An alternate theory of Roles – the CHK model
There’s an interesting theory of roles in instances that’s popped up a few times. I’d dismissed it the first few times, but am becoming intrigued – enough that I’m going to discuss it here. It goes by various labels, but the concept is what brings mine. Simply stated, there are three roles in the instance team – crowd Controllers, Healers, and Killers. Yes, this means that tanking is defined as a type of crowd control. So, by the way, is kiting. (hmmm)
It makes great deal of sense, actually, not least because it takes a number of excess duties and focuses them all as a central element. You heal the party, and you kill the mobs, and you control the mobs’ participation in the combat.
What I like about the theory is that it brings player – or at least class – abilities in to sharper focus. At the same time it allows “all hunter” (or all whatever) groups to ‘follow the rules’ instead of being exceptions. It allows me to designate duties better. Such as:
Kill team leader (KTL) is responsible for selecting which mob to kill now, and all killteam members should follow the direction of the KTL. The KTL may choose to select a mob ‘out of order’ (different from what was indicated in marking) due to the situation. The team should have a means of knowing when this happens – my recommendation is by using an assist macro. The KTL should be the partymember LEAST likely to have CT or HT duties midbattle. OUT OF INSTANCE TRAINING of kill team members should emphasize the ability to switch from secondary task (CT or HT) back to the KTL’s designated target.
Control team leader (CTL) is responsible for determining what mobs are brought to battle in what order, and what party members those mobs will be attacking. The CTL may not actually pull, but will decide which party member pulls. The CTL should be responsible for marking to aid in identifying which mob is controlled in what fashion. The CTL will need to be aware of all forms of CC available, which are sustainable/repeatable, and their duration and likelihood of failure. OUT OF INSTANCE TRAINING of CT members should be working on ALL their CC capabilities. As an aside, I’ve noticed that few players regardless of class work on all their abilities. A few classes are commonly skilled at a couple of abilities, but still not all: Rogues are usually completely competent at sap, but rarely ready to use blind; Mages are usually very good at polymorph and frost nova, but rarely practice kiting (especially blink-kiting). ADDITIONAL TRAINING – all party members (but ESPECIALLY the KTL) should be aware of what CC allows and what is negated by other player actions (usually damage). At a minimum, “if it’s not Tanking or Kiting, leave it alone”.
Heal Team leader is responsible for determining the priority of survival of party members and coordinating healing to try and keep all members alive. Management of mana regeneration (and awareness of mana status) is part of this task, as is appropriate use of bandages. OUTSIDE TRAINING will be on all these factors plus selecting the “right heal for the situation”. The HTL should be the player LEAST likely to have KT or CT assignments, though every player class has some CC capability.
Consequences… While all classes are able to do (thanks to bandages and potions) all duties, some are significantly better at doing one over the others. Since the CC role is the new one, it’s the one for which “best” is tentative. I’m going with the current evaluation – but want to note it may change soon.
A “good” CC class is one which can provide sustainable, repeatable CC on most if not all mob types. This makes the “best” CC classes those that can tank consistently, those that can kite consistently, and those which have other abilities that fit the “good” definition. At this point in time, then, my “top classes” for CC are (not necessarily in order) Warriors (tank) Druids (tank, cat-kite, hibernate), Hunters (traps are all classes, kite). Note all three can (and do) contribute to at least one of the other two teams.
I doubt the WoW community (among others) will shift to considering Tanking as a form of Crowd Control and CC as a Primary Role in itself. And yet, it gives an interesting ability for the planner to assign tasks and responsibilities — and the leaders of a group a basis for evaluating skills.