It’s an unfortunately all-too-common conversation when you’re a raid leader–or leader of any kind of content, including Mythic dungeons and PvP–and it often starts something like this… Or it does for me. Not sure about you…
“Hey, X, I was just going through the logs and I noticed a wee little something…actually a few wee little somethings…actually several somethings and they’re all quite major. Now, I know we can fix this and I know you’re awesome player, and we all make mistakes sometimes and I just want you to know you’re an awesome player. Did I say that twice? Because that means I mean it twice. Now, if you’re interested and motivated and have good team spirit and want to improve and want to go with me on a retreat to contemplate your World of Warcraft life (not really, you seriously think I have that kind of money?) and live and breathe World of Warcraft and go to bed and see DPS parses in your dreams and–look, I’m really not breaking this to you well. Shall I just say it to you straight? Here’s what I need you to know.”
Pause for dramatic effect. Lower visor and bite down on mouthguard as applicable.
“X, you just…you FAIL. So what can you/I do to help you FAIL less and become the EPIC player that I KNOW you can be?”
Now, by this time, if I haven’t been clobbered for my sterling sense of tact, they will ask me in what ways I’ve noticed them FAIL and what they can do to improve. The answer to that is the answer I most love to give but that people most hate to hear. And that is:
And so it does.
The Five Ways of FAILure
I broadly narrow down the possible ways to FAIL in World of Warcraft into five main categories, which I will describe here roughly in descending order from most FAIL to least FAIL.
You just had to stand in the fire, didn’t you? You are either standing in the things you shouldn’t or not standing in the things you should. Related difficulties include forgetting interrupts, not watching your debuffs, not getting away from the boss when he screams “Come closer…and BURN!” and not using your defensive cooldowns at the right times. You are suffering from mechanical FAILure.
Your gear is bad. Your secondary stats, trinkets, Azerite traits and essences, gems, or enchantments are wrong for your class and spec. Your gear FAILS.
Illidan frowns at you because you were NOT PREPARED. You may have forgotten your food, your flask, your potions, your vantus runes, or your augment runes. You may have also forgotten to do what they call “pre-potting” before the fight. Your Illi-Fu FAILS.
4. Class Specialization and Talent Build
I know what you’re going to say. “But you told me I could play anything I wanted to!” That’s true…it’s also true that some class specializations (specs) and talents are going to struggle in certain types of content way more than others. Sometimes it’s easier to just bite the bullet and go out of your comfort zone to try a different spec than spend lots of energy on making a difficult spec viable. Other times, you’ve got the right spec but you’re playing it all wrong. In other words, you class and/or motivation to learn it FAILS.
5. Rotation and Player Skill
So your grasp on the mechanics, your gear, your preparedness, and your spec is all more or less correct. The last method of FAILure has to do with YOU and how well you can press buttons. This can include whether you’re coming to raids very distracted, in a poor mood, with a bad connection, or (dare I say it) intoxicated, not just whether you’re using your abilities speedily and in the right order–though that might also be the issue. You just…you FAIL period, mon.