In the past, websites, forums, and IRC were the primary sources of information about World of Warcraft, along with word-of-mouth. When Discord launched it quickly became the go-to resource for game communities. There was no manual–we were all pioneers as users and leaders of the platform. Over the past year we have learned a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of Discord as a chat client that is different/unique from anything that came before it.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion amongst the Ravenholdt moderation team as to how we could improve, and how class Discords in general could improve. I decided to write this guide because there is still a large volume of users that plunge into the deep end of Discord and are overwhelmed. They don’t know the basics and standards across Discords–and, in some cases, there aren’t standards–and feel nervous about asking for help or don’t understand how to find the information they need. On the flipside, the community feels exhausted (especially around patch/ptr update days) by the sheer volume of identical questions they get every day.
In this guide I will attempt to educate you on the baseline tools to have a good Discord experience. I will do my best to keep this brief. You need to bear in mind that each class server has its own rules, expectations, and organization, which I will get into later.
Welcome to Discord. I will be your guide.
Ahoy! I am Don Jose#9643 and I am one of the moderators of the Ravenholdt Discord community; in addition, I have leveled all classes to 110 and at least lurk the majority of other class Discords. I consider myself a casual player because although I do raid, I do not push high M+ keys or compete in any Mythic Raid races. Anybody who knows me or hangs out in Ravenholdt knows that I love helping players, memes, and generally hate RNG.
Note: I welcome all constructive criticism (spare me the “lol ur guide sux” DMs, thanks) and suggestions. You are free to spread this guide to all corners of the Intarwebz; in fact, I encourage it. We are all a part of Discord and how the communities will function and feel.
“A BETTER COMMUNITY STARTS WITH THE SELF.” -Me, 2k17 and probably other inspiring/important people
Joining a Discord Community
Discord has a web client (opened in your web browser), a mobile app, and a desktop client (you download and run it like software). The Web Client and PC Client are more or less interchangeable, but the mobile app does have some important differences that I’ll mention where appropriate. This guide is intended to be relatively TL;DR: so I’m not going to walk you through all the functionality of them. If you need/want more information, head to discord’s website: discordapp.com.
To join a Discord community, you will need a link to that specific server community.
Links generally look like this:
(note the “discord.gg” in the URL. Beware of false URLs!)
Or like this:
Or like this:
The majority of users will get invitations from guildies, friends, or forums.
Check the Channels
On the left side of the web and desktop clients, you will see that server’s channel list. These are the organizational topics of discussion. Keep in mind that these are generally suggestions; players will often go off-topic. That’s one difference between a Discord server and a forum: these are living, breathing, real-time chats that move quickly.
Let’s use Ravenholdt as an example:
At the top, you’ll see the server you are currently on.
FOR MOBILE USERS: On the mobile app, channels are listed when you hit the top left = button.
Below that, you can see channel headers (note the “PLEASE READ” over our #announcements and #resources-and-faq channels)
Spec Discussion – Check Pins
I’ll talk about pins soon. They are very important to universal discord use. If a Discord server has class or spec channels, that is not a guarantee that discussion will always be on-topic. This varies from server to server. Sometimes it’s just where players of that spec congregate.
If a server has a “general” or “off-topic” tab they are often less strictly moderated and feature random discussion topics.
CHECK ANNOUNCEMENTS, RESOURCES, AND RULES FIRST
How individual servers word these channels will be different, but they all have them. You are responsible for the rules of the server, whether you read them or not. If you are ever confused or unclear about the rules, send a direct message to a moderator by right-clicking their name and selecting “message.” This is called Direct Messaging, or “DMing.”
Familiarize Yourself with the Mod Team
Every discord has moderators. They are always listed at or near the top of the user list, which can be found on the right of the screen.
Again, using Ravenholdt as an example:
You can open or close the member list using the “People” icon, circled. It’s usually open by default. This is the same button/placement on the MOBILE APP.
Sometimes moderators have hierarchies with various titles. In Ravenholdt, our founders and team-leaders have purple names and are referred to (lovingly) as “Despots”.
Many servers have bots. I’m not going to get into them because they vary greatly in functionality and control–but they’re usually there to automate things like Raidbots simming, role/color requests, and so on.
Our moderators are are referred to (equally lovingly) as “Shadowblades”.
Moderation from server to server varies a lot, but in general, they are there to keep the peace, enforce rules, and be a resource for information (or somebody who can point you to the correct resource). Treat them with respect and you will have it returned, 9.9 / 10 times.
A Note: All mods are not around 24/7. They are volunteers, unpaid (as far as I’m aware), and they are not your personal helpdesk. Please consult the FAQs and the Pinned Messages before you reach out to them about game questions. If you see harassment, or feel like something wrong has occurred in the Discord chat, reach out to them with your concerns immediately. Do not escalate situations. As a final reminder, each Discord server operates independently. What might be considered harassment on Ravenholdt might be totally acceptable on another, so long as it doesn’t violate Discord’s TOS.
Check the Pinned Messages
If you’ve already gone on Discord you have likely seen push pin emojis and seen people saying “check the pins,” or; “it’s in the pins,” and so on.
What are “the pins?”
They will vary from server to server, but generally they are the most important, up-to-date, and relevant/frequently-asked questions and guides.
FOR MOBILE USERS: The pins are located behind the “…” button in the top right corner of the server.
Note how when you open the pins in #outlaw I have listed relevant links to the guides, as well as a post about the current tier set and an external link to a post about UI Lag Tolerance.
Each channel (such as #outlaw or #pvp) will have its own pinned messages.
BEFORE TYPING ANYTHING CHECK THE PINS!
You are going to get meme’d into orbit if you join a Class Discord and ask a pinned question (ie. a question that is answered in a pinned message). The “regulars” of any community see it happen tens of hundreds of times per day, and it gets really old, really fast, to give the same answer over and over. That’s why pinned messages exist. You are not the first person with your question and you will not be the last.
Imagine being a retail clerk and there’s a sign on your counter that says, “Restrooms are to the left,” but hundreds of times per day customers come in and ask you, “Where are the restrooms?” when you’re busy helping another customer. It’s a similar situation! There’s nothing wrong with having questions, but when you don’t put in that minimum of work/research yourself you just look lazy and entitled.
Why am I being told to ‘Sim It’ or ‘Sim Yourself’?
TL;DR: WoW is a complex game. Legion, in particular, introduced a lot of factors which make it difficult to tell if X talent, gear piece, etc. is superior. Running fight simulations (“simming”) is one of the best tools we have to try and get a more data-driven, accurate answer. WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU IS NOT BEST FOR EVERYONE. Simming is the “most-honest” answer. When people tell you this they aren’t trying to “just get rid of you,” they’re trying to be honest with you and help you get the best answer.
How do I sim?
Sim-yourself is a guide to using SimC (SimulationCraft) which is a powerful but somewhat complicated tool that runs thousands of simulated fights to try and determine your performance (and from that, what is better or worse for you).
If that is intimidating or too complicated, there are alternatives:
- Raidbots runs SimC with a newbie-friendly user interface.
- Ask Mr. Robot, aka. AMR, runs their own simulator with a newbie-friendly user interface.
How do I become a ‘regular’?
Hang out on a server a lot. Be generally respectful. Don’t brag unless you’ve got logs to back you up (and even still, don’t brag, that’s annoying). Help out others. Have some fun, meme around a little. Have you ever joined a new friend group? It’s like that. Don’t be obnoxious, respect that some of these people have known each other for years, and you will eventually be included into the recognizable community figures/leaders/scallywags.
Why is it so chaotic/spammy? People seem really cranky!
The chances are overwhelming that you logged on to the Discord after a big announcement, PTR datamine, or patch notes. During those times the traffic to class Discords surges tremendously, and things get absolutely wild. Don’t judge the server by those days. Mods will have their hands full and there will be a LOT of people spamming the same questions over and over. Don’t be that person.
Hero Damage: A website dedicated to the most current trinket, talent, relic, and gear simulations. It’s a great resource to check if you just looted a trinket or relic and have no idea if it’s an upgrade or not.
Ravenholdt: It’s my guide, so I get to plug the rogue website/resource. Ravenholdt is a go-to for various rogue-related content, but also has other guides such as the simming guide I linked above.
Class and Community Discord Links:
Community Discord Servers: A list of links to the current class discord servers. If your server is missing from that list please contact Wowhead to have yours added.