A Tank, 4 DPS, and no healer, walk into a dungeon

This testing idea came about when 1 tank and 1 dps wanted to test how long a tank could last without a healer in E17. We ended up in Polaris and the tank, with 3 cooldown and a health pot, was able to survive long enough for the single dps to take the Haugbui Jarl (Boss 1) down from around 3.7 million HP, to about 2 million before the tank died. This prompted us to think what could happen if we went into dungeons with 4 dps and 1 tank at E17. The results are as follows:

All DPS were using various weapons (Pistols, Blood, AR, Elementalism) all maxed at 1752IP. Average DPS was around 20K. Tank was using Chaos main-hand and Hammer off-hand

Darkness War

Boss 1 Batab Crusher: Healer Needed; Adds were too much for the tank to sustain all the hits even with 4 dps killing them quickly and bringing a decent amount of cc.

Boss 2 Xiabalban Bloodhound: Healer Needed; Duration of the fight is too long for the tank to sustain getting hit by the boss.

Boss 3 Dark House Sorcerer: 4 DPS; Tank used 2 cooldowns and the signature. Adds were killed quickly, boss kept phasing without a problem. We lost a dps at one point towards the end.

Boss 4 Unbound Ak’ab: 4 DPS; Tank used 3 cooldowns (Invoke Self, Immutable, and Pain Suppression), the signature, and a health pot. The A’kab was around 10% health before it burrowed to start the add phase.

Boss 5 Mayan Battle Mage: 4DPS; Same as Boss 4 as far as cooldowns used and a health pot. Adds are manageable with enough cc. Purge gadget used for the Battle Mage’s Wrath cast.

Boss 6 Wayeb-Xul, The Hound of the Nameless Day: Healer Needed; A healer was needed in the first phase of this fight; however, the healer had a crash just before Phase 2 started. Tank was able to survive without the healer until the end of the fight. -2 DPS by the time the healer came back in game.

Hell Eternal

Boss 1 Archaean Seismocratist: 4 DPS; Tank used 3 cooldowns and the signature. Drone was equipped to cleanse the Rot Iron cast.

Boss 2 Lustrehunter: Healer Needed; The cast, Mephisto’s Reach, and the boss himself hit too hard for the tank to sustain.

Boss 3 Prime Maker: 4 DPS; Tank used 3 cooldowns, a heal pot, and the Fey Ley Line Stone gadget to get out the Prime Maker’s reach. A DPS took Regeneration as a cleanse with the Zeal signet for the cooldown reduction. Lifeburn did minimal damage, and the dps were able to keep up with the tank and kill the Prime Maker.

Boss 4 Flagellatrix Superior: 4 DPS; Tank took 3 cooldowns and an impair gadget. Fight went exactly as it does on live.

Boss 5 Hadean Gaurd: 4 DPS; 3 cooldowns and a health pot. A DPS took a cleanse for Rot Iron.

Boss 6 Eblis: Healer Needed; This fight was not attempted without a healer

Hell Raised

Boss 1 Antimony Ministrix: 4 DPS; Tank used 2 cooldowns and was able to take 2 impairs. Health pot was also used. A drone was taken by a DPS to cleanse the lifeburn.

Boss 2 Corroder: 4 DPS; 3 cooldowns were used, plus a health pot. The fight lasted 42 seconds.

Boss 3 Hardwired Fleshtank: Healer Needed; When we tried this fight without a healer, we were able to get the boss down to about 20% health before the tank died. This fight honestly feels doable without a healer, however the environmental damage from the platforms and the constant moving around to change platforms makes it a bit of a challenge.

Boss 4 Traumadriver: 4 DPS; Tank used 3 cooldowns, and a health pot. DPS took a cleanse for lifeburn. The fight lasted 1 minute and 1 second.

Boss 5 Recursia, Many-In-One: 4 DPS; Tank used 3 cooldowns, no health pot. The add phase in previous dungeon runs with the same group where a healer was used, the add phase felt unmanageable and most often than not the group would wipe due to adds reaching the center. With 4 DPS and enough cc, adds were killed fast enough so they didn’t reach the boss in the middle. Wings were used in the final phase to ensure the bosses died, as adds were getting close to wiping the group.

Boss 6 Machine Tyrant: Healer Needed; This fight was not attempted without a healer.

Dark Sor
Un  bound
Battle Mage


As you can see from some of the parses the DPS wasn’t particularly high.
With the addition of agents and anima pots on live this content will be entirely trivial. It feels as though the tank needs to be hit significantly harder, so that a healer will be required. Environmental damage from effects in the dungeon and lifeburn feel massively too low at the moment. The lack of damage overall is really disappointing.
The lack of any casts from the bosses that will kill the tank without a defensive cooldown make the content feel much too easy. For example in DW 2 on live, you see many wipes because the tank has failed to spot concuss. Now it can be ignored, and agro really is a non-issue. The healer barely has to heal. If the adds were CC’d effectively then this boss will also be added to the list of ones not requiring a healer.
All of the classic tank checks are missing at the moment. Any time some add control is required they don’t hit hard enough to trouble the dps, with the exception of DW1. This is negating the need for the dps to bring any utilities that may lower the dps but add interesting choices for them like “Can we bring some CC to make things easier?”
This is the top tier dungeon content, as we are currently mid IP for that tier they should feel like a challenge. Everyone running this content will have had lots of experience in their role by this point, so they will have mastered not standing in too much of the filth one would hope.


I wonder how easy is this to replicate? Like, would tanks fairly quickly be expected to do it this way and it becomes the “meta” way for any PUG, or will it be left for static high-experience groups feeling particularly lucky that day?

Given time & opportunity, players will minmax the fun out of any game. Hehe.

I just wanted to add my 2 cents on this topic.

Much of the issue currently on live is not that players CAN sustain tank a dungeon but rather that they MUST sustain tank. Before someone jumps down my throat and tries to tell me you can do E9/10 on live with a healer and “regular” tank (whatever that even is on live) hear me out.

Sustain Tanking requires very minimal gear requirements so the transition and build is exceptionally easy to make. Also at the higher elites you simply can’t survive on many fights without it.

We have some of the best theory crafters with access to the best gear on testlive ATM, so I’m not surprise to see that a form of sustain is possible on many fights. However, provided it remains challenging enough to do and not the ONLY way to survive in higher elites as is the case on live then I don’t see the same issues being present. Essentially 90% of players will run with healers still because they don’t have the gear to make this viable on some fights safely and a select few ambitious tanks will be able to show off in some fights on the higher elites.

Of course I would be just as happy to see them add more mechanics to 11+ just to necessitate having healers in the group but I just wanted to be clear that this situation presented in the OP is not actually the same issue we have on live ATM.

1 Like

This was in no way sustain tanking. The boss was killing me, just nowhere near as fast as 4 dps could kill the boss. The problem stems from the fact that nothing hits the tank hard enough. With a healer the E17’s can be tanked comfortably in level 1 reds. Full Mythic’s were a little more of a challenge. It feels like the protection the tanks get needs to be scaled back quite a bit.

Semantics. We’ll call it acute sustain then. Anyhow there is another point I should mention. Have you tried the same fights with hammer main? Reason I say this is Chaos and Shotgun both have exceptional abilities to reduce/delay or straight up remove incoming damage. Hammer you might find far more of a struggle with especially if the damage were increased significantly. I prefer to think the solution lies more in group damage/mechanics that forces a healer.