How to Progress and Escalate Your Gameplay

Up until the very horrible gearscore vortex of hate and shame in Wrath, I had no idea what my DPS was nor what my HPS was nor did I really care but realized a lot of “elite” players DID care.

Today, I will walk you through the time when I was just a mere “casual” player, who found “raiders” intimidating cause they had some innate skill that I did not have (a group of raiders to raid with, I found out later), and how I honed myself to be a “good” player.

My history doesn’t go back very early; I started in Wrath so I can already see some readers leave this page since I don’t have the endearing street-cred for being a vanilla or BC child. Whatever.

My main was my hunter, and my goal initial goal was to explore every corner of Azeroth as I was in awe the very first time I opened up my map and kept right clicking out, seeing the GIANT land-masses. I would also attempt to make gold through mining to upgrade my pretty bows every few levels and ultimately acquire some dinosaurs and devilsaurs (this was when stable slots only had 3, or 5 slots!)

Now in this time, we had no LFG, nor did we have LFR, everything was manually pugged. As a new player to hit end-game, it was very intimidating to join a group for a “real” raid. You hear of things like the Heigan dance, Flame Leviathan (who was not a leviathan at all) and all these fancy terms that sound so elite and intimidating, that this was the time where we would need or be compelled to watch raid videos.

I wonder, HAD THERE been LFR back then what would my take be. The environment was extremely elitist back in wrath and still persisted to “LFR inferiority complex” when it was actually implemented in Cata. I most likely would have still revered “real” raiders. Yes.

My first jump start into actual “real” raiding was being asked via friends list to tank Onyxia 25 on Turny the druid. TANK? WHAT? I SCARE?!

I knew my basic cooldowns and the group did inform me of the things to look out for, basic positioning. It went well and I thought to myself “that wasn’t so bad, but Onyxia is a pretty simple fight”.

Though it wasn’t this Onyxia fight that eliminated my doubts. It was after, a few stragglers decided to run ToC! ToC was current and was all the rage. I said I DID have a healing spec, but this would pretty much be my very first “legit” current content raid. Note ToC dropped 232 ilvl and I was probably packing lower than that.

My normal activities as a “casual” would be to run heroics, get my valor tokens, and I would save up for the shiny new 226/245 ilvl gear. The “welfare epics” that everyone hates on. Hey, now there aren’t any and there’s no- no I will not rant on WoD today.

This was a late night ToC and I was intimidated as heck. I was so nervous that I was simultaneously watching youtube videos and healing at the same time (this was actually really great for multitasking I later found out, and that I would soon raid while multi-tasking).

The raid leader explained the fights very well, though I did get killed by the charging Yeti and I was so ashamed. Though my first death to the yeti would have been my last. The worm fight went well, as did the demons and the PVP fight. Twin Valkyrs was serious business but being a resto druid I was at an advantage of having high mobility.

We also downed Anub’arak and the very very nice raid leader Warlock (if you read this, I am so sorry I have forgotten your userid!) passed to me my very first legit raid item: Perdition!

Wow, my very first real raid weapon!

I was also recruited into my first guild shortly after and we would eventually raid Ice Crown Citadel weekly and it was all uphill from there. I swapped to my warlock, bringing in my hunter or druid on occasion.

If I had to leave a legacy for my characters, I would say I had done them proud. I have ranked at least in the top 200 for: BM Hunter, Destro Warlock, Resto Druid. This would have been during Cataclysm and MoP when people cared, though my druid would have had the highest ranking when Heroic Dragon Soul was current. Still I don’t consider myself a pro since I have not participated in any world-firsts, then again the ONLY fights that actually matter ARE the world-firsts so anyone clearing content after is meaningless in my mind.

I believe our guild was in the top 20 in the realm for one brief moment, but then again that’s the 19th loser, and again, not world first so who cares.

So why would you want to listen to advice from someone who has heroic raiding experience but no world-first experience is beyond me but if you’re interested then stay tuned.

Before We Begin

I assume you are able to do the bare minimum basics such as:

1. Move out of bad looking things.
2. Dodge things.
3. Having appropriate output vs. your ilvl vs. your secondary stats (because of WoD)

Truny’s How2Pro Raid Tips:

There are a few over-arching methodologies that I utilize to:

1. Maximize my output/throughput.
2. Maximize my utility.
3. Maximize my survivability.

“DUH” you say. Not only do you need to do (you don’t NEED, but you SHOULD) the maximum amount of damage/healing, you also need to try to RECEIVE the least damage. But, how?

Internal Timing

Whoa, whoa what’s going on? A lot of what I do is all about timing. Timing of your spells, knowing the “feel” of your spells, knowing roughly the timing of when your CDs are up without even looking, knowing how long they last and also knowing how long they are in relation to each and every single encounter.

One thing I do when going into a fresh encounter is seeing when is the optimal time to use my Demon Soul CD, and getting a feel of when it comes back up based on boss mechanics. If the boss has a mechanic that requires moving a LOT I may shift my demon soul accordingly to maximize my damage. Next time we do the encounter, I won’t even have to look at that spell.

For the first few encounters, work on recognizing the “best case scenario” timing situation. For example, if the boss puts a target on you or a debuff that breaks your pattern, try to either work that in right away or ignore it until you’re comfortable.

If your guild makes you watch videos, pretend you are actually playing IN that encounter to get an actual feel rather than just seeing the encounter, then getting hit by what you were trying to avoid.

Learning the timing of encounters saves a LOT of brainpower, and also means you don’t need the ridiculous deadly boss add-on, as I believe the game’s default messages are sufficient. One of the best examples is the train boss in BRF, as long as you know to start at 2, then 2, 2, 3, 2, fast 3, 4, 2, 3, etc., you don’t even need an add-on or even look at the track doors. It’s not just knowing the order, but getting the internal TIMING of these doors and also all of your CDs that saves you a lot of brainpower so you can possibly do other stuff while doing these boring encounters.

This is what it means to be “good at your class”. Just knowing the simple rotation you should be monotonously droning out is simply not enough if you’re not maximizing your utility and taking opportunities to squeeze out that extra slaying power.

It is easy to tell someone to learn their rotation but to actually train someone to make that rotation 2nd nature, learn the synergies of their spells and timing their cd’s is all up to that person!

Team Awareness

This is where LFR tends to fall apart and almost needs to be designed to under-tuned. If you’re with a constant raid group, you’ll soon get a feel of everyone else’s timing and tendencies. I found this to be more relatable as a healer, since all you’re doing is keeping everyone alive and are actually looking at where people are standing.

The only example I can readily relate this to is driving.

Yes, with a vehicle. Bear with me if you don’t drive.

So say you’re on a three lane highway. What are you doing? Scanning the environment. Who is in front of you, behind you and beside you.

How fast are they going? How fast are YOU going relative to them? What is the optimal safe speed for you to follow the person in front of you vs. the relative speed of the person behind you?

Add in the fact the intended speed of the people beside you and also the vehicles in front and behind THEM, if you should adjust your speed should they need to change lanes.

Now, how fast is the person TWO cars in front of you? Are they driving safe? If not, then the person directly in front of you, are THEY adjusting their speed safely? If not, you’d need to adjust your speed.

The point I’m getting at is that to work on being more effective is to know where everyone is at every given moment and also predict WHERE they will be going in case a mechanic hits them and they try to run away so you can throw heals on them if the other healers are going to be out of range, or if a big mechanic is also going to hit the tanks. See how it all ties? Timing, and awareness to the next level.

It seems daunting at first but don’t worry: it gets worse. Not only should you be comfortable with your OWN timing for spells/encounters, you should be familiar with your team’s cool-downs and what could possibly be available if an “oh crap” moment arises.

Examples?

I’m not sure if just rambling on works, so here are some examples:

1. I know player X will almost always die to mechanic Y, therefore I will prepare my soulstone and also position myself AHEAD OF TIME to resurrect them in a safe place, which also enables them to transition to the next encounter phase. Because of this I will not pop any offensive CDs since it will be wasted in the time it takes to prepare this.

2. A certain mechanic is JUST owning you every single time? Break all convention and work on JUST countering that one mechanic. Even if you have to stop and WAIT for it, just wait for it and look at your current state, how could you have prepared for it better? And how can you be doing your thing and preparing for it?

Conclusion?

Wtf is this a report?

Ultimately, there are only so many mechanics happening at once and are not impossible to deal with. If they were, people would have noticed. If you have to dodge three things while kiting another thing and damage two other things, you can do it, maybe not effectively but it is doable.

Ok I’m going to stop ranting now, bye!

Upcoming: Battle Pets for Warlocks Edition 3, or 4?

Truny the Annoying

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