Note: These are intended for leveling pugs, where the tank is not made of Duranium and the DPS only think they do OVER 9000!! and the group actually needs a healer to survive.
1) If you are a tank, don’t tell the healer when they should stop for mana. It’s the healer’s job to watch their own mana. Only they know the rate that they expect to use it. Only they know if they’re good for another pull at 30% or if it’s okay to pull the boss before they’re full. If they say they’re good, they’re good. If they say they need to stop, stop. Remain stopped until the healer is finished drinking. Do not wait until they hit 50% and start pulling again. If your healer doesn’t get to drink to full, they’ll just need to stop again soon. And water isn’t free unless you’re tapping a mage. So let your healer finish his drink before moving on. And please, please do not say “mana up” at random times when it’s convenient for you. Frankly, implying that the healer’s mana pool is an inconvenience to your tanking awesome-itude (a real word!) is kind of degrading. Don’t degrade the person keeping you alive, it’s not nice.
Pro tip: Your healer will need to drink an awful lot in Mana Tombs. That’s because the mobs there drain mana at an incredibly annoying rate. This does not mean your healer sucks. It means the instance sucks. Please adjust expectations accordingly.
2) If you are the DPS, please do not use knockback effects or fears. I know some of those spells do damage, but trust me, they are not going to be part of your ultimate dps arsenal. Particularly do not use these spells right at the start of a large AOE pull. Don’t even use them if you get aggro. Instead, run toward the tank, so the mob follows you back to where it’s supposed to be. That way the mob remains controlled at all times. What knockbacks do is knock the mobs away from the tank and scatter them so they are out of the tank’s control and it’s difficult to pick them back up quickly. This generally results in lots of aggro flying everywhere, which results in damage to other party members to the tank. Common side effects are pulling extra mobs, people dying, your healer going out of mana, and embarrassing wipes.
Pro tip: for fast instances, avoid doing things that run your healer out of mana. The less time you spend sitting around drinking, the faster you finish the instance… though if you hate being there so much, I fail to understand why you queued in the first place.
3) If you are a tanking capable class that is running as DPS, take your taunt buttons right off your bars. Or at least put them in a hard to reach spot. If you bind Hand of Reckoning to 1 and Divine Storm to 2, when you hit hand of reckoning by mistake and that fel orc turns around and flattens you… well you have nobody to blame but yourself. For the Death Nuggets among us, Death Grip functions as a taunt in this situation. Don’t use it if you’re not tanking.
Pro tip: The tank doesn’t want help tanking. The instance does not require an assistant tank. It definitely will not make anything faster to have more tanks. The healer really does not want you to help with the tanking. The more people taking heavy damage, the faster the healer is running out of mana. You take heavier damage than the tank because you don’t have tank talents or tank gear. You are also much more likely to die than the tank. Especially if the healer is low on mana, or if you’ve been warned several times to stop assistant tanking.
4) If you are a ranged class, stand at range. They call it ranged dps for a reason. What happens when you’re standing at range is this: You damage the mobs, maybe the mobs get aggro on you and start toward you. While they close that distance the tank has an opportunity to taunt the mob before it flattens your ass. The healer has an opportunity to shield/hot you. And you (yes you!) have an opportunity to use a threat dump like feign death, ice block, misdirect, fade, disperse, and many more. If you don’t have a threat dump available stop dpsing the mob that’s after you. That’s right, change targets, so your threat on your former target starts to decay. This will make you a less effective pincushion. It’s true. When you’re in melee range, guess what happens? You aggro the mob, and it grinds you into the floor before anybody has an opportunity to do anything. Please, for the love of all that is holy (and for shamans and druids, for all that is naturey) stand at range.
Pro tip: Some things explode. Most notably bombs, but also some kinds of mobs. Standing in things that explode hurts. Usually, things explode in melee range. Standing outside of melee range offers excellent protection from explosions. Avoiding explosions helps your healer not go out of mana, which leads to an efficient run.
Pro tip 2: Don’t freeze/root the mob far from the tank. It may keep you from taking damage for a few seconds, but it makes it harder for the tank to get control of the mob again. If it’s chasing you go toward the tank (not away from the tank and definitely not around any corners that break line of sight with your healer) and let it follow you back to where it belongs. Rooting it where it doesn’t belong only keeps it in the wrong spot longer.
5) If you are the tank, please don’t pull mobs when you are under 50% health. If the healer is up and walking around, wait for a heal. If the healer is drinking, sit your scrawny tank ass down and eat something. Or if you’re a paladin, heal yourself. If the healer is dead, there is a multi-step process you must follow before it is safe to pull more mobs. 1) Notice the healer is dead. Believe it or not, many tanks fail on this step. 2) Wait for the healer to run back, or if a rezzer is alive, rez them. 3) Allow the healer to reapply any buffs they need to. 4) Apply any buffs you may be capable of bestowing to the healer. All party members should participate in this step. 5) Allow the healer to eat and drink until they have sufficient health and mana to continue. 6) Double check that you have more than 50% health. 7) Now you may continue pulling.
Pro tip: Occasionally you may encounter debuffs that continue to drain a tank’s health until they are healed to full. If the healer is out of mana at the end of combat, they’re not going to be able to remove this debuff for you. Try anything you can to stay alive until they are able to assist you. If you are a paladin, HEAL YOURSELF. If you are not a paladin, use bandages or potions to try and hold out until they can remove the debuff. Do not blame an out of mana healer for not healing you, unless you have done everything possible to save yourself. It’s not fair.
6) Pay attention to party chat. No matter who you are: tank, healer, dps, warlock, vanity pet… All kinds of useful information can be conveyed in party chat. Things like “I’m oom” or “afk phone” are important messages. Also, experienced party members might be warning you of things like debuffs, boss mechanics, exploding worms, traps, or the fact that you’ve got a 17 pound catfish equipped in place of your shield. If you’re not paying attention to this kind of message and it causes you to die… well, don’t blame your healer. Instead, in the words of the immortals… L2Read nub lol.