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What it means to be a tank.
Tanks are the leader of every group. Typically they will set the rules and inform the party of what is going on. Also, the sole responsibility of the tank is to keep the rest of the party from taking direct damage.
Being a successful tank generally means that you pull a mob or a group of mobs from their location to an area that is in rage of the rest of your part. You also have to make sure that every single mob that is currently attacking you, keep attacking you and only you.
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As a tank, one of your highest priorities is having the highest threat on any given mob. Threat is just another way of saying 'attention'. The more threat you have on the mob, the more attention it will pay to you.
Each action you preform on a target will produce a varying amount of threat on a target.
- Using any ability adds 1 threat
- You get 1 point of threat for each point of damage you do
- Casting buffs adds 2 threat
- Using a mana pot adds 2 threat
- The first player who initiates combat with a mob adds 1 threat.
There are 3 Knight abilities that multiply your threat.
- Holy Strike adds your damage * 5 in threat. For example, if you do a 50 damage holy strike you will gain 250 threat on the mob.
- Whirlwind Shield does damage * 10 in threat. If you do a 50 damage Whirlwind you gain 500 threat on the mob (and all mobs surrounding it since it is an AOE based ability)
- Shield of Atonement is a little more complex as it does damage + 5 * the level of talent + 1. If you have a level 5 Shield of Atonement and do 50 damage with it you gain 330 threat.
So long as you keep Holy Strike, Whirlwind and Shield of Atonement at a decent talent level and use each ability on the mobs you plan on tanking, you should not have any problems with threat. Once you have used each ability at least once or twice you can use any other ability that will provide you with the best possible damage.
The rotation you use should be based on whichever abilities are the highest level. Since threat is mostly based on damage its a good idea to start off with your most powerful (highest level) skill and work your way down. There is only one exception for this rule and that is when you are tanking multiple mobs at the same time. In that case you will always want to start with Whirlwind and use it whenever it is off cooldown.
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Setting Up and Controlling a Pull
Before a pull even begins, the tank needs to be aware of its surroundings and the types of mobs that are part of a pull. You do not need to be charging into a group a mobs where there is a very close or nearby group of mobs that are patrolling as you might bring them into the fight as well. When you pull a group of mobs be sure to bring them to a location that is far enough away from any other group of mobs, this will ensure that your group can handle the situation without anyone dying.
It's also recommended that the tank mark each mob with a symbol and relay to the group in which order the mobs should be killed. Doing so will prevent a mage from pulling threat on a mob from the group the tank is handling. For example, if you have a group of 4 mobs that are marked A, B, C, D and you want them to die in that order but the mage in the group started attacking mob D first, you can go ahead and assume that mob D is going to go kill the mage instead of focusing on the tank.
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Gear and Upgrading
When it comes to upgrading and maintaining your gear, it is extremely simply. Knights are the only class that is capable of wearing plate armor. For this reason, simply pick up and use plate gear from questing or by tanking dungeons. When it comes to choice of runes and upgrading current gear you should always invest in stamina and defense. Both of theses stats, stamina and defense, are what makes a tank a tank.
The importance of stamina and defense are about the same so it's generally thought to be a preference rather than stacking which is better. To put is simply, if you have more defense you will not get hit as hard thus you don't need as much stamina. If you have a lot of stamina you can take bigger and harder hits.