Have you helped your noob today?

| Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Today (okay technically yesterday) I taught a paladin to use seals. He was level 60. The moonkin thought it was a waste of time.

I tried to explain stats in basic terms. No, I didn't say strength strength strength. That might have just confused him, that he might have then thought strength was all that mattered. He was 9 after all. I don't mean I assume he had to be 9 to be that bad, I mean he said he was 9.

Instead I said things which are good: strength and crit. Also that agility is okay and AP is about half as good as strength. I didn't mention hit because it's not too common early on; haste and ArP might have made his brain start frying.

Later when a SP trinket dropped, he asked if it was good. I said it as good for casting, but he's melee. In truth, it would have been an upgrade since he had a PvP trinket in one slot, but I thought it would just make him think SP is good. I wasn't sure that he'd get the concept of "better than nothing." I didn't steal it, so don't get all judgemental; he even won the greed roll.

At the final boss of Blood Furnace he successfully did not come closer when the boss told him to, nor did he burn. Maybe that was due to many trials of classical conditioning: "Come closer" comes before pain and eventually "Come closer" triggers a fear response and running away. Or he actually listened when I sent a tell "When he says come closer, RUN AWAY."

Maybe the druid was right, he's just a noob and I wasted my time. But if I can make him even slightly less terrible, isn't it worth it? He'll be in hundreds of PUGs down the line, so in a way, I helped make hundreds, maybe thousands of people slightly less miserable and nerd-raged. Just getting him to use seals might make him learn judgements (I somehow forgot about them) and even if it doesn't, he's at least going to be significantly better (maybe less worse is more accurate). And maybe he'll associate being less terrible at soloing with taking the advice of others.

After that we ran ramparts. Shortly before the first boss he was complaining that his mother wanted him to go to bed. After we killed the boss and he greeded the chest that he really wanted (I once again explained that he should need when he needs something), I kicked him and told him to listen to his mother. I think he got mad and sent some capslock whispers about needing the quest. I promised there would be other runs and that he'd be better off with more sleep. With luck I'll run into him tomorrow; I plan to run him through on my paladin, to make sure he sees that indeed WoW can wait until the next day and so he can see my spec. Fortunately my ret spec isn't weird anymore, so I won't be accidentally corrupting him.


LarĂ­sa said...

"He'll be in hundreds of PUGs down the line, so in a way, I helped make hundreds, maybe thousands of people slightly less miserable and nerd-raged"

A very wise thought indeed! You didn't just help him, but a ton of other fellow players.

I loved to read this. I really did. I just wish there were more players like you.

Shy said...

Ah, but I honestly believe there are for more of these people in the world. Being humans though we just like to point out the bad ones, instead of focusing on the good ones ;)

Lance said...

Good thing you did there, no question. I often feel bad for a person in WoW when his playing ability is low - whether its his awareness or his knowledge of the mechanics. I feel they are miserable, they are constantly being mocked and do not know why. Or will endure these things further down their wow life. Taking the time to explain is indeed a noble way.

Still, I often think these people are not so miserable. How miserable can one be when he or she CAN play wow...

Tamarind said...

I think you had the right attitude and the druid the wrong one - ultimately if everybody was willing to share knowledge and experience PUGS themselves and the qualities of people PUGing would improve for everybody. Generally I'm always happy to take advice (admittedly I'm not 9) as long as its sensibly and politely given (not "heal moar, lol"), and if I think I can give it non-offensively (and that I know what I'm talking about) I will.

I definitely don't think you wasted your time - even if he forgets everything you taught him, and the chances are he'll retain something, you also interacted with him a way he'll probably remember. If all every 9 year old encounters in WoW is "lol noob yr a faggot" ... well ... I shudder.

I'm not good with kids in real life so I'm not as patient with them in the game as I should be. I've never PUGed anybody 9 but I've certainly encountered 12 year olds before. Again, I probably wouldn't actively seek these people out for company but having met a few recently decent younger players I've tried to be less of a judgemental dick about and to them.

So, yeah, I agree with Larisa - I wish there were more players like you.

Stabs said...

I think Gevlon has pushed the blog community too far in the direction of being embarassed about helping people.

Of course you should help others improve. Especially a 9 year old child.

You're about to be an uncle yourself, would you not want people to help your nephew/niece?

Helping other people has a value in itself, regardless of other consequences like his future ability to pug effectively.

First it empowers you. As you do it you learn to teach and to lead.

Second it empowers the other player. Not only do they get specific tips but also they learn to accept help gracefully. Too many WoW players respond with "F U Noob!" if you try to show them something they don't know, especially if you do so clumsily.

Third it shows other people in the community (like this druid) a different way than elitism.

And lastly we all learned to play because at some point some better player was kind enough to take time to improve us.

Klepsacovic said...

@Larisa: I think your niceness has been rubbing off on me.

@Shy: I agree. It's so much easier to notice problems than those things which go along just fine.

@Lance: I was once just as noobish as this paladin. No one helped me and I learned on my own, very slowly. But the same way, no one mocked me either. Maybe back then we had some concept of learning as something that comes before knowing.

@Tamarind: Being less of a judgemental dick is a big start. That was not sarcasm.

@Stabs: Thankfully, he doesn't seem to have damaged my favorite bloggers too much, based on the comments so far.

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