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BA Shared Topic: Helping new players

April 14, 2010

Do you help new players, if so in what way?

I do help new players, within sensible boundaries. I’ve already discussed my own starting days, on both Horde and Alliance. This is more a time to be reflective of the attitude to take to a new player.

Types of new player:

  • The person that doesn’t know anything, and is willing to learn (Uncommon)
  • The person that doesn’t know anything, but pretends he does and insults everyone (common)
  • The person that doesn’t know anything and happily accepts help, but will keep asking you do everything if you help them the once (normally kids)

Generally, the attitude you take should be one of benevolent wisdom. You know the game, you know the class. You can one hit any mob in their zones. You’re the one sitting astride your massive armour plated monster, wearing your own flowing robes of magic or spiked plates of death. You’re the one that’s been playing long enough to know practically anything they may be unsure about.

Um, err, I can't boost, I'm a pacifist. What huge axe? It's just... erm... I'm a lumberjack! That's it.

The first type of person is the nice kind to meet. I know a fair few, some who got to 80 with the knowledge imparted to them, some who were happy to quest slowly and enjoy the social side of being lower level. Of course, I should mention before going any further that it’s impossible to garner from a glance just what kind of person they are.

Generally if they open a conversation with ‘Excuse me, can I ask a question or two, cause you’re a 80 Paladin and I’m only level 6, and what’s a judgement,’ and similar, you should give them the answers. Remember, if you’re not the kind to travel across a zone to help someone, often whispered advice does fine. I generally point people who ask reasonably nicely for a boost towards the random dungeon system. I’ve leveled a warrior from 10-66 with the random dungeon system, and whilst there are plenty of annoying folk and unskilled people, you get what you need and a LOT more XP than if an 80 boosted you.

If their opening comment is ‘gold plzplzplz ned to tran fortitud’ (actual quote, EDIT – I found the screenie, shown below) depending on my mood I’ll respond with either a flat ignore, or I’ll reply ‘Killing mobs and doing quests gets you gold. There is plenty to do in *insert zone here*. Why don’t you go try it yourself.’ And then I’ll ignore them. I have little patience for anyone prepared to spam random people, especially using such appalling text speak. They won’t learn anyway.

Sadly, sometimes I’ll be in a good mood when addressing these people, and end up helping them more than I mean to. What started as a lift turns into killing a field of mobs, and then an escort quest, and then a ride back to SW even though the Flight point is just there… Often when I’ve helped people, it seems they’re part of the third category. I’ve had them whisper me afterwards, or the next day, asking me for more favours. I generally put them on ignore if they persist.

There's no helping some people

The problem with new players seeing 80’s running around all over the place (Goldshire, I’m looking at you) and a new player occasionally grabbing one that will help them, is that they learn not to do anything for themselves. Get the high level to boost me, give me money, play the game for me. All the time they’re trailing behind you in Deadmines looting mobs and chattering about how awesome you are, they’re actively NOT learning how to instance as their class. Up to about Northrend levels, you can be boosted, leveled, proffesioned up and so on without a modicom of skill or class knowledge. The noob Shaman you blast through SFK today might be the noob Shaman who is in your heroic tomorrow, pulling 500 dps and using knockbacks on every pull. People need to learn what to do, and having their hand held for them is not the way to do it. The game is best experienced from the appropriate level content, and doing it at the speed Blizzard intended.

If from the 80 perspective, you enjoy the good feeling you get from the boosting, there are better ways to stroke your ego than killing a load of low level mobs and having some 10 year old with a gnome avatar cheering you on. By all means help friends, because they generally know their onions anyway and most people have a degree of altaholicism. But you’re wasting your own time, stopping them finding out about their class, and probably dooming yourself to repeat whispers.

Incase you hadn’t picked it up, I’m not really in favour of boosting new players. In summary, it’s hard to know who to help. I’d stick to whisper advice for the polite people, I do portals for free for those who correctly type ‘Hello, can I have a portal to *city* please?’ when I’m on my Mage, and so on. Going to help people, or using your bike/mammoth to give lifts is just asking for trouble. Feel free to disagree, but there’s my two copper.

-Zal

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 2:47 pm

    I do tend to help new players. I was on my bank alt one day and in the midst of some spam, I saw a well-typed-out “Does anyone know where I can buy some bags.” That’s right, BUY. Not GIVE ME BAGS, but buy. I of course attempted to assist, but it turned out that the guy was on a trial account so I couldn’t just hand him over some bags, which I was going to do. However, I friended him, and eventually he did get a trial account, and we are still guilded together.

    “Boosting” doesn’t really help them because it doesn’t teach them how to play their class, earn money, etc. How-to advice is usually what I give out, and it’s sometimes met well.

    Ultimately, it depends how the first “outreach” is handled by the “helpee.” If he bites my hand, that’s IT. Over. But if I say something like “I think you’re using the wrong rank of spell.” and the person responds like “Oh crap, thanks for letting me know.” then I’m very willing to offer additional assistance like “these things happen with dual spec, make sure to go back to the trainer…”

    • Zal permalink*
      April 14, 2010 2:58 pm

      Yep, assistance is great. Putting people straight can be great if they react well, and it’s nice to see an improvement afterwards. 🙂

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  1. BA Shared Topic: Helping new players « Wildwynd's Blog

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