We’re all starting new alts. And being good little readers that we are (hell you’re reading this) we want to make sure we are good at what we’re doing and not total noobs.

But at the same time, many of us are going for the “fresh” experience of a new wow player. To take the game in an organic manner and just learn by doing.

So, do you need to theorycraft? Maybe…

You Probably Don’t Need To Research Outside Sources If…

You are soloing. Hell, if you fail, you’re not affecting anyone else’s game.. so who cares?

You are under level 40. Ok, I picked that number at random, I admit it. But at the low levels, you can probably bumble along just fine without a guide. After all, when you have few abilities and few talent points, it’s hard to really “do it wrong.”

You are not dying a lot. A big clue as to whether you’re “doing it wrong” is whether you’re constantly corpse running.

You read the in-game stuff. At least read the tooltips and don’t just bluster ahead. If you don’t want to heal, make sure you didn’t choose a healing spec. DUH!

You already know the basics of the class. You’re probably ahead of the game with a warlock if you’ve played a boomkin. Caster DPS is basically caster dps.

You Absolutely Need To Research If…

You are raiding. Period. You will need to squeeze every ounce out of your toon, and just learning by doing isn’t enough. You need the math nerds to be the best of the best.

You are having trouble in instances with others.  If you’re a tank and are having trouble holding aggro… if you’re a healer having trouble keeping the group alive… if you’re a DPS and are having trouble keeping up with the others OR are having trouble using your crowd control abilities.

You change specs at a high-ish level. At level 30, it’s probably not a big deal. If you’re much above that, you’re going to need to read something-or-other to catch up on what all your abilities do, since you didn’t just learn them slowly and organically as you were leveling.

You see other people of the same class and level with shit that you don’t have.  All the other warlocks of your level have a demon you don’t? You’re asked to perform an ability you don’t have? Maybe you missed a quest along the way. Time to figure that out.

You croak a lot. Time to investigate how to cut down on that.


Do I really need to read theorycraft for my new alt? — 12 Comments

  1. I hate to say it but around level 30 or so, turn Recount on and run a couple instances. Check your relative positions. If someone with similar gear to you (ie heirlooms if you have heirlooms, no heirlooms if you don’t have any) is doing more than twice your damage – you may be doing something wrong. You don’t have to top the meters. You don’t even have to do more than the tank. What you’re looking for is the difference between you and everyone else, as a sanity check.
    If you’re healing and you and the tank stay alive you’re probably fine.
    If you’re tanking – below level 30 you won’t hold aggro, nobody really expects you to hold aggro, and the hunter will pull off you. And his pet is on growl. That’s ok. Mention the issue once, maybe again when someone pulls and dies, and just roll with it. Your time will come.

    • Actually on my little gnomelette warrior I’ve had little trouble holding aggro in dungeons.  Though this is probably more to me assuming that someone will do something stupid and try to yank aggro so I’m being proactive in trying to keep everything on me.

        • Oh hey! I only pull off tanks (and don’t immediately aggro-drop) when I’m pretty sure I can kill the mob before it kills me!

          Of course, when raiding that’s “all the time” especially because I know for a fact the druid healers have a oh-shit button specifically for meeee.

          I might have to change my habits somewhat as I’m swapping from plate to cloth dps this expansion. On the other hand, that’s an extra 40 yards to kill them in before they take me out; I can handle that.

  2. Yeah, this didn’t used to be true, but more and more “reading the tooltips” is sufficient for leveling stuff. At least for a feral druid, I’m pretty confident that anyone that reads and for the most part understands them will end up doing things Mostly Right just by virtue of having done that.

    • I leveled my feral druid “back in the day” without much theorycraft until I started to inflict my noobness on others. I was shocked to find that the “rotation” was basically what I had been doing all along. I mean, of COURSE you are supposed to keep your bleeds up! Chances are, you will stumble onto something “mostly right” if you are leveling as a certain spec from day 1.

  3. Brilliant, though I’d say if you’ve played WoW for long enough and manage to hold your own well enough without reading up, perhaps ask one or two questions but nothing more, then you’d also be safe to bumble along 😀
    In those cases, it really depends on how much you like to read up on a class.

    • Pretty much. If you’ve been raid leading and you’re pretty familiar with how a class works enough to instruct “cc this” – or if your significant other plays a class and you have to hear about it ALL THE TIME, you probably know what you’re doing.

  4. I’m levelling a little disc priest (and soon will be levelling a little resto druid with a feral off-spec, YAY CATA!) on E’T to (hopefully) get all the way up to 85 one day and maybe alt-raid a bit.  I will definitely read up on things when I start getting higher, and needing to know how to manage my (by then much larger) toolbox, but as it stands… I’m just merrily trucking along through the questing zones on my priest, having a blast, and I know NOTHING about how to do it, other than a vague notion of smite healing. XD  And I’m doing pretty good, I think, ’cause my mana’s not CONSTANTLY down, any more than any caster’s is, and I hardly ever die, and quests are challenging without being annoyingly difficult.  My talents will need to be reworked, I’m sure, as I’m just throwing points where it feels like they’re needed, but damn if it isn’t a lot of fun.  😀  I like this better than theorycrafting.

    • ArcaneTinkerTank is leveling a little disc priest and I’m just SEETHING because he’s blasting the crap outta everything with like one penance and giggling at his screen. And I remember how I had to smite uphill both ways in holy spec. But he’ll write about that later.