After playing the most (in)famous MMORPG of all times for more than 11 years now, I finally feel safe to give out an advice to all the players out there on how to become a better player in World of Warcraft.
I have a deep love for all things long-lasting, so you can rest assured that all these advice will have their value in the years to come, as they have had in the many years up to this point, and this guide for WoW players should be the starting point for all those starting with the game or becoming lost in the game.
1. This is your life
First rule of World of Warcraft club? Leave your Real Life (TM) behind you. Even though the game has become more simple and easier throughout the years, you can’t expect to play a little bit of WoW here and there and be a superb player. No. The only way to become a better player in WoW is to give up on your social life, other games, relationships, in short any other activities (except for eating, sleeping and making money, which is a predisposition to play the game at all) are contradictory to becoming a real pro in this game. In old times, it took ages to level a class, but even though that is a much shorter track than before, there are approximately a million other treadmills you need to run (gear grind, reputation, profession grind et cetera) there so you can rest assured that you will not have enough hours in your life to gather all achievements the WoW has in store for you. Up to this date, playing even 3-4 hours a day is not enough to truly be competitive in the end game, be that PvE or PvP.
2. Know your class and specc
Seriously, make sure that you always stay up to date with your class and the particular specc you are aiming to play at some point in time. First of all, there are a lot of differences in the life of someone playing a tank, a damage dealer or a healer. They all have their pros and cons, so let me make it a quick rundown for you.
Tanks. On the positive side, tanks are still the most desired type of players, and one can always rest assured that a wait between dungeons will be almost non-existent. However, as a tank you will level much slower since you deal less damage. You will need to know all the instances, shortest routes, boss tactics or else you will wipe everyone and be frequently called a noob. Yes, tanks are desired, but not as much as to insure that the players behind them won’t be a target of some verbal abuse now and there.
Damage dealers. Honestly, having played a hunter and mage as my primary classes for years, I know that DPS has no face and will be easily replaced if not pulling its weight in instances or raids. As a damage dealer you will level quicker, will have to wait some 15-20 minutes to get a spot in a dungeon run and can breathe easier once you are in there, since all you need to do is to follow the tank and unleash your devastating powers on the same targets the tank is aiming at.
Healers. Much like tanks, they are still a preferable class and should get invites to dungeons and raids pretty quickly. True, they have a problem leveling up – unless they split their investment between a leveling specc and a healing specc, where they won’t be as effective with their artifact points spread between two different directions, but they can relax and just follow the tank and DPS, healing them. I have spent entire dungeons staring at little more than my group bars and tossing heals, doing little to nothing more than that…
3. Get informed
Heh, believe it or not, in the good ol’ times of 2005 we had to talk to each other ingame and ask where a specific NPC is or what the best build is for our specc! Today, all you need to know is to get your rear end over to IcyVeins and Wowhead and you will have all the answers to any questions almost immediately. If you decide that the retribution build of your paladin could use some tweaking at some point, fine, go crazy, but rest assured that you will get best possible starting tips and info from these two sites. Use IcyVeins for speccs, rotations and similar while using Wowhead for questing info.
4. Know your rotation
Ah, the rotations. Did you know that there was no rotation at all in the early years of WoW? That in vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade frost mages and destruction warlocks essentially simply spammed frost bolts and shadow bolts? Yeah, life was more simple back then. Today, the difference between randomly pushing buttons and knowing how to properly use your rotation can mean the difference between 30% or more damage dealt!
Once again, go to IcyVeins and learn about your classes specific rotations in order to maximize the damage. If you don’t, you will underperform in dungeons and get ROFLstomped in PvP.
5. Use the right addons and UI
The original User interface from Blizzard was… dissatisfying, to say the list . We soon noticed that more is required, and the mods started pouring on. By today, nobody really remember how the game looks without mods. What you need to do know is figure out what mods are essential to your gaming and give your best to exclude and deactivate all the rest. In my article Top Ten Addons for World of Warcraft Legion I presented the once I used the most, but I will need to update it with another article – I have had some revisions since then!
Also – macros! If you ever go up against an opponent of the same class and specc and this fella nukes you before you can turn around, rest assured that he is using some good macros to dish out damage out of proportions. That is OK – Blizzard condones macros and you should feel free to use them yourself as well as create your own!
6. Know tactics and boss encounter strategies
Ok, if you recall the point Number 2 regarding tanks, damage dealers and healers, you need to be prepared to learn and have all the significant tactics and boss encounters… Which usually amounts to the “don’t stand in fire” and “DPS adds now!”. You will be 90% successful if you merely install this mod called Deadly Boss Mods, which will tell you what phase in a boss fight is coming next and what you should do.
7. Have a strategy and focus
Finally, the best tip I can give you is to have a plan on what you want to achieve and focus on a specific long term strategy – something I have repeatedly failed to do in my past, since I am a registered altoholic. Hence, I will find myself leveling the same profession across three toons at the same time. Not smart.
Decide on a class and specc and stick to it until you have managed to build it up to the point you are truly competitive with others! Decide if you are going to run dungeons, raids or indulge yourself in PvP and stick to it. The alternative will mean that you will always have someone – or probably many someone’s! – better geared than you that will be leaving you in dust behind them.
That would be it, pilgrim! go forth and preach others what you have learned here, and link to this article if you think it is worthy!