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Maldini
03-20-2007, 02:45 AM
Introduction:

I guess a good start to any guide would be to define that which you’re going to talk about. So let’s define exactly what a tank is. The first vision that should pop into your mind’s eye when you hear the word ‘tank’ should be a military battle tank. And that would be a good association because that is where the whole idea of a MMORPG tank came from. What is it exactly that a military battle tank does for soldiers? Well, it does two things. The first purpose of a tank is to provide protection for the soldiers that ride inside of it. Its second purpose is to provide a means of attacking your target while constantly moving forward. Back in the days before modern warfare, battles would typically be decided by attrition or by hiding behind rocks, trees, or other forms of cover and attacking one another. The battle tank provided a different dimension to warfare. It allowed one side of a war the opportunity for a full-frontal attack without the worries of heavy losses. So, for the purposes of this discussion keep these two things in mind: a tank’s primary role is to provide protection for those inside and to allow them to attack their target without worrying about heavy fatalities.

How does this apply to multiplayer games such as DDO, you ask? How could it possibly relate to an imaginary world in which we fight Trolls, Ogres and Dragons using swords and shields? When people first starting playing role-playing games – and by role-playing games, I don’t just mean video games – they realized that attacking certain monsters or foes directly, wasn’t a bright idea. For the first players, it undoubtedly lead to many virtual deaths. So obviously a strategy had to be created to overcome the overwhelming odds that these players faced. One of the strategies that came out of these gaming sessions was to send someone in that would serve as a decoy for the others in the party.

For a moment, let’s say that we’re talking about a tabletop RPG back in 1975. A group of friends are playing on a Saturday night when they could be out at a bar, having a few drinks. These friends wander into an ominous-looking cave because a shady character in a local town told them there was a grand treasure to be found in the cave. So the adventurers, consisting of a wise and powerful wizard, a stealthy thief, a battle-hardened warrior, and a pious priest, wander into the cave. After a dutiful search of the interior, they come to large iron door, deep within the cave. The warrior, with his above average strength pushes the door ajar, to reveal in the distance, a large red dragon sleeping a gigantic pile of treasure – more treasure than any in the group had ever seen before. The adventurers realized immediately, from the sheer size of the dragon that a direct assault on the dragon would not a very prudent decision. Instead, the wizard, being the wisest of the four, comes up with a battle-plan. The thief, being the most nimble and quickest of the group, would distract the great beast from the front, while the others attacked the dragon from the back. The adventurers set up for their assault, and the thief stepped forward and announced his presence to the dragon. The dragon opened his eyes, looking at the puny human in front of him, and with one quick move, devoured him completely while using his mighty tail to smashed the other three adventurers into the wall of the cave. Unfortunately, the adventurers didn’t know that the shady character who told them about the treasure was actually the dragon who surprisingly had the ability to shape-shift. Needless to say, the friend who served as the Dungeon Master was not invited back.

Now you’re probably wondering to yourselves, “Maldini, what the hell does that story have to do with the point of this guide?” Well, the story was to serve two purposes. The first was to get you to laugh a little, and prime you for the boredom that is to come. The second was to illustrate the purpose of a ‘tank’ in MMORPGs. So, you see, a ‘tank’ in MMORPGs serves the same purposes as a military tank as discussed above, but in a more indirect way. An MMO, or more importantly a DDO tank provides direct protection for a party against the various elements of aggression that the party may encounter in the game environment. It does this by grabbing the attention of targets which allows them to only focus their attacks on the tank. This then allows the rest of the party to focus their energies at the target, disposing of it quickly and efficiently.

So obviously, the tank needs some tools to accomplish this purpose. Of course what is a tool compared to the hand that wields it? What is a hammer without the skill of a carpenter? What is a paintbrush without the vision of an artist? So we must also talk about strategies and ways in which to use those tools. This is what the rest of this guide will entail. If you do not think if you need instruction on tanking, then please read no further. If you are still reading, God bless you…


Tools of the Trade:

1) Armor Class

Armor Class is one of the most important abilities of the tank. It’s what essentially makes a tank…well, a tank! You deflect enemy attacks, laughing at their futility. If you can get your Armor Class (AC) high enough, no melee attack will hurt you in theory. Notice that I said ‘in theory.’ Dragons can be tanked, especially Velah. Warforged Titans can be tanked, and they’ll whiff repeatedly. This has been battle-tested and proven. Of course for the red dragon you’ll have to be able to survive her buffet with a save, and her fire attack as well, but if your AC is high enough, her melee attacks should be the least of your worries. As far as the Titan goes, you can only escape those plasma bullets by getting behind something or outrunning them, which is highly doable. However, as far as getting in his face and pure tanking him, it’s highly doable, and it’s been proven.

There are many ways in which AC can be boosted. The most readily available are feats. Currently you can take three feats (non-warforged) that can boost your AC:

A) Dodge – Adds a +1 Dodge bonus to your AC
B) Combat Expertise – Adds a +5 AC bonus at the cost of a -5 Attack Penalty
C) Mobility – Adds +4 AC while you’re in a tumble

Mobility is the least valuable of the three because it requires that you tumble and while you’re tumbling you can’t do much of anything. I would only take it as a final choice if there’s nothing better available or if you’re hard set on getting Spring Attack. Combat Expertise is a given. The main reason is that it’s available to any tank build whether you be a Barbarian, Rogue, Paladin or Fighter Tank. Heck, you could even take it as a Wizard if you really wanted to, but that would be pointless. Dodge is a given and it’s a 5% boost to your AC if your AC is in a range where it matters. Obviously, if your AC is extremely low, then you won’t be in a range where Dodge could make a difference.

So some people might be wondering what I mean by ‘in a range’. To simplify it, I’ll provide an example. Let’s say that your AC is 41, and you’re facing a monster that has an Attack Score of 40. So, if the monster rolls a 20 on his Attack roll, the most he could hope for is a 60 without considering any other factors or bonuses. So your AC being a 40 would mean that he could effectively hit you on any roll except a 1 which is a guaranteed miss. Now, if you were to boost your AC by +1 with the Dodge feat to a score of 42, you just boosted your defense by 5%, because now the mob has to roll greater than a 2 to get past your AC. If your AC was 30, then even Dodge wouldn’t put you in the range where it would help you – i.e. going from 30 to 31 still has you in a low range and the mob will hit you on everything except a 1 roll.

Okay, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about other ways to boost AC. There is Natural Armor Bonus which can be received through items such as the necklace that was given with the special order of the game at launch. Another way to get it is through the Barkskin spell whether it be in potion or spell form. The most you could expect from a Natural Armor Bonus is +5 which is the most a Ranger or Druid could give to you.

Another way to boost your AC is through a Morale bonus which can only be given through a Paladin’s Aura of Good which can go up to +5 currently. Or you can get it from the Halfling enhancement Hero’s Companion which can give up to a +3 AC bonus.

The two most common bonuses to AC are through Armor and Shield which are called Armor Bonus and Shield Bonus respectively. Armor Bonuses have a big range, depending on the armor type – Light, Medium or Heavy – and the armor quality – Mithral, Twilight, etc. The best armor you could ask for as a tank currently is would be a +5 Mithral Full Plate, due to Mithral’s ability to increase the Max Dex Bonus from armor or shields and Full Plates naturally high Armor AC Bonus. Shield Bonus can vary too depending on whether you’re holding a Small, Large or Tower Shield. Tower Shields are the best due to the fact that they have a maximum bonus of +9 AC, but they have a Max Dex constraint on them. Large Shields have a max of a +7 Shield AC Bonus, but they no Max Dex constraints. To get the most for your money, the best tanking shield would be the +5 Mithral Tower Shield, again because Mithral’s ability to boost Max Dex constraints.

So now we’ve talked a lot about Max Dex, but what is it exactly? Max Dex is just what it says it is. It is the Maximum Dexterity Bonus that can applied to your AC. Let’s say that you can get your Dexterity up to 22 for a +6 Modifier. That means that theoretically, you could apply +6 to your AC score due to your Dexterity. If you’re wearing basic Full Plate however, you have a Maximum Dexterity constraint of +1, and a basic Tower Shield has a constraint of +2. Always remember that the lowest score between the two is the limiting factor. So even though your shield gives you a +2 Max Dex, you’re limited by your Armor. That is why the Mithral Full Plate and Mithral Tower Shield combo is very ideal for a tank. Mithral boosts your Max Dex constraint on armor or shields by +2, so if you had Mithral Full Plate you’d have a +3 Max Dex possible. If you only had a normal Tower Shield, then you’d be constrained to a +2 Max Dex instead of +3. If you had both Mithral Full Plate and Tower Shield, then you’d be limited by a +3 Max Dex score from your Full Plate.

There are ways to further your Max Dex bonus, and that is through enhancements. Fighter’s and Dwarves can boost their Armor Max Dex Bonus, and Fighter’s alone can boost their Shield Max Dex Bonus via enhancements. Paladins and Fighters also can get an Action Boost that can be used for a limited time frame that boosts their AC temporarily. Fighter’s also can get an enhancement that boosts their AC bonus from Mobility up to a +8 AC bonus total, currently.

Now Warforged are a completely separate beast when it comes to considering AC from Armor and whatnot because they technically do not wear armor. That is beyond the scope of this guide, but just remember that Warforged get a innate +2 AC bonus, and can boost their Armor Bonus through Docents and which Plating Feat they choose – i.e. Mithral Plating, Adamantine Plating, etc.

The last point I want to mention is what is a good AC score? Well the only easy way to answer that is to ask a question back at you. What are you fighting? The level of the mob and the level of the mission both determine what minimum AC you’ll need to be effective. For instance, the Warforged Titan on Elite will require more AC than a CR12 Kobold. So you see everything is relative. If you’re on the toughest of missions in the game, then getting your AC in the high 50’s to 60’s is recommended. For general tanking on normal missions, I have seen high 40’s to mid 50’s be effective, depending on the mission.

2) Saves

If AC is the tanks defense to melee attacks, then Saves is the tank’s defense to magical attacks. There are three types of Saves:

A) Fortitude – These protect you from mainly life-draining attacks, but there are exceptions
B) Reflex – These protect you from traps and spells from the Evocation school of magic
C) Will – These protect you from mind control or altering spells in general

A thing about Reflex Saves, when you get a successful save normally you would take half damage. If you are a Rogue or Ranger multiclass, you can get the Evasion ability, which allows you to take no damage from a successful Reflex Save. Obviously if you roll a 1, the attack automatically hits you and you take damage, unless you are a high level Rogue or Ranger and you get the Improved Evasion ability which allows you to take half damage from a failed reflex save.

Will Save are very important for a tank, only because in most builds that involve Fighters, Barbarians, or Rogues, your Will Saves will not be high because they’re not a Class Save. Paladin’s have an advantage because they can get the Divine Grace ability which applies their Charisma Bonus to all their saves. I say that Will Saves are important because mind controlling abilities will stop you in your tracks faster than anything else in the game. When you’re stopped, you’re not tanking. When you’re not tanking, your team is at risk. Therefore, logically it’s smart to get your Will Saves as high as you can. An easy way to get your base Will Saves up is to take both the Iron Will and Bullheaded Feats, which together give you a +3 boost. Bullheaded also gives a +2 Intimidate bonus, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. I recommend taking these two feats to all aspiring tanks.

Fortitude Saves are important because there are a lot of high level spells that can cause instant death or apply so much damage in one hit that it basically kills you. Examples of these are Slay Living, Disintegrate, Inflict Damage Spells, etc. The only saving grace for tanks is that the most prominent tank classes such as Fighters, Paladins and Barbarians have Fortitude Saves as a class save, so they are naturally higher in these builds.

There are many ways to boost saves. The easiest ways involve wearing a ‘Resistance’ item or having a Paladin cast the Resistance spell on you. Also, getting the Planar Gird from the Xorian Cipher mission will allow you to cast a 15 minute Greater Heroism on yourself which gives you +4 to all Saves. If you can’t get one of these, have a caster cast it on you. Yet another way is to again stand next to a Paladin. Their Aura of Good provides save bonuses to all those near.

What are good Save scores, you might ask? Well again that depends on what you are doing. If you’re PvP’ing, then you can never have enough saves, especially against maximized Sorcerers, Wizards or Bards. If you’re on Elite missions, that I would say that mid 20’s will guarantee that you won’t have many problems on caster-heavy quests. Get those Will Saves up since they are the weakest of many tank builds.

3) Damage Reduction

Damage Reduction is important because in the event that a monster gets past your AC with a melee attack, you want to soften the blow as much as possible. That is through Damage Reduction (DR). Characters have a base DR, and a shield provides more but it varies depending on what type of shield you have. To calculate your base DR you use the formula: [(BAB/2) + 2]. Other ways to boost your DR is through the Shield Mastery and Improved Shield Mastery Feats. With both of these you can boost your DR up 6/-. Dwarves have an enhancement that can further boost your Shield DR by another 3/-. Barbarians and Warforged have innate DR which goes up with enhancements or levels. The way you maximize your DR is by blocking. If you don’t actively block, you don’t get your shield DR bonus.

Again, DR is important for softening damage that gets by your defenses, so don’t underestimate it.

4) Spell Resistance

Just as Saves are the AC against magic, Spell Resistance is the DR of sorts against magic. The way it works is different though. It doesn’t soften the blow. Rather, the spell has to get past the Spell Resistance (SR) first before it even gets challenged by your Saves. It’s just another layer of protection. How do you boost your Spell Resistance? There are three ways: through the Spell Resistance spell that a Cleric has access to, through the Improved Spell Resistance enhancement line that Drow have access to, or through an item – such as a belt – that has the Spell Resistance effect on it.

Just like Damage Reduction, a tank should not overlook Spell Resistance. Remember to tell the Cleric to memorize the spell before going into a caster-heavy mission. Or find an item that has a high level of Spell Resistance on it – i.e. 19 or greater.

5) Intimidate

Intimidate is the final tool in the stack, and another one of the most important. Its usefulness was discovered way back at the beginning of the game and utilized to its fullest by those in the Twilight Avengers. It is a skill that a player can put points into at each level up. Its use has coined the term ‘intimi-tank’ on many servers. In brief, Intimidate is DDO’s version of a taunt. A taunt is an ability that directs the attention of all nearby monsters on the character doing the taunt. Other MMORPGs have had their versions of taunts. For instance in the game City of Heroes, the archetypes Scrapper and Tanker have a taunt ability that they could use, and the Tanker archetype has an inherent taunt in every one of their melee attacks. In DDO, we have two ways of grabbing a monster’s attention – called ‘aggro’ in MMORPG terminology which is short for aggravation. The first is through Intimidate and the other is through DPS. Monsters are designed with so-called ‘hate lists’. Hate lists are lists of players that they will attack. If you’re at the top of list, then you’re the first person that monster is going to attack. One way to jump up on that list is to do a lot of damage to that monster. If you’re attacking it heavily it’s going to turn on you.

There is an exception to this however, and that is in Intimidate. Intimidate is an unshakable taunt. You, alone, have the aggro of all nearby mobs that were affected by the taunt for the time-frame of the taunt. In that time-frame, it does matter how much damage another teammate does to the monster, you will not lose aggro. The time limit is 6 seconds out of every 10 seconds. So the cool-down of Intimidate allows it to not overlap, so that there is always a short amount of time when you don’t have complete control of the monsters. There are ways to get around this downfall, and we’ll talk about those later. Also remember that Intimidate is an AoE ability meaning area-of-effect. It has a finite range, but you can affect an unlimited number of monsters within that radius. This is important to remember as it is to your advantage to get as many monsters in the radius of the intimidate before using the ability.

The ways to boost your intimidate score involves the same methods used to boost the other tools: enhancements, gear, feats – Skill Focus: Intimidate (+3) and Bullheaded (+2) are the only ones – and stat points. In the case of Intimidate the stat that governs it is Charisma, so the higher your Charisma modifier, the higher your Intimidate will be. You know, I always thought that Intimidate and Charisma was counter-intuitive. I mean if something is charismatic usually things like it, but with Intimidate you’re making things hate you. I guess you could look at it in terms of ‘drawing’ things to you. That’s the only I can make it make sense from an RP perspective.

By locking down aggro with Intimidate, you also allow any other melee teammate to get a flanking bonus on any mob that is aggro’ed on you. A flanking bonus is a +2 to your Attack Score against that mob. That is big especially when you’re up against mobs with an insane AC such as the Drow Blackguards of Tempest Spine.

What’s a good Intimidate score? Again, it depends on what you’re facing. The highest skill check I’ve seen in the game was against Fire Giant Champions in Tempest Spine on the Elite difficulty setting. The check was a 47 the last I remembered. So you can see that it’s pretty high. I wouldn’t worry about hitting that 47 mark unless you’re obsessed with taunting every single thing in the game. Remember that you can only intimidate intelligent mobs, so unintelligent undead, invertebrates, and the Warforged Titan cannot be intimidated.

Okay, so now that we have talked about the various tools that a good tank should have at their disposal, let’s consider strategies that I have found usual while tanking, and hopefully you’ll find a strategy that works for you.


Tanking Strategies:

1) The Double Team

The Double Team is a simple strategy and it involves a party or raid group having two intimi-tanks. The key to this strategy working is to have both tanks offset the intimidates so that as one intimidate is about to wear off, the second tank intimidates, maintaining aggro off of the party. This leads to a situation where the mobs are considered perma-aggro’ed or in other words, the mobs’ aggro is never off of the tanks and on the rest of the party.

2) The Bait and Switch

If a party member, particularly a caster or weaker melee, is being chased by a mob and cannot shake them off, tell them kindly to always train the mob around your general vicinity so that when you’re ready to intimidate again, you can pull the aggro off of the person. If the person refuses to listen to reason, you may have to chase after them to get the aggro of the mob. This involves a tough decision on your part because you need to decide if you let your party member handle the mob on their own or chase after them, potentially losing all the aggro you currently have, putting the rest of the team at risk. No one said that the job of a tank would be easy, and a lot of time it involves cooperation of the team to make things work smoothly. Strategies in the general sense only work when everyone’s on board with the strategy. All it takes is one person to ruin the strategy for the team as a whole. To minimize these situations, make sure up front everyone on your team knows that you are an intimi-tank and what type of strategy you plan on using in whatever mission you’re doing at the time.

3) Send in the Meat Shields!

Mobs in this game generate hate lists in a couple of different ways. The very first way hate lists are generated is by line-of-site. If you’re the first person the mob sees, then you’re going to be the first on its hate list. I have seen some strange exceptions to this, but in general, this is the rule. The other way is of course through DPS. So to make aggro management the easiest for your team, have the intimi-tanks go into rooms or areas first. This way, they are the first that the mobs see and attack. When the tank has enough mobs aggro’ed, they can get off an intimidate and lock down aggro. At that point the rest of the team can charge without worry about damage. If you have an intimi-tank that is heavy in the Saves department whether they be a Paladin tank or a Rogue multiclass with Evasion, they’re generally better to send in first against a room full of casters.

Remember that the whole purpose of a tank is a conserve team resources and minimize damage. You want to make what you have last as long as you can since resources in this game are not unlimited. This is important for Clerics and other caster types. The less they have to heal, the more mana they have available for those dire times when the team is taking a lot of damage.


Conclusion:

That’s all I have for this version kiddies. For those of you that have read this far I thank you. I hope that has clarified some things regarding tanking for some people. I also hope that it has enlightened some people to thinking about tanking in a new light. As always, innovate in game. Don’t just use these strategies blindly. Rather develop new and better ones and share them with others. With your help, together we can make this game better and more enjoyable for others.

Good gaming.

- Maldini - Twilight Avengers - Aundair Server


Version History:

1.0: First version.

Strykersz
03-20-2007, 10:29 AM
You left out one of the requirements for effective tanking. Allow cost efficient healing. In DDO, that boils down to having enough hp and taking low enough dps to allow mana efficient heals to keep up and be useful(getting hit with a 200 point heal when you have 140hp total is wasteful). The only ways to improve this aspect are to increase your hp and to take the various +healing% enhancements.

tihocan
03-20-2007, 11:39 AM
Only skimmed through it but looks like a lot of good points in there!

Girevik
03-20-2007, 12:29 PM
The ways to boost your intimidate score involves the same methods used to boost the other tools: enhancements, gear, feats – Skill Focus: Intimidate (+3) and Bullheaded (+3) are the only ones – and stat points.

Isn't Bullheaded a +2?

Maldini
03-20-2007, 01:12 PM
Isn't Bullheaded a +2?


Yeah that's a typo. I mention in the Saves section that it adds a +2 Intimidate bonus.

Maldini
03-20-2007, 01:14 PM
You left out one of the requirements for effective tanking. Allow cost efficient healing. In DDO, that boils down to having enough hp and taking low enough dps to allow mana efficient heals to keep up and be useful(getting hit with a 200 point heal when you have 140hp total is wasteful). The only ways to improve this aspect are to increase your hp and to take the various +healing% enhancements.


An efficient tank is self-sufficient. How do I know? Because I have one. For example, my 7 F/3 P/2 R can heal himself and others using wands and Lay on Hands. He rarely needs a heal from a Cleric or other healer.

Therefore it is my opinion that an effective tank does not need to worry about effective healing, because he shouldn't be taking a lot of damage to begin with If he is, then he should rethink his ability to be the main tank.

So in conclusion, for the purposes of THIS guide, a tank shouldn't have to worry about taking +healing enhancements, and those Action Points are better spent on enhancements that take care of the other areas of tanking such as AC, Intimidate, Saves, etc.

Maldini
03-20-2007, 01:17 PM
Only skimmed through it but looks like a lot of good points in there!


Thank you. I'm going to upload it to the Wiki too, but you have to show me the best way to accomplish that.

tihocan
03-20-2007, 02:04 PM
Thank you. I'm going to upload it to the Wiki too, but you have to show me the best way to accomplish that.
Hmm, I'm sooo lagging behind on the wiki... I need to get back there :confused:
The problem is there is no guide section on the Wiki, and no obvious place to put this guide. Except maybe in the Fighter's tactics (http://ddo.enterwiki.net/page/Fighter_tactics) page, but it's a bit hidden and I doubt people would read it.
Maybe we should add a Guide section there... I'll ask the owner what he thinks about it ;)

Maldini
03-20-2007, 03:53 PM
Hmm, I'm sooo lagging behind on the wiki... I need to get back there :confused:
The problem is there is no guide section on the Wiki, and no obvious place to put this guide. Except maybe in the Fighter's tactics (http://ddo.enterwiki.net/page/Fighter_tactics) page, but it's a bit hidden and I doubt people would read it.
Maybe we should add a Guide section there... I'll ask the owner what he thinks about it ;)

Definitely, or maybe we could make a Tanking category? I'm a little rusty with how wiki's work and the coding format.

Aranticus
03-20-2007, 09:16 PM
hmm how abt adding stuff like trip as part of the strategy? i often see many tanks refusing to trip saying that they do not have imp trip, no vertigo etc. all char are given trip as a free feat. there is always a 5% chance that the mob will roll a 1 n fall. doesnt really matter how high the dc is for when they fall you'll have 2-3 seconds of free melee-ing. its also an effective way of reducing damage. my ftr solo-ed the lower giant cave w/o taking a single point of damage, simply by pulling 1 giant at a time, trip, whack. rinse and repeat to get to chest.

there is another slight error, planar gird does not give 15min gtr hero. gtr hero is a L6 spell available to a wiz at L11 and its duration is 1 min/lvl for a total of 11 min buff

Maldini
03-20-2007, 10:03 PM
hmm how abt adding stuff like trip as part of the strategy? i often see many tanks refusing to trip saying that they do not have imp trip, no vertigo etc. all char are given trip as a free feat. there is always a 5% chance that the mob will roll a 1 n fall. doesnt really matter how high the dc is for when they fall you'll have 2-3 seconds of free melee-ing. its also an effective way of reducing damage. my ftr solo-ed the lower giant cave w/o taking a single point of damage, simply by pulling 1 giant at a time, trip, whack. rinse and repeat to get to chest.

there is another slight error, planar gird does not give 15min gtr hero. gtr hero is a L6 spell available to a wiz at L11 and its duration is 1 min/lvl for a total of 11 min buff

Ah yes, another type, thanks.

I was going to add a crowd control section to the next version of this guide actually. I overlooked somethings I think because I was rushed. I figued my free weekend would have been over by now.

Aranticus
03-21-2007, 07:21 AM
btw welcome back. i hope that as your tank guide progresses, actual tanks in the game progress as well. in my travels thru stormreach, i've seen many great as well as uber lousy tanks. the great ones are those that can take care of themselves, ie wf tanks with uber dmg reduction, bbn with super dps, dwarven axe specialist, etc. these are the players that either deal insane dps that the mobs only exist for a second or players that reduce dmg to so little amt that eventually the mob loses the attrition battle.

truth be known, there are actually way much more lousy "tanks" or more correctly melee char than lousy clerics. however, their impact is less likely to be felt so long as the healer in the group can keep up with the healing. these melee-ers are likely to: have low ac (seen a L12 24ac ftr), low dps (god knows what weapon is used, str, etc), low resistances. many of these players often rely on the other party members for their survival ie no potions, no resistance items, no clickies, etc.

i do not claim to be the best out there, but i'm good at what i do. this wouldnt be possible without some form of investment. far too often many players often forget that melee char only requires uber armor and weapons. this is a VERY wrong concept. i took pains to equip my char. spent time guarding the auction house and doing loot runs to get the stuff i need. much pp was spent too. let all be known that if you truely want to excel in tanking, you gotta spend tons in outfitting it as thats about the only tanks (esp ftr) can rely on.

elemental resistance cloaks are a must. improved cloaks (if possible greater for cold, fire and elect) will reduce a significant portion of spell dmg. clickies, esp for the non-casting umd-less, is necessary for optimised performance (ie divine power, divine favor, heroism, gtr heroism, etc). tons of potions is necessary. do not expect others to give you. i often find that when you require healing, the clr is engaged in healing another, so BYOB. this has helped my ftr attain a high lvl of survivability. many a time, i'm the last person standing.

being a powerful tank means nothing if you cant play in a group. teamwork is the most impt attribute of a good tank. if you cant play in a group, you cant contribute to the group.

ps: check out my clickie guide

cforce
03-21-2007, 12:28 PM
Overall, a very nice guide. I think one very important section is missing, though: Fortification! I think every 'good' tank needs Heavy Fortification. While crits against a high-AC tank are rare -- they should be only ~1 in 400 swings for a properly AC'ed tank -- this probably translates to at least a few per play session when you're doing a good job taking aggro. And crits are one thing that can swing your status from 'got everything under control' to 'oops, I'm dead'. To make an extreme example, who's going to make a better tank out of the following two guys:

A) Takes, on average, 20 damage/fight.
B) Takes, on average, 10 damage/fight, except for 1 in 20 fights, when he takes 200.

In this case, the former is probably the better tank; even though he's taking more damage than the latter, he's still well within 'easily maintainable' range -- he fulfill shis duties in 20 out of 20 fights. The 1 in 20 fights the other tank crashes in is really the main efficacy difference between the two, not the 'typical' scenario.

Of course, in reality, there's usually no need to tradeoff; just get yourself a Heavy Fort item in addition to your other defenses. (Or, Moderate Fort item if you're a WF.) Heavy Fort drops are pretty rare, but there's a static reward somewhere that has it.

Aranticus
03-21-2007, 08:13 PM
Overall, a very nice guide. I think one very important section is missing, though: Fortification! I think every 'good' tank needs Heavy Fortification. While crits against a high-AC tank are rare -- they should be only ~1 in 400 swings for a properly AC'ed tank -- this probably translates to at least a few per play session when you're doing a good job taking aggro. And crits are one thing that can swing your status from 'got everything under control' to 'oops, I'm dead'. To make an extreme example, who's going to make a better tank out of the following two guys:

A) Takes, on average, 20 damage/fight.
B) Takes, on average, 10 damage/fight, except for 1 in 20 fights, when he takes 200.

In this case, the former is probably the better tank; even though he's taking more damage than the latter, he's still well within 'easily maintainable' range -- he fulfill shis duties in 20 out of 20 fights. The 1 in 20 fights the other tank crashes in is really the main efficacy difference between the two, not the 'typical' scenario.

Of course, in reality, there's usually no need to tradeoff; just get yourself a Heavy Fort item in addition to your other defenses. (Or, Moderate Fort item if you're a WF.) Heavy Fort drops are pretty rare, but there's a static reward somewhere that has it.

niteforge gorget from BAM, requires 10 ore, 100% fort (heavy)

hmm how does a tank that take 10 dmg will take 200? that assumption is way to high. a more believable number would be around 80-90. i see that you do not have a straight tank but its generally hard to put in a heavy fort item into the gear of a tank

if you get nightforge gorget, you wont be able to get nightforge helm which gives +6 to will save and +2 wis. most tanks (cept prolly pally) will take the helm for if you are held, its 100% crit hits. even if you have heavy fort, they still hit you normally unless they roll a 1, 1 less tank functioning could mean disaster. normal fort items are usually on ring (v rare) or belt. most of the uber fighter gear are belt based ie dragon belt (+6 str, mod fort), demon queen belt (+4 str, +4 con, roaring). this leaves only the ring slots for the heavy fort item.

usually tanks will get the ring of balance from the invaders token reward (+2 nat armor, stability, +13 balance) the other ring slot will most likely be a dex or con ring. thus in order to accomadate the heavy fort item, you totally gimped your tank. true this tank may be taking 10 dmg per hit, but he'll not be dealing much dmg too. whats the use of a tank that cant fight? might as well call it a meat shield

Dielzen
03-22-2007, 12:11 AM
100% fort = no crits, being held doesn't unequip your Nightforge Gorget....

Oh, and Rangers don't get Imp Evasion....ever

Aranticus
03-22-2007, 01:13 AM
100% fort = no crits, being held doesn't unequip your Nightforge Gorget....

Oh, and Rangers don't get Imp Evasion....ever

i dun think you saw this


even if you have heavy fort, they still hit you normally unless they roll a 1, 1 less tank functioning could mean disaster.

btw scanned thru the thread but just cant link evasion to anything here

cforce
03-22-2007, 06:22 AM
hmm how does a tank that take 10 dmg will take 200? that assumption is way to high. a more believable number would be around 80-90. i see that you do not have a straight tank but its generally hard to put in a heavy fort item into the gear of a tank


Yes, that's why I called it an 'extreme example'. It was not meant to be realistic, but instead to illustrate the point: low variance in rate of damage taken is good.

Maldini
03-24-2007, 06:10 PM
100% fort = no crits, being held doesn't unequip your Nightforge Gorget....

Oh, and Rangers don't get Imp Evasion....ever


No guide is perfect the first time through. Version 2.0 will be much more complete.

Maldini
03-31-2007, 12:58 AM
Version 2.0 to be written soon...since I'm on vacation and all and I have nothing to do. Thanks for you feedback. When I looked back at it, I was like "how the hell did I forget to mention those things?"

I think I was in a rush to get this posted before my free trial ended that weekend.

Blaize_Shijo
03-03-2010, 11:53 AM
You left out one of the requirements for effective tanking. Allow cost efficient healing. In DDO, that boils down to having enough hp and taking low enough dps to allow mana efficient heals to keep up and be useful(getting hit with a 200 point heal when you have 140hp total is wasteful). The only ways to improve this aspect are to increase your hp and to take the various +healing% enhancements.

By all means, you take the time to do a guide.