5 Ways to Improve Your Play

Posted 1 year, 8 months ago at 12:50 pm. 9 comments

Apology for another post without images.  I don’t have any image tools where I am. =(

Ok, maybe it’s not five.  I haven’t even written the rest of the post yet, but I had to write my title first because I needed it to match those Cosmopolitan, teen-girl magazine article titles that Matticus is so fond of.  <3 Matticus!  And I’m not going to change it because five just seems like such a fun number!

This post is a response to another post on another blog, which I’ll reveal at the end, but not now, because I want you to read this first (because I’m selfish like that ^_^). 

In this other post, the author posts that reading theorycrafting and using tips from other sources is cheating.  The post goes on to say that such tips usually focus on doing damage at the cost of good play.  And I have to agree that some may, but the post goes on to say that people that take these tips and research and then use the information are brainwashed or selfish.

I think this is more about the mindset and philosophy of the player than the tips themselves or using the tips.

The post reminded me of the debate between science and religion, especially over evolution. You have one side that believes they are correct because they’ve read it in a book, have faith that it’s correct, but refuse to listen to research or proof to the contrary.  And you have the other side that has done endless research, consulted experts, applied their knowledge to the real world and come to an educated conclusion.

Which viewpoint did the original post seem to parallel? Definitely creationism in my opinion.  However, the post didn’t then follow through to encourage people to research for themselves.  Instead, it seems like the post encouraged players to gain their knowledge only through their own play.

If you want to play a single player game then researching how to play the game may be considered cheating to some people.  Those same people might not want to know where all the secrets are in the game without finding them on their own.  In a single player game, I know I’ve approached it from both angles.  Sometimes I want to figure out everything for myself and then other times, I’m simply interested in experiencing everything the game has to offer and not that concerned if I find information to help me.

However, World of Warcraft is a multiplayer game. That’s the second M in MMO. Not learning how to optimize your role for multiplayer is a disservice to everyone you play with. This is true no matter what sport or game you play. Would a professional athlete train by themselves in a vacuum, or would they research and find out the best methods of training, exercise and play to perform better at their sport? Team sports players study hundreds of strategies from many sources looking to improve their play. No one on a team wants to be that person that is ill-prepared for that next game simply because they didn’t do their research on their sport or the team they are about to play.

So, did you really want a list of ways to improve your play?  Did you want to take some bulleted list of tips from some therocrafter and apply them to the way you play your game?  Well, that’s your choice isn’t it?  It’s your game, right?  But it’s my blog and here they are. =P

The Five Ways to Improve Your Play

  • Research your class. This includes everything from knowing every one of your abilities and talents and keeping up-to-date on the changes to your class.  If you are a Priest, you should be aware that all Priests now have Fear Ward, and if you are a Druid, you should know that if two Tree of Lifes are in the same group that their Tree Auras stack.
  • Research how to optimize your class.  This is the step that the other post addresses.  You can’t just take one tip from some random place and voila! you’re instantly the best player.  You should research as much as you can, especially in regard to your role in a group.  Seeks out multiple sources and see if there’s a consensus or debate among strategies.  Analyze the information and come up with your own informed opinion.
  • Research the basics about other roles and classes.  Yes, you should know the basics about those classes you don’t play.  Because you’re interacting with those other roles and classes and you should be aware of how they can help you and how you can help them.
  • Research the encounters you expect to face.  Knowing in advance your role in an encounter and about mob abilities and phases can mean the difference between a wipe and a one-shot.
  • Apply your knowledge.  Like most things in life, you can read and read and read, but if you don’t actually practice what you’ve read, you can’t really understand it or know for yourself what will and won’t work for you.
  • Talk to others. This is a way to improve your play that many people overlook.  People tend to think that everyone has read what they’ve read and everyone is playing the same way. 
  • Prepare to revise your opinion.  You’re not going to improve if you’re convinced you’ve found The One True Way™ and refuse to listen to any more advice.  World of Warcraft changes with every patch and even if you found The One True Way™ yesterday, it may not be the one true way today.
  • Share when possible.  Not really a way to improve your play, but certainly should be mentioned.  Be prepared to share your information, but don’t be braggart about it.  Don’t shove it down other people’s throats.  Some people don’t want your advice and will not take it well.  However, I do believe most people do want to improve, and by helping others you make your play more enjoyable.

So, there you have it, the five, er, eight ways to improve your play. I’m sure there are more general ways out there of improving your play. 

And I’m always open to being wrong … sometimes and only when I’m not right.  ^_^

This post is a response to Vanity Fair and You: The Untold Story, Surzala’s guest post  on 4haelz.blogspot.com.


9 Replies

  1. Just, you know, for the record and I know you mentioned it earlier, but I don’t actually read the contents of Cosmo or Oprah or anything. I just read the title and apply it to WoW.

    I swear.


    Honest to God.

    For realz.

  2. Hey, I had the same problem re: image tools, but I found this and if you know Photoshop you should be able to jump right in. You don’t even have to make an account to use it. http://www.splashup.com/

  3. Stupid Mages Jul 31st 2008 Gravatar


    I refuse to read this blog further, it is full of teh chetz!

  4. All those suggestions are great and I think I’m doing most of it (though you could always do more). My weak spot though, is my a bit slow reactions and sometimes lack of situation awareness. It doesn’t matter how many bright theories you know if you cant push the buttons and move the cursor fast enough!
    So to improve I try do practice doing things that I really suck in, try to get better in it step by step. I really prefer raiding to PvP, still I know I need to practice a lot of PvP now in order to become a bit quicker. My advice if you want to improve is to not always do what you find easy and comfortable. Challenge yourself.

  5. It’s a great posting pointing out the essentials of playing, learning and improving together. Most heated discussions or flames in our forums are indeed about people posting The One Truth or numbercrunchers who derive beliefs rather than mechanics and logic from theorycrafting.

  6. Nice post.

    Your blog is unique. If you don’t mind, would you like to xchge links with me?

    Thank you

  7. Research our own classes? Research other classes?? Apply and practice??? Blasphemer!

    Heh. Just kidding.

  8. Okay i might be late but just read these and a bunch of your other blog inputs.

    -And i’d say this is the only blog i’ve ever bothered to read through.
    -Your tips are great.
    -You are a new demigod.


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