Setting Priorities and Crowd Control
Our hero finds himself yet again queuing for the same damn instances, his luck seems to have run out…
A major, MAJOR difference from Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm is definitely the level of difficulty of the dungeons, that one is certainly the most obvious. While it could be merely the fact that we all have rather bad gear, it could also just be that Blizzard designed the 5 mans well enough to provide a challenge. Personally I’m hoping it’s the second one.
Regardless, not just the boss fights got harder in the new dungeons, just regular trash pulls are enough to wipe groups if you don’t execute them well. “Yeah, whatever I’ll just AOE them down!” does not work anymore unless it’s just a ton of non elites in a shit pull. Now we have to mark our priorities and use our CC to the best of our abilities.
Well, generally speaking there is almost always a more-powerful-than-the-rest mob within a pull you know, the one that inconveniences you the most, makes you sweat a little when you have to fight it in addition to the rest of the less powerful mobs. Yes, THAT ONE, most of the time it’s a caster because casters are just annoying in general, but don’t always assume that!
Even if you don’t know which mob is the most troublesome, you’ll still want to mark a specific mob with our buddy the SKULL. You can do this by clicking on the mob’s portrait, hovering over the Mark option, and then going through the list until you can see a skull. When people see a skull it tends to say hey, this guy needs to DIE kill him first DPS!
When everyone is smart enough to be on the same mob it tends to drop much, MUCH faster. (Who would have thought!?!) There is actually a name for this ancient technique, it’s called Focus Firing. It’s not a buff, but in a sense it is in that it allows everyone to work together and down mobs at lightning speeds!
Do you have to mark in order to achieve a group focus firing? Not necessarily, I’m certain that there are people smart enough to attack the Tank’s target, but personally I hate relying on people’s possible intelligence because lately there has not been a great showing of that in Randoms. Instead it’s better to just take a second to plan out your pulls BEFORE you go headstrong and try and take down Deathwing and his army in one pull… Wrath style!
Crowd Control, the hell is that?
Oh you mean the stuff that PvPers use? Oh that stuff is only in arena why would I have to…
No. No. A thousand times more, NO. Crowd Control, or better known as CC, is an ancient technique used by players to keep mobs out of combat in group pulls and in many cases even boss fights themselves. While CC isn’t as necessary as it was back in TBC and Vanilla it’s still fairly mandatory now in Cataclysm, but not to the degree that it used to be.
First of all pretty much any class combo have the ability to do some sort of CC except for DPS Warriors and DPS Death Knights. Sure you’ve got Intimidating Shout and Hungering Cold, but they’re really only OH DAMN OUR CC FAILED LET’S INCAPACITATE THEM A LITTLE LONGER abilities. Not to say they aren’t useful, they just aren’t great for what we’re going to be needing them for!
Basically CC is taking any other class’ ability and taking out at least 1 mob in each pull we do (3 mob pulls you can get away with not bothering). While as I said it isn’t necessary to CC on every pull, it definitely makes it on yourself and your healer for you to not be taking more damage if you can prevent it.
CC doesn’t mean that you personally have to trap that target as the Tank, what it means is that you’ll most likly being the one leading your group, and as a leader you should be using your group’s abilities to make the run as smooth as possible. Less damage taken by you, the better it is for the Healer, and in turn it allows the DPS to focus better on the task at hand. CC doesn’t make pulls easier, it just breaks them up enough for them to BE easier.
It’s a matter of planning your battles before rushing in there, something that Wrath had us doing on a rare occasion.
What do these marks mean?
While it’s not set in stone, I figure that it would not be a bad idea to give you what I use each of the icons for when I am marking up my mobs in pulls.
Skull - Kill first, destroy it, obliterate it, send it back to internet hell!
X- Kill second, I only use this if there is a second in priority mob in a pull, not so much every pull!
Star- Other CC (I used to use this for shackle)
Triangle- Other CC
You can make up your own, but sometimes it does help to see what others use. Be sure to inform your CCers which mark they’ll be throwing their CC’s at rather than just assuming. Some people use the marks differently!