Newbie guide to MMO's
Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:30 AM
I am creating this guide to help out new people that are new to this genre to help them out with the basics on how to be a good player, for you advanced mmo players; most of this will be stuff that you already know. And a lot of this stuff is just plain common sense.
Some of the terms may be foreign to you check out this web site if you don't understand something in this guide, also learn the terms so you know what the heck is going on once you get in the game. http://mmoterms.com/
1) Get your hardware set up properly.
The 1st thing to getting started in an mmo is essential and pretty basic you need a computer: my advise is build your own, or have a talented friend help you build one. You can save a ton of money vs. buying one premade and you can get exactly what you want instead of what dell wants you to have. Of course most people are on a budget, but to be good you should do what you can to get a decent system, lag can be killer even in an mmo, I am not really that up to date on the latest parts so I will not go that far into it, but if you buy your parts on the really cheap sites like tigerdirect.com and newegg.com you can get a computer for about 500 bucks that will play most if not all mmo's very well, you don't need to be super rich now a days to get a good computer, and the nice thing about mmo's is they are tailor made to run decent even on low end computers. There are some basic things that I highly recommend that you buy to give you an advantage when playing:
good mouse/keyboard: The biggest thing you can do to help yourself is to get a ton of hotkeys, I use a cheap keyboard, but a really high end mouse, personally I think the mouse is more important. Also having something that controls smooth with a good dpi and comfort is a major help.
I highly recommend purchasing a mouse made specifically for mmo's the one I use is the razer naga http://www.tigerdire...380&CatId=2390.
For 70 bucks you cannot beat this deal, it is cheap 17 buttons 5600 dpi. I love mine and I know a ton of people that love there's.
Next is the headset, this is basically a must have for anyone that wants to be serious, I am not going to recommend any particular one due to the fact that everyone has a different shaped head and some headsets are going to be really comfortable for some people and agonizing for others, but none the less it is really important to have one.
The nice thing about mmo's is that you really don't need to spend much money at all, unlike fps games your really don't need a high end piece, because you are not listening to foot steps, just something that works and a decent mic so people won't feel the need to punch babies when you talk. I highly recommend using a headset instead of speakers and a boom mic just to make sure that you are not putting in feed back which can annoy and distract other player.
Internet: enough said get a good connection this is just basic and essential try to go wired over wireless, I have had a lot of problems with wireless in the past.
Monitor: This is much more important that it seems especially in mmo's having a big high resolution monitor can make all the difference, if you play most mmo's with a small monitor with low resolution, your ui tends to take up much more space on your screen, in games like wow that are highly customizable and have a ton of mods it is even more important, because it is just that much more mods and info that you can fit on your screen at a readable level while having a good amount of viewing area. Personally I recommend acer for those on a budget, they look fantastic, and they are usually the lowest price monitors that you can get. I got a 23" led backlit with hdmi and I absolutely love it, a really nice thing is that it also came with every cable that it can use which was very cool, and only 150$.
Comfy chair: people tend to play mmo's for a long time and a nice chair is a must not just for performance and personal comfort, but when sitting for extended periods of time in an uncomfortable chair you can actually develop muscular skeletal disorders, which can cause health issues, 150$ for a good chair or potential life long health issues? The choice seems obvious to me, go to a local office store and sit in a bunch of chairs to find one that is nice and comfy. Be sure to get up and stretch every once in a while too.
2) Get in the game.
Now that we are all set up on the hardware end next up is getting into the actual game.
If you want to be competitive in mmo's it is best to get a head start, be sure to preorder, to get the game asap, get into beta testing if you can to get a head start. Getting in right at the start is not only good for skill but also good to level up your character faster and stay on top of gear better. With some of the mmo's that are out now a days you cannot lag behind because you will just not be able to catch up and not be able to be competitive and be a top gamer. And the more you lag behind the worse it gets, because you will not be able to get in the top groups that are clearing content faster and they will just keep pulling ahead of you more and more. The good news is if you do fall behind most mmo's use a tier based system, or season based system, so when the new tier comes out you will be close to a level playing field with the high end players.
Another very very important thing is to protect your account, protect your computer, and protect yourself. One time I got my wow account hacked and I was very upset to say the least, took about 3 weeks to get everything back to normal, only thing nice about it is that I had an absolute ridiculous amount of ore, and my mining was maxed out. And all I had to do was get an authenticator for less than 10$. I highly recommend getting a authenticator if one is available, these make your account virtually hack proof, major huge banks use this same technology to electronically transfer millions and millions of dollars every day.
Also get a good virus scanner, avg free is amazing works better than most if not all virus scanners, just be sure to keep it up to date and scan frequently www.avg.com. Make sure that you got a firewall windows fire wall works great for me, also have an up to date operating system, I use window 7 pro works great and is more secure than an older os, plus it tends to make your computer run better increasing your gaming performance. Also use a complex password with numbers capitol letters and lowercase letters, especially if you are playing a game that doesn't have an authenticator, some hackers use brute force hacks which just keep putting in random and not so random passwords till they find one that works, this can thwart it. Also just stay away from shady websites, the hacking technology now a days is insane, even with a good up to date virus scanner you can get a nasty virus just by logging onto a website, be extremely careful with any torrents, piracy is a no no but a lot of people still do it so if you do be careful and try to get downloads that are verified. Also try to always back up your personal files on a flash drive or a disc, some viruses completly destroy your computer to where you can not even use it, and you don't wanna lose precious information, also some viruses are just insanely hard to get rid of completely if not impossible to get rid of, so if you do get infected it is best to wipe your hard drive clean and start over, when that happens you will want these items on a removable media to put them back on your computer. DO NOT ILLEGALLY BUY GOLD!!!! In most of these mmo's buying/selling gold, accounts or items for real money is prohibited, it is a easy one way street to a ban, aslo these gold farmers are notorious for hacking your computer and stealing your account.
3) Knowledge is power.
So now you have a nice computer that is working properly you have a game that is running great, and now you need to learn how to play it.
In the past 8 years I have learned a lot about mmo's and one of the most important things is knowing your game and knowing your class, knowledge can make or break you I have beaten some of the best players in the game just because I did my research and knew a few tactics, or tricks that put me a head of them, so here are some things that you should be checking out.
Forums are very vital to learning your class and game, be sure to check up on many different forums frequently to learn new things, be sure to spend a lot of time on your class forums, but do not neglect the other classes, knowing your enemy is just as important as knowing yourself, as is knowing your friends. If you pvp or pve check out those forums too, be sure to also check up on admin post on official forums for the latest information so you can prepare for the changes a head.
Meters: If available get a good meter to check your dps or healing or whatever else is necessary, since mmo's are about community it is also very important to see how your teammates are doing, if they are under performing you can help bring attention to this and do what you can to make them better players, if they are out performing you it is a good idea to find out what they are doing that you are not doing. Using these meters in raids,pvp, or beating on a target dummy is also a good way to evaluate your skill set, find out how hard you are actually hitting for for different skills, what is there dps (damage per seconds), or dpe (damage per execution), healing per seconds or whatever, this will help you evaluate what you should be using and when, is this enemy going to die in less than 10 seconds maybe I should not put a dot (damage over time) spell on him, and nuke him instead, find out what aoe (area of effect) spells are hitting for how many enemys or allies you need to be able to hit to make them effective over a single target spell, I have seen many many people even good player make mistakes by aoeing when they could hit harder by nuking and visa verse, knowing what your spells actually do is critical.
Read guides a lot: Most good guides are written by players that are well experienced and skilled and can help you learn much faster than just playing the game or trying to scour forums, but do not always take everything that every good player says to heart, some of there strategy's are tailor made to the goal that they are trying to achieve or tailor made to play with there comp or buddies, use this knowlege but mold it into you own strategy that works best for you and the people that you are playing with. Also no body is 100% right all the time, I have seen some of the best players spec a certain way or use a certain tactic that is inferior, but they are a top dog so they are stubborn and will not stray away from a system that works for them.
Be a zombie and eat brains seriously: Pick people brains, lets say you play a rogue in wow, you are new but dedicated, a uber rogue in your guild does much more damage than you every time, find out why. I see a lot of mediocre players out there because they refuse to learn from other people, copy success and you have success, at the end of the day that other rogue doesn't have some magic trick that will always just make him better than you, you can be just as good as him and then later beat him.
Ask questions: If you are conflicted about a certain strategy or spec be sure to get on the forums or guild chat or whatever and do the work it takes to find an answer, sometimes this can be as simple as asking a guildie, and sometimes it can be as complex as starting a new thread to investigate into the subject using theocrafting, starting a thread to figure out a problem that no one has the answer to and putting people minds together to solve it and come up with a solution.
Variety is the spice of life: Something that can be very important is to try out a lot of different gear set ups, specs, classes, or whatever to help you figure out the best way to achieve the goals of you and your guild buddies. Reading and theocrafting is great, there is nothing wrong with that, but getting in there and actually trying out the different things you learned will make you successful and help you find out a set up and play style that fits you as a gamer, everyone is different and everyone performs different with different classes, specs, gear etc. Find out what works for you. Also play other classes if you have a main try to get some time playing other classes to see what it is like from there view you would be surprised how much this can help in pvp and pve. I have done this to help me figure out how to beat classes in pvp that I could not before, just because I found out what all the ability's actually did and what things that my main class did that affected me most, also in pve this is good to learn the moves that your buddies do, for example it is nice to learn the exact way that certain support ability's wors so that when you play your main you can use them to your advantage the most. Also playing a variety of classes is a very good way to find out which one you like the best and which one you will perform best with.
Watch a ton of video's: Check out 1st person how the best players do what they do, check out boss guide strategy's for pve content before you go in there.
Use the tools: Be sure to use calculators for talents/gear or whatever to get an idea of the best way to set up your charecter, use databases to do the reserach to find out what is the best gear you can get and how to get it.
4) Playing the game.
All the knowledge in the world and the best computer money can buy will do jack squat for you if you cannot execute, in order to be the best you must learn to optimally control your character, learn your tactics and how to position your character, and also how to work with your team.
One of the biggest pieces of advise I can give is HOT KEYS, HOT KEYS, HOT KEYS. Unless you have faster hands than bruce lee you need to hot key almost every ability that you use, a split second in an mmo can be the difference between a win and a loss, hot keys will help you use the exact ability that you need instantly at the exact time when you need it. In wow and swtor I use over 20 hot keys. For new people this can seem very overwhelming and it is, many people try use tons of hot keys and give up thinking that it is just too complicated and hard to master, but it really isn't. Even with all my experience I still get thrown off a lot when I switch up my hot keys for different specs or classes or whatever, and I feel gimp but I just keep practicing till I get it down. Once you get in enough practice; even for a new player hot keys will fell like an extension of your own body, you will react and hit them with out even realizing it, this I can promise you, just be sure to keep practicing and practicing till you get it down, cause in the end this will put you leages ahead of every player that doesn't do it. Earlier I was talking about my 17 button mmo mouse, this is the main reason why I got one, some games that are out now have an insane amount of ability's that you need to be able to execute very quickly and you will run out of buttons fast having 17 right at your finger tips will help a ton.
Good use of keyboard keys: I see a lot of people hot key all sorts of ability's that are no where near there left hand, this is a big mistake you should be using things that are near your left hand which should be near the wasd keys. A lot of mmo's have non-combat command bound to these keys, you should get rid of them 1st thing. Move them or just click an icon if you need to bring up character screen or whatever. A good example is Wow z x and c are by default sit, sheath/unsheathe, and pull up character screen. These are pretty much taking up key's that will be much better utilized for ability's. For myself personally I usually use the following hot keys on my key board: 1-5, z,x,c,f,tab,ctrl,shift,v,g,r. With my mouse that is really all I need, they are all near my finger and can be quickly accessed, also I use shift as a modifier for a ton of abilitys, shift+f, shift+most of my mouse buttons, etc. The ability's that you use most should be only keys that are they easiest to access, while saving ability's that are not used that often on key's that are not so easily accessed, especially ability's with long cool downs. In mmo's you will end up using a lot of ability's on the move, try to reserve these ability's for buttons that do not interfere with your wasdqe movement controls so that you can always hit these while moving in any direction, if anything else In most mmos, if you cannot hit them while running a certain direction hit jump to keep moving in air while pressing the button that you need.
Positioning: In mmo's this is basic and very important you need to know where you have to be for a fight, to avoid the fire in pve, or get a tactical advantage in pvp, this is something that you will just have to pick up as you go along. For ranged classes you should stick to a spot where you can get an open line of sight one someone that you need to dps or heal, while blocking your own line of sight against enemy's that want to attack you. You need to learn when to go in and fight, when to wait for allys, when to hump around a pillar to survive, when to kite, and when to run away. I see a lot of good player not do so good cause they are not using the environment to there advantage, these people are geared experienced know the classes and rotations, but will just die because they put themselves into a bad position.
User Interface: Almost every mmo out there has at least some customization on the ui, some game like wow have unlimited customization, but there are certain key things you should always try to set up on your ui if possible. Make sure that all your ability's are grouped together so you can keep an eye on them at one glance, try to put most of your similar ability's together, and try to put the stuff you use most in the same spot. The proper information will help you analyze the situation and win, if possible set up your ui where you can see the exact health of everyone in every frame, for healers it is a great idea to set up your frames where it shows how much health is missing so you know exactly how much they need to be healed. If possible always set up your ability's with timers so you know when cd's are up and dot's and hot's need to be refreshed. As well as having enemy frames set up so you can keep an eye on what they are doing. try to minimize ui elements that are not neccessary in combat if you can free up space for the important things and give you a better viewing area. Also set up your ui for convience and efficency for when you are out of combat, less time you spend messing with these things is the more time you can have playing your charecter and leveling up. The ui subject is broad as the day is long take the time do your research check out screen shots of other peoples ui's, and check out 3rd party ui options as well.
Team work: There is no I in team, pretty basic advise, always go for the win, for example don't just try to top damage in a fight, when you could use up one gcd (global cool down) to save someone from death, saving that person will make up for that dps loss on that one gcd a thousand times over. If everyone gives there all and workes as a team success will come naturally. Learn to play together with your friends to make sure that people are positioning right and doing there task, it is also very important to get along with everyone, having people in a good mood can make or break the chemestry that will cause you to achieve your goals, don't troll people, don't say things that will obviously offend people, this is just common sense. I have seen some amazing gamers that I would never ever play with just because they have a rotten attitude that brings everyone down.
Think ahead: Stay 10 steps ahead of the competition, use your experience to predict what is going to happen next so you can react instantly and never be caught off guard, this ranges to everything form learning the tactics of some enemy in pvp, to just learning raid encounter bosses. Pretty simple.
Practice Pracitce Pracitce: Try to stay away from doing things that waste your time, yes you can have fun, but it is a trade off from being competetive, keep your eye on the prize and use your time wisely to gear up and get better. I see a lot of people screw around in pvp and pve, either because they know the match/encounter is lost, or they are going to steam roll it. I always give 110% if there is a boss fight that I know i can basically just sit there and do nothing while my raid kills it because it is so effing easy, I still do all out dps just for the practice, If I am in a pvp match that is a 100% chance of loosing I still give it my all just to make myself a better player. Play like you mean it if you want to be a top gamer.
Do a lot of research to find out your best priority/rotation for you spells/abilitys to maximize your damage/heaing/support/threat. Learn how to use ability's in different situations.
Keep your eye's peeled watch buff/debuffs, health bars incoming damage/attacks, cool downs, timers. etc. This is nothing anyone can teach you, but to be successful you can not have tunnel vision you gotta keep your eye's peeled at all times, this can be very difficult, so set you your ui properly to make it easier. Get out of the fire ffs.
Bling Bling: Try to get as much in game currency as you can, most games have an auction house you can use to play the market and get rich, spend you currency wisely, try not to waste it on vanity items, even if there is nothing you can buy at the moment to make you better, save your money for when that next patch comes around the corner.
Communication In game is key, always call out something if it can help you win, prime example is any premade pvp group has a tremendous advantage over a pug group cause there communicating with eachother, give lot's of information on what is going on from you point of view, but try not to clutter the voice chat or talk over people.
5) Work with the community.
So you can have all the skill in the world and all the best gear, sick computer etc.. Won't mean anyting if you are not playing with good poeple, I have not seen any mmo that has any really serious single player content, everything is about the community.
Main thing is do not be a douche, obvious. I see people do it all the time, geared skilled people that no one likes and no one want's to play with because they are assholes. Also when you are vulgar you are risking your account, you can be suspended and banned don't drop the N bomb in trade chat, don't say somehting stupid that you will regret later.
Make friends be sure to network with people and fill up your friends list, also be sure to really keep an eye on the perfomance of the people in your guild and on your friends list so that you know how to hand pick to your raid or team to make the strongest possible team. Keep a close eye on potential recruits to help get strong players in your guild, toss them an invite, if you can't recommend them to an officer.
Work together with other guilds/groups of people, In the past I have gotten in with some great guilds that I wasn't even a member of and had some really sweet opportunitys to raid or pvp with them. Being polite goes a long way, you say the wrong thing to the wrong guy, it will not be just him that will alienate you but possible an entire guild.
Help guildies out, get different crafting skills to help everyone get geared better and faster, use the guild bank to get rid of items that you do not need that might help out someone else, help gear up people so that they are better when they play with you, pass gear to someone if you know for sure that it will be much better for the guild if he get's it, try to communicate with your guild as much as possible when it comes to organizing groups, let them know when you can play. Learn from guildies.
In the end if/when you do become a total badass help out other friends and guildies as much as possible don't just be on of those guy's that stays quite the whole time, help teach people that are not as experienced as you stregthen the core group of people that you play with and it comes back to you, you help them, you down more content or do better in pvp get more gear and then perpetuate.
Well that is it hope this helps some people be sure to ask questions if you need any help.
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