The Daily Grind: Do you actually like noob zones in MMORPGs?

    
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The Daily Grind: Do you actually like noob zones in MMORPGs?

I think there’s a widespread grumpiness for MMORPG tutorials. Either they’re so pointless and easy that you’re bored, or they deluge you with too much information that you won’t actually need for many more levels and will surely have forgotten by then. Or worse, they don’t tell you the things you really do need to know.

But noob zones? The zones aimed at lowbie players without all the tutorial cruft? Those are a different thing entirely. I find myself agreeing with a Redditor who a while back expressed his love for these types of zones. They’re often cozy, tranquil, or pretty zones. The mobs are usually low-key. The combat is usually relatively simple. Powercreep and annoyance are at their minimum. The expectations placed on you in terms of level, skill, gear, even grouping are low. In fact, they’re so relaxing that in some games – like classic Guild Wars – people device ways to simply never leave them. And in others, people just keep coming back.

Do you actually like noob zones in MMORPGs? What’s your favorite one?

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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Zero_1_Zerum

I haven’t played LOTRO for many a year, but I still have fond memories of wandering around The Shire, Bree, and Rivendell. Even after I was a much higher level, I’d go back. They did a decent job capturing those areas from the book.

Most games don’t have that impact of seeing places I’d only read about on my screen and being able to explore them.

ESO was the only one that came close to the feeling that LOTRO gave me, but only because I’m a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls franchise and played all the single player games.

As for games that’re more original IP, I don’t often find myself going back to the start. I want to bloody well get on with it, get the story going. I don’t much care for the place where the story starts.

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NeoWolf

I think Starting areas tend to be some of the best-made content in MMO’s, they are definitely areas that have had more time and love on them then others generally speaking.

Then things go progressively down hill the further away from starting zones you get, until the abomination of meh that is endgame lol

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Dean Greenhoe

Love them. I love to create an entire stable of alts playing through the noob zone. This is how I decide on my class / race to be my main for the game.

And then they throw you to the wolves…

I loved Age of Conan’s noob zone especially with the day / night different gameplay mechanics. I think I played in their noob zone as much as I played in the main zone. :)

Turing fail
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Turing fail

Played SWTOR loooong time ago, recall high-level players sometimes helping noobs in the starter areas which was nice.

EVE Online starter systems are mostly gank-free with predators risking bans by hunting in them. Some experienced players actually give out ships and in-game currency to noobs as well.

Celestia
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Celestia

I have more fondness for Atlas Park in CoH than most of the real life cities in which I’ve lived.

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Peregrine Falcon

Yes. Atlas Park is my favorite, of course! :)

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Utakata

Love them! And there should be more them. /shrug :)

Upaya
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Upaya

I’ve popped into a few games recently that just plop you into the thick of everything after character creation. While I think that I like that approach, the truth is that a “starter zone”, or other kind of handholding, to teach basics is beneficial for many players. Bonus points for being able to skip the starter zone/tutorial for any subsequent alts.

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Anstalt

Favourite newbie zone for me is the greenskins starter zone in WAR. Looked pretty cool, orcs and dwarves are my favourite fantasy races so was great to explore. But, standout moment was a quest where you get catapulted up onto a dwarf fortress, flying through the air like a madman (madorc?). Made me laugh a lot!

In general though, it’s totally game-dependent. I generally prefer a challenge, so the simplicity and ease of starter zones can leave me bored pretty quickly. But, I enjoy learning how to play my class, so if the initial progression is pretty quick and it keeps giving me things to learn / master then it can be fun. For that reason, I remember my first time leveling up in LotRO, the archet and bree starter area was good fun. Lots to explore, some group quests, plenty of new skills to unlock and a few signature / elite mobs to test yourself against.

Conversely, SWTOR was horrible as a jedi consular. Such a boring starter planet, very simple gameplay and very linear questing and zone layout. I was pretty desperate to just get through it so i could get my lightsaber, unlock my specialisation and then get off planet so i could start doing some PvP.

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Hikari Kenzaki

I mean, people stay in Ascalon before the fall because it’s Ascalon before the fall.
I have an STO character that is permanently in the TOS era starter zone.

Still, I prefer zones that don’t lock you out. BDO certainly has areas for newbies that are calm and easy to hang out in. Even some areas for high-level characters to sit around in without fear of being attacked. Places, where you can just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the game, don’t need to be limited to lowbies.