- "Elite" redirects here. For other uses, see Elite (disambiguation).
An elite creature or elite is an extra-difficult mob or NPC. Elite creatures benefit from various integrated buffs, increasing their power and survivability, and sometimes possess additional abilities. Elites should usually only be tackled by groups, or higher level players.
The role of elite mobs depends on their location in the game world. Elite mobs encountered in questing areas and most outside zones are usually the focus of specific group quests requiring players to kill them, often as the culmination of a storyline. These are fairly rare, and are often unique, named mobs. In contrast almost all mobs inside dungeons and raids are elites, with multiple players required to defeat even small groups, ensuring adventurers don't try to tackle group content alone. Elite NPCs include many guards, flightmasters and key lore characters, serving to protect key areas and functions and deter against unwanted player vs player combat.
Elite creatures can be recognised by golden winged dragons set around their portrait. "Rare elite" mobs, also known as silver elites, are rare mobs with elite status, featuring a silver dragon instead of gold. Note that only dragons with wings indicate elite status: non-winged dragons merely indicate a non-elite rare mob.
Elite status generally denotes that the content is more difficult than should be usually expected for its level, and most often requires a group of appropriately-levelled players to overcome. Most elite content is very hard to solo, at least at the intended level. While an increase of +30% for healths and DPS of a normal mob is quite a good guideline for most outdoor elites, outdoor rare elites and elite mobs within instances or battlegrounds seem to be much stronger.
- Elite mobs can have increased health, damage or additional abilities and spells compared to normal mobs of the same level.
- Elite mobs will give more experience than similar non-elite mobs. They sometimes drop better loot.
- There is no fixed scale for how much tougher an elite creature typically will be compared to a non-elite creature of the same level.
- Completing quests to defeat elites usually yield rewards that reflect the added investment and time required. These quests often come at the end of a questline, and tend to reward the player with better items or a generous amount of money.
- Elite Beasts that are tamed by hunters lose their elite status, along with any unique abilities they possessed. A good example would be the raptors inside and around Wailing Caverns losing their ability to .
- Elite mobs in dungeons and raids work to enforce the group requirements for these instances, at least at the appropriate level. While a lone player can enter a dungeon, they will likely be unable to defeat even a small group of mobs there, despite being capable of dispatching groups of regular mobs at their level. This increased power allows instances to present non-boss mobs as respectable opponents for groups of players, where non-elites would be defeated in seconds.
Some monsters are especially tough. Adventurers call these creatures "elite". Whereas a normal specimen of a certain breed might fall easily to a lone hero, to defeat an elite creature of the same type requires careful planning, a group of heroes, excellent tactics, or all three. Elite creatures often look different than their non-elite counterparts, being larger, having barbs on their horns and claws, possessing glowing eyes, or evincing other such indication of their power. Some elites, however, look just like normal creatures of their kind, and it is not until a hero engages it that he realizes — perhaps too late — that it is far tougher than he expected. While elite creatures are decidedly stronger and faster than non-elites, they are infamous not for size and speed but for their durability. They are able to withstand punishment that would kill non-elites several times over. Elite specimens appear in every creature type.
- Group quests would previously have (Elite) in parentheses to the right of the quest name in the Quest Log. These were changed to (Group), (Dungeon), or (Raid) quests in Patch 2.0.3.
- Patch 2.3 also changed a lot of mobs that were previously elite to normal mobs, making many of the related quests significantly easier. The concept of outdoor elite areas which housed such mobs disappeared over time.