A while back I saw a deeply underrated post on the MMORPG subreddit about mentoring systems. I don’t mean the kind of systems like in City of Heroes and EverQuest II where you can bump a lowbie up to your level and cart him around to bust through level gaps. I mean the kinds of MMO systems that actually encourage MMO players to mentor others beyond just leveling.
The Redditor described a system in Earth and Beyond that I’d long since forgotten about, a type of early horizontal progression system that effectively enticed high-end players to take younglings on for exploration trips and trading gear down to new players. “Basically this meant for a good chunk of players, their first experience in the game was having a veteran craft a bunch of newbie gear for them, then tour them around the system and teach them about the game,” he writes. “This stays true today, there is an emulator running that might have only a hundred people online, but the same thing is still happening.”
I love these kinds of systems. I loved the way monarchies in Asheron’s Call rewarded players for paying it forward. I even liked how original flavor Star Wars Galaxies expected veterans to teach newbies skills, both to save newbies cash and to give the vets points for mastering their own skills. Way too many games skip this important step (and indeed seem way more interested in generating jealousy than in fostering mentorship between new and old players).
Let’s talk about these kinds of systems – which MMORPG offers (or offered) the best systems for helping newbies?