The Daily Grind: When did you realize you were no longer a beginner in an MMO?

    
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Warping shadow.

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?

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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Rolan Storm

I wrote a short in-guild FAQ for us when we considered moving to ESO. Our lead said it was best FAQ he saw so far. Then it hit me: I am long time on the ‘inside’ of MMORPG. I know what I am doing, I am explaining mechanics, I have my own playstyle, etc. Never thought about myself as veteran player until that moment.

Easy Rider
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Easy Rider

When I became a guild officer.

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Castagere Shaikura

Being loyal to Anarchy Online for 3 years after launch. I wouldn’t even look at another MMO back then. It’s been the only MMO I had true love for. The complex systems for character development were a real learning curve. There has been nothing like it since.

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rafael12104

When guildies or friends keep coming to me for help and guidance. The lets me know I’m not a beginner anymore because I’m usually the one asking for help and guidance.

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Toy Clown

I usually consider myself “well versed” in an MMO when I get a solid handle on two things:

1. How to make in-game currency at a decent enough rate to keep my character outfitted in nice gear and furnishing for housing – type of stuff.
2. Having a character geared well enough to take on a good portion of the game’s content without asking for help.

Some MMOs I grasp these things fairly quickly and others it takes a loooong time.

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Fenrir Wolf

I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never been the sort to devote myself. I only care to “git gud” at something that requires skill. Speedrunning VVVVVV, most certainly. MMOs? I’m unconvinced that I haven’t stagnated.

Though one moment that might have defined it was when I was playing FF XI. An aesthetically beautiful but uninteresting game for the most part. It was in that title I learned I had to make my own fun, I didn’t find the enjoyment in the grind that my friends had.

However, when I was told that my new class choice — a galka bard — was untenable, I got serious. A challenge! A supposedly insurmountable mountain to surmount (which is actually a word, by the way)! It didn’t turn out to be quite that difficult to put together a galka bard that was useful enough to a team to be valued, but it certainly was by far the most interesting thing I’d done in FF XI!

“Did that galka bard just save us????”

Memories. Lovely memories. Tell me I can’t do something, will you? I revel in breaking games and their silly rules.

I feel many MMOs don’t really have a skill quotient at all. It’s just a matter of sheer willingness to devote a ludicrous amount of time until RNG falls in your favour. The majority of them just play themselves, really.

And that’s what I learned that changed my perspectives of MMOs. I realised I could have fun doing the undoable (which, surprisingly, is also a word). My next love was wall-walking in World of Warcraft, finding places long before others had. Sitting atop those unopened instances guarded by ?? beasties and waving at passers-by.

That’s most of why I play an MMO. Sometimes one will do something I find genuinely compelling and I’ll play it properly (DDO), sometimes the MMO will invite me to try to break it (GW2) which might not be the best idea. I… think I might’ve crashed a GW2 server, once, by getting somewhere it really didn’t appreciate me being.

Generally though, I’ll play an MMO to discover the most fun, harmless ways to break it. I won’t ruin anyone else’s fun in the process, so I won’t touch PvP, but I’ll be attempting to do everything I shouldn’t.

Like ESO catapulting!

Have you tried ESO catapulting? It’s a riotously fun time. I don’t know if they’ve patched it out, now. If you make it past the invisible walls, the collision gets wonky and jumping at a hill can actually fling you half way across the map. It’s like the ballista in Human: Fall Flat, only FASTER.

Veldan
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Veldan

Sounds like fun. I spent a lot of time in RIFT using forward teleportation spells, among other things, to get past invisible walls. It gave me great satisfaction when people would see me, attempt to come to me and then hit the wall wondering how I got past it.

Veldara
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Veldara

A difficult question to answer without sounding like I’m bragging so I’ll say this. When the systems and mechanics start to feel second nature, that’s when I can honestly say I graduated from being a new player to becoming an established one.

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Randy Savage

When I started answering other noobs’ questions

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

When I could read the game marketing speak and straight away work out what sort of game it is.

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Anstalt

I only think of myself as a beginner if I’m joining an MMO years after it was first released. This is because I’ll be joining a community where the vast majority of other players will have superior knowledge to me. But, I don’t do that because the first 6 months of an MMO are the best and coming late to a game has never felt enjoyable.

So, I tend to think of myself as “average” when I start a new MMO, partly due to past experience in the genre, and partly because I research new games a lot.

The switch from “average” to “expert” comes once I’ve gotten a good grasp of how all the mechanics in the game work, and how the leveling content feeds into endgame. At that point I feel confident giving authoritative advice to others as I know there isn’t much left to learn, just final bits of perfecting how to play my class and the usual interesting discussions of how to best maximise my decision making.