Just Because I’m Low Level…

…doesn’t mean I’m helpless. It also doesn’t automatically mean that I’m new to the game and don’t have a clue about things. I was recently hired by Mentor-Media.net to write articles for them about World of Warcraft on the side. I was honored to be one of the few chosen, and have had a lot of fun getting into the project. For a contest and a testing phase that the company was running for its authors, I had to create a brand new character and level her to 20.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had to level a new character, so the experience was refreshing. Ahh, to be young and new again in the world of Azeroth. I of course made a pink-pigtailed gnome character, and set off to quest in the human starting area because the gnome starting area is too cold for my taste.

One thing I started running into around level 7 was many a high level characters “farming” about in low level areas. Whether it be for herbs, linen, mining nodes, or to level their skinning, they were everywhere. Whenever I was off questing, I’d run into at least two much higher level characters in the same area. They always had one thing in common: they felt the need to help me everytime they saw me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love random generosity. I can remember many times when Toque was a young warlock where I’d be somewhere and be in the midst of big trouble. Most likely I’d bitten off more than I could chew with mobs, and suddenly a random person noticed my plight and came to my aid at the last second to save me a trip from the graveyard. That’s nice, and always appreciated. There were even times when I’d be running for my life from one of those situations, and some nice random person running by would stop and help engage the mob to get it to stop attacking me before I died. I love helpful people like that. But I got the impression too many times over the past couple days playing my low level character that a lot of higher levels hanging around in lower level areas automatically assume that low level = helpless. “Oh, look, a level 7. She can’t possibly kill that level 7 boar she’s backstabbing. I must go to her aid and kill it for her.” … without assessing the situation.

When you’re a low level, you have one goal: to level up. You’re not a high level, and the only way you’ll get to be a high level is by questing and killing things to fulfill quests and/or experience quotas. When you’re killing things to level up, you want to get the most experience out of the kill as possible. When I have a higher level running to my “rescue” every other kill in a newbie zone, it’s annoying. They don’t ask if I need help, and they completely disregard the fact that I was at nearly full health and had the mob I was attacking down to less than a quarter of their health before they stepped in. More often than not, (I’d say 98% of the times I was “rescued” over the past 4 days) I did not need the help. And 100% of those times, the person did not ask if I needed or even wanted the help, they just assumed that little ol’ me needed their expertise and killing blow in order to survive, which was completely not the case.

I don’t want to come across as not being appreciative. When someone performs a random act of kindness and helps me out when it’s obvious I need it, I truly appreciate it and thank them profusely. It’s the people who don’t assess the situation and who assume that because they’re 15 levels above me, I must need their help, even when I’m killing things of my own level just fine. It’s when they make those assumptions on top of jumping right in on my kill and then expecting a thank you and getting rude when you don’t fawn all over them with thanks that drives me up a wall. I’m not helpless. I didn’t ask for help. Random acts of help and kindness are just that: random. Just because I’m a level 7 doesn’t mean I can’t handle myself in my level 7 zone, doing level 7 quests. It doesn’t automatically mean I am helpless or need a big, strong level 32 to help me out killing level 7 boars. It takes away from my experience and my strategy. Sometimes I try to get myself into interesting situations with mobs to test out my skill. For the project I was working on for Mentor-Media, I was trying to test out many strategies and understand my skills and abilities as a rogue very well, because I’d never played the class before. I set up a strategy, but when a high level comes in and “helps” me without asking while I’m trying to play out my strategy, it doesn’t help. I sap something because it’s a form of crowd control and allows me to finish off mob B alone by itself before I have to deal with mob A. It’s thrilling when you plan it out and it all goes as planned and you’re able to take on multiple mobs at once without breaking a sweat. It’s not an open invitation or call for help, and when it’s forced upon you without asking, it takes away from that thrill of being “in the zone” and planning a successful strategy. I found it hard to practice my strategies in some low level areas due to the overcrowding of high levels trying to “help” in the zone. Does that sound as weird to you as it does to me?

In the end it doesn’t really matter. There are plenty of mobs left to kill in my character’s lifetime. I’ll get plenty more chances to pratice my different strategies, (once the high level goes away) and one day my little lowbie will grow up big and strong. She will also randomly help others that she comes across who are obviously in need of help. It would just be nice if people took the time to ask before they interfered with another player’s mobs, or assessed the situation before they intervened. You’re not always doing the other player a favor when you assume they cannot handle their mobs and play the game. Sometimes it even comes across as insulting. I know that I myself will be a lot more cautious and aware of others in the future and not be quick to assume that low level = helpless. My lowbie is now at level 20, and I’m having a great time learning a new class and experiencing the low levels again. It’s also reminded me of some things I had forgotten about being low level, and makes me appreciate a lot of those little things quite a lot more.

Articles may not be republished elsewhere in whole or in part without permission. Feel free to link directly to this post. ©2005-2008 by Lesley Karpiuk (Toque of pinktoque.com)

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I'm Toque, (aka @geeksoap) and I'm a gamer girl. This is where I've been blogging about the game(s) I play and sharing screenshots and gaming articles I've written since 2006.

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FFXIV Online: A Realm Reborn Character

Lumiya Spellsong, Lalafell White Mage and Scholar / Summoner on Brynhildr [MOG Knights]

Old WoW Characters

Amoodala, Tauren Monk on the Emerald Dream US realm. Horde main, Mistweaver spec. Guilded with After Hours.

Amoothyst, Tauren Druid on the Emerald Dream US realm. Resto main, Balance secondary. Guild: Bloodscourge Pillagers.

Lumiya, Blood elf Hunter on the Emerald Dream US realm.