Know Your Role!

On a fire engine, every firefighter has a job. The Driver has to make sure the truck is pumping water, the Hydrant man has to make sure the truck has a supply of water, The Nozzle man makes sure there are hose line at the door, and the truck captain makes sure everyone is doing their job and that the Chief knows (via radio) what we have. This is before we ever enter the building. Jobs get done without people actually talking to each other, how can that be? We all know our role.

So how does this compare to World of Warcraft? There are four roles in World of Warcraft that every class/spec fits into. (Tank, Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS)  Each of these roles have a specific job. Those jobs can be done without communication with each other. So what are the breakdowns of the roles?

Tank: your job is to make the mobs hit you and not other people. This is done by creating aggro. High aggro skills are different than high dps skills. You should take the time to go to the forums at and learn what the threat multipliers are for each of your skills. You are also going to be the unofficial leader of the group. Your job is to be in front of the group, so everyone will follow you. It is important for you to know the dungeons you are in. Spend time  on learning the maps and boss mechanics. (yes, this is your job) Lastly, prior to every pull it is your job to make sure all mana users (not just the healer) have at least half of their mana. It is also your job to make sure that you have the proper amount of Defense/Health/Mitigation to do the dungeon. I have been in a lot of dungeons as a healer were the tank did not have these correct and the group blames the healer (me) for the wipes. No healer can heal a tank that doesn’t have the right gear. If you are not willing to put in this work, don’t tank. Do something else instead. Healers get nearly instant ques and sometimes even better ques than tanks in the Dungeon Finder Tool.

Melee/Ranged DPS: it is your job to do as much damage as you can without pulling the mob off of the tank. Yes, you heard me, aggro control is your job. If all you can do is auto shot on your hunter with out pulling off the tank, then thats all you do. It helps if you hit the target that the tank is hitting. This can be communicated pre pull by the tank with kill order marking but should primarily be done by the dps having an assist macro. If you have a pet, managing your pets health and movement/skills is your job. Also, your job may include abilities other than damage. (and probably does) You should be good at using those skills. All of this and more can be researched on the forums at are also many class specific websites for your classes on the web and can be researched by putting your class or spec into the search engine on your web browser. (make sure the information you are looking at is current, sometimes the information is quite old.)

Healers: your job is to keep everybody standing and in the fight. This job will be quite complex if either or both of tanks or dps are not doing their job correctly. It can be quite simple if the tank has the aggro and the dps don’t. It is very important to know what each spell does and how that spell can effect other spells you use. It is also your job to manage your mana, you do this by using class specific spell when you can to raise your mana and drinking when you can or when the tank tells you too. It can also be done by using spells efficiently, the right heal at the right time. If you have to cancel a spell cast because the tank didn’t take damage when you thought he was going to, cancel the cast. Don’t use a big heal when a small heal will do the job. You can learn a lot about your class at you can also learn from the many sites that can be found for your class. Like the DPS above just put your class or spec into the search engine and make sure the information is current.

This is just a small overview of the roles you can play. Make sure you study up, after all firefighters do. If you don’t believe me just look at all the certifications I have just for my job by looking at the about page, done by clicking the about link in the side bar.

Until next time,

Don’t stand in the fire.


~ by firemantony on April 19, 2010.

One Response to “Know Your Role!”

  1. Hi Tony – Listening to IA #46. Right off the top, David mentioned your blog and here I am with the podcast in the background. This is a great entry, especially for noobs like me. I don’t see raiding in my future, but I do want to properly play my role in my groups. Keep up the good work! Chris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: