WoW Raid Member Roles and Responsibilities

Posted on April 18, 2008 by Stephen

Each player should be aware of the tools their class provides for managing the battle and any aggro mitigating abilities they may possess. Frequently, warriors and paladins are expected to act as tanks, soaking up damage for their more tender counterparts, while casters and hunters attack at range. Detailed below are some of the different types of roles there are in parties.

Note that when in a raid or party, using the Omen addon helps to determine if you are pulling the right amount of aggro. If you are a tank, make sure that you are the aggro "winner" and if you are the DPS or Heal that you are not the "winner" of the aggro contest.
A tank is a character designed to take a lot of physical damage/abuse from monsters while still fighting on! Just like..uh..a.. tank? True tanks include Warriors, Paladins, Druids in Bear Form, and certain Pets. If any character is fighting with a monster with their melee attack with the monster attacking them they can be said to be "tanking".

Purpose: The purpose of a tank in a party is to absorb and deflect damage from other weaker party members, such as casters. A tank is much more capable of taking physical damage than other party members.

Tank Jobs

Tanks typically have an ability that will taunt the monster off another player. Whenever a weaker party member, such as a Mage or Priest, is attacked they should let the tank know such by saying "someone on me." The tank should immediately find the monster attacking the party member and use their taunt ability until the monster starts attacking them instead. That way the tank continues to save the other party members by taking all the damage and the casters do their job of healing the tank or blasting the monster.

Another usual role for the tank is to pull monsters for the group. The tank typically has a lot of hit points and can withstand more damage. Tanks should have some ability or weapon that allows them to pull with a ranged attack. [Learn more about pulling]

The tank is usually responsible for leading the group around to their destinations.

First in, last out
The tank should be the first person into battle under most circumstances. If the party is forced to run, the tank should stick around taking more damage and possibly even die in order to buy time for the other party members to escape. The other party members can then resurrect the dead tank.

Primary Tanks vs. Secondary Tanks
If there are multiple tanks in a group, a primary tank should be chosen. The secondary tanks are responsible for helping out the main tank but typically don't have to worry about taunting, pulling, or leading. They just help do additional damage.

A healer is any class with the ability to heal other characters. Healers include Shamans, Paladins, Druids, and Priests. A group is always better off with a healer. Parties without a healer are possible, but are typically more challenging and, some say, less fun. Healers are very popular in parties (see my other post).

Purpose: To heal party members and keep them alive.

Healers are not for everyone. There are good healers and bad healers. Good healers do a good job of healing everyone and almost always heal at the right time; bad healers don't. Always try to learn and accept tips on becoming a better healer. Good healers are in high demand. If you're a good healer, word spreads and people remember you. You may find yourself finding more groups and more respect!

How to be a Good Healer

* Always pay attention to party members' hit points. You don't want to be in a situation where party members die and you could have saved them if you were paying attention.
* Learn control methods to heal people faster. One way to do it is with hot keys such as Function keys which select party members and the number keys associated with the healing spell.
* Give a verbal confirmation that you're healing someone so they don't freak out or think you're not "on it." Example: "healing j"
* Let your party members know they can always ask for healing or remind you at any time. They can even use the voice macro: "/v heal".
* If a monster is attacking you, preventing you from healing, let the tank know so he can save you.

Mana Spell Management
As the healer levels up, the healer receives multiple healing spells. It's important that the healer figures out what is the best heal to use for the situation. There are factors to consider such as cast time (don't want people to die while casting), and healing per mana cost. It's wise to keep several healing spells on the action bar and use them based on the situation.

Tricks of the Masters

* Get a stock of Mana Potions to use for emergency situations.
* Always have a supply of drinks. Drinks regenerate mana.

A caster is a spell caster. Casters include: Mages, Priests, and Warlocks. To a lesser extent, casters also include Druids (in certain forms) and Shamans.

Purpose: To quickly destroy enemies from a distance using powerful spells.

Because casters are weak to melee attacks they should find tank classes to tank for them whenever possible.

If you have any buff spells available which can help other party members, make sure the buffs are always active. At the very least make sure the tanks in the party have them.

Other Tips

* Let tanks know when you're being attacked so that they can taunt the monsters off you.
* When a monster is attacking you, don't run. Stand still and let the tank know so that they can taunt the monster off you. If you run, it is more difficult for the tank to taunt the monster.
* Carry drinks so that you can regenerate your mana between combat sessions.
* If the monster is trying to get away, use your direct damage spell (nuke) to finish it off. This will prevent the monster from bringing back help (you hope).

A hybrid is any class that is capable of filling (at least partially) roles primarily held by other classes. A paladin is a hybrid because it can tank in lieu of a Warrior, and heal in lieu of a Priest. A Shaman is a hybrid because it can deal damage in lieu of a Rogue/Hunter/Mage, but also heals in lieu of a Priest. A Druid can be a Warrior/Rogue/Caster/healer. A Rogue is NOT a hybrid because they deal melee damage, that is their primary role. They cannot heal, tank, or crowd control (sap aside).

To down or kill the monsters, you need damage. The classes that fit this role must do high DPS (damage-per-second) or damage. The best classes for this role are the Mage, Warlock, Hunter, and Rogue. All four of these classes have the potential to deal the most damage in a party or raid depending on their skill, talent build, and equipment. You might see someone asking for a DPS class. This is what they're looking for. Keep in mind that high damage classes need to watch their threat/aggro to prevent the monster from leaving the main tank (Warrior usually). Rogues can use Feint while Hunters can use Feign Death. Mages and Warlocks need to just stop attacking for a while until the other players in the party or raid do more damage or the tank gains more aggro/threat.
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