Bosses will naturally attack those who build up the most "aggression" toward them. This is typically done by dishing out the most damage and lost only by leaving the area or dying.
An effective tank will actively redirect a boss' aggression toward themselves (and hold it if proficient). This can be done in two ways:
•out-damaging everyone else
•casting the taunt and/or war cry skill
The first option only happens in highly unlikely scenarios at difficult bosses or if the boss is severely under the tank's level.
The second option utilizes dedicated skills to increase the aggression of targeted and/or surrounding mobs and bosses toward the tank. Levelling one or both of these skills is crucial as a tank.
Constantly spamming taunt and/or warcry is a great way to maintain the aggression of your target(s). However, dying will reset all aggression toward you so it's equally important to stay alive throughout a battle.
Staying Alive (INCOMPLETE; Under Revision)
There are a number of factors that effect the mechanics of your survival that should be considered before tanking. Although the following concept is what governs the outcome of a battle, a quantitative analysis is not required; minimal experience will provide sufficient intuition.
Damage (d): An approximate value for the maximum damage that a particular attack from the boss at interest does to you
Frequency of Attack (FA): The number of particular attacks a boss does to you over a period of time (in seconds)
Evasion (E): The probability of a dodge/block/parry or evade for a particular attack
Damage Rate (DPS): The maximum average rate at which damage is dealt by the boss
Heal (h): A value for the amount of health points recovered via skill, consumable item, or regeneration
Frequency of Heal (FH): The number of heals received via skill, consumable item, or regeneration over a period of time (in seconds)
Heal/Recovery Rate (HPS): The average rate at which health points are restored
Accumulated Damage (A): The maximum amount of damage that can be taken within a full cycle of healing; Take the lowest FH as the FA for all skill attacks as well as the FH in the denominator
Health Points (HP): The maximum amount of health points you have
Survivability (V): The net rate of recovery
Safety (S): The ratio between the maximum health points you have and the maximum possible accumulated damage within a full cycle of healing.
To be continued...
Equipment and Stats
The only equipment of interest for tanks are the ones that provide the best defensive bonuses. Bellow is a list of defensive bonuses:
•Skill Bonuses (some)
There is large debate on which of these bonuses to prioritize in cases of conflicting equipment. Ultimately it is up to the tank's judgement, given a situation. These are my opinions on each bonus.
Vitality: This is generally a great bonus that provides a larger pool of health and an increase in the effects of defensive skills. The added health provides a safety net for inconsistent healing patterns and situations in which bosses and/or mobs consistently hit relatively high.
Health: Similar to vitality, this provides a safety net for inconsistent healing patters and situations in which bosses and/or mobs consistently hit relatively high.
Dexterity: Dexterity is typically awarded as a bonus for both offense and defense. As a result, the defensive benefits are not to full potential for that tier of equipment. Regardless, dexterity increases defense which in turn reduces the probability of taking damage on a regular auto-hit.
Defense: In large quantities, this stat is great for reducing damage rate in the long run and has a noticeable effect. As some of you may know however, there is still a chance that a boss can hit many times in a row still. This creates large variability in damage rate throughout a battle.
Armour: This is one of those bonuses you can't go wrong with. Armour provides resistance to pierce, slash, and crush which makes up the majority of the damage dealt by most bosses. The resistance provided reliably reduces damage rate by directly reducing damage taken.
Resistances: Similar to armour, resistances are great at reliably reducing damage taken. Since physical damage governs the damage rate of most bosses, elemental and poison resistance bonuses should come second to armour.
Melee: The effects of this bonus are controversially low and may be negligible.
Evasions: Evasions reduce damage rate in the long run by reducing the probability of taking damage from skills. In addition, dodging certain skills will prevent their negative effects from taking effect on you.
Skill Bonuses: These bonuses should be last in priority in my opinion. They serve as bonuses to the effects of skills. They have absolutely no passive effects.
Skills and Abilities
Protective Stance: This is a high priority buff. A tank should always have this in effect during a battle. Max this out
Taunt: This is a high priority skill. It is the single most effective method of keeping a boss' aggression directed toward the tank. This skill does not need to be maxed to be effective but needs to be casted as often as possible to guarantee sufficient aggression. I recommend no less than 75% of the allowable points in this skill.
Defensive Formation: This is a great buff that is effective in reducing damage rate but costs a relatively large amount of energy to cast. It does not need to be maxed out to be effective. However, I recommend maxing it out.
Enduring Guard: This is a low priority buff that increases physical skill evasion. I do not recommend assigning points into this skill without strategic use.
Shield Wall: At low levels, this skill can be constantly spammed to prevent a set amount of damage. At higher levels however, the energy required to perform this skill becomes significant but becomes a reliable damage sponge for those hard hitting boss skills. I recommend dumping any leftover points into this skill.
Shield Bash: This is a great situational skill that required a shield to perform. The stun effect of this skill, if successfully timed, interrupts boss skills. The stun effect is also great for stalling when health is low or aggression is lost. Only put the required amount of points to stun the highest level boss you intend to tank.
War Cry (Under Revision): This is a low priority, situational skill. It can be used at level 1 to pick up minimal aggression from surrounding mobs. I only recommend putting points into this for situations where your role is to tank multiple mobs at a boss fight.
Abilities (Under Revision)
The melee ability should always be maxed for all levels. This is extremely easy to do and often done unintentionally. The benefits of keeping this ability maxed is that it yields greater potential for skills.
The evasion abilities are underrated and are often overlooked. Training these abilities would be wise. The effects of these abilities are to directly decrease the probability of skills hitting you. This means that you are less likely to take damage and less likely to suffer from debuffs during a battle. In addition, training reflex will increase the success rate of any tactics that rely on shield bash and/or skewer.
Tips and Tactics
Hotbar Items (Under Revision): It would be wise to invest in some restoration potions at the very least. They are cheap and can be bought all around the world of Celtic Heroes. Your health may slip past a comfortable threshold or energy may run a little lower than expected at a critical point in a battle. Just drink one of these and you should be good; if not, drink another.
Other consumables that provide bonuses such as elixirs are definitely a benefit but are not required and typically very costly.
For some bosses such as Hrungner, specific consumables are highly advised.
Buff Timing: It's best to recast your buffs during their last seconds. As long as you don't forget to recast at the appropriate times, you will remain buffed. The benefits of delaying your rebuffs are that it save energy throughout the battle and it helps to minimize the amount of screen tapping you have to do.
Shield Bash Timing: Randomly shield bashing during a boss fight does not always do anything significant. However, it always uses energy. Instead, time your shield bash to interrupt boss skills. Another great application for the skill is to cast it in dire situations where buying a few seconds of time to heal makes the difference. Typical situations include accidental auto-attacking when a boss has an offensive cloak such as fire or thorns, druid failure to target the tank, after taking a barrage of skills, etc.
Shield Wall Timing: In most cases, a tank's shield wall will get broken before the timer runs out. This means that constantly casting shield wall is an effective way to reduce damage rate. During tough battles, it's much better used as a plan B if shield bashing fails to stun the boss during a heavy hitting skill.
Druid Protection: In some battles, the druids healing the tank will attain unwanted aggression from surrounding mobs. If there are no designated "add" killers, a quick warcry should get their attention. Targeting or war crying the new aggressors while still taunting the boss will help keep them off the druids without losing the boss' aggression. The additional damage rate of smaller mobs over a short period of time should not pose a large threat.
(Shield) Bash Chain: This is a tactic I came up with long ago. It requires the teamwork of other warriors that can shield bash. The tank, followed by the other warriors, stagger their shield bashes in order to maximize the stun time on a target. This will require some practice with your team. Practice can be done on any weak mob with enough health to survive multiple waves of bashes.
The tank will start with a shield bash and queue the next warrior in line with a message that either means the bash was successful or unsuccessful. The message itself does not matter as long as the team understands what it means. A single letter such as "h" for hit and "m" for miss works best for communicating quickly.
The following warrior will bash instantly if queued with a miss or with a delay of approximately 3 seconds if queued by a hit. This warrior then queues the next with the same message corresponding to the outcome of the bash.
This will continue until all the participating warriors have bashed the target. The tank should note how many unsuccessful bashes there were and delay the next wave by approximately 3 seconds (4 to play it safe) for each unsuccessful bash. This is to make sure that everyone's cooldown is accounted for. Failing to consider this will result in the inability of some warriors to shield bash on time
Further editing required