Lineage 2 Tanking Guide
Lineage 2 Tanking Guide by Glav
Here, I lay out the general conclusions people have made about the different tank classes. This dissertation ignores things that are generally considered ‘common knowledge’, like the fact that elves have certain self bufs that other classes don’t have. I’ve tried to take a ‘neutral’ stance regarding each class’ advantages and disadvantages, reiterating the comments and general thoughts of the l2 boards here and elsewhere regarding tanks. My own experiences are thrown in as well, your mileage may vary.
The Temple Knight is the mose “PVE-iest” of the tank classes. In PVE, he is THE best field AoE tank, with 360 degree shield blocking, high block and evade rate due to dex, and high speed to outrun the big nasties. The HP is about in the middle of the SKs and the Human knights; not bad, but not exactly great. HP weapons are favored here as well, but many choose swords and focus weapons. The healing cubic keeps him going slightly longer and keeps mana down a tiny bit for his party, but is generally considered not really useful most of the time. The Temple Knight has undead passives that improve his ability to fight/tank undead, which really only help in PvE, unfortunately. For raid bosses, an HP weapon is needed, but the TK can handle it, in general, with gusto. They may not be the first choice, but they’re not a bad second for a raid tank. In small parties, the ability to self-heal very high level bleeds and poisons comes in handy every now and then. Finally, Guard Stance, the mp-abusing toggle that provides tons of Pdef, was often described as the main reason behind being a TK. However, with the gift of this skill to SKs, it’s no longer as big of a selling point.
At first glance, TKs are limited in what they can offer parties in PVP. The Temple Knight finds his high speed and high mdef useful in chasing down slow, lightly armored classes…like nukers, praying his HP and healers hold out while he cuts away at the mage in front of him. Speed is his friend. He can perform quick hits and fade away, and even slowed has a fairly decent run speed. He has two cubics; a healing cubic and a storm cubic. The healing cubic is generally considered ‘worthless’, never healing when you really need it. Reportedly, this has been improved over previous chronicles (such as healing party members) but it’s still fairly weak. His storm cubic, also, is not considered very useful, but adds a shot in here or there. The ability to sustain three cubics, while not having the ability to summon three, has been a constant thorn in the sides of all TKs. However, this will shine soon in C4 with the ability for Summoners to do a ‘mass summoning’ of cubics for their party. Normal tanks/players can only carry one cubic, but the TK can carry multiple. I predict a party of different summoners and a few TKs (now armed with THREE nuking cubics or two and a debufing cubic) can wreak terrible havoc, the likes we’ve not seen. Entangle, the bane of all archers and nukers, is in the arsenal of the TK, and one of his most important weapons. A slowed enemy is a dead enemy. TKs who forget this important skill are really reducing their chances in PVP; both their own and their side’s.
In C4 it’s confirmed that at high levels (76+), TKs get a shield stun skill (that uses about 1/3 of the mana their human tanks’ shield stun does, as well….). They get another ‘super’ skill: a 100% targeted heal spell with a recharge timer of about 30 minutes. They also get another UD (that also does an aoe hate). They also some other lame skills which all other tanks get, which is a passive increased resistance to bleed and poison, as well as a toggle that reduces stun/para chance. TKs will also get a self buf of Magic Mirror, a buf that reflects 100% of magic debufs back on to the caster, possibly ensuring high level TKs the task of ‘mage hunter’ in c4.
The paladin is a hybrid healer-tank class. Mostly tank, partly healer, the paladin can heal friendlies (or mobs…) in a burst for almost as much or more as a Bishop can. They cannot, however, sustain this; four or five hp blasts with mana and they’re out. They have the Sacrifice skill, a unique skill that lets them sacrifice their HP in exchange for healing another player a similar, somewhat smaller amount. The human tank’s Shield Stun is the only non-force stun in the game, and has generally the highest land rate of all stuns in the game. In PvE, the stun will sustain about 5 hits (by anyone) on average before breaking, but in PvP, you can rely on it to only survive about 1 or 2. Majesty, the human tank’s unique self buf, increases our pdef again at the same rate as Shield 3, but at the cost of 8 evasion. Even little level 52 daggers will be able to hit you, so get ready.
In PvE, Paladins are considered some of the best at tanking undead mobs. Their high con and affinity for HP weapons tends to make them excellent at soaking hits from most things. Unlike the TK, the paladin is slow. He has a 360 degree blocking toggle (which reportedly consumes no mana) that sacrifices blocking power in exchange for all around blocking. For undead raid bosses, there are none better: High HP and extra resistance to undead give the paladin the decided advantage as the tank of choice. The Paladin has several other undead skills, which Paladins give up on using after about level 60, since they generally have a low landing rate.
Because of the extreme defensive nature of the Paladin, many refer to them as “Combat Medics”. With the introduction of CP, a Paladin can spam away all his mana and all his HP and still have about 3000 CP for enemies to cut through at the highest levels. Plus, their place as a tank leaves them as one of the last targets in PVP, allowing them to throw in an annoying stun or last heal, possibly swinging the balance of the pvp in your party’s favor. Most PVP paladins that take up the role of combat medic tend to go –str+con, -str+dex, -int+wit, enabling the most blocks, hp, and casting speed they can get.
There’s a new trend recently of Paladins giving up the life of the healer, and going the route of the damage dealer. These paladins sacrifice their con for extra dex and strength, acquire focus weapons, and get armor that enhances their damage dealing ability (Blue Wolf, Tallum or Majestic Heavy). Bows are also favored weapons of the DD Paladin. With these builds, the Paladin expects their enemies to become confused; generally, tank classes do not do exceptional damage. A few critical hits with a focus dama or bow tends to change their mind, allowing your weaker dd’s to get in and really let loose.
In C4, the paladin has been confirmed to get a few lame skills, and another UD like the TK’s. However, they also get some very interesting skills. Like the TK, the Paladin gets a 100% heal spell. The Paladin also gets a new type of shield stun, one which, instead of stunning, acts like ‘silence’ for melee skills. Also, Paladins get a self buf, “physical mirror”, which acts like Magic Mirror, except reflecting debufs caused by physical attacks. These together will give human tanks a distinct advantage against classes that rely on physical attacks.
The dark avenger is a hybrid summoner-tank. Mostly tank, partly summoner, the Dark Avenger has a drain of the same power as other magics, but no matk skills, leaving his drain relatively weak. They retain their lvl 35 self heal, but even with BSPS, it tends to just make you an arrow/nuke magnet. The Dark Avenger’s main draw point is its summon: the Dark Panther. Once feared universally, in the current age of archers and nukers with soulshots, spiritshots, outrageous casting speed, and unbelievable speed, the Dark Panther has fallen by the wayside. Universal improvements to the summoning system such as party heals/bufs (Warcryer, sws, bd) affecting summons, as well as soulshots for pets/summons, indicate summons may once again pose a threat. The human tank’s Shield Stun is the only non-force stun in the game, and has generally the highest land rate of all stuns in the game. In PvE, the stun will sustain about 5 hits (by anyone) on average before breaking, but in PvP, you can rely on it to only survive about 1 or 2. Majesty, the human tank’s unique self buf, increases our pdef again at the same rate as Shield 3, but at the cost of 8 evasion. Even little level 52 daggers will be able to hit you, so get ready.
In PVE, you can’t really go wrong picking a DA to tank for your group. They’re the only pure tank that doesn’t get 360 degree shield blocking of any kind, so the DA must either rely on his skill or luck to keep his shield between him and the gobs of mobs. They generally have tons of HP, like Paladins, but they do not have any undead passives. Instead, they have corpse plague and corpse drain, which if managed properly can add a some extra uptime to your party. The corpse drain (for those interested, or those who have played a nuker with corpse drain) returns about 100 hp + 10* skill level per corpse for a light amount of mana…not enough to solo on, but enough to help in a small group. Corpse plague is really just a novelty at higher levels; the DA’s low matk and infrequent levels of the corpse plague skill make it unlikely to land on mobs your level.
In PVP, the DA was once king of the hill. The DA as of now still packs a decent punch, but not what it used to. The Panther is extremely annoying to anyone not attacking it. The second it’s targeted though, it’s just another mob: dropped in three to six hits from ranged dd’s, about double from melee dd’s. The panther can be described as “A extremely fast dwarf with a bow wearing robes, who’s been windshackled”. He’s got plenty of hp and is faster than the DA with its base running speed, but it has little pdef and mdef, even buffed. The crit rate of the panther is the same as most summons; very low. The Patk and movement speed of the panther is its only saving point; with bufs and a very careful DA, the panther can really hurt your enemy. Some DAs have foregone their HP heritage and set themselves up similar to the Paladin Damage Dealer, but this trend doesn’t seem as common among DAs as it is Paladins.
The DA has a few other skills of importance, including Hamstring and his Drain. To mdef-resist people your level, expect your drain to do no more than a couple hundred damage. You might be able to do double to low mdef or badly jeweled enemies, and much more to lower level enemies. Hamstring, the bane of all archers and nukers, is in the arsenal of the DA, and one of his most important weapons. A slowed enemy is a dead enemy. DAs who forget this important skill are really reducing their chances in PVP; both their own and their side’s.
In C4, the DA has been confirmed to get a few lame skills, and another UD like the TK’s and Paladin’s. However, they also get some very interesting skills. Unlike the Paladin, DA gets a new, ‘very powerful’ dark attack that “Launches a dark curse at the expense of player’s HP. Cancel’s enemy’s buffs and decreases their max CP, resistance against debuffs and decreases heals received by the enemy. Can be used only when player’s HP is less than 75%”. The DA also gets a new type of shield stun, one which, instead of stunning, acts like ‘silence’ for melee skills. Also, DA get a self buf, “physical mirror”, which acts like Magic Mirror, except reflecting debufs caused by physical attacks. These together will give human tanks a distinct advantage against classes that rely on physical attacks.
Ah, the SK. Once considered the worst tank, the SK has come far, and now understood for the true power that they can bring forth onto the battlefield. Once described to me as a “mage tank”, the SK is definitely the most offensive tank of all the tank classes. Unlike other tanks, SKs almost universally use sword weapons, and many use mage swords. SAs of choice are Focus and occasionally Haste for melee weapons, and Acumen or Magic Power for mage weapons. Mage power is one that really helps the Sk out: normally, ‘75’ matk (or whatever the matk bonus is for the particular weapon) is not useful for mages. For tanks without matk masteries, 75 matk may increase by a third or a fourth their matk, greatly increasing the chance of landing debufs and damage dealt with magic. The main weakness of the SK is their low con and HP; they stun almost as easily as mages, and unlike all other tanks, the SK has no self-mdef buf.
In PvE, and PvP the SK has many options available to them. With the highest strength of all tanks and an affinity for damage, the SK can solo efficiently. While it’s true that a Dark Avenger with a panther, or a Paladin fighting undead mobs can kill fairly quickly, both are limited. The SK at highest levels has four ranged nukes. The first is the The Dark Elf racial drain nuke, which returns 20% hp of the damage done. Second is the Dark Elf racial ice bolt nuke which has a chance of slowing, effect 2 (effectively a force slow attack). Third, they have the SK-only special nuke, which has half-power of the racial dain but returns 100% damage done as hp, and is fairly mana efficient. Fourth, and perhaps most feared, is the SK’s lightning strike, which does damage and has a chance to land a 2 minute paralyze. The SK also has the racial poison, bleed, hex, and power break skills at his disposal for improving his damage output. Needless to say, the choice to use a high matk weapon by many SKs should be clear by now. Of course, we must not forget to mention the recent C3 addition of the TK’s Guard Stance to the repertoire of the SK, as well as 360 degree shield blocking. Both of these things have greatly helped the TK.
The SK also has three cubics. The first is a draining cubic, which does direct damage, returning some of the damage done back as HP to the SK. The second is a debuf cubic, which has a chance at landing hex, power break, or windshackle against your opponent. For those counting, this means an SK can at the absolute best land seven debufs on an enemy. Against tanks and archers or any other highly buffed class, even if the debufs did nothing else, rolling off some of their bufs is nearly guaranteed. The third is a cubic that poisons enemies.
Of course, there are downsides for being an SK. As mentioned before, your low con makes you a stun-magnet. Your low HP presents some issues in PvE; Bishops heal you the least effectively of all tanks. You’re not as fast as SKs, and you’re the only tank without a self-mdef buf. Many people still have the perception that, even with all the offensive capability of the SK, they still cannot tank, and you may be relegated as a ‘backup’ tank. In these situations, SKs can have a lot of fun; instead of worrying about managing hate, you get to sit back and use your debufs, drains, nukes, bleeds, poisons; everything else you wouldn’t normally get to do when all your MP is used on hate. Just hope you don’t pull agro, and the healer forgets about you! Another pain for being an SK is the mana drain. Shield fortress, Guard Stance, Debufs, Nukes, cubics…it adds up. Some see this as a boon, others, a curse. Opinions vary widely on this. Cubics only last 15 minutes, and if you die, they disappear too. They can become quite expensive.
During Mob Boss raids, get ready to sit in the back seat: you’re going to either have to outlevel all other tanks by a lot, or use your clout in the alliance to get a chance to tank. Generally, the raid party is a lot safer and much easier to keep alive if the main tank is …well, not you. Low HP means the all important bishop heal, restore life, will be the weakest in your case. When you are at 4000 hp and the raid boss is doing 1000 a hit while mana draning you at the same time, you and the healers will be sweating for the entire ordeal. It’s hard to argue how your guard stance’s pdef makes up for the fact that the human has twice (or more) your HP fully buffed (guard stance, which depending on level and setup, about meets Majesty pdef…yet another constant argument between human and elf tanks). It’s been known for an SK or two to tank every now and then, so don’t give up total hope!
In C4, the SK has been confirmed to get a few lame skills, and another UD like the TK’s, Paladin’s, and DAs. However, they also get some very interesting skills. Like the DA, the SK gets a new, ‘very powerful’ dark attack that “Launches a dark curse at the expense of player’s HP. Cancel’s enemy’s buffs and decreases their max CP, resistance against debuffs and decreases heals received by the enemy. Can be used only when player’s HP is less than 75%”. The SK also gets a very mana efficient shield stun at high levels. Also, SKs will also get a self buf of Magic Mirror, a buf that reflects 100% of magic debufs back on to the caster. This should help at high level SKs in fighting all magic using classes.
TIPS ON TANKING
Make use of social-ness and agroness. Yeah, you’re going to loose agro fairly quickly on most mobs (depending on your group) but in the end, if it gives half the damage to you and half on someone else, which saves the healer mana.
Building hate on one social mob builds hate on all of them. If two social mobs are near each other, hate one and then attack the other. This builds hate on both the mobs, but more on the one you hated. By attacking the other mob, you start to build more hate on it. Let me explain how this works (it’s a new annoying ‘feature’ of C3, so learn to tank to it). I’d estimate that when you hate a single, social target, it builds half hate on all social mobs in the area. Scenereo 1: you attack the mob you hated. Other people start attacking it, building hate on all the mobs attacking you. One person goes over half your hate poer on the other mobs. This sends a signal to all the social mobs to now attack the guy who went over half the hate power. Scenereo 2: Attack the add. Now, you are building hate on the mob which had half the hate power added to its hate value, and DDs in your group have to overcome the full hate power on the mob you originally hated, thus keeping the mobs on you longer.
Make sure to know when to AoE hate. If two mobs that are not social are near each other, don’t do an aoe hate! In the case that three mobs are near each other, two are not social, but those two are social with the third mob, make sure to still attack the non-social mob first. That way, you have only two attacking you and not three. Then, make sure to attack that doubly social mob before anyone else. When you then attack the mob that’s social with the rest, it will then pull the last mob you havn’t been fighting one onto you. I’m uncertain if the ‘social hate’ works here or not, you may have to experiment.
Save AoE hate for dangerous situations, ie, three or more mobs already attacking you. In those situationsOne stray mob and you’re going to be toast.
You don’t have to hate every mob! This is the first mistake of many tanks. Just agroing a mob by runing into it’s agro radius builds a substantial amount of hate. If you do this at about 2 seconds before the mob your group is currently fighting dies, you can get the first couple hits in on the new mob, building even more agro for yourself.
SKs, as many of you already know, hex is your best friend. It casts just a little bit slower than hate, and builds a decent amount of agro, plus the added side effect of less pdef to eat through. Plus, if you have the fortune of a melee party, it’ll help their HP regen if you have a healer/buffer with VR.
Human Tanks (and very high level c4 TKs and SKs), never, ever, ever shield stun the mob you’re currently attacking while in a party. Learn to use your stun as an 8 second melee sleep, because, that’s basically what it is now. Use it to stun adds, and it will stay up the whole 8 seconds. That usually gives you enough time to kill the mob you’re currently fighting, thus reducing the number of mobs you have to fight. In c4, all tanks will be able to do this at very high levels.
(I’m honestly very jealous of the TK and SK’s shield stun, because it will use about 1/3 of the mana the human’s stun does. Here’s hoping it works about that much less, too )
IN addition, Ellyrion Fiallathandriel (Reckless_Knight) of Kain has this to say:
[ QUOTE ]
In addition to Glavs tips on tanking, have a chat to whoever is your crowd controller in the party.
They may not understand what Glav has posted and will just sleep/root mobs willy nilly and expect you to tank them in the order they were CC’d.
Talk to your group, thats the fist step in effective tanking.
Every group of players will have their perceptions based on experience with tanks they have groupped with. So unless you have regular clan groups you may need to have a quick chat on how you’ll be tanking with your group.
Remember that, the only obvious thing to a group is your equipment and they will generally make their assumptions on that basis. They will not generally know your exact level, nor your expertise in playing your class. (which is why I know a lot of you have posted on this subject wrt a tanks reputation.)
Lorak has this to add:
While tanking if you don’t have an official targeter, (most folks just double click assist tank) Try and tell your party members to not switch targets until the one they are beating on is dead.
Here’s a quick an dirty breakdown of the tanks and their raid tanking abilities.
TK: “For raid bosses, an HP weapon is needed, but the TK can handle it, in general, with gusto. They may not be the first choice, but they’re not a bad second for a raid tank.”
Paladin: “For undead raid bosses, there are none better: High HP and extra resistance to undead give the paladin the decided advantage as the tank of choice.”
DA: “In PVE, you can’t really go wrong picking a DA to tank for your group. They’re the only pure tank that doesn’t get 360 degree shield blocking of any kind, so the DA must either rely on his skill or luck to keep his shield between him and the gobs of mobs. ” (I’ll add that, other than that, they’re a very good ‘second’ tank behind the Paladin for tanking raid bosses. Many paladins go +dex and +con, whereas DAs don’t. However, DAs have a self-damage reflection buf. When a boss is doing 300-1000 damage, 20% reflection adds a not insignificant amount of hate)
SK: “During Mob Boss raids, get ready to sit in the back seat: you’re going to either have to outlevel all other tanks by a lot, or use your clout in the alliance to get a chance to tank. Generally, the raid party is a lot safer and much easier to keep alive if the main tank is …well, not you. Low HP means the all important bishop heal, restore life, will be the weakest in your case. When you are at 4000 hp and the raid boss is doing 1000 a hit while mana draining you at the same time, you and the healers will be sweating for the entire ordeal. It’s hard to argue how your guard stance’s pdef makes up for the fact that the human has twice (or more) your HP fully buffed (guard stance, which depending on level and setup, about meets Majesty pdef…yet another constant argument between human and elf tanks). It’s been known for an SK or two to tank every now and then, so don’t give up total hope!”
Raid Boss Tanking, 101
The raid tank group is the most important group to put together well. If it’s not, no matter the number of nukers you have, you’re all going to die. My personal favorite setup is a tank, two bishops, two SEs, two EEs, a sword singer, and a warcryer. With this setup, you have plenty of MP regen for the bishops (your main healer) and rechargers for the tank. Plus, you have two people with a 30% heal. When the raid boss does 300-1000 damage a hit to a tank AFTER the shield block (damage depending on your level and level of the boss, of course) several 30% heals are very important. Alternatively, you could swap out one of the rechargers for a BD, who does only song of concentration. Alternatively, swap out one of the healers for another tank. At the very bare minimum, I would recommend two bishops and two rechargers on the healer side. A swordsinger is NOT optional: song of earth, warding, and vitality are a must. Because the 30% heal is so important for healing in a raid, having a tank with the most HP is usually more useful than one with a slightly better armor set.
For tank bufs, give ONLY defensive bufs, and haste: If the tank has to be smacking on the mob, you’ve already failed the raid. Shield, Majesty, a damage-reflection buf, bless shield, advanced block, Evasion (every little bit helps, even more so on elves), Acumen, Haste, Prayer (the higher the better), Body of Avatar/BTB, Resist stun, Magic Defense buf are all very important. Alternatively, resist poison, or mental shield could be added based on the mob. However, keep the tank at under 12 bufs before the raid. This is because the tank is going to need 1 more spot for UD, three more for songs, (1 more for a dance, sometimes).
A tank, even with UD and swordsinger bufs, should always be at about 17 bufs at most. This is due to many raid boss’ lovely desire to debuf everyone. If even one or two of the tank’s bufs roll off, everyone is in trouble. Keeping three spots for safety pretty much guarantees the bufs won’t roll off.
Personally, I like a warcryer for my tank group buffer. This is because in raids where the Raid Boss has an aoe cancel, I can ensure that everyone in the tank party has bufs within about three seconds of the raid boss canceling, which makes sure the raid lives.
During a Raid,
The lead tank should be coordinating with the alliance leaders and the DD groups. The alliance leader should be managing the raid, but the Tank is the one that should be calling the shots of when to start. If a dd group isn’t quite ready when the raid starts, it’s no big loss. If a tank group isn’t ready, it’s disaster. The tank himself should count down for the ‘go’. I use the same general form for each boss I go to. First, I say out loud (since many times people aren’t in your alliance and are participating in the raid) “EVERYONE GOES ON MY COUNT” or something along that vein. I count down from 5, and everyone goes on “Go”. On 4, song of vitality goes up, on 3, song of earth, and on 2, song of warding. On 1, I UD (occasionally optional) and hate the mob (or aoe hate if it’s a group mob). THEN, on “GO”, everyone starts attacking. This tactic has a few advantages: you get extra hate on all the mobs before anyone even starts hitting it, your swordsinger knows what dances to do when, and the thin line between death and reward has complete control over the situation.
When you are doing multiple raids in a night, and you’re a single tank, I recommend saving UD for bosses that have minions. If a raid boss has minions, it generally has a weaker attack than if it’s a solo raid boss, and makes up for it with the minions. Make sure to have people kill all the minions first, and then go after the main one. If you’ve got a decent raid party, all or most of the minions should be dead before UD fades. If you’re fighting a solo boss, and you are relying on UD to survive the boss, you’re probably fighting something too high for your raid.
The tank should be doing nothing but hating the raid boss the entire time. As such, he must be kept recharged by the elf healers in his party. His job is to keep the boss on him, and nothing more. If the tank is decently high, and has good EE shield block bufs, he’ll be blocking every hit, and taking between 300 and 1000 damage a hit from the raid boss or minons. Properly buffed, your tank will have between 6000 and 10000 hp, depending on tattoos and set bonuses. Make sure that you work out among the healers who will heal when. It’s OKAY for the tank to not be at full health. Keeping him at around 70% HP means he’ll have about a 4500-7000 reserve. The tank should report to his healers about how much he’s being hit for, and the healers should know how much they heal the tank for. If a raid is taking a long time, or you have a smaller raid, how the healers conserve their mana while healing will be the difference between success and alliance wipe. Rechargers, make sure the tank always has mana. He must be able to hate constantly. Even a three or four second lack of MP is enough for a nuker to draw agro and get killed.
Raid tanking is generally more about the HP, not the fraction of extra damage you can absorb from a hit. You need as much HP as you can get, and that means the Doom set’s +3 con and +HP bonus. Plus, the extra 24% shield block chance means with proper bufs, you will never fail a shield block, which means, more pdef. Dark Crystal or Nightmare might be okay, but neither give as good shield blocking or hp. I wouldn’t reccomend trying it with anything less than top B grade for 52+ raid bosses. For lower level ones, full Plate for 40+ raid bosses, and a brig set for 20+ raid bosses should suffice.
The best tank for tanking a raid boss will be in the order of HP-Tank Paladin, HP-Tank DA, TK, PVP-Tank Paladin, PVP-Tank DA, then SK. The Paladin’s undead pdef passives and the class’s general lack of problems when going +dex and +con make it most likely to be your first choice. DAs are generally more common, and the differences are not much. However, TKs will be a better choice than any PVP tank setup. If they’ve gone -con, which most “PVP” tanks tend to do, a TK will be superior, as long as they haven’t gone -con too. Sad to say, the SK is last on the list. Low con and guard stance just doesn’t cut it. If you have decent rechargers, guard stance can be kept up for the entire boss, but that mana really needs to be spent on hate.
So, if you’re rolling a toon to be a great raid boss tanker, become a paladin, and go +4dex -4 str, +4 con -4str. With proper bufs and levels, all tanks will shield block 100%, even with low dex. Next best would be DA, since they have a self-damage reflection buf. Even with that being said, raid tanking can be done by any class. A high-con human tank will almost always be the best, because they have the highest possible hp. Cubics don’t really help that much, but every little bit helps. Guard stance can be kept up with a decent party, but it’s an extra MP drain that could be avoided if you just took a human. A good tank party needs to work together, communicate before and during the raid, and must, at all costs, make sure the tank is buffed and has mana. The raid drops await you! Claim them now!
The C4 Update
It’s now C4, and official news has been posted on each of the new skills, and nerfs. Here’s my Update.
76+ Tank Skills:
All tanks now get a toggle to dramatically increase Stun/Para resist, as well as passives to resist bleeding, poison, sleep, and hold, in addition to a new UD that changes people’s targets to you. So, essentailly, the standard debufs and most feared debuf, para, will no longer affect us (90% of the time). Score one for the tanks!
Human tanks get skills to help them in fighting melee DD’s: Shield Slam, which interrupts physical skills, and for everyone, disarms them. They also get Physical Mirror, a buf that reflects Melee debufs back on the caster.
Elf tanks get skills that focus on fighting magic characters. Both the SK and the TK get Shield Bash, which interrupts an enemy’s attack action and disarms them. They also get Magic Mirror, which reflects magic debufs on the caster.
Temple Knights and Paladins get an ultimate healing skill: Touch of Life. By sacrificing 1621 hp, it restores a significant amount of HP, protects against cancelation, debufs, and improves the power of HP Rejuvination magic.
Shillien Knights and Dark Avengers get an ultimate curse: Touch of Death. By sacrificing 1338 hp, it significantly decreases maximum CP for a brief time period and decreases resistance to debuff attack, and the effect of HP regeneration magic. However, it’s limited in that it can only be used at less than 75% hp.
C4 Pre-75 skills
There are two significant changes with pre-75 tank skills. The first affects TKs and Paladins, the second Dark Avengers.
For TKs and Paladins, their once passive holy skills are now active toggles. These toggles (from reports) consume almost no MP, but they now properly stack with the Holy Weapon buf. The holy armor toggle now protects from dark magic, a significant boost considering the number of dark-magic casters out there now.
Dark Avengers have had their Panther improved significantly. Pet shots have been introduced, increasing the Dark Avenger’s DD capability. However, the new panther costs aproximately 2-3 times as much per summon as the old one did, and it now uses C crystals. In addition, the summoning time has been extended from a base time of 6 seconds to 15. This means that Dark Avengers must now plan ahead when they want to use their summon.
C4 Tank PVP status
Essentially, the status-quo for tanks has been maintained. Tanks need to continue to suck up damage as best as possible. The only real difference in PVP now is that we have, at higher levels, increased immunity to nasty debufs.
Area of Effect parties (AOE for short) are challenging, risky, and rewarding xp parties. The general idea is for a puller, usually a fast heavy armor class, to gather several mobs at once, and then kill them all at once. There are two main ways of doing it: Polearm tanking, and Hate tanking.
There’s three phases in AoE tanking. The first is the Setup, the second is the Pull, and the third is The Kill.
The setup is the easiest part, but often overlooked. First, determine how you wish to pull: Hate or Pole pulling. Dwarves, Destroyers, and Warlords are your best bet here for pole pulling, due to the C4 polearm rebalance. If you have a pure tank pulling, you will want to do hate pulling. The party should consist of at least one healer, and classes with aoe skills: essentially nukers and polearm users. Overlords are useful as well. A good location is also extremely important. Using a corner or other terrain feature to herd the mobs into an appropriate blocking angle helps dramatically.
The main tank is often also the puller, but this is not always the case. Sometimes a party will have a fast DD such as an archer, dagger, tyrant, or a heavy armor class pull for the tank. This has some distinct advantages: the tank is at full health when the mob train arrives and more mobs can be pulled in less time.
This is probably the second most dangerous part of the AoE party. The puller must gather mobs for the party to kill without getting killed himself. In c4, skill damage can only be applied to 20 mobs at a time, so the puller must make sure to pull less than this. The puller often, but not always, will use hp healing potions, such as Healing Potions, Greater Healing potions, or in the direst of circumstances, Quick Healing Potions to stay alive.
Pulling enough mobs that the party can kill them all, yet not getting killed on the way back, is extremely important. Pullers need to take care to watch for mobs that disable in any way: a badly-timed slow, stun, sleep, or paralyze from a mob will end can end pull in a heartbeat.
When the puller then returns to the party, this is the most dangerous part of the pull. After the puller stops moving, the puller will receive a burst of damage from all the mobs catching up to them, and may die. Healers in the party should pay very close attention at this moment, and decide whether or not the puller needs a heal or two to stay alive. Most of the time, they will be fine, because the tank will take over agro from this point on. Timing is critical at this point. The tank needs to quickly take the agro, or if the puller is the tank, build agro, so that the healers can start healing without getting attacked by the mobs in the train.
The mobs have arrived. The tank has the mobs. Now it’s time to kill. If you are doing pole parties, the pole-users usually start attacking right away. This builds agro, and, with VR, helps restore their HP. If your group is Hate tanking, however, while the tank pulls agro with his AoE hate skill, a Sorcerer or Spellsinger in the group casts an AoE sleep on the mobs, giving the healers a breather to fill the tank’s HP up. At this point, the process is simple: hit them all, and kill them fast! Pick up your loot, and repeat.
Advantages Over Traditional XP
The basic advantage of AoE xp is twofold: Fast, and cheap. If your xp team gets good at pulling, you can kill more mobs in less time than with traditional one-mob-at-a-time xp. Nukers usually are not efficient in parties due to their high mana consumption per damage. However, AoE nukes are optimized for killing three or more mobs at a time. So, the more mobs killed at once with an AoE skill, the more efficient the skill gets. Plus, the aoe skills spread out over several mobs save money; soulshots and spiritshot costs are spread out over many mobs at the same time, improving the cost per kill ratio, saving the party money.
The biggest non-material advantage to this kind of xp is that there’s a controlled risk, one that’s very exhilarating. There’s little more that gets your heart beating fast and the adrenaline running than seeing a dozen and a half large, angry, and dangerous creatures heading towards you, then destroying them all, as a team.
Disadvantages over Traditional XP
There are three big risks to AoE parties: Mobs, Bufs, and Players.
The Mobs part is fairly obvious: if your tank doesn’t take enough hate, or your healers start healing too early, or one nuker over-nukes another nuker, a key member of the party will die, and the entire party will die. The best way to counter this problem is to make sure everyone knows their place in the party.
Loosing bufs can be one of the worst things that happens to an AoE party. This risk is lessened in C4, due to buf timers so you know when you need to rebuf, but it’s still very important. A cancel at a bad time or fallen bufs will more often than not lead to the death of one or more party members.
Players. Lineage 2 is a PVP game, and that means all the time. Players can ruin an AoE party faster than anything else. A silence or cancel to the healer in a clan war, a PKed tank, or the loss of a damage dealer can all spell doom for the party. AoE parties often involve the use of AoE skills, and hostile players can use that to their advantage. A flagged hostile player can move into the kill zone of the enemy. This causes the AoE party to flag when they use their AoE skills, leaving the party vulnerable to PVP. Often, players will only kill one or two key members of the party, leaving the rest of the party to die to mobs in hopes that gear drops. Most AoE parties consider tactics like this most despicable, but the enemies of AoE parties can use this to great advantage.
AoE parties are still a fast, fun, but risky way to XP. Even with the C4 limitation of 20 mobs makes pulling limited, it’s still quite rewarding. It allows tank to perform what they do best while giving healers and classes with AoE skills a chance to shine.