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I used to be a noob – a real noob. Infact, whenever there’s an expansion out, I have to work hard to crawl up again out of the most obvious state of noobness. As time passes, I have learned to disguise it though.
My first noob mistake was with my very first character back in Vanilla 2006, which was a warrior. I specced her protection and thought this would help me die less.
Later I made a druid on a PvP realm, specced her balance, geared her with agility and always ended up healing in Warsong Gulch. Needless to say my druid and me didn’t do a very good job at anything.
Then came my rogue. I played her right up to the release of the Burning Crusade. Mostly I did Warsing Gulch at low levels. I was proud of this character and thought I was really cool. She was mildly twinked and I therefore did well in battlegrounds. I liked the speed of daggers and thought combat was a brilliant tree to choose, improved sinister strike and all that. I’m thankful that inspecting someone didn’t let you view their spec back then, or it would have been evident to everyone how clueless I was.
Worse was that I believed defence rating was a useful stat for me in PvP, resulting in what people would call a ninja in Blackrock Depths for this trinket. The paladin that was tanking got upset and I repeatedly stated that this trinket was good for especially combat rogues, the trinket description even mentions being “struck in combat” – it doesn’t get more obvious than that, now does it?
I still remember the paladins name, and years later when I took up my rogue again, I found the trinket and shamefully sold it, followed by an immediate respec.
Truthfully, I changed main by leveling my night elf priest in secrecy, as to shed myself of the noob haze that I saw clouding my name. Sadly the noob is in the player and not the character, so the destiny of my priest was in the cards.
I managed to avoid the “wand spec” back then and I was invited to a small guild, whose members were mostly level 70 but only doing heroics. When they had enough members, we would raid Karazhan. I remember being very proud of this raid offer, but I had really no clue to what raiding really meant.
Being stupidly poor, I didn’t want to spend gold on mana potions and found what I thought was a clever way to preserve my mana – wanding! When the tank told us to let him get aggro first, I wanded. In fact I wanded a lot in Karazhan to the point I should probably have put those 5 points in it!
During the mana extensive fight against Nightbane , I wanded so much my damage done fell below the tank. Remember tanks did less overall damage in the Burning Crusade, than they do now, so I must have done like nothing. I was afterwards carefully approached by the tank, with the notion my dps was too low, and that I needed to push more. This concept was new to me, I was just cruising up till now, and how did he know I did less damage than him?! I was utterly confused that my actions were being monitored, then embarrased in front of the rest of the raid, to whom the woosh of the wand shooting must have been so telling. I honestly didn’t consider that wanding wasn’t feasible in a raid.
Later a friend told me his other friend wouldn’t invite him to do Gruul’s Lair until he had geared up more. I was appalled and told him I thought this friend was snobbish, this was his best friend IRL and he treated him like this? He then informed me of how every bit of damage mattered, and that if you’re undergeared for a certain encounter, the team has to compensate – or just wipe, it’s about math in the end. This conversation made me realise that raiding is not just about friendship but also about climbing a gear ladder and enhancing with gems and enchants.
I’ve learned the raid ethos now, I understand what is expected of me, but Cataclysm still scares me. The fact I will have to study my classes over again and incorporate new ways of playing makes me feel incompetent already, and we’re still in the Lich King expansion.
Okay – I only play two classes at max level, priest and shaman, but that just doubles the chance that I’ll be a noob again!