Instance and Grouping Basics (WoW)  

This guide covers some basic information on grouping. Mostly it deals with instances, though many of the points listed here can translate into just general quest groups as well. The audience for this isn't raiders, or even new raiders, but people who haven't grouped much or are looking for a little information on grouping. These can be level 13 players heading into Ragefire Chasm or level 70's who sprinted to the level cap and are now looking to run some instances, or anyone in between.

That's not to say that some of this doesn't apply in raids, it's just to say that if you're reading this and thinking "That's stupid, in my raid it's X" then you probably don't need to read this guide. Hopefully someone who's made it fairly far in raiding will write a grouping for raids guide soon.

Note these also apply to at or near level groups. If you're having a level 70 run you through things then many of these won't apply.

Some detail has been given for each bullet point but there may be some that additional information wanted. Please see the Instancing Basics FAQ page for more detail on some of these items.

A general note - WoW is a social game. This doesn't mean to say you have to be chatty, what it means is your reputation matters. You may think what you do in some random pick up group won't really matter. It does. People talk, guilds talk. I've put people on my ignore list without ever having met them because someone I knew, and who I respected, said they were useless. The more you group like an idiot the less grouping opportunities you'll have until the only ones you have are with idiots like yourself. Your reputation matters, conduct yourself like it does.

About kicking. Kicking refers to getting kicked out of the group. Below are mentioned some behaviors that could get you kicked. Don't think that, because you're the group leader and only the group leader can kick, that it's OK to do these things because there won't be consequences. I've been in parties where 4 of us dropped group and reformed to get rid of a bad group leader.

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General Tips

Forming/Joining a Group

The success of a group doesn't begin when you get to the instance, it begins when you initially form or join a group. Generally speaking, for a successful group you need a tank, a healer and DPS. For Low to Mid level runs, even off-specced classes can perform these roles. Whether they want to or not is a different story.

  • Establish loot rules early. Some parties agree to pass on all BoP loot and roll separately for it. Some just go with the initial rolls. Some enchanters think they can need on everything for D/E mats, you want to find out if that's OK with the group before you get into a conflict scenario.
  • It may also be useful in places with rare herbs or mining nodes to determine how you want to handle that. Some ways are simply alternating nodes (no matter what it is, if you got a Fel Iron node the last time and the next node is Adamantite it goes to the other guy. It alternates). Some choose to /roll on each node. Some just figure it will slow the group down so everyone passes and doesn't harvest anything. You want to figure this out up front.
  • Don't, at any point in the party, haul out the tired "It's my $15 a month I'll play how I want". That's sort of true, very true when playing solo. But keep in mind, in a group, it's the rest of the group's $60 a month and if you don't want to play as a group (which is what that comment implies) then you shouldn't be part of it anyway. It's fairly likely you'll get kicked (kicked out of the group) if you trot that bad boy out.
  • Be clear about what the objectives are. Never assume the group has the same ones you do. It is NOT OK to drop group after a specific boss because he did or didn't drop your stuff and that's all you were after unless the group knows this and is prepared. It is NOT OK to drop group after you get the Karazhan key fragment out of Arcatraz because that's all you were there for unless the group knew that when you joined. It's also not OK for the group to quit on you when the above occurs. You need to determine what everyone is after and agree to it.


  • Do
    • When inviting strangers, always Whisper them first to ask them if they want to join your group. Be specific about what instance you're running and don't assume what their role is. Some priests are specced Shadow and don't want to heal, others may be willing to heal even if not specced for it. So ask for what you need, like: "Sorry to bother you, are you specced for healing or would you be interested in healing an SM Cath run?". Not only is this polite, but a lot of players have add-ons that auto-block blind invites. That person may want to go with you but if you just invite without a whisper you're going to get declined.
    • If someone says "No Thanks", thank them for their time and look for someone else.
    • If you're finding people in the Looking for Group (LFG) tool be sure to check their notes. Many off-specs or hybrids will put in there what they're specced for or willing to do. It's annoying to have put that information in there and have people completely ignore it.
    • For higher level instances, feel free to check someone's armory to see if they're geared well enough or how you would expect. Just know that some people have "Walking around town" or soloing sets of gear that they may have been wearing the last time they logged off and these aren't necessarily indicative of their actual gear. It can help, but you could also lose out on a really great tank that had low armor and avoidance because they had their DPS set on.

  • Don't
    • Don't wait until the group is formed to figure out who the tank and healer are (or figure out if you even have one). When you're forming the group keep an eye on its composition and invite what you need to do the run.
    • Don't berate people for not playing or speccing the way you want them to. If you needed a different role that they're not willing to fill you should have found that out beforehand (see Do's)
    • Don't pester people to go with you. If they say no, they really don't want to go.
    • If you've lost a player in your party and have invited another one to join you after you've already started the instance you need to do 2 things: Tell them that you've already started, they may have needed something from that first boss. 2) Get a couple of people out of the instance to the stone and summon them. This is especially try if it's a somewhat low damage or squishy class as it can be a pain to try to fight your way through some of the trash leading to some of these instances. You asked them to come, it's clear you need them since you want to finish your run and you're going to have to largely wait for them anyway. So just go get them.

Being Invited

  • Do
    • Ask what role they expect you to play before accepting the invitation. If it's not something you're willing to do, tell them. If it's not something that you're specced to do properly, tell them.
    • If you're not overly familiar or comfortable with the instance or with grouping in general, say so. Sure, some groups will drop you for your inexperience but that's probably a good thing as the run won't be fun for anyone. The groups that keep you are likely to help you out a great deal, raising both your experience level and your comfort level. It's just polite to let people know what to expect from you.
    • Say hi when you join the group!

  • Don't
    • Don't accept an invitation if you can't give your full time and attention to the group. Sure, things come up occasionally, but if you know you're parents are going to call you for dinner in 30 minutes or you're babysitting a rambunctious terrier that is constantly getting into things you don't have the time or attention for an instance run. Keep in mind that every time you say "brb" and are gone for 20 minutes you're wasting 4 other people's time and too many of those can turn a 90 minute run into a 4 hour one.
    • Don't have the first words out of your mouth when you join the group be: "If loot X drops it's mine!". It's ok to say "Hey I'm running this for loot X, so I'm going to need on it if it drops, ok?". The second one just lets the group know what you're after, the first one implies that even if anyone else in the group can use the item you're saying they're not allowed to roll on it. Which is selfish and childish. Those other people are putting in just as much effort as you, and that may be the item they're running for as well.

Prepping For and Getting To the Instance

  • Do
    • Make sure that you have all of the reagents, ammunition, shards, food, water, etc. you will need for the run. This includes appropriate food for your pet if you're a hunter.
    • Make sure that your armor is repaired.
    • Participate in party chat if people are trying to work out roles or blessings or whatever. It's very disconcerting to ask a party member a question and have them never reply (to reply in party chat, type /p and your reply). Some groups will just kick people who don't answer. If you're going to be AFK while you're on a bird or something, just say that.

  • Don't
    • Don't expect people to provide you with consumables or anything else you need.
    • Don't expect (or worse, demand) to be summoned to the instance when everyone else is making their own way. It's one thing to say "Hey I need to get some reagents, I'll be there as quick as I can", it's another thing to say "Summon me when you get there".
    • Don't berate people for their spec choices. If you have a Shadow Priest doing DPS and a Druid healing and you think you prefer priests healing don't yell at the SPriest for "Not doing his job"

In the Instance

  • Do
    • Pay attention to what the people that have more experience with the instance are telling you. If they tell you to watch out for something, do so. There are pat paths and other things to watch out for that may not be obvious to you on your first or second time through a run.
    • Follow the kill order. If using raid markings the watch those and make sure you're following them. Don't just pick a random target and nuke it.
    • Run back after a wipe. Don't just sit there expecting the priest to run back and then res you while you chat with them in party about how long the run back to the instance is. You may not like the healing you receive afterwards or the healer may just opt not to res you (in the case of a druid healer who has a long cooldown on their res, ressing you would be a huge waste of that cooldown and they likely won't do it.)
    • Ask for information, especially before boss fights. It's always much better to have someone say in party (or whisper me) "OK, I've not done this guy before, what should I be prepared for and is there anything special you want me to do?" then to keep quiet and screw it up. Homest questions are always better than stupid wipes.
    • Do take care of yourself after battles. Eat, drink, etc. Sure the healer may be able to heal you afterwards, and often they will, but that just means that the group is going to have to wait longer before the next pull. For instance: If you're low on health and the healer is low on mana, if they heal you they're going to have to drink for longer. If you and the healer both eat and drink, respectively then you're both ready to go at the same time.
    • Do let the group know if you're taking aggro (but don't be a jerk about it). Sometimes it's hard to see. However, "Heal me" macros are annoying and insulting to the healer. Try to avoid those. A simple "aggro" in party chat is enough. That both lets the tank know you need something yanked off you and lets the healer know they need to pay attention to you.
    • Praise other players in party chat and criticize them in whispers, even if human nature is to do the reverse. Word your compliments so they are taken as such; it's much more effective to reinforce good behavior by saying "That was a great job picking up the mob that went after the healer" rather than "You don't suck for a hunter."
    • Do let the party know that you'd be interested in grouping with them again (assuming it's true!). Ask others if you can add them to your Friends list after the run. It's polite behavior, even if they have no way of stopping you.

  • Don't
    • If you get aggro do not run away. It really does you no good. In fact it can be harmful because you're making it that more difficult for the tank to pick up the mob again. You can do one of two things: use an aggro wipe or temporary shed ability like ice block, bubble, etc or, better yet, run directly to the tank. They'll snag it back.
    • Do not wander around. Especially if you're unfamiliar with the instance. In many instances it's possible to pull aggro from unlikely places (like above you, which is generally bad because they'll bring everyone else with them on the way down)
    • Never click on a cog wheel item in an instance unless you know what it's going to do. If you've not been in the instance before, this can be hugely important. If you see one, ask about it. There are many of these that can trigger mob spawns or events (Deadmines is one, Blackfathom Deeps has a couple of nasty ones) and if the group isn't ready then at best someone will die, at worst the whole group will die.
    • Don't pull groups while the healer or, to a lesser degree the DPS, is low on Mana. Some healers have been been known to continue to drink while staying out of combat and just ressed the rest of the group afterwards.
    • Also, don't pull if you're not the puller. Period.
    • Don't give class advice to someone in party chat. If you really think someone can benefit from your knowledge in whispers, but never do it in party. But you'd better be sure you know what you're talking about, I know I love it when my level 70 paladin gets class advice from the (usually crappy) warlock with a level 23 paladin. And related to that, you'd also better not be sucking up the joint as your current class.
    • Don't try to lay blame. Blaming someone may be perfectly valid, but experience has shown me that people intent on laying blame and calling people out in party chat are almost always at least equally if not more at fault for the problems.
    • Don't have stupid quest, color, or other macros or add ons installed. They're annoying and during a battle, they can clog up the chat screen so the tank can't see if someone's said they have aggro or other information. They're cute the first couple of times, maybe. But throughout a 2 hour instance they can wear pretty thin.


  • Don't loot in combat. Ever. If the fight is going on and you're looting, you're not helping the rest of the group. Also, it's extremely difficult for tanks and healers, especially, to evaluate if they want or need a drop while they're still trying to hold boss aggro or keep everyone alive respectively. The loot will still be there are the end of the battle, just wait.
  • Don't release your spirit right away unless the group has agreed to do a Graveyard Res. Releasing makes it harder for the healer to res you and may cause you to miss out on a boss loot roll.
  • Follow the established loot rules set out at the beginning of the party. If it was agreed that everyone passes on Bind on Pick-up (BoP) items then pass on the BoP drops and roll afterwards.
  • If you need on a Bind on Equip (BoE) item, be prepared for the group to wonder why you haven't equipped it if you haven't. What that says to them is you needed on something you fully intend to sell. Which is lame. Need is to improve your character's play. Everyone needs money, but if that's your purpose, it's still greed. In fact, because of this, many groups will have everyone just need on BoE items to prevent ninja looting like this.
  • Don't be a loot whore. Just because you can equip it doesn't mean you should need on it. If you're a caster and gear drops that is skewed to healers (You'll see this more in Outland and it will look like: Gives +200 to healing and +50 to spell damage", that's healer gear guys. It just is.) pass on it or greed it and tell the healer to need if they need. As a corollary, don't get mad if other people also need on items you did when they can work equally well for either class/spec/role.
  • Unless everyone agrees on this before the run, it's generally considered bad form to need on profession materials. This means Primal Nethers and it also applies to green or blue drops that an enchanter is going to disenchant for mats, among other things.

Tips by Role

Group Leader

  • Use Raid markings where appropriate. They can help the party designate CC and kill order. However you want to make sure yuo're always consistent at least through the current instance. Don't change skull to mean sheep at random points. It's a recipe for a wipe. In case you're unfamiliar with what's commonly used, while there is no actual set formula, I find the following to be generally used like:
    • Skull - First kill/Main Tank target
    • X - Second kill/Off tank target
    • Blue Square (ice cube) - Hunter's Freeze trap
    • Moon - Sheep
    • Circle (nipple, coin, comdom) - Seduce
    • Diamond - Banish/Enslave
    • Star - Sap
    • Triangle(Moldy Nacho) - Cyclone or Druid Sleep or second duplicate CC (i.e. 2 mages in the group one sheeps moon, the other sheeps triangle))
  • If you're marking, do it quickly. Possibly while you're doing something else. I.e. if you're a paladin and need to regen mana between fights, sit and drink and while you're drinking mark the next group of mobs. It's painful to wait forever for someone to mark and can make the instance drag on far longer than it needs to. If you're unfamiliar with marking or uncomfortable, ask if someone else wants to but then also ask them to explain why they're marking this what so that you know for the next time.
  • If you're using raid markings, you don't need to mark every single kill. If you find yourself saying (when there is no CC), "OK Skull first, X second, Triangle 3rd, Square 4th, Circle 5th..." you've probably marked WAY too many or you're proposing a bad pull.
  • Make sure everyone knows the kill order (and again, be consistent about it). Skull first, X second. Typically a seduce will be picked up next if there is one, then a hunter's trap, then a sheep or a banish, etc. Seduce is a difficult CC to maintain so you want to pick that one up as soon as you can. Freeze trap, with a good hunter, is easy to maintain but there's less of a margin for error (because if there's a resist you can't just simply recast it) than on a Sheep or a Banish so that's why you want the freeze trap next.
  • Don't set the looting to Master Looter. Ys, you may think it will help limit the amount of ninjaing, but really all it's going to look like to the rest of the group is that you're the biggest ninja of them all. Don't be surprised if they all leave.
  • Similar to the above, setting the loot to Free for All (FFA) is also a bad idea. On FFA the group doesn't roll on green or blue drops which means whoever's the first one to grab it gets it. It's a recipe for arguments.


  • You are not here for DPS. Even if you're specced for it, you agreed to tank. Tanking is not a DPS position, you have other priorities. Use the lesser DPS (but higher threat generating) abilities to keep things on you. Don't be trying to compete with the fire mage on the DPS charts. If that's what you wanted to do, you should have stated that up front. You didn't. You're the tank. So tank.
  • Make dead certain you're geared for the instance. You have 2 jobs. 2 reasons for even being in the group. To keep the mobs on you and to keep them off everyone else. If you're under-geared and you die you're not fulfilling the second one. Sure you run into the point where you have to take a chance to get the gear to proceed but make sure you're as well-geared as you can be when you get yourself into that situation.
  • Similar to the above point - if you're under-geared for the run, you're not allowed to smack talk about the healer. Sure they need to keep you alive, but you need to not try to tank ZF in your bathrobe.
  • Use a shield. Yas, sometimes if you're over-geared it may be better to run without one but by and large, just use the damn shield.
  • Similar to the above, if you think you're going to have problems with rage generation or mana regen from healing because you suspect you're over-geared or out level the instance by a bit, talk to your healer. Ask them if it's OK with them if you shed some gear on trash. It probably is, but if you're shedding midway through the instance they need to know about it and be prepared to throw you more heals instead of watching Lost while they hit their 2 key periodically.
  • If you're also the puller, pull quickly. Not recklessly but quickly. 7 paths of the pat is probably longer than your group wants to wait while you second guess yourself. Use a "ready check" when necessary but don't assume one is necessary before every pull.
  • Don't be a prat. Sure, tanks and healers are hard to come by but you couldn't run this place solo so that says that, while you're important, you're not the be all and end all. You need those other people and you agreed to the group. You're in this together now and you're no better than anyone else.
  • If you're having a problem with a DPS player doing things you don't want them to, start by whispering them. They may just not know. Whisper them and explain clearly what you want them to do and, possibly, how to do it.
  • Whisper and talk to your healer. Find out what they need and tell them what you need. Don't be bossy about it; but communication between a tank and healer can make up for shoddy DPS in any group. Be friends.


  • You are not a god. No one needs to kiss your feet. That mage just now, the one that frost nova'd and POM Pyro'd and Fire Blast spammed and died to pull that mob off you? They're just as good as you. You know why? They kept your squishy butt alive. Sure, you keep the group alive but they take a beating and perform some serious self-sacrifice to keep you alive. You need each other. Don't be some prima donna jerk.
  • If a mage frost novas (the ice cubes around the mob's feet) a mob that's going after you, back up. The mob can still attack you if you're in range so you need to move.
  • Talk to your tank. Tell them what you need and ask them what they need from you. Don't be a prima donna or act like you're better than they are, just converse. Communication between a tank and healer can make up for shoddy DPS in any group. Be friends.
  • If you find yourself with aggro, run directly to the tank. If you run away the tank can't get close enough to get the mob off you so just run in and the tank will snag it back.

Crowd Control

  • If you were brought because a group needed specific crowd control, that is your function. You can DPS in the in-between times, but your focus and your attention needs to be on the mobs that you're meant to control. If you didn't want to be responsible for that you should have declined the group invite.
  • Pay attention to your CC. If you're a mage, re-sheep the mob before the sheep timer runs out. Be prepared in case it breaks early (or gets broken) and re-sheep. You can yell at people after the pull, the important thing is to get through the pull first so stay on top of, and control your mob.
  • If, for some reason; your target is immune to your CC; you're too low level and keep getting resists; in the case of hunters, your trap is resisted; or in the case of locks, your succubus gets eaten you need to let the party know so the tank can pick up the mob. Sometimes it's hard to see that that's happened so it's helpful if you say so. (To hunters, sometimes the tank will just expect you to kite it, if you're not comfortable with kiting, whisper the tank at the beginning of the run to give them the heads up).
  • Sometimes during a pull the CC will get a little crazy and the markings will get messed up. This usually happens when there's a hunter and the wrong mob moved into the trap. Any other CC is just going to have to re-adjust. It's nice if the mob to be sheeped moved into the trap because then the mage can just sheep what was supposed to be the trapped mob. If it's the first kill, though, things can get crazy. There's no set rule for what to do here because each scenario is different. Just be on the ball and do the best you can.


  • You may think you have one job but actually it's a two-parter. Yes, your job is to put out as much damage as you possibly can, The second part of that is that you need to do that while staying under the threat cap. See Threat for the details on that. The way the game mechanics works is any DPS can pull threat off any tank at the same level if they don't pay attention. So you need to know how not to do that. It's important.
  • Technically your two-part job is the above and a 3rd duty. You need to back up the tank in keeping mobs off the healers. Sometimes stuff breaks free. You need to be ready for that and be ready to protect your healer. Don't think "Oh someone else will do that", you do it. If you do this you will never lack a group. You know how healers are pretty much required for a group? You know that means they have some say in who comes along? If you have a reputation for protecting them, you know who they'll whisper first to fill a vacant DPS slot? Yeah. Exactly.
  • Remember, if you get aggro, don't try to run away, run directly to the tank and they'll grab it back. If you run away the tank can't catch you or the mob to get it off you.

Notes on Off-Roles

  • Occasionally you'll be asked to a group to do DPS but the healer may say something like "Hey in some parts I may need an off-healer" or the tank may say "We may need an off tank, we're shy on CC". If you agree to that you need to do it (and you need to do it properly, don't OT something in cat form unless it's OK with the healer, don't insist that Vampiric Embrace is enough to get the healing done when it's clear that it isn't). Yes, it may hurt your level on the DPS meters. But you'll be a much greater asset to your group. DPS meters are over-rated.

Tips by Class


  • As a hybrid class you need to be really clear before the invite on what your spec is and what roles you're willing to fill. 9 times out of 10 people are going to assume you're a tank (the druid leveling spec is feral, which is the tanking spec). If you don't want to do that, don't have the gear to do that or whatever, you need to see if that's what they want of you and then make your decision to join accordingly.
  • You're a healing class, you just are. Yes your tailed DPS is a sight to behold, but if it can save the group from a wipe for you to shift to caster form and heal the healer then please do so. Yes, it lowers your DPS. But a dead group does no DPS. Be willing to use all your abilities. Maybe not as a primary role, but definitely to save the group. Obviously if you're tanking this isn't viable, but if a fight goes wrong and some extra healing is needed, all other roles should be willing to hop in and heal. Your position on the DPS meters isn't as important as the health of the group.
  • If you wanted to tank but the group has one, don't use all of your cat damage abilities to show "how bad the tank is". As mentioned before, the game mechanics say that any DPS is capable of pulling aggro off the tank if, and this is key for you, if they're idiots. You're not showing how bad the tank is, you're displaying how badly you play your class. Stop it.
  • Boomkin - From the tank point of view you're both loved and the bane of their existence. Don't be surprised if you pull aggro and the tank just lets you tank it. Just make sure you can or don't pull aggro in the first place.
  • Tailed DPS (cat form) - Please don't open a fight with Pounce. Many times the tank will be trying to drag mobs back to a safer distance or just out of the range of crowd control so they can use their AoE tanking abilities and if you stun the mob, they can't. And it's annoying. Don't do it. Plus, if you have a paladin tank, it will severely limit their early threat generation because the mob isn't hitting them. Ravage may be a better opener here.
  • If you agreed to heal, then do so. This means that you don't spam moonfire until you're out of mana and then tell people you can't heal because you're out of mana. Being the main healer means that you save your mana for heals. If you're not willing to do this then you need to let the group know so that they can get someone who is.


  • Hunters are an incredibly powerful soloing class. You can take on elites with relative ease and even world bosses. But in a group, you're not soloing. As an example. In Shattered Halls there was a hunter, used to taking on elites solo, who said we should all just hang back and he'd run us through. We laughed. But we let him try. He didn't make it past the second pull. Instances are set for 5-man for a reason. Whatever you did solo doesn't really matter much here unless you're over-leveled and over-geared. Work with the group or they'll give your ego plenty of rope and laugh while you hang yourself. And your reputation will precede you in future groups.
  • Please turn your pet's growl off. If you don't know how to do that, all you need to do is look on your pet bar and find growl. It will have some sparklies around the outside edge. If you right click on that the sparklies will go away. Growl is now not on auto-cast. Thank you. Feel free to right cliick on it again when the run is over to turn it back on.
  • Make sure your pet is on Passive, not defensive. If it's on defensive and a mob goes after you the tank has to fight with your pet to call it back. It's annoying. With a bad tank it may be necessary but give it a couple of times to give them the benefit of the doubt. They did with you instead of just saying "I don't want to group with a huntard". So don't be a huntard.
  • Note that if the group is jumping down from a ledge, your pet may not always jump. It may take the long way bringing with it all of the mobs that your group was trying to avoid. All of those mobs. At once. Dismiss your pet before you jump. Yes, you will need to feed it because dismissing reduces your pet's happiness by 50% but it's still better than fighting 12 mobs when half of your party is at one third health due to falling damage. Just dismiss, jump down and recall it.
  • Turn off Aspect of the Pack before the pull. You earned a lot of goodwill speeding everyone back to the frontline after that wipe. Don't waste it all now by letting the tank get dazed repeatedly for no apparent reason.
  • Like mentioned in the DPS section above you have 2 jobs. DPS and protecting the healer. You are probably the best equipped class to do the latter. Please show how your class can shine by actually doing so if it becomes necessary.
  • Feign Death - NEVER do this if you draw aggro. If you've drawn aggro it's likely that if you feign, the mob is going to head straight for the healer. If you die the healer can res you. If the healer dies then it's a wipe.


There are 2 things a mage needs to be aware of and those are the first points below:

  • Aggro - don't be an idiot. Yes mages can push out an incredible amount of burst DPS. That doesn't mean you should. Yes, a bad crit string is going to make you draw aggro but that should be rare. You need to check your soloing style at the door and work with the group.
  • Crowd Control - it's boring, it takes away from casting big booms. But you have to face the fact that the Mage's CC is the most often used in the game. Stay on top of your stuff and re-sheep before it breaks and you'll be desired as a responsible addition to the game. A polymorph lasts a long time. Plenty of time for your glass cannon to unload.
  • If you're 70 and have the spell, drop a table without being asked. Seriously. In BGs there may be reasons for not dropping one but in a 5-man instance group? Just do it. It will make everyones run go better and you won't be listed on peoples notes as a skinflint. 18 silver? That's the first trash pick-up in a 70 instance.
  • If you're not 70, try to gauge on the way to the instance how much water you're going to need to make and just make it. Ask in party "Who wants water?". There's no reason not to make it and if they go on ahead while you're regenning then that's their DPS loss.
  • Similar to the above - sometimes it's fine to sit back and fully regen mana when a fight is on. It's OK to finish drinking/eating. If they need you they'll wait if they don't that just means that that trash pull isn't that critical. It's no reflection on you.


  • Keep your blessings up on the party. The easiest way to do this, if you don't have an add-on to manage it, is to buff yourself first. Then buff everyone else. When you see your buff fading, that means every one else's is fading as well. Time to reapply. Yes, blessings can be a massive pain to keep up and it can take a while, especially without an add on, to re-do them. I find a "Pause for buffs after this pull" works just fine to get everyone to hold still so you can.
  • Be smart about how you're buffing people. If you expect the hunter to be able to pull mobs off of the tank for trapping purposes, don't give him Salvation. Conversely if the rogue is constantly pulling aggro from the tank switch him to Kings or Salvation (depending on just how much it's happening). Ask people what kind of buff they want if you don't know. With things like druids, it can change with spec and some have certain preferences. That said, if you give someone Salvation for a reason stand your ground. A good way of making this (frankly awesome) buff more palatable to them is to let them know that what it basically means is that they can do 30% more damage before the hit the threat cap. It's true. And for that reason, almost always give mages Salv.
  • If you're tanking - Mind your consecration. Yes, the mage may have sheeped that mob a little closer to where you wanted to tank them than you would have liked, but you have legs. Back up.
  • Just because paladins excel at multi-mob tanking doesn't mean that you never need CC. It's hard to corral 2 casters/ranged attackers along with melee and eventually they're going to be hitting the healer. You don't want to deal with a group of mobs where one fears and one heals. These are just a couple of examples. Also, you just may not be geared for how hard the mobs hit. Your job is to keep aggro and not make the healer's life a living hell. If they're running dry keeping you up with multiple mobs you may want to use some CC.
  • Ret paladins - You can put out some good damage in a group, but that doesn't mean you don't have to watch your threat. Please do so.
  • Ret Paladins - similar to the above: yes, as a paladin you can wear plate. But don't suggest that you can "handle yourself" if you pull aggro. I couldn't help but noticing that, while you can wear plate, your current armor is a mix of leather and mail. That's not plate.
  • Even if your role in this group isn't the healer, you should be willing to toss out a heal if a fight goes badly and some additional healing is necessary. This can be hard to do if you're a tank but if it's going very badly, be willing to use Lay on Hands on yourself. If you're DPS, there's no excuse for you not to pitch in and heal if needed. Your position on the DPS meters isn't as important as the health of the group.
  • If you're tanking, do not ever, ever bubble. This is an aggro shed. It won't wipe the aggro table, but until that bubble wears off, the mob will turn away and attack someone else. Probably the healer. Don't ever do it unless you're the last one standing and you're trying to save the group from a wipe.
  • Use Divine Intervention when it's appropriate. Long instances that you're near the end of and are a pain to run back to? Have another rezzer in the group? Wipe is imminent? The ask the other rezzer to step away from the battle and DI them. It saves your group the run and, as an added bonus to you, your gear doesn't take durability damage if you use DI.


  • Don't shield a tank before or right at the beginning of a fight. This inhibits the tanks ability to generate rage (in the case of druids and warriors) or their ability to generate reflective damage threat (in the case of paladins). It seems like a good idea but in reality, the mechanisms of tanking makes it harder for them to keep mobs corralled.
  • If a mage or warlock is told to AoE a set of mobs down, do shield them. Even with a good paladin AoE tank it's likely they're going to still get some mob attention. Make it easier on them and you by shielding early and often.
  • Shadow Priests - you can pump out some pretty incredible damage. Please do so. But please don't go on and on about how you can pump out this damage and if you wanted to you could pull aggro off the tank. You know what that sounds like? It sounds like you want to be congratulated on doing your job. You don't hear the tank mouthing off about how he's keeping all the mobs on him every 30 seconds, right? You know why? Because he just figures he's doing his job and there's nothing special about it.
  • If you're specced shadow, you're still a healing class. This doesn't mean that you should be relegated to healing only in every group. However it does mean that you should be willing to step in and assist with healing if the fight is going poorly or the main healer is incapacitated. Your position on the DPS meters isn't as important as the health of the group.


  • Please don't open a fight with a stun. Many times the tank will be trying to drag mobs back to a safer distance or just out of the range of crowd control so they can use their AoE tanking abilities and if you stun the mob, they can't. And it's annoying. Don't do it. Plus, if you have a paladin tank, it will severely limit their early threat generation because the mob isn't hitting them.
  • Don't take 30 minutes to pickpocket mobs when you're supposed to be sapping. A little pickpocketing is fine, but be quick about it. You're wasting 4 other people's time.
  • If your sap is resisted, don't run back to the group. Vanish or take your beating like a man. If you were asked to sap it was for a reason, which means the group thought they needed that CC. Without it, if you drag the mobs back, the group may wipe. And yes, it will be your fault.


  • While your DPS can be impressive, what's really amazing about you in a group situation is your totems. Use them, keep them up and use the right ones. (for example, while warrior tanks may find that windfury is the bees knees, paladin tanks will almost always prefer the Wrath of Air totem. The additional spell damage does much for for threat generation than the additional weapon procs on a 41.4 DPS weapon.)
  • If your group is spread out beyond the range of your totems you may need to drop some in one location and some in another. It will take you a small amount of time but the benefit to the group is huge. Having mana spring totem next to you if you're meleeing the mobs isn't going to help your healers and casters that are hanging back out of range of your totem.
  • You're a healing class. This doesn't mean that you need to spec Resto or be the main healer for every grouping run. But it does mean that you should be willing to toss out a heal here and there if the fight goes poorly or the healer is incapacitated. Your position on the DPS meters isn't as important as the health of the group.


  • If you're not the tank, please don't open the pull with a charge. Many times the tank will be trying to drag mobs back to a safer distance or just out of the range of crowd control so they can use their AoE tanking abilities and if you stun the mob, they can't. And it's annoying. Don't do it. Plus, if you have a paladin tank, it will severely limit their early threat generation because the mob isn't hitting them.
  • No, you can't tank while dual wielding or using a 2-handed weapon unless you seriously over gear the instance. Put on a shield.
  • If you're DPS specced but you joined a group to tank, then tank. If you weren't willing to tank then you should have declined or said so and had the group get someone who was willing to do it right.
  • If you're DPS, please DO intervene the healer if something peels off and goes after them. You have that rockin' ability to get there before just about anyone else. Please use it and your healer will love you for it.


  • Please turn your pet's taunt off. If you don't know how to do that, all you need to do is look on your pet bar and find the taunt ability (and possibly intervene). It will have some sparklies around the outside edge. If you right click on that the sparklies will go away. Taunt is now not on auto-cast. Thank you. Feel free to right click on it again when the run is over to turn it back on.
  • Never bring your voidwalker to an instance. See the Instancing Basics FAQ for more information on this.
  • Make healthstones for people, at the very least for the healer and the tank. Do this without being asked.
  • Find out who the primary resser is, it may not be the healer for the instance. Paladins (even if tanking) are often the one's soulstoned because they have more durability than a squishier healer. What this means is that if the soulstone ressurection is going to cause someone to pop with a mob or two around, the paladin has much better chance of being able to take that mob out and then res the group than some of the other options. Don't assume who gets the soulstone.
  • Don't soulstone yourself. It's one thing if you've been out questing and it's on you for the duration of the cooldown, it's another thing to create one and apply it to yourself just for the run. There is always a better option for the soulstone than the warlock in an instance group.
  • Don't life tap down to nothing after a fight and expect the healer to completely fill you back up. This just wastes everyone's time since you could be eating right along with the healer drinking and you'll both be full at about the same time. Many healers will at least toss a Renew or something on you, but don't demand it.
  • Let your healers know what you expect (nicely, don't demand) from you in a fight. This refers to Life Tap, basically. Something like "Unless you see something on me, don't worry about wasting your mana healing me during fights, I'll just Drain Life right back up after I tap." This is especially helpful if the healer hasn't grouped with a lock before (or even the tank). It's very disconcerting to see someone's health steadily going down without knowing what the heck is causing it.

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This page last modified 2008-06-16 08:20:18.