I tend to think of myself as a beginner in any given MMO for a really long time. Like, to the point where I’ll have been in the game for a year and have people looking up to me as a mentor while still keeping a mental image of myself as a newbie in need of guidance. It usually takes someone noting my accomplishments for something to click in my head and to go “wow, I’m not a beginner.” I had reached the level cap on multiple characters in World of Warcraft before I stopped thinking of myself as a new player, even when, yes, I had been playing the game since launch.
I don’t know how uncommon this actually is, though. After all, for some people a year of casual play means logging in once or twice a week, not really knowing a game’s systems intimately. I know people who played Final Fantasy XI and felt comfortable calling themselves experts after only a few months, and we’re not counting people who had no idea what they were doing. So what about you, readers? When did you realize you were no longer a beginner in an MMO?