By Matt Garman
There are a lot of people who just can’t seem to get into the world of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MORPG’s)—I’m not one of them, considering how many hours I’ve devoted to Final Fantasy 14 in the last year.
All that time spent in a virtual community has helped me to discover a few key things people don’t always think of when they want to try out one of these intimidatingly intensive games:
Bring (or make) a friend – MMORPG literally stands for “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.” One would think that experiencing the game with a friend would be obvious—and yet most people who try out MMO’s don’t bring buddies! They don’t interact with the community at large and generally try to play the game by themselves. Some people find this fun, but for most, running around on their own can get boring.
MMO’s are meant to be experienced with others. A proper social experience within your game’s community can make everything more fun. You share laughs and frustrations and form a bond, increasing the amount of fun you have when you play. Having even a few friends to play with can literally triple (or more!) the amount of time you actually enjoy spending in the virtual world.
Get into the world – A game is normally only fun until the mechanics wear thin, and it’s no secret that most MMO’s have a relatively standard formula for player experience. While this is true with most games, MMO’s don’t tend to try as hard to dress up every quest due to the sheer volume of things to do. You get a blurb of text and an objective marker, then you’re sent off into the world to complete the quest.
This is another secret that really isn’t so secret, and yet most people just don’t seem to care—even a lot of the MMO crowd. You know the ones. They’re the people who hop over to every new MMO because they experienced the entire game in a month. They always have to move on to other things because they ran out of things to do—even in a game that was designed to entertain people for months and sometimes years!
Those people are often not invested enough in the lore of the game. MMO’s are, in fact, considered roleplaying games, and many of them have well-crafted stories that are designed to tell you more about the world you’re invested in if you’ll only take the time to experience it. Understanding the world helps you to care about it, and if you care about it you’ll look forward to logging in and adventuring in it once again.
Be Respectful – “What does this have to do with getting more out of a game?” Well, first off if you’re asking this right now, you should know that I can’t actually hear you, and have instead just guessed what you were going to ask beforehand. Second, it’s actually possibly the most relevant piece of advice I can give.
If you’ve spent ten minutes on the internet you’ve seen the people who think they don’t need to be polite just because they aren’t talking to someone face to face. Those people are just as common on online games, including MMO’s. They spend a lot of time yelling and throwing blame at people for why they aren’t having fun, when in fact they are the ones making the game miserable for themselves.
The key is not to be that guy (or possibly that girl! Girls pretty common in MMO’s whether they admit it or not). If you can take things in stride and just be a generally pleasant person to talk to, it’s pretty easy to make friends who would love to play with you again (just like the first tip says to do!). A group of people can have a great time, but one jerk can often bring down the rest of the players. Making the environment one you would enjoy goes much further than you’d think.
If you’re serious about getting into an MMO, following these tips is a great way to get started. Who knows? Maybe you’ll finally see why so many people love playing in these massive online communities.