Here I'll explain the mechanics behind being Tank, Whole Cancel (WC), DPS, and Support (and a bit about colony breaking at the end). What characters you can use, what teams you need, gear, and supplies are all detailed out below. The emphasis of this guide will be primarily for Tower of Chaos runs, however much of this information can also be used in other raids as well. A more detailed guide on specific tactics used for each role will be added (with luck) in the near future.
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Characters: Stock Fighter, Coimbra Trooper as they are the only two characters with access to the Crusader stance in addition to the essential, innate skill Provoke. Take Emilia along with ETS (or a Wizard) with your Tank for ToC for constant Invulnerability, a vital Incantation stance skill.
Stances: Crusader, Incantation
Gear: Armor, 2DR shield, and a blunt. Type of armor and quality doesn't really matter as much as the tank is protected by Invulnerable buff 95% of the time. General rule of thumb is 30 base DR armor or better. For blunts the higher the AR better when it come to tanking Queen Valkyrie in ToC, however Trump blunts or better work just fine. Invulnerable rings are useful, but not required.
Supplies: Soul Crystals, SP regen potions.
Tips: Positioning and timing are key when it comes to the position of your two supporting characters, your tank, and the boss. Emi and Wiz need to be close enough to be able to cast Invulnerable upon your tank without needing to move closer when casting, yet far enough away from the tank to stay alive. Arguably the trickiest and most taxing role to perform, tanks are always in demand.
Whole Cancel (WC)
As vitally important as the tank itself, the WC team's role is to keep the boss debuffed at all times via using the Whole Cancellation skill. As long as a target is WC'ed, it cannot use any skills. Skill usage by the boss often spells certain death for the tank's team.
Characters: Emilia, ETS, M'Boma, Stock Wizard
Stances: Darkness, and Incantation.
Gear: Gear isn't important for this team, the only item you need is a rod or staff for each character so they can use their appropriate stance. What is necessary, however, is Whole Cancellation rings. At minimum three is required on a team, however timing is very tricky and there is no room for mishaps. To be safe, have six rings - two for each WCer.
Supplies: Soul Crystals
Tips: Lv 11 or better Darkness is required in order to land Whole Cancellation 100% of the time. This team is about timing. Again, positioning and communication with the tank is key when engaging a boss. Having Emilia or ETS along who can res and WC both is also very useful. However - all three characters must be able to WC and Invul.
While the Tank is taking all the potential damage, and the WC team is ensuring the boss doesn't pull any sudden tricks on the Tank, it's the DPS who gather and are responsible for killing the boss as quickly as possible. Arguably the easiest job there is within a raid, it can also be the most gear intensive, and expensive.
Characters: 1 ET Character, plus two other characters. Normally Magic x Magic or Magic x Ranged for Flare buff. Recommended characters to use are Calypso, Ralph, Elementalist, Helena, and Lionel. Other pistol/bayo users are not recommended due to inferior stance stats of Outrage and Flintlock compared to xbow users, however the new stance Unlimited Shot for Musketeers and Wanted Shot for Brunie and Garcia might negate this due to their improved stance bonuses.
Stances: Shadow Sting (Caly), Shining Sting (Ralph), Occultism and Augury (for buff) for Ele/Helena in addition to their single-loe stances (Rumor has this will be nerfed, however exactly when is not currently known), and Punisher (Lionel) are all recommended. Possible alternate stances maybe possibly be Unlimited Shot (Musk), and Wanted Shot (Brunie/Garcia).
Gear: Here, the mods and stats of the weapons used are everything. If you don't have it already, you'll want Lv 12 ET, with 32 or 33 AR weapons for the entire team. Weapons should consist of AR x Atk, AR x Racial, or Atk x Racial mods. Weapons should be +5 At minimum. Weapons that are +7 with three sockets (and socketed) is ideal, but not required. Wings, pets, and any other buffs that boost AR or Atk stats are highly recommended.
Supplies: Soul Crystals, Ancient Star Orbs, Pet (food), AM Boosts, Triumph Fillers, ammunition (metal bolts/bullets/elemental spheres/etc).
Tips: DPS' Scouts/Emilias/Vallerias are emergency back-up for the Tank and WC. Listen and pay close attention to the Tank and WC. If something is about to go wrong, they will know first. It is the DPS teams responsibility to assist the Tank and WC as needed. Usually this means ressing a member on either team, or using Refresh Mind on a WC character before disaster can strike. Just as the DPS and Support depend on the Tank and WC to keep them safe, the Tank and WC also depend on the DPS players to help when needed. DPS is one of the easiest roles and sometimes a 'catch-all category', as other roles tend to be more difficult to fill.
This group is the simplest to gear and the easiest role to perform in a raid. Support is ideal for newcomers who want to raid but lack the knowledge how, or are unable to fill other raid squad roles. The Support's role is simply to keep the DPS players buffed at all times. However, don't the Supports' simple role fool you. Their useful buffs can make the difference between an easy, fun boss run or a long and difficult trial.
Characters: Grace, Lorch, Mia, Lisa, Angie, Vincent Rio, and Idge (not pictured) are all considered Support characters for either their buffs or debuffs that the can inflict upon the DPS or the boss.
Stances: Superior Blaster (Grace), Serenade and Prelude (Rio), Construction and Defensive Construction (Angie).
Gear: Items needed for Support characters vary about as much as their skills. Grace only needs a shotgun so she can access her Expert stance in order to use Hound Hound rings are favored, but not required. Lorch and Mia do not require any equipment whatsoever as their buffs are innate skills and not stance-dependent. Lisa and Idge/BSI are similar to Lorch and Mia in the fact their useful skill is innate, however Lisa/Idge need to have a high enough AR weapon equipped to be able to hit the boss as their skills inflict a debuff. Vincent Rio only requires a lute to access his stances, however Shining Ballad and a Prelude stance ring is highly recommended for Lv 13 SB.
Tips: Each character has his or her own unique buff(s) and their game play will be dependent upon it. When playing Grace, Lorch, Rio, or Mia don't hesitated to ask for Refresh Mind when needed. When playing Grace, ask if everyone is ready before buffing hound as the buff is lost if a DPS has to change stance. Lisa and Idge need to carefully position themselves to attack the boss from behind to inflict their debuffs. Angie needs to bring sufficient toolboxes, and build Safety, Regeneration, and Construction wards that surround where the DPS has gathered.
Uncommon Roles: Cannon
Cannon isn't a role often seen outside of Colony Wars, and is rarely ever used. However there are times (rare and few as they are) where a colony-breaking character is required.
Characters: Either Claire or Jose are suitable for the job, as they are the only characters who can wield cannons in-game. It's been argued that one is superior to the other, but frankly they're so close in results it hardly matters.
Stances: Tested Burst (Claire), and Demolition Burst (Jose).
Gear: Arguably, the higher characters AR and the greater the Attack, the better the damage. However don't let mods alone fool you. The most essential asset to any colony breaker is Castle Crusher rings. A simple trump cannon with a pair of rings can easily out-damage a higher AR, better modded cannon without them.
Supplies: Lots and lots of Castle Crusher shells, which can be expensive.
Tips: It's recommended to have either two cannon chars and a character who can use refresh mind (Scout, Emilia/ETS, or Soho/STF), or one cannon with two RM characters. Alternately - depending upon the situation, one RM character + one cannnon + one dps type char can be acceptable, however not ideal. Also if you are in a map where it is possible to switch channels or go to barracks and return to the same place, you can switch channels/barracks and back as a way to reset the long cool downs more quickly.
Uncommon Roles: Kiting
Eek! It seems Alzeda is missing an image! D:
See under WC for an image of suitable characters, ty <3
If cannon is a rare bird, then kiting is practically the Dodo of GE raiding classes. In the past it was used in reference to killing Vergo way back in the day, but even so with the advent of certain Viron bosses, this class is still used today. The Kiter's role is similar to the tank. It's job is to gain the boss's attention and make it chase them while flying in a large circle around the DPS and Support teams.
Characters: Any wiz-type character capable of flying can perform this role. Incantation users are preferred (Wiz, Emilia, ETS, and Reckless Emilia), and ressing characters above that. (Emilia/ETS)
Gear: Here speed is the name of the game. Armor doesn't matter as much, but it can help. Here movement speed is more important than DR or defense. Wear Assassin Boots, armor with speeds mods/sockets. Gear that improves total SP are also useful, but secondary to movement speed.
Supplies: Boost Potion, Hermes Potion, Mithridart, Red Lollipop and any other item that increases movement speed in one way or another. It isn't necessary to possess all of these items, but having several (especially red lollipops) can be very beneficial. Also bring soul Crystals, and lots of sp pots.
Tips: Kiting is only used in rare circumstances where the boss is too strong to be tanked by any one (or sometimes two) teams, or other factors greatly disrupt normal tanking tactics. Not all speed-type potions are required. Play around with some, and find combination is needed to stay just ahead of the boss. You don't need to be going so fast as that you leave the boss in the dust, but fast enough so it doesn't catch you. Self buffing invulnerable is not required, however very useful when initiating.
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This concludes the end of my introductory guide, however it will be expanded upon as time allows. Stick around for more in-depth how-to guides that will delve a little more in-depthly how these roles are done - Tanking and WC in particular. I hope this guide was useful and answered any questions you had, however if there are additional questions, or perhaps I've missed something, feel free to leave a comment and I will address the issue as soon as possible. ^^
Also a big thank-you to P.Luchon for helping me get the screens done in time. ^^
More to come..