Noob Tales

Although I’m not quite certain how this all started, when I returned from work today, I discovered my twitter feed full of various stories from everybody’s noob days in World of Warcraft, told in 140 characters or less. Amused, and taking solace in the fact that I wasn’t alone in my various noob moments (some people having very similar stories to some of my own), I decided to contribute a few of them, myself. It was in the course of contributing a few stories that I recalled an incident from my early Warcraft days in Burning Crusade. Unfortunately, telling this particular story would take up more than 140 characters, so I decided to preserve the tale here, and I encourage others to do the same. After all, none of us started out automatically knowing how things worked. We sort of made it up as we went along and prayed they were right. Unfortunately, sometimes things got a bit messed up along the way…

My first serious character, as many of you know, was a blood elf paladin. Back during the days of Burning Crusade, around level 20 or so, all paladins got their class quest for an epic item. In the case of the blood elves, it was the gorgeous (yet now obsolete) Blood-Tempered Ranseur. However, being that I was completely terrified of dungeons, I avoided the quest. It took me watching multiple blood elf paladins sporting that weapon out in Hillsbrad for me to determine that I had to have it for myself, if only as an RP weapon. Discovering a friend of mine still needed to do the quest as well, he and I, thinking the suggestion of having 5 people in our party was just that (a suggestion), set off for Blackfathom Deeps on foot. (This was back in the days before you got your first mount at level 20.)

However, we quickly discovered a problem. As both of us had been questing out in the Eastern Kingdoms, neither one of us actually knew how to get this dungeon. My friend had maps, but I figured if we followed the road, sooner or later we’d find it. After all, how hard could it really be to find an instance? We had to run off the road in a few places (mostly to avoid patrolling NPCs who would have eaten us for dinner), but we kept running until we got closer to the Darkshore/Ashenvale border.

Then, in the distance, we saw her: a night elf PC. I can’t recall her class, nor do I know what level she was (all we got was a skull at the time, which meant she was infinitely higher than either of us combined), but my friend and I knew one thing with absolute chilling certainty: she saw us. We both froze where we stood on the road and quickly started yammering at each other in party chat. She had seen us. If we ran, she would pursue us and slaughter us both mercilessly. I started to panic on my end of the screen. What did we do?

And then my friend came up with a plan. “Maybe,” he said, “if we remove our weapons, she’ll see that we’re not on our way to raid Darnassus or one of the other Alliance cities!” (Opposing-faction city raids were still a big thing in those days on my server, even before achievements came into the picture.)

So, with our plan in progress and the night elf on her huge-ass epic riding kitty stopping just by our side, we stripped off our weapons and bowed politely to the night elf. She said something, not that either of us could understand it, and she just… stared at us for a good few minutes. However, it soon became apparent that she had no intention of moving.

“Now what?” I asked my friend in party chat.

“I guess we just start walking?”

It was a valid suggestion as any. So my friend and I both set up our characters to walk instead of run and we continued down the road, our new night elf friend in hot pursuit. I continued to panic in party chat (“Why is she following us? OH MY GOD WE’RE BOTH GOING TO DIE HERE! …will our guild avenge us if we do?”). But then something amazing happened. The night elf started to ride back the way she had come! She paused a few times further up the road to see if we were still heading in that direction, but then she eventually disappeared out of sight. Needless to say, my friend and I were both incredibly relieved.

Unfortunately, we didn’t wind up finding Blackfathom Deeps that night. However, it wasn’t until after I had logged off for the night that I learned my friend and I had never been in any danger at all. PvE servers don’t automatically flag you for PvP when you entered contested territory. Unless we were PvP flagged, the night elf couldn’t have killed us at all! All our panicking and flailing had been for nothing whatsoever. Needless to say, I felt a bit silly, but at least I got a good story and a good laugh out of it.

What about you, my friends? Do you have any fun noob stories to share that you can’t tell in 140 characters? Feel free to share them here, if you’d like (or just laugh at mine).

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