Tuesday, March 31

Form vs. Function

Have you ever gone for a piece of gear because it LOOKS good or do you not care about how your toon looks and go for the upgrades it will give your toon to their stats? This question didn’t really pop up in my mind until a certain female tank I respect was talking to me about a noob move I did way back when. So let’s talk about my situation and then you can decide what you think.

I was a member of a guild that was far beyond my level. Not only was my gear pretty low but also my experience was behind where they were as a guild. As a result I was doing instances that they were bored with and had run a million times. I was then forced to do what I could to work on higher-powered gear as a solo player. What do I do?

After making it into the Outlands with my high level toons I kept drooling over the way the Tier 1 set looked for the paladin. I asked my guildmates to help me run through the old-world "Vanilla WoW" content to help me get it. They constantly told me that the gear I would find in Outlands would blow it away, I wanted it because of its looks. The Lightforge Armor must be mine! http://www.wowwiki.com/Lightforge_Armor After attempts on my own to gather up some of the pieces I decided that it was best to move on into the Outlands and do as guildmates have said and work on Outlands content and gain new gear that way.

I leveled to 70 with both of my toons and then WHAM! I am back in the same boat, will the guild help me in the content I have to work on? Again, they had been level 70 for MONTHS at this point and had run heroics and dailies until they were blue in the face. So of course the guild chat would be silent when I asked for runs through regular instances.

I went to www.wowhead.com and started to look at gear and I always clicked on the “View in 3D” button and looked for gear that I thought looked good and then looked to see what I had to do to get it. Then, lo and behold, I saw the Grand Marshal's Lamellar Shoulders! http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28683 They look good don’t they? Instead of wasting my time with PUG’s I decided to waste my time getting yelled at in battlegrounds (BG’s) by those hardcore PvP folks that ask me why I am in battlegrounds without any resilience gear. (Refer to http://theexperiencednoob.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-can-i-get-experience-if-no-one-will.html) I can never win. But I stuck to it and ran battlegrounds and smiled at those who thought I was insane and I got my shoulders. But with all the time I put into the BG’s I could have gone into PUG’s and eventually got me more “Tiered” gear and probably even received less voices yelling at me like in BG’s.

What it boils down to, I learned that all gear could eventually be outgrown. So avoid the Auction House unless you are completing a set or you are worrying about materials for professions. Save your money for that ULTRA RARE set piece you REALLY want. Some gear may look ugly but may provide you that extra couple points of dodge or block as a tank. The form will come with the gear you will get in heroics and raids, until then you will have random pieces of gear that won’t match but who cares… would you rather stay alive or die looking pretty?

Again, it is a game. Go with what makes you feel good and is comfortable for you. You might like the “bright orange crocs with a business suit” (Glanthur, http://ctrlaltwow.blogspot.com/) while someone does not. It is your toon, you play it how you want to and just have fun.

Monday, March 30


Here is a chance for you... the reader... to get something special from US at The Experienced Noob!


What: We want you to share ideas as to what you would like us to comment on. Was there a time you were ridiculed for saying/doing something that no experienced 'leet player would do/say. Did you pull a "Leroy Jenkins" and wiped your party or raid? the more creative the better!

When: The contest will run for the month of April. Winners will be announced on May 8th by random drawing.

Where: Please "comment" to this post by clicking the link below with your your toon's name and server, then email us your story at theexperiencednoob at gmail dot com.

Why: Up for grabs I have three "Footsteps of Illidan" loot cards, one "Papa Hummel's Old Fashioned Pet Biscuit" and one tabard of your choice from the six tabards off the Upper Deck TCG in-game rewards! (THIS WILL BE A TOTAL OF FIVE DIFFERENT WINNERS, Once you win, your name will nto be drawn again. But please enter as many different stories as you want.)

How: We will choose the winners and post them on the website. Please check back here for your name and we will email you for your code.


Sunday, March 29

Instance Etiquette

While most people think that there isn’t really a dynamic to instances other than gathering a group of people together and running the instance there are a lot of things that should be looked at and sometimes in great detail. Here is some tips from good old Xan about what you can do in an instance to be invited back into a “Pick Up Group” (PUG) or gather a PUG of your own.

• Be sure you are ready for the instance

There are many ways for you to check if you are prepared for the instance you plan on being a part of or gathering yourself. I suggest either going to one of my favorite websites for your information: .http://www.wowhead.com, http://thottbot.com, or even http://wow.allakhazam.com. Each of these sites has valuable information including the minimum level requirement, the level range, and quests associated with that instance. Another suggestion for gathering information regarding an instance is the WoW books published by BRADYGAMES. (http://www.bradygames.com)

Try not to ask for a ‘port’ to the instance. This is just a pain. If you are willing to go into a PUG, make an effort to get there on your own. This saves time for those who are standing there waiting for you as well as shows that your head is already ‘in the game.’ Not to say that if you are in Howling Fjord and someone wants to do Halls of Lightning that your can’t ask for a port to whomever gets there first, but don’t keep doing quests expecting someone else to port you there. If everyone else keeps doing quests, there may never be two people t the summoning stone to port the rest. So make your best effort to get to the instance on your own.

Gather up all the quests you can before requesting a group run. Again the quests can be found on the above mentioned websites and books. By being prepared to go into an instance you not only gain experience points (XP) through running the instance, but you can help out others who might have missed one quest and you only have to run the ‘low level’ instances once and then focus on the next one instead of running another time through the same instance because you might have missed a quest.

Being ready for the instance is not only knowing what level you have to be, but also make sure that your ‘toon’ can make it with the group you are with. A level minimum requirement of level 70’s may not be able to do a 74-76 level instance. But one level 70 and four level 78 toons should be just fine and handle their own.

Next you want to look at boss fights. Each of these websites and the books I have mentioned usually have some kind of boss strategy to them. Take some time before looking into a PUG to check out how boss fights work, you may become a value to your group because you know what your job is in the instance.

• What to do once inside?

Now let’s take a look at what should be expected of you in a PUG or guild instance run and what you should expect of others in your guild or PUG to understand as well.

Make sure you let people know WHY you are doing the instance. Are you going for specific gear? Are you completing quests? Are you just running the instance to get the achievements? If your PUG/guild know why you are running the instance they may be more likely to pass on a certain piece of gear you want for your “MAIN” spec when they may be looking to get “off spec” gear for themselves. Making the mistake of not explaining your reason for going into the instance just might cost you an item you were going in there to find… like a certain Trinket you went in for but forgot to tell the DPS person that you were wanting it for your TANK and you both rolled on it and you lost. It is not their fault for rolling on it, it was your fault for not telling them you were going into the instance to gain that item.

Know your role in the instance; this means are you going into the instance to be on DPS, healing, tanking, off-tanking… what is your job? PUGS and guilds expect you to know your class better than they do. Some players may have multiple toons and may even have the same class you are playing, but you should know what you are capable of in an instance.

Finally, after you have researched what you are doing you should take some time to ask questions of your PUG or guild. Let them know you are learning. Most of them will be accepting of that and will often give advice when they can. So don’t hesitate to ask. This is a game, have fun, and grow as a player and as a knowledgeable member of your guild and class. You never know when you will be the leader of your own guild or raid group

Friday, March 27

How can I get experience if no one will hire me?

OK, this one is for the more advanced noob. You have made it up to a high enough level where you can now do Heroic instances. (instances with a more difficult setting) You have played through all the regular content of have got to a stage in your gear where there are very few regular instances or world drops that will give you an upgrade in gear. You know that it is time for you now to start looking into heroics to get better gear. What do you do?

For instance, last night I logged in with Xan and within 5 minutes I get a whisper to go into Heroic Halls of Stone. Now I had never even been into this instance on regular mode but was willing to go because of the heroic drops for better gear. I explained to the recruiter that I had never been and I didn't know the strategy involved but I was willing to try it.

We pulled the group together and went in. We did very well and made it to Krystallus with no problem. We wiped once, then only after someone EXPLAINED the fight to me did I know my role. and the boss went down with only the rogue dying.

If you are a tank or a healer... KNOW YOUR ROLE. This is everything from positioning of the boss to knowing the boss' special attacks, etc. Try to study up a bit if you have time before an instance to know what to expect in general. But everyone has their own strategy and should take a moment to explain what they expect of everyone in the group.

After Krystallus we made our way to the second boss, Maiden of Grief. In this fight I reiterated that I had never been in the instance even on regular mode. The only advice I was given was "Stay out of the black circles." I did just that and we wiped... twice. Me and the healer stayed alive each time until everyone else had passed on.

So after the second time the DPS warrior asked the Tank what his defense was. I told him and then he said I was undergeared for heroics. HELLO! DIDN'T I SAY I HAD NEVER BEEN IN A HEROIC YET? I said I was going into heroics to get better gear and the DPS said that I needed better gear.

WHAT A PARADOX... You need to get better gear to go to heroics, but you can't go into a heroic without better gear. What the heck?

Thursday, March 26

Bring a healer!

Well kids, thank you for coming back for another edition of "The Experienced Noob" on today's installment we are going to touch briefly on INSTANCES. An instance is basically a dungeon that singles out a group of players to complete a set group of bosses in a set environment. As a noob player your first instances will be Ragefire Chasm (RC) as a horde at level 13 - 16 or The Deadmines (VC - abbrev. given for final boss)as an alliance toon at level 15 - 20.

Before I go into depth on this subject, let me explain why I chose this topic to post...

80 Protection Pally
80 Beastmaster Hunter
77 Blood DK
77 Rogue

We decided to try it as a 4 man. BAD IDEA! Where is our healer? We decided to aim high and go into a Regular Halls of Lightning (HoL) run. Didn't make it past the third group of trash mobs before we all died.

"Let's try something lower." "Let's try Violet Hold!"

Got to first boss fight and paladin was the last one standing. Boss was down to 25% life and we wiped.

What did we learn? BRING A HEALER!

As a group of toons within that range you will have five players. In that group you should ALWAYS have a "tank" and a "healer." The other three can be "DPS" or "off-tanks" and "off-healers." Now what do these terms mean?

TANK = The guy that takes the hits best. This one would be a warrior or paladin in most instances to begin with, the heavy metal wearers... but as things go along in the game and you start building up your talents a druid makes a good tank as a bear or even a hunter with a tenacity pet can tank.

HEALER = This is the guy that sits back and avoids being hit and makes sure the tank can take the hits. The healer is essential in keeping the party alive and moving forward. If the tank or the healer dies, the party may be facing some serious pain or possible party wipe.

DPS = "Damage Per Second" - This is the person that hits the hardest and does the most damage. Hunters, fury warriors, spellcasters, etc. can all fulfill this role.

The idea is know your role and how it fits into the group dynamic. Take advice from other players with a grain of salt. If you don't think their way works, smile and thank them for their advice and move on. This is a game, play how you want to play.

Wednesday, March 25

Just starting WoW?

So you have decided to purchase WoW and now you are left with some really interesting questions before you even get past the intro screen. Let's look at what you will be facing as an official "NOOB!"

1- What type of server do you want to be on?

RP - Roleplaying servers can be really fun. If I had had a choice this would have been my choice as I love to be 'in charecter' with each of my toons. If you choose this server you will need to think about what kind of toon you want to have and their attitude towards those they come in contact with. (Another post to come)

PvE- Player vs Environment servers are what I am on mostly. This is a server where you will not be attacked by the other faction unless you 'flag' yourself as free game. This type of server is common by casual players who love to just do the content and not have to worry about higher level toons stabbing them in the back at every turn.

PvP- Player vs Player servers are what I like to call "HARDCORE" servers. These servers it is Horde against Alliance as well as your toon vs the world. So not only are you trying to complete quests you are trying your darndest not to get 'ganked' by another player 15 - 20 - 70 levels higher than you just being a jerk.

2- Do you have friends that play WoW?

If you have friends that play WoW, you might want to talk to them about what server they are on and more importantly how do they WoW? Their style of play may or may not fit your play style. Maybe they already have a level 80 and they spend most of their time raiding, if they cannot make a commitment to play alongside you then you may run into problems. or perhaps they are exactly what you are looking for and you two can adventure together... then make sure you take advantage of the recruit-a-friend option in WoW and level your toons quick and fast.

3- What Faction do you choose?

Blizzard says this best on their website:
Who are the Horde and Alliance?
The Horde and Alliance are the two sides battling for control of the world. In years past, they fought brutal wars against each other, but today, they have settled into a tenuous stalemate. Occasional skirmishes still erupt between the two sides, but open warfare is no longer raging across the continents. Still, the Horde and Alliance are hostile to each other, and members of one faction are never welcome in the cities of the other.
The ten races you can play are split equally between these two sides.

Alliance: Draenei, Humans, Dwarves, Night Elves, Gnomes
Horde: Blood Elves, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Undead

In my next installment we will go into further depth about your noobiness...
(More to Come...)

Tuesday, March 24

An introduction to your host...

I am your host Xandarr, I am a Male Draenei Paladin - Trollbane - US. I have been playing WoW since just before Burning Crusade (BC) was released. I have just recently found the world of podcasts about a month or so ago as well as Twitter. I noticed that through all of these podcasts there wasn't a podcast suited to me and my listening needs and so I was sitting down and talking to my sister "Bela" last weekend and started to talk about WoW and realized what the podcasting a blogging community was missing... a blog and podcast for new members and solo players of WoW!

I have many characters and have created and deleted many, many, many alternative (ALT) characters. (toons) I have soloed a couple of toons to endgame content and I still own those toons.

Xandarr & Nkaala on Trollbane. I learned how to be a tank, but never made it through any of the endgame content or into any raids completely. But I did learn basic techniques and things that I enjoy about WoW and that I would like to share with others.

This blog will be everything from role play ideas, soloing tips, instance ideas, what I have been up to, etc. So please... add me to your "readers" and please take a moment to comment on stuff you would like to have me share and help me to develop a good blog and hopefully grab the ideas This blog will be everything from role play ideas, soloing tips, instance ideas, what I have been up to, etc. So please... add me to your "readers" and please take a moment to comment on stuff you would like to have me share and help me to develop a good blog and hopefully grab the ideas necessary to create a great podcast in the future.


This is the first installment of the blog for those who love World of Warcraft but are still getting their feet wet in the world or just haven't been able to get into high level instances or raids, but enjoy soloing within the World of Warcraft.

I hope that through this blog we can gain some followers and eventually build up to a full blown podcast.

So welcome one and all to the newest blog and eventual launching platform for new players and solo players in World of Warcraft... Welcome to "The Experienced Noob!"

Introducing my co-host "BELA!"

I am Bela, this nick came into being LOOOOONG before ‘Twilight’. (Go Jacob!)

My brother Xandarr likes to talk about the game and he figured what a better way to do it more, than to pull my sister into it kicking and screaming (uh...I mean to bring my sister into it despite her NOOBNESS…he he he) I guess that would make me the ‘co-host’ though that is certainly a daunting thought. Xandarr thinks we can do this and I have faith in him and his abilities, so off we go!

I have several characters on several severs, the main one being Beladelyn on Trollbane US. She is a Human Warlock. I also belong to the most AWESOME guild on the planet, that being Epic Dolls on Perenolde , where I am a Blood Elf DK and of course, her name is Beladelyn. These 2 characters are where I spend most of my time and energy, but I have been known to spread the love to other servers (shh, don’t tell anyone, I am not really committed to either Horde nor Alliance, I just like to play the game.)

I have been playing WoW for 3-4 yrs and have had my ups and downs with it. I was married to a man that liked to play the game for hours. As a result, he would duel box a lot, therefore, my characters on Trollbane got leveled without me really trying. This is where my ‘experienced noobness’ comes into play. I have a lot of high level characters but not a lot ‘endgame’ play. I’ve been to Kara (a lot) but never really finished with my guild and have just made my characters into what ‘fits’ me. At this point in time, I would have to say I’m enjoying the game because it’s all about me! I am leveling to 80(slowly) and have been discovering the Frozen Tundra and I'm looking forward to all the other areas.

We would love to hear from any of you on what you think would be good for us to talk about or do and hopefully you will keep reading or tuning in (as the case may be) and make this one of the regular blogs/podcasts from WoW you like to listen to.

The captive and the captor… (Original Fiction by Xan)

Dim torchlight trickled in as the heavy wooden door groaned on its hinges as it swung open. The gaunt man shackled to the wall strained his eyes to focus on the doorway. His eyes gazed upon a hulk of a man filling the entryway. The torchlight seemed to be repelled by his massive frame as he stood there for a moment. He had arms the size of tree trunks; perfect for crushing all but the strongest of men. His legs were shorter and thinner than his arms but still bulged like tightened rope beneath his trousers. The giant smirked as he lumbered into the room. As the small captive’s eyes adjusted to the torchlight filling the room; he was able to get a slightly better view of the beastly man before him. The monstrous figure looked like a gorilla wrapped in slate. The armor surrounding this massive man looked to be made of black slabs of rock. His knuckles popped as he flexed his massive hands, small ice crystals dropped off of massive spikes adorning his gauntlets.

The small chained man did nothing to move out of the way but remained where he was; his knees pulled up to his chest and his head slowly lowering again in a dismissive gesture. The shackles on his ankles and wrists were stained with the blood and skin of previous occupants of the cell. But this man seemed not to show any sign of restraint, his skin unblemished around the wrists and ankles.

“What do you want now, Ergun?” The captive began to speak. His voice seemed to flow from his mouth hypnotically. “You come to give me another beating for your princess?”
“No.” The gorilla spoke like the rumble of distant thunder. “I came with my princess…”

“…just to talk.” A smooth, almost harmonic voice could be heard just outside the cell door. A beautiful woman entered the room. Her black hair cascaded down her shoulders in long straight lengths framing her unblemished ivory face. Her black robes opened into a plunging neckline revealing a firm athletic physique. Her cloak flowed behind her in such a way that it was as if a breeze constantly blew gently on her.

“Good morning Sophie.” The withered man said, not bothering to move other than the raise his head slightly. “Or is it afternoon… maybe evening? I can’t tell without so much as a candle to tell the passage of time.”

“She is to be called, PRINCESS!” Ergun wasted no time taking his large hand and swatting the small man square in the head. The prisoner rolled across the floor until his manacles stopped him with a jerk. He groaned in pain, as his arms seemed to stretch a bit under the tension of the restraints. As he lay prone his small hands reached up to his face. Ice crystals had immediately formed on his face and beard. Ergun was happy to see the side of the prisoners face now an off color black and blue, not from a newly formed bruise but from what looked to be the early stages of frostbite.

A scowl curled up on the woman’s face as she glared down at the battered figure. As the gaunt man looked up at her, her countenance changed then to a smooth demeanor as she crouched down to examine his frozen beard and frostbitten face. She reached out and softly caressed the old mans new wound in an almost loving manner.

“Now Ergun, we shouldn’t treat our guests like this.” Sophie slowly stood back up after assuring herself the small man was still breathing. “Fetch him a candle… a small one.”

“As my princess commands.” The gravely reply seemed to bubble up in the large mans throat.

“Have you thought about telling me of the Destiny Items and where I can find them yet, old man?” She turned around looking at the light spilling in through the open doorway. “I grow tired of this game.”

“We are playing a game?” The small man said sarcastically. “Why didn’t you say so? I LOVE to play games. Who’s winning?”

The princess spun on her heels and held up an onyx scepter that glowed with blue flame from a jewel mounted in a clawed hand. Small darts of flame leapt from the scepter and attached themselves to the cuffs of restraints and lifted the weary prisoner off the ground. They began to glow with heat and the skin of the man seemed to begin to melt. He clenched his teeth as he held back a cry of agony.

“This is no game old man, but if it were you know I ALWAYS WIN.” She dropped the scepter back down to her side and the manacles fell to the floor with a clatter as they were released from the flames. When the man hit the floor he seemed to hit with a splash rather than a thump. He pulled himself together and reset himself in the same pensive position his captors found him in.

“You always were a sore loser, Sophie.” The small man smoothed over the melted skin as it ran back over the exposed bone of his wrists.

The giant returned with a small greenish lump in his massive hand. “Here is the candle you requested, your majesty.”

Without looking to the giant she stared down at the huddled man. “When this candle burns out, I will return to ask you about those Destiny Items once more.” She walked out of the cell with Ergun moving like a huge shadow behind her demure frame. The door slammed as her voice seemed to echo in the room. “I expect an answer.”

The small man grasped the small candle in his hands and whispered, “Steek aan.” The candle flickered to life, the flame glowed a slight hint of green.

Again the man whispered, “Vlucht.” The candle began to melt on the floor. The small candle melted wider and wider, more than the wax could have possibly stretched. The small man smiled and moved to the center of the pool of hot wax and he seemed to melt into the wax. In an instant he was gone.

A few hours later the door groaned open again, the light from the candle had diminished and only the torchlight once again filled the now empty room. A small puddle of hardened green wax decorated the empty cell. Ergun stood in a stupor as he entered, the beautiful princess right behind him. He looked back to her in disbelief and confusion. Sophie only looked at the candle as anger burned within her like a bubbling cauldron.

“That tricky wizard!” The princess turned to Ergun and slapped him. “I want him found immediately!”

The giant man looked at his queen with no more expression than that of a statue.

“Yes, my princess, he will be captured once again.” His gravelly voice bubble through gritted teeth.

“You had better find him, Ergun.” Princess Sophie countered. “You had better find him or I will fill his spot in this cell with you.”

Ergun’s eyes were still cold but barely visible glimmered a small spark of fear. “Please Princess, I will find him, I swear!” He pleaded to her, his voice filled with dread.

“Remember the closet, Ergun? Remember how I used to lock you in there for weeks?” Ergun fell to his knees, clutching the Princess’ robes and kissing the hem as she taunted him. “I know how much you hate to be alone in a small room.” She just smiled her spoiled smile. “Find him Ergun.”