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Knock back (also known as punting) is an ability that lifts an enemy off the ground and knocks them back a certain distance. This in turn would also dismount players from both their ground or flying mounts, this however will no longer happen after patch 3.3.
The ability to 'knockback' is one that has traditionally only been given to mobs or NPCs (Non-Player Characters). They have been sought after by players in the past and have recently been implemented in Wrath of the Lich King.
If you have knockback effect, use it wisely. For example, Hunters benefit from the extra range the knockback gives them. Player abilities with a knockback effect:
- Druid talent Typhoon: 20 yard knockback.
- Shaman talent Thunderstorm: 20 yard knockback.
- Mage talent Blast Wave: between 10 and 15 yard knockback.
- Hunters' Disengage effectively allows them to knock themselves back.
- Patch 3.3.0 (08-Dec-2009): Knockback effects no longer dismount players. If on a flying mount, you will be knocked back a short distance before being able to resume flying.
This change is most likely due to some players abusing their knock back abilities on flagged players leading them to fall to their death.
- Patch 1.6.0 (12-Jul-2005): Knockback effects are now synchronized with any associated missile impacts.