When fighting in a group setting, you will generally adhere to these simple rules:
Rule 1: You take damage.
A stabber or caster may start the fight, but you
will rescue them as soon as possible. When fighting aggressive mobs, keep
your chr low or use group chaining to draw aggro. Taunt enemies so they
attack you, or roar out unwanted opponents. Use the defend skill if you have
it. Learn the tanking skill when you are high enough level. Never go
berserk while tanking, or you lose control of the fight. Coordinate your
efforts if using multiple tanks in a group.
Rule 2: Your groupmates do not take damage.
Keep an eye on the health of
your groupmates, and if someone starts losing hitpoints, find out what is
wrong and fix it. If another enemy wanders into the fight and starts wailing
on your hitter or caster, save him! Have casters stay nomelee so they don't
get hit accidentaly. Watch out for mobs that are difficult to tank, such as
ones that use special attacks against all melee opponents or high level
warrior mobs that double attack or berserk.
Rule 3: You are the last to leave a fight.
If you have to abandon a fight
that is going badly, never leave a group member behind. When the healer runs
out of mana, get everybody out. Use retreat when possible to keep the group
together. If a groupmate has trouble fleeing or doesn't retreat with
everybody else, go back and get him. Turn wimpy off so you don't flee
automatically when your health gets low: tanking is not for wimps.
Rule 4: If things go wrong, you die first.
Being the tank means accepting
this inevitable (but hopefully infrequent) situation. Whether the summoner
runs out of mana or a hitter can't recall in time, you defend your groupmates
to the death. They are trusting you: don't let them down! Good players will
recognize a tank that does his best even in a losing situation, and they'll
remember you for it.
Circumstances may necessitate modifying the above rules. Listen to your
group leader. Sometimes tanks are unfairly blamed (even more so than
healers) when a group members die, but the best tanks will become legendary
and will never want for friends to group with.
Part 2 - Outfitting Your Tank