ESO – Rockgrove

One of my friends noticed our guild was running a “Trial 101” for Rockgrove event, and planned to do it. I found the event page and also signed up, as dps.

The group was short a few players so the leader went to Craglorn to recruit more, and added one too many. Rather than boot out a random player, the leader asked if anybody would be willing to (off) tank.

I paused for a minute before typing a question out – how hard is it to tank Rockgrove normal for someone who has never been in it at all?

The response was – oh it’s easy, all you need is to be CP 160.

I didn’t quite believe that, but I didn’t want to see a random player booted; I’m CP 1400 and have tanking gear and a build so I said I’d do it. A quick trip to the Armory in my home and I was a tank.

We grouped up and entered…

Spoiler – I’ll rate myself a C at best. Fact is, tanking is difficult for me.

What went well – this really was a “trial 101”. The leader, who played one of the healers, explained every fight. He’d say “OK I want main tank to grab X, and off tank to grab Y and Z”.

If there were adds to keep watch for, he’d mention them, but only the serious/mini-boss type adds, not all the trash mobs.

He’d point out corner of the room to pull to, etc.

He’d also explain special mechanics, such as the one fight that involved spawning flesh atronachs and fire behemoths, I had to taunt them out of the crowd; the final boss who turns the floor to lava, everybody be ready to run; stuff like that.

Nobody did a pull before the tanks did, I gather that is the basic expectation of dps players in trials. The leader would tell us “tanks, on your pull” and I’d watch for the other tank to move before I did.

What didn’t go so well – my survivability. I had ~48K health (buffed with food), heavy armor, a decent rotation, but I’d still hit the dirt. Part of that is probably not blocking the correct mob attacks – if you block all the time you drain your stamina, so you want to block the lighter hits, dodge roll the “boss mechanic” hits you can’t survive, and try to weave in some heavy attacks to restore resources. Plus do your skill rotation which will ideally will provide some group buffs and mob debuffs.

So, not having been in before, I wasn’t sure of what AoE’s I could stand in, which hits I could take, and which of either required evasive moving.

Another thing that made it tough was half the fights were blind. Not just in the sense I hadn’t done them before, I mean in the more literal sense where I hadn’t seen the room or mobs at all. Many fights were on a platform up stairs from where we were staging, and I couldn’t see what mobs I was supposed to taunt until I ran up the stairs, turned the corner, and searched in a panic for the 2 I was supposed to control. To be fair, generally the taller the monster, the more dangerous! So much of the time I’d end up selecting the 2 tallest enemies out of a group of 6 or 8 and those would be the correct ones.

Speaking of selecting enemies, I play ESO using a controller and I think maybe a keyboard/mouse setup would be better as far as tanking. That is, if you can mouse select. As a Dragonknight your fundamental “yoink them to me” skill is the Unrelenting Grip morph of Fiery Grip, if you aren’t a DK you use the Silver Leash morph of Silver Bolts from the Fighter’s Guild. For ranged taunting, everybody uses the Inner Rage morph of Inner Fire from Undaunted. All these require a bit of aim which is hectic when the target is in a crowd that is generally all moving. (The easiest mobs to chain are ranged attackers since they generally stand still!)

For taunting up close and personal mobs, there is Pierce Armor morph of Puncture.

Lastly, I could undoubtedly work on positioning. Not just facing mobs away from DPS to avoid cleave damage – I mean where to stand to remain in position of the healers, yet out of the way for the other mobs the main tank is handling. I’ve healed a lot more than I’ve tanked and I don’t have a good feeling of how far away the range is on my skills. There is a Venn diagram overlap of where the healers can stand to see everybody without moving, and I don’t want to range too far. I’m sure once or twice I pull my group out of range of everyone else.

I had fun, and more importantly, so did my friend who has never raided in an MMO before. Got some good loot – all 4 sets that drop in Rockgrove are useful for some spec – so we both came away with a few pieces of each set.

We’re both up for more and I’ll keep an eye out for more Trial 101 situations. Although I’d rather DPs than tank, and heal than DPS. I’m sure than nearly any other tank would do better than me.