Posted by: Kro | April 21, 2010

Challenged to Pay it Forward

Zelmaru posts a challenge over at Murloc Parliament.

I want you to pay it forward. Whether in a pug, or within your guild, I want you to take 15-30 minutes to help someone learn to be a better player. This could be helping the person set up Grid, discussing strategy, examining a combat log, or identifying issues with a player’s spec.

Essentially the aim is to add more to the community by having a little bit of human decency and patience with less prepared players.

Zel mentions that we were all noobs once and we didn’t get to where we are on our own.

I certainly remember my noob days. Leveling my first toon I got lost in duskwood. I was intent on getting to the center of the forest on the hill for some useless reason (I had no idea a much higher level world dragon prepared to eat my face may or may not have been my reward had I completed this quest.) The end of this story involves me not even coming close. I wiped to a tree boss half way up the hill getting stuck in a little pocket as I fell. This was not a game error, I wasn’t bugged. I just couldn’t jump high enough to free my little gnome from his prison of bark. 

At level 20 on my first toon, I hardly understood what my hearthstone was for and had never reset it from the dwarf/gnome starting area. I was not prepared to waste the hour it would take me to hoof it back to Darkshire and there was no auto unstuck feature at this time (not that I would have known to use it).

The previous day I had been randomly selected by a passer-by to join a guild. I didn’t really know what was going on so I selected yes to this random prompt on my screen and now was privy to green text from fellow levelers!

Completely lost, stuck in my hobbit hole I figured I would ask for suggestions from the green text people. A Warlock answered my questions with even more interesting purple text! Apparently he wanted to summon me to him. I told him frantically I can’t get to you I’m stuck in ze hole! Well he invited me to a group and he was with two max level characters. I had no idea what was going on and wondering what these max level folks expected me to do. A few seconds later another prompt came up on my screen. “Miasmatheory would like to summon you to Stormwind”. Holy cow I was amazed! My day was saved and what an adventure fulfilled. Who knew some people could actually move my character from so far way.

Ah those noob days bring back found memories. I can’t help but wonder, these many years later, if that is how some folks that many complain about are feeling when we get assigned via random dungeon to play with them. As Zel brings up, some folks are just starting their WoW adventure and don’t have a deep understanding of all their spells, their role, all the other classes capabilities and who knows what else.

With that in perspective it may be wise to give some of these less traveled players more licence.

The issue becomes a bit more complex though for someone in my position. I would truly enjoy mucking through a dungeon, helping a few players along the way and not worrying about how long it takes. Unfortunately I have a full-time job, a strict raiding schedule, and other commitments out of game.

I don’t dislike doing dungeons but when I log on at 730 and try to get 2 frost badges before a 750 raid time, I just don’t have the time to teach 1-2 players how to play a bit better. I’m expecting similar players to come in and stomp through any heroic in approximately 10-15 minutes.

This also is tough for helping guildies. When you are in a progression focused raiding guild that requires applications and min-maxed players you fall into a rut of expecting players to play to the absolute pinnacle of their class ability.

This is not all to say that I blast expletives at the tank who only targets one mob, or the dps that is not using the right spells or correct ranks of spell. Nor do I rail guildies when they are having an off night and failing at boss mechanic 5698 that they handled fine last week. I’m just saying that it’s nice to take a step back and think about how we can improve players rather than write them off.

I suppose I’ll take up this challenge by first redoubling efforts to help out guildies who may already be playing correctly and effectively to inch out every last bit of potential they can muster. Even great players can use some help now and then. Recommending a quality of life mod, or an explanation of why something is done a certain way rather than just telling someone what to do can make a big difference in some cases.

As an officer in my guild I suppose it’s a cop-out to take on the challenge by doing what I’m already tasked with. In conjunction with my normal role perhaps I’ll take some time on a weekend and just do some random dungeons and make it a point to help improve newer players understanding rather than curse my luck and silently muscle through what should be an easy instance.

Thanks for keeping things in perspective Zelmaru.



  1. Thanks for thinking about this. I’ll be interested to see what you decide to do and how it pans out.

  2. with the newish random dungeon system, i get into a lot of “4 guildies and me” groups. alot of times, like today, they are trying to help gear up a friend. i ran with them, despite being somewhat bored with the fights, because i know what its like trying to gear up now.

    also, my very first mount was paid for in full (as in, back in vanilla when getting epic riding was a big deal) by a rogue named Shank, iirc *he was named after a D2:LoD boss*. with that, and others helping me become a better player (and taking the time to tell me what im doing wrong and how i can fix it) ive become the player i am today.

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