revisiting Marking Targets
I’ve not really changed my mind. I just ran into a situation with some pugs and friends combined and it’s on my mind – again.
First – unless you are with a group that is your constant companions, mark. You might have someone who wishes the targets would be marked but isn’t willing to speak out. (Healers are notorious for this.) You might be working with a group that has no clue how useful marking targets can be. Just… mark.
Second – while marking “the right thing” can be extremely useful, just marking ANY OLD WAY will help. Not least: adds. You’ve marked everything, and suddenly something is beating on your healer that ISN’T marked… the clarification helps. Especially if you’re tab-targeting (just find the one that isn’t marked and go.)
More useful – HUGELY useful – is getting everyone on the same sheet of music. A lot of old hands preach about working with a main assist (or what I call the kill team leader), but just using a constant kill order — everyone attacks this symbol till it’s dead, then that symbol, then that one… — will reap large benefits. Add in a constant for crowd control (say, moon is always sheeped, square is always trapped, circle is always sapped) — and make sure the code matches the kill order (so Skull, X, Circle because sap is a one-time, …)
Mark because it will make your group perform better even if they’re not communicating.
Now, choosing what to mark so you go from “better” to “outstanding” takes practice, and can be a bit of an art. And while I wrote a complex and long article on it, I can give you an intermediate level that’s fairly simple.
Make the kill order based on ease of killing.
In other words, you’re facing squishies and tanks. CC the tanks, kill the squishies, then kill the tanks one after another. If you KNOW that one of the squishies is a healer while the other is a DPSer, kill the healer first. If you don’t know, don’t worry about it.
Now, I’m going to point out that most people kill the hard target first. In the end, however, this is due to lazy thinking. They do it because the pullers don’t want to do the extra effort necessary to bring the casting mobs into range. This… may take more persuasion on your part. But again, if you MARK the casters as first to die, the persuasion is easier. The eventual squabble (Hey, quit marking them first because we fight too close to the other mobs! Hey back, that’s why we’re supposed to bring them back HERE – first OR last!) will either cause everyone to bail, or massively improve everything. ummm, please practice tact — it’ll make the latter result a lot more likely.
In sum, then:
Mark your targets, all the time. It won’t really take that long, and actually will speed your group. And…
Until you’re practiced, mark the squishies as “die first” targets. Yah, it feels weird sheeping the executioner and hitting the healer first, but trust me, you’ll like the result.