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Week 1 – Regret Minimization Framework: Choosing a WoW Main

What you’ll be reading:

  • class choice regret
  • too many options
  • minimizing regret by optimizing variables

When you look back at the end of your life, would you do it all over again?

Heroes of Azeroth, WoW Classic is upon us.

It is time to retrieve our weapons, don our armor, and sound the horns of war.

After your 4 hour wait in the queue, you finally see it. The character creation screen.

You pick a Tauren Shaman, and grind tooth and nail killing wolves, accepting quests and learning new combat abilities to level 10. You decide to become an Enhancement shaman.

You continue your journey, entering a PvP zone. You get ganked by a rogue. Multiple times. You get upset. Why can his class turn invisible? Yours can’t.

You decide to enter a dungeon. You whisper a group looking for a DPS. They ask you to heal. Wait, you say. I don’t want to heal. That’s why I chose Enhancement. Tough butts, they reply, they’re not looking for your role. Better luck next time.

You head back to the character screen and select Undead rogue. You grind to level 10. You head into a PvP zone. A warlock fears and DoTs you. You die. You get frustrated. Repeat.

There are many different ways to approach WoW, from casual to hardcore. And while there isn’t one correct choice, there are many wrong ones. Let me clarify that point. A bad choice means you chose a class or a role that is considered “bad”. At its core, WoW is a group game. If groups don’t want you, you’ll have a lot less fun.

Barking up the wrong tree costs time, and time is an invaluable asset. If you get to level 30 and decide that you hate your class, you’ll have to start a new one at level 1.

Regret Minimization Framework to the Rescue

Instead of considering all potential variables for a class choice (and there are a lot), let’s instead ask one question:

In one year, will you regret picking your class?

Go through the selection screen, through all of the races and classes you may want to play and ask yourself this question.

As for me, I’m going druid. Or maybe rogue. Hunter? Damn, still some choices to be made. See you in game.

Planning

“A man without a plan will quickly become banned/canned/overly tanned.”

I hate planning. I also love planning. I love feeling like I can control the outcomes of things, that a plan I’ve written down is exactly how it will play out in reality.

In the tech world, everyone loves “sprinting”. A sprint is a two-week period of a project, with a planning session at the beginning, and a retrospective session at the end.

Most of the time, in my experience, the “value added” hierarchy to the project goes:

doing the hard stuff > talking about what broke / what was learned from doing the hard stuff last time > planning the best way to do hard stuff.

Ideally, a plan is a document that will illuminate problems before they occur, so they can be safely avoided. Some plans are skeletons, others are so full bodied, they take more time to do than the project itself.

The problem is, plans never play out like they should. At best, plans save an equal amount of time on doing the hard thing that they cost to formulate. At worst, the time is entirely sunk because the plan is a steaming pile of garbage.

Whether you are writing a book, learning to fly a plane, or just how to make a burger; get to it. The less thinking and planning, the better, or so I’ve found.