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[Column] General: Newbies

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,571MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Everyone was, at one time or another, a newbie in their chosen MMO. How those newbs are treated can literally make or break a game. In his latest column, Matt Miller takes on the issue of Newbies and much more. Read on and then share some of your newbie experiences in the comments.

When I played Star Wars: The Old Republic I was usually the one answering newbies’ questions on the Rebel Fleet; telling them where the skill respec NPC can be found, or what gathering skills went with what professions. A lot of time, however, players would simply tell the asker to “look it up” or be even ruder in their replies. I know when I am just starting out playing a game (especially if it’s been around awhile and it seems like everyone is a veteran) that I am wary of asking “newbie” questions for fear of getting the rude answers. I usually wait to see if someone else gets a polite response before I chime in with my own questions. I wish this didn’t have to be the case.

Read more of Matt Miller's Newbies.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,451Member Uncommon

    In Lineage 2 I would completely gear new players in bronze armor and a Falchion (or whatever the corresponding mage equipment etc)

    I once saw a player in the "Ruins of Despair" (I think that was it) and gave him a million adena. If I'm not mistaken he rose to become one of the more powerful players on the server.

    Another time there was a player who started but was unsure whether he watned to continue the game. I told him about some of the places and how neat they were and his interest really was piqued. So I decided to take him on a world tour, paid for his travel and just took him to many higher level areas. since I was high level at the time, there wasn't much that I couldn't handle so I was able to take him to many places in the game world.

    Even if he died because some mob targeted him first I would rez him. It was a fun time.

    As for my experience I usually keep to myself as a new player unless I'm playing with friends. If I have a question I'll go to the forums as I have little patience with some of the attitudes that inhabit these games. Still, it's always a pleasure when you run into one of the "good ones".

     

  • MagefistMagefist BerlinPosts: 13Member
    When I started playing SWG only newbies existed, especially back at the time we haven't had fancy Wiki sites that thought about our game of choice.

    I remember so many instances of helping newbies for half a day and eventually them joining our guild, becoming a valueable member of our society.

    It really is not worth to rant at somebody trying to figure out a GAME. Just think of it as a school, would you have liked to be laughted at because you asked a question obvious to everyone?
  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,923Member Uncommon

    While its different for each game, typically most people aren't against helping newbies out. Asking a simple question in chat that isn't an obvious detail or could be tricky isn't something I am above. The term newbie and noob are two different things to me, newbie more just a new player while noob is a player that is just usually... horrible. They could be new but most often they are just clueless people that... /cringe. 

    Over-all, I think people should be comfortable being new with a game. You don't need to be a master at it, so long as you are trying and you aren't just being a leech on others, most people shouldn't really mind you.

  • psysentionpsysention BrisbanePosts: 17Member

    around year 2001 i started mmo gaming with UO..

    i got into game, 30 min later i understand the basics and got killed by PKs at minoc mine during mining.. than i understand pvp part of the game is where the fun is.. i got blade spirit scroll, used it at minoc mines.. became PK ,  than it took me couple hours to find Buc's den.. Afterwards i grinded my toon as PK, never became blue..  

    I was amateur mmo player for a day or two, i can admit that.. besides that, i think being newbie is not about experience, its about personality... A person can have ultimate experience in something but that won't make him pro.. if he is a noob, he will always be a noob.. being noob is not about experience, its all about state of mind..

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Even with all my years of playing games, I tend to be nervous entering a mature game for the first time, fearing I will be set upon by predatory scammers or that some well-meaning person will drop a million of their surplus gold me, rendering moot the game's entire low-level progression.

    Conversely, I find I am often hesitent to help new players for fear they are trolling me or are seeking a handout (even on this very board, I find myself looking at a post and wondering "are you lost, trolling or attempting some subtle viral marketting").

    I fear that my experiences with both ends of the new player experience have done little to improve my more cynical worries about humanity.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon

    Bad people are bad, either from upbringing and environment or they are just born that way.  Asking them to change is pointless, because they can’t or won’t.  But you hinted at the solution, /ignore them, shun them, and exclude them.  True, the isolation may nourish their hatred, but like most animals it will starve their being. They have no place in a social society.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and tolerating them will not cause this sickness to spread.  You don’t become evil, simply from being around evil do you?

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • CodenakCodenak HullPosts: 418Member Common

    I was a newbie in Eve Online.

    I followed a friend into Eve from another game, and for a while they would help out and show me some of the ropes but they wanted to get on with their career in Eve and liked doing alliance warfare so i kinda needed some more help.

    I found out about Eve University, a corp that was dedicated to showing the new pilots what Eve could actually be. At the time a guy called Morning Maniac was the founder and CEO, he also funded it in large part. There i found a group of people who were willing to give up time in the game that they all payed for themselves to help others. They taught me about mining (ninja mining was a rush), they taught me how to fit a ship and more importantly the theories of ship fitting, they taught me what to do in a gang and in a fleet, the theories of combat in Eve. They taught me how to manufacture and how to explore. They taught me what was needed to run a corp.

    With Eve University I fought in a large scale campaign (TBB vs MC) as a lowly tackler, it was intense and boring at the same time, I became invested in the game through these people. The learning curve of Eve at the time (and somewhat still to this day) is known to very very steep and opportunities to carve out a niche for yourself were great. These people helped me to get a very very good grasp on what Eve was and what it could be. I stayed with EU for a time, helping the next generations of new pilots. I loved my time there, they made Eve glitter in grandeur for me and I was bathed in glowing community.

    People who help with the newbies count yourselves as special, because your are, you can make a game glitter in grandeur for them as these people did for me.

  • MondoA2JMondoA2J Henderson, NVPosts: 258Member

    My wife and me were playing SWTOR which I had played for years  and she was interested in giving MMOs a shot again.

    Leveling was fun and she had a blast til we got to the first flashpoint.

    We pugged it and the other 2 players who were the same level btw. Total asshats. Wanted to skip all the convo's and all the scenes.  It was awful. By the end of it one of the party members insulted my wife cause she didn't heal them. Now if you played the first flashpoint, you know its kinda brain dead easy and the guy didn't even die. He was just being a d*ck for no reason. I swiftly reported him and that was the end of it.

    Needless to say. We don't play SWTOR anymore. The MMO community I believe is a rotten apple. Pretty much asshats bound freely now.

    I find myself playing more for the features and innovations in MMOs then actually wanting to play with other people.

    MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!

  • BrucyBonusBrucyBonus londonPosts: 220Member

    The sort of people who are rude in response to newbie questions are the same sort of people who trot out tired lines like 'I don't suffer fools gladly'.  They wear this demeanor as proof of intellect and general superiority when in reality it just means they need to be taught a few manners.  

  • General-ZodGeneral-Zod Zod, CAPosts: 743Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Konfess

    Bad people are bad, either from upbringing and environment or they are just born that way.  Asking them to change is pointless, because they can’t or won’t.  But you hinted at the solution, /ignore them, shun them, and exclude them.  True, the isolation may nourish their hatred, but like most animals it will starve their being. They have no place in a social society.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and tolerating them will not cause this sickness to spread.  You don’t become evil, simply from being around evil do you?

    Its a scientific fact...

    Essentially you are who you hang around, if you have an athletic body and you play basketball... both your athlectic ability and skill will improve playing with players of greater skill than your own. Same applies with the negative aspect of life... if all you do is hang around people that glorify things such as (speaking negatively about others, Stealing from stores, Fighting) these things will rub off on you. Even spending alot of time with a person one could pick up on their body language or catch phrases.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • LordKyellanLordKyellan Lee, NHPosts: 160Member
    I literally will not touch a MOBA for this very reason. No LoL, no HoN and no DotA2 for me... I get enough abuse in life, I do not need to subject myself to those communities.

    --------

    "Give a man a fire, and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he is warm for the rest of his life."

  • dorugudorugu falkenbergPosts: 165Member Uncommon
    well i usually help newbs get thru the 1st flashpoint on the way towards coruscant after all im so high i can solo it :) i let him/her get all loot all i ask of th player is to comeback n help another person later when he/shes higher lvld :) for i wus helped once when i wus new so y shuldnt i help others?
  • lostscout5lostscout5 patchogue, NYPosts: 57Member
    When I start a new game I like to do as much as possible solo, till I get at least mid level. I like to be able to contribute when I start grouping. But whenever I can help out a noob I will, regardless of my level. I'm old fashioned that way. I like to help others, but I don't like to ask for help. 
  • OberholzerOberholzer Hasbrouck Heights, NJPosts: 498Member
    I always enjoy helping out newbs when I can. I also really enjoy it myself in a new game being a newb. Discovering things a new game, good times.
  • sketocafesketocafe StoupaPosts: 801Member Uncommon
    I enjoy helping out newbies. I do it a lot in EvE. We get a bad rap there but newbs have to understand that we're more than willing to give answers to questions and  actual help when it's not too much trouble, but we don't give any sympathy. We don't have any. So take your lumps like the rest of us and learn from your setbacks but don't go whining about them. Also there is no best ship for anything, except the Tristan is best at looking awesome.
  • SandricSandric Austin, TXPosts: 103Member Uncommon
    Been a newbie in alot of games.  I am kinda obstinate and prideful so rarely ask for help and often times just like being alone.  If someone wants to help, I will accept usually.  That said, I try to pay attention to chat for those who need help once I am less newbish.  And I never refuse to answer a direct /tell from someone.  This often makes me the 'loner' in the guild.  You know the one that will always drop what they are doing if someone needs help with items or raids, etc but usually is off doing his own thing.

    Major or Current Characters
    AC - The Brute lvl 85 macer -HG (retired)
    SWG - Lihone Su'alkn Master Ranger/ MCH - Flurry (Retired)
    EVE - Sulone - Cruiser Lover (Retired)
    LOTRO - Sandric lvl 50 Burg (and others)- Brandywine (Retired)
    GW2 - Sandric lvl 80 Thief - Dragonbrand (Retired)
    NeverWinter - Sandric lvl 60 Rogue - Dragonshard (Retired)
    Archage - Sandric lvl 50 everything - Naima (Active)
    Others (Lots) (Retired)

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    "A lot of time, however, players would simply tell the asker (sic) to “look it up” or be even ruder in their replies."

    Doesn't have to be rude. The vets always know where the web resources are; newbies can benefit if you direct them to a site where they can look things up. Give a man a fish, or teach him to fish...

    Fortunately true newbies are really a very rare experience, after fifteen years of mmos.

    But Hardcore Culture seems to almost require information delivery to always be accompanied with the proper amount of condescension, or even direct insult. You'll see the same posters bemoaning the loss of community an hour later...

    ---

    "I’d love to hear your own “newbie” stories from games you’ve played, both the good experiences and the bad ones."

    Which leads to a novel about the Mentor Society and one game's solution to newbies. But that kind of investment in newbies is out of style with current game producers (who want to spend as little on Customer Experience as humanly possible).

    So these days, it generally lands in the hands of moderators (forum or in-game); keep the vets from eating the rare true newbies alive.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • JagaridJagarid West Covina, CAPosts: 415Member
    It would help newbies if so many players were not so dam lazy. I regularly see questions in chat in games where that question was answered by a tutorial pop-up the had to click on be at a point where they would have the question. To many players are too lazy to READ, but they expect others to take the time to answer them. This is the source and reason for so many of the rude answers.
    I tend to be a player who tries to take the time to politely help new players, but I totally understand where the rude responders are coming from.
  • MalerathMalerath PrestwickPosts: 1Member

    I have noticed an increasing trend in the situation that Jagarid describes above. I agree that there is, in my opinion, no situation which warrants making the experience of a game less enjoyable to someone acceptable - and, as Matt says, surely this is always counterproductive to the game?  However this does go hand-in-hand with an increasing "instant gratification and less effort invested" culture that is growing up in MMOs.

    For me, the ideal solution seems to be to practice tolerance but encourage independence. I would not reply rudely to someone and indeed challenge many who do so; but when giving the requested information I also point the requester in the direction of a website that contains solid and well-updated information and guides.

    Granted, some of those who start a game only seem to want to know the bare bones information so they can do X or Y as quickly and/or efficiently as possible. You can usually spot them by the classic "Which class is the best?" question in General chat; but I don't doubt that there are several "newbies" out there who want to glean as much information and enjoyment as possible out of their MMO experience but often aren't aware of all the possible ways in which they can do this. Making them aware of some of the extra depth and intricacy of their chosen game may well help to make them more invested in it and appreciate the helping of others a little bit more themselves.

  • AyulinAyulin Mt marion, NYPosts: 334Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Another time there was a player who started but was unsure whether he watned to continue the game. I told him about some of the places and how neat they were and his interest really was piqued. So I decided to take him on a world tour, paid for his travel and just took him to many higher level areas. since I was high level at the time, there wasn't much that I couldn't handle so I was able to take him to many places in the game world.

    Not sure if it's me, or someone else you're talking about here, but I was at least one person  you did this for. It was back in C3, I had finally found the game to be more of what I was looking to play, but was having trouble due to the lowbie gankers hovering around Dark Elven Village, making it literally impossible to make progress.

     

    I knew L2 was a bitter and (at least then) unforgiving PvP MMO, so I had to delusions of "gaming in complete safety". That sense of danger ever-looming was part of the game's allure to me back then. But there are limits, even for someone prepared for and fine with the occasional gank, and there were people who were certainly pushing me to the edges of it. I'm not interested in paying a sub to become someone's full-time "cheap entertainment".

     

    I'd brought it to the forums and asked what I could do about it and, to my surprise (and in a move I've yet to see repeated in any other PvP MMO), instead of being berated and chided with "lolcarebear" or "go play WoW" or whatever other types of absurd replies, the veteran players actually stepped up and said "Yeah, we know it's a problem. We're trying to get them to stop, because people are leaving the game before they've had a chance to see what it's all about, and it's becoming top heavy. But, they're not listening". 

     

    Veterans actively trying to make the game a better experience for new players.. How often do you see that?

     

    A few people asked me to tell them where I was and let them know when it was happening, and they'd be out there to deal with it. One of those people was Sovrath, whom followed up on it and did exactly as he stated... took me on a tour of Aden, seeing all the higher level areas. I recall being killed by a flying wyrm/wyvern type mob out near Antharas Lair somewhere lol.

     

    He also gave me some very helpful advice (such as, how not to be scammed, etc) and it certainly did give me a much more positive outlook on the game and I wound up sticking around. I didn't become one of the more powerful players, but I certainly do rank L2 (old school L2, pre GoD) as one of my all-time favorite MMOs.

     

    Might not have happened if someone wasn't willing to take the time to help a new player out as Sov did. I'd have probably become one of those people who find it to be not worth the aggravation and just stopped playing altogether, especially had the community response been what it usually is when a new player talks about being repeatedly ganked/griefed.

     

    I've always hoped to see that kind of support of new players, and the willingness to recognize the long-term damage an unhelpful or rude playerbase can do to a MMO. It's seldom seen, though.

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon

    I was in a guild on a WoW RP server whose sole purpose was to help newbies. We were trained to park our toons at the initial zone in point and look for ways to engage new players and be helpful with bags, gear and/or answers to questions.

     

    Most of the new characters created were alts or gold sellers but when you could find a new player and help, it was a great feeling.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Jaedor

    I was in a guild on a WoW RP server whose sole purpose was to help newbies. We were trained to park our toons at the initial zone in point and look for ways to engage new players and be helpful with bags, gear and/or answers to questions.

     Most of the new characters created were alts or gold sellers but when you could find a new player and help, it was a great feeling.

    Mentor Society experience in a nutshell. A high rate of "nope, don't need any help" failures, but you do remember the gems.

    We had a bit of help from constant backchannel GM support and mentor-specific mechanics; you've got a harder field to plow doing it strictly on your own.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • Quazal.AQuazal.A PrestonPosts: 493Member Uncommon

    Ive played a fair few MMO and only stopped around (more than 3months) in 3, and of these 3 all them had good player help be it on the forum or in game channels

     

    Primarily  the best for new player help in MY experience is EvE online ,from the Channel that you start in "new player help" to the "CCP hired player helpers" called "ISO" (i was one for a short time) to the Corporations and even in local players.

    The help i have given and received is both a joy or makes life easier, whilst normally i do not give 'free' things to newer players, advice is always free, but one person i was chatting too in private and whilst chatting he lost his first hauler to ganker, so i sent him somet like 50mill iskies to get him going (very insignifigant amount in big scheme of things) then he thanked me and went on his way.

    We kept in touch a little occasionally sending me a mail, then one day after a weekend away i noticed my wallet had gone up significantly when i checked he had sent me 2.5bill iskies, and a mail that said somet like "HAd i not gave him the 50m to buy a new ship and helped in the first few weeks he wouldn't still be in game" he turned out to be a CEO of a mid sized nullsec corp

    So whilst i had completly forgot about the 50m i got it back 50x 

     

    But some games especialyl more recent ones the lack of player help, or even player conversation in public channels is almost disturbingly bad, In fact even today i logged in to try "firefall" asked a question in the chat to be met with 3 responses of "found out yourself" (generic response)

     

     

    EDIT **

     

    since posting this i then get this notifce on my facebook account that sums what people say about this game

    http://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/eve-university-summer-classes-begin/

    This post is all my opinion, but I welcome debate on anything i have put, however, personal slander / name calling belongs in game :) were of course your welcome to call me names im often found lounging about in EvE online.
    Use this code for 21days trial in eve online https://secure.eveonline.com/trial/?invc=d385aff2-794a-44a4-96f1-3967ccf6d720&action=buddy

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ayulin
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Another time there was a player who started but was unsure whether he watned to continue the game. I told him about some of the places and how neat they were and his interest really was piqued. So I decided to take him on a world tour, paid for his travel and just took him to many higher level areas. since I was high level at the time, there wasn't much that I couldn't handle so I was able to take him to many places in the game world.

    A few people asked me to tell them where I was and let them know when it was happening, and they'd be out there to deal with it. One of those people was Sovrath, whom followed up on it and did exactly as he stated... took me on a tour of Aden, seeing all the higher level areas. I recall being killed by a flying wyrm/wyvern type mob out near Antharas Lair somewhere lol.

     

    lol, yes I do remember you. Sorry about the death ; )

    I'm glad that I could be of help. I'm also glad that we "established" players could make your experience one that was memorable and enjoyable.

  • QuantumsongQuantumsong Northbrook, ILPosts: 2Member
    The city of heroes community won best MMO community for a reason I am still looking for any other community that feels like playing with a group of friends. Whether you were a newbie or a returning player the vast majority of players were willing to help and teach others.

    I think some people come online and see it as an oppotunity to treat others as badly as life has treated them instead of being the best person they can be and getting possitive reinforcement from others. Perhaps it was just chance that the community did contain a lot of women, couples, and families or maybe a place where everyone felt welcome also sustains a community composed of welcoming people. It wasn't G rated by any means, but there was a spirit of inclusion and family that I will never forget. Developer involvement also shows in a game. It was a special and even with the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia taken off, yes welcome your new players and carve out inclusive communities, because every new player you drive away from your game through abhorant behavior is one less member of your community and maybe even one more person who decides MMO communities are awful and not worth it. If you would like real life friends, family members, signifigant others, and even your children playing, when they are old enough, remember that every player is a real human being not just a collection of pixels or an enemy to destroy and maybe MMO communities would feel more like communities who *want* new members.
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