World Of Warcraft How I learn to play new specs and classes in any expansion / patch By: SilentDK


Hello, my name is Haytham and I wanted to make a post that highlighted how I learn and play new classes / specs.

I made a video that goes into more detail should you want it.

Disclaimer: This is not a definitive guide, this is simply just how I use resources and my game knowledge to increase my rate of learning a character compared to when I first learned how to play world of warcraft. Additionally for qualifications / reference I am a Current Gladiator (2x) and a melee dps player in a World 666 and US 219 guild.

So I breakdown my elements of learning a new class into 4 key areas

  1. Resources for Improvement

  2. Rotational Gameplay

  3. How to use throughput cooldowns

  4. How to practice

Resources for Improvement

  1. Get a guide

    1. Look up online resources like Icy Veins for a basic understanding of how the class works and what the basic rotation is. Wowhead has guides as well, choose whatever you prefer.

  2. Class Discords

    1. Class discords are a great place to find other people who are playing the class you are learning. Usually I use class discords to ask questions if I don’t understand something or about how to do “X” thing optimally if it was not clear in a guide or other online resource.

  3. Rotational Weakauras

    1. A strong class weak aura really helps drive understanding of how to play a class through visual clarity and ability to keep your eyes on the center area of the screen.

    2. I recommend using the Luxthos weakaura packs, he just released new ones for Shadowlands for every single class and spec.

Rotational Gameplay

  1. Single Target / AOE rotation

    1. I recommend going to a training dummy and practicing the actual rotation listed in whatever guide

      1. One key thing to note here is understand which short cooldown ability in your rotation is important and understand how to maximize it. (For the example of Fury warriors, for every bloodthirst I cast I have to press 2 other globals inbetween. Which means I know my general DPS rotation should be something like the following

      2. Example Fury Warrior Rotation (Bloodthirst -> Filler Global -> Filler Global -> Bloodthirst). Getting into this rhythm and planning your globals in combat so you don’t have to spend time thinking about what button to press next

      3. Similarly for your AOE rotation doing the same thing on target dummies and understanding how your class’s base rotation interacts with multiple targets will help build comfort and confidence to step into more difficult content.

How to use throughput cooldowns

  1. Use your cooldowns when you have the resources you need to capitalize on them

    1. Thinking critically about what resources / conditions are needed for your class to get the most of your damage rotation is a good way to start getting comfortable with your class and understanding how the mechanics of the class interact with one another. If you need help with this likely your class discord will be a great resource.

    2. Example: as a Fire Mage the most important part of your damage rotation is your combustion window. Going into combustion you need to have as many charges of fire blast as you can available. If you press combustion without any fireblast charges you’re damage will be dramatically lower.

    3. Example: Fury warriors have a 30 Second cooldown called “Siegebreaker” it applies a 15% damage taken debuff to the target for 10 seconds. The ideal situation as a fury warrior is to be able to cast our hardest hitting ability (Rampage, which requires 80 rage) as soon as I press siegebreaker and as many times as possible throughout the debuff. If I cannot press rampage after casting SB the difference is I can usually fit in 1 Rampage as compared to 2 Rampages under the 15% increased damage modifier

    4. Caveat here: Please note not to delay your cooldowns significantly to reach these resources it’s better to plan for these conditions to be met and reach them when your cooldown is ready for usage.

How to practice

  1. Dungeons/M+

    1. I use dungeons as a way to try out different talent builds and handle my class in a variety of situations

    2. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and feel how different talent combos playout/feel

  2. Raid Encounters

    1. I use raids to focus on executing the Single Target or whatever type of rotation the fight requires correctly. Being able to apply the rotation to actual encounters helps you see how you can use the tools available to your class to improve your performance / damage

  3. Arena

    1. Arena offers the unique threat of other players trying to kill you. I believe no other game mode forces you to get comfortable with your class utility, damage, and survivability options like the arena game mode. It will be very difficult at first but that sink or swim mode of arena is a great way to eventually learn how to survive through trial and error.

Hopefully these tips / learnings that I’ve had during my time playing WoW will be helpful to you if you’re looking on playing a new class for Shadowlands or trying to learn a new spec or simply just coming back to the game.

If you think I missed something or something isn’t clear please let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to keep this post updated.

Thanks for reading.

Haytham – Kil’jaeden

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