A Beginner’s Guide to Playing a Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game

It wasn’t really so long ago that I, myself, was an Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMO) newbie. I had significant help in my first introduction to true multiplayer gaming from a knowledgable significant other – but not everyone out there has such luck. It is very easy to become intimidated by the thought of an MMO, from the large scale worlds most of these games are centered around to the varieties and kinds of people you will meet during your days of gaming.

First and foremost, you must choose an MMO you wish to play. Now this step is probably the easiest one. Most individuals get into MMOs because of a desire to play with a group of friends, a commercial they see or recommendations on various websites. But if you’re stuck at this step, consider doing the following:

  • Consider what game titles are out there. Currently, the larger MMOs are World of Warcraft, Everquest, Everquest 2, City of Heroes, City of Villians, Star Wars Galaxies, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars and Dark Age of Camelot. There are several other choices out there but these are a few that are better known and have larger player bases.
  • Try looking at reviews for various MMOs. Gamespy is a good place to start.
  • Look at screenshots from various games. Often you can find screenshots at the main homepage for a particular MMO game. If not, try looking on Google or Allakhazam.

With most MMOs, you pay per month to play. This price varies from MMO to MMO, the only current mainstream exception being Guild Wars, which is free to play.

You may also opt to take advantage of some other free-to-play MMOs. MPOGL maintains a list of free-to-play MMOs. Most free MMOs so not have the graphical quality of the pay-to-play mainstream ones, with the exception of Guild Wars. If you want to try out the gameplay style unique to MMOs or don’t want to pay a fee every month, free-to-play games are your best bet.

Once you have decided on a game, you must pick what you wish to play. In some MMOs, this entails picking both a race and class, in some merely a gender and class. However your chosen MMO works in this department, it’s important that you take the following into consideration:

  • Are you planning to play with friends? Some games, such as World of Warcraft, have restrictions on who you can and can’t interact with in-game. If you want to play with your friends then, you must consider whether you have to be in the same race/class/etc. as your friends.
  • Think about your particular playing style. Do you like to be in front of the attack, charging into enemies? Do you like to act as support, aiding allies in their attacks? Are you better at sneak attacks and being discreet, striking at the perfect moment? Do you like more physical combat or more magical? Thinking about your playing style helps you decide on the character that will best suite you and help you enjoy your gameplay.

Once you have decided on your character and gone through character creation, it’s time to start playing! Typically you’ll start out on easy to complete quests to get you introduced to the game and mechanics of playing.

If you get confused, remember to keep the manual you got with your game handy. You can also want to ask other players in-game for help but don’t be suprised if you recieve less than warm responses.

MMOs are a good way to enjoy leisure time. They also allow you to interact with friends no matter how far or close they may be! Who knows, you may just make some new friends as well.

Let me close out this by giving you a few general do’s and don’ts when beginning to play in an MMO and interacting with other players.

  • Don’t ask for money/equipment/etc. This is referred to as ‘begging’ in most games and is looked down upon. There’s no better way to ensure that no one will help you than to beg them for some gold/gil/silver/etc.
  • Do try to be polite. Remember, games are there to be fun. While some individuals may not be polite to you, it’s best to just ignore them and continue on without stooping to their level.
  • Don’t take anything that is not rightfully yours. This is often referred to as ‘ninja-ing’, ‘ninjaed’ or ‘to be a ninja’ and stands for someone who takes equipment/items left by killed enemies when they are not supposed to. This often happens in groups and is a source of major hositility. If you become known as a ninja, don’t expect to find grouping an easy task.
  • Do use proper grammar and complete sentences when speaking. While this isn’t a must-do, often you will be taken more seriously and respected more by others if you show maturity through how you type and form sentences.

Above all else, have fun playing and remember that this is only a game.

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