ESO PVE Tanking Guidelines
So you want to be a big armored beast in the dungeon, shooting your canon around and crushing your enemies under your treads huh? Tanking in ESO is not really like that, but you have some responsibilities in this role and several s to do each, depending on class.
#1 Hold aggro on most dangerous mobs
This is your first priority to your group, holding aggro on most dangerous mobs. Note I did not say “all” mobs, you have resources to manage and only so much mitigation. Aggro, a common MMO term, means you’re holding an enemies attention and taking most of its attacks. Taunts are typically used to hold aggro on these enemies. Some bosses have different mechanics that will ignore taunts, but will typically have adds that will he affected, so adjust according to the flow of battle.
#2 Survive and maintain yourself
While it’s heroic to sacrifice yourself for others, a tank that’s dead 2 seconds into a fight can’t fulfill their priority to their group of hold aggro on enemies. You should go with builds with enough mitigation, self heals, and resource management tools to keep you alive while fulfilling your first priority.
#3 Mitigate damage to the group
When you hold Aggro to mobs, some will cast frontal cone AOE, ground based AOE, and other nasty things. Move the enemies in ways that prevent your teammates from taking damage. Move bosses our of ground AOE so team mates can get in close. If a boss has a frontal cone ability, face them away from the group. If enemies randomly shoot stuff at players, move them away far enough that the attacks are obviously targeting them. This also means dragging mobs using line of sight to group them up for AOE by your DPS.
#4 Buff the group/Debuff the enemy
Once the first 3 priorities are fulfilled you can focus more on helping the group. Buffing the group with things like aggressive warhorn, minor brutality, minor force using guard, etc. Can come into play. On the other side of the coin, a lot of debuffs like major breach, fracture, and others weaken enemies to help the group provide higher over all damage.
#5 Lead the group
As the one taking the big hits, it often leads you to decide when to pull, where to go, how the group is formed, by default. Note that others may take over, especially when you have other priorities that require your focus. Each group is different, so adjust this responsibility as needed.
# 6 DPS enemies
Once you find yourself in a stable position in a fight you should start reducing your mitigation and upping your resources and damage stats into a manageable build. The quicker the enemy dies the less time there is to make mistakes and the less you have to deal with enraged mechanics.
#7 Heal your teammates
This applies mainly to magicka builds, but some tanks that can manage their resources well can be both tank and healer for a four man group. This requires a balanced build, the same as DPS tanks, but can do well in the right situation.