Tired of Being Called a Rookie?

Article written by Space Viking
Originally published on 11-09-1999 ; updated on 08-17-2014
Tags: Miscellaneous Archives

Ever get booted from a game cause someone called you a "rookie" and wonder how they picked you out even before the game started?

If you can avoid the "don'ts" and do the "do's" below people will stop calling you a "rookie" and you will begin to find yourself on the friends' list of better and better players. Most of these things are easy to do, they don't take any practice at all and have very little to do with how well you play the game:

Pre-Game Don'ts For Players:

1) Don't say "go" or "gogogogog". The host is waiting for the game to fill and wants to play as much as you do, trust me. Often he is managing discussion on game settings, or teams or working to recruit players. Impatiently saying "go" shows that you don't understand the situation and are therefore a rookie. Wait quietly, if you think things seem to be ready politely ask "launch?" - be sure to include the "?".

2) Experts generally prefer settings of low resource, non-reveal map, moderate to low pop and slow speed (games specifically designated as DM being an exception). In general, if you ask for any of: Fast Speed; High Pop; High Resource or Reveal Map people will think you are a rookie.

3) Don't ask "what's my ping" or "what's my lag". You should be able to tell this yourself without asking. If you ask its a sign of a rookie. Let me explain ping so you don't ever have to ask: Ping is the amount of time it takes a signal to go over a network from one computer to another, the less time the better. Ping is measured in milliseconds, 1000 milliseconds = 1 second. In my experience, ping under about 600 ms seems to be required for smooth game operation. Ping is indicated by the colored bars next to a player's name. Green = fast communication with that player, red = slow. The colors have NOTHING to do with how good a player is, its just an indication of communication speed. Ping will be the same in both directions - so to see someone's ping to you just look at the color by their name, generally speaking they see the same color by your name. AoK is not played on a separate server like some FPS games, (e.g. Quake), so you don't have a separate ping to a server.

4) If you're asked to leave a room for a good reason, please leave the room. Reasons include poor ping.

5) If you get booted from a room don't keep trying to get back in and if you have no idea why you were booted, send the host a polite z-mail.

6) After launching, Don't take one of the preassigned player colors (i.e. 1 to 8) without asking. This is simply rude and it can accidentally lead to games which have to be restarted because two players had the same color . Don't even think of saying "I got it first". If you do you will surely be the one who gets booted to make even teams when it turns out there are an odd number of players.

7) Don't type in ALL CAPS - its considered shouting and rude and will get you booted.

8) Don't use the taunts excessively before the start of the game. Its annoying, trust me. Its another sure sign of a rookie, no-one will want you on their team.

9) Do wish people "gla" or "hf" before the game (good luck all, have fun) - this is just part of being polite.

Pre-Game Tips For Hosts

1) Don't EVER boot someone without first politely asking them to leave, providing a reason and giving them a chance to leave on their own. Learning this will save you from the problem of quick repeat joiners.

2) If you are waiting for friends, password the game, and post the fact in the settings. That way you save time for people who would otherwise browse into your game.

3) If teams are preset, post the fact in the settings - Don't "surprise" the opposition with a stacked team after the game is launched. People don't like these surprises, they hit cancel.

4) Use the tools provided to post a meaningful room title and settings.

5) If you are concerned about launch reliability, consider posting your IP in the room settings. You can find it before the game (in Win 95 or 98) by going to start, run, and entering "winipcfg".

In the Game:

1) Do learn to get your economy going - this is too complex to talk about here and is my one tip to make you a stronger player. You can learn by watching the recorded games of good players posted in the forums and reading the discussions - this is what I do to get better. The first thing to learn is how to build 20 to 40 peons at your town center without ever having a break in production, learn how to just keep them coming out.

2) Don't just yell "help". Say who is attacking you with what and where. That way folks on your team will have a better idea of what to do. If you tell me "blue is attacking me with cavalry at my base" then I know I can help either by going to your base with pikemen OR if I am not near your base perhaps I can attack blue's base and make him stop thinking about you so much OR I can give you food and wood to make pikemen. If you just yell "help" I wont know what help you need and so you won't get it until you tell me.

3) Do learn to build a military base near the enemy - this is what people call a "forward base". Don't just sit in your base and wait for the enemy to get to you. This is called "turtling" because you are hiding in your shell - you will lose and your team will hate you. You expect the experts to help you? Well if you want to be an expert yourself you have to be one of the guys out there attacking, not sitting at home. Sitting at home and not building an army is called playing "Sim City" after a game in which there was no army - just economy.

4) Do research cartography at your market so you can see your team's situation. Its hard for you to help out if you don't know what is going on.

5) If you must pause the game, give a reason first, even if only to your allies, they can pass the word on if you are in a hurry. Don't unpause a game until everyone is "back" and ready. Also, don't touch the speed key without asking the other players first if an adjustment is appropriate.

6) At the end of the game, win, lose or draw, acknowledge your opponents with "gg" (good game).

Good luck, have fun

I am grateful for the contributions of KoV_Lancelot and Gannon to this post.