The Daily Grind: Have you ever mentored a new player in an older MMO?

We are the boys. We may be back.

It was a few years back when my wife decided to give Final Fantasy XI another shot and finally found it really clicking for her. Her first couple of attempts had been largely non-starters, but being able to just pick up Trusts and go out now really was the key element she needed; suddenly the game opened up for her (although she still wound up in numerous moments of asking me what to do next, where she should be going, or how she should accomplish something.)

This meant that I had plenty of opportunities to use a refrain that should be very familiar to any veteran of that game in particular: “I know it doesn’t make any sense. It’s dumb and that’s just how it is.”

When games have been running for long enough, you don’t see as many new players showing up in them, which means that mentoring someone new is a very different experience. You may very well be the one point of contact for a newer player in terms of in-game guidance, and you simultaneously want to provide understanding while at the same time not wanting to make the new player wholly reliant upon you. Have you ever mentored a newer player in an older MMO? If so, how did it go?

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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Yeah often, in eq a lot but also other mmos.
However, I always have the feeling that I am somehow ruining their game experience by telling them too much, showing them the best or most rewarding or most efficient things. I mean what made these games great for me was figuring out these things, to always keep learning and improving; the ups and good times when I succeeded in something and the downs when I was frustrated and stuck – Both/All is what makes great game experiences. Without effort no joy, without downs no excillerating moments when the ups happen That IS the essence of what makes game experiences great.

Anyways, sometimes this feeling that I ruin the game experience for someone, gets proven as they quit because (my interpretation) got it all handed to them, or they quit when the gamesuddenly challenges them after getting it all handed. So I really really try to give advice and mentoring in very small doses, and preferably only when the person ask for it.
It is just so hard when you are used to driving a Porsche, ready to floor it, and have to wait for someone in a [insert shitcar] who is struggling to find first gear :)


Yes. I’ve just done my third backrun of Durotar through Stonetalon. The kids don’t much like the drop rates or that they have to wait for everyone to get individual drops, but the most pervasive complaint has been, “Why can’t I buy gold like I can in Fortnite?”

My main hasn’t hit 40 yet, but at least I have two level 20+ bank alts.

Arnold Hendrick

Teaching isn’t easy, but after a couple millennia it isn’t rocket-science either. Not only do you have to know the subject matter, but you also must understand which teaching method(s) to use with your student(s).

As they Visual learners (readers)? Audio learners (listeners)? Kinesthetic learners (hands-on doers)? Pick the wrong method and your student could learn poorly, if at all. With experience, you can develop standard approaches that support all types of learners (known as “lesson plans” to those in the teaching trade). You can also create little hands-on exercises to see how well your students are doing (known as “quizes” or “tests”).

Despite most gamers having had close contact with many teachers for well over a decade (typically from 1st to 12th grade), it’s amazing little they learned about HOW to teach. It’s probably because doing a good job teaching ANYTHING is hard work. People play games for fun, and typically teach others out of obligation or necessity.

Now, this assumes your student actually wants to learn about gameplay — not just get a pile of goodies to become instantly rich and invincible. The WoW term for that is “carrying” someone. Carries have replaced gold-farming as the main underground business in “Battle for Azeroth.”

Bryan Correll

They’re probably better off without my guidance past the basics.

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Paragon Lost

Yes, and well most times.

Castagere Shaikura

The last time I tried to help someone was really bad. He needed help in wow killing good ole Hogger. So I went and helped him out. Then he wanted me to run him through deadmines for gear which he was to low level for. So I tried to get him through and he kept dying and blaming me for not doing my job. Mind you I was a rogue, not a healer. So I had to log out and asked him to friend me so we could try again and he refused. So took him through again and got to the boss and watched him die and left. I haven’t helped anyone since.

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I have a bunch of times.

And it has been both a positive and negative experience.

There are those who genuinely want/need help and appreciate it when you offer. But sadly, there are also those who will play needy to get a free ride and then take you for everything they can.

It’s good to be helpful but learn from my past mistake and don’t open yourself up to people taking potential advantage of your generosity and assistance, such as when a couple I helped for many months in CoX back in the day only to log in one day and see they decided out of the blue to show their appreciation for my assistance by robbing my SG and then ghosting us. And something NCSoft did squat about despite LOTS of proof.

Not always bad though, some of the longest-lasting online friendships I have came from helping them back in the day. There are thankfully decent people out there too who appreciate your time and effort on their behalf.

Just be wary, good intentions are awesome but make sure you don’t leave yourself open to being taken advantage of.


Sure, I have. But I don’t label it as mentoring though. The label implies superiority to me, and I don’t like it. Heh.

But, I guess mentor and help friends and guildies in almost every game I play. But I will not run stuff for them or continue to mentor them if it is obvious they don’t want to learn.

For example, Uta and I ran through some Blade and Soul content together while she was learning the ropes. She asked for my help and I gladly gave it because she was trying things on her own and was looking for a hand up and not a handout. I explained mechanics and we would run through the content and she held her own very very well. And the issues she ran into were exactly the same ones I experienced when I was first starting out.

I wasn’t her mentor though. I was just a friend who loves to play BnS.


I never mentored anyone in a game, new or old; I was often helpful, mind, but this never extended beyond one or two gameplay sessions, which falls way short of what I would consider mentoring.

Anyway, I would never do it for people who aren’t my friends in real life (as in, people that I meet far more often out of game than in-game); ever since in-game ties got me to keep playing WoW well beyond the point I should have stopped, to the point of almost getting me to burn out with the whole MMO genre, I refuse to form strong enough connections that they could keep me playing when I’m not enjoying the game anymore, and a mentor-mentored relationship certainly fits the bill.

Toy Clown

Back in SWG, my guild put together packs for new players that had basic equipment and credits, and we put packs together for shows and cantina crawls for cross-server visitors. We did everything from organizing all the active guilds into a list, meeting the players in-game, showing them around and introducing them to other players.

While I haven’t belonged to a guild like that since (sadly), I do go out of my way to help players on forums, or if I see someone asking for help in chat. Generally, I keep server chats off, but sometimes I’ll find someone in the wilds asking for help.

When I was new to MMOing, I remember getting so frustrated in EQ1 and asking in general chat for help to get somewhere and was trolled to the point I logged out and didn’t go back to that character. Remembering that feeling is why I hop to help others, especially when they’re being trolled.