One peculiar quirk of the Guild Wars 2 Steam launch is that there are – how to phrase this kindly – a lot of well-meaning players with decked-out and sparkle-winged 10-year-old characters who swarmed the starter zones to show off and encourage the newbies with cash and gifts and advice. At best, the desire to cuddle the newbies and keep them as pets has freaked out and overwhelmed some newcomers who just wanted to be left alone in peace to try the game for the first time. And at worst, some vets have devolved into intentional griefplay. Not everyone is upset, I’ll note, but it’s also not really creating the best first impression, which is frustrating as overall it’s a genuinely solid MMO with a better-than-average community.
I thought this situation would be worth discussing as it pertains to MMOs in general because it’s really not at all unique to Guild Wars 2, and many MMO communities have developed everything from buff nights and care packages to whole newbie acclimation and education guilds. (And some MMOs run slaver rings. Yeah, the genre runs the gamut.)
What’s the best way for MMO vets to help new players? Making space in guilds? Random acts of kindness? Guides? Manning help channels? Offering to run dungeons? Or maybe just shutting up and going away?