Project WoW Noob: Day 2 – Questing…FINALLY!

December 6, 2010


Player: @jarira
Character Name: Saalua
Race and Class: Night Elf Hunter

Well, Day 2 started off on a rather inauspicious note:

@jarira: “I’m ready to play now!”
Me: “Sure, go head. I’ll be right there.” *logs in, types /invite Saalua*

Two minutes pass…

WoW: Saalua has declined your group invitation!
*retypes /invite Saalua*

Another two minutes pass…

WoW: Saalua has declined your group invitation!
Me: WTF? *Sends direct message to Jarira* “What’s wrong, are you not past the loading screen yet?”
OMG some random bitch keeps trying to invite me to their party!
“Wha-? That’s ME, you fool!”

Clearly, a quick lesson on how to use the social window and to add friends was in order. She’ll have no excuse to forget my name ever again.

Amazingly, we managed to get through the rest of our play session with no major problems. We only had some slight issues with combat, when she kept trying to use her dagger on her enemies — *cue the exasperated groans that only a melee hunter can incite* — but come on now, she’s completely new to this so let’s give her a break. First of all, let’s put ourselves in a new player’s shoes. Jar couldn’t have known right off the bat that her bow would do considerably more damage. In fact, I think most would think, Why else would I be given a knife, if not to stab stuff with it too?

Anyway, when we finally got to questing, Jar was able to pick it up really quickly thanks to the markers and the arrows on the mini map.

Also, never underestimate the value of the quest text. More than a few people I know do not ever bother reading those; if an NPC offered a quest to sell crack to children in the next town and convince the mayor’s daughter to be a prostitute they would never realize it. Even I’ll admit that some of us who have been playing MMOs for years can probably afford to quickly skim some of the dialogue when it’s clear it will be a rather straight forward quest. For the newcomer, however, it is imperative to REALLY read the quest and understand the details fully.

Being in a group with Jar, I realized belatedly that my presence might have made her feel rushed. Some of these post-patch quests were brand new to me too, but they came much more intuitively to me than to her.

Here are some of the newbie’s thoughts on her second day of WoW:

The 2nd time around was way more enjoyable than the first. Once you get the hang of things it’s really fun to collect shit and level up, and get items etc etc but I can see how it would get repetitive after a certain amount of time – so I am intrigued to try the next level of gameplay once I get there.

Yes, I should mention that once we started getting the hang of things, Jar really got going — to the point she was finishing quests before I did! So while the game arguably still falls short of teaching a complete newbie ALL the basics even after the changes, they may have gotten the questing part of it done right. From her statements above, I gather Jar is already eager to see content beyond the starter/tutorial zone. It’s not a cry of “Gawd, I’m so booooored!” by any means, but another part of me wonders if Pete might be on to something after all.

Another insight from our newbie:

I can really see how the game can be addictive – especially from a social aspect.

Interesting. It’s no secret that one of the MMO genre’s biggest appeals is the social factor and community. But for that to be the “addictive” part? Personally, I always thought that it is the combination of in-game progression, competition, and a carrot-on-a-stick loot system that makes WoW and other MMOs like it so addictive, because they appeal to our natural inclinations to give ourselves goals and to achieve them. On the other hand, I guess I can’t say I’m all that surprised, since I myself have been known to log in to a game for no reason other than to see what my friends are up to, or to chat in Vent. I’m also wary of sweeping assumptions, but I do happen to agree with the generalization that most women love the social aspect a game offers.

Speaking of Vent, I also want to add that one of my guildies jumped into our channel to cheer Jar on once she found out what we were doing. I really do have some awesome guildies.

Some closing thoughts from Jar:

Before we played last night I went to get dinner with some friends who are gamers (console mainly, only one of them plays WoW, the RP-PvP dude) and we were discussing WoW and the dark path that it can take people down.

My friend claims that it’s not that time consuming, but he forgot that when he started to play again, he had just been laid off and leveled up to 80 in a short amount of time cause he was at home all day and had no money. He works full time now and only plays casually but I don’t see it as a casual game right off the bat.

And we also discussed the responsibility it comes with because a big part of the game is the social aspect, so it’s not like you’re gaming for one anymore, you have sort of a commitment and responsibility to your guild which is what makes us all very hesitant to go down that WoW path.

Another intriguing statement. I originally started this “project” for fun, but it has given me more food for thought than I expected. I’m curious as to what others have to say about this.

Me, I said, “It really depends.” I don’t know this friend of hers, but I do know some people might find themselves in a hardcore guild that demands you commit to five raid nights a week or else you’re out. Others prefer a more laid back environment and a guild that’s more casual and flexible. Some guild leaders run their guilds like a boot camp. Others cater to a large range of playstyles and allow their members to be as active or non-active as they please.

In the end, however, no one should be able to force you or tell you how to play. No one.

But this also made me realize something. Game mechanics you can review, quests you can research, and class abilities you can master…but perhaps the most difficult thing about getting into an MMO is something you can’t really learn — finding a place for yourself in the game’s community. It can take a while to find the perfect guild to fit your playstyle and schedule, and above all else, your personality. It is especially hard if you don’t know anyone else who plays, and let’s face it, the less said about WoW’s dismal community the better.

I feel fortunate that the guild I’m in is friends-and-family oriented, has a leadership that is so understanding of its members’ real life obligations, and that everyone has a good sense of humor, is mature, friendly and supportive. I hope Jar will feel at home, because once you find your niche in the world and a great bunch of people to play with, it’s the most rewarding experience you can imagine. And for a new player, that can make all the difference.

Note: Go here for Project WoW Noob: Day 1.


  1. Wow, great post. A lot of what Jar shared resonates with me. My most ‘serious’ time in WoW came…right after I was laid off! I joined a guild and did 5 & 10 man instances every night (it was a small guild and this was pre Burning Crusade).

    I’ve yet to figure out how to balance social MMO playing with work and family, honestly. I always feel guilty when I don’t log in, and worse I have days when I get home and really don’t want to talk to anyone, and being in a guild then prevents me from logging in.

    Which is why I solo more MMOs.

    Generally speaking I’ve always found it difficult to find my niche in a community and games are no different.

    Anyway, as to her looking forward to the next level of play, that both supports (the early stuff is too easy) and refutes (people need to scream through it to get to the good stuff) my points, I think. 🙂

    • I ended up questing by myself the other day, and although leveling up was rewarding, I found questing more enjoyable with other people, cause a) they can help you b) they can share in your n00b moments and laugh at you in real time

      I think because I’ve heard so many WoW stories about actual lives being ruined in the past, I’m very hesitant to get into the game, but I think that was at the height of its popularity. I know a lot of people who still play but their lives no longer revolve around the game lol. Most people either flat out quit, or found a way to balance it. Although with Cataclysm, I know quite a few people coming back into WoW after a long break, so I’ll get to see how (re) addicted they get!

      • The thing to remember about WoW being “addicting” to the point of ruin lives is the number of players the game has. Last figure I heard was 14 million worldwide. So for every story of a life ruined there is, literally, a million stories of lives not ruined with dozens of thousands of lives enriched. Those stories just aren’t good press.

      • Rights, seems like any time World of Warcraft makes it into the mainstream media, it’s about a) a sexual predator, b) someone getting killed over loot, or c) a ruined life due to gaming addiction…i.e. nothing good, ever. Certainly doesn’t help the online gamer’s reputation.

    • Sometimes, all it takes for me is getting something out of my system. When I first started playing WoW, I was online pretty much every single waking moment because I was just so enthralled. After the shinies wore off, I sort of reverted back to my casual playing way for pretty much any game…I can’t play a game at my PC for too long anyway, after a few hours my eyes start getting tired and my butt starts to hurt from sitting so long 😛 That’s sort of like my own alarm system for telling me I’ve been playing too long and maybe it’s time to take a break.

      I don’t know, Pete, you seem pretty social on Twitter and the blogosphere to me, I can’t imagine you finding it hard to fit into any community 🙂

  2. Nice reading. I can relate to the most of it. Just as Pasmith says, as a father of a 2y old and working 5 days a week i dont have that much time to play anymore. So i mostly solo my MMO’s, i am the explorer-kinda-guy, Raiding is not my thing. I was intriged by the new content of Wow zo i reassigned after 2 years. I will follow the allie path this time around. Dont know if i will stick around for long. Always looking for new experience…so maybe once Rift hits release i will jump on that bandwagon. (did very much like the first beta).

    Keep writing this blog….nice to read and gl to your fried, i am jealous of her, cause its never as sweet as the first time…

    • So true. I still look back fondly on my first venture into Stormwind. That awe I felt at the bright castle, the hero statues on both sides of the bridge, and that amazing music. That was definitely a one time thing.

      My WoW time has increased over the last few weeks, because of the hype leading up to Cataclysm, but generally I only play it when I’m with my husband. First of all, it’s pretty much the only MMO he’ll ever play, so I have to maintain a sub if we’re to have anything to play together. Second of all, he’ll throw a fit if I ever play without him. So not many opportunities to solo 🙂

  3. I resent your n00b graphic btw 😛

    • I forgot to take any screenshots while we were playing, so that will just have to do 😛

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more about the difficult part being finding a place within the community. That’s one of the major reasons why I stopped playing WoW the first time. I wasn’t happy with the server I was on, and I really didn’t want to invest time in leveling on another server only to find out I didn’t like that one either. This was in the days before server transfers.

    Guild Wars has never clicked with me for much the same reason, and it took me about two years to find a Kinship I liked in LotRO. If it hadn’t been for the lifetime sub and my love of Middle-earth, I doubt I’d have stuck it out so long.

    • You know, one thing I love about blogging is that starting this blog actually helped me find a place in the community, without even spending much time in a game at all.

      For example, Star Trek Online. I think I knew you through one of my STO posts, then Tipa, Rowan, Adventurer Historian and then Longasc and others through twitter, etc etc. I don’t even think I would have stuck around STO as long if it weren’t for the people I’d gotten to know.

      Another nice thing is, everyone also tends to try out new games so the issue of trying to find decent people to play with hardly ever comes up for me anymore 😛 WoW still poses a problem though, because it’s just so BIG, and everyone who plays is spread across servers.

  5. Finding the right crowd to hang with is indeed one of the more challenging aspects of MMOs imo. I usually end up getting bored with any given MMO long before I find a good guild. I think it took me a solid year and five KSs to get a good one in LoTRO. Even there, I generally have “secret alts” that I don’t tell anyone about for when I don’t feel like chatting.

    In WoW I’ve restarted on my old alliance server, and have been having a lot of fun leveling up with a friend of mine there. Although we can’t for the life of us get the in game chat to work, that’s a bit frustrating. It’s almost like playing EQ again to be typing everything.

    • Yeah, in WoW, I find the most successful way of finding the right guild for you is through a referral. Even if you don’t know anyone personally, just a person you’ve met in game and played with for a while is a good start. Generally the times I’ve tried randomly finding a guild to join always ended in disaster!

      • I can relate to this. The last three major guilds I have joined have been because of one guy I helped and formed a friendship with in the Wetlands.

        Other than that, I have a hard time getting into the “social aspect” of the game.

  6. Really it is the same as any hobby and you can’t bring in the typical ‘addictive gamer’ stereotype and be fair.

    You have to pace yourself, set limits and not overindulge, just as with any hobby. It comes down to self control.

    • Y’know that’s a good point. I’ve seen people go into a very dark place while collecting Magic: The Gathering cards! We need limits with everything we do.

      I guess MMOs are just more compelling to more people than a lot of hobbies are.

    • I agree with that, but also still believe certain hobbies have more “addictive” traits that make getting hooked on them easier than others.

      Competition seems to be a huge motivation for a lot of people. Even with the Magic cards…an ex boyfriend I had comes to mind… 😛

      • I may have come across a little severe but really you can sit in front of the TV and not interact with family, stay up to late and so on. It’s easier than we think with many things, yes video games too.

        As individuals we have to moderate some things more than others. I just really dislike when people call games addictive. Not going to get into that today 🙂

      • I personally don’t have a problem with people calling video games addictive, because I believe they absolutely can be. But that’s what makes them so fun and popular. However, I do agree in that *serious* game addiction occurs in such a relatively small minority, that it is unfair to demonize MMOs for that reason.

    • that’s a good point, it’s not so much that the game itself is addictive, it’s the addictive personality that I have and my overall lack of self control – through no fault of the game 🙂

  7. I had my own WoW-noob experience with my girlfriend on Saturday. I was only going to comment on it here, but quickly realized I was going into way too much detail for a comment. Suffice it to say she had fun and has already obtained a battle.net login; though we are still debating whether it would be better to re-sub my second account or start a totally new one for her.

    • Whatever you do just don’t do the refer a friend program. Apparently that levels you up so fast you’ll barely be given the chance to enjoy the experience together

      • Orly? We were considering exactly that, more for the cool mount than anything. It seemed to take extra long to level with a another friend not on the recruit a friend program.

      • It might get better once they adjust the experience you get from instances. I think it was Stargrace on twitter that remarked on how “un-fun” RAF made their experience because of all the skipped content. Apparently in one situation they entered an instance at one level and emerge the other end 6 levels higher. It does sound quite extreme.

  8. The comments here are as interesting as the post itself.

    I remember my first foray into WoW. It was a trial account from way back. I played for one night and didn’t go back until I subscribed six months later. WoW isn’t for everyone, so I appreciate everything Blizzard is doing to ease people into the game.

    • to be fair, my first foray into WoW was also with the trial account like 7 years ago – I played for a few hours, and I didn’t make it very far at all (no quests – and it also crashed my computer lol). I completely ditched the game, until now

    • Sometimes it does take more than one try to get into an MMO, which is why I try to keep an open mind when I start to play. They’re funny that way…

  9. Finding a community really is the hard part. In WoW my wife and I initially ended up in a casual-raiding guild built up of people who got along in game. For some reason, however, every 2-3 months we’d all get the drama bug, blow up, and reform the guild with the exact same people just in a different configuration. After about the 5th time we decided, enough was enough, we’re not going back to that.

    I spent a good week researching guilds not only on that server but on other servers. I eventually found one and we transferred our 3 top toons to that server to join that guild. We lasted with them for about 18 months before we left for different reasons.

    Then I decided to try out RoM and had the good fortune to join a server that had a chapter of my current MMO community. I remembered looking at them from my WoW search but rejected them as they were Horde and we were Alliance. But based on that past contact I joined them in RoM.

    Best… move… EVAR!

    When I say chapter I mean multi-game goodness!

    After my wife and I didn’t get too far in RoM I bounced over to Aion. They were starting a chapter in that game. While in Aion my most common grouping partner was also the raid leader for their Alliance chapter.

    As my wife has 0 interest in PvP she was MMOless and moved her toons to the Alliance server and ran with them for a bit. If we ever return to WoW I’ll be moving my toons over to that server as well.

    NCSoft being in bed with the Kinah sellers drove me from Aion. The person I grouped with was looking for another good PvE MMO to play with her brother. I suggested LotRO as I truly feel it is the best PvE focused MMO out. I even said if she tried LotRO I’d reactivate my account and create a toon on the community’s server. She did, I did and for the first time ever stuck with LotRO for more than 3-4 weeks. In fact, been playing for over a year now.

    I’ve also dabbled in Allods, Fallen Earth, Atlantica, STO, CO, and GA. We’ve got chapters in every game.

    Having a presence in nearly every MMO means that for an MMO flutterby like myself the process of messing with new MMOs is greatly enhanced. Get new MMO, find out which server we’re on, create a toon on that server, get invited into the guild and instantly have the support of people I know are decent and like-minded about the game.

    • Hey, we’re peas in a pod in this as well. I was in a guild with my husband on Anvilmar led by a great lady, and it was an awesome social guild full of fun people who did fun things. But every few months we would also be embroiled in drama, leading to a mass exodus, only for them to trickle back in over the weeks and months until it happens all over again and rinse and repeat. We got sick and tired of that and left too in the end, and moved to the Silvermoon server where my brother-in-law plays, and he invited us into his guild.

      The guild I’m in now resulted from a merger of our old guild with another one we used to run co-op raids with all the time. The two guilds became so close we were practically one guild already, so the merger itself made very little impact. We still recruit mostly through referrals of family and friends which makes everyone else in a guild a friend of a friend, so we’re all very close. Only downside is, unlike your guild, mine is a WoW guild through and through. Nobody is truly hardcore by any means, but for a lot of them WoW is THE only game. So…no prospects of other chapters in other MMOs 😦

  10. Take it for what it’s worth but the best advice I can give anyone starting out in the MMO world is play to your own tune and not someone else. Took me 5 years to really learn that one and I keep forgetting it.

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