Overview Edit

In World of Warcraft, a mechanic can mean a couple of things:

  1. Short for "Game Mechanic". A way that a computer game simulates virtual world conditions, such as combat, consciousness, health, magic and movement. See Formulas and Game Mechanics.
  2. A mode of interaction for your character in game. See Mechanic as Mode below.

Mechanic as Mode Edit

A way in which your game character interacts with the rest of the game world. Most of the time the game's normal mechanic is in effect, but there are buffs and debuffs that can change your mechanic. Debuffs that impose mechanic-altering effects come in all dispel types, and some have no dispel type at all, meaning that they either must run their course and expire over time or have a specific way in which they can be removed.

For example, if a Priest or Warlock puts a Fear mechanic on you, there are two options available to you: if you have the "Insignia of the Alliance/Horde" trinket and are a Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, or Warlock, or if you are Undead (see Will of the Forsaken), you can remove the Fear effect yourself. Or, if there happens to be a friendly Priest or Paladin (or Warlock with a Felhunter) around, they can remove the effect as well, as both Fear and Psychic Scream cause Magic debuffs.

If one attains the second PvP rank (Corporal/Grunt) in the Honor System (pre-2.0), one can purchase an "Insignia of the Alliance/Horde" trinket, which when activated can remove three class-dependent types of mechanics; this power has a cooldown of 5 minutes. This table shows which class's "Insignia of the Alliance/Horde" trinket removes which effects. A "Y" means the class's trinket can remove the listed type of effect, while an "N" means it can't.

Class Charm Fear Polymorph Root Snare Stun
Druid Y Y N N N Y
Hunter N N N Y Y Y
Mage N Y Y N Y N
Paladin N Y Y N N Y
Priest N Y Y N N Y
Rogue Y Y Y N N N
Shaman N N N Y Y Y
Warlock Y Y Y N N N
Warrior N N N Y Y Y

Charm Edit

(Examples: Seduction)

You can't control your character, who stands still, usually with hearts floating above his/her head. Some classes' PvP trinkets cancel this effect, as does the Undead racial ability Will of the Forsaken.

Confuse Edit

(Examples: Polymorph, Scatter Shot)

You can't control your character, who wanders aimlessly. There may be items that help remove this effect (if this happens as part of a Polymorph, see Polymorph for more), and these would of course be usable in this situation.

Damage Reduction Edit

(Examples: Curse of Weakness, Hex of Weakness, Touch of Weakness)

The damage dealt by every melee attack you make is reduced. There is to my knowledge no way to remove this mechanic specifically, although the debuff that causes it is usually either a Curse or a Magic-type debuff, which can be removed in the usual way.

Daze Edit

You move slowly. This is a lot like the Snare mechanic, although it has the added effect of knocking you off your mount, if you're on one to begin with. These effects are usually very short-duration. A Blizzard post to the official forums indicated that it is intentionally impossible to remove a Daze other than by waiting it out. There was once a bug (appeared in patch 1.6; fixed in patch 1.7) that allowed Paladins' Blessing of Freedom and Druids' Shapeshifting to remove Daze, but this was a mistake.

Fear Edit

(Examples: Fear, Howl of Terror, Psychic Scream)

You run uncontrollably away, out to a certain radius, then mill about randomly, also uncontrollably. PvP trinkets for many classes remove this effect, as does Will of the Forsaken.

Incapacitate Edit

(Examples: Gouge, Sap, (possibly) Maim)

You cannot move and cannot use abilities, however the effect is broken when you take damage.

There is some debate over whether the expansion cat Druid ability Maim is an incapacitate debuff. It does break when the afflicted takes damage, but not when they take damage from periodic damage (such as damage from rake or rip). Currently, incapacitates do break when hit by damage from DoTs.

Periodic Damage Edit

(Examples: Corruption, Rend)

You continue to take damage every few seconds for the duration of the effect. The amount of damage depends on the effect, as does how often the damage occurs. There are items (such as the mighty Luffa) that remove physical Periodic Damage mechanics, which are known as Bleed effects.

Polymorph Edit

(Examples: Polymorph (duh!))

This is basically a combination of a Confuse effect and a Transform effect. The reason why it's a separate mechanic from those other two is that there are items (for example, the PvP trinkets) and class abilities (such as the Druid ability to shapeshift) that remove both components of a Polymorph effect.

Possession Edit

(Examples: Mind Control)

You are under the control of a mob or another player.

Root Edit

(Examples: Entangling Roots, Frost Nova)

You are frozen in place, attached to the ground. The Gnome racial ability Escape Artist can remove most Root effects.

Silence Edit

(Examples: Counterspell)

You are unable to cast spells. This may be from a Magic-type debuff, in which case a Priest or Paladin ally could remove it from you, although you couldn't do so yourself.

Sleep Edit

(Examples: Hibernate)

You are asleep. Your character stands still, head bowed, with "Zzz" above his/her head. Very similar to Incapacitate; you cannot move or take any actions, but the effect will break if taken damage.

Snare Edit

(Examples: Curse of Exhaustion, Frost Bolt)

You move more slowly than normal. Escape Artist can remove some Snare effects.

Speed Edit

(Examples: Sprint, Swim Speed Potion)

You move more quickly than normal. Debuffs can remove some Speed effects.

Stun Edit

(Examples: Hammer of Justice, Kidney Shot, Pounce, War Stomp)

You are unable to move, cast spells, or use items, with the exception of those which allow you to break free of stun effects, of course. Some of the PvP trinkets will remove this.

Transform Edit

(Examples: Druid shapeshifting, Polymorph)

You look like something else. When imposed upon you by another, this is usually combined with a Confuse mechanic, but not necessarily -- several items and effects in the game will transform you, but the only confusion they cause is in the minds of onlookers.


Example: Warlocks Death Coil

Causes you to run in horror for short time. So far, Warlocks Death Coil is only ability that can inflict Horror-type debuff. Horror is very similar to Fear, but counter-fear items nor abilities cant break Death Coil.

(Note: Some sources say that this is inremoveable, but it's not confirmed.)
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