Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Low Level Tanking – The Struggle is Real

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Last night, my baby Maurader, Zemi, tanked through the final two of the level 15 dungeons in FFXIV: Tam-Tara and Copperbell. This was done with the aid of FC folks as I’m still too shy to tank these things in a PUG. FC folks have been very kind and helpful in getting me through the low level dungeons.

However, seeing that they are all much higher level than I and better geared, I struggled with every ounce of TP I had in my lanky tank body to hold aggro, but still lost it more frequently than I wanted to. The final boss in Copperbell, I lost it to the level 40 Black Mage about halfway through and simply never got it back no matter what I did. Of course, we were in burn mode, ignoring mechanics because we could.

Now, losing aggro never once resulted in anyone coming close to dying, thanks to awesome DPS and Syn’s healing. But it’s really been an eye-opener playing a low-level, newly-rolled tank in lower level dungeons. I can only imagine what it feels like to a totally new player tanking dungeons for the first time, especially if they don’t know the mechanics.

As a high level DPS player, I want to apologize to any low level tank I’ve rouletted with and pulled aggro from. When I dragoon, I don’t intend to pull aggro, and do try to back off when I see that I am. But still, it’s a different story when you’re tanking it and dealing with the frustration of mobs flying everywhere despite your best efforts.

Of course, my FC teams didn’t care one whit. They were probably having fun nuking things, and found it amusing that they were strong enough to pull aggro (I feel that way sometimes as a dragoon). But I’m here to practice to perfection, darn it!

I got Zemi to level 20 last night through the dungeons alone. Once I get about level 22, and unlock my chocobo, I can see myself going back and leveling Gladiator to pick up Flash and Provoke, which should be a big help. For now, I’m just happy to be past those first three dungeons – I never did understand why FFXIV felt the need to introduce a new player to dungeons in the MQS and then throw three of them in a row like that.

Oh, and have a screen of Tataru singing Trolololo. Because I remembered to take the shot of it this time around. 🙂

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I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

6 thoughts on “FFXIV: Low Level Tanking – The Struggle is Real

  1. It is just….the WORST feeling when you lose aggro because of your gearscore as opposed to your ability. It’s one of the most frustrating sensations, and I worry it’s out off new players (if any arrive) from tanking.

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    1. Yeah, it is extremely frustrating, though I knew I was in for a struggle before I started. Thankfully, there was little chance that our party would fail since the team was skilled players and we had a level 60 white mage (who often was pulling the aggro keeping my tail alive!) XD

      I also worry about those new players who want to start as a tank. I’m going to keep going, though, because I know time, level and gear will help this. Not to mention some cross class skills.

      It’s just a real eye-opener. I’ll be more gentle on tanks in the future.

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  2. I got Satasha on my DRK last night. For the most part I was fine doing my typical “Ranged attack on pull, Unleash 2x, Aggro combo on 1st mob, swap to 2nd mob and do aggro combo, Unleash again, swap to 3rd mob and aggro combo” thing. Of course by then if the 1st mob wasn’t dead the sync’d down MCH was pulling aggro. And then it would die so it didn’t matter.

    I was able to keep aggro on the bosses, but I kept watching the MCH’s aggro meter climb higher and higher and higher and nothing I could do was slowing it or making it go back down, so I was just glad when the boss died before the inevitable loss was about to occur. Made me miss Grit, that’s for sure.

    I actually leveled GLA 1st so I already had flash and provoke available when I was leveling my MRD, and the MRD actually felt easier to me. But with that said… every game I’ve ever tanked in I always had to do the target-swapping thing to spread aggro around, so I’ve always done it in FFXIV as a matter of course so it’s really rare for me to lose aggro at all, except maybe on the 1st mob in a trash group just as it’s about to die. I find that I can nearly always stay well ahead on bosses, even vs sync’d dps. Not always — last boss of Copperbell is one where I’ve lost it about halfway through and couldn’t get back more than once since the dps is going all out. It does happen, but not so often that I can say that I care much, and usually only in those lowest dungeons when I don’t have all my tools but the damage done by the mobs is so low it doesn’t matter much anyway.

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    1. I was the only character not synced down in these groups. This character is a brand new, freshly-rolled level 18-19 tank with the level 17 armor you get at that point in the game. No special gear from leveling other classes before. No extra skills. I just went in there like a brand new player who chose Marauder would.

      I was trying to do target swap to keep aggro, but especially with two ranged DPS twice my level in the party, it wasn’t working so well. I knew I’d have some aggro issues, but man, for a brand new player trying tank, this could be really disheartening.

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      1. I dunno. If they’ve got the green leaf of a noobie and say in chat that they’re new, I would certainly hope that FFXIV’s nice community would back off on the dps in order to help a little, not go crazy on the AE, plus maybe offer pointers and tips. I know I’ve done that in the lowbie dungeons and I find I get 2-3 commendations when I do, so … nice bonus.

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        1. I do hope so. I know I always try to be gentle with a new tank.

          In the above story, the parties were mostly FC members (some in the level 40-60 range), with the exception of one run, where we DF with a monk. He didn’t seem to be holding back much as we’d often juggle aggro. I think he was in the upper 20s, if I remember right.

          I never announced that I was new, because I’m not technically new-new, but I did keep the green leaf to hide behind just in case! XD

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