Call me a noob, call me a casual player, or even call me lazy; it doesn’t matter. But for the longest time I’ve tank in LOTRO that has primarily “skated by” without doing a lot to improve my effectiveness beyond some preliminary glances at my virtues or traits. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really started paying more attention to these things. Before then I focused on leveling, then my alts, and then just getting through the epic story. However, now that I’ve been trying to run more group content I’ve realized that something had to change.
In most cases my ability to tank was not bad, but it wasn’t great. Sometimes I had no problems holding aggro, but other times it was much more difficult. At first I evaluated my virtues, and after arranging them some I determined that while the virtues could improve my defenses and my stats, there really were no that could directly increase my aggro-holding capabilities. I took a closer look at my class traits and felt satisfied with what I had in relation to holding aggro and I was pretty sure that my rotation was well-suited for my playstyle.
However, there was one thing that I had yet to try, which was Guardian’s Threat; a stance that increases a Guardian’s perceived threat, decreases armor wear from hits, and increases a Guardian’s block and parry ratings. It may seem silly that I never tried it before, but before our break in 2007 we never grouped that often and before we reached level 65 it didn’t seem to be that much of an issue. But more often than not of late as I’ve been grouping with more of the classes notorious for “stealing” aggro (hunters and champions) I’ve been really trying to figure out what it is that I can do to increase my own aggro. However, it wasn’t until I saw a rant by a player on My.LOTRO about Guardian’s not using Guardian’s Threat that I decided to give it a try, and I’m glad that I did because now it feels like tanking is all the more easier; in fact I remember thinking “this is Easy Mode” the first time I tried it.
So why didn’t I try it before? Well, like I said there were times I really didn’t feel that I needed an increase in my threat. Also, there were tendencies to blow certain situations off or even becoming passive about letting one or two mobs slipping through and hitting others. However, in my defense I also read several times upon the official Guardian forums that I should stay in Guardian’s Parry. However, I disagree with this. And this may have everything to do with my gear, traits, and virtues when comparing them to other characters, but for me Guardian’s Threat not only adds more threat, but it is the only stance that I see actively affects my block and parry within the character panel; although it is possible that the percent bonuses of Guardian’s Defence & Parry do not show up (which if this is the case, I think that’s a design flaw). So, unless I once again find myself lacking in some aspect of my tanking responsibilities or someone convinces me otherwise, this will be my personal stance of choice.