Wanting a bigger Fishbowl: What does it take to make a great player.


A friends friend started playing Wow on my sever with next to no knowledge on playing wow- There is obviously going to be a massive gap in understanding Game mechanics – things we take for granted, Questing, Vendoring, repairing, Auction houses, flight points – quickest way from point A to B – but these are all learn able over time.
( I know the road to Goldshire as well as I know the way home now.)

Different people will want to be steered/immersed into this world in different ways. No one is born with Epics ( unless your an ebay..) In the 6 or 7 months It took to get my first toon to 70 I got help and guidance from friends, players, online resources and now at 80 with alts at various leveling stages I am now working on going from a Good player to a great player. I am constantly learning new things about my class and other classes.

In my journey through ‘Vanilla Wow’ I learnt all the basics
That journey gave me the foundations – but my biggest learning curves came from end game, and the desire to be good, be better then what I was. I am still not perfect, but my performance indicators in a raid show that in my fish bowl I am doing well, if not better then my competition – but that is what it still is a fishbowl

A fishbowl, and the size of your fishbowl will limit your abilities, the information available and your motivations.

Whats in your fishbowl ?- and is it enough to help you become a great player?

Information
You will learn a lot from reading the manual that comes in the box, and there are the Official and non official game guides that you can buy for almost the cost of the original game, but they are not enough. They might be enough for you to consider what class you want to play – or learning how to run, but they didn’t cover theory crafting. Expanding your world with reference material such as Realm forums, class forums, other players discussions, and theory crafting can expand your world. My biggest lightbulb moment was understanding what the Hit cap was, and then was able to gear appropriately for it which greatly improved my play thus expanding the opportunities available to me as a player. We now have Wiki’s, blogs, podcasts, all with reference materials for a journey on how to be a better player. Also Read all the patch notes.


In Game Financial Resources

Having unlimited resources means your priorities change. I remember as a lobie not having enough gold to do all my training. I had to wait until I had collected more money. Most people I know had to stop leveling and farm at 60 to buy their faster mount which. Some of that is money poor management or spending too much gold else were ( like trying to level enchanting.) Making my Shadow Weave set at 70 was expensive for me, I had to level my tailoring to get some of the mats, and I used the proceeds of a lucky epic leather pattern drop to fund the rest. When leveling an Alt I send them money, bags and some pieces of gear I had enchanted cheaply ( or now the Heirloom items) which gave them a boost, making their leveling easier and faster. They never needed to farm for their ground mounts, or repair just one piece of armor at a time because that is all they could afford. My Alts will never be in ‘poverty’ and by choosing complimentary professions any money they cost my main has been paid back in the resource’s that they provide. I have enough gold or mats to enchant any new piece of gear as needed, my fishbowl expanded because my resources increased,and with that my buying power increased allowing me to obtain better gear, and enchants.

Reliable Hardware
I got Wow when I got a computer capable of playing it. I used to play on 3g equivalent Internet, and my Dps suffered – even with Quartz. Which was fine while leveling, but not when trying to get better. If you have an unstable computer, and Net, your opportunities are limited. You die in fires, do worse in Arena, miss out on content, effect your reliability as a player. Even now a Headset is an essential in any serious raiding guild. Mic optional but you need to be able to listen and acknowledge instructions. Once you have the basic gear, you can then upgrade to a gaming mouse, or keyboard – that are designed with the gamer in mind. Having all the right gear doesn’t mean that you will automatically be a good player. It can however make a good player better.

Opportunity 

Through Achievement
Success can breed the desire for more success. My Desire for more started when I was invited to a Grul Kill. Stuck halfway through Kara, Killing grul two weeks in a row showed me that there were other opportunities, Success made me want more success, more challenges. It also means you have access to better gear, or patterns, which then expands what content and experiences are available in your fishbowl

Through Social
People influence you: If your in social guild, your fishbowl is restricted to what you or that guild participates in, no matter what your gear or ability is like.  If your friends are still raiding Hogger for fun you won’t be seeing the Lich King in a raid anytime soon.  A guild is a social organisation with common goals, If your guild doesn’t share your goals there are other ways of socially interacting to achieve content and increase your fishbowl space. Pugging will put you in the social circumstance to interact with players  for a higher content goal then you or your non raiding guild can provide.  

 Keep an active Friends list,  I know casuals who don’t mind raiding occasionally that get called into runs when they are needed because they are friends with someone.

Tools
Raiding Guilds have lists of essential Mods for a reason, they can increase success, which increases opportunities through better gear.   While not getting into the debate about having too many mods, or are using them really playing the game as it should – we have come to rely on our mods, some warnings only become prompts, but they improve reaction times,  provide warnings for upcoming events so you don’t become tunnel vision focused, and provide more information then your human senses can collect.  

Performance Measurement

There are tools available, damage metres and WWS which give you detailed information as to how you are tracking.  Its important to practise.  Run pugs,  do raids,  participate and record, or note the results, and then do it again. You now have Target dummys in the main cities, If you make a gem or a gear change practise on the dummy with your Damage metre running.   There are detailed guides available on how to read a WWS report   Forums will also often link other peoples reports, so you can have a look at where they are sitting in comparision and give you something to aim for.  Ask for feedback – if you have a class lead, an expert ask – talk – discuss

Real Life Cost.

Time
You don’t become a good player by playing an hour a week. Do a /played on your Character and then work out the hours and the total days of your life that you have spent staring at the backside of your toon. Then do it on your alts, and wonder what could I have been doing in that time if not for Wow. You will however over that time have improved being a player your knowledge and understanding has evolved.  It will take time to be a better player.  Trying to learn everything in a week just won’t work.   You need to keep up to date with changes,  and developments. 

RL Financial
Wow also has a real life financial cost,  subscription, upgrades,  Internet.  If suddenly that becomes a problem than your access to your fishbowl is restricted.

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3 Responses to “Wanting a bigger Fishbowl: What does it take to make a great player.”


  1. 1 Sherry May 12, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I agree with you that physical hardware “gear” plays a suprisingly significant role in wow raiding. Its the real life equivalent of stepping into ulduar wearing quest greens. While you may be an excellent player, its a huge and substantial handicap. In some cases, it is the computer not the player.

    Sometimes I wonder how I should resolve cases when the difficulty is with the player’s internet connection/hardware/etc..

    And btw, I think blizzard’s casting system now automatically compensates for lag by chaining spells with cast time for you. Sort of like an integrated cast, removing the need for stopcasting, although quartz still helps as a guideline


  1. 1 Look at my awesome dps.. hang – on what’s this spellweave? « Pugnacious Priest's Warcraft Blog Trackback on February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm
  2. 2 Look at my awesome dps.. hang – on what’s this spellweave? « Pugnacious Priest's Warcraft Blog Trackback on February 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm
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