That strange wooden thing you see there hanging on Mawry? Big, wooden, never-before-seen on any geoffhanna melee character? That thing? It turns out that is called a shield.
I have never attempted to build a “tank”. In this case I am using “tank” as a noun, meaning a character that is designed to attract and withstand all of the monster attention while taking little or no damage, in order to allow her companions to slay the monsters leisurely and safely.
I have “tanked” as a verb, many times, as “tanking” certain bosses has long been a favorite raid tactic. But I “tank” with melee characters that have enough hit points to withstand the boss, not by shedding damage through armor or defenses, just hit points.
Hit point tanking is effective against bosses, but it requires a dedicated healer, and is not effective against swarms of high-DPS opponents: the damage comes in too quickly.
But now I am leveling my Completionist-to-be Mawry and am in her Paladin life. Although I am cheating, I am going to level her to 8 as a Fighter, then use an Ottos Box to level her as high as possible, taking Paladin for all levels. I’ve been told that when using an XP potion, one gets so many XP from the Ottos Box that I may never actually have to play Mawry as a Paladin.
So I am crossing my fingers. But in the meantime, I have three more levels to go right now, with the potential of needing more XP at high levels, and have to play her as something while earning those levels and XP. I already have a Tactics Fighter and wanted to try something different. Thus the tank idea.
As a side benefit, I can stash any gear I acquire for Mawry’s Fighter life which is still somewhere in the future. I can figure out how to tank now, skate by on the Ottos, and then tank for real in her later life.
But I digress; enough back story.
How do I tank? So far I’ve layered on a bunch of AC, some PRR, and for the first time ever on any melee character, added a shield. But it isn’t enough. Running Tangleroot last night, in the latter quests I was unable to regularly Intimidate everything, and when I did, too many Hobgoblin Slayers at the same time would just pop me like a bad zit. Death. No dead player is tanking effectively.
At 5th level she has 32 AC, 12 PRR, 0 Dodge, 0 fortification, and shield blocks for DR 8.
I seem to have a timing issue where I start an Intimidate and then accidentally cancel it by shield-blocking too soon. Is this possible? Is there a technique I need to master here?
How much AC/PRR should I really need at level 5?
Is Fortification already a requirement? I assumed at this level it was not. But that was before the hobgoblins had their hobgobliny way with me last night.
On the other hand, we were running level 8 content on level 5 characters. Maybe I am over-reacting? Maybe we should get spanked running under level like that?
Her DPS is surprisingly good even though she is swinging one-handed and her best twink weapons all have new minimum levels so high that she can’t use any of them. The DPS is not the problem. It’s either her defenses, or the way I am playing her, or some combination of the two.
Any Tanking ideas? Tips? Must-haves? Combos? Fantasies? Recipes? Coupons? Other tanking-related esoterica?