Good day everyone! Today I’d like to take a few minutes to go over the general tanking etiquette in the Duty Finder especially for higher level 4-Man dungeons. From pacing to positioning and cooldown management it can seem a little daunting at first but it’s nothing you can’t learn with enough practice. Let’s start from the very beginning. Pick a dungeon, any will work. Yeah, ok, uh… not that one. Here, let’s try this one. Right. Now that everyone’s loaded in one of the first things I like to do as a tank is to quickly inspect the healer. You don’t have to do this but it gives me an idea of how much punishment he can handle we don’t want to be overworking an undergeared healer after all. You can also use this very nifty mouseover inspect macro to make things a little more practical.
You can find it in the video description. Once Protect’s been given out, it’s time to get the ball rolling. One of the most important aspects of tanking efficiently is proper positioning. To achieve this, we stack the mobs together as tightly as possible and make sure they are facing away from the rest of the party. Doing this accomplishes two things. For one, it allows players to use their AoE attacks making it significantly faster to clear out targets. And secondly, it exposes the backs of enemies to the rest of the party allowing positionals to be executed without trouble and protects players from enemy attacks. This golden rule of positioning can be applied to every group tanking scenario in Final Fantasy XIV and your party will be forever grateful for it.
The next step involves damage mitigation, or proper cooldown management. Far too often do tanks prefer to save their cooldowns for bosses when it actuality, that’s not where most of the damage taken stems from. In fact, bosses will often be so busy executing their own mechanics that they won’t even be attacking you that much. Uh… certain exceptions apply, of course. Trash mobs on the other hand, tend to hit nearly as hard as bosses and the more you have attacking you the more likely you are to go visit the Mother Crystal. Using a cooldown once the mobs have settled greatly increases your effective health making it easier for the healer to keep you alive and it also gives them the opportunity to slip in a few damage spells of their own if they are comfortable doing so.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t use your cooldowns on bosses just that you shouldn’t only use them on bosses… alright? Lastly, avoid stacking your cooldowns. Instead, rotate from one to the next when the previous one is about to run out if the enemies remain alive long enough to warrant using it. If not, save the cooldown for the next trash pull. Which finally brings us to pacing. How quickly should you lead the party through the dungeon? Well, one of the best ways to gauge this is to see how long it takes to clear the first few groups of enemies. Is it taking too long for them to die to the point where you’re rotating through several cooldowns and the healer is running out of mana? Then yes, maybe it’s time to tone it down and make smaller pulls. Keep in mind that while most jobs have their ways to deal with multiple enemies some are better at it than others so bigger pulls do not always translate to faster clears. Generally speaking physical damage dealers are largely limited by their TP and combo requirements while, for instance, Summoners and Black Mages can deal AoE damage far more efficiently.
Also, be sure to keep track of your healer’s mana throughout the dungeon. He probably won’t need a full bar at all times, but if it’s nearly empty you might want to wait a few seconds before pulling the next group of enemies. Positioning, Cooldown Management and Pacing the tank that employs all three strategies is a boon to any group and will be largely responsible for a smooth and successful dungeon run. Of course, don’t be afraid to play it safe when learning new content. Once you’re acquainted with the patterns and damage potential of enemies think of ways to optimize your performance and make the next run better than the last..