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Proper ways to Tank?Follow

#1 Sep 04 2013 at 6:54 PM Rating: Good
Ok, I've never really played a tank in any MMO's. In FFXI I was a Red Mage, so "hate," "enmity," and "threat" are all new concepts for me.

I'm only level 32, but it seems like every party I get into people say I'm not taking properly, this could be true, but I am trying the best I can...

Basically, every time I'm in an instance I run over to a group of mobs and I spam flash about once or twice, then I use my combo Fast Blade > Savage Blade > Rage of Herone. Sometimes I spam flash between each move, and I use Shield Swipe as often as it becomes available.

ANY tips, tricks, or even gear ideas would be beneficial!
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#2 Sep 05 2013 at 8:34 AM Rating: Decent
4 posts
Open up with shield lob on your main target and flash when they are all by you. Start you combo on the main, flash again and then keep tab targeting through all the targets doing your combo. Like first two on one mob and RoH on another. As long as the dps /assist you on the first target, which they hardly do and just each pick a different target...sigh, then you'll hold aggro just fine. It does get rough with 4+ mobs though since the global cooldown is so long, it's hard to get all mobs to stay on you, but then again, that's what crowd control abilities are for.

Edited, Sep 5th 2013 10:34am by myric227
#3 Sep 06 2013 at 7:30 AM Rating: Excellent
2,448 posts
I'm sorry you haven't had more responses. I haven't decided yet if I want to tank again in FFXIV or go the black mage route(because it's so much fun). In FFXI, I tanked for my entire time in the game, at least 2 yrs at end-game. Did a bit of everything. When your group of players engage another group of players, your mindset should be one of you and the melee have to move together and hit the same targets together. This means either they agree to follow you and attack targets you attack(choose), or vise-versa and you follow someone else. If you don't make this determination clear or it doesn't become self-apparent, then you're going to have a harder time.

Your job is to make the enemy hit you, and to utilize your threat-generating abilities to their fullest to keep enemies focused on you, you need to know or be in control of the 'kill order'. When I was handling groups, I would always rotate hate-generating abilities with a bit of reserve, and spam the AOE ones without fail whenever and wherever possible. When I say a bit of reserve, I mean to not use them all. Always have one ready. No matter what. This way the moment the monster turns from you to face someone else, you've got an ability ready for it. You will learn your cooldown timers like the back of your hand to the point where, let's say you've got one ability available and the monster turns away from you and your NEXT threat-generating ability is still 20 seconds out. Do the best you can to kill it or cure the person it's hitting, or if you have a utility ability, thats when you use those types. Like a cover(where you stand between enemy and party member to take the hits) or a stun/bind move. But don't use your only ability until you're at least 10 sec left till the next one. Even if it's wailing on someone; Unless you can't keep them alive until the next ability's timer is up, anyway.

You can separate your abilities into categories, like
-Proper threat-generating abilities(ones that specifically say they are meant to get a monster's attention)
-Abilities known to generate a lot of threat but don't specifically say it
-Heavy damage-dealing hits(combos n such)

Earlier when I said you should always have one ability available for emergency, that is in reference to the first category, Proper threat-generating abilities. These are more effective at getting the monster's attention than anything else in your repitiore, and should therefore always have one ready to use to save a life from a final blow. You must use the greatest reserve with these, and this is where about half of your skill as a tank comes in to play. Making that judgement on just when to use them. On the same token, it is important to use them constantly to a point where you only HAVE one in reserve. The rest should always be on cooldown, that way you're maximizing your threat-generating potential at all times. :D

The second category, you can use like the first. "Abilities known to generate good threat, but not necessarily marked as such."
Heavy-hitting damage stuff should be used as much as possible on the current target you and your melee are engaged with. Without fail. Unless you're interrupting a combo or something. :O Utilities are abilities that you aren't quite sure would generate any type of threat. You want to look for stun, sleep, bind, blind, or anything that will cause the monster to stop in its tracks and do nothing or not be capable of dealing damage, if even for a second. Or three. I'm not sure if GLD/MRD/PLD have it in ffxiv, but a 'cover' ability where you put yourself between a party member and the enemy to absorb the damage yourself would be fairly useful, too. :P Get inventive with those oddball utility abilities. Find ways to make them useful to help save a life. :D

Don't get tunnel vision. Always know exactly what every monster your group is fighting, is doing. Usually they should be put to sleep by a mage. When one wakes up, that can be your next target. Move your melee to it. If two wake up together, you move your melee onto one and use one ability at a time on the 2nd one, until the point where it's attention is on you and not the mage, so they can put it to sleep again. Then focus on keeping the melee alive/keeping threat on main target. This means being able to use your abilities on one target, while being engaged melee-wise to another.

Movement- In this final fantasy, movement and placement is important. Some bosses place poisonous circles upon the ground that you should NOT walk through. But you should, as the tank, make sure the boss and smallfry adds are not sitting in these either, at least when it comes time to fight them. You don't want half of your melee running through poison to fight the monster. Lots of abilities are conical or at least directional, so you want to keep your monster facing a specific direction. In fact, the optimal direction is with your mage at a 45 or 90 degree angle off your back. This makes sure the conical direction-type attacks won't hit the mage, but you're closer to the mage which will make curing you easier. Your melee can then stand behind or on the sides of the monster and also avoid damage, and if the monster turns towards one of them, it will still not be facing the mage. This way, the mage does not have to worry about his/her location being dicated by the monster. It allows them to dictate their position based on what abilities he/she is wanting to use.

So anyways, god that was a longer write up than I realized. It's more theory than meat n potatoes 'use this ability then this ability, and heres an example' only because I haven't played more than just a month and a half in FFXIV:1.0 and haven't done more than an hour in the new :ARR yet. Maybe I'll edit this post once I actually read some ability names and descriptions. I think part of the problem is we also do not have a lot of people using zam's job specific forums here unfortunately. There are a lot of other sites out there right now that more people seem to have gravitated to.
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#4 Sep 09 2013 at 1:37 PM Rating: Good
26 posts
Both of the above posts have great info - the theory post above is good for general tanking ideas, but it does lack a little bit of the practically, as the poster mentioned, with the limited experience in ARR.

Tanking is situational, and you have a lot of flexibility as a PLD. Here are some situations you may find yourself in, and what I do, personally, to deal with them. I have had 0 complaints on my tanking and rarely lose a mob:

Single Target Tanking - You're doing just fine with your above combo for this, pull with shield lob and immediately go into your combo, if its a boss, you might want to pop Rampart as you run in to give your healer a bit of a break while they get into the healing rhythm. Keep hammering away with your combo, but don't forget to use Flash if its landing! It blinds the target which reduces the chance they will hit you. I really like to help the healer out when my enmity is high, so I have the conj ability "Cure" as one of my Cross-Class abilities, and I will just sit there and spam heal myself when...say...there are adds up (like in Brayflox Longstop) that the DPS need to take care of, the healer might need to cast Medica or Cure II on one of the dps, so I can self-sustain by popping something like a combo of Convalescence/Foresight and spamming Cure on myself until the adds are down. I still gain Enmity from the cures, but you want to check the Enmity meters (next to your group members names) by targeting the main mob every once in a while.

"Typical" Pull (3 mobs) - A lot of dungeons have the formula of each pull will be 3 mobs, 2 weak ones and a strong one. Its up to you how you want to go about killing them (what order) but you do want to have a plan. The Shield Lob > Flash > FB > SB > RoH > Switch > FB > SB > RoH should do you just fine. If you lose a mob, target it and hit Provoke followed by Shield Lob or another ability that causes enmity, as Provoke puts you even with the highest person on the hate need to do more enmity to get it back on you. I would get good at marking - while I haven't done this yet because I've been mad grinding, I plan on setting up a macro bar (I'm on PS3) that will be for marking/set up. I will map R2+X to mark my target as 1, R2+Square to mark my target as 2, etc. That way, I can walk up to a group of mobs, go boom boom boom, and then the melee just follow the number order and I have to worry less about them going nutzo, like they are wont to do.

"Uht Oh" Pull (4+ Mobs) - Oh crap! 5 mobs! RUN! ... nah!! You're fine! Start by popping a defense skill, like Rampart/Foresight + Convalescence if its going to get to rough. Then I usually go Flash > Flash > Flash > FB > SB > Flash > FB > Riot Blade > Flash > FB > Flash > RB etc. You need to spam that Flash key, because the mob enmity is going to be growing FAST on the healer as he or she spams the crap out of you to keep you alive. There is no way you are keeping aggro through traditional combos over 4-6 mobs (7 and you will probably die : D), so use Flash and keep your MP up with Riot Blade, throwing in a Savage to keep aggro on the main mob when you can. As the mobs shave down to 4, 3, 2, start laying off your flash and go back to the strategy for a normal encounter, mark the mobs if you get a chance. Usually by the time one mob is left you have a ton of enmity built on it, so I just go FB > RB > FB > RB over and over to get my MP back up so we can just keep on truckin. Some people disagree with me on this strategy, but it seems to work OK for me.

Really the #1 thing staying flexible, as you get higher level, strategies get more complex and difficult to execute, learn every skill you have, and learn to use it well. A good tank isn't defined by being automatic on easy encounters, s/he is defined by overcoming the overwhelming.
#5 Sep 16 2013 at 10:56 AM Rating: Decent
109 posts
Shield lob, flash (if aoe), combo, flash, combo, next. Save provoke as an "oh sh*t" button.

Grats you're a tank.
#6 Sep 30 2013 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
334 posts
monkyzway wrote:

Basically, every time I'm in an instance I run over to a group of mobs and I spam flash about once or twice, then I use my combo Fast Blade > Savage Blade > Rage of Herone. Sometimes I spam flash between each move, and I use Shield Swipe as often as it becomes available.

This is the perfect way to tank if you have a sleeper in your party that is actively sleeping the mob at the start. BLM are great for this, and later level, they can hit all the mob at once with only one AoE sleep.

If only the cnj can sleep mob, try using a defense boost ability right off the bat, at the start of the fight to give your cnj the time to use repose on the mobs before having to cure you. Using cure on yourself is also great for this phase. it help buy the cnj the time needed

If for some reason, there is no sleep available (cnj or blm don't want to, or DD does to much AoE damage that wake mob), The healer will generate a lot of hate curing you since more mob are hitting you. The best way to this is flashing a lot and completing combo on the different mob, as flashing won't be enough later level. For example:

1) Shield lob the first mob.
2) either Fast Blade first mob or Flash depending if all the mob are around you or still coming.
3) defensive ability if there is 2 mob or more left
4) Fast blade or Flash (the one that you didn't use at step 2)
5) Savage blade first mob
6) Flash again
7) Rage of Halone first mob
8) Fast Blade first mob
9) Savage blade first mob
10) Rage of Halone a different mob alternatively (second mob the first time, third mob the second time, etc)
11) Flash

repeat number 8-11 till first mob dies, then repeat from 2

Shield swipe is a great way to do damage (and thus hate) on your main target, it also only cost 40 TP so it's priceless again long fight on boss and should be spamed as often as possible on boss. BUT it take some time since it is affected by the global cooldown, so be wary to use it too much at the start of the group fight, where there is a lot of mob around, you don't want to delay your flash and RoH on a different mob too much.

Small macro tips:
I have a second macro that the classic one for RoH step on 10 (There is 2 RoH slot on my hotbar) it's /ab "Rage of Halone" <mo>, which will do RoH on the mob my move currently is hovering over. That way, I don't have to de-focus the primary mob that the team is currently killing. I do the same thing with my provoke macro.

Hope this help.
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#7 Sep 30 2013 at 9:31 AM Rating: Decent
26 posts
Hey guys - level 50 now with some darklight armor Ifrit weapon, etc - 4700hp as I stand.

Just wanted to update you all for end-game-ish stuff.

End game DPS WILL snag aggro from you if you are not perfect. PLD is weaker than WAR on this front at end game. Instead of giving a hard and fast by the number approach, I will try to give some short paragraphs on my findings. NOTE: This is not applicable to things like CM speed runs and things of that nature, but more to running things like AK and traditional dungeons.

I am starting to shy away from Shield Lob pulls. Mostly because there is a lot going on at end game at the beginning of fights. What I will normally do is RUSH a set of mobs, open with Fast Blade > Circle of Scorn (off GCD) > Flash > Enmity Generation. This gives me a pretty good lead on enmity for the whole group. If you have a SMN in the group dotting each mob, every pull is going to be an AE power struggle for aggro, and you will need to mix in a lot of flashes, and be ready with Provoke.

I use Provoke A LOT, I will intentionally lose a mob that I don't have a great chance at getting before he starts to charge a caster, and have him targeted and ready for a provoke/shield lob, or provoke/Combo'ed RoH if I am able to plan far enough ahead to have that ready. That way I'm 5 weak attacks ahead of the DPS that stole it, and I can stack a few more with CoS or Flash right away, without losing focus on my main target, or any ancillary targets.

Rotating through mobs will become less static with DPS AEing and critting, healing aggro, silencing with Spirits Within and stunning. I have found that i need to be constantly cycling to see where I need to apply an enmity bandage.

Also, a little "Pro-Tip": I changed up my macro scheme recently to add this one:

/micon "Fight or Flight"
/ac fight or flight <me>
/ac bloodbath <me>

It seemingly just saves me one slot for a CD, but it is my opening macro whenever I'm running into a boss battle or tough pull. That, combined with the quick usage of Fast Blade > Circle of Scorn > Savage Blade > Spirits Within > Rage of Halone gives me somewhere in the neighborhood of 320 hit points healed over roughly 6 seconds to start the fight. It might not seem like a ton, but its usually the difference between the healer having to spam me, or being able to back off a tiny bit to keep himself off the enmity leaderboards. And you don't burn any of your true Defense CDs, so that little macro combined with something like Rampart or Sentinel will help immensely.

Hope you all found that useful!
#8 Nov 01 2013 at 3:19 PM Rating: Decent
109 posts
There is a great Paladin Tanking thread on the official forums in the Tank subforum.

I macro all three 1-2-3 combo abilities to Mercy Stroke. I put /recast lines in some of my macros go get CD timer on things buried in the macro, I will hit this during first half of GCD to not trigger anything else. I typically put off GCD abilities in macros after the attack so I can attack then activate on the CD.

I macro Fast Blade with Fight or Flight:

/micon "Fast Blade"
/ac "Fast Blade" <t>
/ac "Fight or Flight" <me>
/ac "Mercy Stroke" <t>
/recast "Fight or Flight"

Savage Blade with Blood Bath:

/micon "Savage Blade"
/ac "Savage Blade" <t>
/ac "Bloodbath" <me>
/ac "Mercy Stroke" <t>
/recast "Bloodbath"

/micon "Rage of Halone"
/ac "Rage of Halone" <t>
/ac "Mercy Stroke" <t>

Shield Lob with Rampart:

/micon "Shield Lob"
/ac "Shield Lob" <t>
/ac "Rampart" <me>
/recast "Rampart"

Rampart with Foresight:

/micon "Rampart"
/ac "Rampart" <me>
/ac "Foresight" <me>
/recast "Foresight"

I also put Flash with scorn and spirits with riot blade basically a dual button depending on when you press it during the GCD.
Necro Warning: This post occurred more than thirty days after the prior, and may be a necropost.
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