Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Being Called a Noob

I've been called a lot of names in my life. Who hasn't?A lot of them were actually fitting. Yes, even one's meant to mock.

In a gamer's life, few insults a hurled as vehemently as "noob." Or even the alternate spellings: n00b, newb, nub (where's my umlaut key? cntrl+???). They all amount to the same thing. Someone feels the urge to deride your lack of mastery of a game or gaming concept.

I talked about my graduation in League of Legends earlier this week. The gameplay ante has been upped. So too has the trash talking.

Last night, I was accused of being a noob for the 572nd career time. Because I keep track of each time. It means that much to me.

And as I was sitting there, trying to come up with a smartass comeback (the only acknowledge method for responding to the comment, if you deign respond), I suddenly had a change of heart. I realized I've only been playing LoL for a couple weeks. I was a noob!

Then I wonder, wtf is this dude's problem? It's not like I'm playing ranked matches at Summoner level 30. This is level 12, normal mode, blind pick. Summoner's Rift map. What did this person expect?

So I'm being a bit facetious. A very large part of me expects immature behavior any time I venture into a PvP setting. I'm fairly confident in my gaming competency, and not afraid to learn in those areas where I may be deficient. Which is why I strive to block out the nerd rage and sift for the nuggets of wisdom hidden within "noob" statements. Because, all joking aside, there is often a lesson tucked somewhere in there. If you can block out the rage, that is.

Not to lend credibility to the trolls, but often players aren't simply pissed to be pissed. I will admit that this is sometimes the case, and often seems like the case, but generally players get pissed for a reason. Something you are or aren't doing is completely obvious to them, in their infinite wisdom, and they believe that they know better. I'm not saying that they're objectively "right." I'm just saying they think they're "right."

If you can figure out what they think they're right about, you can begin to develop impressions on what I'll call "average" gameplay. What is expected from a competent player? What are the moves a team is supposed to make and when? You may not agree with the logic behind them all, but generally behavioral trends will crop up in a game for a reason. If you can identify and understand that reason, you can use that information to your advantage. Being able to anticipate your opponent can pay dividends.

Unfortunately, the two individuals calling the rest of us noobs last night didn't have much in terms of wisdom to offer. I asked several times what they would rather we be doing, or what we were doing wrong. The constructive answer was "don't suck." Mind you, their stats lines were far from impressive. I said something along the lines of: "Yes, I am a noob. What's your excuse?"

That shut them up.

The one pearl I got: Apparently, "assist kills add carry." I have no idea what that statement means. I think it was meant in a bad way, which baffles me. Isn't it good to help each other kill an enemy? And what is "carry?" Anyone care to take a shot at explaining?


  1. NOOB!

    But seriously, this one post just perfectly explained why I will never, ever play LoL or Smite or any of the other MOBA style games. Ever.

  2. Of course you are a noob, you play a warlock...that's mage on easy mode.

  3. I had that same question about what a carry is when I started playing LoL. Check out what the wiki has to say:

    I have no idea what the phrase "assist kills add carry" would mean in totality though.

  4. @Targeter - Not to burst your sentiment... This sort of behavior is just as prevalent in BGs and WZs. Just sayin'.

    @Rivs - Actually, in LoL I play a fallen angel. A sexy fallen angel with giant... spells. Don't get any ideas, perv. ;-P

    Random side note: Have you read any of Jim Butcher's Dresden files? If my mind serves me, you're a Chicagoan. I grew up in the part of Indiana that pretends to be from Chicago. This is relevant because I love Chicago and the stories take place in and around the area. Plus there are a lot of sexy supernatural women involved.

    Hopefully you'll see this because you're curious about my response to your Mage jibe. If I know my Mages, you'll be back... (Actually I should have left this over at your place but it's blocked at work and I'll forget by the time I get home. Sucks being a fail-blogger, amirite?)

    @Mitchbo - Well at least it's not just me. I'll have to educate myself when I get home (site's blocked at work). Thanks.

  5. From your last comment on the other post and from this I have one thing to say. Do not listen to anyone that honestly thinks kills are all that matter. All it takes is for some AD carry(like ashe, varus, or draven) that uses attack speed and damage to auto attack that last bit of life and steal the kill. Sure you get more gold for assists, but in team fights all that matters is that your team comes out doing better than the enemy. Guarantee if those people were fighting someone and you took the kill they would switch to calling you a noob because their kills are way more important than yours will ever be.

    The thing I like best about LoL is that the community is pretty good. Since hitting level 30 I normally only run into 1-2 of the people like that out of 5-6 games on a given night. Maybe that's just my like though. Just remember that even once you hit level 30 you will still make mistakes, everyone does. All it takes is pressing your ult a second too late and you could only catch 1 person in it instead of 2 or 3, or even just zoning and not noticing an mia call or ping and you die.

  6. Yeah, this has been the outlier as far as my experience goes. Most of the people who are crotchety are the folks that claim to be smurfs as well. Go figure. They've spent some time at high level and now know it all. Right? Pschaw.

    My favorite was one where we had one asshat that kept trying to surrender, and we kept saying no... then we ended up winning. "Hey Swain, can we get some crow over here?"

  7. For me, 'carry' has meant to help someone through something that they couldn't do themselves. One time I went into a random HoT dungeon and got a fairly new tank. He didn't have much in the way of epics. Some people QQ'd that he shouldn't be there. I didn't mind. I was on my DS-10 geared disc priest and was just the sort of healer that could carry an undergeared tank through these. Three runs and zero deaths later the tank had a lot more gear and the QQ crowd was completely quiet.
    The day after my warrior hit 85 I rounded up some blue crafted PvP gear and hit the battlegrounds. Someone complained to me that I had crap for gear and shouldn't be there. I explained that I had just hit 85 and if I wanted more PvP gear then I had no other place to go.

    People need to relax. It is a game. You're supposed to have fun. If you're constantly bitching about other people then maybe you are the one that should be someplace else.

  8. AD carry is ranged physical damage (AD) dealer. In current meta he's on bot lane with support (only lane with 2 players). In broader meaning carry is someone who can "carry" his team to victory (it's almost always damage dealer).
    As for "assist kills add carry." - I think he (probably played said ad carry) meant that he should get killing blow. Killing blow gives more gold than only damaging champion/helping your team (assist). But anyone qqing about it is usually as selfish as you can get.

  9. And here I thought carry involved buckets of water on my shoulders, or dowsing someone in buckets of blood, a bucket full of a certain Indian spice... always related to buckets.

    In other news, I'm like the assist champion... so selfish people love my buckets. :-p

  10. In all seriousness... thanks for the help everyone. I do feel enlightened. (And I went around helping our AD Carry - Nocturne - steamroll the enemy last night. Took 15 minutes and as many kills 'fore they surrendered.)

  11. Hey Fulguralis,

    I'm going to follow up with Anonymous reply. A carry is essentially a damage dealer. You carry them to the end game (by protecting them, allowing them to farm gold, etc) and they in turn, "carry" the rest of the team by supplying most of the DPS. You have your AP carry (relying heavily on AP like Karthus) and AD carry (Caitlyn, Ashe, Corki). Carries are generally squishy, have almost no ways to defend themselves, and once they're in the hands of the enemy, they're often screwed.

    Always protect your carry!

    When you're on offense, the same thing applies. Here's an appropriate WoW analogy:

    You're up against a pure tank, a pure healer, and a hunter. Which character is the biggest _threat_ to your team?

    The tank can absorb punishment, but he's not going to kill your guys fast.
    The healer is going to be annoying since she can simply stay alive longer and heal through things.
    But the hunter? If left unchecked, she can chew through everyone really quick if not CC'd or focus'd down.

    In other words, the interpretation I had when reading "assist kills add carry" is [Assist killing the AD carry]. By killing their carry first, you've multiplied your team's chance at surviving the engagement since there's no one doing DPS.

    If you're seriously interested in improving and getting better at the game, add me: CQmatticus (And message me if you see me on). I'm willing to show you and teach you more of the intermediate/advanced stuff as you level up. I can also tell you in real time what you should consider doing or where you messed up and what alternative options you had available.

  12. That may be what he/she/it meant. It was couched firmly in a Laz-E-Boy of rage.

    I will add you, if for nothing else than to say "hi." I'm not sure I've advanced to the seriousness of "training," but I always try to keep an open mind where constructive criticism is concerned.

    I coach football and it starts this week, so I'm not sure how much I'll actually be on. And even then I'll likely just be trying to squeeze in a game. But like I said, even a "hi" is nice. :-)