I know usually we more experienced players are the ones trying to give advice to the noobs. Sometimes they take it and learn, and sometimes…well, we’ve all met the others.
But I’ve had the unique experience this week of being a noob again. I have a slight case of Altaholism (it really is very slight compared to a lot of you!), and got my third alt to 80 this week.
When I leveled Ambermist, I was a pure, unadultered boon. I remember turning to my then boyfriend, coach, and forever mageboy Ultraking and asking him how to get a farm and why anyone would want to go “farming” in a video game. Westfall was still exciting, and the day I learned you could eat and drink at the same time (thank you for loading screen tips, Blizz!) was a really great day.
When I leveled my mage, I mostly understood the dynamics of the game, and I had a pro mage in my pocket to give me advice on the way up.
But now I have a paladin at 80.
I’ll tell ya, leveling was cake. Sorry, paladins, you are all freaking overpowered. I love it, and soloing 99% of the group quests from Princess in Elwynn to Ursoc in Grizzly Hills made for a fun and easy trip through Azeroth.
Now I’m at the instance stage, working on gearing her up. She’s dual specced prot/ret, so I’m dpsing the harder instances and tanking the easier ones.
I’m used to going into a heroic and roflstomping it, so learning to play a new class and a mostly new role has been a challenge and a treat. I’m currently specced to tank on Amber, it’s true, but because of some very lucky drops and an occasional shortage on leather-wearing melee, I was already in full epic ilvl 200-245 gear the day I specced for bear. There wasn’t a real learning curve. I walked into the first few heroics I tanked, got back into the rotation, which is still pretty similar to what it was in BC, and learned my new abilities. I’m pretty sure no one in those PuGs would have known I hadn’t tanked since BC if I hadn’t told them.
My pally is a different story. It’s a whole new set of abilities I’ve had to learn and master. A new way of itemzing, of pulling, and of maintaining aggro. Not to mention that regular ToC PuGs are full of other new 80s, and I’ve been reminded of why I used to cringe in horror when someone suggested a PuG. I’ve been in several fail groups lately, but I’ve also been in some really good ones.
Here are the things I’ve learned about being a noob:
1) Being a noob is okay. It takes time to learn how to play WoW, and it takes time to learn a new class, even if you’re experienced.
2) Admitting that you are a noob can be good. It takes some humility to admit that you don’t always know what you’re doing and that you might very well screw up. No matter how many times you’ve gone over your rotation, there’s going to be a moment where a mob runs loose and you completely forget that Hand of Reckoning is bound to your G key, and you might panic. It’s okay to apologize for the blunder and laugh it off. It’s definitely 100 times better than pretending you’re super leet and that it’s everyone else’s fault (you’d be surprised how many times I’ve see that reaction this week; or maybe you wouldn’t).
3) Having friends on the inside can be a big help. One of the coolest things that happened this weekend didn’t happen to me directly. When I asked in guild if anyone had a low-level alt that might like to run regular UP, a guildy whispered me and asked me to invite his friend. Her response to me was, “one sec, I need to check his level of insanity.” Turned out she had been retired from the game for a long time, and didn’t know the instance. I explained the boss fights to her, and she came through it like a pro. Bonus: she got a great new wand, and I was pretty happy for her.
This has also worked for me. I’ve been watching guildies with paladins in action very closely this week and asking for advice from sources that I trust, and whose experience I can see with my own eyes every week.
4) /Friend is…well, it’s your friend. If you end up in a good PuG, or even a crappy PuG that has a shining star in it, put those people on your friend list. Most of them will probably not become permanent fixtures in your WoW experience, but a few might become frequent fliers, and you’ll find yourself getting invited to instance farming runs or with a healer who’s always ready and eager to come along.
5) Enjoy being a noob! Leveling a character or an alt breathes new life into the game. I was so excited when I hit 80 that I spent most of my time for the next three or four days making and buying gear, running instances, and playing around with her professions. It probably won’t be long before she’s just another toon for me, so I want to enjoy her shiny newness while it’s still available.
However, in news from the Battle Chicken front, I did run ToGC 10 this weekend and got a couple of really good upgrades (and A Tribute to Skill to boot!). I’m eager to see if they make a difference in the raid tonight, so cross your fingers for me, my fellow moonkin.