I like to fancy myself a solid player on my hunter. I can hold my own when it comes to damage dealing, I know all my abilities and can utilize them on the fly. This is not about me in that sense however, it is about how long it took for me to become that hunter.
I didn't just wake up one day and start soloing level 85 heroics. It took me years of playing to be able to figure out the finer points of soloing content. Even at that I can only solo one heroic with any normal success.
I didn't just walk into a raid and destroy the DPS charts. It took a lot of time to learn the flow of my abilities and how they interact.
All in all, I spent a lot of time on my hunter. Not just in game, online too, reading and analyzing, and studying every bit of information I could get my hands on. Debating the specs and which ones would work best for me. Hours on end really and that was just to get ready to go into the game and then start working.
I would work on stat allotment. Gems, enchants, reforging. Dummy time playing with my rotation and I am not just talking spending a minute or two I am talking about an hour here and an hour there.
All that said, I am not even close to a great player. I am at best a solid player.
How long did it take me to become a solid player? I can't really say but it did not just happen over night. I did not read a guide online and tada I was kicking butt and taking names.
I don't think anyone can really do that. Take all those outrageous death knight solo raid kills. If everything was so easy as just seeing how it is done and then doing it yourself every DK in the game would be soloing the lich king on a weekly basis and that is just not happening.
Just reading a guide is not enough to make someone good. You need to work at it, real time work.
I mentioned to a friend how easily I picked up shaman healing back when I started it and he explained it well to me. He said that I am a good gamer, I put in the effort to make it easier. It isn't really as easy as I made it out to be, it is just because I did so much research on it before hand that it seemed easy.
So the question is this, who long does it take to become a good player?
I still feel I have leaps and bounds to learn on my hunter and I have worked on that 100 times more then all my other characters combined while I feel I am a good healer on my shaman and a good tank on my warrior.
Does that means that I am actually a better shaman or warrior then I am a hunter being I learned both of them so easily while I still feel I have much to learn on my hunter?
Is it the role that makes the difference? I seem to pick up being a tank or healer a lot easier then being a damage dealer.
Some people are just naturals at some roles. No real studying needed. They are just good at it. All they do is look over the general outline for stat priorities and they go about their business doing their job at a high level of ability.
I am starting to think that maybe I am not a natural hunter if I work this hard at doing it and never think myself good enough. I picked up my shaman and was healing things I would have never thought possible in no time at all. Was it really because healing is that much easier to learn or perhaps that is what I am more natural at.
While I have no concrete numbers I could hazard a guess if I wanted to. I would say it took me hundreds of hours to get as good as I am on my hunter and it took me five or six hours to get as good as I am on my shaman.
How long does it take to get good?
Personally, I think that is a question that can never be answered by a truly good player because a truly good player is always looking to get better, so the learning never stops.