[Edited to correct complete lack of Templar skill examples]
Okay, so lately I’ve heard several people saying how Tanks are not necessary in ESO and I strongly disagree. While it’s true that Tanks are not required in ESO, I believe that if you want your dungeon run to go as smoothly as possible and with as few deaths as possible, then a Tank is quite necessary.
From what I understand many people think that since there are only 2 taunts available in ESO and both are single target taunts, then tanking is not all that important. The reason being that a tank can really only hold onto 1 enemy during a fight, which means boss fight will go a little better with a tank involved, but big group pulls will still be just as difficult.
In a way, I agree, but only partially. I think that the reason tanking isn’t done as successfully during the big trash pulls is because many tanks are still thinking of tanking as it is done in other games. Tanking in ESO requires a slightly different approach.
Now we all know that in general and in simple terms, the Tank’s job is to draw aggro and soak up damage. In the case of ESO we can specify that further to say the Tank’s job is to hold aggro on the boss and soak up damage.
I would like to talk about 3 other things that tanks can provide to a group to make things go more smoothly and with less deaths.
Those things are Crowd Control, Group Mitigation, and Debuffs.
Now many of you realize that often times trash pulls in dungeons can be more deadly than the boss fights, unless of course the boss is surrounded by mobs (which is often). Part of this is due to the fact that the Tank only has single target taunts, and so the mobs spread out attacking all members of the group.
One of the best things a tank can bring to the table is an AOE Snare or Stun. Any CC on a large portion of the enemy group serves to hold them in place or slow them, keeping the pressure off of your DPS allowing them more time to burn the enemies.
Abilities such as the ones above help keep the bulk of the enemy group in place and clustered together allowing your group to use AOE to burn them quickly. (I realize aspect of terror doesn’t necessarily keep them in one place, but they won’t be attacking your group and that’s a plus!)
And many of these abilities have Morphs that lend themselves to this job, adding additional snare effects or even damage reduction.
The addition of just one of these abilities can improve your tanking greatly and make your dungeon runs much more pleasant.
Another important thing that Tanks can bring to the table is damage mitigation for the entire group. In many cases the healer may be providing damage mitigation for your group, but that shouldn’t stop you from providing some additional mitigation as long as you aren’t using the exact same abilities at the same time. (Communicate with your group members, if you are using the same abilities change up your build a little for the good of the group or agree on a ‘casting rotation’ to keep your spell constantly in effect)
There are many abilities that tanks can use to mitigate the damage they receive which will also apply to the entire group. Less damage taken by the group means less magicka used by the healer so that they will have some in reserve if something goes wrong.
And though not strictly ‘Mitigation’ Passive Regen is always good
Giving your healer a break and reducing damage taken is always a plus, and one of the ways a tank can make themselves invaluable to their team.
Applying debuffs to your enemy that reduce their damage or armor can be incredibly helpful, especially against powerful bosses.
Using abilities like these against a boss can make the fight much easier and reduce the likelihood of wipes.
There are other things that you can bring to your groups that aren’t exactly part of your build, but more your behavior.
Be a Leader - Step up and get your group communicating. When you use an ability that has synergy that will be helpful, let your group know that someone needs to activate it.
Interrupt - Interrupting can be absolutely crucial! In some fights an interrupt can be the difference between a wipe or a win. Make it your responsibility to interrupt.
So while tanking in ESO may not be as cut and dry as “Taunt everything and stand there” there are several ways a tank can be a valuable member of your group.