This Was a Triumph

by Wes/Sharvahn

I’m making a note here: huge success.

This was my thought when my boyfriend looked up from my laptop and asked me how he did. Fifteen minutes earlier, I was in Bastion of Twilight with my usual raid group. We were on the trash between Halfus Wyrmbreaker and Valiona and Theralion and methodically killing each group in hopes of BoE epics. I play on my laptop on my bed (yes, I’m going to have a terrible back, but it works for now as I don’t have a desk) usually with my boyfriend nearby watching television or reading. This week, he was watching intently over my shoulder, asking the occasional question. As we neared the second to last trash pack, the quiet question came from behind me.

“Can I try?”

Those were probably the last words I’d ever expect to hear out of Adam. He’s shown mild interest in the game before, mostly asking if he could play alone or if he’d have to suffer in a PuG group and what the classes did, but he’s really never shown any sign of actually wanting to play. This being a raid, I was hesitant; he has never touched the game before, we’ve only gotten Valiona and Theralion down a few times, and I’m not the greatest person to be coaching newbies. I have a short fuse and a low tolerance for stupidity, which generally makes me the bad cop to Andy’s good cop in a raid situation.

After a moment’s thought, I figured “what the hell, it’s only trash.” I handed Adam the laptop and took a moment to explain which keys were bound to which abilities and in what priority he should press them and quickly explained the rage mechanic and the all important Omen. I didn’t think he’d do well enough to pull aggro off of Andy, but it couldn’t hurt.

With a Heroic Leap, he bounced into the next trash pack on Andy’s pull, whirlwinded and cleaved to stack Meat Cleaver as he had seen me do, and correctly weaved in bloodthirsts and raging blows in between AOE attacks. He wasn’t first on the metre, but he wasn’t the last either. I was impressed.

Valiona and Theralion were up next. I quickly explained what he would need to focus on, went over dragon boss mechanics, brought up his /range finder and told him to listen to Andy’s calls over vent. With possibly our raid’s life in my hands, I relinquished complete control, shut my mouth and sat back to watch a man who had been playing for all of 10 minutes fight his first raid boss.

By the end of the fight, Adam was among the living and had come in fourth on the damage charts with a respectable 11.4K DPS. The dragon twins had been one shot. I of course was biting my lip the entire time and trying not to be a backseat gamer, but he really didn’t need much coaching. I simply had pointed him in the right direction and let him figure things out on his own. Taking my laptop back, I switch to OBC’s officer channel and told Andy what I had done. As we headed to Blackwing Descent to kill Omnomtron, Andy barked out in ventrillo that NO ONE has any excuse to do under 10K DPS on a raid boss anymore as someone who had been playing for 15 minutes total had done 11K and lived. Adam was certainly proud of himself, and I was grinning from ear to ear about his performance.

Coaching Adam gave me a whole new perspective on coaching newbies. As the DPS officer, I’m often called upon to assist new raiders and new players who are having gearing troubles or general DPS problems and I find myself losing my patience very quickly. Knowing that I couldn’t, under ANY circumstance, lose my patience with Adam or I’d find myself on the couch very quickly, I was forced to let the player make his own decisions. Normally, I’m having to hand-hold every step of the way, which I believe causes a lot of my frustration. I’ve just become so accustomed to players not being capable of progressive thought, I’ve forgotten that not all players are like that. Next time you’re needed to help out a new player – or hell, volunteer to help out – remember to try and let them make their own decisions, even if it means making their own mistakes. While I certainly don’t recommend throwing a newbie into the raid before even questing, don’t assume that they can’t figure things out just because they’re new. They might just surprise you.  -Wes/Sharvahn

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~ by Wes/Sharvahn on March 20, 2011.

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