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WoW Instance Tips

Playing in an instance typically requires more skill, work, and planning. Instances contain elite monsters that are more powerful than most outdoor monsters. Additionally, many dungeons contain tricks or puzzles that need to be solved in order to advance further through the dungeon and beat it.

Quick Tips
Dungeon Loot: You can find a listing of the items dropped by most bosses in the armory here
Stock up on food and water. If you can, find a mage to conjure some for you.
Create a balanced group. Preferably bring a Priest and a Warrior (or at least a Paladin/Druid/Shaman), for good healing and tanking.
Repair! Make sure you repair before going into the dungeon. Otherwise your equipment might wear out at a bad time.
Bring backup equipment, if you have room. That way, if your item durability fails, you can go to a backup. This situation can come up if you die a lot trying to complete a dungeon.
Bring appropriate healing, mana, and buff potions.
Bring ammo or required reagents for spells.
Bring required Quest Items.
Clear out space in your bags. Make sure you have enough space open for loot. You should only bring to the dungeon items that you need. Everything else should be put in the bank so you're ready to carry loot!

Dungeon Player Caps
All dungeons have a cap on group size to limit the number of players that may enter the dungeon. It was necessary to add this cap as raiding these dungeons trivialized much of the content.

Create your Party or Raid Group

Get a Healer
It's difficult to play in dungeons without a healer. Preferably, you want to bring at least one Priest for healing and resurrection in a single role. Priests find themselves constantly private messaged for groups because their healing abilities are in high demand. If a priest is not available, you can use Druids and Shaman, or even Paladins. While a Paladin can heal, you typically don't want to rely on that for healing for your entire group.

Get a Tank
You will have greater success with a heavily armored class like a Warrior or Paladin to soak up damage and to lead the party through the dungeon. You can play without a Warrior, but you'll find it's much better to have a good Warrior whenever possible.

Find someone to pull for the party. A Warrior can do this with its ranged weapon, and a Hunter is also a great pick for this role. The Hunter can even place a giant target on a monster for the party to see, which helps coordinate attacks. And the Hunter can lay down traps to immobilize or hinder pulled monsters. Many raid groups rely on a Hunter to pull and a Warrior to tank.

Odd Groups
You can create non-standard groups for dungeons. They can work depending on the skill of the players, the level difference, equipment, and the balance of the group. However, non-standard parties are recommended only for expert players.

Pick a Group Leader

Take an Expert
If possible, bring someone who knows the dungeon and its secrets so that they can tell newcomers what to do. If you want to explore the mysteries of the dungeon yourself, don't bring that expert.

Meeting Stones
Meeting Stones are located outside of each dungeon to help players find a group to adventure with in the dungeon. Meeting Stones cannot be used to summon players that do not meet the level requirements.

Meeting Stones function similar to a Warlock Summon spell.

  • Player's select party member to be summoned and right click the stone.
  • A second party member then clicks the portal to summon.
Get the Quests
Make sure you and your party have all of the required quests before entering the dungeon. List all of the quests you have in party chat. You can also check your quest log which shows how many people in your party have quests in common with you.

1. Hit enter to open up the text box while in party chat.
2. Open your Quest log and select a quest for that dungeon.
3. While holding down the shift key, left-click on the quest title.
4. Repeat step 3 for each quest.
5. Finally, hit enter to send the list of quests to party chat. Note: you can only list a limited number of quests in a single line. You'll need to use another chat line to list additional quests.

Party members will then see what quests you have and can see if they are missing any. Make sure you tell your party members that this is why you are listing your quests. Share whatever quests you can with the group. Experienced players will already know what you're doing.

Daily Dungeon Quests
Random Daily Dungeon quests have been added for both the heroic and non-heroic five-person Outland dungeons, as well as for the 5-person Caverns of Time instances. Each day both a single heroic and a single non-heroic dungeon are randomly targeted by these quests. The Consortium quest givers can be located in Shattrath's Lower City.

Make sure you are prepared for the major time commitment necessary to complete the dungeon. Ask about how long the dungeon will take. Some are fairly quick to beat, while others will take lots of time. It's very bad for the group if you leave in the middle of the instance, so do not enter unless you're willing to go for the entire ride. Let your group know about any time concerns you have prior to entering the dungeon.

Establish Loot Rules

Make sure the party is aware of the looting rules at the beginning. There are several options such as /random 100, need before greed, and so on. Establish the rules before the items start dropping.

Typically, the highest-quality equipment and weapons can be found within instances. This makes hunting in them very appealing. However, it also attracts people that are there simply for the loot. Make sure that before you enter the instance, everyone has agreed to how the loot gets divided. The group may be hoping to find a particular item for a particular character, or they may be prepared to sell everything that drops and split the cash. Usually items that can be used by multiple members of the party are "rolled for." It is considered proper etiquette to pass on items you cannot use; however, there may be items that the Group Leader decides that everyone should roll for. The Group Leader has control over the loot Policy setting. Make sure you know what this setting is and what you may or may not do with regards to loot. Most arguments between players stem from loot issues. Don't let Loot spoil your fun.


Dungeons have many items, typically blue and above, that are bind on pickup. This means that once the player picks up the item, it's bound to their character. They can no longer trade it and can only sell the item to the vendor or destroy it. There is a popup box that asks for confirmation before looting a bind on pickup item. Players should always pause at that popup and make sure they are supposed to loot the item first. If you pick up an item by mistake, you can cause irreversible damage to your reputation as other players might not believe it was an error. This can also cause additional repercussions such as difficulty finding groups, or demotion and ejection from your guild.

A good trick to use is to count down before looting a bind on pick-up item. "Looting X in 10, 9, 8, etc." Then wait a little longer once you get to 0 before looting it. That way you can say you gave people a chance to complain prior to looting.

Single Run vs. Multiple Visit

Some dungeons such as Deadmines are designed for a straight through one-time shot. Other dungeons, such as Scarlet Monastery, are meant to be completed in multiple trips. For example, in Scarlet Monastery you can do The Armory one night, then do the Cathedral another night, and so on.

Additional Tips

Make sure you have read party roles, the art of pulling, and party crowd control.

Know what your job will be. Ask if you are unsure.

Level Difference and Aggro
Lower-level players will have a much larger aggro radius with monsters. This means they will attract monsters (anger them) from much farther away. Therefore, it's important to bring players that are around the same level and within the proper level range for the dungeon. If you do decide to bring in a lower-level player in your party, have them hang behind the group so they don't pull extra monsters.

Running Away
Normally you can run away from a monster until they stop chasing you. In instances, they will continue to chase you to the dungeon exit. So typically, running is not an option in dungeons.

Stopping Running Monsters
It's very important to stop monsters from running away in dungeons. Normally, if a monster goes and grabs some friends, you can just run away. However, in dungeons you don't have that luxury. A "runner" that gets away in a dungeon typically will wipe out an entire group when it alerts its buddies and brings them to the party. There are many different abilities that can stop a monster from running away, such as Rogue slowing poisons or the Warlocks' Curse of Recklessness. Do not use Fear or similar abilities in the dungeon as the monsters may bring back friends.

It's very important that everyone in the group is attacking the same monster. What advanced players do is pick an MA (Main Assist). The main assist determines which monsters the party should be attacking. Typically, this is also the player that pulls for the group. You should create a macro for this action. Type /macro and enter "/assist playername". Then place that button on your bar and hit it continually during combat.

A group wipes out when all party members die and have no way to resurrect themselves. They have to run back to the dungeon from the graveyard and start from the beginning of the dungeon (instance) again. Depending on the dungeon and the length of time since you first entered, monsters may have respawned and you might have to fight some of them again. If you're lucky, the monsters you killed previously will all still be dead, and you can run right back to where you last were.

Wipe-out Protection
The Warlock offers the most common wipe-out protection with Soulstones. The Warlock can cast Soulstone on a class capable of resurrecting players. Once all of the players in the party have been killed by a monster, that person can use the Soulstone to come back to life. They can then resurrect the rest of the party.
The Shaman also has a special ability that lets them self-resurrect, called Reincarnation.
A Druid can cast "Rebirth" on a player (on a 30 minute timer, similar to a Soulstone) toward the end of a losing battle, and the player can accept the Rebirth spell after the battle has concluded and the monsters have left the area. In addition, if a Druid is not yet in combat mode and the group is going to wipe out (possible in a raid scenario where players are spread out), the Druid can shapeshift into cat form and then wait in stealth mode until the battle ends to resurrect another class with resurrection capability.
The Druid can also sneak back into the dungeon in cat form and resurrect players.
Paladins have a spell called "Divine Intervention" that will take a player out of battle for 3 minutes. It's on a 60-minute cooldown. If the Paladin casts it on a player that can resurrect, and this player is out of the aggro radius of any monsters, you can save the party.
Make sure you die within line-of-sight range of a player that can resurrect. It's important to "die in a good place."
Engineers can use Jumper Cables to resurrect players

Suicide Bad Pull
If the puller makes a bad pull, have that puller just die and not lead the monsters back to the group. The puller should die in a location where their corpse is easy to select so that they can be resurrected. This is an old standard trick used in previous MMORPGs. This will *not* work if the party is already in combat mode. The monsters will search for any player on their hate list.

In some circumstances, a Hunter can use "Feign Death" to escape a bad pull.

Hearth, Repair, and Summon
Warlocks enable party members to leave and return to the dungeon with greater ease. Let's say a player needs to repair, get food/water, or needs to turn in a quest or pick up a quest item. Players can use their hearthstone to port back to base. The party can then summon that player back once the player has completed their task.

Pet Classes
Hunters and Warlocks should have their pets on Passive the majority of the time in an instance. Consider binding "Pet Attack" to its own key.

Common Don'ts
Don't run off and open a chest during battle
Don't separate from the group
Don't go off exploring if you're not the main puller

Other Information
When in a raid party, quest items do not drop and most quests cannot be completed unless they are flagged as raid quests.
Make as much room in your inventory as possible, so that you will not have to pass up or destroy loot deep in the instance. Put everything that you will not need during the instance into the Bank. Examples: Quest items for quests outside the instance, Profession supplies and tools other than the Mining Pick and the Skinning Knife. If you find yourself running out of room during instances, consider buying larger bags at the Auction House.
Rogues can pick locks, which can be useful in several dungeons.

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