[NOTE: As of patch 3.0 (release of Wrath) the mechanics of Fade changed. I'm not entirely certain of the change.. but I know it did change. So.. take the below with a grain of salt. It was true at the time it was written.]
Last night I listened to “The Instance #98” and was outraged to hear them mangle a concept. I was up in arms. I decided I’d write to them. I decided I’d blog about it! Then on the way into work this morning I listened to “The Instance #99″ and they admitted they’d gotten it wrong. Grr. Ok.. so no angry corrective letter to them.. but I can still blog about it.
What they got wrong:
A listener who plays a Shadow Priest asked what she could do to stop grabbing aggro from the tank.
They said: Spec into Improved Fade and fade every-time it’s up.
Boggle. I gapped at my MP3 player. Wow.. they’d gotten it totally wrong. I knew they’d gotten it totally wrong.. and I’m not even a priest. Just Wow.
Ok.. Here’s the lowdown.
If you are in melee range you only need to exceed 110% of the tank’s threat in order to grab the attention of the mob. If you’re at range you need to exceed 130% of the tank’s threat. So, if you can stay at range, do it.
If the mob hates you more than he hates the tank you need to do -something- to get him to stop noticing you.
Priests have fade, Pallies have bubble, Mages have iceblock. These are aggro pauses. For a short amount of time you will no longer be at the top of the mob’s aggro list. When the pause expires you will go back to where you were on the aggro list.. but hopefully, during that time the tank will have overtaken you and will again have top aggro. The ability, for a short time, makes you an invalid target so the mob goes on to hit whoever’s in the #2 position.
If you continue to build aggro through dps or heals while you’re using this method then after the pause fades the mob will just go back to beating on you. This does not permanently drop you aggro. There is absolutely no benefit to “fading often”.
Hunters, Rogues, and (somewhat) Warlocks have a permanent aggro dump. When the hunter hits “Feign Death” they go from wherever they are on the aggro list down to the bottom. They have 0 aggro on the mob (assuming the mob didn’t resist). Rogues can vanish and also dump 100% of their aggro. Warlocks can SoulShatter and drop 50% of their aggro. This is a great method for topping the damage meters as these classes get to completely start over from scratch and do tons more damage.
Take it in the face
Some unlucky sods (I’m looking at you druids, shaman, dps warrior) have no talent for dropping aggro. The best they can do is to stop hitting the mob and hope the tank grabs the mob quickly. There are some items that can be triggered to drop their threat.. but they’re few and far between. These classes should consider things like the subtlety cloak enchant (2% less threat) or any skills in their tree that reduces the threat of their actions.