The Daily Grind: What did you misunderstand the first time through your MMO?

I have long resigned myself to the fact that no matter how much time I take in my first playthrough of an MMO, I’m going to miss about 75% of what’s going on in the story and world. It’s just a little too much and stories are scattered all over the place, and so my understanding of the lore becomes partial and fragmented.

That’s where alts come into play. Once I get a max level character, then I’ll start up an alt and re-learn the game world with the help of a foundation that I have established in my first journey. I’m on my third trip through Secret World (two in the original, one in Legends), and even now I’m still absorbing a lot more information that totally blew over my head in prior runs.

What about you? What lore, stories, and concepts did you miss the first time around in your MMO? Don’t be shy; pipe up in the comments and confess!

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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Alex Malone

Mechanically, I’m going to say nothing – I generally don’t start alts until I’ve finished or nearly finished my main character. That means my main is maxed, I’ve fully learnt all mechanics, plus I’ll have completed all dungeons and most raids, as well as PvPed a lot.

Story / lore wise…..hard to say. I start every MMO with the intention of following the story, but it never lasts. I hate stories in my computer games. They just suck. I am a prolific reader of books so I am always appalled by the shitty storylines in computer games. MMOs are pretty much the bottom of the pile when it comes to quality story. So, there always comes a point when I just give up on the stories and start skipping as much as possible. With LotRO, that point didn’t arrive until Book 10 (about 4 months after release), with SW:TOR it happened within about 15 hours. Each game varies.

But, no idea how much I miss by skipping over the story. I still seem to know more than the overwhelming majority of other people in game so I think all I miss out on is the shitty reasons given for killing 10 rats or delivering some junk.

malrats
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malrats

It was definitely something to do with finding my corpse(s) outside of West Freeport.

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Castagere Shaikura

Roles in group play in some mmo’s. I didn’t remember it being so important in alot of them. Except if you were a healing. Just would run up to a mobs and attack like Leroy Jenkins.

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McGuffn

I read quest text, also took me a while to understand when to need and when to greed.

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Grim🎃 Darhk

When I first started my warlock in WoW, twelve or so years ago, I would cast my dots (Because I knew damage over time ment more damage, duh.) But then I would run up and melee the mobs because shadowbolt took forever to cast. So I’d be throwing dots left and right….and then auto attacking. I’m pretty sure I was affliction. But funny enough, when I’d pvp, I knew I wanted to shadowbolt spam and cast fear. I kicked the shit outa this druid that was making fun of me, because I played a lock like you’re actually supposed to in pvp, but then was a dumb auto attacker in pve. Idk where my head was in all honesty.

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Robert Mann

Grouping. I had a mixed control/dps spec. First dungeon, I was running every control ability as normal, but… it caused some extra pulls. So I got asked to only use certain of those abilities. Worked fine after that.

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Doubleplusgood

I made the mistake of playing ESO like I do every other MMO.

First, I divided all the crafting between multiple characters. Which is a big no no in ESO. Because crafting patterns so expensive and rare you want to keep all crafting on the same character or you end up having to get multiple copies of the same patterns. Which I have to do now.

Second, I always immediately fill up every available character slot and slowly take turns leveling multiple characters which another thing you shouldnt do. In ESO you should only play only one character and get it to level 50 as fast as possible so you can begin the Champion Point grind which can take up to a year to get to 660 CP cap. Plus CP points are shared for all characters on your account, so you should wait to level alts when they can benefit from being buffed from CP points. In my case, after 2 years I got my first level 50 and only realized then that I now had another year to get to max CP which I should have started long ago. And all my characters were level 40+ so didnt get to benefit from CP at low levels.

Third I bought a second copy of the game because it was only $15 each. But in ESO you get punished for having a second account, you have to do the CP grind all over again and you dont get to share your crown store purchases like mounts, pets or costumes between accounts. So I have never used the second copy of the game.

CMDR Crow
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CMDR Crow

I almost always have the same issue: I always think I’ll be playing a Roleplaying game, however it almost always turns out to be some kind of progression-wheel with next to zero focus on RP.

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Schmidt.Capela

It seems like whenever players compete against each other, even if “compete” merely means comparing what they have been able to obtain, the vast majority of players will become obsessed with efficiency and progression.

It’s why I keep my roleplaying to pen-and-paper RPG games. In those I have a hand-picked group of like-minded friends who also want to roleplay, and anyone that attempts to ruin the roleplay environment will be swiftly removed from the game.

CMDR Crow
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CMDR Crow

I’ve really gravitated to being a long-term player only in games that encourage or at least facilitate approaching from the RP perspective. ESO has really drawn my partner and I in due to the focus on story and rich lore (we’re both huge old-school TES fans.) We can also play together so easily and the CP system is super-awesome for alts. LotRO works for us on Landy due to the huge lore focus and amazing Tolkien community. Elite is actually crazy awesome for RP, such as that guy who is trying to “talk” to the Thargoids.

But I’ve dropped a lot of games more recently for being too cutthroat and too focused solely on the numbers. The irony being that I genuinely enjoy a hard endgame that does crunch numbers, etc., but the stretching of that mentality to all of a game really puts me off. In many ways I pine for the old days when there was more of a sharp distinction between enjoying the world and leveling (“casual play”) and endgame raiding (“hardcore play.”) They’ve become so inter-dependent that they ruin each other.

bereman99
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bereman99

I’m not sure why, but it took me longer than I’d like to admit to understand how the combo chains for melee in FFXIV work (coming from so many games where you built/spent resources as melee).

Starting as a Monk, I’d spam the first attack and use the next one in the chain as a “finisher” of sorts, and was all sorts of confused on what to use and when. This went on till right about level 20 when I reread the tooltips, figured out what combo potency actually meant…

Fortunately I hadn’t embarrassed myself in any dungeons, as I had also managed to miss one of the MSQ that was given at level 15 – I talked to an NPC in I believe Ul’dah and turned in the MSQ I was on, then somehow didn’t notice the NPC behind me with the next one…and I promptly wandered off and grinded FATEs for the next 5 levels thinking I wouldn’t unlock the MSQ till then. I knew through the Duty Finder that the first dungeon became available at level 16, and was all sorts of confused as to why I hadn’t been able to open it up (or obtain my Chocobo) by the time I hit 20.

For someone coming off nearly 7 years of off and on WoW and a couple years here and there in like 3 other MMOs, that was an incredibly silly couple of things to misunderstand.

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Utakata

Lots of things! Pretty much n00b is as n00b does. :(

…btw, that’s a lovely heard pic. :)

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Utakata

Edit/Erratum: …lovely *header pic…proper.