No Noob Is an Island: How to convert your friends into MMO Players

When it's time to get your friend, significant other, or that guy you just sort of know into MMO's, don't start in the deep end of the pool. Choose the game carefully based on complexity and their interests. Even if they are single-player savvy, don't assume that they understand that gameplay continues without them. Don't hold their hand so much that they don't learn things on their own, and don't introduce them to PvP too early. Follow those steps, and you'll have a new in-game buddy in no time.

“What’s this Warcraft thing everyone’s talking about?”

Recommended Videos

The moment has finally arrived. Someone close to you has decided to leap into the MMORPG universe. Naturally, you’re overjoyed.

And, possibly, also terrified.

How are you going to approach this? Will your friend, spouse, or even child like your favorite MMO? Will he want to play past the first hour? Or will he throw his hands up in frustration when he gets killed by the first goblin that crosses his path?

We’re always interested in seeing more people share our hobby, and the approach we take in indoctrinating new victims – I mean, players – will vary with the people and the game. But here are some general tips to make the process go a little more smoothly and to make the experience more enjoyable for all.

 

Pick the right game

This may or may not be the game you play the most. Sure, you’d like to have your friend play what you play, but let’s face it: EVE Online isn’t for first-time MMO-ers.

Obviously, you’ll want to pick something that your friend finds interesting. If he’s not into Star Wars, then The Old Republic isn’t going to be his cup of bantha milk.

Even though they’re not the chic pick nowadays, you might want to go with a fairly straightforward theme park, with glowy symbols over NPCs’ heads to indicate where to go and what to do.

And it’s not a bad idea to start off with a free-to-play game, or at least one that offers a decent-sized free trial. That way, if your friend doesn’t like it, at least he’s not out 50 bucks.

 

Don’t assume anything

Your friend might have played hundreds of hours of Skyrim or Dragon Age or Final Fantasy, so he’s at least familiar with the concept of RPGs. MMORPGs share many of the same concepts, and even controls, but there are important differences – and even innocuous things that may trip them up.

I remember reading about someone who introduced a friend – a solid gamer who’d never played an MMO – to World of Warcraft. The friend was nearly killed by a fire – not from a monster, but just an everyday campfire in a town that slowly chipped away at her health.

By now, when you see little negative numbers drift by over your character’s head, you’re conditioned to find out what they are and why they’re there, and to get away from whatever’s causing them. But a simple “tell” like that might be completely off the radar of someone new to MMOs.

I once told a friend that the biggest difference between a single-player RPG and an MMO was that there’s no pause button. Single-player gamers might be used to having the time to make their decisions and not having to deal with real-time crises with half a hundred skills at their disposal. It might seem natural to you now, but it can be very intimidating to first-time players.

 

But give them some freedom

On the other hand, you don’t want to tell your friend everything.

After showing him the basics – unless he wants to figure it all out on his own – give him the freedom to decide what quests to do, where to explore, and so on. Feel free to advise on things that will matter in the long term, such as crafting disciplines (“Your mage isn’t going to want to make heavy armor”), and alert him if he’s doing something incredibly wrong, like taking his level 10 character into a level 50 zone.

But for the most part, let him make his own decisions – and mistakes. Nobody wants to be led around by the nose, and if he wants to stand around and stare at the pretty scenery for a while, don’t be in a rush to move on. You were probably the same way the first time you played, too.

 

To PvP or not to PvP?

PvP is something you’ll have to handle on an individual basis, but unless your friend considers himself “hardcore” – and if he’s just starting to play MMOs, he’s probably not – you’ll probably want to avoid PvP for a while.

That means rolling on a PvE server and generally avoiding instanced PvP and the like for a while. Nothing dampens one’s enthusiasm for a new game faster than getting repeatedly ganked

That said, if your friend’s into Call of Duty or Team Fortress 2 and wants nothing more than to rush in and start beating the snot out of other people – hey, maybe you’re the one who will have to keep up!

Just make sure he understands that PvP in many MMOs is gear-based, not skill-based. Even if he gets used to the controls and the gameplay, he might have a long, slow grind before he can match up, one-on-one, with the top players. It’s a concept that’s mostly foreign to the FPS crowd but is still widely prevalent in MMOs.

After you’ve both got a solid hand on the mechanics, have wasted other players in PvP, and have committed mass dragoncide, your friend will be ready to move on without you. It’s OK – you’ve introduced someone into a new and exciting world, full of possibilities and fun.

And, once your friend feels all smug and confident, then you can introduce him to EVE Online.

It’ll probably go something like this.


GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article 10 Best Food and Cooking Mods for Stardew Valley
Farmer holding cake in the field
Read Article Best Sims 4 CC From Pinterest
Sims character lounging with menus for more traits and interactions
Read Article Best Quality of Life Features Coming in Destiny 2: The Final Shape
The Witness's fortress in The Pale Heart in Destiny 2
Read Article The 10 Best Games Like Fallout
Read Article Is Ma June in the Fallout Games? Dale Dickey’s Character, Explained
Ma June, played by Dale Dickey, talking to Lucy in the Amazon Fallout TV Series.
Related Content
Read Article 10 Best Food and Cooking Mods for Stardew Valley
Farmer holding cake in the field
Read Article Best Sims 4 CC From Pinterest
Sims character lounging with menus for more traits and interactions
Read Article Best Quality of Life Features Coming in Destiny 2: The Final Shape
The Witness's fortress in The Pale Heart in Destiny 2
Read Article The 10 Best Games Like Fallout
Read Article Is Ma June in the Fallout Games? Dale Dickey’s Character, Explained
Ma June, played by Dale Dickey, talking to Lucy in the Amazon Fallout TV Series.
Author
Jason Winter
Jason Winter is a riddle wrapped inside a burrito, smothered in hot sauce. Mmm... burrito...