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The Gamer's Handbook for MMORPGs: Top 10 Things to Know as a New Player

Updated on August 16, 2014

Definition of MMORPG for those new to this subject.

MMORPG: An MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) is an online video game where many people play together in real time as fantasy characters such as elves, dwarves, humans and others. The characters pick a class or profession like a warrior or wizard and beginning at level 1, progress to the highest level by doing quests alone or with others. Players can group up and also join guilds which are like teams or armies. These guilds for the social fabric of the game. Guilds go to war against an opposing faction ordinarily. You must choose a faction at the start when you create your character. It is like living in a fantasy world with a real economy and more.

10 Must Know Things for New MMORPG Players

If this is your first MMORPG you have so much to look forward to. Your first game like this is a memorable experience as everything is completely new. Welcome to lands of magic, sorcery, war and of course dragons and dungeons! Originally the idea for MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games) came from RPGs (Role Playing Games). And the first RPG for commercial sale was Dungeons and Dragons. In the 70's when the game came out, we used paper, books and dice to play and there were no computers or Internet. So remember that you are going to enter another world as another person or creature - this will be the role you play. You are a hero in an epic tale! Every MMO starts off with creating your character.


1 Create Your Hero or Heroine!

At the beginning of the game you will have to choose to be a male or female. You also must name your character, decide what he or she will look like and pick the race and class too. If you have never done it before - do not worry at all because you can try out your hero and delete it later. And in most games you can have more than one character. Everyone has a "main". A "main" is just that - the character you will level up to the top and spend the most time with. Most people then have "alts" or alternative characters.

The best thing to do is create a character and test it out. However, you need to know more about creating a character as it will affect your game. It is a horrible waste of time to play a character for hours and hours only to realize you dislike it. Or that it is the worst class in the game. For example, let's say you decide to play a ranger or wizard (ranged classes). You will typically fight from afar and not close up. Perhaps you dislike this. You might prefer to play a warrior class - warriors are close contact fighters that play in the front of the line (melee classes). OK so follow these steps so far to be clear:

• Follow the on screen directions in your game for character creation.

• You will decide to be male or female in most games. And you must choose what you will look like: hair, eye color, body type and often more. The game Aion which is now free to play has a very complex character creation that allows you to spend a long time designing what you look like. But in most games you can just randomize everything if you do not care about this.

• You will have to decide what race to be. Each race has advantages and disadvantages. For some races it is best to play a certain type of class too. Do not worry about this for now. You are simply getting used to making a character and can erase it after a few levels if you change your mind. Typical races are: human, dwarf, and elf but in many games there are others that fit the world you play in. For example in LOTRO there is an option to play a hobbit. Make sure you read what is on your screen for races - everything is explained for you.

• Now you pick a "class" which is what kind of skills you will have. There are magic user classes that wear light armor and fight from far away. There are warrior classes that wear the heaviest armor and fight up front and use sword and shield or one handed great swords. These are called melee classes. Then you usually have a healing class and others such as thieves or assassins. The assassin uses stealth and poison with daggers most of the time. There are also rangers that fight from a distance using a bow. And in some games there are classes that can use guns. Basically you will fight from far away, fight up front, fight in the center or heal.

• Name the character and enter your game. Never concern yourself that your are choosing incorrectly. Just roll up a character and get into the game. You will learn by experience too. Plus all you need to know for now is on your screen when you choose.

• Now begin to play in the starter or "noob" area. The term "noob" is a mean way of referring to a newcomer. Take all the quests and complete them. You will gain experience, get a weapon and armor and start to level up.

2 Pick the easiest class and the most powerful one as your first character.

I suggest you find out in your game forums what is the most "OP" or overpowered class. And the easiest one to play. Warriors are usually simple to play. You just kill everything first and up front. You do not have to think about stealth or position and you have the toughest gear for survival. Healers and sorcerers tend to wear the weakest armor and so are harder to play. In some games it tells you the difficulty level per class. Good healers are few and hard to find as they support other players in a team. But if you play a healer and become good at it you will almost ALWAYS get invited to a group.

3 Try out all the classes if this is your first MMORPG

It is a good idea to try each class. Level each one up to about 10 so you get an idea of what it feels like. Many people like to chop up monsters with swords and axes or even hammers. Some rather explode everything from far away with balls of fire or bolts of electricity. And others prefer to sneak up on the enemy and stab them. Try them all because you will need to discover what it the best "fit" for you.

4 Join a guild as soon as possible!

Join a guild so you can ask questions about good classes for first timers. People will be happy to help you. And if you dislike the guild after some time - leave and find another that better suits you. Just don't join and quit many quickly. Give each guild a chance. You will need the expertise of people who have played these games.

You will have people to play and level up with, be able to help others when you know more, gain the ability to ask questions and at times for help. Try not to ask for help all the time or too much without also helping because you need to be able to take care of yourself. Guilds tend to shy away from overly "needy" players as it takes away from their game time.

Choose a guild that welcomes newcomers and is helpful.

5 Read about the races and classes online in the forums.

All MMORPGs have a forum where there is information about everything. The company that makes the game will provide you with minimal and basic information but the players will tell you what is best, what is terrible and cover all game topics.

MMORPGs are complex worlds with many people, there is a population of real human beings online with a world map, an economy and many of the things you find in reality. It takes a long time to learn everything and even after many many years of gaming - I am still learning new things all the time. And so it is good to read forums and tips to learn from others.



6 Figure out a way to make money as soon as possible.

Every game has its own currency and you will need this money to buy items like weapons, armor, healing potions and foods that can give you bonuses. In most games you will be able to make money by gathering or collecting things such as types of leather or metals, plants and foods. You can sell these to people using the AH (Auction House) and they will use them to "craft" in-game items to sell.

You can also craft things. There are alchemists who make healing potions and other types. There are also people who craft weapons and armor. You may like to find out which of these is easier and will make you money faster.

If you do not want to read all kinds of information - just collect everything and sell it all. Some items you sell to an NPC (Non Player Character) vendor because they are not worth anything for crafting. But many things sell on the auction house. Remember to ask a guild mate too if your not a big fan of reading lots of information.


7 Learn MMORPG Abbreviations and Terms.

The moment you begin to play you will come across a new language in the region and world chat. Learn these terms or you will be lost. Take your time as there are so many. You will see messages such as:

WTS = Want to sell

WTB = Want to buy

LFG = Looking for group

DPS = Damage per second

AoE = Area of Effect

Dot = Damage over time

Tank = Warrior class that fights up front and absorbs most of the damage

Heals = The healing classes such as a cleric, priest or monk.

WB = Welcome back

PvE = Player versus Environment

PvP = Player versus Player

Note: This is an extremely short list - there are many terms like this. You will need to know them when you run dungeons for PvE or PvP against other players.

I have a much larger list for you in The MMORPG Dictionary. The link is below for your reference.

8 Sign up on your guilds website

Once you join a guild, sign up on their website. The website is a good place to learn form others and leave messages for people. Here you can ask and answer questions. Learn more about your guild and the rules it has, the events it does and what is expected of you.

9 Remember to help others when you know how to play.

Never forget that you once knew nothing and that many people helped you. Some players become egotistical and make fun of new players. This ruins the community on your server. In MMORPGs I have met people who gave me free items, ran me through dungeons, taught me how to craft, and also taught me how to run a guild. I learned all I know over the past 10 or more years by: playing, reading and getting help from the best players.

Remember to "pass it on". Passing it on is an expression we use to remind ourselves that once we were nothing, knew nothing and were ignorant. And now that we are wise, veterans and know a lot - we should pay it back to new players. It is important. Without people like this we would not learn totally alone.These are social games. Be generous.

10 Have fun

Remember that above and beyond all these games are for fun. If you get too serious you will find yourself in the "drama" part of your game. Players who whine, complain, brag, and insult other gamers and guilds are missing the point. It is perfectly fine to compete and want to win and be the best. But one does not need to speak about this publicly. It is, after all, just a game.

Was this useful for you as a new player of MMORGs?

Was this useful for you as a new player of MMORGs?

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© 2014 Randall Jonas

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    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 4 months ago from Canada

      Many of the good ones are now free. Try Rift or Aion!

    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 4 months ago from Canada

      No I am not laughing, if you played an MMORPG with some kind people who like to share and teach you would no doubt learn fast!

    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 4 months ago from Canada

      Yes I agree that an easy class is best to begin, otherwise people rage at you!

    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 4 months ago from Canada

      Hello and thanks for the appreciation.

    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 16 months ago from Canada

      I am happy if it helped you!

    • CYong74 profile image

      Cedric Yong 16 months ago from Singapore

      Your list of abbreviations is truly useful! I ... embarrassed myself quite a bit by not knowing them, when I first started on MMOs.

    • SimilarSam profile image

      Sam 3 years ago from Australia

      Very useful tips I think not enough people use tip 2 for a new MMO. It's always better to start easy and then go a harder class in my opinion.

    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 3 years ago from Canada

      No I am not laughing. I started off not knowing anything in 2004. It took me a very long time to learn and many people helped me.

    • RandallJonas profile image
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      Randall Jonas 3 years ago from Canada

      Thank-you!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 3 years ago from Malaysia

      My son is studying Video Game Design Program and this article will make sense to him. I have to admit I am lost and the only game that I play is candy crush. (I am sure this statement must have set you off rolling with laughter!)

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Amazing... I'm still at Harvest Moon games... Thanks for sharing! ;-)