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A newbie (aka newb, nub(cake), noob, or n00b), also called a scrub (or to some a "rookie"), is a player who is either new to World of Warcraft or experienced in the game yet ignorant of how to play. Note that while all these terms are derived from the word newbie and have the same literal meaning, their connotations are quite different. Newb commonly speaks of a new player, while a noob, n00b, or nub means someone who thinks he knows everything, criticizing others while doing many of the things listed below and calling people who tell them they're doing something wrong a n00b.
Some examples are "The Paladin bubbled while carrying the flag, NOOB!" and "Even though I've been through Waling Caverns 3 times, I still feel like a noob there."
The terms newb or newbie typically refer to someone new to the game, and thus forgivable of any innocent mistakes they might make. Noob or nub (and their Leetspeak variations) carry a harsher meaning, that of a player being stupid or ignorant. Beyond a certain character level, players who make mistakes are usually assumed to be noobs, or else new players who have purchased their accounts instead of leveling up themselves. Either way, other players generally regard them with contempt.
Most players are mature enough to recognize that everyone was once a newb, and offer tips and other assistance to inexperienced players. Some, however, have severe disrespect for anyone who they consider a "noob".
A "noob" described by wowcrendor is someone who is either: A. New to the game B. Bad at the game C. Is being called a noob by a noob because the noob is mad at his noobness and retaliates by calling the non-noob a noob.
Knowing the difference between Noob and Newb
Many people seem to believe "Noob" and "Newb" tend to have the same meaning. However to some, this is inaccurate. Some veteran players believe that "Noob" is meant as an offensive derogatory term for anyone who is bad, ignorant, or stupid and not necessarily new to the game. On the other hand, "Newb" may not be meant to be an offensive term. It is more of a description of a particular player than an insult. Some people who don't know the difference unfortunately may substitute "Noob" for "Newb" leading to controversy over the differences between the two terms.
Noob is commonly used by high level characters directed at other high level characters when they do something wrong. It is similar to terms such as "Dumbass".
Newb however is completely different. It is ONLY used to describe those who are actually new to the game, usually a low level character. This is not an insult.
- Why did you pull the boss when no one was ready?! NOOB!
- I'm going to go help my friend level up, he's a newb.
Avoiding the label
There are some times where the label cannot be avoided, either because the player really is new (as in, just began playing WoW and is learning the ropes for the first time), by committing an act that they should (and perhaps do) know that they shouldn't be doing, or by other players that are only trying to troll or have an attitude that some could call Elitist.
Though not doing the things listed below will prevent you from acting like a noob, good humor, admitting to being new and asking about things you don't know will prevent you from acting like a noob.
Nonetheless, there are ways that someone can avoid being called such:
- Don't judge too quickly: This is more to those who are ready to label. Remember that the player may be new, or has yet to run a dungeon or face a particular encounter. Remember that you were once in the same boat as that new player. Furthermore, be aware that some players might have a different style of playing that has worked for them in a group. Remember, different does not always mean wrong. If their style is working in the way that their role is intended, then it is a better idea to ask about what they are doing, as they could have a better understanding about the game than you might, or they might have discovered something you have not yet. Calling others a noob can be a sign of insecurity to your own faults. WoW is a game with a simple structure, yet can be very complex at times, so it is not unheard of for experienced players to still learn new techniques or styles of how to play their classes.
- Ask questions, and answer those given to the best of your ability: Though there are some players that will refuse to help, the WoW player base is mostly made of those that will be willing to answer questions that you may have. Likewise, if a player asks for help and you know some answers, don't be afraid to mention some tips, such as how to combat a boss' mechanics or direct someone to a quest giver.
- Apologize for any mistakes you made: If you committed an act that some might call noobish, don't be afraid to own up to it. Mistakes do happen (especially in instances where one mistake can be fatal), and many players will be willing to let you have a chance to learn from the mistakes.
- Respect other players: Use proper etiquette when speaking in any chat channel, and give players the same respect that you expect them to give to you. Do not try to intentionally impede a player's progress in the game (blocking a quest giver or a flight master from being clicked is a prime example of improper etiquette), and be fair in a group to things like loot or gathering nodes ("ninja looting" is one of the biggest offenses one can do in a dungeon/raid group and could be considered not only noobish, but a violation of Blizzard guidelines). Do not try to instigate a fight, and if a conversation goes south, don't be afraid to walk away from it. Usually, continuing an argument once it's deteriorated beyond a certain point does not help matters in any way. Also realize that while acting silly in the game is not noobish, there is a time and a place for everything.
- Do research: There are several external resources about WoW that will help you learn more about the game and how to play. While it's good to ask questions, you should be aware of the outside resources, such as WoW Wiki, YouTube videos, various message boards, or the BradyGames strategy guides. Some players will direct you to these resources (though some will direct you to them rather harshly because the same questions might have been asked several times before, so do not be offended if the direction towards these resources sound harsh at times, though your guild should NOT act in that manner towards you at ANY given time).
- Be aware: Pay attention to the things going on around you. Boss fights have certain mechanics that, if not avoided, can end with your character either dead or in grim shape. Certain spells and abilities are used for certain situations, and knowing where and when to use them, and in what order, is key to improving your play skill and standing with other members of your group and guild. The more you understand the game mechanics, the more likely a group is willing to forgive a mistake or two.
- Know when to take a break: As one of the game tips say, take all things in moderation, even World of Warcraft. There are just some days that nothing seems to go right for you, or burnout from playing for too long without a break will occur. As with all games, take a rest every once in a while, and remember that you cannot let WoW take over your real life. If you feel tired, sleepy, or just in a bad state of mind, it might not be a good idea to get into a dungeon that might take a few hours to clear. Plan things ahead of time, but keep your real life in mind.