1. #1

    Do you understand your class abilities?

    Serious question.

    Considering everytime there is some vehicle content (Ulduar, Oculus, etc.) it seems that people have the biggest problems in the world with a) reading their 2-3 new vehicle abilities and b) understanding them and then ofcourse consequently c) being able to use them efficiently.

    It's as if people don't understand the 'ability description lingo' and just mash their own class buttons and do as they see others do, copying ability rotations (or priorities) without really understanding why.

    And I'm not even talking about 'teh casuals' here and other LFR heroes, but even about some of the hardcore raiders. I remember Flame Leviathan + 3 towers taking ages purely because 75% of the people in the raid needed forever to finally understand how their vehicle abilities worked.
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  2. #2
    Yes I do.

    A lot of people are slow learners. It's not just a WoW thing.

  3. #3
    Pit Lord Lemposs's Avatar
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    Not at all, just faceroll all through heroics

    OT, I'm raidleader yet rarely have to explain anything. Guess I'm blessed with competent people

  4. #4
    Pit Lord Psilo's Avatar
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    That is all consistent with my vast experiences in Azeroth.

    I have always done my own number crunching and kept it to myself, sometimes with amusing and relishing results. When WotLK launched Boomkins became viable in PvE at the same time that Glyphs were introduced, and I switched to Balance from Resto for 3 tiers of raiding. I ran tons of simulations on abilities to figure out how everything worked (Balance had a huge overhaul for 3.0). When I came to the Glyphs, I tested out Glyph of Insect Swarm (this is back in 2008) and found it was superb to whatever the "top PvE web site" forum sticky that most players copypasta had stated. A couple months later and everybody had Glyph of Insect Swarm as real data started to come out.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    Serious question.

    Considering everytime there is some vehicle content (Ulduar, Oculus, etc.) it seems that people have the biggest problems in the world with a) reading their 2-3 new vehicle abilities and b) understanding them and then ofcourse consequently c) being able to use them efficiently.
    I've seen this problem a lot, i think the problem only comes when that vehicle is in a 5 man, and everyone is zerging the instance leaving absolutly no time to the unlucky guy that is running the instance for first time, that is why i hated the deadmines vehicle, this is normally fixed when people get used to the vehicle. In raids we have the same problem, lets take Ulduar as an example, if someone is used to a certain vehicle, and then their raid team asks him to go to another its obvious that guys will not perform his best, again, like 5 man vehicles this problem normally goes away with experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    It's as if people don't understand the 'ability description lingo' and just mash their own class buttons and do as they see others do, copying ability rotations (or priorities) without really understanding why.
    I always try to understand them to be able to set up my own rotation, that is one of the reasons why i still love talents, they allowed people to learn their class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    And I'm not even talking about 'teh casuals' here and other LFR heroes, but even about some of the hardcore raiders. I remember Flame Leviathan + 3 towers taking ages purely because 75% of the people in the raid needed forever to finally understand how their vehicle abilities worked.
    An answer to this could be the fact that players often use a special type of memory for repetitive stuff such as rotations, that memory is called muscular memory (not necessarily associated with muscles) and that memory allows people to act in a automated way, its like when you in a bg, you are stunned and your first impulse is to check EMfHS (or the trinket) CD, that happeans automaticly without people think in it. The problem with vehicles is that they are seasonal, an most people just don't have the time to develop those association memories.

    So, this is quit common almost in all people.

  6. #6
    Honestly? there are a few alts I just never bothered to relearn how to play after Wrath (hunter, dk, warlock, shaman). I play so rarely, and didn't need to know what abilities did to level up five more levels and park them waiting to see if the next expansion was more fun. There also isn't much opportunity to realize you're playing the class without key abilities since everything dies so fast outside of raids.

    Vehicles though? a handful of abilities is too small a number not to be able to work them out in a minute or so.

  7. #7
    I only play(ed) two classes. I knew my Mage and all the abilities inside and out so much so that I didn't need to look up any guides. I was too lazy to make an actual guide myself but I did do a little "theorycrafting" work.

    My DK on the other hand...I understood what the abilities I used were, but I never knew Unholy spec. In fact, I never really got into the whole "how does autoattack work with damage" and "how does attack on a weapon affect your damage/which skills" and stuff like that.

    How do I still not have a graphic artist? Wtf do you guys do for a living?

  8. #8
    Dreadlord Ibbi's Avatar
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    Blizzard should seriously fix the spell book system, especially the "passives" at the end. It's clunky and annoying having to read all the tooltips trying to get a hold on how the class works during combat.

    The passive stuff needs its own special window, inside the talents/glyphs window. It could have arrows pointing to what does what, and how this passive affects this talent, on and on.

    I'm not lazy to learn my class, it's just that when one has 6-7 level 90's that he plays, it's hard to memorize everything.
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  9. #9
    Moderator MoanaLisa's Avatar
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    Honest question? Honest answer.

    I think most people understand their class abilities at some high level.

    However, if most class abilities were crystal clear as to their effects and interplay with other abilities, gear, and talents, there would be no need at all for theory crafting. And obviously there is a whole player segment dedicated to theory crafting so it's not that simple. Take for one example the old talent trees which in the past many people would simply get their 'accepted build' and rotation from Elitist Jerks or some website that summarized what Elitist Jerks had to say. When you're talking down at that level, I'd guess that the majority of players really don't understand their talents with that level of depth, nor do they much care. It's a game after all, not an exercise in spreadsheet prowess for a lot of people.

    It would be an interesting test to place in front of a large group of players a group of unknown spells and talents and give them twenty minutes to work out the optimal set to use and the correct order in which to execute their priority system. I'm guessing that many would fail that including both casuals and self-described HC raiders.

    Vehicle stuff plays a little differently because many players have their setup exactly as they like it and being presented all-of-a-sudden with a new interface with strange but simple spells that they have to override their muscle memory on. This is one of the reasons why you see the things you talked about in your post.

    EDIT: It's clear that Blizzard doesn't always understand all of this either but in Blizzard's defense their problem is much more complex since skills across multiple classes/specs are combinatorial in nature and the number of possibilities that need to be allowed for are mind-boggling. So, I mildly question the premise implicit in your post that this is all that simple. There are a lot of layers to it.
    Last edited by MoanaLisa; 2013-10-20 at 03:54 AM.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MoanaLisa View Post

    It would be an interesting test to place in front of a large group of players a group of unknown spells and talents and give them twenty minutes to work out the optimal set to use and the correct order in which to execute their priority system. I'm guessing that many would fail that including both casuals and self-described HC raiders.
    For the most part, I think that would really test how much math they retained from classes. Someone who took calc and/or did some low level programming (think game maker, not C) would be able to pick out something great; while someone who struggles to recall algebra would probably just stack up their highest hitters and hope that works out.

    I still remember trying to work out coefficients back in vanilla, what a pain in the ass. Just having the spells written out accurately would be a huge boon in comparison.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by hrugner View Post
    For the most part, I think that would really test how much math they retained from classes. Someone who took calc and/or did some low level programming (think game maker, not C) would be able to pick out something great; while someone who struggles to recall algebra would probably just stack up their highest hitters and hope that works out.

    I still remember trying to work out coefficients back in vanilla, what a pain in the ass. Just having the spells written out accurately would be a huge boon in comparison.
    I'm too lazy to quote moana too but that's so not fair lol. Blizzard has an optimal rotation in mind when they design these class abilities.

    It kind of sucks for new people who are trying to learn the math because blizzard doesn't really ever present the information themselves in game. How are you supposed to know which weapons are optimal for you besides looking at ilevel and if you can actually use it while leveling?

    How do I still not have a graphic artist? Wtf do you guys do for a living?

  12. #12
    I am pretty comfortable in my ability to play my warrior (arms/fury/prot), priest (shadow/disc), monk (MW), druid (balance/resto/bear), paladin (prot/ret), Hunter, DK (blood) and shaman (ele/resto). I'm still a bit rusty on my warlock, mage, rogue and monk/DK offspecs.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueobelisk View Post
    I'm too lazy to quote moana too but that's so not fair lol. Blizzard has an optimal rotation in mind when they design these class abilities.

    It kind of sucks for new people who are trying to learn the math because blizzard doesn't really ever present the information themselves in game. How are you supposed to know which weapons are optimal for you besides looking at ilevel and if you can actually use it while leveling?
    When blizzard designs an "optimal" rotation they usually overlook something that players add to a rotation to do more dps, for example i've been using thrash(an aoe bleed) on single target since the expansion launched as feral. Other examples include scorchweaving, festerblight, etc.

    That being said, most dps rotations are fairly easy to understand, keep up these dots, hit X ability as soon as it comes off cooldown. There are a few intricacies definitely that can improve dps, but base rotations are always fairly obvious.

    As far as vehicles goes, im going to tag that down to muscle memory, I quit wow for around a year following Wrath and came back to play feral and rebound my basic spells and had no issue jumping back in the saddle. Most vehicle fights are fairly straight forward however, but even the scorpion transform from paragons throws me a bit off every week simply because I'm not used to using those spells, or even the keys they are bound to.

  14. #14
    I'm a LFR hero and I understand and utilise my class abilities.
    --Tranq is also an enemy target dispell, use it when the little buff on the target has a moving outline. Pretty straight forward.
    --Concussive slows, Glaive Toss slows, the trap that isn't the popsicle trap slows.
    --MD transfers threat/helps threat at the start of the fight/helps get adds on the target they need to be on.
    --Intimidation can be used on an add that is mauling a healer.
    --That one shot that isn't Silencing Shot anymore but I macro'd to the Silencing Shot icon stops adds from casting bad stuff. Distracting Shot a caster, silence him, and force him to walk into your popsicle trap as he tries to attack you used to be the most fun thing ever, then we got launchers, Much less fun.
    --Also, unless the add is immune, Scatter Shot can be used to buy you a few seconds between casts if Silence is on CD (some pets can also silence).
    --Disengage gives me a sprint effect and heals me 'cause I talented/glyphed it, use it as needed.
    --Spirit Beast heal can be macro'd to the tank, use it if needed.
    --Quilen can BRez, be on top of that especially regarding healers and tanks.
    --I know which pets have which buffs and swap out as needed.
    --Basic "line up trinket proc and major dmg CD" knowledge.

    And various other crap.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueobelisk View Post
    I'm too lazy to quote moana too but that's so not fair lol. Blizzard has an optimal rotation in mind when they design these class abilities.

    It kind of sucks for new people who are trying to learn the math because blizzard doesn't really ever present the information themselves in game. How are you supposed to know which weapons are optimal for you besides looking at ilevel and if you can actually use it while leveling?
    Of course, I was assuming that if people were sat down with an ability set they would be given accurate information about what each ability did. Otherwise it's just completely blind till the player can sit down and work out coefficients.

    Other things, like rotation is a matter of looking at durations, cooldowns and overlaps. Most abilities are two dimensional, with a handful of exceptions, so it's a matter of just lining things up on a timeline and executing them.

    The only time it gets weird is when stats allow a player to get past a break point that isn't assumed with the ability set. Mages got to the point in several patches (no idea in MoP) where they could ignore hit if they had enough crit to push hit off of the old hit tables. Hopefully that hit table is fixed by now, it's been a few years since I bothered to look.

    Anyway, yes there is more to it, but other than the sheer volume of abilities it wouldn't be that hard to put together a proper rotation in a short amount of time. Actually, I don't know if I could even read through all the descriptions in 20 minutes. Point goes to you.

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