The Gray Place

Suck Less

Posted in Gaming, General Me, WoW by mrfenris on December 14, 2010

I have tried starting this post about seven different times.  I can’t figure out how to start a “helpful” post.  I am not proclaiming to be a pro (“those who know, do not speak”) so here it is.  There’s no way to do this without sound pretentious.  I don’t mean to be.  Fucking handle it.

Wanksta to Gangsta in five simple steps:

You.  Suck less.  Read.

Right now is the perfect time to break some old bad WoW habits.  I know you’re all rolling a million alts, that you’ll play to level ten before your one night stand is over with them, so here’s what I want you to do.

The next alt you start, promise yourself you’re going to make an honest attempt to improve your game.  You might think your little female Worgan level 1 has a short future ahead of her, since your just getting your furry fix, but I promise you these habits can have a big impact on every single character you play.  If you don’t care about improving your game and you like your bad habits then stop reading.  However if your interested in being a little bit better at this silly video game we all play then keep reading.

1. Unbind your “A”, “S”, and “D”.  Congrats.  You no longer keyboard turner.  In fact you are now  forced to move with your mouse.  Get used to it.  It gives you a faster reaction time, frees up some handy keys to bind to abilities, and gives you better performance in the bed room.  “Q”, “W”, “E”, and your mouse are your new best friend.  It’s not as scary as you want it to be.

2.  Bind “like” abilities to the same keys on every character.  I am not one of those players who bind every single ability I have.  Instead I keep my rotation bound to 1-5 on every single character.  More importantly I keep abilities like ranged/executes bound to the same key.  No matter what character I’m playing  I never have to hunt for my Kill Shot, Hammer of Wrath, or Death Coil.  I just press “R” and it fires off.  Also bind your “Oh shit” abilities to your mouse buttons.  B4 and B5 taunt on my tank, CC on my DPS, or cast things like Divine Hymn on my priest.  You know that guy that saves the raid due to quick action and gets all the chics?  Yeah be that guy and screw  a cheerleader.  (EDIT:  Sorry didn’t mean to leave the ladies out.  You can screw a cheerleader too.  Then email me the vid.)

3. Don’t overload your abilities.  Don’t go and bind every ability you own to your keyboard, hide your bars, and then try and be l33t.  Instead bind a couple of keys at a time.  Start with your normal rotation, then add new abilities slowly as you get more and more comfortable.  Also make sure you PRACTICE your new keybinds before you get into a serious situation like a dungeon or raid.  When you’re sitting in LFG waiting for your queue to pop go over and pound a training dummy for a bit.  Get used to the rhythm and flow of your FCFS “rotation”.

4. Play accordingly to the situation.  Rotations you use while questing aren’t always the best to use in five mans.  When out questing on my Mage I don’t mind pulling a mob with a big ass Pyroblast cast that takes 7394 seconds to get off.  However if I’m in an instance there’s no way I’d start a rotation on trash with Pyroblast.  It takes too long to cast and I’d get it and maybe an instant off before the mob is dead.  This lowers my DPS because a.  Pyroblast has an insane cast time which I’m stationary and doing nothing, b.  the mob is dead before the DoT component finishes, and c. longer cast times = less spells cast = less Arcane Missile procs.  PvPing?  Then deal your damage in bursts and don’t worry about conserving mana.

5. Put yourself in a position to succeed.  You know those “pro” videos everyone watches to “learn” a fight?  The ones where people wank over a pro-player’s  gear, numbers per second, and guild rank?  Yeah nine times out of ten, your missing the most important aspect of their success.  Their positioning.  Don’t be slacker #3 whose sitting their faithfully hammering out their rotation to maintain their numbers when you need to be getting out of LOS or out of the path on environmentals.

How many times have you seen players kicking ass on the meters only to stand in the middle of an avoidable attack and die?  Good players are good, not because of their gear but because they put their characters in the best position to succeed for the encounters.  Backs to walls, behind your target, pre-emptively moving.  These are all things you are responsible for in addition to “making your numbers”.


I’m uncomfortable trying to be helpful.  I come from a long line of people who say “oh for Christ’s sake just let me do it myself!” and shove people out of the way.

If you don’t like the Goblin starter city just keep playing.  The Lost Isles are great.  Anytime you strap rockets to chickens it’s bound to be a good time.


4 Responses

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  1. Solunne said, on December 14, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Ooh, this is a fun game!

    Rhidach made a fantastic point about parties/raids in Cataclysm. Now that healer mana is a precious commodity, the healer’s mana bar works like a soft enrage mechanic. Anything you can do to lengthen the amount of time it takes for that bar to shorten, do it.

    Yes, that means high dps, as well as interrupting, CC, etc., but also doing things like using Seal of Insight and Word of Glory and other self-healing abilities once you’ve got a threat lead. It means using Maelstrom Weapon for healing and not forgetting your Hand spells. It means drinking your potions and other consumables, and using your defensive cd’s ON COOLDOWN.

    In Wrath, threat was a group effort. In Cataclysm, healing is a group effort.

  2. Adam said, on December 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Good post. All of my core abilities are bound to my mousewheel. So scroll forward and I cast sinister strike, scroll backward and I cast eviscerate, push down on the mousewheel and I cast rupture. Then I added shift plus these three options and Alt to give me nine spells without lifting my hand from the mouse.

  3. mrfenris said, on December 16, 2010 at 11:54 am

    @Sol. That end bit is nicely summed up. How long until the public perception shifts from “AOE of the Lich King” to this early Cataclysm gear starved environment?

    @Adam. I’m probably the worst Rogue in the world but out of all of my characters they are the only class that I think has the most on demand abilities that need to be bound to be effective.

    You don’t want to be hunting and pecking for Kick, Sap, Gouge, Blind, Vanish, etc while your running around trying to stick pointy bits into your enemy as melee.

    Gah I lvled 1-59 as Sub back in the day. It was pretty fun figuring out how to handle quests with 2+ mobs without getting splatted.

  4. Irmie said, on December 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I stopped reading after the threat to my keyboard turning ways. I tried to move with my mouse for my worgen and realized I can’t back up properly or quickly and have no desire to learn to. I will continue to keyboard turn and you will watch me be mediocre for all my days!

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