Tanking in Aion

Aion Open Beta is coming up, and again after I said I wouldn’t play, I know I will. I haven’t read if they’re wiping our closed beta characters – hopefully we’ll still be able to play those during open beta. I want to tank something on my Templar.

I had a conversation with a friend from Warcraft who said that I would probably suck as a main tank, and I was quite offended by that statement. Hey, just because I invariably play ranged dps characters doesn’t mean that I’m doomed to suckage, does it?  I hope not.

That said, I admit that I am totally clueless as to what makes a good tank, and would appreciate any input and advice. I’ve played with very good tanks (lookin’ at you, Raz!), and hopefully I can get some noob tank pointers. Since I haven’t had a chance to really group with anyone yet in Aion, I have no idea what threat generation is like on a Templar. I do understand that it’s different from warriors in Wow, for example – who seem to be able to watch TV and hold long typed conversations with people while they tank bosses. Well, really – if you can have a long conversation, I would assume that you’re hitting “2” and occasionally a “3” for variety.  :D

One of the main questions I have right now is on the small instances (like Warcraft 5-mans), how do you know which ones to mark?  Which types of mobs do you choose to tank, and which do you mark for crowd control?

I’m looking for a new experience…but nobody likes to be totally clueless. Help!

3 thoughts on “Tanking in Aion”

  1. Hi Ravven! Long time listener, first time caller. I think you’ve spoken with my wife Sinnir a couple of times in the blogworld.

    I’ve played a tank of one sort of another in every MMO I’ve played, including being a raid MT. I’m planning on playing Templar right now in Aion as well. In my mind there are a few things that make up a good tank that apply to most MMOs:

    1. Always keep in mind that you set the pace and the tone for the group. Too slow and the group gets bored, too fast and the group gets stressed and tired. (well not all groups, but I hate speed groups personally).

    2. Awareness. You have to know everyone’s health, mana, position, attiude, capabilities or proclivity to pulling shit tons of adds. You have to know where adds might come from and know they are going to hit the group before they hit the group. Being Psychic helps.

    3. Knowledge and leadership. People expect the tank to know every zone they are in. They expect the tank to know the strats for every mob they fight. They expect the tank to tell them where to stand and what to do. Good tanks will research the zones and have a ‘feel’ for strats and new zones and be able to pick up on where to pull a mob and how to kill a mob.

    4. Aggro. Make the mob hit you, all the time. I played a warrior in EQ who, at least then, were known to have issues with aggro. I worked and worked at this until someone had to TRY to get agro off of me and, even then, they wouldn’t have it long. In fact, I met my wife in EQ1 and I think that my ability to hold aggro is why she kept stalking me ;) Thank god for good aggro we always say.

    Those are 4 things that I think partly define a good tank. Why did you choose Templar? I’m wanting a break from the enchanter and I want to get back to my tanking roots. Are you concerned about there being more tanks than guild slots in Aion? Maybe it’s just me and the whole “man I never saw a purple Audi 5000 until I bought one and now EVERYONE is driving one” phenomenon but it seems like there’s a lot of people planning to go Templar. Then again, I’ve been playing EQ2 for the last several years and there’s always more tanks than raid spots there.

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in Aion :)

  2. As someone who most often plays ranged dps, I can tell you that it absolutely does *not* automatically mean you will suck as a tank. Actually, I find it easier to tank than to be melee dps … if I have to be that close to the mobs, I want them right in my face. I’m not great at having to move around to stay behind them when I’m dpsing.

  3. Wow, Castillion, thank you – that’s a great list of what makes a good tank! Yes, the best tanks I’ve done runs with make everything seem easy and fun – runs are fast, but not so fast that you’re always out of mana, they tank multiple mobs and still are able to loop back and take the stray off the healer…they’re a joy to play with. I’m assuming that much of that has to do with having lots of experience.

    I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been playing MMOs for a long time, and after raiding pretty solidly for a couple of years, I was getting very burned out. That’s why in Aion I haven’t considered any ranged dps classes as mains – I want something totally different. Healer was my second choice, but I didn’t find it very much fun to play whack-a-mole with a screenful of coloured boxes. :(

    And Repgrind, I hope you’re right. :) Tanking seemed much preferable to being melee dps, circling around behind, and always perpetually staring up between some bosses’ hind legs. lol…

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