Oh, philosophical me! What I mean by this is that all water finds the place where it belongs. When it comes to this game I believe you play where you best fit due to the human aspect of the game. Yes, a few people go hunting for the very best guilds, some will play with friends IRL that don't have a clue how to raid in a progressed nature but that is still finding your level. In the game of World of Warcraft that is seeking your own level. How does this relate to "Playing Your Best"!
What steps can you take to play your best at this game even if you don't have the so called "hard core" amount of time to do that?
- Hardly anyone is natural to video games, you have to do it to learn it. So, go do it. The more you do the fight/instance/raid the better you will get at it.
- Challenge yourself - You need to know your toon, your cooldowns and limitations. Take yourself out of you comfort zone. PVP, duel, solo an elite. Do something you would normally ask to get help with.
- Pug - Yes I said that! If you are 100% comfortable, pugging can get you into situations that you have to go above and beyond. A bit of patience and understanding go a long way. This doesn't mean play with rude or dumb people but sometimes mistakes happen. Deal with them and you will learn from it.
- Know the fight before you do it! There is a wealth of info out there for you to have an understanding. I'm not talking about watching Tankspots video and now you are a pro, but read the abilities, watch some videos from the POV of your job.
- Steps to learn the encounter (source ~ thanks Tank Repo)
- Gather facts - ie...read Wowhead or Wowiki
- Watch videos - your POV, Tank spot, google search
- Compare facts with videos
- Look at logs, recount
- Is this a lot to prep? Not nearly as much as a night of wiping would be if you go into a fight without knowing. Knowing what you need to do during a phase transition that you have seen on 5 videos is much easier to understand than having a raid leader say it once at the start of a fight.
Gasp!!!----I used that 'leet verbiage, didn't I? This doesn't mean drop your profession and power level another for a certain fight or race change your toon to get more HP's to tank. No no no...this isn't what I mean at all.
- Get your professions to max or at the very least to the spot where they benefit you. JC's are allowed to use 3 JC only gem's...put them in there. BS get 2 extra gem slots...etc
- Get the rep you need for the helm/shoulder enchant or that 359 epic that will work for you.
- Spend the gold on the proper glyphs, enchants and gems. Gold is easy to come by in Cata.
Does all this sound like a lot of work? It shouldn't. Once you get the toon set up you can knock this out in about 20 minutes every couple days. Less than a full heroic.
Now the water finding its level, after you put your time and work into making your toon better and "practicing" your game, you will make the whole group better because you are doing your job to the BEST YOU CAN. This will allow the DPS to go harder faster, healers to use less mana and bosses to die.
You will soon find out that you level has raised and you need to move on or you like where you are and others play better due to the work you have done.