The Inky Guide to Teamwork
Hi, it's Inky again! Welcome back! Rithilir was so pleased with my first one, he made me write another. You know how his ridiculously long ears wiggle when he's happy? I can almost never resist that. Except when he's let me die about three straight times fighting Kor'thik Slicers in that dreadfully gloomy Heart of Fear place. Then I get downright cranky. I mean, that place doesn't even have trolls or ogres to gnaw on. Only some nice Fillet of Icefin satisfy me then. Mmm, Fillet of Icefin.
Most of you night elves, dwarves, humans, gnomes, and draenei do not start out as great team players. The mere presence of Rithilir used to strike terror in the heart of even the bravest guildie. No sheep was safe. Shackles were doomed. And if you stood next to him in the back of the party? *Snort* Hello, feign death victim! Heck, he'd even break his own traps. And me? I'd have to wander the dinosaur-infested jungle of Un'goro because no one wanted to go anywhere with him.
The point is this: It takes some time to become a good party member. You can easily and quickly reach 90th level with little or no experience in dungeons (and without even fully understanding your own class). Solo play (and especially dungeon runthroughs) teach bad habits.
Part of the process of becoming a good party member is mastering key group skills that you seldom use in solo play, part of it is understanding your role in a group, and part of it is learning the strategies of each particular dungeon.
We Like You, Really!
Even in a friendly guild like Moonwell Dancers, there is no way to avoid one fact: There is a wide disparity in the experience and goals of players. Even when you reach level 90, there are four groups of dungeon players: achievement-seekers, heroic dungeon-goers, casual raiders, and progression raiders. And that doesn't even metion battleground and arena veterans.
At this point in his career, Rithilir is somewhere between a casual raider and progression raider. Mirenna is a progression raider, and Karestoc is barely a heroic dungeon-goer. Karestoc knows how to make sheep. And food. That's about it. Oh, yeah, he finally stumbled up past level 74 and can port everyone to Dalaran. No, not the Shrine of the Seven Stars. Dalaran. Yeah, it's sad. And when we do prior expansion raiding, he still tends to teleport instead of making a portal, leaving everyone in the party on the wrong continent.
Heroic dungeons (in my opinion) simulatenously provide an elegant solution to one problem while creating another big problem. Back in Burning Crusade, Blizzard introduced a concept called "Badges of Honor" to smooth out discrepancies in luck when rolling dice for gear. This was a great thing. The system has moved forward to its current incarnation of Valor Points and Justice Points. Collecting these by regularly running heroics (or doing faction dailies) is a great way to slowly build a gear set. The problem created is that all that heroic gear still doesn't get you raid experience. And with a limited schedule of raids, it can be hard to join them.
- Be Patient
Rithilir just had to be extremely patient. Amani and Amere (who reportedly still exists, but spends too much time in a make-believe land called "real life") and others slowly worked him into the mix while he got better at doing the things he needed to do. This will happen for you are well, even if it takes longer than you'd like.
- Schedule Friendship
Mirenna was luckier. She found a core group of players (with Dahija, Valifadin, Nitewatcher, and Zyrande, and sometime Kytiana and Rathor) that more-or-less scheduled dungeons each weekend. During the week, Mirenna had time to do all the pre-quests in preparation for the dungeon, and we all got experience in dungeons. We did this for many of the old-world instances like Scarlet Monastery, Maraudon, and Zul'Farrak. We especially did this for the Karazhan attunement chain. (This was back in the days when everyone who wanted to go to Karazhan had to complete the entire chain.)
If you don't know a lot of people in the guild yet, don't worry! You will! In the meantime, try to find other players in the same situation. Try posting in the members forum that you want to try to schedule a weekly dungeon.
Here is where my experience as a cat (with very sharp teeth) is incomplete, but I will make an attempt to summarize who can help you with class-specific questions (and there are special forums on this website that discuss class skills).
It's always OK to ask for help. If you are shy about whispering to someone directly, drop your question into guild chat. Keep in mind, too, that many of us have different styles of play. Even given our (hopefully good) advice, you need to develop your own style of play.
For those of you listed below whom I volunteer to help... Embrace curious fellow guildies, help them. They just might save you in a dungeon or raid when you make a mistake or when things go horribly awry. And if I've missed you and you would like to help, let me know! I'll add you into the lists.
For new players, try creating an alternate character that has a different role to play. You'll be amazed by the insight you get by seeing how other character archetypes operate.
- Druid (Tank)
Druids who can Help: Welton, Esbjorn, Emressel
- Druid (Healing)
Druids who can Help: Jalardin, Woodyallyn
- Druid (Boomkin)
Druids who can Help: Alaurie
- Hunter (DPS + CC)
Hunters who can Help: Valifadin, Cyradis, Inky (I mean Rithilir)
- Mage (DPS + CC)
Mages who can Help: Prymusunum, Smenkhkare
- Paladin (Tank)
Paladins who can Help: Mesilana
- Paladin (Healing)
Paladins who can Help: Rathor
- Paladin (DPS)
Paladins who can Help: Kimber, Elosien
- Priest (Healing)
Priests who can Help: Mirenna, Orabi, Lotte
- Priest (DPS)
Priests who can Help: Magicwithin, Morgaia (Mirenna's evil twin)
- Rogue (DPS + CC)
Rogues who can help: Ravenbane
- Shaman (Healing)
Shamans who can Help: Gormenghast, Acrys (A horde spy, or double agent, or something)
- Shaman (DPS)
Shamans who can Help: Pastelle
- Warlock (DPS + CC)
Warlocks who can Help: Theodorik, Epsilonp
- Warrior (Tank)
Warriors who can Help: Amani, Keshi
- Warrior (DPS)
Warriors who can Help: Dahija, Amani
- Death Knight (Tank)
Death Knights who can Help: Ebonmorte
- Death Knight (DPS)
Death Knights who can Help: Thellmar
Rithilir Made Me Do It
Oh, yeah, Rithilir made me add this: Yes, it is safe to adventure with him now. I was finally able to train him to play well with others. Some feisty hunter named Cyradis may have helped, too. (I personally suspect Zakkath was telling Cyradis what to say.) And truth be told, many guild members (past and present) offered helpful advice.
*Snicker* Well, except for the advice that it was safe to talk to Witch Doctor Zum'rah in Zul'Farrak. You should have seen the look on Rithilir's face when he did that.