Tanking in LOTRO is often not more than keeping the enemies on you and making sure you aren't to squishy so healers are able to keep you up. I'll not go in detail about that tanking isn't always just as easy as the above sounds, for now I'll just explain what stats the tanking classes should try to focus on.
Although the main classes for the tanking role are the Guardian and Warden there's a few other classes who are able to do some decent tanking, everyone who wants to try out a tanking role in an instance can take the following build advices and it'll help you as well.
Ok so the first thing I'll explain is I'm not a fan of stacking as much morale as possible, I know some people think that if a tank stacks a zillion amount of morale they'll be immortal and thus be the best tanks ever. I'll explain my reasoning why I think stacking morale is the last thing you should focus on.
First of, and I think this is the main reason, stacking morale also makes you have to make concessions on other stats, often these stats also include the avoidance and defensive stats like mitigation, block/parry/evade, critical defence and resistance.
Having those stats lower makes your character take more damage per hit, now you'd think that because your morale bar is at a 1 zillion points it doesn't matter as you can take a punch.
Think about this, Healers only have an X amount they can heal you each second, this means that the higher the hits are you take the more a healer needs to focus on you to keep your morale pool filled up. Sure you won't die immediately if they stop for a few seconds to heal up others but after that it'll take the healer very long to get your morale back to safety again.
The more time the healer needs to spend on you the less time they can spend paying attention to other things that are important as well.
Then I can just focus on morale, avoidance and defensive stats right? That way I can still get a zillion amount of morale and I'll not be hit as hard so that would really make me immortal!
Well, yes it would but if you focus on those 3 you'll have to take cuts in your damage output (DPS). And although you're job is not to be the highest DPS in the group you do need to have a decent amount of damage. The thing is that threat (agro) is generated by damage, and even with a passive buff of 300% threat generation from damage, your DPS has to be close to 50% of the highest damaging character in your group.
Look at this example:
The highest DPS is at 400p/s = 400 threat generation
Your threat generation needs to be a lot higher than this otherwise it'll be to easy for the high DPS class to accidentally pull the threat with a few lucky high critical hits.
So I'd advice to aim your DPS to be around (400/2 = 200p/s) + 300% trait bonus = 800 threat generation. That way you'll be generating twice as much threat and should be ok with the possible lucky crit streaks of the DPS class.
So all of this comes down to finding a balance between all 3 parts, my personal advice would be to prioritize from top to bottom:
- Mitigations, both physical and tactical should be capped at 60% for heavy armour and 50% for medium armour classes.
- Critical defence at least 60% higher still helps but is not as important
- Avoidances = block/parry/evade
- Physical mastery / Critical rating
- Incoming healing, this is not to important but it's nice to have some of it
I'll talk through the traittrees for the 2 main classes of the tanking role which are the Guardian and the Warden. For other classes I'm always happy to hear suggestions.
I'll use this website for easier pointing out set ups: http://www.lotrottp.lotro ... status.com/l.php
Guardians are the sturdy tanks that have lots of armour and mitigations which help them to stay alive and deal with big incoming hits. With the latest traittree options Guardians also have a few self heal options to give a bit more self-reliance. Guardians are very useful in fights with a lot of spike damage as they will mitigate most of the damage if they get hit.
I think the guardian has quite a few options to build the traittree for tanking but below are the two variations I'd recommend in tough fights.
Build 1: http://www.lotrottp.lotro ... atus.com/l.php?c=2gy
This build is great for tanking multiple enemies at the same time.
Build 2: http://www.lotrottp.lotro ... atus.com/l.php?c=2rx
This build is great for tanking single enemies like instance bosses.
Where the guardian has mitigations and armour Wardens make up by using morale leaches to help keep their own morale up, they are a bit slower in building up threat so it's often preferred to give the warden a few seconds to build up threat before the group starts the DPS.
Spike damage can be dangerous for wardens as their mitigations and armour is lower than that of a guardian.
I think wardens have less trait variations for tanking nonetheless I have tried to set up 2 builds which could be used in a main tanking role.
Build 1: http://www.lotrottp.lotro ... atus.com/l.php?c=2gH
This build is great for tanking when there's a healer that has trouble keeping you up, it focuses on your defences and incoming heals
Build 2: http://www.lotrottp.lotro ... atus.com/l.php?c=2gJ
This build might be an option if you notice you're not having enough damage output to keep threat, I've sacrificed some defences and incoming heals to increase damage output.