Tank, DPS, Healer: What?
A quick overview of the different roles you can fill when doing a dungeon in World of Warcraft.
Avellia here… Bugsy always laughs at me because the first time he asked me to tank a dungeon in World of Warcraft my reaction was “I’m doing what now?” and he seems to think it’s all so obvious.
Anyhow, I’m sure I’m not the only one who didn’t catch on to the different roles in a dungeon right off the bat, and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would go on being clueless rather than ask (and out themselves as newbies), so hopefully this article will help.
The basic roles in a dungeon are Tank, DPS (Damage Per Second) and Healer. Later on you’ll start to hear terms like Off-Tank and Secondary Healer – and maybe we’ll write another article on those later on – but for now, I’m going to focus on the basics.
Tanks are the big guys up front. If you are tanking, your job is to run ahead of the group and grab the attention (a.k.a. “aggro”) of all the monsters. Your goal is to make sure you are the only person taking damage. You don’t need to do a lot of damage, but you do need to have a high defense rating and a lot of HP (hit points) so that you don’t take too much damage from having everything hitting you.
If you want to be a tank, you want gear with the highest armor ratings you can find, as well as defense and stamina boosters. The stamina will increase your HP and the defense will decrease the damage you take. You also want to spend your talent points on boosting your AOE (Area of Effect) spells – i.e. the ones that hit everything around you instead of just the creature you’re targeting – as well as learning any talents that will increase your Threat (making you draw more aggro).
DPS (Damage Per Second) means you are one of the people doing the most damage. Tanks will stop people from hitting you, Healers will heal everyone, your job is to actually kill things as you’re going through the dungeon. The best way to do this is to stand back until the Tank has gotten all the aggro – at which point you run in and start hitting the creature the Tank is targeting. You may think it makes more sense for everyone to be hitting something different, but if you start doing damage to a creature other than the one the Tank is targeting, you run the risk of transferring the aggro onto yourself.