Most of you, whether or not you know it, fall into a category that I like to call "Competent Players". To me a competent player is someone who understands their class, what abilities to use and when. In addition they know how to play their class properly, ie. Holy Priests heal like priests, using a combination of direct heals and HoTs rather than trying to play like pallies and relying only on direct heals.
Then, there are the Great Raiders. Believe it or not there is really only one major difference between a Competent Player and a Great Raider. It's situational awareness. A great raider has the ability to watch part or all of an encounter at the same time as performing their other duties.
How does this make them better than Competent Players?
It's pretty simple really. By monitoring a larger portion of the encounter you can react to events before they happen. The easiest example I can give of this is the one I gave Liz tonight:
Elvenbane wrote:If you're paying attention to your surroundings so that you can see the mob running at the player before it gets to them, and can toss up a renew/shield/pom whatever, you have much more time to react to other events than the person who goes "oh look, their health is going down /heal/heal/heal, i wonder what happened"
Not only will the person already be getting the damage mitigated by your incoming heals, it also gives you much more time to worry about what's about to happen to you:
- Is a mob about to attack me?
- Do I need to move because I'll take damage from fire/void zone/spout etc. if I keep standing here?
- Am I about to pull aggro off the tank?
- Do I need to re-sheep/shackle/banish/sleep my mob?
In addition to your own survivability it also allows you to help others:
- Does player x need a hand with whatever their doing, and do I have enough time to assist them?
- Can I take a quick break to regen mana/bandage etc. so I'll have that extra mana/health etc. for later in the fight?
How can you learn to improve your situational awareness?
In my opinion the best way you can improve your situational awareness is by playing a fast paced first person shooter like Unreal Tournament. These games are ruthless at beating situational awarness into your brain because if you don't know where your opponents are, or could be coming from, you're dead.
However, spending hours playing FPS's is not practical, and isn't of interest to many people. With that said here are a couple things you can do in WoW to improve your situational awareness.
Now I know a lot of you don't enjoy pvp, and have no interest in it, but like FPS's it's one of the better ways to learn because the repercussions are immediate, but temporary (30s rez time) so you can get back into the fight and try again.
The problem with WoW PVP vs FPS's is that not everyone is on the same playing field. With each person not having access to the same gear it makes it harder for new people venturing into battle to learn as they'll be killed easier than geared players.
Note: if you want to try this method I recommend the 10m or 15m BGs. In WSG try to retrieve the flag as it will be guarded, or escort your team's FC (Flag Carrier).
In EotS and AB defend or assult whichever base is getting the most action and try to keep track of howmany players are reinforcing that position. Keeping tracks of adds is important!
- Adjust your camera settings
Go into your Interface->Camera options and max out your camera distance.
You can then increase it further to the game's max distance with ImprovedCamera 2.4
or the following script:
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This will give you a bigger view of the battle field so you can more easily see the things going on around you, rather than just watching the back of your character's head.
Turn off Camera Follow
Interface -> Camera -> Follow: Never
This will allow you to look around you without your camera snapping back to being behind your character, this will allow you to look around while still performing your task, if you want to face forward again simply hold down your right mouse button and point your camera in the direction you wish to face.
- Learn the event ahead of time.
Now this is a big one, and something you should all be doing anyways. Read the strategies for the fights, watch videos so you know what you're getting yourself into.
However, there is one thing in this regard that I'm sure most of you are not doing and it's the most important things of all. Discuss the fight with other people, preferably people who have done the event before. They will be able to offer you tips and insight that you may not have thought of or may not have been covered in the strategies/videos you watched.
Well I've never been good at conclusions, just ask any of my English teachers. I guess to conclude I would like to say that we, the leadership, and also your peers are here for you. If you have any questions regarding how you can improve your play or just have general questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We're more than happy to help.
Also, I would like to reiterate that we're not looking to replace our existing core of members, rather we would like to help each and every one of you break the barrier between Competent Players and Great Raiders so that we can continue to blow through content in true YaWA fashion.