are worth repeating. But some general things to keep in mind:

1. Start paying attention to boss attack patterns. They are often reused except that they hit harder, faster, and have added attacks in level 65 dungeons. If you know how they attack, then you don't get bothered with busy basic moves and can pay attention to the real attacks privy to these level 65 dungeon bosses.

2. Anytime and every time you enter a dungeon, take a moment and remember what role you're playing. If you don't do a lot of dungeon repetitions, you might just want to see the numbers without caring for your teammates. This is a recipe for disaster for EVERYONE. I'm sorry to remind you, but you are a tank first and foremost! Whether you play a brawler, lancer, warrior, or zerk: take care of your DPS and help out your healers!

3. Pay attention to not just the monster, but your settings. Level 65 dungeons can be very unforgiving and I've noticed in Golden Labyrinth there are some rooms that have very subtle cues to tell you to keep the boss in the middle. I imagine if you wall-tanked in this room for example, you might be leaving your teammates open to constant fire from other monsters that cause them to have to move around or worse, get knocked around. Your healer will have to try to help them without getting hit the same way as well as make sure you're still alive.

4. Learn to get your gear to +9 early when it allows you to and get proper crystals. I don't wanna get into crystals but generally speaking 4 hardy's and crit crystals. Have a threat crystal around just in case (thanks to Tsin!)

5. Know your skills down to the seconds (effect and CD), iframe, and form a skill rotation. This can change from boss to boss, but you want to be able to consistently put out debuffs, defense buffs (at least for Lancer), and your own attacks (last priority) whilst being able to negate damage through blocks. Again, you're a tank first and foremost.

TLDR; Start learning your class before you get your [filtered] handed to you at 65 either by bosses or pissed teammates.

Tank (you), DPS, and Healer
In Tera (at least from what I've learned though this may be applicable to other MMOs), the DPS is not just a bunch of button mashing monkeys (sometimes though I swear..), the healer is not a stand around click click click turret, and you are not simply a tank. I speak in terms of playing every role, and generally mastering the tank and DPS (on my way for healer.)

Tera's combat system does not allow this of any of these classes. Mechanics will target everyone and check their skill. It is a very, very, very team heavy game. Now, I say team but for me I define the tank and the healer as DPS maximizers. As a tank you take the boss's general attention and take the brunt of the hits so that the DPS can focus, and the healer keeps you and the DPS alive so that you can keep taking the attention and the DPS can keep on being aggressive with their skills to the max of their class's potential.

The fun of level 65 dungeons besides the challenge itself, is the feeling of synergy in a team. When you are effectively tanking, the DPS is happy because they can deal damage and not have to focus on running around everywhere and the healer is happy because they can position themselves properly and heal consistently.

Healers and tanks to me have the most intimate relationship. I often team with healer friends because I have learned their style of healing and can trust them. Now, you can't expect every queue to give you that synergy but very quickly into a dungeon will each role be able to feel the amount of or lack of skill coming from the other roles. When I DPS and I see another DPS to my left take that orange circle every 10 seconds, I know my tank is not doing their job effectively. If I tank and I don't receive a cleanse within 10 seconds max in a relatively close zone, I know that my healer is not able to effectively keep up (and none of this "What if it's noncleansable?" or "What if they can't get to you?" I've seen the range and cooldowns of mystics and priests, and I know what can be cleansed and not cleansed.) Noneffective DPS is really if they die despite not being at the brunt of attacks or can't follow basic mechanics. I am pretty unforgiving to DPS when they generally have more iframes, movement ability, etc.

TLDR; Help each other out. Please.

What About YOU, Mister/Miss Tank?
If you want to be a good tank, you should learn how to position and keep aggro.

If you want to be a GREAT tank, you should do the following:

1. Position always with the DPS and healer in mind, and listen to the requests of each person in the chat. Determine if you think it's worth following, but if you're positioning well anyways, no one will complain. Do not be afraid to be against the wall and trust in your healers. I rarely find healers that don't know how to heal well, and if you can keep the boss where you want it, they should be able to dish out heals to the max of their ability.

2. You control the boss, the boss does not control you. You can effectively "move" the boss around if you can keep aggro well. It takes practice to know the subtleties of how they aim and position (for example DF's Odon the poison spider-crab can be very sensitive and even the slightest to his left or right makes him hit at an angle), but you make the boss your [filtered] lest you want your team to laugh and cry because the boss made you theirs.

3. Know your dungeons. As a tank unless you are on a training run, don't you EVER step into a dungeon without reading up on the guide. The mechanics and specificities of level 65 dungeons are not forgiving to absolute newbies and you will waste your money, feel incompetent, and [filtered] off your members if you don't have an understanding of the dungeon before entering. Of course all classes and roles should read up, but the tank is extremely integral so do not put yourself through that kind of trauma.

4. Know the skills of other classes, but especially the healer classes. If you know their skills, you know what you can expect from them and you know what you're not receiving. Though defense buffs should be on uptime, you can determine at what mechanic you wanna use it to help them out the most. I have a mystic bud who I often call (though we don't need to) so that we can communicate during dungeons and we do checks on vows, cleanses, my own defense buffs, etc. But unless you have mastered their class, don't begin to even try to tell them what to do and how to heal. No one likes being told off on their class no matter how constructive they play it off to be.

5. It would be a good idea to join a guild. These guildies are often very helpful and accepting. Plus, you can consistently have buddies to party up with and achieve that synergy I mentioned earlier for every single run you do. And let's be real--instance matching is horrible in too many senses.

6. Don't ever let your gear carry you. Skill is what will carry you in Tera, and many dungeons are doable with lower gear (even if it might be harder.) Don't be concerned about your item level. Be concerned about your skill level.

7. Practice, practice, practice! There's nothing like gaining experience to hone your skills and make the next runs easier. I remember stepping into my first few SS and LK feeling dejected after because I kept dying no matter how much I read. After about 5-6 runs of each, my eyes began to be trained to the fast movements. By 10-15 runs I could sit back and relax and take minimal damage.

FINALLY...
The Tera community thanks you for choosing to be a tank and will deeply appreciate you for being a learned one. It is a tough job that doesn't often see the numbers, but can make huge differences. I myself still have so much to learn, and am not afraid to ask for help--neither should you.

I should get back to reading my books...(sorry 'bout my grammar lmao myb)
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Comments

  • Tanks FTW o3o
  • Ferria wrote: »
    Tanks FTW o3o

    fashooooooooooooo!
  • I love this post. Everything here describes the ideal mentality everyone should have in this game and it doesn't necessarily apply just to tanking, which is why it's so great. Oftentimes in instance matching, it can be very "Us vs. Them" when it comes to running with strangers and if something doesn't work out well the first time, the whole atmosphere of the run can turn negative/abusive. Knowing your class, knowing the dungeon, and being aware of what you can/cannot do is very conducive to a successful run. Actually, just being supportive in general can do that.

    This is a great post, Yzobela. Thank you!
  • TsinTsin ✭✭✭
    As someone who's mained Lancer for over 4 years, this guide is perfect. Thank you for creating this. You don't see nearly enough guides that actually tell you to get an attitude check and take your role seriously. I rarely see others willing to take charge, protect their party, and go the extra mile such as utilize the blocking cone of damage mitigation if a party member (usually the healer) is about to eat something that's gonna hurt - without compromising your positioning, of course.

    I would like to add one thing if possible - tanks IMO should always carry around an up-to-date threat crystal with them, whether they equip it or not. The amount of times I've had a fresh 65 tank (usually a brawler but I've caught a few lancers with their pants down) queue for a dungeon like VHNM in +12 or worse guile with a party of mostly Misery DPS (who know their proper combos, are popping the bare minimum consumables and have the right glyphs) and healers who not only don't have a threat crystal equipped, but don't even have one in their inventory, is way more than I'd like to admit. Now if you're highly skilled and know what you're doing, you may not need one in your inventory. But if you can't consistently hold aggro of the first boss regardless of the DPS running back to you if they get aggro, pausing for a bit when they get aggro, and using aggro-drop skills and then tell the party "XD dont have aggro crystal" upon being asked, you're endangering your entire party for the run. You're also highly likely to get kicked. Some parties will wait it out and just grin and bear it, others won't.
  • Renora wrote: »
    I love this post. Everything here describes the ideal mentality everyone should have in this game and it doesn't necessarily apply just to tanking, which is why it's so great. Oftentimes in instance matching, it can be very "Us vs. Them" when it comes to running with strangers and if something doesn't work out well the first time, the whole atmosphere of the run can turn negative/abusive. Knowing your class, knowing the dungeon, and being aware of what you can/cannot do is very conducive to a successful run. Actually, just being supportive in general can do that.

    This is a great post, Yzobela. Thank you!

    No, thank YOU. I'm glad a veteran can read it and understand that Tera's not so single-minded. Instances aren't going to always be forgiving so we must always always adapt. There's a big difference between those who care only about their character and those who care about the way end game is supposed to be played--as a team.
  • Tsin wrote: »
    As someone who's mained Lancer for over 4 years, this guide is perfect. Thank you for creating this. You don't see nearly enough guides that actually tell you to get an attitude check and take your role seriously. I rarely see others willing to take charge, protect their party, and go the extra mile such as utilize the blocking cone of damage mitigation if a party member (usually the healer) is about to eat something that's gonna hurt - without compromising your positioning, of course.

    I would like to add one thing if possible - tanks IMO should always carry around an up-to-date threat crystal with them, whether they equip it or not. The amount of times I've had a fresh 65 tank (usually a brawler but I've caught a few lancers with their pants down) queue for a dungeon like VHNM in +12 or worse guile with a party of mostly Misery DPS (who know their proper combos, are popping the bare minimum consumables and have the right glyphs) and healers who not only don't have a threat crystal equipped, but don't even have one in their inventory, is way more than I'd like to admit. Now if you're highly skilled and know what you're doing, you may not need one in your inventory. But if you can't consistently hold aggro of the first boss regardless of the DPS running back to you if they get aggro, pausing for a bit when they get aggro, and using aggro-drop skills and then tell the party "XD dont have aggro crystal" upon being asked, you're endangering your entire party for the run. You're also highly likely to get kicked. Some parties will wait it out and just grin and bear it, others won't.

    As a fellow lancer, thank you for this. Someone could go on and on reading about how to play their class without actually PLAYING their class. I feel like a lot of tanks only go to the end of a meaning and not beyond it; holding aggro is not just keeping the boss's attention, it is a means for a tank to keep the group from unnecessary damage, maximize time and DPS, etc.

    The threat crystal--YES. Very important. Tanks, I don't care if you are the hot sh*t, please have one. This is one of the "trauma" cases you can experience stepping into a dungeon. I see this often either as a sign of overconfidence in skill, or a subliminal want for numbers and crits. Tanks are support, so it should never ever hurt to have a threat crystal. When you can't hold aggro, half of your output is aggro moves that last one second because the DPS keeps stealing it anyways. I remember about two years ago, a NINJA had to tank the first two bosses of FI because I couldn't hold aggro. Embarrassing, unfortunate, and a waste of time.

    Again, thank you and excellent addition.
  • "1. Position always with the DPS and healer in mind, and listen to the requests of each person in the chat. Determine if you think it's worth following, but if you're positioning well anyways, no one will complain. Do not be afraid to be against the wall and trust in your healers. I rarely find healers that don't know how to heal well, and if you can keep the boss where you want it, they should be able to dish out heals to the max of their ability."

    DPS need to realise that you will need to change position from time to time dependant on the boss. Continual DPSing while trying to change position causes aggro to shift during the adjustment and then your dps begin to drop like flies. I can't stress enough how many times as a brawler I've tried to re-position due to a debuff I'm not comfortable sitting in because I don't trust ANY healers what so [filtered] ever, only for the dps to drop instead because they were face rolling their keyboards.


    "3. Know your dungeons. As a tank unless you are on a training run, don't you EVER step into a dungeon without reading up on the guide. The mechanics and specificities of level 65 dungeons are not forgiving to absolute newbies and you will waste your money, feel incompetent, and [filtered] off your members if you don't have an understanding of the dungeon before entering. Of course all classes and roles should read up, but the tank is extremely integral so do not put yourself through that kind of trauma."

    Screw guides. Where's the fun when you already know what to expect....good luck finding a training run these days.



    "5. Know the skills of other classes, but especially the healer classes. If you know their skills, you know what you can expect from them and you know what you're not receiving. Though defense buffs should be on uptime, you can determine at what mechanic you wanna use it to help them out the most. I have a mystic bud who I often call (though we don't need to) so that we can communicate during dungeons and we do checks on vows, cleanses, my own defense buffs, etc. But unless you have mastered their class, don't begin to even try to tell them what to do and how to heal. No one likes being told off on their class no matter how constructive they play it off to be."

    This is also a good thing to contribute towards getting better at PvP. Know your classes and others.

    "6. It would be a good idea to join a guild. These guildies are often very helpful and accepting. Plus, you can consistently have buddies to party up with and achieve that synergy I mentioned earlier for every single run you do. And let's be real--instance matching is horrible in too many senses."

    Instance matching has personally made tera more interesting lately for me. But tanking those runs I feel like I need to go take a bath afterwards to relax.


    "FINALLY...
    The Tera community thanks you for choosing to be a tank and will deeply appreciate you for being a learned one. It is a tough job that doesn't often see the numbers, but can make huge differences. I myself still have so much to learn, and am not afraid to ask for help--neither should you."

    I was tanking pre brawler patch with Warrior. Good times. Brawler became my main after it hit and I mained it until the dungeons just became to stressful to bear with a playerbase that got more stressful than my retail job. Maybe I just got the shorter end of the stick but good luck to any future tanks. It can be very fun and rewarding to play. If you need any brawler guidance my inbox is there.
  • Felhammer wrote: »

    Hey, thanks for the input. I have to admit, I'm no brawler main (only read up on the class really) so I don't know how valid my response to yours will be, but please don't hesitate to contest my points and/or correct me.

    Felhammer wrote: »
    DPS need to realise that you will need to change position from time to time dependant on the boss. Continual DPSing while trying to change position causes aggro to shift during the adjustment and then your dps begin to drop like flies. I can't stress enough how many times as a brawler I've tried to re-position due to a debuff I'm not comfortable sitting in because I don't trust ANY healers what so [filtered] ever, only for the dps to drop instead because they were face rolling their keyboards.

    Hm... I'm honestly not sure about this. This might be a brawler problem since brawlers are heavily reliant on DPS to keep aggro. As a lancer, we have many aggro building, or literal aggro increasing moves (Challenging Shout, Infuriate.) I only struggle to keep aggro against those who way outgear me or those who just know how to maximize their DPS to the fullest extent. However, since I am a lancer tank, I am fine with focusing on keeping aggro than putting out my own DPS (it's my last priority) and of course, having a threat crystal on. What I said was definitely my fault though and I would love to hear how I should change the priority rankings or include another set in order to be brawler inclusive. About the healers, that's really unfortunate but of course it's up to you to gauge their skill and act accordingly.

    Felhammer wrote: »
    Screw guides. Where's the fun when you already know what to expect....good luck finding a training run these days.

    Oh boy, I have major problems with this statement. I think even when you read on guides, you still don't know what to expect. You can't gauge the boss's speed, attack patterns leading to big moves, the wait for an iframe, etc. from reading a guide. It may certainly be fun for you, but really no one appreciates people--especially those with a big role like a tank--who step in not knowing anything. It can also be very annoying to have someone explain important details, and the boot can be a very easy option. As for training runs, I guess I should have clarified that I'm from Tempest Reach; there are many training runs that occur on LFG and especially within guilds. I'll make sure to correct that.

    Felhammer wrote: »
    Instance matching has personally made tera more interesting lately for me. But tanking those runs I feel like I need to go take a bath afterwards to relax.

    Haha, yes it certainly can be since you have to put up with different kinds of situations. For me though, I like to have reliable runs with reliable people so you could say the fun part for me is perfecting runs. Again, difference in perspectives.

    Thank you.
  • TsinTsin ✭✭✭
    Felhammer wrote: »
    Snip

    Just a few points to clarify.

    1) This isn't much of an issue. If you think it needs to be moved because the boss is a danger to you or your party members, then move it. Just make sure you don't inconvenience the rest of your party by doing so, and move it bit-by-bit using your aggro shout so you're guaranteed not to lose aggro while positioning.

    3) I can't help but shake my head at this. Imagine a fresh tank going in to SC, VS, or VH with absolutely no idea of the mechanics. Your party won't find it "fun" when you get clipped by a one-shot mechanic and the healers now have to try and res you while the rest of the party dances to Benny Hill and tries to keep everyone alive. If you inform them that "you don't know mechanics and won't read a guide because doing it yolo style is more fun", then there's a good chance that you'll simply be kicked for a tank who takes their role a bit more seriously.
    Training runs also aren't an issue - if you're in a guild or you have friends, you can easily get a run together. Or just make your own run on LFG.
  • Good tank guide. In my opinion I miss more warri/zerk tanks. So you can pump all out of this classes, not only to be a dps. Warri and block cancel. There's nothing better for a warri.
  • Tsin wrote: »
    Felhammer wrote: »
    Snip

    Just a few points to clarify.

    1) This isn't much of an issue. If you think it needs to be moved because the boss is a danger to you or your party members, then move it. Just make sure you don't inconvenience the rest of your party by doing so, and move it bit-by-bit using your aggro shout so you're guaranteed not to lose aggro while positioning.

    3) I can't help but shake my head at this. Imagine a fresh tank going in to SC, VS, or VH with absolutely no idea of the mechanics. Your party won't find it "fun" when you get clipped by a one-shot mechanic and the healers now have to try and res you while the rest of the party dances to Benny Hill and tries to keep everyone alive. If you inform them that "you don't know mechanics and won't read a guide because doing it yolo style is more fun", then there's a good chance that you'll simply be kicked for a tank who takes their role a bit more seriously.
    Training runs also aren't an issue - if you're in a guild or you have friends, you can easily get a run together. Or just make your own run on LFG.

    Hey Tsin, nice to hear from you again. I naturally had to be a little more considerate in my response to Fell, but this really is how I feel about the statements given by him/her. Thanks for saying it for me haha.
  • 95Y49C3YME wrote: »
    Good tank guide. In my opinion I miss more warri/zerk tanks. So you can pump all out of this classes, not only to be a dps. Warri and block cancel. There's nothing better for a warri.

    Thank you! I think I've only experienced a zerk tank, though maybe warrior tank once and those were both quite skilled players. I don't think people have the same stigma about those classes as compared to a year or so ago when it was really unheard of because no one wanted to even risk those classes. I think they can make a comeback but that they'll naturally never be as accepted/wanted as the intended tank classes (especially when warriors can dish out so much DPS these days.)
  • voidyvoidy ✭✭✭✭✭
    A sufficiently geared primary tank (as opposed to hybrid tanks, which I am lacking in understanding of; for this post I speak primarily about lancers and brawlers) who knows how to play shouldn't need a threat crystal. In fact, most tanks I meet who use threat crystals often have trouble keeping aggro because they don't play aggressively enough and the crystal can't really carry them as far as they think it should. For less geared tanks, a threat crystal should be like training wheels. You'll still have to peddle, though, or you won't go anywhere.
    Felhammer wrote: »
    I was tanking pre brawler patch with Warrior. Good times. Brawler became my main after it hit and I mained it until the dungeons just became to stressful to bear with a playerbase that got more stressful than my retail job. Maybe I just got the shorter end of the stick but good luck to any future tanks. It can be very fun and rewarding to play. If you need any brawler guidance my inbox is there.

    I feel you, fam. Tanks take a ton of flack and rarely see any actual appreciation in-game. Just yesterday I IMS'd a velik's hold run on my priest where the dps were so lacking (even with a mystic present as well) that each boss fight took 20+ minutes. At the second boss, there were 43 total deaths over the course of a 21 minute fight. The tank was not performing very well at all, but with how little damage the dps dealt, it hardly made a difference. Nonetheless, every time the tank hesitated, or died, or lost aggro, the raidchat lit up with Portuguese trash talk about how the tank was garbage. Since DPS meters are not a supported tool in this game, it's hard to point to a specific dps player and be like "you could improve a lot," but with tanks it's real easy to notice our mistakes because when we screw up we either die and cause a party wipe to follow, or you notice a big glowing circle under your feet. So it's easy to notice when tanks make mistakes. Meanwhile, DPS can screw up all day and get hard carried by others and no one says a word. Hell, on my priest I've had people thank me for ressing them, literally just doing my job as a priest and people are appreciative. On my tank, I get someone complimenting my tanking like once every two months or something. Everyone wants tanks to fill their groups, but people are hella quick to turn on them at the smallest mistakes. Then they wonder why tanks tend to stick with their friends instead of going into LFGs.
  • voidy wrote: »

    Hey voidy, thanks for input (though not really to me, more to Fell haha.)

    Well, it wasn't really a matter of using a threat crystal in your set, it was more of having one around (it's just one slot) just in case. I don't think it should be relied on, but as much as someone can play well there is always a possibility of a situation where keeping aggro is a struggle. Wouldn't be horrible to have it around.

    Oh man, this makes me want to add another category about others' attitudes towards tanks. Our mistakes may be easily noticed, but our roles are not easy either (which unfortunately those who don't play tanks don't understand.) The compliments are truly very rare so I know those people have a real appreciation for tanks or play it themselves. Playing a priest too, I have never raged harder in dungeons these days. You notice every incoming attack, the poor positioning, etc. of DPS and just sigh with a pre-locked heal. It is rather unfortunate but alas all we can do is hone our skills and attempt to kindly educate others.

    Thank you!
  • c0gc0g ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    "Move it, stupid tank!"
    "Over here, tank!" (Boss right in the tank's face, camera already zoomed out max, and tank goes "Where?" <- no time to type it out of course.)
    "Tanking is easy, you're just autlstlc."
    "Tank's learning, let's disband."
    "Hi I'm a learning tank." *Kicked*
    "LF exp tank." *Party waits ten years for one to join LFG*
    "It's a learning run, let's have two healers." *Everyone agrees*
    "It's a learning run, let's have two tanks." *W T F !?!?*
    *Why's the aggro on me!?! You're the @#$#!! tank!*
    *#$!@$!@$#!!##$#twentylinesofcursesandswearsatthetank!@* (Tank can't type in a single word mid-fight.)

    How tanks get guud is when they see less of these over time :)
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