Truth is, tanking is easy. Good tanking is more complex than you might see. I decided to compile some tips that you could take advantage of, if you'd like to be better too.
With 7 90s that have needed gearing and more to come, I have spent a LOT of time in 5 mans. When I tank, things go fast and smooth. When I dps and heal, I find myself critiquing the tank, thinking of all the things they could do better. I'd like to pass the suggestions on to others.
Now this isn't a class guide, or tips on mitigation. These are mostly tips on how to please your fellow group mates.
There are A LOT of things a tank needs to do to be "great". No doubt about that, but first we should cover the basics.
Now of course, your job as a tank is to:
A: focus most damage on you (by getting aggro on all mobs)
B: minimize the damage you take. (with your lovely tanking toolset)
The group will take damage in the fight, damage that needs to be managed and healed. Honestly, your job should really be viewed as a support role to make the healers job easier.
Doing these 2 things simply makes you a tank.
You need to do more to be a good or great tank.
Know your class.
Should go without saying, but study your class to make sure you're mitigating as much as you can. This means proper gearing, gemming, reforging, rotation. Practice your rotation on dummies or quest mobs if you must. This is something you should do before even pressing that lovely "Find Group" button.
The group will respect you for holding aggro, dps will respect you for challenging them on the meters, and healers will respect you for making their job easier.
At this point, you should have all aggro all the time, and should be shrugging damage like a brick wall. You're a good tank. But not great.
So what can you do to make yourself great? Time to start thinking outside the fight.
Think of how you can help your group members.
There are plenty of things can you do as a tank to make the dungeon experience more pleasant for your fellow group members. Small things, but very helpful to the other players.
Here's some examples.
-Go faster. Imagine, you all have things to do, you want to finish the dungeon, get your gear. The faster the better, right? Well guess what, you're the one making the pulls, you get to set the pace.
Before charging like a panzer, take a look at yourself, your healer, and glance over your dps.
Are you good or well geared? Can you handle more? Does your healer look bored and have full mana? Pull more. Take in as much as your group can handle. Put their gear to work.
-Keep it moving. Commonly known as chain pulling, this keeps the pace. Your dps likes pew-pewing, so make sure they don't have to stop. This requires you to be attentive to the group, "raid aware". If your threat is great and the mob is almost dead, feel free to pull the next and give them something to transition to.
Think of the entire dungeon as a single fight, the more downtime your dps has the longer the fight will take. Keep them shooting. But of course, don't pull more than they can handle, or you'll end up exhausting your healer while you get beat on by 12 guys that might not be dead any time soon. If your healer gets low, stop for a mana break or pull slower so they can regen it back. But don't let your healer get bored, or they might be inclined to pull more themselves. Balance your capabilities with that of the rest of the group.
-PULL. The ENTIRE group is waiting on you to pull it, and staring isn't going to make the pull easier or make the mob go away. This goes along the same lines as keep it moving, Don't leave your group and yourself tapping feet.
-Consider melee dps. So you're tanking a large pull or a boss, and you probably have melee in the group. First, if you're only pulling a few turn them away from the group. Melee dps like attacking from behind, and doing the simple act of rotating the mob will make their charge a lil bit easier. Next, stop moving. If you've got everything in melee range and in front of you, don't dance. The melee don't want to have to chase around the mobs to hit and get behind them, especially rogues.
-Stop Moving. Mentioned in the previous tip, Don't move without a purpose. You don't want to have your group chasing you around. If you're moving to another pull, Then do it, get in position, and stop. Don't creep into the next pull. Make all movements brief and deliberate.