Zero to Hero: Coming Back to Raiding After a Break

It’s not ALWAYS all about me!  Nyler has been a Death Knight, a Tiny Bear, a Tree and most recently is enjoying his Holy Paladin.  As one of the premier raiding 10m Heroic Holy Paladins and a long time friend of mine I’m pleased he’s decided to share his thoughts on returning to the game after a hiatus.  You can catch him streaming at http://www.twitch.tv/nylerblit from 8-12am EST Tuesday through Thursday or on Twitter @NylerGaming.  -Lucy

Hello there my fellow wielders of the light. My name is Nyler and I’m a top 10 U.S. raider formerly of <TM> and <Duality>, and currently of <Topped Off>. As someone who recently returned from an extended hiatus after Heroic Sha of Fear and Throne of Thunder PTR burnout, I decided to blog a little about the grind back to greatness, since the new patch is just around the corner.  Everyone needs a break from time to time and though the duration and reasons behinds the breaks are different for everyone, the “I’m so far behind” grind shares the same daunting weight. Things change every patch and getting back into the swing of things is difficult. Having a vastly different ilvl makes looking at logs next to useless, when you’re 511 and the guys putting out the real numbers are nearing the 550 mark; you just can’t compare the two like you usually would.  Not only that but as many videos as you watch and explanations that you hear won’t change the fact that this new content is all progression for you, putting you at a disadvantage off the bat to the other healers that are already comfortable with things like cool down timing and positioning. Today we’re going to take a step back and look at the dos and don’ts for returning to the game under geared and under informed.

DO: Find a Buddy.

Guides and logs are nice and all but nothing beats first hand experience. The most valuable asset to your return is going to be someone that’s been playing during your break and is willing to tell you the subtle changes every class undergoes between tiers. These people for me were Lucydin <Angry> and Leylinbro <Raiding Rainbows>. You want people that know you as a player, preferably someone that you’ve raided with before. Someone well informed in not only the class theorycrafting you missed out on but also tier mechanics. Holy paladins have a huge toolkit, and knowing what fights you’ll need certain talents for (Clemency/Holy Prism/Etc.) specifically is a huge deal for us. Once you have your buddy and you’ve pumped them (giggity) for information, all you have to do is implement their advice into your play style.

DO: Man Up

Being behind in gear and experience sucks, there’s no way around that but there’s no point in getting down about it. You have to accept that you aren’t going to top meters right away and just do your job. Take “bitch duty” on the fights were you can. Drawing on Twins is a prime example; these jobs often force you to be more aware and will make it much easier to learn mechanics. If you’re able to do these jobs it often lets more geared players “tunnel” making it much easier to carry a less geared player such as yourself. Don’t whine about your gear. Everyone knows you’re behind so don’t constantly use it as an excuse as to why you’re not doing well. Believe in yourself; be a winner not a whiner.

DON’T: Be Lazy

A guild has to need a reason to want to gear you up and give you a spot on your return. If you aren’t going to put any effort into things like gems, enchants, and reforges then a guild really has no reason to give you any loot. Take every upgrade you get and deck it with the best of the best, even if you’re pretty sure you’re going to replace it soon. If you’re going to use that piece in raid even for just one week it needs to be min maxed because since you’re going to be on the Min side of things gear wise you’ll need to bring the Max from somewhere else. Just remember that whatever guild is helping you out is probably going out on a limb and taking a big gamble in their time investment with you.

DO: Get Gear EVERYWHERE!

Nowadays it’s a Joke to get caught up in gear after being gone even for a Huge amount of time. You can get a new character in Lfr’s in a single day if you have the time and gold. In 5.4 you can spend timeless coins on Mogu Runes that you can use in ToT and ToT lfrs to pick up any gear you might have missed out on, not to mention how easy it is to get gold coins for even older tiers. Do some research and ask around, specifically find someone with a lot of alts because they’re going to know the fastest ways to get gear.

DON’T: Stop Trying

As you get gear and get used to the content you need to start making a real effort to improve Every week. This is my Epeenbot. You can see that my first week back raiding 5/29/13 my percentiles are very low. But, if you look closely you can see that I have almost 100% consistently increased on Every fight Every week. This is your #1 goal, and should remain so even after you’re fully caught up. People tend to get lazy once they’re comfortable with the content. This is how you get bored and quit in the first place, and it’s also and easy way to lose your raid spot to a more enthusiastic raider. Analyzing your logs using Comparebot (check the guide here on Intplate) and having your class buddy you found earlier look at them are both amazing ways to keep improving your play. Never give up on improving, the more effort you put in the better healing you’ll put out. If you’re consistently trying harder than the other guy eventually you’ll be beating him every time. Just want it more, and keep your nose to the grindstone.

Keep on keepin’ those bars green, friends, and always remember: No Excuses Play Like a Champion.

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