Every week we try to sit down and discuss hotly debated topics, ask silly questions, and answer questions we hear a lot while gaming in FAQ. This weeks question is definitely in the silly category and is inspired by this tweet.
If you had to give one game to an alien species to describe humanity, which game would it be? pic.twitter.com/J8HQjE5fSa
— Kongregate (@kongregate) July 9, 2015
We’ll assume that aliens have been introduced to games, or perhaps even just normal humans who haven’t been fans of gaming.
So this weeks frequently asked question is this..
What is the best/easiest MMO to introduce a noob (or alien in this case) to MMO Gaming?
Dan: What MMOs would I show to an Alien? Destiny. Why? Because it’s best to show the turds that if they cross us we’re willing to send wave after wave of dancing murder robots at them with only a bored sounding Peter Dinklage as the sound track. Ok that was a Silly answer, but really the best way I find to introduce a newcomer to the MMO Scene is actually not even an MMO.
Yes saying Warcraft or Rift is probably the correct answer since one of them is by far the most newcomer friendly MMO yet to be designed and the other pretty much copied the first one (My wife will likely murder me for that joke) my actual answer to this would be Dragon Age Inquisition. While you could argue that not only is it either Multiplayer nor Online and that I am a dumb idiot for suggesting it, anyone who has played the game would tell you that it is littered with MMO tropes and quests. The Hinterlands is probably the best example of this and certainly adds the “Massive” part of the initialism, every smaller area is loaded with 10-20 Kill 10 X or Find lazy peons items he has for some reason lost. Add to that stat and gear management, a cast bar of spell combos and an extensive talent tree and a plethora of some of the newer additions to MMO’s like exploring a large land mass to find travel points, Collectables and mounts. After playing through the main game you actually have a pretty good idea at any MMO you would likely then turn your hand to. And why should you pick this over another MMO to start? Because Warcraft doesn’t have Ironbull or Sera in them, and they are poorer for that.
Laguna: For the introducing a newb/alien to an MMO: For released games, I'd say Guild Wars 2. Combat's like a slightly slower adventure game, so I think non-gamers can understand it better, and there's so much hand holding on the map that it's very accessible, plus there's a good deal of information online. It's pretty enough, graphically speaking, and there's a good mixture of content to ease people into.
For unreleased games, I'd say Albion Online (so far). Despite being more PvP oriented, my time in the alpha made it feel like it could be a game successful in the mobile market if it were mobile exclusive, and... well, to be blunt, I think there's a reason mobile is doing well (I still love you mobile gamers, but I want you to experience more depth!). You're going to want fine-tuned controls for any serious PvP, and with the ability to loot people or capture territory, yeah, it's got a serious side. Even still, the controls are pretty basic, and the game play felt straightforward.
Nick: I personally think that one of the most noob-friendly MMOs on the market is Guild Wars 2. Transitioning from the typical single-player experience, or even casual games, can be overwhelming. MMOs are generally more complicated, dynamic, and have some really frustrating nuances. Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have many of the same problems that are traditionally found in MMORPGs.
First off, you can move around and attack/cast at the same time. When attempting to introduce my girlfriend to World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, she had a difficult time of not being able to kite mobs as a black mage. She was used to games like Zelda and Fable where she could simultaneously cast spells and run away from enemies. This simple mechanic is more than enough to drive some potential players away from the genre, but it’s generally not an issue in Guild Wars 2.
Another selling point for Guild Wars 2 is that it’s both modern and casual. That’s not to say that there isn’t hard core content in both PvE and PvP, but it’s much easier for someone who’s new to enjoy the experience while not being pressured to raid four days a week. The storyline is rather interesting, there’s character development, the “holy trinity” isn’t heavily enforced, and there are enjoyable things to do that aren’t usually associated with MMORPG “end game.” Furthermore, Guild Wars 2 is aesthetically beautiful and doesn’t force new players to sacrifice visuals for function. Trying to get someone to play Runescape or Lineage for the first time is probably not a good idea in 2015. The balance of pleasing visuals, friendly mechanics, and interesting plot allow Guild Wars 2 to be a great beginning MMORPG
Murf: If I wanted to introduce someone to MMO games, I wouldn't start with a MMO. I'd start with Minecraft and Borderlands (or any other RPG-lite with solid coop play and a reliance on looting). Even as a genre veteran, entering a new world can be a daunting and debilitating task. You don't speak the language and you don't know where anything is located. It's all new and most MMOs are terrible at introducing themselves.
I think Minecraft is a must because you need to be certain that they have the will/interest/drive to explore a completely alien territory. The sandbox aspects help too. MMOs are about building something of yourself, and figuring out what you want to take from the experience in your own unique way. Minecraft is perfect for that. It also has excellent cooperative play and offers an excellent introduction into exploration, crafting, and playing despite a lack of obvious goals.
Borderlands (or, again, something similar) is to introduce this alien gamer to playing different roles, fiddling with a simplified version of RPG progression, and learning to love loot and hate the RNG Gods. Diablo III would be an excellent start too. The idea here is you need a game that compliments something like Minecraft in helping to teach and foster some of the key attachments that will get them hooked by a solid MMO.
Obviously there are ways to go about it, but that's where I would start.
So there you have it. How would you introduce someone so new to MMOs they may not even be of this Earth to the genre? What would be your best introductory MMO?