The Daily Grind: What MMO offers players the best tutorials?

    
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I'm supposed to what?

Let’s face it, MMOs are pretty bad at teaching players about what they’re supposed to do. I can’t recall the last time I needed a full in-depth tutorial, but I know a lot of games are eager to offer me that without offering me anything useful. You start playing The Elder Scrolls Online and it’ll tell you how to move and the basics of the combat, and pretty soon after that it’s a pat on the back and some well wishes.

Some games are just downright terrible about tutorials, to be fair; for all my love of Star Trek Online, its opaque stats and poor tutorials leave you really in the dark about what the hell the game is supposed to be until you have some experience. But today, we don’t want to damn the games with poor tutorials; we want to celebrate the best of the batch.

I don’t know if I’d call, say, Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy XIV games with altogether good tutorials in an objective sense, but both seem to work really hard at giving some tutorial to players. Which is a challenging prospect to evaluate as someone who already knows how to play these games. What do you think, readers? What MMO offers players the best tutorials?

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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Robert Mann

I’d actually vote Project Gorgon here. My reasoning is that it is not super-long, it teaches you the basics, and then there’s some hints hidden in the game to help you figure out some other goals.

Holding my hand for 6 hours down the road is for parents with small children. I do not need that, and I’m far happier without.

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Person Dude

Old School RuneScape has a pretty good tutorial.

Vexia
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Vexia

FFXIV’s are pretty good for getting acquainted with the game on a surface level, but if you want to dig into the deeper systems like grand company squadrons or collectible crafting/gathering, for instance, you are probably destined to hit up google and find a guide where some nice person has already done the work for you and laid it all out plainly.

harbinger_kyleran
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harbinger_kyleran

EVE online has the best tutorials……

No, I’m kidding, despite several attempts by CCP to try and better explain how things work (and for the most part they succeed) the tutorials really leave most players wondering what the heck should they do next.

Sort of like when we were children (before computers) and our Moms would shove us out the door and say “go play!”

Polyanna
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Polyanna

My favorite MMO tutorial of all time still is the old Anarchy Online backyard. It was exactly that; the back yard of an anonymous grey high rise in the middle of your faction capital city, with a few minor enemies running around, a basic vendor, and a couple of quests to equip your starter gear, kill some things, and craft some useful items. And after about 15 minutes, you were directed to the front door and dumped into the vast world of the game with no clue or even any suggestion on what you should do next.

The amazing thing about it though was that back in the day there usually was a volunteer GM from the ARK player org hanging around in the backyard, who would talk to you, give advice, and maybe even hand out some free lowbie items. That to me made it feel like I was entering an actual virtual world, and it’s s that sense of the game world being a real living place, with things going on even when you’re not around, that so many games now lack.

Still the best introduction to any MMO I’ve ever seen, and still defines how a real MMO should feel.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

AO with the community help was definitely one the best intros for me. It was an open forum to ask ‘stupid questions’ and not be snidely told to go “Google it.” I wish more games utilized these players more often – now that I’m in a different point in life, I would really enjoy hanging out in newbie areas helping out.

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tiltowait

Best (fun)- Age of Conan, starting island.
Best (learning)- any one that uses tutorial popups that can be turned off. No one needs a tutorial for an mmo, they are timewasters that are at best useless, at worst something that prevents friends from partying up for an arbitrary period of time and pisses people off.

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Arcanum Zero

I’ve been really happy with FFXIV’s tutorials. Very little happens in that game without the UX explaining how it works, and then putting an article about it in an easily accessible help menu.

Still haven’t built up the courage to tank a PUG through Sastasha, but it’s not for lack of understanding how.

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Ravven

Go on, do it. :D I will never, ever pug in any game other than FFXIV due to horrible experiences. The runs may be pretty silent at times (especially in regions where people may not speak English), but they’re hardly ever toxic or nasty. I love this community so much.

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Arcanum Zero

I appreciate the encouragement. I have also never had a negative experience with the FFXIV community, but then I’ve never wiped a dungeon run through sheer incompetence, either. :)

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Ironwu

Casting way back to 2004, I would have to say that EQ2 really nailed it. The newbie island zone covered just about everything in the game one would be finding for the next 50+ hours of play.

These days, most MMOs just give the very basic of the basics. I suspect that is because the mechanics have become so broad that it is just not possible, or practical, to cover them at low levels.

With the explosion of the internet as a resource since 2004, there is really not much need for tutorials on more than the basics. At least that is what I think the developers/suits are thinking.

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Ravven

I’d say that FFXIV offers the best tutorials that I’ve ever seen. The introduction to the game leads you through all of the basic systems of the game (which is quite an achievement given the complexity of many of the systems). The Hall of the Novice tutorials are an excellent system to introduce players new to MMOs to the basics of the trinity and how a party works together, and rewards you with some very nice gear for the level at the end of it. Add guildhests to that, and you have a robust tutorial system.

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IronSalamander8 .

The novice halls are great for getting people used to tanking and healing especially. I wish all games had something like them. The guild hests are quite good at that too.

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Ravven

Also “don’t hit things that the tank isn’t hitting,” “keep adds off your healer,” etc. Brilliant way to convey the information for someone new to MMOs!

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BalsBigBrother

Wildstar has um had a great tutorial that allowed you to pick what level of mmo player you thought you were and tailored the tutorial to fit. Plus you had the option to skip it entirely which is always a welcome option for anyone with an alt problem.