Markers in Warcraft

Yep, another warcraft post – though I know it applies to some other games as well, I’m not sure of the mechanism.  Season and adjust to taste.

You got designated leader of the instance.  Before you begin, take a minute to look at the tools you’ve got available.  I speak, particularly, of the “Raid Icons”.  If you use one, you discover it puts this garish icon over a mob.  A bit more play, and you discover it will go over a player as well.   Regardless, they stay over the target until the target dies.  Now these markers are distinct from the others in two ways – shape, and color.  White Skull, Blue Square, Green Triangle….  OK, got used to them?

Before every multi-mob pull begins, every single mob that MIGHT get pulled should be marked.  Why?

“I’m sheeping the Raging Skeleton in the back.”  vs “I’m sheeping the Blue Square.”  That should be all the hint you need.  Raging skeletons – hundreds (well, a handful) of them, and you’ve no frigging idea which is which.  Just as bad is trying to figure out which of the mobs is a raging skeleton and which is a bony caster or a healing corpse or a, well, you get the idea.  By marking the mobs everyone in the party can identify WHICH mob is being discussed.  Oh, why not just the planned pull but the possibles as well?  “crap, we pulled the pat.”  Answer the question?  Thought so.

Even if you do nothing else, do this.  But of course, I recommend doing more.

I recommend consistent marking.  For example: Hunter always (chain) traps the Blue Square.  Mage sheeps the Green Triangle.  Tank (and kill) sequence is Skull, Circle, Square, Triangle (as an example – your group dynamics may vary).  And the battle proceeds like clockwork as everyone knows which mob is which and in what order to deal with them (plus special requirements as well – what a deal.)

I recommend strategy talks speak of the icon.  “OK, tank pulls the four-linked mob group, Mage sheeps the triangle,  and hunter pulls the square into the trap.  Because the pat is so close the hunter saves misdirection as a ‘just in case’, and uses it to direct the pat to the tank if they pull.  That means the rogue needs to be prepared to rescue the clothies if something breaks till the hunter’s free.  Remember, ID by icon – “X is on Priest” for example.  Questions?  Good, let’s do this.”

But wait, there’s more.  Remember, you can mark friendlies as well.  I give you two examples.

Escorts.  Escorts in instances suck, not least because you can find yourself desperately trying to find out where that package might be.  Voila – give him a raid marker and everyone — EVERYONE IN THE PARTY — can find him swiftly.

Finally, you can mark friendlies.  This is more useful in raids than in parties, but it’s still something very useful.  If all the healers need to be “here”, marking the one that knows where “here” is means nobody’s stuck trying to figure out which priest is the right priest.


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