Broken Game Dynamic: Mobs Don’t Suffer Spell Interrupts

We’ve all been there: you are taking a beating from [insert number and name of mob(s) of choice] and you just need to get one more spell off. It might be a healing spell or that finishing fireball. Doesn’t matter, because it’s not going to happen because of that frustrating game dynamic – spell interrupt. The rest of this read comes down to this: I don’t see a player-to-mob spell interrupt in combat from melee or ranged or spell damage alone. When I get hit, my spell casting is interrupted, but I don’t see that happening to the stuff I whack, shoot, or burn/freeze, do you? Maybe it’s there, but all I see is a casting bar running along at a pretty nice, steady clip with full fury blazing on Gitr, Rapid Fire on Huntr, and more.

I’ve played nearly every class in the game, and the only classes that I didn’t experience a problem with interrupt were my warrior and mere level 24 rogue. Certain classes have talents and trainable skills that allow you to avoid interruption, at least for a certain amount of time, sometimes with a severe cooldown. A 5-30 minute stun ability doesn’t do crap for leveling, now does it?

Why is it that no matter what you’re going up against, outside of PvP, it is not deterred by dozens of slashes with daggers, 50% health-sapping spells, or a steady spell like Mind Flay? It is an unfair advantage that mobs have. Can you imagine how heroic you would be if you could take on 8 mobs at once and then heal yourself as a druid or paladin? What about those times you need to Scare Beast when your pet loses aggro and is about to go down? Heaven forbid you just put up a bubble as a priest and got whacked by something that cleared its entire absorption limit. Good night, fair priest.

Pile o'ShamanIt was just yesterday that I came across a perfect time when it would have been nice to have a tit-for-tat interruption. Paladr, my level 47 tankadin was in Feralas going after the 10 Gordunni Shaman when he purposefully aggroed 2 of them and accidentally invited 2 more. What do we have here? Four like-level mobs with 1/2 melee, 1/2 spell damage, healing abilities, and mana equal to me… per mob. Great! Now I have to beat my way through over 8k HP and 8k mana with only a 2k mana pool.

Every time I wanted to stop one of them from healing, I’d use up my 1 minute stun ability because I had to keep Seal of Light up for self-healing. I could leave Seal of Justice up to stun them periodically if it was possible to heal myself – oh yeah – I get interrupted, even with Aura of Concentration up. None of them were dissuaded from casting a heal on each other or themselves despite standing on Consecrated ground and hitting them with an epic mace. Even with Aura of Retribution up they will still cast their spell in 2 seconds flat.

At the least, casters should be able to interrupt mobs with spells to make it a strategy game to use faster spells to interrupt them, no differently than you do in PvP.

That takes us all the way to contemplating why PvE isn’t treated the same as PvP in this game dynamic. I understand not having player collision, but this difference doesn’t make any sense to this gamer. I also get that this would dramatically change the nature of leveling, especially grinding. There are mobs that get ignored more than others because of the certain spells they cast, and others that get targeted, and I daresay over-camped, because of a lack of spells to fight through, especially heals and stuns. Oh, the dreaded mana drain… don’t get me started on that…

What do you say? Is there server-side interruption on mobs and I’m just not seeing it? I don’t see any downsides to having it be a fair exchange of weakness to place that dynamic on NPC casters.


  1. says

    There is one simple reason why mobs don’t suffer from spell pushback: You can gang up on them. Your average raid boss has probably about 15 effects hitting it per second, probably more. Even your average elite mob in a 5-man dungeon usually has 4 people hitting it. Hell, even a single hunter or a rogue could keep pushback going on for a long time. If mobs’ spells were affected by pushback, quite a lot of caster mobs would be trivial to kill.

  2. Mr Cuvvey says

    Yeah, this is a perfect example of one of the many double-standards that plague WoW, and I’m sure many other MMO’s. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re giving NPC’s and mobs advantages over the player that don’t make some sort of logical sense to the lore or aren’t explicitly clarified, it’s just lazy design.

    A friend of mine brought up another example of elemental resistances, such as enemies being immune to their own element, but don’t take any extra damage if attacked with the opposing element (if a water elemental were attacked with fire, for example). It’s the game working against the player simply to be more difficult, and it’s very frustrating.

  3. says

    Shakis, always good to hear from you.

    Sorry for the delay, but Ohio is keeping my Internet usage to a minimum. I’ll be full-swing again Monday night. Good point on the ganging up, and I realize that aspect of the gameplay remains a valid place to avoid pushback (thank you for the accurate term). What bothers me is the non-boss or at least non-instanced mobs that are very likely to be soloed. Of course, all kinds of things can happen when you act as a raid in world combat, such as the EU guy that leveled from 60-70 in under 24 hours. Those are the exception and shoudn’t affect the regular Joes that have to go out of their way to avoid a certain class or mob.

    I’m in Feralas right now, and I’m avoiding just about every caster around because, not only do their spells go right through my armor, I have no way to stop them from damaging me, unlike them.

    Mr. Cuvvey, thanks for stopping by. Welcome to our community.

    I was unaware of that elemental resistance before now. I’m intrigued. Thanks for the head’s up, as I’m always looking for interesting angles like that.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Runnik says

    There is another reason why mobs aren’t affected by spell pushback: Rogues, warriors, mages, shaman and feral druids. Lets not forget that Blizzard gave these classes the ability to stop mobs and bosses (and other players in duels and pvp) from casting spells. Rogues have kick, warriors have shield bash and charge, mages have spell reflect, shaman’s have a totem that periodically interrupts casts, and also like warriors feral druids have a charge ability. If Blizzard allowed just any old mob or boss to be interrupted by any player, this would take away from the game’s class dynamic. Believe me Gitr, I’ve been there and it sucks. But I think there was always a reason for this.

  5. says

    > mages have spell reflect

    Nope, mages have Counter Spell. It’s Warriors that have Spell Reflect. Also, you forgot Shadow Priests that have Silence.
    Finally, CC, which several classes have, can also be an effective anti-spell casting measure, e.g. Fear, Sheep, Freeze Trap.

    Put all these together and this strengthens your point. Players already have the means to stop mobs from casting spells. Elites and Bosses are immune to most of these, thus making sure they don’t become too easy.

    > Why is it that no matter what you’re going up against, outside of PvP, it is not deterred by dozens of slashes with daggers, 50% health-sapping spells, or a steady spell like Mind Flay?

    Gitr, at least according to WoWWiki, even players don’t suffer interrupt effects from Channeled spells such as Mind Flay (the only exception is the Arcane Missiles channeled spell). See the full article at:

    As for 50% health-sapping spells, I’m not sure I understand. Spells and abilities which reduce healing done by 50% work well on mobs, except those immune to such effects, e.g. instance elites and bosses.

    > Can you imagine how heroic you would be if you could take on 8 mobs at once and then heal yourself as a druid or paladin?

    Want to experience such heroism? Ever taken your level 70 Paladin to fight mobs 20 levels lower or more? The above describes exactly what you can do when fighting much lower level mobs and also explains why Blizzard don’t do it – the game wouldn’t be fun if it were too easy…


  6. says


    Nice write-up, thanks. I did see a typo that brought on one comment of yours… I meant 50% mana-sapping, such as the sprite dragons in Feralas.

    While I agree with Runnik that there are interrupts at our disposal, the cooldowns and availability of them are so interspersed for many of the classes, they are effectually non-existant. Sure I can stun a mob with my pally… every 2 minutes. Rogues are the complete opposite of my argument, being completely capable of stun-locking an opponent, but all-in-all I have no defense against 2 casters to be able to delay (pushback) their casting or interrupt a spell more than once per engagement with a class more that capable of taking on 5-7 like-level melee mobs.

    As to the heroism bit at the end, I’d love to have a level 70 Paladin and do that. He’s a mere 46 and about to take out his frustrations on some Barrens casters now. 🙂

  7. Runnik says

    Druids suffer interrupts when they cast Hurricane, and that too is a channeled spell. So channeled spells that are AOE can be interrupted.

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