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News & Features Discussion  » General: Top 5 MMO Learning Curves

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125 posts found

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16270

OP  9/28/10 12:13:33 PM#1

The List this week focuses on our favorite MMOs and the learning curves employed. How long it takes a player to pick up and play a game largely determines how long their tenure will be. Find out which games's Bill Muphy thinks make it tough on the newest players and then add your thoughts on the forums!

Last week signaled the launch of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV. As anyone who once wandered around in FFXI can attest, Square Enix’s MMOs aren’t exactly known for their adherence to the “way things are done” in MMO land. The forums and internet in general are abuzz with people arguing and taking their stands on whether or not FFXIV is any good. The truth of the matter is, a big wall FFXIV might have working against it is the fact that it’s not adhering to many of the gameplay facets that your everyday player is used to. Say for example the only MMO you have any knowledge of is WoW. Are you going to have an easy time picking up FFXIV and jumping right on in? Probably not.

Read more of The List.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  User Deleted
9/28/10 12:18:55 PM#2
My list. EVE, Ultima Online, Swg Pre-CU, Anarchy Online, Saga of Ryzom. If you understood any of those games fully the first month of play you were a god damn genius! Good article man. EVE ftw!!!!!

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7205

9/28/10 12:28:23 PM#3

I would throw in AC1 in there.  Except for Eve it is far more complex than any of the others and a much better game except for the graphics and the inability to control the bots.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

9/28/10 12:31:15 PM#4
Originally posted by Ozmodan

I would throw in AC1 in there.  Except for Eve it is far more complex than any of the others and a much better game except for the graphics and the inability to control the bots.

 Ya this list seemed to really miss games that had actual learning to them and just went with titles that people are more likely to know. Some of the list seems to exchange the term grind with learning curve.


AC1 has a large learning curve, there is a lot of information in there to get into your head. Not to mention slide casting and all that kind of good stuff. I am sure EvE has a higher learning curve but Asheron's Call is FAR above everything else on that weak list.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/12/10
Posts: 7

9/28/10 12:47:03 PM#5

It's not THAT hard to learn EVE tbh. There are many teaching corporations (Eve University, Unseen Academy, etc) and lots of people willing to help on Rookie channel, there's also a decent Wiki and many guides available on Youtube. 

I agree that it's not WoW-like idiot-friendly but that's one of the reasons I play EVE.

  User Deleted
9/28/10 12:49:55 PM#6





But in all honesty they are nowhere near as hard to 'learn' as some people would have you believe.

  User Deleted
9/28/10 12:54:54 PM#7
Originally posted by Vanzi

It's not THAT hard to learn EVE tbh. There are many teaching corporations (Eve University, Unseen Academy, etc) and lots of people willing to help on Rookie channel, there's also a decent Wiki and many guides available on Youtube. 

I agree that it's not WoW-like idiot-friendly but that's one of the reasons I play EVE.


Awesome then you could explain booster production to us because that guide reads like stereo instructions. Ever read the trading guide? It's the size of a phone directory. Players have had to create entire alliances just to teach players gameplay basics. I call that a game with. Severe learning curve.

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 1142

INTJ, fun is fun except when it's not

9/28/10 1:07:42 PM#8
Originally posted by Vanzi

It's not THAT hard to learn EVE tbh. There are many teaching corporations (Eve University, Unseen Academy, etc) and lots of people willing to help on Rookie channel, there's also a decent Wiki and many guides available on Youtube. 

I agree that it's not WoW-like idiot-friendly but that's one of the reasons I play EVE.

I've only played Eve probably a few months out of each year on average.  I always drift back and play it again now and then.  Way back when there was no tutorial to speak of past here is your ship, there is an enemy shoot it!  Loot it!  Ok off you go!! :P  There weren't any teaching corps around either or tractor beams or many other things there now.

But way back when before the tutorial stuff that is there now I would tell people it was like "ok here is a ship, off you go!"   I literally had no idea at all what to be doing, at all, but I loved it and loved having to find my own directions to work towards.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/24/07
Posts: 613

9/28/10 1:09:04 PM#9

Please stop describing the past wonderfulness that was SWG.  I get so sad.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 1142

INTJ, fun is fun except when it's not

9/28/10 1:14:01 PM#10
Originally posted by tman5

Please stop describing the past wonderfulness that was SWG.  I get so sad.

this too :(

Why no one else has made a game with that same style class system is beyond me :(  *cries*


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/08
Posts: 3762

9/28/10 1:45:31 PM#11

Mortal Online probably should have been #3 or #4 on the list.

Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/09
Posts: 166

9/28/10 1:57:26 PM#12

I also think Anarchy Online could have had a spot in that list.  The implant system, for instance, took a while to learn and to master the stacking.  Once you had got your head around the mechanics, you still had to either create a spreadsheet or do the math the old-fashioned way to plan your character well.  I fondly remember stat locked gear as opposed to the current trend of level locked.

Maybe I missed the learning curve, I didn't play for too long, but Darkfall for me was based on fairly simple mechanics.  I'd have ditched it, bumped swg up once place and added Anarchy Online in the gap.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/11/05
Posts: 633

9/28/10 2:32:10 PM#13

I would primary define hard to learn by how hard it is to aquire and understand the information i want, by this i would place mortal/darkfall #1 as you can hardly gain any info trough the game itself, eve ammounts to a lot to learn but the single lessons arent hard and the info is easily aquired through the game and a really active help channel solves anything not covered.


Wow graph is wrong, should be like this : _...._    at the beginning extremly easy, middle part bit harder as you ask yourself what to learn and how to skill while lvling and the end is easymode once more as you get told what to do in every detail and overgearing brings the hardest case trough 

Pi*1337/100 = 42


Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/06
Posts: 546

9/28/10 2:33:07 PM#14

Anarchy Online should be in any top 5 list of the MMO's with the steepest learning curves.  The implant system and the consequent 'twinking' possible are an order of magnitude more difficult to master than any other current MMO's.  Eve is hard because it is a different animal and SWG still has the most complex tradeskill system.



Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/04
Posts: 2323

9/28/10 2:57:09 PM#15

Playing Eve for the first time seems like your playing Excel Online, it feels like a spreadsheet. And yes Anarchy Online should have made the list.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

9/28/10 3:20:46 PM#16

Learning curves also depend a lot on playstyle.  I like to just log in and putter around until I figure things out from scratch using only in-game clues, avoiding playguides and player advice until I hit a wall.  It leads to great thrills of discovery when I find something I didn't know existed, but it can also lead to a lot of superstitions when a run of good/bad luck distorts my impression of how a stat or ability works.  Someone who sets out to "learn" the game - researching and getting advice, is going to know more about how to min-max a character in a week than I might figure out in a year, but that doesn't automatically mean they'll be having more fun.



Joined: 5/24/09
Posts: 2503

9/28/10 4:01:14 PM#17

Why would you put SWG: Pre-NGE on the list?

It does not exist any longer, so it does not matter to anyone playing now.

Anarchy Online should have been in its place.

-Letting Derek Smart work on your game is like letting Osama bin Laden work in the White House. Something will burn.-
-And on the 8th day, man created God.-


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/08
Posts: 17

9/28/10 4:24:04 PM#18

Understanding the basics of implants wasnt taht bad in Anarchy online. But making 20-30 custom made implants, getting buffs to put some to step up to another set of implants to upgrade to a 3rd set of implants to be able to equip a final set of implants that with enough buffs would be able to cast Grid Armor 3-4 at low-mid (60 for ga4 and 100 for ga4) was a really work of art with the spreadsheets.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/03/09
Posts: 725

9/28/10 5:26:24 PM#19

Dwarf Fortress should be number 1. imho!  (if it was MM and O ^^)


Eve deserves number 1 obviously,        PoTBS  i'm not so sure about, it doesn't  have that much of a steep learning curve...



Novice Member

Joined: 7/19/04
Posts: 2

9/28/10 5:32:30 PM#20

Ah yes wondering around looking like an idiot in your Biomed armour and wincing at the horrendous fees charged by Traders for buffs.

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