Kristyana's Incredibly Detailed Fire Tank GuideCurrent Version 2.6 Hi everybody! My name is Kristyana. I started out when the game launched playing as a fire user on the US PC server Darkness Falls. After the megaserver merge, I'm of course on the USPC side. I've absolutely loved fire's mechanics and how they tank. This guide has gone through many iterations over the last two years. I wrote the first version of the guide a few months after the game's release for several reasons. At the time fire tanking was considered far inferior to ice tanking because of the mechanics. Ice allowed players to simply play as DPS and not have to worry about tanking because they were so tough and didn't have to worry about taking damage, and Fire's mechanics weren't really delved into or documented. At least on the PC side, once Fortress of Solitude 1 and 2 came out, fire tanks became a nearly extinct species compared to Ice. Myself and a few others stuck with it and actually delved into the mechanics of the class, hence the first guide which explained how fire tanking worked, how self buffs worked, and in the hands of a competent player and team, Fire could do nearly anything Ice could do and in some cases a lot more. Since then, the mechanics have become friendlier, making fire tanking easier but still taking time to learn to get the most out of it. This guide is broken down into sections, and is incredibly long. I don't write guides the way that most people do – I'm a firm believer in “give a man a fish” vs “teach a man to fish.” A lot of other guides will simply tell you what loadouts and powers to use without any type of followup. These are not guides to the powerset or the role, but rather “This is what I do, and you should too.” I try to be as detailed as possible about the powerset from official sources, discussions with the developers both online and in person, and from my own personal observations since launch. Similarly, I give a few example loadouts near the end of this guide after a discussion of all the different powers, what they do, and examples of when to use them. By the time you reach the end of the guide, you'll have a firm grasp on what you need to do, and decide what powers you need to do to get the job done effectively. Please feel free to comment! The old guide ended up with hundreds of responses before being moved here to the new forums. This guide has been copied in part or whole to other websites, never with it being updated and some times without credit. I was even accused of plagiarizing my own guide, in my own thread. The latest version will always be posted right here, in this thread. Part 1: What is tanking? If this is your first MMO, there are several terms that describe the basic classes in the game. A Healer heals the group when it takes damage. A Controller heals the group's power and controls groups of enemies by stunning them, encasing them in bubbles, knocking them back, etc. A DPSer kills things as fast as possible, and a Tank's job is to make all the enemies focus on him and beat on him so the other three classes can do their jobs. There are currently three tank classes in the game. Fire and Ice are standard with the game, and Earth requires the purchase of a DLC. Tanking is easy to learn but difficult to master, moreso I feel than the other roles in the game. It is very unforgiving when you do it wrong. When a raid loses a healer or a DPSer in a boss fight, you can still usually win even if it takes longer. Nine times out of ten, however, if the tank is undergeared or not doing his job and dies, all hell will break loose. Because of this, in a raid or an alert, the tank is the one who controls the flow of the encounter. Tanks have certain mechanics attached to them that will make enemies focus on them. Their armor has the highest defense and health in the game in order to make them a big punching bag to absorb the damage everything throws at them. They also have a mechanic unique to the other classes in the game that causes enemies to focus on them. This is known as taunting. Threat and Taunting You may have noticed that enemies focus on different people when they do different things. Every enemy and boss in the game have something called a Threat Table. Every action a player does in the game ends up generating threat (healing, hitting something with a power, putting a debuff on a target) and an enemy will keep track of this. Whatever player has the highest current threat on the table ends up being the target that the enemy will go after. Threat is also known as “aggro.” In game terms, the player that "has aggro” is the one that the enemy is attacking. Similarly, “ripping aggro” means generating more threat than someone who currently has it, meaning that they become the new target. Tanks have a mechanic known in MMO terms as taunting. Their powers generate an extreme amount of threat disproportionate to the other roles in the game. This causes enemies to focus on them as opposed to generating threat through things like critical attacks or damage a tank can do. A tank's taunt is triggered by hitting an enemy with a power, causing yellow damage. Once a tank taunts an enemy, the enemy will focus on the tank for twelve seconds (excepting threat resets, which are explained below.) There has been much debate on both forums about how exactly taunting, threat, and the threat tables work. A few weeks ago (at the time of this writing) the developer responsible for actually writing the threat mechanics popped into the EUPC server and answered some questions. The following is basically transcribed from what ObsidianChill passed on along with other observations. Whenever a player performs an action, threat is generated. Tank powers have a huge number attached to their powers to make enemies focus on them. Because of this high number, the only thing that can rip aggro from a tank is another tank. If there are two tanks and they both taunt at the same time, whichever tank does more damage with their taunt will be the one who grabs aggro. Every time a tank loses aggro for any reason before twelve seconds, it's because the enemy reset their threat table to a blank slate. The first person to generate threat after this reset becomes the target until the tank can taunt him again. This is why enemies will be focused on the tank and suddenly seem to go after random people. From personal observation (this is unconfirmed by a developer at this time) Healing over Time powers seem to generate constant threat; this is why when the enemy or boss goes after a “random” target, the healer is the one who gets attacked 9 times out of 10. Most raid mobs and bosses reset their threat tables every one or two attacks, requiring the tank to constantly make sure that they're taunting. As a fire tank, it's worth noting that only the initial cast of a power will taunt. A tick of damage from burning will not maintain your taunt or refresh it. For example: If you cast Inferno and a mob that wasn't hit by the initial cast walks into it, he'll be set on fire but won't be taunted. Same thing with a dropped meteor if a mob walks into it and wasn't hit by the initial cast. So, once a tank has the attention of everything around it, they start to take damage. A LOT of damage. Each tank has unique mechanics to deal with this incoming damage, but to understand how they work, a few terms need to be explained.