Tanking is something I used to do, haven’t done for a while and keep thinking about doing again. As you can see I’m certainly no expert at the moment and in my occasional MMO Lord of the Rings my main character is a Warden. Wardens are tanks though the kind that wear only medium armour throw spears and in my case has a penchant for fancy cloaks. I chose the class based on their ability to solo well and as I decided it was a good chance to play something I am not familiar with.
If your a reader (or should I say the reader) of this fine blog you’ll no doubt know I hit the level 25 mark a while ago and due to the dreaded real life and my MMO time spent in EQ2 I only just made level 26 last night. I like to take my time in LOTRO, so much to explore and get lost in as well as the fact that unlike EQ2 if you want to go somewhere you really have to travel there.
Anyway I digress…
Last night I jumped into EQ2 quickly then had to log out for the real world again. I unexpectedly then had a bit more game time so jumped into middle earth. I was wandering up the road to Trestlebridge when I received a message from another player asking If I wanted to head to the Great Barrow. “Oooh I thought, I had a few group quests there” so I accepted, only to realise as I hit the button that I am in fact a tank and not a healer as I usually play in EQ2 groups, panic then set in!
I quickly explained to my group what they were letting themselves in for and as we had a rookie healer too we all decided it was going to be a fun and interesting group. Off I headed to the Great Barrow and we ventured inside. As Wardens make use of combo moves called Gambits in combat I memorized a few taunt gambits as well as an AOE damage one. I already have somewhere in the far reaches of my brain known as “The Middle Earth Pocket” a couple of attack gambits as well as a shield boost and a heal, so I felt ready.
We ventured inside and after a few fights I was getting the hang of my taunt gambits and was managing to pull aggro most of the time on my chosen target. We had a level 33 hunter with us though and due to his damage output he could easily grab the mobs attention ahead of me, in fact once he had aggro it was almost impossible for me to grab it back. In fact on the last boss type mob no matter what I did I couldn’t get him to pummel me instead of the Hunter.
Another problem I had was targeting. As I’m not used to tanking and haven’t done it seriously since EQ1 it could be that I’m just rusty in the way of the meatshield, but I did have problems getting the right target at first. Obviously I pulled my main target and then had to tab to get the rest of them and hit them a few times, throwing in an AOE taunt gambit (a two fist one for those that play). I’m not sure if the group was assisting me but I seem to remember that in LOTRO when you press assist it doesn’t change your target if the tank changes his/hers, though I could be wrong on this as I haven’t grouped in the game for a long time away from my Warden.
We did manage to complete the instance without anyone dying and I picked up a few new Purple (I think they are better than yellow) bits of armour, one of which was a fancy new green pair of pants! A pair that looked exactly like my old pair, but green. The LOTRO devs really have no idea about MMO fashion, it’s as if they made one design and pressed a few random colour buttons.
Anyway after my first pickup group I learnt a few things and realised I can learn a lot more. I think I need to grab a few guild members sometime to learn the ropes a bit more, that or put a few more pickup groups through the pain.
So any LOTRO players have tips for a tank in training? If you like pain and suffering and play on Laurelin, give me a shout if you see me wandering around and want to point me at some mobs.