Before you downvote, at least hear me out. TL;DR at the bottom, you can also skip the intro and jump straight to the dot points.
So recently I’ve been seeing a lot of posts like “how to stop fake tanking” or “I’m sick of fake tanks” here’s the thing; most of these videos or posts are made from the perspective of a DPS, which is understandable, seeing as Tanks don’t have to suffer from fake-tanks. I regularly play a tank and as a DPS (and sometimes healer too, but not much), I’ve cleared all DLC content and all Trials on Veteran and most on Hardmode.
It’s no secret that there is a broken ratio of DPS to Tanks. This ratio causes severely horrible queue times exceeding 40 minutes! Others have suggested filtering queues with a checklist (ie not allowing people to queue if they have less than 30k health, a sword & shield and a taunt slotted) now first off these are not all critical attributes of a tank. yes, a taunt is pretty necessary so I’ll let that one slide. the other two? not so much. realistically you don’t even need 20k health to tank a normal dungeon; this pushes aside non-meta builds such as tanks that use ice staves/shock staves, or use mag shields instead of a high max HP. This will only make queue times MORE miserable eliminating non-meta tanks, or beginner tanks who might not reach said HP value. so while I do appreciate the thought, I don’t think this solves anything and actually only makes things worse.
Additionally, tanking normal dungeons (especially in a random group) can be incredibly mind-numbing and incredibly boring for a tank. Now here’s the thing, not only is tanking a normal dungeon incredibly boring it’s incredibly unnecessary. for most normal dungeons you can sit at 15k health and not even need to block heavy attacks on the final boss (though you still should so you don’t get knocked down!) Even though I have a tank if I’m queueing for normal dungeons, I’m gonna queue on my Magblade or Magden DPS as a tank, to me, it’s a no brainer, that being said you shouldn’t just queue on any DPS, there are a few “rules” us “fake” tanks should follow.
Have a tank and know how to play them. Even if you’re playing on a DPS you should still have a tank that you can switch to if things turn sour (Eg. not enough DPS to burn past mechanic on a DLC boss). Let your party know that you’re willing to switch if they don’t feel comfortable with you “fake tanking”
Slot a taunt. this one’s for your own good as well as the parties good. if you don’t have a taunt (I’d recommend Inner Fire) then the boss will lose aggro on you and the newer player will freak out and kite it around the room and you’ll lose so much DPS. if you’re fake tanking with a group of friends you don’t need a taunt if they can all stay still.
(recommended) Major Breach / Fracture. Without this, you’re gonna be losing a bit of DPS so if you have a flex spot equip an ability that applies either or both of these (Caltrops or Weakness to Elements are good options for ALL classes, though there may be better choices for specific classes such as scorch on Warden.)
have basic knowledge of tanking, you want to be making the experience easier not harder. you should seriously know at least the basics if you can’t tell when the boss is going to heavy attack or when you need to interrupt them. “fake” tanking probably isn’t for you (yet!)
Have decent DPS, overall you’re losing a few debuffs/buffs from tanking and if you’re DPS isn’t good then you’re not really making it easier on the rest of the party you’re just being a nuisance.
be comfortable with your build. if you’re still learning your rotation and getting used to your build then you’re probably going to negatively affect your learning and not effectively tank by trying to juggle them both.
Ultimately, you might be reading this and thinking “that’s not fake tanking”, and I’d agree that’s why I’ve always put “fake” in quotation marks. I like to think of it more as a Hybrid Tank-DPS. for normal most, if not all normal content this should be fine, and if you come across a roadblock you always have your real tank to switch too. This will make queue times MUCH more pleasant for everyone.
TL;DR: Tanking normal content is boring. Slot a taunt, have the ability to switch to a tank in case there’s trouble and if possible slot a Major Breach/Fracture ability. 30k health and a sword/shield aren’t necessary for normal content. by properly “fake” tanking you make queues shorter for everyone without compromising the success of the group.