The Ten Commandments of Being in a Group gives some very good advice for grouping from Poga.
The Ten Commandments of Being in a Group
Yeah, I’m making a funny here but it’s a funny with a point. While you’re working your way up to 70, you’re spending a lot of time solo and it’s easy to pick up some very bad habits. Because I’ve seen this far too many times, I wrote up this list hoping to encourage breaking those bad habits and picking up some good ones in their place. So go forth and sin no more!
I. “This is thy group, which brought thee out of the land of PUG’ing, out of the house of boredom; thou shalt have no other groups before thy current group.”
What this means really is if you’re in a group to do a run, don’t be a bastard and ditch the group to go do another run with a different group. Commit to the run you’re with and see it through. Decide BEFORE the run if you have better things to do or not enough time to finish the run. If you’re going to be short on time, let the rest of your group know before you start and let them decide whether you should come along.
II. “Thou shalt not wear thy gear in vain.”
Gear with sockets should have gems in them (even if it’s just a 2 gold green gem). Gear that can be enchanted should be enchanted. Yes, it may be crap gear you intend to replace soon but you can still put a cheaper enchant on it to help you get by in the meantime. These little things help you to pull your weight in the run and whatever your class or spec, that’s your job.
III. “Remember the mana bars and keep them full.”
This one is mainly for the tanks… it’s easy to look up, see you’ve got a full health bar and decide you’re ready for the next pull. STOP. Look down. There are a bunch of other bars there. These days most of them are likely to be a health bar with a mana bar right under it. If those mana bars aren’t full, stop and wait for folks to get mana before you start the pull.
But as I said, it’s only mainly for the tanks and some of you mana users are just as guilty. Not because you ignore the needs of your other group members before starting the pull, but because you’re not drinking to get mana yourself! If the pull goes badly for whatever reason, you’re going to want that mana pretty soon.
IV. “Honor thy tank and thy healer.”
This one’s easy… if you’re dps and you see the tank has started the pull, what should you do? The right answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Don’t do a thing until you’ve seen the tank not only close with the mob(s), but has had a chance to land at least two blows. This doesn’t mean time your spell so it will land after the 2nd blow, it means don’t even start casting until the 2nd blow. The only exception is if you specifically have a job in the pull doing crowd control. And yes, this applies even if it’s “only trash mobs”. If the target the tank is pulling is a boss, you shouldn’t do anything until the tank has had a good 10 seconds to get a hold on the aggro. Yes, there are specific bosses that are an exception to this rule but I’m sure your tank/instance leader will point them out to you.
What does this have to do with “thy healer”? Very simple… if the tank gets the aggro and is able to hold it, 90% of the healer’s effort is going toward keeping the tank alive and well. And trust me, the tank is going to take a lot less damage when he’s getting hit than a rogue or a mage will. That means the healer doesn’t have to throw around his heaviest, mana-hungry, threat-magnet heals. He’ll be able to keep healing longer and keep lower threat the whole fight.
V. “Thou shalt not break CC.”
The only person that should ever break crowd control is the tank, and that is when they are about to begin focusing threat on that target. If you break CC because you want to speed things up, you’re just going to make the tank’s job harder because now he has to chase the mob down, taunt it, and hope he can build his threat fast enough. That’s no way to treat the person who’s playing that tank.
VI. “Thou shalt not pull the mob.”
90% of the time the only people that should pull the mob(s) are the tank or a hunter using misdirection. 9% of the time it will be a sheep pull because the mobs present make that a more reasonable pull (ask the tank first before you just do this). The last 1% is for bizarre scripted scenarios where someone else needs to pull because of the way the fight works. That’s it. Pulling mob(s) because you’re bored and the run isn’t going fast enough for your taste means you need to be patient and respect the other people you’re running with rather than deliberately threatening the run. If you’re in a hurry due to time constraints, explain that to the others in the run so that they can take all reasonable steps to speed things up without causing wipes.
VII. “Thou shalt not steal aggro.”
Get KLH Threat Meter (KTM), better yet get Omen. These days there’s no good reason not to have a threat meter. And then pay attention to it! Omen will give you warnings when you’re about to steal aggro from the person currently holding the mob (which we hope is the tank). This also gets back to the fourth commandment and honoring your tanks and healers. If you do steal aggro, DON’T RUN AWAY FROM THE TANK. You’re just making it harder for the tank to get the aggro back and thus the mob is going to hit you even longer.
VIII. “Thou shalt bear buffs upon thy neighbors.”
If you can buff the party, you should buff the party. If you’re a paladin, that means use your blessings and auras. If you’re a priest, get out those prayers. Just about every class can buff their fellow party members in some way and if you can, you should do it every time the buffs go down. Yes, some classes like paladins and shamans have some damn short durations on their buffs (blessings and totems respectively) but you chose the class, that means you get to keep up the buffs despite their short durations. If you’re a paladin, consider getting the Cirk’s Blessings addon as it will make blessing management a lot easier.
IX. “Thou shalt not be a loot whore.”
That’s a pretty easy and straight-forward statement. If you can use the loot drop, then by all means, roll need or pass and roll after or spend DKP, whichever is the method your group is using. But when you’ve won two items and you’re looking at a third and someone else in the group can use it, it’s time to pass. Similarly, rolling need on a BoE item just because an alt of yours can use it isn’t cool. Ask the group first and only if they say it’s ok should you do so.
X. “Thou shalt not come unprepared, desiring not thy neighbor’s potions, nor food, nor bread and water, nor reagents, nor scrolls, nor ammo, nor anything that belongs to thy neighbor.”
Yeah, I threw in the bread and water because it fit well and yeah, mages should provide bread and water to their group but the point remains, bring your own buff food, reagents, ammo, and potions. At the very least you should have ammo, reagents, and a stack of health/mana potions appropriate to your level. For more serious runs like heroics or raids, you should also have elixirs or flasks to buff yourself as far as you can go. And being prepared means having your armor repaired fully for a run.