After my post “What I like in a tank”, it seems only fair to let the tanks have their say about what they need from the rest of their group. I’ve talked to a few, and here’s what they have to say.
Wait for it. Don’t nuke too early, the tanks ability to keep aggro builds over time. If a wizard nukes too soon, or a healer heals too soon, or even a scout who backstabs immediately can pull aggro away from the tank. One thought is to let the tank complete one HO before using power based attacks (regular melee attacks should be no problem.) Be especially careful if the tank is pulling with just proximity or with a ranged weapon, these generate very little hate.
Don’t run, you’ll only die tired. If you DO get aggro, don’t run around trying to shake it off. It doesn’t work, and it gives the main tank a serious targeting problem. Many of his taunt-generating abilities are very short range. He may well be able to peel the mob off of you, but you will have to stand still to allow him to do so. This is highly counterintuitive, if some big nasty starts pounding on me, my untrained response is to RUN AWAY NOW! But not if I have a good tank with me.
…except when the tank says to run. Sometimes a party will get in over its head and will need to exit the area. When you have a 25+ scout along, this becomes easy, the scout hits evac and you’re all out of there (assuming you are close enough.) But at lower levels, or without a scout (they are the least popular archetype in EQ2) a party must rely on good old fashioned legwork to save on the debt and shard runs. So, when it’s time to run, save everyone the debt from your death, and run.
It’s very noble and brave to stand shoulder to shoulder with the tank and die alongside him, but since his debt is shared among the group anyway, he doesn’t mind if you run quickly and save him the experience debt he’d get from your death. A group wipe costs a lot in debt and in recovery time too. Most of the tanks I know consider it their duty to be the last to flee the scene, so don’t hang out.
Not all groups have the tank call run. It might be the healer or someone else. This is something that probably should be discussed with the group beforehand.
use hotkeys to communicate. Make one to tell the tank you have aggro. Maybe make another one to mention an add, though the word “ADD” is pretty easy to type. I have one to tell folks which things I’m mezzing.
EQ2 is at its best as a team game. And team games work best if everyone knows their job and understands how the other team members work, and what they need to do their job.