Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Low Level Dungeons for the Experienced.

I took one of my low level alts into a dungeon yesterday for fun, a level 15 hunter.  We had a bear tank and a shaman healer but this is not so much about my experience in this dungeon.  It is about something the tank said after they died for the forth time.

Tank: What is wrong healer?
Healer:  I only have one healing spell and it is a three second cast.  You are dying in two seconds.
Tank: Why did you join as a healer if you only have one heal?
Healer: I don't know...
Tank: Neither do I, glad we are on the same page.

That little exchange made me think about the idea of older players in low level dungeons and how they are poisoning all the new players around them with the anger and hate they developed from 85 heroic randoms.

I think players with experience need a little bit of a wake up call when it comes to low level dungeons so I have a little list of things they need to remember when doing low level dungeons.

Things to remember when doing low level dungeons:

1) Level
- You might not remember when everyone gets every ability so do not just assume that someone has abilities you take for granted yet.  Sure, a hunter should misdirect on the pull but if they do not have it then it is not their fault for not using it.

2) Abilities
- Don't even take the abilities people do have for granted to act the same as you are used to.  My geared 85 shaman has a 2 second greater healing wave.  A level 15 shaman has a 3.5 second greater healing wave.

3) Experience
- When the tank went down I kited the boss all the way back to the entrance, thank god concussive shot worked on it, and we where able to kill it.  I have the experience to do that, new players don't.  Do not fault them if they do not know advanced concepts like kiting.

3) Direction
- You might know the instance like the back of your hand but older instances are confusing to people that do not know them.  New players can easily get lost in them.  Stay together as a group and if you wipe and there is a new player, wait until they zone back in so you can run back with them.  They might get lost on their own if this is their first time in there.

4) Zoning
- Speaking of zoning in.  New players often find themselves in instances that are in areas they have yet to venture to.  If a new player that plays alliance side gets into ragefire I can assure you they will get lost getting back there.  Have some patience with them.  You might have a horde char and know org like the back of your hand but to someone new a huge city like that is easy to get lost in.

5) Aggro
- Lets face it, aggro at low levels can be hard to deal with.  Tanks do not have all their tools and the DPS do not have all their aggro dumps.  Suggest they click on the tank and hit F, do not call them an idiot because they hit a mob that was not the tanks focus.  Teaching is usually more effective then insulting.

6) Teaching
- Many of us experienced players have learned that no one likes to be told how to do something even if you say it as nice as possible.  New players are different.  If you are nice and respectful they will love the fact you are teaching them.  Some might even actively embrace it and ask more questions.  It is mostly only the older players that feel insulted by someone is offering them advice.

7) Gear
- Never insult a leveling player, even more so a new player, because their gear is not optimum.  They are leveling, when leveling nothing is optimum, heck, usually nothing you wear even lasts long before it is replaced.  My hunter has boots on that have +1 intellect.  It is not optimum but it is also the best pair of boots I have run across yet.  Something with the wrong stats and higher armor is better then nothing at all.  Do not be too critical of a few pieces that seem out of place.

8) Progression
- No one cares if your main is 7/7 heroic and the new player cares even less because they have no clue what that even means.  Your experience on your main has no bearing what so ever on a level 15 dungeon so don't bring it up.

9) DPS
- My hunter was doing 140 while the other two where doing 40 and 42.  It doesn't matter.  Hunters are OP at that level and I have experience with the class.  Do not make an issue of DPS in low level randoms.  It does not matter.  The only reason you should ever bring up someones DPS in a low level dungeon is if it is 0 and then you can follow that with a vote kick if you are so inclined to do so.  People doing 0 are usually experienced players looking for cheap and easy levels.  New players will try, they might only do 20, but they will at least try.  Give them some credit for trying by not insulting them because they do not know optimum rotations for their level.

10) Better vs Bitter
- New players can be influenced easily.  Experienced players are usually the ones that send them in one way or the other about how they feel about the game.  If they are doing bad help them and you create a better player, insult them and you create a bitter player.

11) Share
- You might not think anything of it but some of that white gear you get could be useful to new players.  Offer it to them if you see they could use it.  Same with the 6, 8 and 10 slot white bags that pop up.  If it is white you will get it no matter what when you loot even if you do not need it.  You might not need a 6 slot bag but to a new player you would be their favorite player in the world if you pass the bag along to them.

12) Loot
- Don't rage over loot.  You are the experienced player and you know the standard loot rules most follow.  New players will not know.  Not to mention, you might know that a class can not equip an item but they might not know.  They might roll need because it is an upgrade and they will learn they can not equip that type of item once they get it.  Let them learn.  Don't assume because they rolled need that they are a loot whore, it could be as innocent as they did not know any better.  Explain, don't rage.

13) Help
- You might have done all the quests in there or you might not want to do the quests in there.  New players might want to do the quests because they are following the story, they might want to do the quests because they need the reward, or the experience.  It doesn't hurt you to help them by killing a few extra things that die easily to begin with.  Help them out.

14) Skipping
- Don't skip things or try to take short cuts.  Low level dungeons are about leveling.  Kill a few extra things and get the extra experience for everyone.  The mobs might even have loot someone can use.  Loot everything as well, you might not need coins but that small share of 2 or 3 copper the new player gets really adds up and they can really use it.  Gold is hard at the beginning for new players and taking a second to loot is not going to kill you.

15) Wiping
- Sometimes wiping can be a great learning experience for a new player.  Do not bring the 85 mentality to low level dungeons.  Just because you have done the dungeon 100 times does not mean someone else has.  In 85s people rage over anyone that does not know the mechanics, don't let that happen in low level dungeons too.  Take the shit happens approach and just come back in and explain to the new player if there is something they messed up on.  It will teach them that not everything is as straight forward as attack, kill and loot.

16) The Process
- In the end you need to remember, dungeons are part of the process where people that are new learn, get gear, get money, learn to work in a group.  It might be all second nature to you now and just a way to level but to them it is their first time through.  We all have great memories about our first time doing everything in the game, would it really kill you to forget you are an end game player for a moment and just enjoy the low level experience and let them enjoy their first time there as well?

So next time you are in a low level dungeon let your guard down.  Do not be so uptight about everything being perfect.  Have a little bit of fun.  Sometimes running a dungeon with a new player can bring back that new player feeling from when it was your first time.  That was a good feeling wasn't it?  Live it again with them and try not to deny them their chance to feel it for the first time.

Maybe you should go log on to a low level alt right now and let it all hang loose and just have fun.  Trust me, you will not regret it and you might really make someones day while you do it.


  1. Great post, and it contains some points that even I hadn't thought of (considering that I'm very newbie friendly myself), such as offering to trade bags you find.

    How did that story in RFC end though? Did you speak up in defence of the shaman?

  2. I offered to turn my pets growl on so hopefully it would be able to take a few hits making it easier for the shaman.

    I left it at that, said nothing else, no one else said anything else.

    I think they caught on that it was not the healers fault, they could not heal one person taking all that damage, at least not yet.

    Gladly there where no more problems even if the tank did end up dying again 2 seconds into the next attempt.

    I knew that was coming so I turned on growl and started to use kill command instead of arcane shot (to keep the pets aggro over the healers) and used concussive to kite the mob around.

    Took a while but the other DPS followed him around as I ran him all over creation and we killed him without the tank.

    If anything, the fact it was not a wipe again probably saved the shaman a lot of grief. If it where a wipe again I am sure the tank would have complained and I would have tried to explain to the tank that a level 15 healer is not the same as a level 85 healer.

  3. Honestly, I have the utmost patience for new players and folks who've never been in an instance before. That's clearly the overtone here and it's very well applauded.

    I find I can tell in lower levels who's the noob and who's the 85 running an alt. It isn't even the head to toe BoA's...though they tend to be a tipoff. New players make mistakes or struggle as a new player is expected to. The 85 alt tends to do dumb things because they think they're omnipotent. They also tend to fly off the handle when a wipe happens under less that absolutely pristine "percentage of wipe 100%" conditions.

    I'm generalizing, but law of averages has proven this to be true.

  4. It is this attitude displayed in this posting that makes me glad to have your friendship. It is also a part of the reason I asked you to be my raid leader...being an instructor takes a lot of patience, and for a Grumpy Elf, you have an amazing amount of it.

    Anon, Grumpy's Guild Leader (GL)