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Downsides and Upsides of Roles

May 7, 2010

Since people started running dungeons, people have been required to gather the best formation to tackle it. In nearly all cases, that’s one tank, three dps (a mixed of ranged and melee is best) and one healer. The new dungeon system actually requires you to put your mark against one (or more, for hybrids) of these options so that it can best fit you in to the random groups. Some hybrids will dip between their two talent specs if they feel they can manage, healing in Elemental for example, or tanking as Fury. This is mostly done in the name of speed for some of the heroics, as gear is so far past them now.

As a reference list for those who haven’t tried all the roles yet, here’s a guide on how it works:



  • Near instant, up to a few minutes long wait for what you’ve signed for.
  • Able to pull the group through at the speed you like, generally speaking.
  • The most control over how a heroic goes.


  • Most often abused for not travelling at the speed the fellow members want to go at.
  • Often blamed for deaths caused by DPS being foolish: AoE nuking before the tank has used their own AoE, or pulling a pack whilst the tank’s attention is diverted.
  • For new Tanks: Anything below ICC gear levels is generally mocked, belittled, and in bad cases Vote Kicked. Players are an impatient lot.

Other things to consider:

  • Good interaction with the healer is an idea. If you notice they aren’t too hot at spotting you going out of Line of Sight, or they go out of Mana fast, the best option is patience. Cut the speed a bit. Unnecessary wiping and less stress all round can only contribute to the good feeling in a group.



  • Fairly fast queues, depending on your Battlegroup. Generally anywhere between a minute to five minutes.
  • Can DPS on the side if the fancy takes you.
  • Reasonable amount of control over what happens – if you’re not happy with something, people die.
  • For the minimum amount of damage tanks take (unless it’s a half-the-instance-puller), gear levels are very forgiving.
  • Surprisingly the last to be blamed for Deaths. Most people generally blame the Tank first, then the other DPS for pulling aggro, before blaming a healer.


  • Tanks can be overconfident and pull more than they can realistically cope with, and blame you for their deaths.
  • Can be very dull with little to heal, especially if the DPS aren’t up to scratch.

Other things to consider:

  • Always keep an eye on who’s doing what. Generally healers have the ability to stay well back and observe the action, and can warn of accidental pulls, pop cooldowns when needs be. If your tank looks like he’s gonna keep on going, you better keep up.



  • You get to perform your role to the full, dpsing your heart out.
  • If you’re a good DPS, you can make the heroic seriously fast. 5k+ dps on your own means that’s about 10 minutes shaved off the time.
  • Gear level is technically not an issue. You can do decent damage in Northrend Blues.


  • Longest queues. Depending on the battlegroup, can be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.
  • For Melee DPS, it’s range, for Ranged DPS, it’s line of sight: Tanks that pull too far and too fast.
  • Often blamed for deaths caused by DPS being foolish: AoE nuking before the tank has used their own AoE, or pulling a pack whilst the tank’s attention is diverted.

Other things to consider:

  • DPS can be competitive and abusive, and you may receive comments from other players if they believe you aren’t performing to their standards.

That’s about it. Hope you found it helpful!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 2:08 pm

    “If your tank looks like he’s gonna keep on going, you better keep up.”

    OR if you really do need to drink, you can just hang back, drinking, out of combat, while the tank goes and kills himself because he’s not listening to “I need mana” in party chat. 🙂 I’ve had DPS yell “MANA” in all caps at the tank and he just keeps on going… /sigh

    • Zal permalink*
      May 7, 2010 2:17 pm

      The joys of PuGs indeed. Feigned AFKness is another way to do that 😛 Although I have said, brb and come back to a wiped group before who are all shouting for me to run and rezz…

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