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This article was written by the god Shadowfax, and posted on Dec 07, 2008.
It was last updated May 23, 2014.

What Is Tanking?

'Tanking' is a general term used on the mud to describe the act of being the guy that takes the damage in combat. Your primary concern as tank is to make sure that you are taking the brunt of the damage and your fellow group members are not. It is one of the most important roles in group combat.

Leveling Strategies - Creating Your Tank

To be an effective tank, you will want to have warrior be your primary level. The warrior class awards you the highest amount of hitpoints per level. Skills relating to aggro and crowd control are almost all exclusively warrior skills. Most defense skills are warrior skills. The armor with the best defensive values are often warrior flagged.

Your secondary level can vary depending on your preferences. Most opt for the thief class, which awards you the second highest amount of hitpoints per level and gives you access to the dodge skill. Warrior/thieves have the advantage as well that they do not need to train their mental attributes (int, wis, chr), so they can put more practices into martial skills and physical attributes (str, dex, con) early on. Thieves also have access to the poison resistance skill and shadow decoys.

Necromancer makes a good secondary class for a tank, because of their ability to summon minions that can act as additional tanks. Although the minions often don't last long in many combat situations, they absorb damage that the player tank would otherwise take before they're destroyed. Necromancers can also cast bone shield and bone armor, which can yield more protective equipment than is normally available. Necromancers can also control combat by fearing out unwanted combatants.

Druid can make a good secondary class for tank, as well. Druids gain the most hitpoints of all of the caster classes. The druid class would give the tank access to salves and tinctures for damage reduction and healing that he could use to prepare for combat. Druids can also create powerful tank equipment with their carving and enchanting skills.

Many players make mage their secondary level, providing them with quicker access to powerful defensive and elemental protection spells. Mages can, at highest levels, wall off rooms and imprison enemies. Mages can also cast attribute buffs (str/dex), which boost parry and dodge, respectively.

Rarely do tanks have cleric as their secondary because most cleric spells can be cast on others. Those that do claim that access to the cleric protection spells are essential at earlier levels to protect the tank and his allies. Clerics also have their own spells for crowd control. Clerics can group recall in order to save their group from a battle that is going badly, and against the unliving, they have the ultimate weapon: the turn undead skill. Tanks with cleric levels can use their own mana to heal themselves and keep themselves tanking even longer.

Effective tanks will max out their constitution score as early as possible in order to gain the highest amount of hitpoints. Strength (for parrying) and dexterity (for dodge) are also priorities. Tanks will train int and wis just high enough to cast defensive spells. A tank sacrifices his appearance and hygiene and doesn't bother training his charisma score. Low charisma ensures that he is attacked first by aggressive mobs.

Next - Part 2 - Outfitting Your Tank

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