reply to justin
Re: WoW for complete MMORPG beginners Hmm, just thought of something new. Assisting.
MA - Main Assist. The person in the group or raid designated to choose a target that which everyone else will attack and kill.
MT - Main Tank. The person designated to tank things that hit really hard. Often times there are multiple MTs. Most of the time, one of the MTs is designated to be the MA, but it does not always have to be that way.
When you're going through a dungeon, or even if you just want to see what someone's targetting, you can "assist" them, which is to say, target what they're targetting. The default key for assisting something/someone is F. If I'm targetting a bear, and you target me and hit F, you'll now be targetting the bear.
This comes in really handy when you're running through a dungeon and want to "focus fire". There are several reasons you want to focus fire, that is, when all members of the group kill one specific mob at the same time, then move on to the next.
•To prevent damage to self - If your group pulls 2 mobs, and the warrior is attacking mob A, but you're shooting mob B, mob B is going to come after you. The healer will have to heal you both, which could be a really serious problem if your armor is not designed for tanking (cloth, leather)
•To help healing ease - See previous explanation, and add if only one person is taking damage, the healer(s) only have to concentrate on healing one person, which makes their job much easier in most cases.
•Crowd Control - If multiple mobs are in 1 pull, sometimes it is good to use any method of "crowd control" or "CC". This is the mage spell Polymorph, Rogue sap, Druid root, priest shackle, hunter ice trap, etc. If you don't assist, and kill the same mob, you'll break the CC'd mobs and much chaos is likely to ensue. A lot of times if you're a CC class, you'll want to assist the MA, then target SOMETHING ELSE and CC it - this is to make sure you don't CC what the MT is attacking.
Sometimes, you DON'T want to assist. If you're "off-tanking" a mob, you want to make sure you're NOT targetting the same thing as the main assist. An off-tanking method would be used if there was a limited amount of CC. For example, there are 4 mobs in a pull, but you only have a mage for CC (the mage can only polymorph one thing at a time) so you'd have the warrior tank 1 or 2, mage CC one, and there's 1 leftover, so you'd have to off-tank it. Off-tanking is typically done by the next best class. Shaman or paladin because of their armor, or rogue because of dodge and parry %.
A really good example of offtanking are the 5-mob "core hound packs" in Molten Core. You'll need to specify which mob each warrior is going to tank before they're even pulled, so you have one guy pick the target and say "okay, Johnny, assist me" and then he does another one and says, "okay Sally, assist me" and so on, so he can put everyone on different mobs, so they can be controlled.
Macro and UI
If you do not want to bother with targetting the MT and hitting F all the time (2 steps can be too complicated when you wanna move fast!) you can make a macro, or get a UI mod.
You can TYPE /assist [playername] and it will give you that player's target, or you can just type /assist and it will do the same thing as pressing F. Use this feature and put it into a macro (type /macro or click on it from the main menu, to get into the Macro screen). So if the MA was designated as "JimmyNeutron" I'd put in my macro /assist jimmyneutron (not case sensitive). I'd drag that button to my hotbar, and click it or press the bound key to get my target before each fight! Easy!
Some people have UI mods that show them the target of their target, which makes it easy to see who the mob is targetting and/or what the MA is targetting.
One particular mod a lot of people use is CTRaidAssist (»www.ctmod.net). CTRA has a feature called "MT Targets" which lets the Raid Leader or assistant specify people to show up on your screen, and show their target next to them. This makes it easy to get a target by simply clicking on that window, or pressing the bound key that you can set up. MT Targets also plays a sound whenever YOU show up as the target of one of the MT Targets (bad, if you're not supposed to be tanking it!) so you'll know to vanish, feint, feign death, fade, or run to a new spot to tank it!
All in all, if you have an assist key, any dungeon experience you have will be much easier!