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There are several different types of resources expended by player, NPC, and vehicle abilities. All classes in World of Warcraft have access to at least one primary resource, and several specializations grant access to additional, unique resources usually related to the role that specialization performs in combat. Resources are often related to the lore surrounding the class.
Outside of boss encounters, NPC abilities are typically limited by their combat AI or cooldowns rather than resources; most NPCs have an irrelevant mana, rage or energy bar depending on the particular mob type. Players use their abilities considering primary and secondary resources, cooldowns or a mix, choices determined by class, specialization and talents.
Resource pooling is a strategy used to manage resources so that they could be consumed most efficiently.
- The primary resource used by Brewmaster and Windwalker monks, all rogues and druids in . Energy regenerates quickly and has a maximum value of 100 which can be increased through talents or equipment. Energy regeneration can be increased with additional Haste.
- Fel Energy
- The primary resource used by warlock minions. It behaves in much the same way as energy, but has a maximum value of 200.
- The primary resource used by hunters and their pets. Focus is similar to energy, but is slower to regenerate.
- The primary resource for Balance and Restoration druids, all mages, Mistweaver monks, all priests, all paladins, all shaman and all warlocks. The standard and most straight-forward resource, mana is consumed to cast spells and regenerates slowly over time. Each class and spec has different abilities related to their mana regeneration.
- The primary resource for Guardian druids and all warriors. Rage is generated through certain abilities, and may also be generated through damage dealt, damage taken and/or being in combat, determined by stance. Rage has a maximum of 100 (120 for warriors with ), and, like many secondary resources, decays to 0 while out of combat.
- The primary resource for all death knights. There are six runes of three different types which can be used in various combinations to power abilities. Runes automatically regenerate over a brief cooldown period after being used.
- Runic Power
- A secondary resource for death knights. Runic Power is generated by abilities that use Runes, and is consumed to augment or power others.
- Description: The pseudo-resource used by Arcane mages. The number of charges the mage currently has increases the power of , and , but also greatly increases their mana cost. Because of this, Arcane mages must use regularly to avoid running out of mana.
- Base value: A mage generally starts combat with zero charges.
- Capacity: A mage can have up to four arcane charges at a time.
- Generated by: (1 charge), (1 charge), (30% chance of 1 charge if it hits at least one enemy)
- Consumed by:
- Decay/Regeneration: Charges reset to zero after ten seconds unless they are refreshed by casting one of the above spells. This decay occurs both in and out of comat.
- Stat changes:
- Haste: Decreases the cast time of Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles, allowing the mage to cast them more often, and thus generate charges more quickly.
- Mastery: Increases the damage of the mage's spells dramatically when their mana pool is kept high through , thus imposing a constraint on how many times they should cast Arcane Blast while at four charges.
- Leveling changes:
- Level 80: makes it very important to maintain a high mana pool as it substantially increases the mage's damage output based on their Mastery. As a result, mages should not cast at level 90
- Description: The secondary resource used by Monks, similar to combo points although chi stack on the player rather than on the target. Chi generation and chi costs of various abilities are modified by the monk's current stance and which specialization they select. Monks generate 2 chi instead of 1 from and while in . Brewmaster monks have free Tiger Palms due to . Windwalker monks often have free Tiger Palms and free Blackout Kicks due to .
- Base value: A monk generally starts combat with zero chi, but can start with more by using .
- Capacity: A monk can have up to four chi at a time by default or up to five if they select the talent.
- Generated by: (1 chi), (1 chi), (1 chi), (2 chi), (35% chance of 1 chi each hit)
- Consumed by: (2 chi), (2 chi), (2 chi), (3 chi), (3 chi)
- Decay/Regeneration: Chi decay rapidly while out of combat, but do not decay while in combat.
- Stat changes:
- Haste: Increases Brewmaster and Windwalker monks' energy regeneration, which in turn indirectly increases their chi generation by allowing them to use chi-generating abilities more often.
- Spirit: Increases Mistweaver monks' mana regeneration, which in turn indirectly increases their chi generation by allowing them to use chi-generating abilities more often.
- Leveling changes:
A secondary resource used by Retribution paladins. Holy Power is generated by certain abilities and is consumed to augment or power others. Retribution Paladins have a maximum of 5 charges of Holy Power.
- A secondary resource used by Shadow priests. Shadow Orbs are generated by and and used to enable the use of or . Maximum 3 Shadow Orbs, or 5 with the Draenor Perk .
- Combo Points
- A secondary resource used by rogues and druids in . Combo points are generated using certain abilities, sometimes called "combo point builders", and consumed to use finishing moves, with the effect scaling proportionate to the number of combo points consumed. In most cases, the ideal use of a finishing move is with the maximum of five combo points. Combo points slowly deplete once combat is left. The points are target-independent like other resources, although until the Warlords of Draenor expansion they were "attached" to a specific enemy and lost upon switching targets.
- Description: The secondary resource used by Affliction warlocks. Soul shards do not regenerate when is used on targets much lower level that would not provide experience or honor; this has the direct result of making it more difficult to participate in older content at max level while in the Affliction spec, because the warlock's primary way of regenerating shards is effectively disabled. will convert shards into verdant spheres; this is purely a cosmetic effect and has no gameplay implications.
- Base value: A warlock generally starts combat with four soul shards.
- Maximum Capacity: A warlock can have up to four soul shards at a time.
- Generated by: (1 shard per two hits, also generates 3 shards if the target dies during the channel and would grant experience or honor), (above level 54, 10% chance to generate a shard due to Nightfall (warlock talent))
- Consumed by: (1 shard), (1 shard)
- Decay/Regeneration: Soul shards slowly regenerate to 4 while out of combat but do not regenerate in combat.
- Modified by: It is not possible to modify the generation rate of shards directly, but additional Haste will allow the warlock's Corruption and Drain Soul to tick more often, and thus generate shards more quickly.
Affliction warlocks can have four soul shards at a time, which can be consumed to empower certain abilities and can be regenerated using others.