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Traditional combat roles
- Primary roles
- Tank — A key role in most combat groups, the tank holds aggro, absorbs damage, and tries to keep mobs from focusing much or at all on other roles.
- Healer — Keeps tank and everyone else alive. Also often the primary debuff cleaner. Almost all instance fights require some sort of healer.
- Damage dealer — Responsible for providing most of the damage during a fight to "burn down" the foe. Probably the most popular role, thus reducing demand due to high supply.
- Secondary roles
- Crowd control — Using abilities to keep mobs out of a fight for periods of time, so they won't be a factor. Allows better focus fire and reduces the number of mobs to fight at any one time.
- Puller — The player who draws the first mob's attention. Good selection and tactics include picking the most dangerous mob that might endanger finishing the fight. Often the tank, but sometimes whatever class is best a single-target pulling and can take some initial damage.
- Rezzer — Almost always a healer, but not always. Helps bring back dead comrades during or after a fight.
- Scout — A good scout finds hidden dangers, reports mob group positioning, points out obstacles and potential upcoming issues.
- Large group roles
- Leader — An experienced small group often needs little coordination, but larger groups need a leader to mark targets, position roles, and clarify tactics during phased fights.
- Main assist — Picks focus fire targets and decides target priorities during the fight. A main assist can also be the leader, or not.
Roles in Dungeon/Raid Finder
Roles in LFD
When finding a 5-man instance using Dungeon Finder, a player can choose to enter as one of three main roles:
In addition they can also set their preference for Leading role or not.
Due to the limited supply issues, Tanking and Healing roles may often be offered a Call to Arms reward. Occasionally the Damaging role may be offered this incentive.
Roles in LFR
The roles are basically the same for Raid Finder, except there is no option to put Leading preference as the raid leader is apparently chosen at random (although they can, of course, transfer leadership).