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How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

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How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

Postby Barathorn » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:08 am

Background: A new guy asks for tanking help, and is given links to four of Maintankadin's guides. Other posters contend that the linked material may be too advanced and/or too long for a novice. The topic gets split. Courteous and insightful debate ensues. - Arcand

Vrimmel wrote:"Go read everything" is terrible advice for a fresh player. Unless he has photographic memory he will just be overwhelmed by the amount of information available. And stricly speaking, a lot of what is written in some points might not be relevant for him at all.


Do you think we need to restructure the guides then Vrimmel?
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Re: I need Help

Postby sycopat » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:54 am

I don't agree that telling someone to read everything is bad advice.

It can be overwhelming at first, and no one is going to absorb all the information in one go (or at least I couldn't. Perhaps that could be considered a flaw, but I doubt there's an easy way around it) but I found when I was starting that I ended up casually reading most guide and advice threads several times over the period of a few days, each time learning something new I then applied to that evenings gaming.

Being fairly new myself I am not qualified to talk about tanking mechanics in the detail that other folks here can, but I do have a few tips for starting tanks based on my own experiences

1) Pretty much read everything. Don't worry about retaining it all at first, that will come in time.
2) Practise tanking. Run dungeons as a tank. May seem self evident but I think a lot of new tanks don't enjoy running dungeons because even minor comments can have an impact on a player who doesn't know how to deal with them.
3) Don't stop after a bad run. Tanking requires a lot of self-confidence, nothing is worse for that confidence than a bad run. Stopping after a bad run only gives your doubt time to gnaw at you, which can make it harder to queue as a tank next time around. Even if it means targeting an easy heroic or a normal dungeon well after you've progressed, the point is to remind yourself that yes, you can tank.
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Re: I need Help

Postby Vrimmel » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:03 am

Barathorn wrote:
Vrimmel wrote:"Go read everything" is terrible advice for a fresh player. Unless he has photographic memory he will just be overwhelmed by the amount of information available. And stricly speaking, a lot of what is written in some points might not be relevant for him at all.


Do you think we need to restructure the guides then Vrimmel?


Some are fine, some are outdated, some are too complicated (*cough* Theck). It can also be a bit difficult to find the exact thread you are looking for in some cases. I can't say everything needs fixing, but there is definately room for improvement.


sycopat wrote:I don't agree that telling someone to read everything is bad advice.

It can be overwhelming at first, and no one is going to absorb all the information in one go (or at least I couldn't. Perhaps that could be considered a flaw, but I doubt there's an easy way around it) but I found when I was starting that I ended up casually reading most guide and advice threads several times over the period of a few days, each time learning something new I then applied to that evenings gaming.

Being fairly new myself I am not qualified to talk about tanking mechanics in the detail that other folks here can, but I do have a few tips for starting tanks based on my own experiences

1) Pretty much read everything. Don't worry about retaining it all at first, that will come in time.
2) Practise tanking. Run dungeons as a tank. May seem self evident but I think a lot of new tanks don't enjoy running dungeons because even minor comments can have an impact on a player who doesn't know how to deal with them.
3) Don't stop after a bad run. Tanking requires a lot of self-confidence, nothing is worse for that confidence than a bad run. Stopping after a bad run only gives your doubt time to gnaw at you, which can make it harder to queue as a tank next time around. Even if it means targeting an easy heroic or a normal dungeon well after you've progressed, the point is to remind yourself that yes, you can tank.


Yes, a significant amount of people are able to learn by just reading through the posts, but there are a lot who don't want to read through what changes we had between TBC and WOTLK to get to what our rotation is. I have met several players in WoW who "read maintankadin", but don't know basics like how to spec, enchant or gem their gear.
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Re: I need Help

Postby tlitp » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:33 am

Reading comprehension, say you ? It's a bit more complicated than that.

Some things in WoW are not simple. Inherently complex, dare I say. Elementary algebraic operators are often not enough when one needs to create/verify/explain a model. Look carefully at how Theck makes use of his epic verbosity, at the fine balance between epistemological considerations and heuristics. Still, in some occasions he ultimately fails reaching the target audience. Not because he isn't aware that entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem ( :P ), not because he doesn't pursue parsimony. Bluntly put, maximal parsimony is not an universally optimal course of action. In some instances it isn't even possible.

Cutting to the chase, I wouldn't bother guiding a newbie to the ATC forum. Quite frankly speaking. It will likely be a waste of his/her time.
I'd go as far as saying that even non-newbies are at times hopelessly lost in there. (speaking of which, I actually did consider making Theck some kind of interface between me and the world; there were also cases in which I was tempted to serve as his interface)
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Re: I need Help

Postby Epimer » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:59 am

tlitp wrote:Reading comprehension, say you ? It's a bit more complicated than that.


Yes, but in the case of the bolded part of the quote from my previous post, I think this forum is perfectly adequate. If you want to know how to spend your talent points, there's an up to date thread sticked at the top of the Talents sub-forum. It contains a link to a talent tree for you to copy. If you would like a quick at-a-glance reference for which gem to put in which socket, and which enchants to put on each slot, then Digren's Gem and Enchant guide has that (as a side note: why is that thread not sticked any more? I have to look in Digren's sig for it these days).

If you cannot appropriately gem and enchant your gear, and spec and glyph your character appropriately despite the availability of that information, I would contend that the fault lies with the reader, not the author.
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Re: I need Help

Postby Arcand » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:13 am

Epimer wrote:If you cannot appropriately gem and enchant your gear, and spec and glyph your character appropriately despite the availability of that information, I would contend that the fault lies with the reader, not the author.


Well, hang on - that depends. One of the first questions a good educational author asks is "what's my target audience".

This site has quite a bit of information written by experts, for experts. That's a good thing but it doesn't mean that information is suitable for novices, or that we should blame the novice for not being ready for expert-level material.
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Re: I need Help

Postby Epimer » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:01 pm

Arcand wrote:
Epimer wrote:If you cannot appropriately gem and enchant your gear, and spec and glyph your character appropriately despite the availability of that information, I would contend that the fault lies with the reader, not the author.


Well, hang on - that depends. One of the first questions a good educational author asks is "what's my target audience".

This site has quite a bit of information written by experts, for experts. That's a good thing but it doesn't mean that information is suitable for novices, or that we should blame the novice for not being ready for expert-level material.


And the bolded part is really not what I was referring to. I quoted two specific examples of accessible (stickiness aside) threads to address specific, basic problems - a straightforward "spec like this" thread, and a relatively straightforward "gem and enchant like this" thread. I'm not claiming that if you can't understand Theck's derivations in the Matlab thread then you're an idiot; I'm saying that if a reader cannot apply "You should spec like this conveniently linked talent build on wowhead" - which isn't even a rhetorical example - then that is in no way the fault of the site, the guide or the author. Nothing more.
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Re: How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

Postby Epimer » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:05 pm

Although while we're on the subject, I would suggest that Knaughty's Talent guide (linked in the drop-down menu at the top of the page) has been superceded by Theck's 3.3 Talent Spec and Glyph guide, and that the latter may be more appropriate for the quick menu.
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Re: How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

Postby econ21 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:45 pm

Barathorn wrote:Background: A new guy asks for tanking help, and is given links to four of Maintankadin's guides.


Well, to be fair - the links were just to four of Maintankadin's forums, not four guides. Telling someone to read four guides is fine and very helpful. But I agree with Vrimmel that telling them to just read four forums is ... not helpful (I could use a lot of less polite descriptions). Vrimmel's very focused reply - learn your rotation, your build, your gear, your enchants, your instances etc. - was much better. Although still quite demanding. (How many of us learnt all boss tactics for all instances before entering a random heroic? I tried to but got cocky in the end.)

But on the substantive topic - there is a lot of info on maintankadin, but I am not sure it is laid out that well for the newcomer. There are stickies that are required reading but quite a few that are not and some required reading (Digren's gemming guide, Yappo's failsafe guide) that are not stickies. Perhaps it would be good to have something like the consolidated gearing sticky:

http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/ ... _v=posting

But widened out to cover non-gear essentials. Then whenever a new tank comes along, we link that one post rather than four stickies or, worse, four forums. I know that one post will in turn link to several threads, but at least it's hub from which the new tank can operate.

I guess what I am saying is take Vrimmel's reply, maybe flesh it out a little and add relevant links, then sticky it.
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Re: How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

Postby Syncognition » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:03 pm

As a new player myself, I think I can answer what I find helpful and not so helpful. Of course, I can't speak from everyone, but here goes.

http://www.youtube.com/user/drz197

This guy's channel is great. While most of what he talks about is tanking at 80, his videos are straight forward and informative. Now, I don't know how this website feels about posting tutorial videos not directly submitted by a contributor, but perhaps this method is a good alternative approach. I know the last thing I want to see is a wall of text when I'm trying to learn something (hypocritical I know, since I type a lot XD). Hearing someone talk through it is a little less overwhelming.
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Re: I need Help

Postby tlitp » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:09 pm

Epimer wrote:If you want to know how to spend your talent points, there's an up to date thread sticked at the top of the Talents sub-forum. It contains a link to a talent tree for you to copy. If you would like a quick at-a-glance reference for which gem to put in which socket, and which enchants to put on each slot, then Digren's Gem and Enchant guide has that.

Example : Reckoning. Its (relative) effectiveness depends on :
  1. mob type (DUH/non-DUH)
  2. target type (purely melee/hybrid/heavy caster)
  3. target's attack rate
  4. time on target
  5. encounter's type (single target/AoE)
  6. raid environment (buffs/debuffs system)
  7. weapon's ilvl
  8. weapon's base swing timer
  9. total strength
  10. total block value
  11. hit/expertise
  12. talent-points configuration
  13. opportunity cost (Reckoning vs DS/DG vs Redoubt vs Crusade)
Hmm, quite a hefty list of factors, right ? Let's see how Theck (generic example; substitute him with any guide author) deals with them ([1], [2]) :
- simply ignoring some of them (#2, #4)
- assuming likely values of the others
Does that makes his TLDRs (conclusions, if you want) less valid ? Not at all. It makes them somewhat abstract/generic. One should not mistake a set of most likely conditions/values for an exhaustive analysis.

Simplifying, that's precisely the distinction that should be made : keep the TLDRs as they are (wherever they are, basic training/gear discussions/talent specs), but do mention that they are "sandbox" advice (read : diluted versions of the in-depth analyses).
The newbie asks : "Hey guys, is this Reckoning I keep hearing about any good ?". In the ATC, the answer should be : "Under which assumptions ?". Everywhere else, "You probably shouldn't bother with it".

Barathorn wrote:Do you think we need to restructure the guides then Vrimmel?

The guides should contain links to ATC, particularly when discussing heavily controversial topics (or open discussions, or situational mechanics/usage). Again, in the case of Reckoning : usually weak/suboptimal, usually a high opportunity cost. Fine - just define "usually", or link an analysis that does so.
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Re: I need Help

Postby Barathorn » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:40 am

Arcand wrote:
Epimer wrote:If you cannot appropriately gem and enchant your gear, and spec and glyph your character appropriately despite the availability of that information, I would contend that the fault lies with the reader, not the author.


Well, hang on - that depends. One of the first questions a good educational author asks is "what's my target audience".

This site has quite a bit of information written by experts, for experts. That's a good thing but it doesn't mean that information is suitable for novices, or that we should blame the novice for not being ready for expert-level material.


I would point out however that 'Basic Training' and the guides within cannot be highlighted anymore or in anyway more prominantly as the forum you should goto first as a new tank. This site has a lot of guides written by experts for new players. Read them first? I did. If you can't be arsed to make an effort and want a quick fix then the door is that way.

If a novice enters advanced training I do have to ask why? Learn the basics first surely? We are happy to teach you how to be a tank, but if you don't display an element of common sense it isn't going to be an enjoyable ride for you.

From a personal view, I spent a day reading all the guides on this site when I joined before I posted anything other than a 'hello I am .....' post. I also firmly believe you learn more if you experiance it yourself. I am not a fan of hand holding people and laying everything on a plate for them. This only helps them become at best average. We should demand more from the community here. Every tank that reads these forums should be above average in terms of knowledge and gameplay irrespective of time allowed to play.

I do think the guides need an overhaul, I do think we are going to get inundated with a lot of people as a result of the Real ID issues, I do think we probably need big neon signs saying 'New Tanks this way' but I don't think we should be holding peoples hands if they can't make an effort to at least try to find the information first.

I will help anyone I can, all they have to do is show me they want to learn and want to make an effort. That is all I ask.

/salute

Barathorn

/edit - I believe some of the quotes in this topic have wrongly been acreditted to myself. What I actually said was

Do you think we need to restructure the guides then Vrimmel?
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Re: I need Help

Postby Barathorn » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:48 am

Epimer wrote: If you would like a quick at-a-glance reference for which gem to put in which socket, and which enchants to put on each slot, then Digren's Gem and Enchant guide has that (as a side note: why is that thread not sticked any more? I have to look in Digren's sig for it these days).


It is stickied. In the Consolidated Gear Guide. This is because if I had everything stickied in the gear forum that needed to be stickied I would have 20 zillion stickies, zero space on the front page and Invis and Sabin jumping on me like cats on heat :wink: .

If you cannot appropriately gem and enchant your gear, and spec and glyph your character appropriately despite the availability of that information, I would contend that the fault lies with the reader, not the author.


I completly agree. The information is there and isn't that hard to find [despite you having to look in Digren's Signiture which tells me the process isn't working as intended]. The reader MUST take responsibility for wanting to learn.
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Re: How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

Postby knaughty » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:05 am

Epimer wrote:Although while we're on the subject, I would suggest that Knaughty's Talent guide (linked in the drop-down menu at the top of the page) has been superceded by Theck's 3.3 Talent Spec and Glyph guide, and that the latter may be more appropriate for the quick menu.

I'm not of the opinion that a "newbie guide" this late in the expansion cycle is going to get a lot of use, so I'm not going to update mine until 4.0, and that will be a total re-write. For WotLK, I feel that mine was, overall, pretty good and I'm happy to leave it at that until Cata ships (or very late beta).

I skimmed Theck's - it's good work. If you want to switch it to his, feel free.
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Re: How to help a new guy: Discourse on Instructional Design

Postby Epimer » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:36 am

knaughty wrote:I'm not of the opinion that a "newbie guide" this late in the expansion cycle is going to get a lot of use


I agree, and wasn't criticising your guide - it's just got several mentions of 3.2 changes and potential things which could happen in 3.3, and just from a dating perspective has become very slightly inaccurate (e.g. Reckoning being our poorest TPS per point talent, which now contradicts the Matlab thread). Theck's is written from a 3.3 perspective so is just that little bit more up to date.

I look forward to reading your Cata guide :)
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