Psst! Your noob is showing…
This blog is for all those moments when people mock you for being a noob. I think it’s fair to say we’ve all been there… or at least, on either side of it. So in this holiday season, take a moment to reflect on the proper elite-noob etiquette, so we can live in a world with less drama, and more learning.
I write this in view of a recent event, where I PUGgged Twilight Arbor with my mesmer. Now, I’ve done many dungeons already, PUGged a lot of them, but I did them with my guardian and engineer. This was my first time with mesmer. And yes, I had noob moments before, I think sometimes the group as a whole had noob moments. Generally, if you take a new path, it’s fair to expect people to fail at it a bit before figuring out what needs to be done.
A good game provides this, it’s called “challenge”.
(Some spoilers on the Twilight Arbor in this paragraph. If you don’t want spoilers, you can safely skip to the next paragraph) The dungeon went relatively fine, and in fact there’s at least one part I can claim as having figured out. There’s the part with the bees, I figured out how to get past it, and I was the first to get past them. But then the boss was a disaster, which I admit, was in large part my fault in retrospect. The tree had lots of spiders around, some of which were hard to kill. The boss also has two attacks, one that snares, and one that is a pretty solid AoE. I figured out that you could stay at the entrance, spot the telegraphed AoE (the boss shakes violently), and dodge back safely. In fact, I was doing that pretty reliably when the rest of the group wasn’t doing so well. But because the rest of the group struggled, they picked a different strategy, to stay in one spot inside and just auto-attack the boss using skills that don’t aggro. And here’s where my noobness showed: I didn’t realize that greatsword clones were dumb enough to run up to the boss and aggro stuff. I was trying to keep myself alive under the massive AoE, which requires clones to get the full heal, but those clones were aggroing spiders… ugh. And because I was focused on my health globe and skill recharges, I didn’t notice my clones running up to the boss. A wipe and full boss regen later, the group was … displeased.
How to be a good noob
As much as I dislike people raging, I can at least understand why they rage. My mistakes made the whole fight a lot longer than it should have been. At this point, it’s not really going to help that I tell them they do mistakes too, or to point the mistakes they did in the dungeon prior to this. That’s just going to make everyone more upset. Instead, this is what I did.
1) I acknowledged the error. Hey, I didn’t know my clones would do that given they are ranged attackers, sorry. I learned something today.
2) When one called me “so pro”, I said that I never said I was. At this point, listing my merits would not have changed their minds about how I failed… so there was no point in it.
3) When they went on and on, I just said: “Look, I got the message. Can we drop it?”
Basically, acknowledge your mistake, learn, and move on. Don’t encourage the abuse though, they also need to know when enough is enough.
In retrospect, I think better communication of strategies before and during the boss fight could have helped a lot. If I had been told the clones were behaving that way, I would have stopped using them right away. Or if I told them this was not working for me, they could have suggested I stay out of the fight, or go back to what I did before which worked. Also, I should have taken time to change my build from clone-fest to mantras, and no clones on dodge.
You can’t stay noob for long when you analyze what went wrong, and figure out what could have been done to avoid this. Because next time, you might remember the lesson, and actually do better.
How to train a noob
Every person is born noob. Everyone is a noob compared to someone else. Everyone has noob moments throughout life. This is true no matter how good you are. Noob is a relative term, a person is just more or less noob.
It should be ok to point out when people make mistakes, but we live in a culture where this is often seen as something bad. Like education is bad. But noobs, they might not always realize the mistakes they do, in fact, if they realized their mistakes, they might not stay noob very long. So there is definitely something to be said about telling noobs what they’re doing wrong.
When I have to deal with noobs, I try to clearly communicate what the mistake is, why it’s a mistake, and how to solve it. And I realize that many noobs can learn given proper mentoring. I try to get the message across, and then when I see they got it, I don’t drone on about it. If possible, I get back into action, so they can practice their new skill.
But humans being flawed as they are, people can get sensitive when you point out their mistakes. Diplomacy can help get the message across. Be specific as to what they are doing wrong, and how to correct it. Don’t make broad sarcastic statements about them being so pro. Don’t accuse them of making the team fail even if that’s what they did… besides, a team’s job is to make sure the weakest link succeeds. How many times I went back to help a team member, giving them buffs or rezzing them, or healing them? It’s part of the game, and that includes giving gameplay advice.
Of course, if they pretend to be pros and won’t listen to good advice, even after I try with diplomacy, that’s when I admit I will get impatient. I don’t think there’s a good solution to dealing with people like this, at least not in the context of a PUG. When I deal with people I don’t know, I don’t assume that they are like this until proven otherwise.
But most people can and do learn when taught properly.
And with this, happy holidays everyone!