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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:07 pm

Intro

As a relative newcomer to World of Warcraft, I've had to learn a lot of things that people can often take for granted in a short period of time. Most of which revolves around learning what's possible -- modifying your interface, finding addons that suit you, learning how to make macros, and so on and so forth. The rest of the game involves learning the content and enjoying the experience. I thought that as a fresh pair of eyes to the game, I'd share my opinions and list a few things that have helped me make the game a more enjoyable experience for myself. This somewhat lengthy guide is by no means comprehensive and is a compilation of information that I've gathered in my time playing. Many thanks to Lunalion for pointing me in the right direction and the rest of the World of Warcraft community who I have spent my time observing.


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Last edited by Achtzehn on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:11 pm

Getting Started: Setting Up Your User Interface

One of the great things about World of Warcraft is that you can set up your interface to show as much or as little as you want. Personally I prefer ElvUI as it's minimalistic appearance is clean, easy on the eyes, and serves as a baseline for customizing your gameplay experience.

2014-03-26_00002.jpg
Basic ElvUI Appearance


The most important thing about setting up your user interface is to make it comfortable to look at and use. Just as you would clean and organize your desk before doing anything, the same must be done with your interface. Nothing is more annoying than spending several minutes trying to find something because it wasn't at hand when you needed it most.

2014-03-26_00001.jpg
My standard interface for solo/party


Personally, I believe everything revolves around design. The most important things you'll be looking at often should be directly in front of you, center of your screen. Everything else should radiate outward. As World of Warcraft is predominantly a PvE/PvP experience, your health bar, the enemy health bar, and your most used abilities should be close together. Other things -- like chat boxes, your minimap, and DPS/Threat meters -- should be on the edges. I don't recommend setting your interface up exactly the way I have mine. It's just how I like mine and I find myself constantly revising it as I play more of the game.

2014-03-11_00002.jpg
My Raid Frames for Healing. As a healer, I require lots of details at my fingertips to make an informed decision.


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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:12 pm

Addons: Utilities

As there are too many addons to discuss individually, I'll be brief and only describe the add-on's function. Most of these are intended to improve your gameplay experience and bring more information to your fingertips.

DeadlyBossMods: Almost a necessity for raids/dungeons. Reminds you of upcoming boss abilities/cooldowns and when you're standing in crap you're not supposed to. You'll probably want to download additional modules if you intend to use this with older content.

_NPC Scan: Useful for discovering rare creatures that you may want to kill for loot or capture for hunter pets. Due to the nature of how the addon works, it recommends clearing your WoW data cache often. Details on how to do so are on the project page.

Skada: Very simple to use DPS/Threat/Healing meter. Can be set up to have seperate windows for each.

Gathermate 2 + Gathermate 2 Data: Displays all possible gathering nodes for your professions on your map and minimap.

Postal: Improves the ingame mail system to include a contact list with auto-fill containing your alts and guild members. Useful for retrieving mail en masse.

RareCoordinator: Used to automatically communicate with other people on your realm and get updates on the status of rares on Timeless Isle.

RareSpawnOverlay: Highlights the spawn paths of various rares on your map. Very useful in conjunction with NPC Scan.

TomTom: Allows you to add custom waypoints and markers to your map. Includes an arrow to point you in the right direction.

LostTreasures: Adds waypoints to your map showing treasures you haven't collected in Pandaria, namely the valuable vendor trash and account bound items. Requires TomTom.

AtlasLoot Enhanced: Shows the loot tables of all bosses in the game.

Death Note: Tracks the deaths of you and your party. Very handy for healers trying to figure out why people die. :P

Auctioneer or Auctionator: Both are good for monitoring Auction House prices. An AH scan a few times a week will give you a rough estimate of the value of any items you pick up out in the world.

Macro Toolkit: Assists in writing macros.

Wholly + Grail: These two addons provide the ability to view and find quests that you have not completed in a particular zone.

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:13 pm

Addons: Class Assistants

These addons listed are intended to assist players with learning a basic rotation and priority system. I recommend only using them until you're comfortable with your rotation and then turning the add-on off. As I've not played every class, many of these are merely suggestions that I've recieved.

Spellflash and the various modules

HealBot: Assists healing by setting up keybinds and one-click healing for each mouse button.

Assassin: Assists in learning how to play a Rogue in any specialization.

Claw: Assists in learning how to play Cat/Bear druids.

And many more too numerous to list...

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:13 pm

Raiding

Raiding presents itself as one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects in the World of Warcraft. It offers the chance to work with friends and guildmates as a team to conquer difficult bosses with complex mechanics. The downside of this challenge is that it requires preparation on the part of each raid member. It is not enough to be interested in raiding. You have to WANT to raid. You've got to put forth the effort into preparing for the raid beforehand - either learning your class better, modifying your gear, or acquiring new gear. The raid group is only as good as the parts that it is made of.

As INC is not a hardcore raiding guild, requirements are far more lenient. No one has to pull off their absolute max DPS all day every day, nor should they be expected to. Still, members should have the mindset that they play to succeed. Progression raiding can be fun with its particularly hard mechanics, but wiping due to lack of coordination can result in frustration. Everyone enjoys the group ecstacy that comes with taking down that boss that has been haunting you for weeks while half your raid is getting well acquainted with the floor. It is one of the most powerful feelings that can be obtained through gaming. Putting forth as little as 30-45 minutes a week into preparing for the raid shows your commitment and investment in the activity.

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:13 pm

Preparation: Enchanting, Gemming, Reforging, and Consumables

Preparation is one of the most essential parts of raiding. There are a large number of things to take care of before entering a raid: enchanting and socketing your gear with gems, acquiring food, preparing flasks, and learning your rotation. If done over the course of the week, preparation can take little to no time at all.

Preparation can be as expensive or inexpensive as you desire. For most LFR and early normal mode raids, you can get easily get by with cheap gems and enchants. It is not until you do normal/heroic progression that you'll need the best possible equipment you can get. There is always a less expensive alternative to everything. For example, you can get green quality Panderia gems instead of the best blues for a fraction of the cost and still be just as effective, especially with the benefit of socketing bonuses. Nothing says lazy like empty sockets. Something is always better than nothing.

As far as actual gearing goes, there are several excellent websites that will inform you of the best distribution of your stats. AskMrRobot is handy if you're only wanting a general build for your class. It will provide an optimal solution for most people, but it can be expensive with all of the reforging to min-max your gear. Icy Veins will recommend you particular stats and explain the reasoning in great detail. Very useful if you're serious about using your class and matching your play style.

In addition to enhancing your gear, there are also temporary, one hour buffs available in the form of flasks and food. You should always bring appropriate flasks and food to bring to progression raids. (Consumable lists can be found on Icy Veins under the Gems, Enchants, and Professions section for your class.) For the majority of dungeons, LFR raids, and early normal modes, a Crystal of Insanity can be used in place of flasks. Healers -- and to a lesser extent, mana users in general -- should almost always carry a stockpile of cheap mana drinks to restore mana quickly after a fight. My preferred item is Golden Carp Consomme as it restores 300k mana over 20 seconds, can be bought cheaply from a number of vendors, and won't override your food buff with something less spectacular. Restorative Amber is handy for challenge modes or where you need similar recovery in half the time.

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:14 pm

Preparation: Mastering Your Class

Mastering your class is one of the rewarding aspects of gameplay in World of Warcraft. A well geared, experienced DPS can solo a lot of content that would normally require a small team to complete. The in-game Core Abilities tab of your spellbook will tell you which abilities you should be using most often. The add-ons section above contains UI assistants that can take that information a step further and help you learn a basic rotation. As combat rarely involves hitting a stationary target, a basic rotation can only take you so far. Learning how to effectively DPS while on the move is the key to success in endgame content. Icy Veins has comprehensive guides on which glyphs and talents you should pick and information on your various abilities and cooldowns.

If you're interested in testing yourself in a solo scenario or practicing on something other than a target dummy, the Proving Grounds in the Kun-Lai Summit is a good place to do so. According to this post, the Proving Grounds will be eventually be used as a requirement for people wanting to queue for Heroic level dungeons in Warlords of Draenor. If you are able to get Silver or Gold, you should be set to do endgame content. Note, your gear is scaled down to 463 to ensure that everyone performs the challenge on an even basis. You're not able to complete it by overgearing. It is a true test of skill. That being said, flasks and food buffs can make it easier as these are not affected.

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:14 pm

Preparation: Tactics

As far as the actual raid goes, the only thing left up to the individual player is learning tactics. There are many good resources online, such as FatbossTV and Icy Veins. Raid leaders usually briefly go over tactics before each boss, but it is good to have a visual of what to expect. The more people who have an idea of what to do, the more successful the raid will be.

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A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Achtzehn » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Conclusion

As mentioned before, this isn't a comprehensive guide, but merely a list of what is possible and should be
considered a starting point for learning more about the World of Warcraft. Thank you for reading this far. And shame on you if you scrolled all the way down to read the next part. :P


TL;DR - RAIDS ARE COMING. PREPARE AT FATBOSS TV AND ICY VEINS.

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Re: A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Venomous Inc » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:24 pm

Looking good, I definitely recommend reading it over; it looks like a lot to read but its mostly pictures. If you plan on raiding you should be able to raid this anyway, as raiding requires you pay attention! :D
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Re: A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Grandma » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:23 pm

Read through all of that, very we'll put together and valuable for someone new to the game - thanks very much for your efforts on that James!
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Re: A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Orbicon » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:06 am

Nice post! :)

Indeed very handy for anyone that has started to play WoW but also useful for players like myself that have come back to the game and needs a bit of a refresher.
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Re: A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby MrYellow » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:52 am

Very nice posts James! Lots of good information and tips :-D
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Re: A Brief Primer on World of Warcraft

Unread postby Lunalion » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:10 pm

New to the World of Warcraft, and yet still a fast learner.
You seem very keen to start helping your fellow MMO players in INC. Kudos!
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