As some of you may know, I read a lot of the sections in these forums and see a lot of people ask for help in a lot of different ways. Some people get better responses than others and a lot of that has to do with how they're asking questions. One of the more common responses on these forums is someone asking the OP to be more specific or provide additional information. I'd like to provide here a basic overview of how to ask for help here on the forums so as to maximize your chance of getting a response and of that response being helpful. This is all IMHO of course but I hope that it helps some people get more value out of the site.

First of all, being specific in your questions is important. Giving all of the relevant details is important. If you are asking at all about gear/spec/etc, then link your armory...if you don't want to link your armory (or want to maintain anonymity of your teammates/friends), then use chardev or one of the anonymous armory sites. We need information to understand your situation and what is happening in order to help you.

In general, any post that asks for arena help should include answers to the following questions:
  1. What class and spec are you playing?
  2. What class/spec are your teammates playing?
  3. What's your gear level? (As simple as "full relentless" to as detailed as an armory link.)

If you are asking for strategies against a specific enemy comp, you should also include answers to the following questions:
  1. What (specific) comp are you struggling against?
    ("Saying LSD is much more meaningful than just "spell cleaves".)
  2. If releveant, what maps are you struggling on?
  3. What is your current strategy against this composition?
  4. Why (in your opinion) is that strategy not working?
  5. What is the other team doing to kill you or counter your strategy?
    (Saying "they just zerg me down" is not acceptable. Try to understand what they're doing. If you really don't know, say so and ask.)
  6. What is your team trying to do to stop them from killing you or to try to counter them?

If you are asking questions about getting started or the feasibility/viability of a given comp, you should search the forums for other threads that may be similar. Also if you put together a chardev of what you're thinking about starting with, people will comment on it much more readily than if you just ask "what should I start with"? It's also very difficult to give "target stats" to aim for...there are caps for things like hit, but a lot of other stats should be different based on your comp and your playstyle. Be detailed about the comp you play, your playstyle, and what you want to accomplish with the team in order to get answers that best fit your situation.

In general, these are some examples of questions that are difficult to answer (quick reasons why in parentheses):
  1. I'm a new disc should I gear and spec for arena?
    (What bracket? What comp?)
  2. What are general strats for X/Y/Z?
    (Way too vague...What are you really struggling with?)
  3. Should I buy item X or item Y?
    (Not enough info...we need to know what else you have and what comp you play to understand your situation to answer correctly.)
  4. Some shamans take talent X...should I do that too?
    (What bracket/comp? What's your gear level and playstyle?)
  5. Comp ABC rapes us in the arena...what should we do?
    (What comp are you? What's your current strat? How are they beating you?)
  6. I'm a resto druid, should I heal more or cyclone more?
    (Depends sooooo much on the more specific.)

On the other hand, these are some examples of questions that are easier to answer:
  • I'm the shaman in an RLS...double melee teams are zerging me team is trying to do X and Y to's my armory...what should I change or what should we try to do differently?
  • I'm a priest that usually plays RMP, but now I'm going to play dispel's my armory, should I respec/reglyph/regem/etc?
  • I'm a pally and can't keep my warlock alive in 2s against a warrior...I try to do X and Y and he does A and B to save himself, but the warrior does C, D, and E so we still fall behind and can never turn the there anything we can do? Here's our armories.

(Note: It's harder to give quick examples because good questions are longer, give more information, and are more detailed/specific.)

Finally, there are a few special case situations I'd like to talk about:
  • If you link a video of yourself, it's pretty time-consuming for people to download it, watch it, critique your play, and reply. It's a good idea and a great way to get help, but don't expect response to be as quick or as plentiful unfortunately.
  • If you're asking questions about UI, including a screenshot helps and/or talk about how your UI works and how you'd like it to work...then we can make more specific suggestions.
  • If you're asking about addons, tell us what you're using and what it doesn't do that you'd like it to do and why you want that.
  • If you're asking about gear, link your armory but also tell us what PVE gear you have access can go a long way towards helping optimize for you.
  • If you're asking broad questions about gear/talents/glyphs/gems/enchants/etc, then be sure to include information about the comps you plan to play.

So in closing, think before you post. There is no magic crystal ball where anyone can see into your toon/team and understand its problems. You've probably heard that everything in the arena is situational...that's pretty accurate...and it applies here on Skill-Capped. So give us as much information as you can about your situation, and the community will do its best to give you good answers and good advice. Give us vagueness and broad open-ended questions, and we'll not give you much. Help us help you. =)