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Postby Dominiculus » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:31 am

Re: Feedback: New Player Tips for Guardians

Something i wrote a year ago for absolute beginners - most of it still applies. If I'd known this when i first started, it would have saved so much trouble :

Tanking 101

Your absolute priority in a grouped situation is to protect the healer .

Minstrels and Rune Keepers have an almost unlimited supply of heals they can cast to keep people alive. However, they cannot cast heals while moving and getting hit interrupts the casting. Captains can also heal, they can do so while running and can't be interrupted. However captains cannot heal themselves.

Every mob has his own agro table, a list of people they are in combat with, and a number denoting how much they hate each person. Doing damage to that mob , or taunting that mob, increases his hate for you. However, healing generates threat on every mob the group is in combat with, even if they are rooted, stunned, or a long way away.

example -

Elite boss hate table

1. guardian 1000 hate
2. hunter 800 hate
3. minstrel 400 hate

Melee add hate table

1. guardian 600 hate
2. minstrel 400 hate
3. hunter 0 hate

Ranged add hate table

1. minstrel 400 hate
2. guardian 0 hate
3. hunter 0 hate

In this case the boss and the melee add are attacking the guardian. The enemy archer is 15m away, out of range of the guardian's skills, so he has no hate for the guardian. The hunter is not attacking him , so he has no hate for him either, so he defaults to attacking the minstrel, who is generating threat by healing.

So, as a tank you need to spread your threat across all the mobs, so that even the ones no-one is hitting do not go for your healer . This may mean you generate less threat on the group's primary target, and it might peel off and start hitting the hunter. This is a price worth paying. Although they are not really meant to tank, a minstrel can easily keep a hunter alive while the boss beats on him, and heal you in their spare time, provided you keep the rest of the trash away so the minnie can work uninterrupted.

Ranged Mobs

These guys are a problem. If they are too far away from you, then you won't build any threat and they will target your healer.

1. the best approach is to have a loremaster or burglar stun him at the start of the fight. Planning = win

2. alternatively , drag the melee mobs over to the ranged guy and fight him in melee with the others. This can be difficult, it's harder to generate threat while running and if the group don't ease up, they might pull the agro off you.

3. get a hunter to range tank it. Better it shoots at the hunter than have it interrupt your healer.

AOE mobs

Some elites do frontal AOE damage - basically, all trolls. If you are fighting trolls, tell your fellowship to stand behind them at all times, anyone stood in front will take damage even if they don't have agro.

eg. Guardian is doing a perfectly good job holding agro on a troll, but 2 champions are stood alongside the guardian, taking a beating. Your minstrel has to heal 3 times as much damage (actually more than three times as much, as champions cannot block evade or parry in fervour, and have a -30% incoming healing penalty). Get behind them and hit them, champs!

eg. Guardian is holding agro on a group of 4 mobs. hunter pulls agro on one of them ( a troll) and it runs up to him. Minstrel is stood next to hunter. Minstrel starts getting interrupted by the aoe hits, group wipes. Minstrel or hunter needs to move!

Stunned Mobs

Stunned mobs are not being hit, so they tend to agro the healer. So, unless it is a particularly troublesome ranged mob, healer, or summoner, don't stun unless you have to. If you have a stunned mob, bear in mind you can still build agro on them with shield taunt and fray the edge without waking them. When you get your agro copy skill (engage) you can also use this on a stunned mob without breaking the mezz.

Skill Usage

Your optimum tanking skills are completely different from the optimum soloing ones.

Your main priority is skills that generate aoe threat. After that, skills that generate aoe damage (if fighting multiple mobs). After that, skills that generate single target threat.

Skills that do good single target damage, and self heals, come way down the list. These are mainly for solo.

Insta-cast skills -

Shield Blow, Fray the Edge - nice single target threat
Vexing blow (with harasser trait) modest aoe threat

block re-actives -

Litany of Challenge (level 60 ) is just awesome AOE threat. Before level 60, you will need to use Shield Swipe to unlock -

Shield Taunt - nice aoe threat skill (8m range)

Parry Re-actives

Whirling Retaliation always. All you other parry skills are single target dps. This is a modest dps aoe and also a threat transfer. So it's the only parry skill to use when tanking.

Don't forget to use guardian's ward every 10 seconds. This buffs your block and parry rate, reducing incoming damage and giving you access to your reactive skills more often.

Blowing Cooldowns


This is a force taunt. It forces 3 opponents to attack you for 10 seconds, regardless of who is actually top of their hate list. It does not actualyl generate any threat by itself. So don't spam it keep it for an important moment

1) at the start of the fight

forcing 3 opponents to attack you for 10 seconds will unlock some block/parry skills, which helps you to build threat. Should not be needed if the group lets you hit the mobs for a few seconds before wading in though.

2) when the healer is getting hit

keep your eye on the minstrel's health bar. It should be full at all times, if it is not, something is hitting them, and you need to do somethig about it fast!

Guardian's Pledge

A newbie error i used to make was to keep this skill for when my health was getting low. In practice, it only ever got low because my healer was dead.

Far better to pop this skill when you feel you healer might be in danger of drawing agro by healing too much. Example, while you are fighting a pair of mobs, when a patrol of 3 mobs comes along the road and agros the group. It's going to take a few seconds to build good agro, so pop pledge to stop your healer getting agro in the transition and being killed.

Target Switching

This is very important , especially in the early days when you don't have many aoe skills.

You can do it manually by clicking on the mob with a mouse, or by using the [next target] hotkey.

An easier method is to assign the [select nearest target] key to [tab] or something near you W A S D movement keys, then strafe from side-to-side or circle around your minstrel, tapping [select nearest target] with the same hand you use for the movement buttons. This guarantees you hit all of the mobs at some point. The drawback is server lag dulls the speed of the target switching sometimes.

Go to combat options/target of my target and ensure it is ticked. This means you can see who the mob you are targeting is agroed on , which gives you an idea of how well you are doing.

Practice these skills on some low level mobs, it could save your life one day.


If you have agro on multiple melee mobs they will tend to form a circle around you. You cannot block or parry attacks from behind which means more damage and fewer re-actives, and they aren't getting hit by your frontal aoe attacks either. So , keep moving backwards, you can even use obstacles like trees or pillars to funnel them in front of you.

As you move, the currently targeted mob could find himself at the back of this crowd of mobs that want to see you, preventing you from firing melee skills, or causing your character to make pointless ranged auto-attacks that miss because you aren't standing still. De-equip your bow or go to combat options and unchecked "skills can enable default attack" to prevent this. However, you should also be trying to change target so that you are targeted on whoever is now closest to you as well.

DPS Assist

Consider the situation where the group is fighting 5 mobs. You are target switching and using aoe rather than single target threat skills, so all 5 of these mobs have more hate for you than they do for the healer. However, you have 3 hunters, all shooting a different mob.

The result -

1. The mobs take longer to die , your group is fighting 5 mobs for longer.

2. Because you are spreading your threat thinner, you can't hold agro over a hunter going full bore. So each of the mobs being targeted by a hunter, peels off to the hunter. Now 3 mobs are being tanked by hunter, and only 2 by guardian. This increases the damage incoming to the group.

What is needed is for the group to nominate a "DPS assist". One of the hunters chooses the mob to the hit, and all the other hunters target the DPS assistant. If they have "target forwarding" turned on in their combat options panel, their shots will automatically target his target.

so, now we have 4 mobs on a guardian, and one going to the hunter. As one of the hutners crits, the mob will waste time running after that one, then change direction again when a different hunter pulls his agro with a critted shot. And he won't live long. The remaining mobs will stay on the guardian. The guardian will have built plenty of agro on the remaining mobs while the first was being killed, so they won't peel off.
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