Saturday, October 30, 2010

Advice, or "To Listen or to Ignore?"

You run across people in pugs who like to tell you how bad you are and that you're doing everything wrong and that your gear and talents and hairstyle all suck.

But what about a person who gives you good advice and doesn't disparage you in the process, but who isn't very good at giving advice?

I was on Windwhistler today, trying to get a bit of her rested ground off while finishing some instance quests.  My shaman healer felt the need to tell me I wasn't holding aggro well enough and that I should [Rend] before I [Thunderclap] on groups.

I've never claimed to be an expert on Warriors, but I know that [Rend] is a single-target ability, so this advice made me reply "It doesn't seem as if rend would help with group aggro."

To which the shaman replied that the new way of doing things was "weird."

I tried it here and there in the instance but didn't always do it because I a) wasn't used to having it in my rotation and b) didn't know why I was supposed to use it for groups of mobs.

When the shaman reminded me to use "rend + thunderclap" when I'd been trying like the dickens to control a group and keep it off the DK who kept putting down aoe and the warlock whose pet kept grabbing aggro, I asked husband: "Honey, does [Rend] help with warrior tanking for groups?  Specifically [Rend] and then [Thunderclap]?"

He replied that there was a talent that, if you put [Rend] on one mob and then [Thunderclap], it puts rend onto all the mobs hit by your thunderclap.  I then passed this info on to my group.

Shaman came back with a "Yeah, that's why I told you to do it."  As if I were stupid for not listening to his brilliant explanation of "the new way of doing stuff is weird."

I pointed out that he hadn't explained it to me and now that I had a reason to do it, I'd be more likely to work it in.

The whole thing wasn't so much annoying as frustrating.  Even people who are right about their advice don't do anyone a favor by saying "Just do this."

We need a reason.  We need explanations.  We need to know why.  It's always a strong possibility that the person telling us "I know what I'm talking about" is just blowing smoke. Or even that their information is outdated.  And without evidence to the contrary, why should we listen to them?

So I appeal to all you advice-givers -- be able to back up your advice with an explanation.  And you advice-takers, be ready to prod your advice-givers for more than a "Do this."  Ask them why, or what (for example) changed in the patch that makes this worthwhile, or what this combination of moves or stats does for you that your current moves or stats don't.

Everyone will be a lot happier (and much better players!) if we can just communicate this sort of thing better.



  1. There is always the option that the Shamans husband plays a warrior and after the patch mentioned to her that it's really weird that he now has to apply rend to a target and TC. But that it helps with group aggro.

    The Shaman might not even know specifically why you should rend before TC, she might only know that you should do this because she's heard that from a person she trusts.


  2. Having a hunter main, and leveling a mage through the dungeon system, I've come across a lot of hunters that I want to give advice to. However, I don't, because the explanation would be little more than "That's a really bad habit to get into, and if you do that, you'll be labeled a huntard by the not-so-nice people of trade chat."

    Is that considered a reasonable answer? I think people leveling in dungeons should use them to practice the skills they'll need for end game heroics.

  3. How did you select your talent points? I would think that if you used someone elses advice for talents, they would have mentioned it, and if you did not do this, and selected them yourself, then wouldn't you read through them before selecting them? I'm pretty sure the talent description indicates thunderclap will apply rend to all targets...

  4. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I read your question at work and forgot to get to it when I got home.

    I selected my talent points for my warrior by getting into a dungeon group just after the last patch and going "Oh crap, they wiped my talent points." Then picking anything that looked reasonable. It was extremely haphazard, though it seemed to work out just fine. I avoided anything that looked like PVP and picked up most of the defense tree, then put things I was used to using on my bars because it wasn't like it was a heroic or anything and the poor dps were being really patient.

  5. Agree way too many people trying to be smart but not knowing why. You did a good thing asking your husband.
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