Getting over the New-guy Wall

After a long dry spell, I feel pretty good with the guild Grezzk joined a couple months ago.
MMOG is Massive MULTIPlAYER Online Game, and if you’re solo for everything… well, play Halflife 2, it’s really good.
But if you’re in and MMOG, It’s like that song from Cheers, y’know? It’s nice when everyone knows your name. That’s where you want to go when you have some free time.
Especially when getting to that point was a lot of work.
So here’s Grezzk’s play history in a nutshell.

Day 1: Doyce does not play WoW. Doyce hear’s that some of the gamer guys he knows in NYC play WoW and are rolling new characters on [server name] to play together. This sounds fun. Doyce buys WoW, rolls up a character, and invites himself along, because he’s like that.
Day 2: One of the NYC people shows some doubt that Doyce will stick it out in WoW. (This will be ironic, later.)
Months later: Doyce is moving into in the end-game. Lee has moved all his main characters over to the same server, but the NYC guys have pretty much stopped logging on — Doyce ALT character is the same level they are. Note the irony from before? Grezzk dings 70 along with Lee’s second main, and we start talking about joining some guild that… you know… has people online. At all.
Weeks later: After some actual research, we stumble upon the funny-name-if-you-know-the-lore Scholomance Debate Team, which is a pretty big, active guild on our server. Lee applies. I try to apply, but something weird happens on the forums and I never get a forum ID.
A week later: Two of the officers give me a short interview in-game and bring me in that way, meaning that no one in the guild has heard of me at all via the forums. Lee makes an effort to greet me and chat with me in guild chat whenever I log in, but he’s new too, so that doesn’t help my ‘face time’ much. Good effort though.
Two weeks later: most of the guild is either (a) active in the PvP arenas (b) active in the PvP battlegrounds or (c) trying to build PvE teams for the end game raids. (A) I don’t do arenas. (B) I don’t do battlegrounds as much as most everyone. (C) I’m not ‘keyed’ for the first of the end-game raids.
I do my research and figure out what I need to do to get keyed, and try to get some help from the guild, but am mostly greeted by crickets. I end up PuGging my way through all but the last two steps of the (very long) Keying process, using my PET to tank the dungeons. I am seriously thinking about looking for another guild, because the point of a guild is group support, and I’m not getting any. In retrospect, I get it — I’m new, they don’t know if I’ll be around much, and helping someone get keyed is a pain in the butt — sucks to put that time in helping someone who leaves (but people LEAVE when you don’t help).
Somewhere in there, there’s a call for people for a big 25-person raid that we can only barely get enough people for… and which you don’t need an “attunement” to do. I volunteer. I do not screw up. We take down High King Maulgar’s crazy fight on the second try, and again, I don’t screw up (except I didn’t know to range-only on one guy, and my pet dies. Eh. Happens.)
One of the tanks does help me out with the last couple instances, and that’s cool (Weird too, cuz I never see em on, now.) I get keyed for Karazhan… and immediately can’t make any of the raids for the next two weeks. Yeah.
I get back from my away time, and at some point in there…
… how did this happen? I’m not sure.
Oh yeah!
So the first day I’m really back, they’re trying to do that 25-man thing again. Turnout is thin — some folks are gone in November, and we have like 23 people. We do it, and beat the first boss fight, and we fight up to the second boss, wiping a couple times on the trash, get to the entrance of the Big Boss…
… and I walk in too far, start the fight by accident, and wipe the raid.
Everyone has a good joke at my expense — it’s not a big deal, cuz with only 23 people, we’re NOT going to beat this guy when we can’t even with 25. This is a learning experience. It’s okay. They put the “Skull of RAID WIPE” over my head for the rest of the thing, and we do a few runs, and we’re done.
So… that’s done… and one of the healers wants to do something.
— People? If you want to get in with a group fast — any group, any MMO — make a healer or a tank, and be reasonably good at it. I’m just saying. —
Anyway, they wanted to do something, and I said “I’m game” and they get a tank INSTANTLY, cuz they’re a vet and a healer (envy), and it’s a tank I’ve never really grouped with, but okay. We do the thing, and it works great, and there you go.
And the next day, those same two are looking for people, and ask around, and I say yes, and I’m in. And that goes well.
And the next time… same thing… I don’t know these instances, but the healer explains em to me, cuz she used to run with a hunter a lot, and knows what they do, and the tank is patient… and we pick up a fourth person who’s regular.
And the next time?
The next time, they specifically ask me to come along.
We run one HARD @#@%@#% of an instance (Heroic-mode dungeons are HARD), and wipe about a dozen times, but we win, and it’s all good. I mention that, with all the new stuff I have to worry about in a Heroic, my damage was pretty lousy, and the tank says “Yeah, it was.”
Then: “But we’ll get you up to speed.”
We do it again the next day. It goes better.
This last weekend, Kaylee is out of town. I have no games going on. I have NOTHING to do.
I sign up ahead of time for a full Kara run, AND the Gruul’s 25-man run. The day before the Kara run, I’m running another instance with these guys and I get a nice piece of equipment that will help me the next day.
We one-shot High King Maulgar, AND the guy that “the hunters” are assigned to dies so fast that we have time to switch targets and help the melee dps guys kill their guy. That has never happened before. The guild Hunter leader is VERY happy about this and personally compliments me on my contribution to the fights.
We don’t beat Gruul, but MAN it feels like we COULD, if we could just figure out where NOT to be when he shatters us.
As soon as that is done, we break down into the 10-man Kara group. First day, I’m in all the fights to learn them, and we one-shot everything.
At the end of the day, I go to repair my gear… and I notice that I have been given access to a guild-funded repair allowance that is… quite generous.
The next day, we one-shot all but one boss (who they have to do twice to take out — I was swapped out of the “in-instance” team on that fight). I’m not in everything, but I do well in everything I’m involved in — we nine-man Prince (the last boss) when one guy gets killed in the first three seconds, and the hunter leader guy was chuckling about THAT, too.
Afterwards, the Guild Leader helps me get nice stuff to ‘slot’ into my pretty new epic gear, and compliments me on the fact that, although I’d never been in there before, I’d clearly read up on the fights and knew what to expect.
The Hunter leader compliments me some more, and digs some nice stuff out of the Guild Bank to help me gear up.
One of the group’s healers enchants some of my new gear for free, saying “My payment is out group progressing through the end game content, and you help us do that.”
And it’s eleven or twelve at night, and I’m getting ready to log off, and that tank I didn’t even know two weeks ago asks if I want to run a Heroic Instance.
And I laugh and tell him he’s crazy (it’s late for me, and he’s on the east coast), and he agrees and says “Well, tomorrow then, just let me know if you need a tank.”
Just let him know if *I* need…
Took a long time, but Grezzk’s got a home. 🙂