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Hi! Just planning to start a third playthrough on PS4 and have a general question about tanks. From my experience so far fighters make the best tanks, due to the engagement system and the modal ability they have to bind additional two enemies. Survivability is also great. 

I play on normal. Don't want to run a fighter main tank again. Planned something like meele ranger + pet or chanter with summons. Will it work on normal? Or will the enemies mostly ignore them due to missing engagement and spread into the backline chars? AFAIK I can add +1 engagement through skill, maybe another +2 through items. But that needs a few levels, will I be overrun before?

Any feedback appreciated :)

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Hello and welcome! :)

To prevent the backline from getting rushed it helps to

  • Only unstealth the tank and present him as the only target at the start of battle. Only if the melee enemies settled in on the tank you reveal your other party members.
  • Give your backline better protection. Enemy AI favors certain attributes: enemy Barbs prioritize low deflection, Rogues go for low DR and low endurance and so on.
  • Add engagment slots as you said (but you are right that it may take some levels until you are there).
  • Use stuff like charm and other "hard" CC a lot.
  • Don't use one main tank but several sturdy frontliners instead - three reasonably sturdy melee guys should do the trick.

In general the first one is the most important imo. You cannot always decide to go into combat in stealth mode, but most of the time you can. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Also the base game is fairly generous with choke points - at least in dungeons - so if you make good use of those, the enemy doesn't really have the option to hit anyone else.

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Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.
Nemnok's Congregation: Lets all priests express their true faith.

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Right! Very good point. In PoE characters can't get pushed out of the way without using certain abilities. In Deadfire you can push other characters a little by simply walking into them. This is not possible in PoE so a character standing in a chokepoint is a great way to tank without any engagement and to make sure enemies can't reach your backline. 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Great positioning and the unstealthing trick @Boeroermentioned are incredibly effective early game.

Late Game you get the additional option of using Mindweb (if you have a cipher) and turning your entire party into the tank.

Back in the day I did a trio run (pala, GM, Kana) and I could even senselessly respec Kana and GM making them as offensive as possible for no other reason than having mindweb defenses on them anyway.

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I can't add any other trick or suggestion about tactics, people before me say just all. 

Instead I want point about melee ranger plus pet and chanter as tanks. Chanter are ok, good defence, good abilities (CC and mlaus chants) in frontline and can do other actions while tanking... but ranger is almost "meh" as tanks, ok in normal he can goes, but pet often dies and you suffer penalties from that... he can be better as off tank maybe, by the way, I prefer him as ranged damage dealer by the way, with pet as a "bodyguard". I think paladin are good tanks if you don't want fighters, very sturdy, they can tank dragon also, better of any class with their very high defence score.

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