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  1. #1

    What Wrath players need to know to not suck at Cata!

    Daetur’s pretentious how-to-better-yourself after learning to play in Wrath post, incoming! Dare ye read it and take its words to heart? Or dare ye troll instead? One will fill me with warm joy and hope for the future, and the other will simply amuse me, so let’s get crackin’!

    This is my own comprehensive take on tips and tricks you should get used to before Cataclysm hits, for tanks, dps, and healers. Some of you may very well know these things, even if you have only played during Wrath. However, some of you may have never needed to use or think about them. Everyone has the potential to improve. I have things I need to improve on too, some of which are things I discuss here! I don’t think you suck personally, but I do think that we’ve ALL gotten complacent and rusty with Wrath of the Lich King. Players who started playing in Wrath never got the experience of Classic and BC where we once had to learn many of the lessons that will be invaluable come December 7th. It’s not their fault, but it needs to be addressed.

    EDIT: I just want to make one thing perfectly clear. My working definition of "Wrath Player" is not someone who started playing during Wrath. It includes everyone who PLAYED the game during the WotLK expansion. So, yes, this means me. And all of you BC and Classic players. We've all developed bad habits from Wrath that we may need to think about breaking before Cata.

    Daetur’s credentials: Regular WoW player and raider since Classic; Has tanked, healed, melee and ranged dpsed all current content. 11/12 Hardmode experience. Cataclysm Beta tester.

    I play a hunter, a death knight dps, a druid tank/dps, a paladin healer/dps, and a shaman healer/dps.

    1.) Be mindful of your positioning. Do these mobs have a knockback? Will you get thrown into other mobs? Is the tank facing the mob away from the group in case it has a conal or cleave? When trying to dodge that fire on the ground, are you running towards another group of mobs? These are things that you will need to be more mindful of in Cata. Extra pulls can and likely will mean wipes, and any damage that can be avoided will make your healer’s life that much easier, and make their mana last that much longer.

    ------> 1.a) If you do get aggro, run the offending mob TO your tank, not AWAY from him. Root or snare the mob that is aggroed on to you, and then move TO your tank so that the mob will run closer to them as well. This makes it much easier for your tank to peel the mob off of you, and will get you back into safety quicker.

    2.) Communicate with your group. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen these people before in your life. Ask who you should CC. Ask the tank to pop his CDs because you know you have trouble healing this pull. Ask if you have questions about an encounter (please, for god’s sake). Ask for a mana break. Don’t sit there like a deaf mute along for the ride and pray everyone else knows what they’re doing. Much of the Cataclysm content WILL take some organization.

    ------>2.a.) Take and give constructive criticism. If you wipe, try to figure out what went wrong and fix it without liberal use of “suck,” “noob,” “fail,” “ragequit,” etc. That will not get you any closer to downing the boss or the trash. It will only destroy any cohesion your group had, and angry players tend to perform worse than calm or happy players. Also, if someone else offers you criticism, don’t take it too personally. “Hey, hunter, can you step up the dps?,” is NOT a personal attack. Take responsibility for your actions! I’ve raided ICC hardmodes and played since Classic, and I still screw up. But, I have the balls to say “Sorry guys, bad tab target, completely my fault. I’ll be more careful,” or “Oh man, I just wasn’t paying attention, my bad. I know what the (fire)(acid)(defile) looks like now, I’ll watch more carefully next time.” And you should too! It keeps groups more cohesive, and makes errors clearer to everyone in the party so that no one has to play the blame game.

    3.) Keep your group’s best interests in mind. Pay attention to what is happening to your group members. Is a mob running for your healer or clothies? Root it, slow it, or stun it. Did you get an extra add? Try to help control them- slow, CC, etc.

    4.) Be patient! This is all new content, and your group is in leveling gear, not top-tier epics. These fights are not generally easy, and have some new mechanics to learn. If someone in the group needs to have the fight explained to them, don’t complain. If your groups wipes, run back in and try again. I’m sure you had to learn the fight at some point too. If the healer needs to stop for a mana break, don’t keep pulling or get impatient. Trust me, they are working hard to keep your group alive. DON’T expect 15-20 minute runs!

    5.) Be observant. Check out new buffs, debuffs, and spell effects. The more you know about what is around you and what mobs can do, the more effective you can be. Mages in particular, watch for TASTY Spellsteal fodder. You’ll be amazed at the buffs you can give yourself and take off of a foe.

    6.) Consumables!! Yes, that’s right! Health potions, mana potions, potions of speed! Well, mostly health and mana. Have them! Use them liberally if you have access to them! Mana potions in particular can give healers the extra mileage they need on a tough fight.


    1.) If your target is casting and it can be interrupted, do it! Interrupts- not just for bosses! Interrupting spells being cast by your enemy will often go a long way towards reducing incoming damage. Try to watch casting mobs as you do the dungeon (over and over again, most likely), and try to see what spells are particularly nasty. AoEs are often good candidates for interrupts. This will also save your healer mana!

    ------> 1.a.) Bind your interrupt/stun/silence to an easy-to-reach key. If you only ever use ONE keybind, this should be it. I typically have mine bound to my scrollwheel or Shift+leftclick so that I can hit it as fast as possible. Your mileage may vary.

    ------> 1.b.) You can use a ranged interrupt or silence to help your tank gather spaced out caster mobs. The tank will, 9 times out of 10, greatly appreciate this, and it really helps with add control.

    2.) A dead DPS does NO dps! Remember, if you recklessly frontload all of your damage and aren’t careful, you can end up pulling off the tank. If you can frontload 12k burst dps, but only live for 4 seconds, that’s only 48k damage. Compare that to the careful dps who pulls 6k sustained and lives through the entire 60-second fight—that’s a whopping 360k overall damage to your 48k! Please be aware that many tanks have to “relearn” the new tanking style of Cataclysm, and most of us have had our AoE threat capabilities nerfed. Please stay on our target, or the marked target.

    ------>2.a.) This rule also applies to standing in ‘stuff.’ The faster you move out of it, the easier you make your healer’s life. Since mana will be more of an issue for healers in Cataclysm, the more mana you can save your healer, the better your group’s chances of survival.

    ------>2.b.) Use of defensive cooldowns, even as a dps, can really save your healer a lot of trouble. If you can anticipate incoming damage (un-interruptible AoE, or you got aggro somehow), pop a CD like Barkskin, Icebound Fortitude, etc. Also, with a bit more freedom in speccing in Cata, talents that increase healing done to you or reduce damage that you take can be very good candidates for your spec.

    3.) Be patient! Let your healer drink, let your tank mark and set up their pull, and let someone explain the fight if necessary. Remember, this content will be NEW to nearly everyone from 80-85. It is more difficult that WotLK content, and we will not be in top-end gear. We will be in leveling blues and greens. These fights will take preparation, caution, and learning. Once you know a dungeon by heart, remember that everyone starts somewhere, and that there was a point where you didn’t know the fight. Have patience with the others in your group, and help them learn.

    4.) Learn about your classes’ Crowd Control (CC) abilities. Before stepping into a Cataclysm dungeon, please note that some trash packs NEED to be Crowd Controlled (CCed). Familiarize yourself with the CC options available to your class, and the limitations of it. Does it only work on certain mob types? How long does it last? Does it break on damage? Use these abilities liberally to take dangerous mobs out of the fight while you deal with others. This is also a good technique to reduce tank and healer strain, and gives your group a better chance of success. Practice on your own—pull two or three mobs solo, out in the world, and try to keep one CCed the entire time you are killing the other(s).

    ------>4.a.) Don’t break the sheep! Be careful of cleaves and AoE abilities if there is a CCed mob nearby. Damage often breaks enemies out of CC, and they will then run rampant through your group. One of the WORST things you can do is place a DoT on a CCed target (I’m looking at you, Dks glyphed for increased Pestilence and Blood Boil range—for the record, I am one of you), since it will CONTINUALLY break the CC even if it is reapplied.

    5.) Learn to kite! Kiting involves slowing a mob and making it chase you away from or around your group while not hitting you. Mages and hunters in particular are known as great kiters. Death Knights can be quite good at it too, as they have both a taunt and Chains of Ice. This technique can be extremely helpful in situations where there are multiple powerful melee adds that cannot be CCed. If they are too much for your tank to handle together, a dps can often kite one until the other is dead, at which point the tank will take over. Rumor has it that a Heroic boss in a Cata dungeon requires that an add be kited for the ENTIRE fight! Are you up to the challenge?

    6.) Follow marks and kill orders! Focusing fire will be very important in Cata. We won’t be able to just AoE down every pull anymore. Usually, Skull will be first and X will be second. Crowd Control targets may also be marked. As a general rule, HEALER type mobs die first, followed by damaging casters, then melee.

    7.) You are more than just “big numbers!” Simply because your role or spec is “dps” doesn’t mean you can’t throw out a heal, a dispel, or a cleanse, or even pick up a stray add. Did the healer just die? Does your class have some healing spells? Well, you’d BETTER have those on your bar, because it’s time to show what you’re made of. Pick up the healing and save your group! You can do so much more than just damage and occasional CC. Paladins, use Hand of Salvation on a party member that’s getting close to pulling aggro, or even Hand of Protection the mage! Remember, casters can continute to cast while HoPed, but melee can’t continue to use physical strikes. Misdirect or trap that accidental add pull! Throw out a cleanse to someone, innervate the healer if they’re low on mana! You have these great utility spells, but no one expects you to use them Time to prove them wrong and show that there’s a reason you’re like Wolverine. The best at what you do.


    1.) Cleanse! Many healers in WotLK are more used to healing through debuffs instead of removing them. With mana being more of an issue in Cata, it will often be more efficient to remove damaging or heal-reducing debuffs as soon as possible, rather than try to heal through all the damage. Which debuffs are more expensive to heal through than cleanse will be something you have to learn on your own, but it will be important to keep cleansing in mind in Cataclysm content!

    2.) Conserve your mana! Mana is not going to last you anywhere near as long in Cata as it does now. Learn which heals are the most efficient, and get a feel for how much each one heals for. Knowing which heal to use when will be essential. AoE heal spam will not cut it anymore.

    ------>2.a.) Part of mana conservation is triage. Triage is deciding the priority of you ‘patients.’ As a general rule, if SOMEONE has to die, it should be the dps first, the tank second, and the healer last. This means, if you have to choose between saving a dps and yourself, save yourself. Between the tank and the healer does get more fuzzy, but remember that it’s possible for dps to burn something down with heals backing them up if the tank does die.

    3.) Predict incoming damage. Watch who the mob(s) is(are) targeting. Having an addon that shows who has threat is quite handy here, or just activate this feature in the standard WoW raid/arty interface. If you see an add turn to a dps, you know that that’s the one that will need heals. You shouldn’t be mindlessly spamming everyone in CASE they take damage anymore. You know the tank will be taking damage. But the key to be a great, efficient healer, is to be able to anticipate who ELSE in your group is going to get hurt.

    4.) Be ready for anything. Assume the worst. If you are about to start a pull that you have never healed before, it is safer to assume high spike damage than wait and see. Many healers get a nasty surprise when a new type of trash mobs hits like a freight train and they just weren’t ready for that kind of damage.


    1.) Don’t break CC! Pull mobs BACK and away from CCed adds. This will reduce the risk that CC will be broken by your own AoE tanking abilities and dps’ cleaves. It will help you hold threat because you do not need to watch your AoE and cleaves, and it will help your dps for the same reason.

    2.) Mark adds! You should know the drill—Skull on the first target to die, X on the second, mark CC targets with Square, Moon, etc. Focusing fire will be more important in Cataclysm. Packs cannot simply be AoEed down across the board. Typically, you’ll want to have your dps target enemy HEALERS first, then damage-dealing casters, and finally, melee.

    3.) Be liberal with your shorter cooldown CDs. Mitigating incoming damage will be essential in Cata. It will help conserve your healer’s mana. A particularly good time to hit your shorter defensive cooldowns (anything under 2 minutes) will be close to the start of a pull, when the most adds are alive, unless there is something special about the adds that makes them more dangerous later.

    4.) Use your stuns! Stuns are a great way to mitigate incoming damage, don’t forget it! They can also buy you time to get stable threat at the start of a pull, or stop a mob from running after a healer or dps when your taunt isn’t up.

    5.) CONTROL your pulls. Pull with restraint. Most tanks in WotLK (myself included) have gotten very, very accustomed to charging into a dungeon, foaming at the mouth, and pulling the first three groups all together. This is NOT going to fly in Cata, guys. You will get you furry/plate-wearing ass kicked. We will need to relearn how to pull with restraint. When you pull a group, range pull and drag them BACK instead of charging right into them. You can also have CCers pull from range and pick up the mobs as they head towards your group. Try not to aggro any extra mobs.

    6.) You are NOT the master of the group. Many tanks in WotLK have become rude and overconfident due largely to their short queue times. I can be guilty of this as well. Many have a tendency to treat the other members of their groups with the expectation that whatever THEY says goes, because the group cannon function without them. Please, I beg of you, if you are one of these tanks, remember that you cannot solo this content. You need your group as much as they need you.
    Wow, are you guys still here, or did you just skip to the end?
    If, as I suspect, this was WAY too long and you didn’t care, here’s a brief summary.
    Be patient. Be observant. Communicate with your group. Own up to your mistakes. Learn as much about your class as you possibly can, and use all of your tricks. Learn to kite and Crowd Control. Learn to mitigate as much incoming damage as possible, even as a dps. Manage your mana. Think on your toes!
    Last edited by Daetur; 2010-11-29 at 08:15 AM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Widdowmaker View Post
    This should be sticky'd

    thank you for this post. however I'm afraid that the mass majority of wotlk players who will emoragequit multiple times in cata will not read this.

  4. #4
    Daetur, amazing post. You put a lot of time and effort into typing this up. As a classic vanilla player/raider I strongly agree with your suggestions and your post. WotLK really watered down the end game experience for all of us vets as well as rookies just starting in WotLK. I think this should be posted on every forum,it is an amazing guide. Many props to you and may you venture safely in the new world that Deathwing has photoshopped for us. lol.

    Ace - Horde - Cho'Gall

  5. #5
    Looking forward to this. Brings back old memories of early TBC!

  6. #6
    Amazing post, patience is rare among the Wrath breed...

  7. #7
    Actually started reading this thinking "omg.. another idiot rage about Cata"... but in all fairness a very well informed read.

    **Edit **

    I honestly hope its as difficult as some of the cata beta testers have said... but I do worry that if it is... Blizz will cave into the MASS of QQ that will come Dec 8th :-(
    Last edited by alexellice; 2010-11-23 at 04:39 PM.

  8. #8
    This is a great post and a lot of people are going to become much better players for reading and learning from it.

    However, any moderately competent player should already do all of these things based on whatever role they are currently filling. I started playing when WoW first launched and continued to do so through all of BC. I quit for WotLK and just came back to level my toons to 80 to give Cataclysm a try. Before I came back I read how the quality of the average player had gone down the toilet and boy were they right. Most classes are going to have to think before they push that button and it will be a welcome change.

  9. #9
    The Patient Blitzkrieg Says's Avatar
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    Well said...but I don't think many people who need to read it will :P

    The vast majority of players will probably slam their heads into the wall. The good ones will adjust, and everyone will be expected to adjust. The not-so-good ones will continue to slam their heads against the wall until they have an epiphany.

    Personally, I'm not going to PuG anything for the first month and a half, guild runs ftw!
    Lightning Fast

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by alexellice View Post
    **Edit **

    I honestly hope its as difficult as some of the cata beta testers have said... but I do worry that if it is... Blizz will cave into the MASS of QQ that will come Dec 8th :-(

    The challenge and the FUN of doing group content is having to work for your reward. Hitting LFG queues and facerolling a heroic instance in less then 20 minutes isn't my idea of quality entertainment. Here's hoping Blizz doesn't cave in to the whiners and actually make people earn their shiney, new epics.

  11. #11
    The Patient Crucialus's Avatar
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    It's a good post, but the arrogance and the whole 'wrath' players thing makes me really want to disregard it. Seriously, was it needed?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by nward84 View Post
    Daetur, amazing post. You put a lot of time and effort into typing this up. As a classic vanilla player/raider I strongly agree with your suggestions and your post. WotLK really watered down the end game experience for all of us vets as well as rookies just starting in WotLK. I think this should be posted on every forum,it is an amazing guide. Many props to you and may you venture safely in the new world that Deathwing has photoshopped for us. lol.

    Ace - Horde - Cho'Gall
    Wrong. Wrath was not watered down HM 25m LK was by far the hardest fight I have ever experienced, and I have experienced every encounter as it was current content.
    Everyone who says what you say obviously has not cleared ALL WotLK content.

  13. #13
    Great post.. I'm excited for some challenges again=). I already know a few of my friends are going to rage quit come cata they never played in TBC or Classic so have had it easy from the get go.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by alexellice View Post

    I honestly hope its as difficult as some of the cata beta testers have said... but I do worry that if it is... Blizz will cave into the MASS of QQ that will come Dec 8th :-(
    i hope your right, and wrong, this game NEEDS the above mentioned changes, i am literally hopeing, nay, PRAYING they come into effect. the time of 10 minute aoe blast fests in dungeons needs to pass.

    many players myself included see maybe 10 hours gameplay a week now, because everything except raiding is boring. i remember in tbc, the 5 mans were fun. they took a little cc, a little hunter kiting, etc.. but wotlk was all about aoe spamming.

    and yes the people will qq, and there will be nerfs, its inevitable, blizz is heavily pushing the game on kids now a days, and children(not all but most) do not have the ineptitude, nor patience for most of what the patch is going to bring. i foresee many many wipes due to the 12 yr old that constantly pops blizzard because thats what hes always done...
    not that all adults are any better, many of them are going to have to learn many of the topics described by the OP.

    i for one, hope it is HARD, and STAYS hard! WOW has needed a heavy dose of viagra for a long time! and hopefully its getting one now!

    so OP: very nice post, very good points, lets pray people see this and take it to heart soon after dec 7.

    im excited, exhilarated, and simply cannot wait.

  15. #15
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    Very nicely put together! You've made several good points and given some great advice! Hopefully people find this and take it for what it is!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Eyonath View Post
    Wrong. Wrath was not watered down HM 25m LK was by far the hardest fight I have ever experienced, and I have experienced every encounter as it was current content.
    Everyone who says what you say obviously has not cleared ALL WotLK content.
    yes it went through many months of aoe spamming, and even the H25LK fight was the same...if you saw lady vashj, or kael in tbc, then you knew hard fights... and before you ask no we didnt get Hlk25 we did get every other fight in this expansion though, and ONLY H25lk fight offered any REAL difficulty, and not because the fight itself was hard, but because the players themselves had been "brainwashed" that they could just sit still and take it and it would be ok throughout all of wotlk.... the mechanices behind the 25 lk fight are stupid easy. and were infact "watered down" versions of tbc and vanilla content. we are finally getting back to that in cata, where bosses dont have to hit for 75k a strike, because the mechanics in place are hard enough that its unnecessary. if youve played beta, you will agree with me im sure.

  17. #17
    You should have put a TL;DR at the beginning that just said "Don't be bad" and it could save a lot of people a lot of time.

    It's a good post for people who have never played wow before but I would hope that is all kindergarten information for everyone else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alfador View Post
    Also, who said anything about teaching them a lesson? I know most of these daffy scrubs will never learn, I don't care. They can just keep getting punished for their stupidity and it will make no difference to me. It's all equally amusing.
    Quote Originally Posted by dekcahw View Post
    Question: Do you have mittens attached to your coat?
    Quote Originally Posted by Whysomadbrah View Post
    If you have the right gear and go online and look up max threat/healing rotation you can macro it and button smash 1 button etc etc.

  18. #18
    Very well said, Daetur! It brought back memories of how hard it was to convince people to run TO the tank if they pulled a mob. Those were good times. Like someone said, I won't be running PUGs anytime soon. Just wish more of the WOW community would take the time to read this!

  19. #19
    Mechagnome Kelzam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyonath View Post
    Wrong. Wrath was not watered down HM 25m LK was by far the hardest fight I have ever experienced, and I have experienced every encounter as it was current content.
    Everyone who says what you say obviously has not cleared ALL WotLK content.
    You would have a point, but it falls flat when you try to use H LK 25 as an example being that it's widely known content such as this is developed with a tiny portion of the player base in mind, making it quite moot (much like the real final bosses of the two expansions before it). Considering by the end of this expansion every other boss except perhaps Anub'arak 25m Hard Mode was puggable devaluing the accompishment of killing them and just making them another in a long line of loot pinatas, your defense against WotlK's boring, watered down content has no legs to stand upon.
    Last edited by Kelzam; 2010-11-23 at 05:24 PM.

  20. #20
    This for sticky idd. Just sad that the great mass of wotlk players wont follow this.

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