View Full Version : Advice for being a tank

12-08-2013, 05:24 AM
I was just curious if anyone could give advice for someone like me who has always been pretty bad at MMOs and has only a vague knowledge of what each role should be doing. I'm currently a gladiator, and I have just recently reached Sastasha. I've only ever played as a DPS before back when I played WoW as a kid. So yeah, how do I be a good tank?

Also related, would anyone from the Fat Chocobos be willing to run Sastasha with me sometime to help me get my feet wet in the tank role?

Edit: This could also just be an advice thread for any of the roles to expand discussion.

12-08-2013, 10:05 AM
When you're in a party, all the class icons have little bars underneath them. That's their "hate" meter. Whoever has the fullest bar is the person the mob will attack. Basically all tanking is, is making sure your bar is the highest on all of them.

Okay from my experience of tanking Sastasha only:

As a Gladiator what you will do is use Signs (found in Main Commands) to mark a kill order; usually 1, 2 and 3 - so the DDs know which to attack and don't make your life hell.

You pull and use flash to generate hate on everything, then (assuming you're using default keybindings, as I don't know their actual names) use ability 1 and then ability 3 on the first mob to generate a load of hate on it. Switch through the others and hit them a few times to avoid losing hate to the healer. Then focus on using your ability rotation on the 1st mob. When it's nearly dead you can start building up more hate on the 2nd mob and so on and so forth. You can also use flash every 30 seconds or so.

Be sure to read the tooltips of abilities as you get them to figure out which ones build eminity (hate)

Loony BoB
12-08-2013, 10:31 AM
When you're in a party, all the class icons have little bars underneath them. That's their "hate" meter. Whoever has the fullest bar is the person the mob will attack. Basically all tanking is, is making sure your bar is the highest on all of them.
Just for clarification on this, should it not be obvious: The bars are to let you know who has what hate on the mob you have currently targeted. There is also a list of enemies that you have hate on that you can check on for the rest of the mobs. For the enemy list, a red flashing square = you have hate, it is attacking you. This is a good thing for a tank.

At your current level you will be using the Rage of Halone combo and Flash a lot. Flash is how to raise your hate on all enemies around you, and it's generally going to be the first thing you do when charging into a group of enemies. The Fast Blade > Savage Blade > Rage of Halone combo is your next order of service, and you should use it against the mob you flag up as targe #1. After that you can perhaps "cycle" the Rage of Halone combo between the other mobs - cycling means you hit Fast Blade on the one you have most hate on, Savage Blade on the next, Rage of Halone on any 'oh crap, they're getting a lot of hate on this one' mobs. Savage Blade has decent hate building when used in this combo but Rage of Halone is the best by some distance (although, again, it has to be used in the combo).

Flash can use up MP fast - remember that Fast Blade > Riot Blade will get some MP back.

There are some skills you can use at any time whatsoever because they are off the global cooldown. These include Fight or Flight, Rampart, Awareness etc. If you use these in the middle of your combos while you're waiting for the global cooldown (that's the 2.5 seconds between each of the combo skills), you can be incredibly efficient. So, for example, when I run into a group of mobs at your level, I would go... Flash > Fight or Flight > Fast Blade > Rampart > Savage Blade > Rage of Halone.

As you go up through the levels, you will get more defence/heal buffs that will help to keep you alive. In the end, you should have Rampart, Foresight (Marauder Level 2 skill), Awareness, Sentinel, Bulwark and Convalescence. You can also combine Flight or Fight with Bloodbath to help out a little at times, too. The trick is to never use more than one at the same time if you can manage it (unless you're really having trouble, or something goes wrong and you ant to give the healer some breathing space to heal the rest of the party). You should be able to make the healer's life easier by rotating these so that when one wears off, another is popped. Don't waste them at the very end of a standard mob battle, though... you don't want to waste a 20 second buff on 5 seconds of fighting and ten seconds of running to the next mob. But yeah, it'll all become common sense in time.

Get an axe and drag Marauder up to at least level 8, if not level 26. Foresight (L2), Bloodbath (L8) and Mercy Stroke (L26) are all off the global cooldown, which means you can get three new skills that you can use pretty often without interrupting the rest of your Gladiator-based skills. This is pretty much ideal.

Get a staff and drag Conjurer up to level 12 for Cure & Raise. Not as often used as the Marauder skills, but still good.

When you level up to the higher levels, use Circle of Scorn and Spirits Within almost as often as possible. I say 'almost' because it can be worth waiting a few seconds to maximise their usefulness - for example, if Bloodbath + Fight or Flight are about to be ready for use, I wait for them to tick over first, so not only can I hit harder (Fight or Flight) but I can also get more HP back because I'm hitting harder (Bloodbath).

Ignore Shield Bash for the most part unless you are "stunbotting" (basically when two tanks are used - one for being the main tank and getting hit, the other for stunning particular enemy moves and otherwise doing bugger all). Shield Swipe is only useful if you're fighting a single enemy and you have significantly more hate than everyone else.

Shield Lob is good for when you're first running up to an enemy or when you are trying to get the enemy to return to you... but...

Provoke ist he best for if you lose hate. Provoke + Shield Lob have helped me a lot. Provoke is kind of useless sometimes if you are struggling to keep hate - unless you do something like Shield Lob right afterwards. This is because Provoke puts your hate at just a single tiny itsy bitsy point above whoever else had the most hate on that enemy, but if they do something right afterwards that drags a lot of hate, it's a bitch. The absolute best thing you can do when you lose hate is (upon getting close to the enemy): Fast Blade > Savage Blade > Provoke > Rage of Halone. This will put you ahead by the largest margin possible of whoever had hate beforehand.

12-08-2013, 04:17 PM
Thanks all of the advice. This is really helpful. We'll see if I can be successful at following it once I'm actually playing, though. I'm sure I'll at least be better than if I had never made this thread, haha.

12-09-2013, 12:42 PM
Hi Guys,

Reading this thread at work and found it interesting. (Btw, I'm not used to posting on forums - so tell me if I do anything wrong ^^; )

I'm Dragoon main, but just started Marauder - up to 22ish now. So the skills are not as relevant, but the general ideas are useful :)

I'll just add a few things I've picked up as well. I'll leave all the enmity stuff to Bob, as that all sounded awesome. I will just add this link: Enmity Tables | B.L.I.T.Z.B.A.L.L. (http://valk.dancing-mad.com/tables/enmity-tables/) simply because I like stats and numbers. Not sure if it is entirely correct (last update in Beta), but it'll be close. It just gives a general idea of just how much better skills are against other skills.

In terms of general tanking, from a non-tank perspective, if you get into some good habits, other people will love you. Like facing the mobs away from the other group members - then any frontal AoEs should never hit them. If you've got any melee DPS in the party (Lancer/pugilist), try to keep the monsters as still as possible, and keep them away from walls where possible. Both of those classes are heavily (at least at the later levels) dependant on positioning - being able to get to the sides and backs of monster. And there's not much that is more annoying than a tank who constantly moves around! Obviously always try to avoid AoEs by all means, but try to come back to your start spot ^^

In FFXIV (unlike FFXI), the tank is the unofficial leader of the group, normally you'll pull monsters and set the pace of the run. It is often worth looking through a guide before you go into a dungeon, just to see what the boss's big moves are - the later dungeons have some very interesting mechanics. But always try to talk to the party, ask them if they've done a boss before, or let them know what you're doing on a particular boss if there are a few ways to do it.

This turned out a lot longer than I thought...but hopefully it makes sense! :p

And always ask on the LS when you're going in a dungeon, if I/we(Rav and I!) are free we can help!

Good Luck! :D

Loony BoB
12-09-2013, 01:12 PM
Great post, T. :D

Great mention regarding positioning. In a lot of fights you'll find yourself trying to dodge area of effect attacks, particularly those that do conal attacks. To do this, often the preferred method is to move out of the way and let the mob move - On many tougher mobs, I do my best to move out of the way and then quickly move back before the mob can reposition after it's attack. It takes practice, but you can get it timed just right that you run away and then run straight back and not get hit, and the mob won't move an inch.

If you're leveling Marauder, definitely do level Gladiator alongside it, at least through to the point that you can get Flash. Flash and Provoke are key skills to have as a tank as it stands right now.

12-09-2013, 03:47 PM
Hi Guys,

And always ask on the LS when you're going in a dungeon, if I/we(Rav and I!) are free we can help!
I was gonna offer our help, but (for once) I have been beaten to it :)

12-09-2013, 04:28 PM
I was going to do it last night, but no one was on really. Hopefully I can actually be off work and have time to do it when others from the LS are online.

We'll see how I do. I don't think I really make a good leader in these kinds of games, but I've never really tried either.

Unless people have anymore advice for tanking, what's some good advice when it comes to being a healer? I'm starting to level up a conjurer (it was mainly just to get cure and raise to use with my gladiator as BoB suggested), but I do want to try that role too eventually.

The Summoner of Leviathan
12-09-2013, 04:49 PM
Healers, finally I can say something!

Your heal priority should be: Tank, Yourself, DPS in most cases. It can be situational, such as needing the BLM/SMN Limit Break for the Nails on Ifrit HM so then I would make sure either one would still be alive.

Also, always have Esuna at the ready to remove status effects!

Watch you aggro. When you notice it as a red triangle you will either want to pop Shrouds of Saints (a later ability that reduces hate and causes MP regen) or stop casting. However, if the tank is about to die, you might just want to risk it because then they can take the hate back!

Early level CNJ is hard since you really have no MP Regen and you cause a lot of hate so early dungeon runs you will most likely be healing only and conserving MP. At level 28 (I think?) you get Shrouds of Saints that allows you to take off hate and regen a bit of MP.

When Soloing you can pretty much just stay in Cleric Stance which switches your INT and MND and increase damage by 10%. If you find you cannot heal yourself efficiently, switch out then heal yourself then switch back in!

As for partying, Cleric Stance and DPSing should only be done if your party is in good health and you have plenty of MP. Also, I tend to cast DoT like Aero and Thunder (from THM) on bosses when I can. As well as Virus (from ACN). It can help! Until you are comfortable with healing and keeping your party alive, you should avoid DPSing in a party situation. Once you are comfortable and can manage your MP, have fun stance dancing (switching in and out of Cleric Stance) to occasionally help with the DPS. Remember your primary role is Healing, not DPS. On some occasions there will be a situation where you will have to DPS (like DPS checks in later game and end-game).

As for healing, always use Cure over Cure II. Eventually you get a trait that will occasionally give you free "Cure II", then you I would use Cure II if needed. This will save you in MP and on hate in the long run. If someone's HP is desperately low then use Cure II without waiting for the free cast. Also, unless everyone's HP is very low, avoid Medica since it generates more hate than Cure. In general, you should be able to heal everyone using Cure without resorting to Medica.

There are some useful skills you get as a WHM that are situational but two of which are dreadfully useful are Divine Seal (increases healing by 30%) and Regen. When you get Regen, you will start using that more than Cure and is more MP efficient. Plus Divine Seal + Regen = Awesome HoT (Healing over Time).

The worst part about being CNJ and WHM is pretty much every ability has some use, in some context!

Oh and if you get hate, the safest bet is to run to the tank! Alternatively, you might want to Fluid Aura the monster(s) but you might mess with the targeting of the tank or the DPS that is trying to save your ass. If using Fluid Aura (it is more of a solo skill than partying one) try to aim it towards the tank. Feel free to use it if it means life or death, but you might get some complaints. Or you can just annoy BoB with it. I do that a lot. Also, healing while having hate is a viscous cycle that your tank might have a hard time taking hate off of you...Then you become known as the heal-tank. :p

12-09-2013, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the responses. Despite me not really wanting to DPS unless I'm just terrible at everything else, I might as well see if anyone wants to write up advice for dps.

From what I'm aware of, dps is generally the most popular role in mmos. It's the most accessible, but I feel most people still don't know how to perform well in this role starting out. Might as well make this thread a good resource for people starting out!

12-09-2013, 06:41 PM
Thanks Bob =D Yeah, I've got GLD to 8 for Flash...not further for Provoke yet. I'm trying to limit using Flash though, as MRD has no mp!!

Not really into healing myself, but it does remind me of a quote for general parties:

If the tank dies, it is the healer's fault. If the healer dies, it is the tank's fault. If the DPS dies, it is their own fault.

Some random person I can't remember ; ;

I don't like laying blame at all, and I definitely wouldn't promote it. I just like it for myself. As in asking myself: "Was that my fault? No, that's fine then." or "Yes, ok, I'll learn and try not to do it again." It's obviously not always accurate (unavoidable damage, adds etc) ...but a pretty good rule of thumb lol! And ties in with The Summoner's healing order - generally if the DPS are taking damage, its probably their own fault, and they need to learn! :p

Loony BoB
12-09-2013, 09:44 PM
It can be the tank's fault if the DPS die, too - it really depends on the situation. Generally, if you're doing the Rage of Halone (or the MRD equivalent, Butcher's Block I think) combo on a mob repeatedly and a DPS gets hate, it's their fault. If you aren't doing emnity-creating actions in the right way, then it can be your fault. But I would say that you are probably doing things right.

12-09-2013, 10:51 PM
A lot of good info in this thread. :D

Here's a bulleted list of what I think is the most important stuff to focus on:

As a tank, Flash is your best friend. You should be blowing a good chunk of your mana on pulls of 3+ mobs if they're around the same level as you, or if your party has significantly better gear than you.

If you lose hate, Provoke is your best tool, but don't forget - this will only match the highest aggro on that mob + 1. To make it effective you need to follow it up with an enmity-generating move like shield lob (or savage blade/rage of halone if you're in the middle of a combo). I personally like shield lob, because when you lose hate, a mob is often moving away from you. Shield lob is a nice ranged attack to follow up with.

Mark, mark, mark. Your DPS will love you for it and your life will be MUCH easier while tanking. If you're marking kill orders and DPS are attacking the wrong mobs and stealing aggro, politely ask them to pay attention to your marks.

Try to anticipate when you're about to be battered with heavy damage and use a defensive skill (foresight/sentinel/bloodbath/rampart/hallowed ground) beforehand. Don't waste them by popping them all before running into a pull, space them out over the fight and try to use them when they're needed. By the same token, remember that if you're not using them often enough, your healer is working a lot harder to keep you alive.

Fight or flight increases your damage by 30%, but its primary use is aggro generation. Use it in boss fights only when you're trying to build aggro, not when you have solid hate on everything. It's useful when you have multiple mobs to control and the DPS are bumping up against your threat.

As a tank you can take a lot of punishment, but still try your best to get out of AoE markers when you're able to, without putting the rest of the party in the path of an attack. Try to always keep mobs faced away from the party, particularly when they're using cone/cleave AoEs - your party will crumple a lot faster than you.

Consider the healer(s) to be your responsibility. As a general rule of thumb, if the healer dies then it's your fault (unless they're spamming high-aggro spells like medica/medica II/regen, in which case politely ask them to stop); if the tank dies, it's the healer's fault; if the DPS die then it's quite often their own fault. This applies when everyone's doing their job so if you have someone significantly underperforming, these "rules" don't apply.

Set up your hotbar nicely. Keep your most used skills in very easy to reach spots. I have mine set up like so:
1-6: Fast blade, savage blade, rage of halone, spirits within, circle of scorn, skull sunder
Ctrl+1-6: Shield bash, fight or flight, sentinel, foresight, rampart, hallowed ground
Alt+1-6: Shield lob, flash, provoke, convalescence, bulwark, bloodbath

The rest of my skills are used infrequently enough to place in less convenient places, since often it's sufficient just to click them. I rarely need to chain fast blade -> riot blade, but I have riot blade on alt+9 for when I do (lines up perfectly on my keyboard).

Above all though, just keep a cool head when tanking. There are times when a fight will slip away from you, and the only way to reign things back in is to keep a cool head, don't panic, don't blow all your cooldowns at once and use your skills deliberately and logically.

Loony BoB
12-09-2013, 10:54 PM
As a marauder, Overload or something (I forget the name, it's Over-something!) is pretty much your alternative to Flash and it works like a charm. It's a conal attack so be sure to get the mobs in front of you rather than around you.

12-09-2013, 11:09 PM
I have an advice:
Don't let your HP reach 0

Citizen Bleys
12-12-2013, 03:35 AM
My Gladiator rotation is 2×Flash, then cycle the following : Fast Blade, Savage Blade, Fast Blade, Riot Blade, Flash. I've found it to be quite effective.

I still haven't found a rotation I like on Marauder, I need practice but probably won't bother getting it until after I get Builder + PLD50 on Des.

Loony BoB
12-12-2013, 11:04 AM
My Gladiator rotation is 2×Flash, then cycle the following : Fast Blade, Savage Blade, Fast Blade, Riot Blade, Flash. I've found it to be quite effective.

I still haven't found a rotation I like on Marauder, I need practice but probably won't bother getting it until after I get Builder + PLD50 on Des.
What level do you get Rage of Halone at? I thought it was a pretty early one, but I might be wrong.

Citizen Bleys
12-12-2013, 03:26 PM
GLA 26; I've not gone that high.

Loony BoB
12-12-2013, 05:09 PM
Ah, for some reason I thought it was lower. D'oh!