26 Mar 2009

Understanding Your Character

. 26 Mar 2009

Your WoW character is like a toy that you play with. Like any toy it's got the equivalent of buttons that you can press to get some effects (actually those are the buttons on your action bar in WoW).

There are several basic concepts you need to grasp about your character to further your understanding of it on your own.

You need to know all the abilities of your class and their effects. First place for that is their tooltip in-game. Read it carefully. Secondly, you may wish to ask some friends or guild mates about what your class is all about, what are its strengths and weaknesses, how to play it better according to circumstance etc. You will never be done understanding your class, it's a process.

You may have noticed that after level 10 you get some stuff in your character sheet called 'Talents'. Those are a very important way to customise your character for specific roles. Each class gets three trees of talents that point into different specialisation directions and corresponding play styles.

Given that you can spend only one talent point per level and there are more talents than levels you can never take all talents, but you get the final talent from one tree and then spend a few points in a different one.

Your choice of talents is also called a 'build' or a 'spec'. The 'spec' term more often refers to the dominant talent tree you have chosen your talents from. Your spec dictates what you can do reasonably well and what others expect you to do in group situations.

For instance, if you picked most of your talents from the Holy tree as a paladin, you will be called a 'Holy paladin' and be expected to heal. You will not be allowed to assume a dps or tank role, as your talent choice has made you completely ill-suited for either of those and particularly adept at healing.

At any moment you can, for an increasing price, erase all your talents and re-distribute them. This is called 'respeccing'. If you are a 'Holy paladin' and you do not like healing, respec to a talent build more appropriate for dps-ing or tanking. This goes with modifications for all classes, although some of the have all three tree dedicated to dps-ing (pure dps classes).

You also need to know that some talent builds are considered vastly superior to others for group play and you may be kicked out of groups or criticised for choosing anything else. Talent builds are something that must be carefully chosen in order to avoid ridicule and exclusion, especially after level 70. It's not all such a bad thing however, as a good talent build will benefit you as well as others quite a lot.

Everything your charcter does is goverened by stats. The better stats you have the better you do what you do. For instance the more spellpower (an example stat) you have the more damage your fireball spell will do (if you are a mage).

For each class, different stats are important, because each stat governs one or more abilities, influencing their effectiveness and efficiency. For example a warrior's strength influences how much damage he does with his weapon. More strength is more damage, which is good.

Some stats you get from just being you, more if you are higher level, less for lower levels. But at any level, a majority of stats come from the equipment (gear) you wear. If you look at their tooltips you will see what stats each of your armor pieces, weapon, trinkets, necklace and rings gives. You absolute need to make sure that those stats are the ones that your class needs and as high as possible (by getting better and better gear).

Your image will suffer much less if your stats are low (although not ridiculously low) than if your stats are the wrong ones for your class. You need to learn which stats are needed for you and stick to those and only those. If you pick a piece of gear that has some stats for you and some that you make no use of, many will think you did that out of stupidity and ridicule or exclude you from the groups they form.

Some stats that are important for several classes:

  • Stamina (stam, sta) - this affects your health. Generally, you get 10hp for each point of stamina
  • Intellect (int) - this affects how much mana you have (which is required to cast spells). Generally you get 10mana for each point of intellect.
  • Strength - generally affects how much damage you do with your weapon (not with spells)
  • Agility - helps you dodge enemy weapon swings and others
  • Spellpower - helps you heal more with healing spells and do more damage with offensive spells
  • Haste - helps you do everything you do (except walking/running) faster
  • Critical Strike Rating - increases your chance to critically strike with your abilities (meaning drastically more damage or healing done)
  • Hit Rating - increases your chance to hit monsters with your abilities (the opposite is that you miss them and deal no damage).
To get a good idea what stats you need, go check the Blizzard class forums or Elitist Jerks forums. Read until you understand. If you spend a day and still don't get it, ask in the Blizzard forum.

Almost all your gear can be enchanted to increase their stats. The enchants are usually costly and justified only if you will keep a particular item for a longer time (such as two weeks or a month). While leveling enchants are not needed or expected, but at higher levels or at max level you are expected to enhance your stats as much as you can with enchants.

You can either buy enchants at the AH or ask an enchanter to put them on your gear for a price (usually lower).

If you need advice as to what enchants are good for your class and spec, go at wow-heroes and search for your character. They will make pertinent recommendations for each piece of gear you have equipped.

Some gear has slots in which you can put gems. Unlike enchants, you are expected to always put gems into your equipment, or else it will have sub-par stats. Gems come in various qualities and if you are strapped with cash, green gems are a good price/quality compromise.

Glyphs are like enchants, but not for your gear, but for your spells. Glyphs can enhance the funtionality of some spells, but they do not add more stats. Instead, they modify a spell in such a way as to make it more useful in a circumstance and less useful in another. For each class and spec there are glyphs which are considered must-have. Learn which they are, buy them and put them in your spell book. (You need to be near a lexicon of power to 'equip' a glyph - you can ask a guard in any major city where the inscription trainer is and go there, he will have a lexicon of power nearby).


Post a Comment

Have your say...

World of Warcraft Blog Directory