It came from the PUG: No really, I’m new here! This is my first character!

When was the last time you met a genuinely new player in a PUG? Are you sure?

Old time WoW players (myself included) do tend to assume that  the people we run into while levelling are alts. The majority probably are. But for all that, there are also plenty of players who are trying the game for the first time or finally decided to come back and try to level a character before Cataclysm.

I was in a PUG this week with Arb in Utgarde Keep, for example. We all were level 69-71, and the instance can be a struggle at that level, especially if people are still mostly in Outland greens. I know Arb has really connected with her new shaman. It’s also the highest level alt she’s ever had in Warcraft. But I was surprised when one of the other players in the group also said that he’d never seen that instance before and was new to the game.

Two newbies in one group! Maybe they aren’t such a rare breed as we often assume. The rest of the group was very decent. They reassured the newbies that they were doing fine. No one stormed off because they had to explain strategies or because someone’s spec or dps wasn’t perfect. But I wonder if a player who was actually new to online gaming and not WoW would have realised that people were being nice to them. They might have just seen the jokey insults and taken it literally.


This is an example. The more experienced player, who is the dungeon guide, was telling the nervous newbie DK that he was doing fine (in his own inimitable way). And you can see here that the new player is joking about it too.

But as I said above, I wonder if a more touchy or nervous player might have taken things the wrong way, if they even understood what the guy was saying, just because they aren’t used to how gamers communicate.

Have you played with any newbies recently?

15 thoughts on “It came from the PUG: No really, I’m new here! This is my first character!

  1. My preposition in a PUG is always that there is someone new – or even newbie – in the group. When I PUG via LFD with my lower level alts I always assume that there are newbies within the group.

    I have never been disappointed due to this. Then again, I’m always disappointed with the attitude of the veteran players who let their grand elitist ways shine bright and far when things are not going the way they are accustomed to.

    IMO one key element of mastering the game is to be able to go with the flow and adapt. Something the LFD heroics running doesn’t take into account in any way.

    Yes. There are newbies around. Always.

    C out

  2. Don’t you need a high lvl toon to be able to roll a deathknight? Therefore all DK are alts by defaut or am I mistaken.

    • It is possible that he levelled an alt to 55, thought he’d try a DK and that death knight could still be his highest level character at 69 (or whatever he was in UK). Or yeah, he could have been lying 🙂

      • I did that. Rogue to 55, then DK main. Of course, now I’m a disc priest main with a healadin alt coming up, but whatever.

  3. I ran this weekend in (what was supposed to be) a quick AQ40 achievement run. We had a level 61 DK in the group who needed to be coached through things like “this might be a 40 man dungeon, but it was designed for level 60’s and most of us are level 80” and “you don’t have to ask the healer for heals” followed by “you also don’t have to thank him/her” and was introduced to the idea of actually needing strategy for the first time (to fight Twin Emps).

    The group eventually fell apart when the Twin Emps door wouldn’t reopen after a wipe and we didn’t feel like waiting 30-60 minutes to see if it might open again, but I hope that new player learned a bit and had some fun. S/he was a little bit frustrating, but also incredibly enthusiastic and obviously having a good time, so we went with it.

  4. I’ve *been* a newbie lately. 😉 Popping bear form to tank when the Warrior tank disconnected was a tanking trial by fire, as it were. The other players gamely stuck with it, and while I’m sure I was slower than an experienced player would be, we bantered a bit and had fun.

    Funny how that works out.

    • Funnily enough, I think that happens less now with the random dungeon finder than it did before. Since people abandoned inside the instance can just search for a spare player and they’d get the first tank in the queue.

      I don’t mean it never happens that a hybrid switches mid instance, but like I say, much rarer now in 5 mans.

      • We had exactly this happen last night. I was Ret, when our tank DCed.

        I didn’t bother switching specs, just put on my tank gear and away we went. When we re-queued mid instance, I just listed tank, since it was going well enough.

      • Yeah, I can see how that might be the case, Spinks. I’m idly curious as to what the sooper sekrit Blizzard insider numbers show in that regard.

        I can’t help but suspect that true newbies wouldn’t be the ones to requeue as quickly, but rather stick it out and see what happens, but perhaps that’s rose tinted supposition.

      • Not that rare. If the tank or healer drops mid-instance in a mid-level group there might be a bit of a wait. I switched to healing on my bear tank once, because we had a warrior but no hybrid healers. And by switched I mean out of bear form. Not switched specs, not switched gear. It was excruciatingly painful drinking after every pull. And I remember when that used to be the norm WITH healer gear 😦

  5. I’ve been levelling a fresh ally mage, and as I’ve been running around in Lakeshire, I’ve run across SEVERAL brand new players. (mostly human Pallies, strangely)

    They have no understandling about so many basic, fundamental parts of the game; the AH, crafting, talent points, gearing, etc, etc, etc.

    To me, the “basic learner’s portion of the game is horrible. If you don’t have someone to walk you through the basics, good luck.

    I spent over an hour on Saturday night walking this one guy around. He wasn’t one of “those” (uber needy,annoying gits) as he had worked some stuff out on his own, and was able to learn, but just didn’t know much.

    • I ran a few randoms with some questionable newbies this weekend. I actually prefer to run with people who don’t know what exactly to do, since I queue as a healer. It makes my job more interesting = D

      But yes, I’ve run into “those” super needy newbies. Usually how I handle them is just give them a few tips, maybe some website links, tell them it’s best to find a guild, give them a bit of gold and go our seperate ways.

      I agree with you that the ‘basics’ of the game don’t come easy, but as is such with any MMO. WoW probably has the lowest learning curve of all of them for entry level players. But it only teaches you how to get by, not about the game. But I think that’s part of the fun. Discovery and the “oh, neat” factor.

  6. I run into newbies fairly regularly in City of Heroes/Villains. It is quite refreshing I think in many cases. In one case we had a group of 4, 3 new people who had never done the instance and then me.
    I was quite enjoyable to see/hear them trying to figure out the objectives for a mission which I have done many times. Never thought about that there would be any issues with the objectives until I realized they had never played this particular one before.

  7. i was playing WAR with a friend who played a girl and a noobie came up and was like “omg a gurl!” and followed him for a good 30 minutes..

    i did notice in WAR even with lvl 40 characters, there were many unguilded characters around.. probably 20% even. One would imagine that most people would be guilded at that lvl.

  8. Hm, that’s a nice question, about dem newbies!

    Tangentially, because nuggets are tangential!

    Back when we used to play WoW, one of my best friends was well-known for being a good tank. And secondarily, but no less importantly, he had that ‘it’ factor that made people want to follow him. (I swear this is going somewhere…)

    Although I was almost as good as he was at tanking (or mebbe I just kid myself eh? 😉 but he trained me…), anyways. Although I was almost as good as he was, he was the kind of tank who simply had to log on, and he’d be flooded with: Come tank for us! Pleeeease! I was the kind of tank (when I tanked), who, when I asked people to come with me, they’d say, ‘Oooh yeah I’ve run with her before. She’s decent/good, let’s gogo!’ Which may be a subtle difference to some, but to me, it’s pretty darn different. =)

    Nowhere did I find this more evident than when it came to giving praise for things done well. I had people ask me, when I said stuff like, ‘Nice job with that!’ etc, if I was being sarcastic. Some of them even taking offence, >.> when really, honestly, I meant it! Then I’d have to spend 10 minutes assuring them that I was NOT being sarcastic or mean and that I really did like what I was complimenting them for. Sheesh!

    Me friendy, he never had problems like that. Yes, it bugged me so I thunk and thunk and thunk about it. And eventually came to the conclusion that perhaps the difference between us, (when it comes to giving out praise, at least), is that me friendy was/is very specific.

    Instead of just, ‘Nice job wif dat!’, he was more, ‘That was a very well-timed seduce’, or ‘Nice chain trapping’.

    So meandering back to things about newbies…

    …maybe it’s not just the tolerance and niceness that should be thought about – although of course that’s always great!

    When I look back, I think that, for a newer player especially, me friendy’s comments/praise were a lot more helpful than mine *if by chance the complimentee was just a good new player*. The specifity (is that even a word?) of it probably helped to communicate the sincerity (vs people thinking I was being sarcastic T_T). And if the player was new(ish), then it probably helped even more towards reinforcing good behaviour.

    iRamble. Ee! *scuffle*

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