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WoW Rookie: When Rookie Lane crosses Raider Boulevard


New around here? See all our collected tips, tricks and how-to's for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

Today's WoW Rookie blows the whistle in a bit of traffic directing at the buzzing intersection of Raider Boulevard and Rookie Lane. This isn't a casuals-versus-raiders debate -- far from it. What we have today is more of a guide on how to peacefully co-exist with players who enjoy the game in a very different way than you do. While we've written on this topic before, reader Peter sent in a request that made us consider that it might be time to revisit the issue.

Hi! I just wanted to say I love the "WoW Rookie" column, and I've been playing since release! For someone who's kinda nervous about jumping into the LFG tool, your Grouping 101 article made it less nerve-raking for me to do so.

I don't know if you could even publish this, but I would LOVE to see an article on how new players can deal with elitists and being insulted in game about their gear and skill level. With all the new influx of players Cataclysm is expected to bring, it would be very helpful (for people like me too) to see how others deal with the various negative people in the game.

Thanks again for a great website and service!


Thanks for writing in, Peter. Now that the game is designed to catapult players through their levels and then parachute them into raiding content, complete with emblem gear providing a solid base for performance, there's a whole new generation of players experiencing the madcap obsession we call raiding. Having spent more than my fair share of time pounding down Hardcore Raiding Boulevard and around Completionist Circle, I know how easy it is to become swept up in the fervor of The One, True Way. I write that facetiously, yes, but also in affectionate acknowledgement that hardcore, min-maxing devotion is a damn fun way to play this game.

It's when jaded end-game players become entangled with enthusiastic rookies that things get messy. Tempers flare when others aren't performing the way you want them to perform or taking the same approach to a common goal (say, a dungeon finder group). Ultimately, it all boils down to one simple fact: Amidst a variety of playstyles and player agendas, WoW is a social game designed to draw you into group activities; if you can't effectively and enjoyably interact with other players, you won't enjoy or succeed at the game. It's not about weeding out the "scrubs" or quitting your group in a huff because someone's GearScore is lower than yours; it's about figuring out how to adapt and enjoy playing with all different kinds of players as you come together in pursuit of a common goal.

We've written about these very issues many times before; I won't attempt to reinvent the wheel. Let's look, then, at a few perspectives on sharing the path with players who may be coming from a different point of view.

You're doing it wrong
A WoW rookie absolutely can still catch the curve, ride the wave and enjoy endgame content -- or not. Despite all the talk of playing "the right way," WoW is still very much an open-ended game in which you choose your own playstyle. The choice is yours.
Time to smell the roses
Don't let established players (especially the kids congregating in lower-level zones, endlessly mocking other players) make you feel smaller for enjoying the content at your own speed.
Mismatched ambitions in the dungeon finder
Making a spectacle of yourself by pitching a fit when others aren't serving your personal ambitions is ... embarrassing, to say the least. Still, let's consider a few observations about situations in which your groupmates' abilities seem especially mismatched.
Keeping up with the Joneses
What about the player in blues and greens who doesn't make mistakes, is perfectly pleasant and cooperative, but isn't putting out the numbers you think he or she should? Whether you choose to kick low performers or to press on, it's how you handle the situation that makes the group (and you) worth being around.
Spoilsport speed demons
What happens when the dungeon finder matches up a group of players with the right mix of roles but the wrong mix of goals? Who "wins" when veteran players want to speed-run a lower-level instance, while the new players want to savor every surprise and puzzle over every trick?

Recent posts for fresh level 80s

Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's. WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80.

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