Everybody knows one person who knows everything there is to know about their class. You envy them. When a loot drops they know if its good or bad. They know whats going to happen next and plan for it. They know all the hit and expertise caps. They know how sets should differ according to racials. This is how you become that person! All you need is an internet connection and some time to read up.
- Go to the Elitist Jerks forums. Click on your class under Class Mechanics and start reading. Every single class has useful information in this section of the forum. The wealth of information there is phenomenal. In particular, most forums have guides written by various members relating to gameplay, builds and statistics. The Retribution Guide for 3.2 for example has information on rotation, stats, mechanics, talents, glyphs, gems, consumables, professions and gear. Also in the paladin forum you can find links to Redcape’s DPS spreadsheet, Rawr and alternative gear lists, etc. Bascially each forum is a one stop shop for the best information out there and most info is kept up to date.
- Check out class/role specific websites. Theres probably one for everyone although I don’t know them all. Good examples would be Plusheal, Tankspot, Shadowpriest.com, Maintankadin and the Druid Wiki. Just try out some search terms in Google and see what you can find.
- Read blogs. You can go to the Twisted Nether Wiki to see a list of blogs organised by class. When you find a good blogger check out their blogrole for other examples. If you only have a couple just bookmark them, otherwise you could pick up a free Reader like the one Google offers (which I use) to track them. I pick up my blogs on my iphone, giving me something to read on the train.
- Keep track of whats coming up in the next patch via MMO-Champion. All the key information you’ll need (from Blizzard forum posts) will be posted on the front page there and you can use that to know if something key is going to change and if you have to prepare for it.
- Now you’ve got a lot of information. You need to start keeping references and notes to try and make it into a coherent whole. As point 4 suggests, things change a lot. You need to keep up to date and you need to remember what you’ve found. You can use bookmarks, write notes or do whatever else it is you like, but make sure you record where the really good information lives so you can go back to it.
- Share your information. Talk to people in your guild. Give advice, tell people whats coming in the new patch and whats the latest feeling about a talent or stat. As you tell people things, they will respond with yet more information.
- Do a quest! Well, actually, answer a question. When friends ask something you’ll find explaining it to them helps clarify your understanding of it. And if you don’t know the answer, then go look it up so you better understand your class.
- Write about it. Once you have some confidence you know what you’re talking about, then consider writing your own blog. This will hopefully be another source of questions, feedback and links, all the while enhancing your understanding of your class.