The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite small act of kindness from a stranger in an MMO?

At one point in Final Fantasy XI, I was stuck in Ordelle’s Caves. A friend had been helping me get my RSE deep within the caves, and then he had to log off… and I was stuck without a map or any guidance, far too low-level to get out. But then a high-level Thief saw me, partied with me, and helped guide me out while I kept myself in Sneak and Invisible behind her.

I never saw her again, or if I did, I didn’t recognize her and she didn’t recognize me. But she still did something really kind for me, and I’ve never forgotten that.

Today, let’s be good about that. The best MMO experiences are built upon a thousand small acts of kindness. The Warrior in World of Warcraft who doesn’t roll on the armor piece you want because it’s a bigger upgrade for you. The Inquisitor who stops and helps you fight off a group of enemies in Star Wars: The Old Republic while you’re on your Trooper. Even just the nasty-looking cruiser in EVE Online that could demolish your mining ship but chooses to let you go by. So what’s your favorite small act of kindness from a stranger in an MMO?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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31 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite small act of kindness from a stranger in an MMO?"

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rafterman

Way back in the day, when I first started played EQ, some guy walked up to me and handed me a Bronze Breastplate, which at the time was a pretty amazing item for a lowbie like myself. Then he showed me around, kept me from getting killed a few times, and then waved goodbye and took off. Pretty cool.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

In WoW, i was fishing in Stormwind with low level alt, someone flying to me, opened trade window, gave me so many items and gold, i took it all, i was about to say thank you but he went away flying .. i could not even whisper to him! does this count? because i thought he was about to delete his character and wanted to give away his things and gold … i think it counts.

Loyheta
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Loyheta

When I had to start over on a new server in WoW. A guy gave me a server warming gift of 10g and a full set of netherweave bags. This was during tBC so it was a nice gift.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Bags and gold, most helpful for sure, bag space is so good when you have it, no need to worry about full bags while leveling.

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Vierz

When I started playing LOTRO, I played a lot to buy my first home in hobbiton.
When I did a stranger asked for permissions to decorate my home, I did. I logged back in the next day and my home was full of decoration, the walls with wallpapers, beer kegs. I contacted the guy and he welcomed me to LOTRO and asked back to disable the permissions.
One of the best welcome to a new game

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Some jerk tricked me into taking a random portal when I was a really low level in Asheron’s Call 1. I had a really cool crossbow and some “rare” (to me, at my level) pelts on me I didn’t want to lose if I died. To make matters worse, 13 year old me had to log out soon to let me brother have a turn.

This guy who was in the same monarchy/guild saw me asking for directions to get back to my town. There wasn’t a lot of fast travel, and no one around could even summon a portal. This guy offered to take me back, even though he didn’t know me (and boy, was it an epic adventure for the books!). That wasn’t the only small kindness though. My brother, who’d never seen that area either, decided he’d let me stay on longer. He still claims it’s because he was curious to see something new, but he’s a lying guy that’s too nice for his own good (well, and I gave up my play time for the next day as payback).

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Sajiri

Back when I was new to FFXI I really wanted to play summoner, and I really wanted to do the solo level capped fights to earn my avatars. I had some friends already playing the game who insisted I just let them take me into the group fights and they’ll win it for me (at lvl 20 all I’d be doing would be standing out of aoe range). I tried and failed one of the solo fights and they used that to tell me not to bother with the solo ones. I was gutted and my pride hurt. Someone who I didnt know but was also seeing the linkshell chat started messaging me, giving me advice how to beat the fights, gave me a few items for it, and encouraged me not to give up if its what I wanted to do. Then I managed to win one of them.

Its been about 10 years since then, and I’m now married to that stranger

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Vexia

In FFXIV:ARR I got to the level cap a bit behind the curve meaning a lot of well-geared DPS made my aggro-keeping life as a warrior difficult. One day during a run of Wanderer’s Palace, a caster who kept taking aggro asked me if I wanted some advice. Initially my pride was a little wounded but I consented, hoping they didn’t tell me to uninstall the game. Instead they gave me advice on useful paladin skills to pick up as well as how to optimally use my own warrior skills, which ones were actually a waste of time, etc. After that, the meta tanking in FFXIV really clicked with me thanks to someone taking time to help, rather than chastise a struggling noob.

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Grim🎃 Darhk

I’m sure someone has done something nicer for me, But when I was a noob in Vanilla wow A kind Night elf druid gave me 5g. That basically lasted me till level 50 >.>

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Robert Mann

Hmmm, I’m usually pretty self-sufficient in MMOs over the last 15 years. I suppose the people who actually offered or responded to offers to group, or even just ninja-invited, for things that can be shared, rather than competing for them.

Honestly there isn’t a lot of need in most MMOs for help. It’s hard sometimes figuring out cool things to do (My favorites are things like mounts, bags, etc. as giveaways to low level players.) I was always surprised, though, how hard it is to give away mounts in games like ESO (I tried 5 times, offering for half an hour, and got a whopping two responses back when it went B2P.)

what-4
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what-4

A random passer by WAY back in vanilla WoW saw me at 43 still running around, opened trade and gave me 200g, 100g for my mount and 100g walking around money. The only act of kindness I even remember. I do it for people to this day.

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Jack Pipsam

Asheron’s Call, someone seeing me obvious struggle early on and they took some time to help me understand stuff about how say archery, arrows and the stuff work. Even invited me into their Kinship.

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Fervor Bliss

Receiving those free gifts and buffs from others when starting out.

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Tom R

My first MMO experience was Ragnarok Online. “You can play an RPG with OTHER PEOPLE!? IN REAL TIME???”

I leveled up off porings outside of town and thought somebody healed me. I thanked whatever random stranger did this. An acolyte took notice, laughed and then gave me some nice buffs out of pity for how new I was. Thank you random acolyte.

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Ian Wells

The community of old RO was really top notch. You would have experienced players set down a campfire and just sit around and chat with newbies, giving them advice and a tips of skill builds. When you reached a certain level (max job, nearly max level), grinding wasn’t much of motivator so players would take it easy and just gather enough gold for potions for guild fights and just sort of hang out the rest of the time.

When they introduced reincarnation though, that went to hell and community started to slowly decline into bickering over grinding areas. The need to reincarnate and level up again (with 50% greater xp needs, no less) just to stay competitive put a lot of pressure on otherwise established players. The sense of friendliness never really came back.

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Oleg Chebeneev

When I was a noobie in EVE looong time ago I was exploring lowsecs on battlecruiser. I think I was hunting NPCs in belt. Then ship appeared nearby and I engaged in long convo with its pilot. In the end the guy told me that he is a pirate and intended to blow me up, but since I was a nice guy (yes, really), he decided to help me out with some friendly advices.

Was nice.

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starbuck1771

He most likely scanned you and didn’t see any cargo he wanted. So he most likely figured don’t scare him so he comes back and has something better next time. Most would have pod killed you on principle just for being in lowsec. Heck for a while I couldn’t go into area’s above 0.4 because i was always being hunted by Concord I had to build my security level back up. :P

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starbuck1771

BTW that wasn’t due to hunting newbs but from hunting players that were part of war deced corps who would leave the corp during war so they wouldn’t lose their ship’s but I hunted them down anyways just to pod them. Yes I know I am an evil meanie. :P

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starbuck1771

Well I am the one usually doing the random act. However I have been raiding in WoW to get my gear level up to 900 and this morning before I went to bed a Druid was nice enough to give me a ring that upgrade my gear score.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Ohh I’ll go along with a FFXI story as well.

So I’m a level 30 DRG and my buddy is a level 30 THF. We wanted to unlock SAM and needed someone to take us to Sanctuary of Zi’tah as 30 is way too low to go there with just the two of us. One of the WARs in our LS decided to give us a hand and took us to where we needed to go. We killed the NM and everything went as planned. And then the WAR used a warp scroll and left. The problem is that my buddy and I were still too new and didn’t have warp scrolls. We had no BLM to D2 us back home. We also had no map of Zi’tah so we have no idea how to get back out. Dying and returning to HP meant losing exp and this was back in the days when 5k exp/hr was godlike. Death was not an option.

So now my buddy and I are stranded in Zi’tah with no map and surrounded by mobs we can’t hope to beat. Shit.

So we do the only thing we can and start wandering around while trying to make like Solid Snake and MGS our way around all the mobs. We’re barely managing it but we aren’t making our way out either. We probably wandered around for a good half an hour like this. As we come around a corner after avoiding a couerl, we heard the sounds of fighting coming from behind a nearby tree. We run over there ASAP and find a BST solo leveling. Whew. We start asking him for directions out thinking we had made it. Nope.

Turns out the dude is JP and has absolutely no idea wtf we’re saying. I still couldn’t use the translator well so I couldn’t get across what I wanted to say. So close, yet so far. Eventually he went back to fighting and my buddy and I moved on.

We keep going, bumbling our way around as usual. After another 10 minutes or so like this we fail to MGS properly and catch aggro. SHIT. We run. Suddenly we hear fighting coming from behind us. It was the BST. He was wrecking the mob that was chasing us. He must have followed us. After he smoked that mob he came up to us and started waving. He told us in the translator to follow him. I guess he figured out we were badly lost.

He led us back to the entrance but this time we didn’t avoid any of the mobs. We went all in and killed everything in our way. We didn’t get exp as he was too high level, but we did get some nice loot. Well, it was nice loot for level 30s anyway. After we made it back, he waved and bowed at us and then left. It was the coolest adventure I’d had up to that point. My buddy and I really felt like we earned the SAM job after that.

Oh and that WAR got one hell of an earful after we made it back. He never pulled that shit again.

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MeltWithYou

Not an MMO but wayyy back when Dark Souls came out, I was slowly working my way through my first play through, I was sooo very close to the next camp fire and someone popped into my game…I was like f***cckkk. As I was mentally prepping for an ambush, I slowly creeped around a corner and there he/she (?) was, standing there in the middle of the path, completely decked out in high end gear (way better than mine at least), I thought to my self ‘this is it, an hour or two wasted, I’m going to get my ass kicked’ so I just stood there, staring, they stood there, staring back…like a samurai showdown.

After 20-30 seconds, they waved at me. Surprised, I waved back. Then we started emoting back and fourth to each other for a minute or two, I was laughing my ass off…then they bowed and gave me a set of high end armor, waved, then vanished.

It was really cool, I kept that armor in my inventory, planning on paying it forward…but ive never been the type to invade someones game so that set is still sitting in my inventory, still to this day.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

In EQ I used to love the random acts of buffing kindness from Druids, Shamans, and Enchanters, especially in lower level zones. Having a damage shield tossed on you, getting sow, or crack, really made the leveling process so much easier and faster. I always made a point to return to the lowbie leveling zones later on my characters to return the favor. I would do the same in DAoC’s Darkness Falls with my Mentalist, buffing up the people in the top areas, so they could more readily take advantage of the limited DF ownership.

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Tom R

I’m sad most mmos have removed the 30 minute buffs you could give to anybody.

It made me feel like I was a good person briefly when I’d buff random people trying to quest.

Liraven
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Liraven

I was soloing on my Alliance druid back in vanilla WoW and wanted to do a quest to escort a mechanical chicken while protecting it from spawning enemies. The level difficulty was high enough for the quest that I knew I couldn’t complete it on my own. There was another player in the same area; however, he was a Horde character, so we couldn’t understand each other in chat or group up.

Through a series of emotes, I tried to ask him for help (point to me, point to the chicken, point to him, point to the chicken, cheer at him, etc). Then on a leap of faith I started the quest and… he actually helped me! He took down the extra mobs that I couldn’t handle on my own and when the quest was finally finished we had a few minutes of emote-cheering at each other and then went our separate ways. Good times. :)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

back in l2 a guy posing as a friend of mine with whom we’d switch gear to see how it looked on our class/race combo scammed me out of most of my gear. my friend he was posing as hooked me up with a piece of the set he had gotten from the set i was using as a drop a couple weeks prior. and i launched an epic rage fit investigation to track down who scammed me.

all my leads directed me to one alliance which was kind of one of the “bad boys” types on our server that my then alliance was sometimes at war with. i was randomly PMing their members as i came across them demanding answers when one of them PMed me. don’t remember what she told me but it helped me accept my fate as a scammed person. she would later check on me on a regular basis to ask how my progress in teh game was going and what clan/alliance i was in and what we were up to these days until i took a break for a summer and came back to my clan having retired from the game.’

ffwiw i recovered from the scam full and went on to pretty awesome (and super expensive) gear in the coming months. mostly under my own power of buying low and selling high. and the person didn’t give me any material help in that regard, but she did give comfort when comfort was needed so there’s that.

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hugmonster

All the Mesmers in GW2 who make portals to the top of jumping puzzles or hard to reach vistas <3

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sophronisba

Yeah, I remember desperately trying to get my Norn warrior to the top of Vizier’s Tower until a kind mesmer took pity on me.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

No, that’s cheating! >;P

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Eliandal

Odd how some things stick in your mind . . . A very long LONG time ago, hunting in the GY and getting swarmed – suddenly there’s this ranger there, killing everything in sight and saving my bacon. She promptly parks her butt down, and asks me if I have any chests that need opening (in the middle of a zone that swarmed no less.) It was rather funny watching the critters whiff on her. So, she opens all my chests, refuses any tips, and in a couple of minutes is on her way (At that time, nearly all rogues demanded at least 1 dip from any chest they opened)

I did get to know this rather famous ranger eventually, but that really stuck in my mind, and still does. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was also a GM, and her actions were actually the norm for her. I can’t count the number of times I nearly died when she’d just pop in while I was hunting to say hello. Unfortunately, we lost the player behind Kali/Aelsidhe in the early 2000’s. Such a shame, we need more people like Karen in the world, not less :/

Siphaed
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Siphaed

When starting World of Warcraft (vanilla), I was a solo player. One point I was getting frustrated with the whole “mob tagging” thing and while trying to complete a quest near Gagetzen. These two players run up and start killing mobs that was part of my quest, causing me to outburst a bit at them thinking they were trolling me.

So in turn the healer invited me to their party to get some kill credit. We ended up chatting a lot, decided to run the nearby dungeon together. At the end, they invited me to their guild….ended up staying with that guild for 2 and 1/2 years before it broke up just between TBC and WotLK era. I do miss the craziness of it all (the 4hr raids at midnight were fun).

I know it’s specific, but that small act of kindness became a big adventure and a loving memory.

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CthulhuDawg

Getting milk and cookies from volunteer player guides in EQ.

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