War College - Focus

Community Manager
This week, the topic of discussion is:

Focus - Designating a target as your focus can offer significant advantages, especially in organized PvP like Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds. What kind of targets do you designate as your focus, how do you make the most of it, and what are favorite focus related macros (or addons) for your class?

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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
11015
Edit: Unless you're really interested in an off-topic discussion, you can skip this post. Alternatively, you can look and laugh at my horrendous failure to properly read Daxx's post. Whatever works for you.

My priority is generally:
1. FC with heavy debuff (5+)
If they've got a large enough buff, you have a decent chance of burning them down faster than they can be healed. Additionally, it's a lot easier to get a random group to focus one person if it's the flag carrier. Lastly, if their FC as a large amount of stack, so does yours, so you can't take the time to kill the healers and support unless you absolutely have to. It becomes much easier if you can hit any healers/support with a quick CC right before blowing your CDs, too.

2. Heals
If the healers aren't killed/CCed, it'll make killing everyone else much harder. This lets both FC and dpsers go after you with much greater impunity, spending their GCDs and resources on offensive abilities rather than survival ones. Furthermore, even if you can push them hard enough that they have to fight defensively, the presence of a healer makes you waste valuable time.

3. FC with (0-4 stacks)
Them having your flag is a bad thing. If they don't have a healer to keep them up, they should be your top priority. The faster you kill them and return your flag, the less of a chance they have to cap your flag, or return theirs.

4. Everyone Else
With this group you want to prioritize far more dynamically than the rest. Even if they're not the most deadly, they may be hitting your group with slows/CC. However, if they're hitting particularly hard, you may want to fry them first, even if it'll take longer than some of the other hostiles.

5. Tanks Without the Flag
This is partially covered in number 4, but I thought I should spell this out. Tanks take a long time to kill, and aren't that dangerous (relatively speaking). Unless they're close to the flag, it'll soak up a lot of resources and time taking them down when there's more dangerous opponents around.

I want to point out that this isn't a hard order. If you see a dps that you can kill in one/two hits, it's probably worth it to finish them off before going after a higher priority target. Also, you don't always have to kill someone to take them out of a fight for a bit. If the FC has <5 stacks but only one healer, hit the heals with a chain of CC and burn the FC. Or, if a dpsis beating on your group particularly hard, it may be worth it to just CC them for a bit and allow your team to recover or finish killing theirs without dealing with the barrage.

If you're going to succeed in PvP, you need to be flexible. If the block doesn't fit, grab a new one instead of trying to shove the round one in the square hole. You have to read both your team and your opposition. If your team is focusing on the "wrong" target, it might be faster/more efficient to just go help them than spend your time beating on someone by yourself.

Also, don't forget to use your environment. If you can force someone to LoS their heals, you can go after them with much more impunity. Just make sure you don't LoS your own heals (or that you can take them 1v1, at least).
Edited by Karat on 5/4/2012 6:21 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
11310
As a PvP Healer I can tell you one thing:
Focus on us.
You can spend all day and all night beating up our team mates, but as long as we are in the background healing them up, you aren't going to get anywhere. If there are two or more healers supporting one another, it is going to take a concerted effort to bring us down.

CC one and get a rogue (if you have one) to stun lock another. This gives you up to 14 seconds to bring down the second/third healer before diminishing returns have kicked in and make keeping that person under control difficult. Use this time to deal with the non-CC'd Healer.
Of course they are going to trinket out of whatever you throw at them, but at that point someone with a different CC (eg going sap -> polymorph) can use theirs, and DR will not effect the second so you have full duration. By the time it expires diminishing returns on the first CC should have expired, IIRC.

Of course, I haven't PvP'd a whole lot this PvP season so I can't go into much detail beyond those broad strokes, but focusing the healer/s is the only way you are going to win a match up in PvP.

So....
Set your enemies healers as your focus targets, and create ability macros that will target your focus target.
/nod
That makes what I said relevant, right? :D
Edited by Alanahlia on 5/4/2012 6:21 PM PDT
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87 Worgen Druid
14485
The first thing are healers but dont unless you have other people on them as well. If its just you on them they will just out heal everything you do and kite you around like a moron. Helps to have back up. 2nd for me are rogues. Why? Cause I hate them so much.
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100 Orc Warlock
15285
Just to clarify, because its apparently not clear, the question is about who you set as your focus target, not which targets you focus damage on first. For those who don't know what a focus target is, it is a secondary target that you can set, and can set up macros to cast at your focus target.
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
11015
05/04/2012 06:12 PMPosted by Vreivai
Just to clarify, because its apparently not clear, the question is about who you set as your focus target, not which targets you focus damage on first. For those who don't know what a focus target is, it is a secondary target that you can set, and can set up macros to cast at your focus target.

...

Damnit. I was feel all smart and stuff too. I really need to read things more carefully before going off on long rants.

I'm still going to say heals are my top pick, followed by casters, then everyone else. Once I've picked a focus target, I'll watch and use what abilities I can to interrupt/disorient them. This generally involves having @focus macros for my interrupts/CC/similar (like Death Grip).
Edited by Karat on 5/4/2012 6:20 PM PDT
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Yeah, this is about focus targets, not kill targets.
Edited by Pezlo on 5/4/2012 6:19 PM PDT
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Community Manager
This was indeed my intention. We'll have time to talk about which targets to focus down when we talk about battle tactics.

More specifically, I was referring to the built in UI ability to set a target Focus, which you can use with macros to automatically cast spells or use abilities on a unit that is not your current target. It's a feature that I think may be less well known, and has a ton of utility.

05/04/2012 06:12 PMPosted by Vreivai
Just to clarify, because its apparently not clear, the question is about who you set as your focus target, not which targets you focus damage on first. For those who don't know what a focus target is, it is a secondary target that you can set, and can set up macros to cast at your focus target.
Edited by Daxxarri on 5/4/2012 6:22 PM PDT
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90 Orc Warrior
4830
As a warrior I can say that in an arena setting having someone as a focus target and having macros for them is extremely useful. Warriors, out of most of the classes, have the most focus target macros.(always put healer as the focus) Focus Charge: to stop heals and for quick switches, Focus Pummles(Interrupt): to interrupt heals for clutch kills, Focus Intimidating Shout: To fear the healer when your target isnt in range for the AoE effect, and Focus Throwdown: to cc the healer for clutch kills. The main reason you use focus macros is to save time. you dont have to switch targets to effect another target and you can continue to Dps a target and only have to use one global cd to cc another. You also get to keep an eye on him since he's your focus :P
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Community Manager
05/04/2012 06:22 PMPosted by Rykèr
As a warrior I can say that in an arena setting having someone as a focus target and having macros for them is extremely useful. Warriors, out of most of the classes, have the most focus target macros.(always put healer as the focus) Focus Charge: to stop heals and for quick switches, Focus Pummles(Interrupt): to interrupt heals for clutch kills, Focus Intimidating Shout: To fear the healer when your target isnt in range for the AoE effect, and Focus Throwdown: to cc the healer for clutch kills. The main reason you use focus macros is to save time. you dont have to switch targets to effect another target and you can continue to Dps a target and only have to use one global cd to cc another. You also get to keep an eye on him since he's your focus :P


If you're willing to share some of your macros or point to a good site where they can be found, I'm sure that players who haven't used them yet will find them very useful.
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90 Orc Warrior
4830
05/04/2012 06:24 PMPosted by Daxxarri
If you're willing to share some of your macros or point to a good site where they can be found, I'm sure that players who haven't used them yet will find them very useful

Of course!
Focus Charge:
#showtooltip Charge(optional)
/cast [target=focus] Charge
Focus Pummle:
/cast [target=focus] Pummle
Focus Intimidating Shout:
/cast [target=focus] Intimidating Shout
Focus Throwdown:
/cast [target=focus] Throwdown

You can do this with any spell you want that can effect a player.
And if i can, Ill include a specific macro for frost mages that I think will help alot. It's a macro that basically lets you put your pets Freeze ability on your action bars:
/cast [pet] Freeze
and any other pet specific abilities you may need to use manually. this helps with key-binding alot. you dont have to create a character specific key-bind just to bind something to the pet-action-bar.
And if you want to put someone as your focus on the fly you can use this macro:
/focus mouseover

This allows you to put someone as your focus without having to target them, just put your mouse over them and click the macro :)
Edited by Rykèr on 5/4/2012 6:36 PM PDT
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90 Goblin Rogue
TOW
7115
I honestly never thought to do that lol good to learn something

I will def make some focus macros asap

Thanks!
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90 Undead Mage
11850
Coming from a mage point of view there's two macros I feel like every mage should have:

/cast [target=focus] Polymorph
/cast [target=focus] Counterspell

I know there's some out there for impact but as of right now I enjoy pvp but I'm not THAT hardcore that I feel like making room for an impact macro on my bars.

My focus target changes based on the BG / scenario. In battlegrounds like Warsong Gulch, Eye of the Storm, and Twin Peaks I'll keep my focus as our flag carrier. I found this to be extremely helpful especially in WSG and TP when you see your flag carrier in trouble you know to freeze or CC their flag carrier so that you can grab their as soon as it returns. This doesn't always work but I have seen a few games turned around because of it.

In EotS I'll even set their flag carrier as focus if they're trying to hold it. This way if I see him hit maybe half health I can try to set up a hot streak and blow him / her up before they know what hit them.

Sometimes a lone defender at a base will be my focus. I learned that sometimes when a rogue or druid jumps you, that you don't always have time to type "Help (insert location here)". It may not be much but at least I can see the player in trouble and try to alert the team to try to get there if not get there myself.

Other times in a 2v1 I'll set the second player as my focus to keep them polymorphed or silenced while I try to take down the single player.

If I'm in a group battle my focus will generally be a healer followed by a player who's deadly while free casting (ele shaman, mookin, arcane mage). Interrupting a key cast such as a heal, a starsurge, or a lava burst could mean the difference between a player living or dying. Follow it up with a few polymorphs and you may turn the battle around.

The last focus I'll have is if I'm playing with my a friend. I'll keep them on focus just to make sure they're alive and well.

Focus targets, learn it, love it, abuse it. =D
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90 Human Warrior
19215
Focus Charge/Intercept macros are the greatest things to ever come to Warriors, next to weapons of course.

More specifically, I was referring to the built in UI ability to set a target Focus, which you can use with macros to automatically cast spells or use abilities on a unit that is not your current target. It's a feature that I think may be less well known, and has a ton of utility.

In that case, Healers. Always, always, always healers.

If no healer, then you focus on the guy with the most armor basically.


Still doesn't understand

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/draka/Tankwarrior/simple
Edited by Torpy on 5/4/2012 6:54 PM PDT
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