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So alot of doom and gloom speculation is going on about the lack of aggro meters and taunts. Which will cause the inability to tank from mobs ping ponging all over the place. Which in turn will lead to groups DPS zerging. Which is very prevalent in GW2.
However one of the key philosophies of GW2 in their attempts to remove the holy trinity (something EQ1 never had as CC was always a major role which meant holy quad) was to make all classes equal in all roles. Giving each player the flexibility to do some minor tweaking along the way. While great in concept this had some bad side effects, especially in a game balanced more for PVP than anything else. Mainly PVE DPS zergs
Now the developers of EQNEXT have stated no aggro or taunts..and that players would not be forced into roles due to multi classing ability. That in a vacuum immediately makes you think GW2 combat all over again. However they also clearly stated that certain classes in EQN would actually be better in certain roles. This changes everything. IE if a heavy armor wearing class has better defensive abilities and mitigation, would it still be possible to tank without taunts and aggro meters? My personal opinion is yes even though it will take some learning and adapting. It will also take some creative defensive abilities.
So lets discuss some possibilities. To start I will say. That I have been playing a tank or hybrid tank as my main in every game since the early days of EQ! With the exception of my first character that was a cleric up untill shortly after kunark (by the way playing a healer I think laid a perfect foundation for ending up as a tank) and in GW2 I played a healing spec Sorceror. During my time playing the tank role. I have seen alot of really neat abilities. These abilities could easily be used in place with some thought.
Now going by what we know. The class you pick for your current primary will determine the weapons and armor available to equip. With armor most likely playing the key ingredient for mitigation. Some of this will still be speculation as we just really know so little at this time. If armor does play an important role. Which I'm of the opinions it most likel will. Then heavy armor plus possibly shield is probably the way to go.
as for some abilities that could aid you in tanking without taunts.
knockdowns, stuns, snares,attack intercepts/parries based on vicinity instead of just against you, attack blocks once again based on vacinities, these are the basic ones.
Here are some more advanced abilities that could come into play or maybe cross class abilities.
damage transference. Allies close by take damage and you take a portion of it.
damage wards. Stop damage to self of an ally.
reactive heals. Self or ally gets healed anytime they take damage for duration or amount.
enrage like ability. Any enemy not attacking you takes alot more damage from your attacks.
Debuffs. Targets not attacking you do substantially less damage. Or slows target attacking speed.
self buffs to increase own survivability.
or taking from vanguard reactive rescues..
The fact is, at this time we have been told no taunts and no traditional aggro management, and that the mobs are smarter. We have also been told there are classes that are better at certain roles. Untill we know more about the AI and what sets it off we can speculate that certain things other than taunts will tick mobs off. This will be part of learning this new game.
However to sit here and claim its going to be like GW2 when the devs have said... No..no its not.. Is just well absurd. There are definately other ways to allow for creative tanking
On a side note. I enjoy GW2