The Importance of Positioning

So you’ve had a nice vacation the last few weeks, how does it feel to be back?

Feels a little weird doesn’t it? I don’t blame you. After spending the last little while chasing after fiddly little mobile critters like other players, it’s a bit of a change in mentality to be leading around something as large and ponderous as a dragon again…or as the case may be, a giant bloated pile of stitched together body parts like Festergut or Rotface.

It’s a bit of a change isn’t it? The simple fact of the matter is that the bosses don’t quite move as smoothly as you want them to, especially after a bit of a sojourn into the realm of PvP where all of your targets are nimble foot and quick to run.

It’s important that when you return to tanking that you understand how important positioning really is. The primary reason is of course, that positioning matters in a boss fight. Bosses usually need to be at a certain place at a certain time or bad things tend to happen.

The secondary, and arguably more important reason is that the melee tend to blindly follow the boss regardless of what else is going on during the fight. If you treat the boss as a carrot and your melee group as the horse, you’ll soon come to the realization that you can lead them around wherever you want them to be at any given time by simply moving the boss around the room.

In time, you will learn that YOU are responsible for the safety of your melee group as you personally can move them out of aoe damage and away from the hazards of the fight by just moving the boss away from it and watching them chase after it.

The first thing you need to keep in mind to turn the boss into a carrot for the melee is that the physical space that the boss occupies is NOT accurately represented by the bosses model. If this statement puzzles you, take a look at a boss like Sindragosa or Marrowgar. You can be hitting the boss perfectly fine from a position where it looks as if you’re waving your weapons at nothing but air. In order to move a boss such as these ones, you have to understand the maximum range and then exceed that to get the boss to chase. Failing to do so will easily get people killed from cleave damage when you have to move the boss immediately but waste a precious 3-4 seconds simply running to that max range.

The second thing to consider is the bosses turning point. In the previous example, to turn Marrowgar around, you can stand at maximum range and move around him in a great big circle just to get him to turn to the left. Conversely, you can move into the bosses model, move a quarter of the distance to get the boss to turn the same amount.

It’s something that you definitely need to experiment with to learn to use it most effectively but once you have experience tanking each boss and learn where their model ends and where their hit boxes begin, you’ll be able to move around those bosses in ways that you would never have believed possible before.

If you want practice before you experiment with the real thing, you can always grab a healing buddy and go hunt up a level 60 world dragon or two. You should be able to tank them pretty effectively with a bit of help and you can make a game of seeing just how you can move them around the map and how quickly you can turn them round and round.