Global Chat: Why FFXIV is the most newbie-friendly MMO

    
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What’s the most newbie-friendly MMO? According to Pete at Dragonchasers, it’s Final Fantasy XIV. He’s been pretty impressed by the support structure that the game has in place for new and returning players.

“I don’t usually interact with other players in MMOs (ironic, I know) but when I was randomly invited into the Novice Network I accepted,” he wrote. “It’s a pretty active channel and at least for the short time I’ve been in it, quite civil […] This experience drew me out of my shell a bit, and by Sunday afternoon I’d dug out a bluetooth keyboard so I could talk in the Novice Network more easily. Overall the way FFXIV welcomed me as a player kind of re-kindled my love of MMOs.”

In this week’s MMO blogger roundup, we have essays on LOTRO’s attention span, the thought behind soloing in online games, and first impressions of Black Desert. Read on!

Occasional Hero: Why doesn’t LOTRO hold my attention?

“The characters feel Tolkienic, no shortcuts are taken on the story, and there are tons of little details straight out of the books (for instance, I just noticed that Farmer Maggot’s three hounds, mentioned briefly in Fellowship, can be seen running around his farm, with nameplates and everything). Not only is it well adapted, the gameplay is great as well. They have some surprisingly unique and interesting classes, and there’s a nice variety of PvE content for any group size (even if that’s a group of one). So why is it that I never stick around LOTRO for very long?”

Superior Realities: Cheating on WoW with Kritika Online

“A faint curiosity inspired me to try the recent closed beta event, and while my expectations weren’t entirely disproven, I did find the game to be surprisingly well-executed in many ways, and it stands as a strong argument for clarity of vision in game design.”

Endgame Viable: Why solo MMORPGs?

“The other big reason is time. When I log into a game, I want to start playing immediately. I don’t want to log in and wait an indeterminate amount of time while a group forms. Even with dungeon finder tools, I find it very aggravating to log in, queue for something, and then sit there staring at the screen waiting for the queue to pop. That’s one of the things I love about FFXIV — you can actually accomplish something meaningful (leveling an alternate class or crafting) while waiting for a queue. You can’t do that in most MMORPGs; you just have to stand there doing nothing.”

In An Age: First impressions of Black Desert

“One factor that is going to limit my playtime right away is the garbage localization and questing. Quests are quests, but Black Desert has discovered a way to make them even less interesting. For most NPCs, you have to click on a quest tab in a menu to bring up their quest, then they have two poorly-translated lines per screen to convey the information, and while they are ‘talking’ they spout off their idle dialog that has nothing to do with the words on the screen. I suppose I shouldn’t expect much more from a game with an ‘auto-run to quest objective’ feature built-in, but it’s a bit disappointing nonetheless.”

ECTMMO.com: EverQuest’s Agnarr — should you try it?

“Agnarr is not quite classic EverQuest, but if you want to play on an official server that mimics classic this is your best bet. While not as hardcore as Project 99, an emulated unofficial version up to Velious, it still is the best option while supporting the EQ franchise simply because it will go up to PoP with LDoN and LoY. That was the golden era in my eyes.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: In which I return to Tyria

“I own the base game, which isn’t saying much since that has been available free since the Heart of Thorns expansion.  But I paid for my copy… which I guess says something.  Sucker, maybe?  Because in the almost five years since GW2 launched I have three posts from about four years ago that involve me actually in game and playing. And yet there it was, still installed after all this time, requiring no cash outlay and with nothing else was calling to me.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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bobfish

Novice Network is nice, but the Hall of the Novice and Guildhests are great experiences for new players to FFXIV, that not only teach you the basics of the game and it’s mechanics, but also tech you about your chosen roles, jobs and give you good gear to get you going.

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rocketskates69

Half the people here quit playing years ago and don’t even know the Novice Network or how to read pop up tips. Maybe next time leave them on.

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Robert Mann

Endgameviable is odd. I don’t think I have EVER played an MMO where I couldn’t do something else while waiting on a queue.

The only spots where that holds any water, is in games where there is no queue.

Nice chat is… okay, but I find that also very short-sighted. That alone does not a new player friendly experience make.

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rocketskates69

What? So stupid. Know what I do during the queue? Triple triad, hunts, crafting, gathering, and a whole lot of other shit. Get a clue and actually play the game. Your comment made you look dumb as shit.

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GiantsBane

Yea, especially in WoW you could always run around and do shit during que times, maybe not if you use the shitty dungeon tools in GW2 that they begrudgingly added but require you to stay in the city nearby them… but most games don’t require you to stand around waiting.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

there is no queue in gw2 for dungeons. you dont have to stay in the city until your group is full in GW2… you can already enter it alone or with 2, 3, 4 ppl and start it or do whatever you want (crafting, events, world bosses, gathering, etc.) until you have 5 ppl in your group and then load (anywhere) into the map where the dungeon entrance is and click on join and you are in the dungeon.

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Shaun Shaungbr

I think WoW still holds the crown for newbie friendly.

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angrakhan

I dunno. I played FFXIV and that horrific 2.5s global cooldown is pretty offputting. It…. makes…. combat…. so….. painfully….. slow. Add into the fact I was trying to play a tank class (to be viable in a group) and it was even more agonizing. I’d about rage quit if I got an add because that meant another 2 minutes of hitting 1….2…..1…..3…..1……2…..1…..3 until I could go turn in my quest. I asked myself if the game was boring me then why was I playing it and quit. Haven’t missed it. Haven’t been remotely curious about returning.

Hats off to all you folks that actually make it to end game in FFXIV, your mental fortitude for being able to tolerate mind-numbingly boring combat is commendable. You’ll all make great accountants some day.

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Castagere Shaikura

Yeah i had this same problem with the game. And that first story dungeon you go in sucked because of it.

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Yaner

I have thousands of hours in FF14 and yeah it’s newb friendly, until you get end-game. Then prepare to rage quit because the end game raids bred an elitist community (the community is pretty toxic, and has gotten worse over the years). All the end-game raids are insanely difficult to beat and require pinpoint raid groups to complete. Most people I know gave up when they reached end-game. If you are not into getting the best gear and raiding, then sure you can continue being a blissful newb and enjoying all the other content.

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Jeremy Barnes

FFXIV needs to solve their end game community problem. The number of people who join a pug then rage that 8 random people with varying degrees of knowledge about a fight don’t execute it perfectly is getting out of hand. I joined a party that was clearly labeled “Learning Party” and we end up with someone joining who then proceeds to complain that one of the healers isn’t doing enough DPS and should be kicked….after 2 attempts.

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Vincent Clark

@Jennifer, @Jeremy…you must be on really bad servers. You’re basically describing the worst case scenario of any MMO community. Move servers.

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rocketskates69

@Vincent Clark I agree, I been at end game for a while and it’s been lovely for me.

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bobfish

I’ve only found this to be a problem if you’re pushing the latest content. If you’re raiding through the Duty Finder / PUGs on lower tier raids, it isn’t an issue beyond the odd idiot.

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Jack Kerras

I dunno; as someone who would like to level up and play with their friends, the HUGE pile of Main Story Quest grinding you have to do – and it IS grinding, it’s literally nothing but thirty hours of cutscenes and Fedex quests between ARR and Heavensward – is just fucking punishing.

I’m into games like this for the endgame content, to run dungeons, etc. That’s what I like; that’s where things get interesting and you have to really start responding to mechanics instead of just spank-n-tanking everything. Before that, MMORPGs are punishingly, ridiculously dull.

FFXIV has a LONG line of shit to do before you get to the point where you can be useful and truly play with friends who are already established. So for someone wishing to join friends? Not even close.

The MSQ-skip potion is a must-buy for me. I have never been able to engage with the story elements in FFXIV, and having to suffer through a hundred solid hours of ‘story’ ‘journey’ is not even remotely on my list of ‘shit that’s fun to do’.

WoW will basically always hold the throne there; they’ve been chopping down barriers to entry since Day 1.

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Skoryy

My FC has been pushing me to complete the MSQ, and I swear even the Delta Rising story missions were less of a chore. I don’t think the slog would be that bad if the storyline took the time to establish characters and world building. Instead, plots get picked up and dropped at seemingly random and there’s little time to get to know your friends and enemies.

That said, I’ve heard things do get better by HW, so Isabella will continue slogging. My RDM is inhaling the storyskip potions ASAP, though, so I’ll have someone to ride along with my FC.

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Jack Kerras

Yeah, just wait a few days and suck it up; the $25 you’ll spend being expansion-ready is much, much easier to swallow than several hours’ worth of grinding through MSQ. :/ It’s sad, but it’s really a huge timesaver if you have the room in your budget. You couldn’t pay me to replay ARR-> Heavensward. I would not take $25 an hour to do that shit again.

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rocketskates69

Bad news for you, rdm and Sam can’t use the potions lol, Google it, it’s on their live letter digest lololololol.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

The story in ffxiv is awesome.. the bad thing is that they gated content behind it and made it feel like a chore because people was forced to do it fast to get the endgame content

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Jack Kerras

Enh. I tried to get into it when I played, and I just couldn’t engage with it. I’m not sure if it was the time between MSQs that did it (I actively avoided MSQs up until I realized it was Very Important that I get those done) or the content itself, but it never grabbed me, I had no problem at all figuring out where the story was going to go, and in general, I found it uninteresting to the point where I no longer make any effort to engage.

That said: yes, absolutely, it being a huge line of tens of hours of chores to do (with grinding between if you didn’t want to fall far behind and hack desperately at nigh-unbeatable story mobs) was straight-up the wrong choice, not to mention making dungeon queues an integral part of things.

I get that Cape Westwind is supposed to be a big deal, but for real, my first quit/uninstall was due to back-to-back 16-hour DRG Cape Westwind queues, and that was my ONLY class above level 15 at the time. I couldn’t just… queue as a tank or healer.

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Maggie May

This is a game where you really need to be in a great guild. I was lucky to be with bunch of ppl who were newbie friendly and raided (though not my strong point) they tried really hard to include everyone, even the socially awkward ones like myself.
I will admit I miss those guys, they came along on the big climactic quest, the one where everyone rides the magitek mounts and hung out joking while I watched the cutscenes. Then I hit the point where the only thing to do was dailies, raiding, books (ugh) and progressively more difficult dungeons on my laggy Puter.
The people In my guild made my time in FF pretty well the best I have had in a mmo bar none.

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rocketskates69

Just queued for cape Westwind as a drg, queue times were 42 seconds.

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Jack Kerras

That is so cool.

This was not a thing when I originally played, and it hard-stopped the living shit out of me. I’m glad they fixed it, but it will never not be a part of my experience in FFXIV.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

yes that was the “fault” of them… all these you describe, how you felt, is because you HAD TO do the story quests in order to unlock important things. So it is normal for every person to want to do it as fast as possible to keep going on, unlocking content and playing with friends…

If they had story, like early lotro books (skip story if you like and do it whenever you want just for the story) it wouldnt feel a chore.. People all talk how awesome are the Hildibrand Quests… make them 10 times more and lock a whole expansion behind them and people will quickly feel them like a chore.

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Oleg Chebeneev

WoW is the most newbie friendly and there is no even a contest

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squid

not even a contest

Good way to describe WoW gameplay.

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Jack Kerras

First of all: GORATH? That’s fucking awesome. Great icon.

Secondly, MMOs are really built to be stupid-easy right up until the very last parts, which will crush everyone except folks who are really-really good. That’s with the exception of stuff like LFR content, which is like Diet Raiding and you could do it with half the team AFK pretty easily.

Real raiding, or at least endgame-strength dungeon running (mind, not ‘strength’ like higher numbers, ‘strength’ like more demanding mechanics) is the only interesting part of MMOs for me. Real raids usually take too many people and too much commitment; I am happy to main tank, but I am not going to main tank for six months of farm content. I need interesting dungeons without a huge amount of commitment, and FFXIV is actually really good for that.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

yes thats exactly the problem of current MMOs… there is no middle game anymore. If you like hardcore endgame then all good, but if you are a casual who like to feel you achieve things in the open world and the leveling, then is bad for you.

I remember when reaching the level cap was a great achievement and people around you would congratulate you for this… I remember when you were getting a good piece of gear from a dungeon was a great moment because it would help you very much and for long time during leveling..

All is left in MMOs for a casual player now is good story that can be achieved once, in a month or 2 at most. Thats why most people cant stay in 1 MMO.

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Tim O'Donnell

I played FF14 for about 9 months around Heavensward. Was all caught up on story, raids, and played HW for the first few months. Great game — one of my favorite MMOs. But I tried getting back into it recently as a new job and was completely lost. Didn’t know where to go or what to do. Do I grind out fates until 60? Dungeon grind?

I agree FF14 is relatively newbie friendly, but I found it overwhelming and lacked direction as a returning player.

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Tandor

Agreed. I also found FFXIV reasonably newbie friendly until I got to the point where I couldn’t unlock a basic core function in the game and progress the game meaningfully beyond that point without completing a group-only dungeon, and at that point waiting for a group was just endless.

The other way the game is newbie unfriendly is in relation to the class structure. In other MMOs you can try different classes through rolling different characters, each of which can progress normally, but in FFXIV you are intended to play all the different classes on the same character – but the problem is that when you switch to a new class you’ve already completed most of the quests that are needed to advance that class and can’t repeat them.

I’ve tried FFXIV several times but each time it ended in frustration. ESO, EQ2, LoTRO, SWTOR and WoW all offer a much more newbie friendly experience than FFXIV which is really only for the diehard grouper looking to join a guild, kin, eggshell or whatever it is they call it in that game pretty much from the off – which in itself isn’t really newbie friendly as you should be able to learn your own way through the early stages of a MMO for it to be truly considered newbie friendly.

Note that I’m not arguing against playing with others in a MMO, I’m simply saying that in most MMOs the social side of the game generally only becomes necessary or even desirable fairly late in the game, with a player able to level up through most of it unaided – and that is especially important in any game that lays claim to being newbie friendly.

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John Kiser

Stop playing as a DPS then? Seriously I will never understand when people that play DPS frequently complain about long queue times. DPS are a dime a dozen most of the time and there are so frequently DPS to fill in slots. It happens in pretty much every singular MMORPG that uses a group finder of any sorts if you use a role there is an abundant amount of people playing expect long queue times. Play a healer or tank and get a friend that is a healer or tank and boom you get instant queues. WoW has the same problem if you play DPS as do pretty much every other MMORPG.

FFXIV also has many quests you can repeat. https://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/wiki/Category:Daily_Quest and do to level. Not to mention palace of the dead, dungeon roulettes and lots of other stuff. Group content needs to become the norm for early and mid game again. To many anti social people rushing to end game and if you have a hard time learning FFXIV you are going to have a hard time in many other mmorpgs. FFXIV gives you tons of ways to level be it beast tribe quests, roulettes, palace of the dead, fates, daily quests, the main story quests, and many other things.

Frankly forcing someone to group isn’t making the game “non newbie friendly” if anything it makes them learn their roles earlier on and shows them how to work in a group dynamic before end game hits. While you get the occasional idiot still it isn’t nearly as bad as I’ve seen in other mmorpgs because FFXIV actually bothers teaching.

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Tandor

I tried different roles as I recall, it made no difference.

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John Kiser

Perhaps a shit server group then or something. I’ve never had a problem with queues as either a healer or a tank unless I was on at some really obscure time of night like 4 am or something and even then it wasn’t bad. Most time it is an instant pop particularly if you have a friend that is a tank or healer.

It has gotten progressively easier too due to roulettes which make a lot of higher level people tend to go back for lower level dungeons still.

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Skoryy

Palace of the Dead is the power level du jour. Head over to Gridania and there should be a quest avail at the Adventurer’s Guild.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

Basically if you play a tank or healer the best way is to grind dungeons… ask for the FC xp buff and get a food for 3% more xp. it may seem low but in the long run it helps.

If you are a DPS class, the best way is to run Palace of the Dead. specifically floors 51-60. But get your weapon/armor to at least 25/25 before start grinding the 51-60 floor.

Also try to find a pre-made leveling group for it. What it matters is to complete it fast, not get all the chests in every room. A leveling group will make big difference compared to a group that will do all rooms and hunt all chests.

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Arktouros

Oh neat. Another Black Desert “Review” with someone still posting screenshots that they basically got through the tutorial. So fresh. So new.

Upaya
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Upaya

BDO is still kicking the asses of the themeparks out there.

And it lacks a real sub. They are literally giving huge content context packs to players for free.

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Jeremy Barnes

I really want to like BDO, but the game’s engine seems to be as polished as Vindictus’ engine

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John Kiser

Vindictus is based of the source engine which is in fact very polished. Where Vindictus fails is in devcat/nexon’s implementation of shitty servers/netcode and has very little to do with the actual engine it is running. They use shitty netcode and/or shitty servers and boom your result is shitty lag.

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agemyth 😩

It is a “first impressions” take, not a comprehensive review of the game as a whole. If a game is really off-putting in the early hours it doesn’t make much sense to move forward dozens of more hours in hopes of it getting more appealing eventually.