Low-Level Tanking

I’ve got MMO fever pretty bad right now – sorry IRL. :/ So I’m getting ready to start tanking RotF on my new Defiant warrior, and since I’m stuck at work for a while I thought I’d go lookup some up-to-date "low level tanking" guides first. Except there aren’t any. I found where someone asked for one on the forums, but the basic response from the tankerotti was, "Just do anything. The low level dungeons are so easy it doesn’t matter."

Okay, I understand that the people who have been raid tanking since EQ and writing detailed min-maxing guides probably find the low level dungeons too easy to bother with, and they could probably tank them in a full DPS spec, but some of us are still starting out, ya know? Rant over. They’re probably right, actually, but the very first time I tanked in an MMO was a guild run of Darkening Deeps around level 25 and I distinctly remember that I didn’t feel like I had the right tools for the job at hand. (Ie. threat generation.) Maybe it’s different now.

According to one thread (http://forums.riftgame.com/game-discussions/classes-telara/warrior-discussion/356213-lower-level-dungeon-tanking-specs.html) there are two competing theories: Put all your points into one tree, or divide your points between two trees. I’m currently putting most of my points into Void Knight because I read somewhere else that it’s the standard tanking soul after SL, but I’m not convinced it’s going to work for me under level 20. I still don’t have an AoE damage ability, let alone an AoE threat-generating ability, and I don’t want to try to tank any dungeons without one of those.

This other thread (http://forums.riftgame.com/game-discussions/rift-guides-strategies/class-guides/warrior-guides/342631-leveling-tank-reaver-paladin.html) advocates using Reaver for low-level tanking, which is something I can get behind, because I have a nostalgic soft spot for that soul. Once I got stuck having to solo defend the last node in an Iron Pine Peaks invasion and had to take on wave after wave of planar mobs by myself, and the AoE self-healing from that soul saved my bacon big time. (This was long before Fury of the Ascended, by the way. :) After SL, for all I know, those self-heals don’t exist anymore. There were a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the souls when SL came out, I’m now discovering.

For example, I leveled my original warrior a lot using the Paragon dual-wield soul. Now it’s not a dual-wield soul anymore. Now Paragon is a single-target soul and Champion is an AoE soul, and it doesn’t matter a whit whether you dual wield or use a two-hander. I’m only now discovering these SL soul changes because the first character I took from 50 to 60 was my mage, and I basically just went full Harbinger on that one because a) I liked it and b) it worked pretty dern well for soloing. So I never used any old souls during that time, and never ran into any of the changes.

Speaking of the new souls, none of the other Storm Legion soul changes look nearly as good as Harbinger, imo. Tempest for the warrior is mildly interesting, but I’ve never had any expectation of ranged damage from a warrior. Defiler for the cleric looks like it might work similar to Chloromancer, but I haven’t had a chance to really look at it yet. Tactician for the rogue just doesn’t interest me, as it’s a support soul.

On another note, rumor has it that in Rift 3.0, new souls will be added so that each class can perform all four roles. So, I assume, they will be adding a mage tanking soul, a warrior healing soul, a cleric support soul, and a rogue healing soul. I have to say that being able to tank with my mage would be uber cool. I suspect it won’t be the best tanking soul, though, and only useful for PUG dungeons.

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