I wrote this a month or so ago, so its outdated and stuff but the principles hold true. Since the guild i was in collapsed i figured might aswell throw it up on here so it might be of better use.
Bare in mind that this is written in the mindset that these are the speccs I use, because I believe them to be the most effective for what I do. First I'll go into detail about tanking basics, then specific speccs then I'll explain how to play them and what to aim for, for maximum efficiency. There are a ton of possible speccs flying around and just as for every class the best specc will be the one you feel comfortable with and fits your play style.
I don't claim everything written here is pure undeniable truth, it's an accurate description of my views on tanking (not only in rift as these notions extend far and wide to tanking in general), and opinion based on years of tanking. The proposed speccs aren't necessarily the best there is for rift simply due to the lack of information there is, and even more in-depth research on my part, but they are certainly the best I could come up with so far.
Contrary to WoW they're awesome, and make you a better player. USE THEM!
If you disagree, then you're a worse tank for it, or you're not human. You simply cannot keep up with the complex rotations all while being aware of your surroundings, and being as reactive as you would if you were using them. I use what I believe is the maximum amount of macros to keep 100% control over what I want to do in any situation. Cutting it down more would force me into choices or lose GCD's, things you cannot deal with when **** hits the fan and is spraying all over healers!
In my general tank specc I use 8 macros, yet use a total of 17 buttons , 11 of which at least are part of a regular rotation. Without Macros I would have to use around 31 different buttons total. As you can see, Macros drastically improve quality of life and clear up view space !
Alot of tanking basics tie into what follows, they take time to learn and perfect but once you get all these basics (that I call Tanking 101) you will be a step above any other tank you meet.
-Open fights with your biggest threat moves then work your way into survival moves
-Keep the Mobs back to the group at all times, and keep them in front of you AT ALL TIMES!
-Be extremely aware of your surrounding and even more so that of anyone in the raid (to do so, see below)
-Learn every pull you make by heart as well as every mob and their ability in every instance you go
-Your rotation needs to turn into muscle memory, mouse clicking simply won't cut it when you're moving, and watching the raid, and your surroundings and wanting to activate a specific ability
-Train yourself to only use taunt when absolutely, desperately necessary, fight for your aggro!
-Have confidence in what you do, and never EVER panic
Stat Basics :
1 end = 10hp (*modifiers) => (14.36hp in my General tank Specc)
1 str = 1 block + 1 parry
1 dex = 1 dodge
Interesting basic stats : Toughness, Hit, Block. (Dodge and Parry are pretty much irrelevant at this stage).
You want 150 Toughness for raiding (current tier), anything above that is wasted! So make sure you switch out Enchants / Essences as soon as you hit the cap.
Gearing priority :
Get to 150 Toughness => Get to HitCap (40%, make sure you factor in 9% from paladin!) => Stack Stam to the sky while only getting Block / Strength oriented gear.
Aggro to me is extremely important, because the more you can pump out the more dps will love you for it, and the less Krez will die. After that, for gearing choices, seeing Rogues are much better at Avoiding damage all together or dealing with Magical encounters, we have kind of been pigeonholed into the EH tank, that's what we do best, so play to your strengths!
The first specc i'll tell you about is my "General Tanking All Purpose" specc.
Here it is : General Tank Specc
It does just about everything and I use it 90% of the time. It has massive AOE aggro, massive single target aggro, and tons of physical mitigation and buffs. Hence it's best used with a high block gear setup. Also has some support and a ton of debuffs, though my favorite is "spotters call" which provide a really great dps boost.
PS : I absolutely loathe any means of selfheal for tanking. That's any talent such as heal you for X when Y happens or increases healing received by Z%. That's because if you're at the point where those make a difference, then A) you need new healers or B) you need new healers. Because in reality they only increase overhealing on you, as 99% of the time in games like this, you should be topped up between each hit, and if you aren't then an extra 100 health if you block the hit won't make a difference on a 12k health pool, nor will getting 100 more health points on the heal that lands. Or rather, the talents spent to get these could and are put to much better use.
The second specc I use is one for pure physical damage encounters, think Duke Latareus MT, Oracle Melee add, Prince Hylas MT. This specc will kick your armor and block up to some pretty obscene numbers, meaning stacking on even more just increases that exponentially.
Since we have those bosses on farm I usually just stick to the first specc for higher aggro and utility.
Here it is Physical Tank Specc
Finally my third specc is one for magical encounters (think Greenscale MT), Haven't really had the chance to test this one out much, but it's quite similar to the physical tank specc in play style with more of a reaver heavy orientation.
Here it is Magical Tank Specc
How to play them :
General Tank specc :
All the time :
Chain your Stuns / Disarms / interrupts, you can lock down a non-immune enemy for obscene amounts of time if done correctly (upwards of 30 seconds).
Spam your reactive abilities, and always keep an eye out to drop an oh **** button. (Insta heal / Raid shield). Macro imposing and intercept to get maximum use out of them, they both make for a huge amount of aggro, with sufficiently low CD's that you can almost always open with them up.
First move to drop when mob gets into melee = Aggressive Block.
For multiple mobs :
Pull with AOE SoulSickness / Necrotic Wounds / Lights Decree (with imposing on).
Keep Aggressive Block up, Keep Empowering Strike up, Keep Reaver dots rolling, and Spam LightsDecree/PromiseOfSteel/SweepingStrike/ViciousCleave in that order till you hit 3 combo points when you drop Scales of Justice (then resume spamming till SoJ's up again). Use Paladin's Reprisal as often as you can.
You will be energy starved, you just learn to deal with it. After a while you'll learn when to pause and when to refresh things in order to be waiting on CD's more then you are on energy.
For a single mob or boss :
Pull with Hammer, Lights Decree and throw in a DOT if he isnt on you yet.
Keep all of your self buffs and debuffs up, while avoiding the use of all the moves that mobs may be immune to(pin target / Disarm etc). This serves as your rotation as there are enough to keep you busy all the time. I tend to ignore Reaver Dots apart from Blood Fever. If you setup your macros like me, spotters order and SoJ will alternate as finishers.
Physical Tank specc :
You should only be using this for single Mob encounters, or very limited numbers so that's all i'll go into :
As with the other specc, keep your buffs / debuffs up then resume spamming Reckless Strike. If The mob has mana you have access to a few more interesting moves you can weave in instead of mindless RS spam for higher aggro. Devouring Strike and Call to Entrench will alternate as finishers.
Otherwise as usual, keep spamming reactive abilities and Aggro increasing moves.
Magical Tank Specc :
As i said haven't got the chance to test this out on a boss yet, but it's more of the same. Keeping debuffs / buffs up should serve as your primary rotation, spam reactive abilities and watch out for big hits using the oh **** buttons.
I won't go into as much detail as for the tank stuff, because simply put it requires a lot less to perform well as a DPSer.
Your main goal is to stay alive, at all DPS costs. Player death has a huge impact on the raid that people generally don't quite grasp :
-Dead DPS is 0 DPS, that's time lost for DPS Races, and drags out the encounter putting more strain on the raid, and can sometime have a direct effect on boss abilities. This can be Make or Break.
-Dead DPS means one of the healers needs to take between 4 to 10 seconds to rez you up if available, and every other healer around loses focus wandering if they could rez you / who's going to do it / If it's been done / where you died / are you in range / can he spare the rez cast.
- It means often that the raid leader called it out (meaning he lost some time, but thats his job) but it also made 90% of the raid listen to something that doesn't concern them, and have to rebuff you when you're up.
Bottom line : Dps'ers have 2 things to do, 1) STAY ALIVE ! 2) DPS as hard you can (if you can't then you need a new tank bar the odd encounter or bad luck which usually isn't the case).
Stats Basics :
1 STR = 0.75 AP = 0.75dps
1 DEX = 0.25 AP + 1 Crit
1 AP = 0.1 Dps
Seeing warriors have a 1.5sec GCD, multiply your dps by 1.5 to get the flat number affecting your abilities.
Interesting basic stats : Hit cap at 40% and Crit.
Gearing priority :
Get to HitCap => Pile Crit to the sky => Pickup as much AP as you can on the way
Sadly in the games Current state, the most effective way to do this is via leather items, because of how itemization works (and AP providing too low of a benefit) and how armor is wasted on Plate. You'll get far more benefit from a leather item with 50 crit and 20 dex (70 crit + 5ap) then a plate item with 30 crit and 30 str (30 crit 22.5 AP), simply because of how many abilities and passives procc off crits, on top of it being simply a bigger dps increase.
2 Handed Dps Specc :
At the moment this is the Most viable specc available to a warrior (give or tank a couple points left to personal preference) for DPS, 2 Handed dps surpasses DualWield in almost every field (Bar AOE) which saddens me to no end as i hate this specc, and much rather like the Paragon play style, but i'm too much of a Min/ Maxxer to stick to my chopsticks.
Here it is : 2 Hander Dps
The general aim is to keep debuffs up and as many bleeds on the target as you can, also your pet being worth about 20% or more of your dps, he needs to not die! Also this specc emphasizes buffing yourself rather than using finisher moves, and has quite nice AOE power. Use Slayers Bearing.
Luckily in raids all the debuffs are covered so your rotation goes as follows :
(Flesh Rip) > Slashing Strike, then goes the priority Order which i simplified into a macro but could be performed slightly better by individual button (not enough imo to justify the focus loss)
If 3-4 Bleeds are up && in range > Back Handed Blow
elseif in range && You can perform a FollowUp Attack > Rising Waterfall
elseif Path of the Wind is up > Path of the wind
elseif in range > Power Strike
else > Path of the Raptor
The only check a macro can't perform is how many bleeds are up.
All while doing the above, soon as you hit 3 combo points you go for Strike like Iron, then Tearing Slash then Shifting Blades. It can be hard to get to shifting blades before Strike like Iron is back up again meaning you start the Finisher rotation over, but it's a bigger dps increase to keep that up, because of how Shifting blade proccs can often get wasted.
PS: Up till now i had Shifting blades before tearing Slash in the rotation, i need to experiment with it more to pick which works best.
Spam your reactive abilities, and drop an interrupt for extra dps whenever your energy can handle it.
That could all get quite complicated luckily 2-3 simple macro's handle all of this quite nicely!
Dual Wield Specc :
I won't go into much details about the DualWield specc but this is the best i could come up with, and works great but still can't compete with 2 handed dps. I'll go back to it as soon as it does because i find it far more interesting.
Specc here : Dual Wield DPS
That's all from me! Hope you learned a couple things or at least enjoyed reading a different perspective on what you know! Feel free to shoot me any questions you might have.
I went quite broad on the whole thing, forgive the text wall and overly narrative explanations!