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Posts with tag Noob

Kotaku launches "An idiot in Azeroth"

Northshire quest giver
Yesterday a new series of articles began on Kotaku: "An idiot in Azeroth," written by Mark Serrels as he chronicles is very first time playing through World of Warcraft. Poor Mark may be in over his head--he is only vaguely aware of what WoW is or how it works. It took him 15 minutes to figure out how to turn the tutorials on so he would know how to play. He got eaten by a wolf and squished by a murloc. Sound familiar?

The most delightful part of reading about Mark's first exploits into Azeroth is the knowing grin it brings to my face. Ah, yes -- those days! I remember that. I remember wandering aimlessly through the starting zone, trying to figure out where to find that quest item I needed, getting turned around in the woods, and getting eaten by wolves. Each of us only gets to discover Azeroth once, and reading about Mark's first forays into that world are the closest any of us will ever be to reliving the experience. I can't wait to see where it takes him. if we're lucky, perhaps it will make him one of us.

Filed under: News items, Humor

WoW Archivist: Two weeks as a noob in 2004

A tauren in Mulgore
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

When I took on the WoW Archivist mantle last year, I wanted to tell some personal stories as well as provide in-depth looks into the game's past. My first column talked about an early but extraordinary world PvP experience. Today I'd like to tell you about my first weeks of WoW in 2004, in a very different Azeroth than our modern version, with a very different incarnation of the hunter class.

A hunter will rise

In December 2004, a hunter stepped forward in Red Cloud Mesa. He was new to the ways of Azeroth, but eager to learn. What followed would be painful. But when the narrator shut up and the hunter proudly accepted his first quest from the Navajo minotaur guy with giant punctuation over his head, this new hunter set forth. He had nothing but a bow and a hope that his trials would forge him into a hero.

He would become a hero, many months and scars later. His first two weeks, however, were marked with terror, failure, and shame in roughly equal parts.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Guest Post: Confessions of a noob rogue

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Back in the dark ages of history, in vanilla World of Warcraft, I rolled a rogue. This was before battlegrounds, when dishonorable kills were a fear and world PvP was a rush, when men were men, mages sheeped for fun and warlocks ... well, let's just say that warlocks have a reputation that they've earned.

World of Warcraft was my first MMO, after coming from persistent worlds hosted by Neverwinter Nights. I played a rogue there, too, steeped in Dungeons & Dragons rules and the like. World of Warcraft was both nothing like and exactly like my roguish experiences before -- a sneak who dealt devastating damage with small weapons, no matter whether the target was gnome or giant, fearsome orc or fiery dragon.

In the midst of a Westfall investigation (tasked by SI:7 to infiltrate a tower), I noticed a few growing complaints in guild chat: "We have seven rogues in the guild but only one priest; would someone please roll a priest?" I told them I would, sent my rogue back to the character select screen, and rolled the character that would take up the entirety of my vanilla experience.

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Filed under: Rogue, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Confessions of a noob hunter

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider.

As a prot paladin, I've learned my place in the world (of Warcraft). True, that place is usually face-deep in the crotch of some monster, but that's beside the point. When I'm tanking, I know I'm here to do one thing and one thing only: to piss off bad guys so they'll leave you alone. Strapping on my shield and a mace keeps me in a Zen-like comfort zone where everything seems to just come naturally.

Like many others, though, I've found myself looking for more to do as Cataclysm lurches ever closer. After all, there are only so many things to get beaten by each week. This has left me joining a growing percentage of players in a less-than-exclusive club: "Hi, I'm Brian, and I'm an altoholic."

Most classes I've tried have felt fairly natural. I've leveled my DK and priest with no problems and have really been enjoying the early levels of both my mage and warlock (which, as you'd imagine, leaves me with quite an internal struggle). There's one class, however, that has managed to bewilder me at every turn. A class that, for whatever reason, seems so counterintuitive to me that It's taken me over a year and a half to hit level 27. My friends, I am -- cue dramatic music -- the worst hunter in the world.

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Filed under: Hunter, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: A crowning moment of noobishness

It seems like we've been playing World of Warcraft forever. Sure, we're all experts now (or at least we think we're experts), but we weren't always epic Kingslayers. We were all noobs once. And we all made ridiculous noob mistakes.

As evidence, I shall recall for you a tale of a noobish Fox Van Allen. I had just made the leap from trial account to paid, and a friend of mine had sent me a small care package to get me started in the game. Nothing big, since he was just starting out too -- just a little bit of money. I was very eager to get it, but I had a problem: I couldn't access my in-game mail. That little mail icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen was taunting me.

After several frustrating minutes of trying to get my not-so-phat loot, I decided to put in a GM ticket. I explained I had just upgraded from the trial and that WoW wouldn't let me access my mail. I was a little frustrated (no one has ever wanted one piece of gold so badly), but I tried not to let that show in my note.

An hour or so later, I got a response from an exceptionally helpful GM. He researched my account and tried helping me best he could. He explained that since I had just paid, there may be some lag in that information reflecting my ability to get in-game mail. The GM then suggested that I should go to a mailbox and try to access my mail again so he could help troubleshoot while the chat window was open.

"Holy hell," I thought. "You have to be at a mailbox to get your in-game mail?"

Do you have any crowning moments of noobishness? What's the most noob thing you've ever done? Come on, we won't judge. (Too harshly, anyway.)

70% of trial players quit WoW before level 10

When Blizzard put all characters below level 10 on easy-mode and added the tutorials in patch 3.3, I thought that was because they were expecting a huge influx of new players for the holidays. But I was wrong. CEO Mike Morhaime stated in the quarterly conference call for investors yesterday that only 30% of all Trial Accounts make it past level 10. This would account for the priority of making the beginning of the game new player friendly, over other development we veteran players would like to have seen. He goes on to say that the changes to the leveling game in Cataclysm will be good for retaining new players while giving better replay value for the rest of us.

Now, I know what you're thinking. How many of those trial accounts are scammers, so of course they don't make it to level 10? Good point. I don't know the numbers, though I'm sure Blizzard could just look at how many of those accounts made character names by facerolling. However, the account thieves aren't strapped for cash and have been known to not only purchase full accounts to do their evil bidding; but will also reactivate lapsed accounts, slap an Authenticator on and farm/scam away. So the 70% may very well include a large percentage of potential subscribers by process of elimination, since the scammers can afford multiple accounts.

As I've said before, the pre-level 10 changes we already have help us introduce our loved ones to the game. And I think we're all looking forward to the new starting zones and leveling experiences we'll find in Cataclysm. Particularly now that we've had a taste of the new quest mechanics in the Love is in the Air quests, such as PIlfering Perfume and Hot on the Trail.

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: New tutorial system to be bigger, better

Patch 3.3 has had a lot of awesome small tweaks aimed at improving the starting experience for new characters and new players, likely in preparation for Cataclysm. In addition to streamlining the first few levels, Blizzard has added something else to the latest patch notes: A new tutorial system. According to the patch notes, the tutorial windows will now be larger and contain pictures and other visual cues to better direct new players where to go, what to do, or what buttons to press on the UI. In addition, new tips have been added, and other existing tips will appear at more opportune moments.

With this, we have yet another good example of Blizzard's preparations going into Cataclysm. Despite having somewhere north of 10 million players, they aren't resting on their laurels, but are adjusting their game to invite in even more players, making it easier for them to get into the game, and ushering in a new era of the newbie (in a good way) for the expansion.

WoW Rookie: How not to be a noob

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

This week, WoW Rookie would like to share a little gem of an article we discovered that delivers a catch-all of collective wisdom on rookie mistakes. If you've ever agonized over how to act and what to do (and how not to act and what not to do) in your first group, or your first instance, or your first Battleground, or your first raid ... Be still, restless heart; the answers are here.

What's to learn from this oh-so-savvy article? Start off with a listing of common tactical mistakes categorized by role (tanks, healers and DPS); these are the Learn2Play basics that aren't necessarily things you'll learn leveling up on quests and the occasional instance. Next up, listings of things you should and shouldn't do between pulls in a group, when part of a raid group or duking it out in a Battleground. A final section discusses netiquette and common social conventions (something WoW Rookie has also covered extensively).

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Filed under: Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Features, WoW Rookie

Drama Mamas: Of scrubs and terribads

Let the Drama Mamas guide you through the sticky business of dodging drama, toward becoming that player everyone wants in their group. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players. And just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Sometimes, there simply are no words that do justice to our friends' lack of play skills. You know the people I'm talking about. We say, "He's a good guy, but ..." or "She's a real sweetie, for someone who ..." Argh! It's the last halves of those sentences that wipe the raid group every time.

So what's a player to do when his friends turn out to be scrubs, terribads, n00bs or any other variety of out-of-tune toon? Sometimes there's hope – but we'll be honest, sometimes things are beyond repair. Either way, you're going to have to decide: can you fix it, or can you grin and bear it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Humor, Drama Mamas

WoW, Casually: What is casual?

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Turtlehead wrote in wanting to know "what the heck casual is." This is a good question, but the answer seems to change according to the context. I learned long ago to explain how I'm defining casual for a particular article, or else face the wrath of my readers. When I write Wow, Casually, I define casual as a player with limited playtime and address my content accordingly. But there are many other kinds of players that could be called casual and we use the word to describe any or all of them. So, is it possible to define the word to please everybody? Probably not, but I'm going to try.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine – ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

Sunday Morning Funnies: Play me

Another Sunday has rolled around, and as always, some of the comics are talking about what's in the news, including the sale of BlizzCon tickets, the latest word to be officially adopted into the English language, and the BlizzCon pet!
  1. Check out the latest from Cru the Dwarf.
  2. Dark Legacy Comics: Donald the Explorer.
  3. Experience Points is inquiring into BlizzCon ticket prices, and /rolling for loot.
  4. Check out the latest from Flintlocke vs. the Horde.
  5. GU Comics: The Shedding.
  6. GU Comics: They're Haunting Me.
  7. GU Comics: Wait. Ted Said What?. Where do you stand on this issue? Personally, I'm going to take the opportunity to use it in an essay.
  8. Check out the latest from LFG.
  9. Massive Pwnage: Could be Worse.
  10. NoObz: Everything in Moderation.
  11. NPC: Payback and The Deal.
  12. Check out the latest from Teh Gladiators.
  13. World of Warcraft, eh? KHAAAAAAN! (That is my shortened version of the title).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, BlizzCon, Comics

Breakfast Topic: The noob old days

We were all noobs once. Well, I certainly was, at least. My very first character was a Forsaken Rogue who used a white weapon way past Level 20. Wanting to better his equipment, I searched Thottbot for the fastest weapon, thinking that the more hits I got in, the better my damage would be. I found out about the Daring Dirk, a 1.6 speed dagger sold by vendors, and excitedly went to Stranglethorn Vale to camp it. I was so thrilled when I got it, a green weapon, I eventually dual-wielded them. A 1.6 weapon on my Main Hand. I felt powerful.

That was just one of my many, many noob moments back then. When we first started the game, our very first MMO, my wife and I had no concept of tanking or the archetypal roles and group compositions. We headed into Sunken Temple with our friends, a Warlock and a Mage, and we thought that since my wife played a Shaman who wore mail, she should take the hits. Of course, she was also our only healer. Also with no concept of threat, we took about five hours to finish that instance, wiping numerous times. I look back on those days with fondness.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast topic: Of Newbies and n00bs

Amazingly enough, there are still many new players coming into the game that need some tutoring. I consider myself to be downright patient. If someone asks for help or advice, I'm there. If I don't have the answer, I point them to one of the many WoW resources that will assist them. At one point in time we were all rookies, and many of us still have many nuances of the game to pick up. I love to watch people learn and grow.

Bear in mind that WoW has a variable learning curve based on familiarity with MMORPGs, time spent playing, coaches, and aptitude. There comes a time though, when folks should be pretty self-sufficient. The argument "I'm new" no longer holds water. For example, it goes without saying that hunters should always check their ammo supplies before going into instances and in general, clothies should let the tank pull.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Death Knight's Death Grip as crowd control

I haven't played a Death Knight on the live realms yet (I leveled one through the starting experience during the beta, and am only 79 so far on my main), but I have grouped with quite a few of them now, and the ability that real stands out to me and others seems to be Death Grip. A lot of the other Death Knight abilities are just new versions of other classes' spells, but Death Grip is a pretty new mechanic -- instead of charging or jumping away from a mob, you're bringing the mob to you. And with all new mechanics, players have found new ways to play with them. As you can see in the video above, Death Grip, when chained by a few Death Knights, can even be used as crowd control.

I've seen it used in a few other wild ways, too -- it works great as an interrupt, and when combined with a Hunter trap, it's finally a reliable way to trap ranged attackers and casters. And most of the Death Knights I've seen use it for pulling -- they suck the caster in from a group, and the rest of the mobs come with, and group right up for AoE. And I haven't even been to any PvP matches with Death Knights yet -- I imagine the uses there are even more hilarious, not to mention that I'd be yelling "Get over here!" every time I hit it. Very fun mechanic for the new Hero class.

Thanks, Michael!

Filed under: Fan stuff, PvP, Humor, Raiding, Classes, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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