Written by Phil Bruton Friday, 19 August 2011 11:00
So, you want to play an MMO? Well, there's quite a bit of information that pertains to almost all of them. So pull up a chair and let GoozerNation's MMO Veteran be your guide.
MMO's at heart are just a very large social community, all playing the same game. This is something you want to treat as such. Finding a guild and being active on the game forums are something that I suggest for a new player. Having a guild will not only help when you need someone to run dungeons or quests with, but it will also enhance your experience by having others just to talk to! Game forums are the source of a wealth of knowledge. Seek them out for any questions you might have about the game!
When you enter the forums of a game that you're just starting to play, always keep an eye out for the "sticky" posts. These are found at the top of the forums and normally are packed with information that might pertain to what you're after. Always use the search function before asking a question. If you ask something that has already been covered in a previous topic, the forum trolls (not nice people) will tear you apart and belittle you mercilessly. It's a sad truth, but the internet is a wonderful cover for these folks to hide behind while they flame you.
Lots of times, when I start a new game, I always wonder what I'm going to play. What class is good for me? What class will I enjoy the most? My suggestion is to play them all, what's the hurry? When you play an MMO, it's normally for the long haul. There's not much instant gratification to be found, so taking your time is something that you're more than welcome to do. I play every class to a certain level, sometimes taking one that I enjoy more than others past that threshold. It's nice to experience the different classes and playstyles, finding the one that's just "right" for you. Many times in game forums, you'll see people asking for suggestions on a class, the only person that knows for sure what YOU like to play is YOU. So try them out, you won't regret it.
Finding a guild that works for you can be a hassle sometime. What you really need to decide is what do YOU want from a guild? Do you want to be a part of a hardcore end-game raiding guild? Do you want a group of folks that you can just hang out with casually and have a good time with? These are decisions that you should make before joining one. I suggest when leveling to find a good guild with like-minded people that you can share the experience with. Guilds are wonderful to help with finding groups, getting items crafted and just having a social experience with others playing the game. I highly suggest joining a guild, instead of going at the game solo.
From time to time, you're going to need a group to complete a quest or to tackle a dungeon with. Most games these days have a LFG (Looking For Group) tool that you can use, it's a great resource. When finding a group for just a quest, try the local chat channels. Don't spam or talk in all caps, you won't get any help that way! Just a random "Anybody else looking to do XXX quest?" is usually more than sufficient! When grouping for dungeons, try to research the zone beforehand. If you can't or would rather have a "surprise factor" when in the dungeon, do ask the other group members if there is anything specific to know about certain fights. This will help alleviate any issues that you might have, along with keeping the group moving along without everybody dying.
This is one of the most disputed things that you'll encounter in the game. People playing an MMO are in it to progress their character and loot is the major way that this is done. Crafting and questing are a couple of the ways that you can get very good items relative to your level. I suggest always having a crafting skill that you're working on while leveling (Weaponsmith, Armor, etc.).
When in a dungeon, loot can become an issue. Most games these days have a need-before-greed policy, where you should only "roll" need on an item if it's for your class specifically. If it's not, roll greed with everybody else. When someone "rolls" need on every item that drops, that's a quick way for them to get booted from the group. These "loot whores" as they're called, have their names spread quickly across their server and it's a reputation that you just don't want. Another problem with looting in particular games is when someone loots an item (usually something of high quality) before the group decides on what to do with it. We call this "ninja-looting" and again, it's a great way to get blacklisted.
Well now, you pick your game and play! Most MMOs come with a 30 day "trial" period where you aren't charged the monthly subscription fee and you can try out everything in the game. There are even some games that have a 10 or 15 day free trial where you don't even need to purchase the full version first! Whether it's a pay to play (Rift, World of Warcraft) or a free to play (Lord of the Rings Online, Champions Online) game, the advice that I've given holds true. There is much fun to be had with MMOs, they are my personal favorite game type. So, I suggest you get out and start playing!
I'll see you in game!
MMO games are highly addictive, please don't let yourself get sucked in to the point of where you forget about your real life responsibilities. The game will always be there when you get back! So, remember to go to work, let out the dog and take a shower once in a while. :)