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.”
“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?”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”