Warcraft has a long history of being a good game. It has been around for a long time in terms of gaming and as such has a very expansive world which can be overwhelming for the new players. This will be a series about the problems with warcraft from the perspective of the new player.
Part I: Abilities
There are just too many of them...
No where in the game is it more apparent that there are too many choices in abilities for the new player than in the entry level of heroic dungeons.
This is the reason we see damage dealers doing bad damage, because they have dozens of abilities to choose from and often make the wrong choices which abilities are the best for doing their job of killing the big baddie in the most efficient manner.
This is, in part, the reason we see so many bad healers in dungeons that are not choosing the right heals for the right moments. They either panic and use the expensive heals and run out of mana or they try to conserve and cast smaller heals when bigger ones are needed. Or in some cases they just do not grasp the concept that there are different heals for different situations and ever healing class has at least one for each task.
This is why tanks often learn how to tank without learning how to use cooldowns effectively. While they are out leveling on their own they are in the same situation as the damage dealer when dealing with so many damage dealing abilities that they never even realize they have defensive cooldowns. Even more so, they underestimate the need for them because a 20% reduction of damage for 6 seconds just does not seem all that attractive when compared to an ability that has 125% weapons damage even if a tanks first priority, outside of insulting the mobs mother, is to do what they can to stay alive.
Easy to play, hard to master...
This really covers the entire warcraft game. In truth it is easy to play and hard to master but that term is usually reserved for hunters in player vs player and there is a reason for that. The hunter toolbox is huge. There are so many things they can do so while they might be an extremely easy class to play they are amazingly hard to master because of the copious amount of abilities they have.
There is no better example of how different the game is depending on how you handle the abilities you have and having so many of them actually makes the game much harder for those that do not understand them all.
I've trained at least a dozen hunters how to better play their class this expansion alone and it is quite interesting to see how little they knew even if they where doing fantastic beforehand.
First boss in the last HoT I said, you can use master call to get out of that. What? I have said that what feels like 100 times and never once, yes, not once, has anyone ever said, I knew that. That many different hunters and not one of them knew what masters call did. A few even said, I am not BM I don't have it.
These are people that seemed like good players. Their damage numbers were up there, they attacked the right targets, they managed aggro, the avoided the avoidable, they seemed like excellent hunters but they never even knew something as simple as masters call existed.
Easy to play, hard to master, meet the perfect example.
Masters call, master call on someone else, kill command while in deterrence, disengaging forward, scatter trap, concussive kiting, scare beast, aspect dancing, and the list goes on and on.
There are so many abilities that hunters, and all classes for that matter, have that people just over look because they don't fit the textbook of damage dealing abilities for damage dealers, tanking abilities for tanks and healing abilities for healers.
There is so much going on and so many things to do when all those things are going on if only the people are willing to learn them all and practice them all.
What is in your rotation...
Most like to say that the role of the damage dealer is the easiest roll in the game and depending on how you look at it that might very well be true but that is an argument for another day. Today's argument is how easy is it really?
If being a damage dealer is so easy how come there are so many so bad at it? I often like to use that as a response to people that say it is easy because if it were really as easy as people say it was than everyone would be good at it, don't you think?
The reason for this is that myriad of abilities people have. They can read the tooltips and try to make the correct choice on which abilities seem the best and while that might be enough to get them by that doesn't mean they will do well.
A hunter just doing steady shot to get focus and than arcane only to dump it before switching back to steady might be able to do well enough to pass through nearly unnoticed in much of the game because it will at least give them some mildly reasonable damage. In the end however, that won't make the cut.
If they where to read the tooltips they might see aimed shot is a much better shot and use that instead of arcane shots as their focus dump and because of its amazingly long cast time and the fact they will be forced to move often if they use it, it will force them to break the cast and their DPS will drop. So while in theory using aimed might sound good, it isn't always so good and surely not in heavy moving conditions or without some sort of haste buff, but how would a new player know any of that? The tool tip doesn't explain anything of that sort.
Someone that goes a little deeper might read into it a little more. They might consider cobra instead of steady thinking they do the same thing and the visual for cobra just looks cooler, and they would be wrong if they are marksmen. They would see serpent sting and think it isn't worth it on long fights when it is. Or vice versa, they would think serpent sting would be great for something that dies quick, when it would not. So many abilities, so many chances to make errors.
The more abilities there are the more chances they have to make an error in judgement. And that is not even entering procs and buffs or debuffs into the equation.
I have to do what... when...
The use of the cooldown and handling of a proc are often the hallmarks of the good player. A good tank knows when he needs to use his shield wall or he is going to die whereas the new or bad tank will use it at the first sign of trouble and not fully understand that the boss is about to land a big hit in 30 seconds and they no longer have that cooldown.
A good healer might know to use pain suppression on a tank at the right moment whereas an inexperienced one might not even know they have that ability or even if they did notice it they might have read it and said, why would I want to reduce the tanks threat, this is stupid, and never even put it on their bar.
How you handle hot streak or aimed shot could play a difference. How you fire your explosive shots could be the difference between doing good damage and huge damage.
Not only are there so many abilities for the new player to try and understand there are so many interactions between those abilities and game play for them to understand.
I just don't get it...
That has to be the most honest statement any new player will ever say and I can understand their pain. If you do not look outside of the game there is no way to ever figure out what is best for you. If you do not look outside of the game there is no way to get better.
You can read the tooltips until your eyes bleed but they usually fall into one of three categories.
1) Vague, they do not actually tell what the ability does.
2) Misleading, they seem to say something different than what they actually do.
3) Useless, because lets face it, use this to heal yourself or an ally that has been injured is not actually helpful, we know that is what a healing spell is used for.
There is nothing wrong with a new player being completely lost. The game offers absolutely no assistance in game to teach people how to use the massive amount of abilities they give people. I would hazard a guess that a fair deal of the players in the game would be a lot better if only the game itself offered some type of way to teach people what their abilities do.
There are just too many...
Without a doubt there are way too many abilities and that is the number one beginners bane. The more there is to do, the more there is you can do, the more there is you have to do, the harder it is to be the new player because there is so much playing catch up you need to do with absolutely no help from the game itself.
With each new expansion that comes out the new player just starts falling further and further behind because that means more abilities are added to their already full plate.
With all those main abilities, secondary abilities, utility abilities, cooldown abilities and assorted other abilities to use it is understandable how a new player could feel overwhelmed by it. And lets not even mention the need to learn not only what those abilities do but to learn when to use them.
I feel bad for the new players because if they just want to play the game and never look outside of the game in an effort to understand it all, they will always be what people refer to as bad players.
Sure, they might be okay, they can play their solo thing just fine, but they will never be good enough for group play and any adventure though the random dungeon system will show you that a large amount of the player base fits perfectly into that description, not ready for group play.
Easy to play and hard to master. With so many abilities for all the classes, to a new player, that phrase fits all.
Tonight at 10pm CDT: The Blizzard Watch Podcast - Join us tonight at 11 p.m. EDT / 8 p.m. PDT for a live recording of the Blizzard Watch podcast! We'll talk about news from around all of Blizzard's games...
58 minutes ago