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Old 17th December 2008, 10:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default help a first time MMORPG player !!

OK you strange bunch of nerds you

With the holidays coming up I want to give a MMORPG a run! I've been told there are many free ones floating around so one of those would be first preference but I'll buy one if recommended enough.

I 'NEED' it to be newbie-friendly... I've NEVER played a game from this genre before. I Play FPSs mainly and enjoy the occassional game of a racing or flight sim. I've tried a RTS game (Company of Heroes) which was a lot of fun but the learning curve was very steep. Without help that one would have unplayable for me (thanks TOG Fox!).

I don't want a list of the best MMORPGs around... what I need is a list of the most basic and easy to play MMORPGs around. Initially I just want to get idea of what this genre can potentially offer me

Hit Ned with your recommendations!

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Old 18th December 2008, 04:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well welcome to the world of MMORPG's hope you find one that you enjoy as they can provide so much more then FPS's can.

Most of the free ones out there really aren't worth your time playing in my opinion. I would say Guild Wars is always worth playing. All you do is buy the game and play as much as you want for free. There are 3 games out and all can be played by themselves or connected together and then there is one expansion which requires you own at least one of the other games. Guilds Wars is a very friendly player game. There are set PVP areas and PVE areas. You can play by yourself or with a group very easily.

If you don't mind paying a monthly fee there are some good games out as well. I would not play Warhammer or AoC. Now this is just my opinion but they don't live up to the hype they got. AoC is not very noob friendly unless you play on a PvE/RP server but then you lose all PVP basically. Warhammer I found to be not up to par for the games of today. I was able to out run arrows when playing and there was no difference in te beginning between characters they all looked the same.

Now LOTRO has a few downfalls but is a solid game to play and is again noob friendly.

Now if you end up likeing MMORPG's the game to look into is Darkfall Online it will be releases Jan. 22, 2009. Now it might not be noob friendly in some cases but you may find it to your liking in that some of the game is played in FPS mode. Most MMO's are played in third person but in Darkfall you play in FPS until you unshealth your weapon. Check it out at Darkfall Forums - Powered by vBulletin

I hope this helps.
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Old 18th December 2008, 11:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are some free games that I find worthwhile. However, I think really answering your question is impossible. We can all say which are the games we think worthwhile. But, you want an introduction to the genre to see what it can offer. It is an odd request to answer. I will suggest a couple of games that are very different from each other and also point out some things you will want to think about as you develop your 'taste' for mmorpgs. (Assuming that you are going to continue to apply as much thought to this as your initial post suggests.)

First, to develop some basic themes, you should read the "Common Features" section of this article.

Character progression is one of the big 'things' that people that enjoy mmorpgs desire. If you find that you do not enjoy thinking about developing your character, you may find the entire genre to be 'unfun'. If collecting XP (experience points) is enjoyable, then you are well on your way. This leads to a question about your enjoyment / tolerance of 'grinding', as described by the linked article. Some games do a better job of making 'grinding' less obvious / more enjoyable. As far as I can see all games that do not simply allow quick leveling have some kind of grind. So, if you just want to hit max level games with a 'grind' will be less enjoyable. If you enjoy the journey, then grinding can be more or less enjoyable.

On the issue of teamwork...some games focus on fostering player interaction and other games focus on fostering solo play. You will likely find that this distinction is important to you.

On the issue of roleplaying...if you come to this with a background in traditional pen and paper RPGs, then you may have a desire to try out roleplaying. Most players of mmorpgs do not roleplay. You will have to search out a community of roleplayers, which exist in every mmorpg that I have searched for them in.

On the issue of pvp (player vs player combat)...you may find that pvp is your thing as you come from fps. If so, you will want games that support interesting pvp options.

The f2p (free to play) vs p2p (pay to play) distinction is also one that you will want to explore. Depending on your mindset the various ways that f2p mmorpgs generate income may bother you or not. The other difference is in the casualness of players that a f2p game allows. No cost allows for minimal commitment. The only way to know what you think is to try.

It should not go without saying that there is a big difference between computer /console rpgs and mmorpgs. mmorpgs are generally much weaker in the story / plot department. This is very disappointing to some, but it will depend on how much your enjoyment of games is plot driven.

For a basic introduction I would consider Rappelz. It is a fairly enjoyable free mmorpg. It allows for both solo and party play. It has basic character progression focused mainly on skill choices. It has a pet system which is a growing element to mmorpgs and probably should be added to the linked article at some point. It allows for pvp in arena type settings. One of the problems with this suggestion is that it had poor documentation when I was playing it. I would hope that has been addressed by now.

After an introduction with Rappelz you might try Ryzom. (Which was still free last I checked.) This is a very different game from Rappelz. Everything from the economy to crafting to pvp is different. pvp can come through guild wars to take an outpost from another guild. Having an outpost gives benefits to the guild. Once you have played those two games then you will be well on your way to figuring out the details of your preferences.

I have spent some time playing both those games. I am not currently actively playing them, but they held my attention for a time and I think they fit your desire for basic. There are a number of games which seemed focused on children and, therefore, may be more basic, but I do not know.

I hope you have fun figuring out what you think of this mmorpg business. I have!

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Old 18th December 2008, 01:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ryzom is actually a pretty cool game, though to be honest I haven't gone back to it. It has a pretty unique take on character developement in that you can be a tank, dps and healer all rolled into one, it is just a matter of how much you want to grind since it is skill based leveling, eg: you use a skill and that skill is leveled.

The crafting there is quite good as well, and has some depth to it. Certain rare mats only spawn in certain locations on certain days or nights in a game year. PvP there is very friendly as well, as you can duel anyone and not lose equipment or xp, basically no death penalty, and usually the person you are dueling with will rez you. At least that was how it was a few years back when I played. Nice community really.

I wouldn't say the game is simple though as it has layers of complexity in that you make your own skills that you use. Say you want a 2H sword attack, that has a stun and a +10 damage, if you have skilled up with 2H enough to get those skills, then you can custom make your attack. Or say you are into spell casting, you want a root with a poison DOT, you can make that. They basically give you the parts to build your own attacks. Very cool.

Considering that it is free, players can make content you can play in, it has a very good crafting system, an excellent combat system, it is hard not to recommend it. The downside is that it has pretty hefty grinding and while there is a pretty decent storyline, the quests are just quests really. The graphics are a bit dated and maybe that is why I don't play it, but it is a cool game. If TOG had a real prescence there, I would be there as well. I don't mind playing solo, but it is better with people, and to be honest it is better with ToGgers.

Last edited by brohawk; 18th December 2008 at 01:26 PM. Reason: broke it up into paragraphs so it is easier to read
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Old 18th December 2008, 08:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In my opinion, what really separates an mmorpg from other genres is the social aspect. If you're playing an mmorpg without friends, guilds or some other social connection, you might as well load up Oblivion, Mass Effect, Fallout 3 or any other single player roleplaying game out there.

I've been running one of TOG's European WoW guilds for almost four years now, and I know that while there are many aspects of the game I enjoy, there is no way I would still be there if it weren't for the group of TOG'ers I play with. Currently we have over 200 players in the guild who have been active in the last month, but there's a core of 20-30 people who really keep me there, I would say.

Really, would FPS games be as much fun if you didn't have your mates in the division to play with?

So, my suggestion would be to find a game with an established TOG guild and see how it is. Maybe try a couple of different ones, since the guilds certainly differ in character and personality. I would think that WoW, Lord of the Rings Online, EVE Online or Warhammer would be good options. If they're still active, there's a WoW guild called TOG Lootzors or some such who are primarily made up of Aussie FPS'ers. That might be a great starting point. They have their own subforum in the WoW forums.

With WoW, I believe it's fully possible to get a trial account that is free for a limited time to try the game out. Not sure about LotRO or WAR, since I've stopped playing those. While there are a lot of good games out there, there's only time to play one and WoW's got my number still.
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Old 18th December 2008, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm also a fairly recent MMO convert with LOTRO being my first. I hugely agree with McM about the social aspect of it. I also enjoy the fact that there is always something to do that matches my mood. I can take part in a fast paced raid with a number of friends or spend some time fishing in The Shire on my own.

I went for LOTRO because I am a huge Tolkien nerd and the opportunity to walk through The Shire, Moria and Angmar was just too big a pull.

Relative strengths for LOTRO compared to other MMO's is tricky given that it was my first (although I have briefly tried WAR and AoC since), but from talking to our members:

Lore - you just can't beat Middle Earth as a setting
Casual friendly - LOTRO makes all of the game content pretty accessible to even casual players
Graphics - AoC players may disagree but with DX10 it has the best graphics I have seen
Community - the entire LOTRO community seems older than most MMO's and so we have quite a helpful crowd on most servers
Lore - see I had to say it again (I care about helping the fellowship )

LOTRO does have a free trial.

*edit* Should have said that most MMO's start you off with a few skills and you acquire more as you level. That gives you time to learn what they do and how they work together. For me the key then is to have people to help you with advice, company and equipment and you can't go wrong with TOG for that

Last edited by Markan; 18th December 2008 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Added some comments on learning
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Old 18th December 2008, 10:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that most of the "costing" mmorpgs have free trial periods (1-2weeks) so you can try them out, but it'll mean downl<sumbliminal-warhammer-plug-message>oading a few gigs (check your ISP's file warehouse if they have one for a quota free download of the client).

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Old 19th December 2008, 02:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ned, there is a lot of good information here, so I'll fight the urge to write my own book.

My MMORPG resume includes 2+ years of Guild Wars and about 6 months of LOTRO. That being said, I think your best bet will be Guild Wars. I think it will be the easiest for you to learn the play style and interface for and it has the benefit of being on sale for the holidays and not having a subscription fee. The TOG GW Division is active and there are always people online willing to help with quests and missions and with material support. (I think this is the case with all TOG divisions, though. I found the same in LOTRO.)

There are trial keys available in both GW and LOTRO, so that you can give them a try before you buy. There is a sticky thread in the GW Division for key requests.

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Old 19th December 2008, 02:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think the only reservation I have about Guild Wars is that I have a hard time seeing it as an mmorpg. To me it feels more like Diablo with a pvp component, since the only places you see all the other players are the hubs. Guild Wars is a good game, but there is no persistent world that you explore since everything is instanced. It's just more like a multiplayer action rpg. Doesn't mean it's not fun, I just don't think it qualifies as an mmorpg.
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Old 19th December 2008, 02:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Most of the free to play games end up being nothing more than a grindfest. Often the communities are sub-par as well, in my experience at least. McMuttons nailed it though, community and who you play with are the deciding factors in all MMO's. Findd some people who you enjoy playing FPS with, who also play MMO's and get the game they play.

As far as which game is most newb friendly, I would have to say LOTRO has the best new player orientation I have seen. I've been playing it on and off since it was in alpha (unfortunately on a non TOG server because I have a couple rl friends that I play with) and can vouch for its enjoyability.
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