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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Newbies

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 15980

OP  7/08/13 6:02:50 PM#1

Everyone was, at one time or another, a newbie in their chosen MMO. How those newbs are treated can literally make or break a game. In his latest column, Matt Miller takes on the issue of Newbies and much more. Read on and then share some of your newbie experiences in the comments.

When I played Star Wars: The Old Republic I was usually the one answering newbies’ questions on the Rebel Fleet; telling them where the skill respec NPC can be found, or what gathering skills went with what professions. A lot of time, however, players would simply tell the asker to “look it up” or be even ruder in their replies. I know when I am just starting out playing a game (especially if it’s been around awhile and it seems like everyone is a veteran) that I am wary of asking “newbie” questions for fear of getting the rude answers. I usually wait to see if someone else gets a polite response before I chime in with my own questions. I wish this didn’t have to be the case.

Read more of Matt Miller's Newbies.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18378

7/09/13 12:16:59 PM#2

In Lineage 2 I would completely gear new players in bronze armor and a Falchion (or whatever the corresponding mage equipment etc)

I once saw a player in the "Ruins of Despair" (I think that was it) and gave him a million adena. If I'm not mistaken he rose to become one of the more powerful players on the server.

Another time there was a player who started but was unsure whether he watned to continue the game. I told him about some of the places and how neat they were and his interest really was piqued. So I decided to take him on a world tour, paid for his travel and just took him to many higher level areas. since I was high level at the time, there wasn't much that I couldn't handle so I was able to take him to many places in the game world.

Even if he died because some mob targeted him first I would rez him. It was a fun time.

As for my experience I usually keep to myself as a new player unless I'm playing with friends. If I have a question I'll go to the forums as I have little patience with some of the attitudes that inhabit these games. Still, it's always a pleasure when you run into one of the "good ones".



Novice Member

Joined: 1/24/04
Posts: 13

7/09/13 1:01:24 PM#3
When I started playing SWG only newbies existed, especially back at the time we haven't had fancy Wiki sites that thought about our game of choice.

I remember so many instances of helping newbies for half a day and eventually them joining our guild, becoming a valueable member of our society.

It really is not worth to rant at somebody trying to figure out a GAME. Just think of it as a school, would you have liked to be laughted at because you asked a question obvious to everyone?

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2968

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

7/09/13 1:25:37 PM#4

While its different for each game, typically most people aren't against helping newbies out. Asking a simple question in chat that isn't an obvious detail or could be tricky isn't something I am above. The term newbie and noob are two different things to me, newbie more just a new player while noob is a player that is just usually... horrible. They could be new but most often they are just clueless people that... /cringe. 

Over-all, I think people should be comfortable being new with a game. You don't need to be a master at it, so long as you are trying and you aren't just being a leech on others, most people shouldn't really mind you.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/11
Posts: 18

7/09/13 1:36:23 PM#5

around year 2001 i started mmo gaming with UO..

i got into game, 30 min later i understand the basics and got killed by PKs at minoc mine during mining.. than i understand pvp part of the game is where the fun is.. i got blade spirit scroll, used it at minoc mines.. became PK ,  than it took me couple hours to find Buc's den.. Afterwards i grinded my toon as PK, never became blue..  

I was amateur mmo player for a day or two, i can admit that.. besides that, i think being newbie is not about experience, its about personality... A person can have ultimate experience in something but that won't make him pro.. if he is a noob, he will always be a noob.. being noob is not about experience, its all about state of mind..


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/09/13 1:44:38 PM#6

Even with all my years of playing games, I tend to be nervous entering a mature game for the first time, fearing I will be set upon by predatory scammers or that some well-meaning person will drop a million of their surplus gold me, rendering moot the game's entire low-level progression.

Conversely, I find I am often hesitent to help new players for fear they are trolling me or are seeking a handout (even on this very board, I find myself looking at a post and wondering "are you lost, trolling or attempting some subtle viral marketting").

I fear that my experiences with both ends of the new player experience have done little to improve my more cynical worries about humanity.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 924

7/09/13 2:22:47 PM#7

Bad people are bad, either from upbringing and environment or they are just born that way.  Asking them to change is pointless, because they can’t or won’t.  But you hinted at the solution, /ignore them, shun them, and exclude them.  True, the isolation may nourish their hatred, but like most animals it will starve their being. They have no place in a social society.

Maybe I’m wrong, and tolerating them will not cause this sickness to spread.  You don’t become evil, simply from being around evil do you?

Pardon any spelling errors
Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
As if it could exist, without being payed for.
F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/23/08
Posts: 418

7/09/13 3:01:20 PM#8

I was a newbie in Eve Online.

I followed a friend into Eve from another game, and for a while they would help out and show me some of the ropes but they wanted to get on with their career in Eve and liked doing alliance warfare so i kinda needed some more help.

I found out about Eve University, a corp that was dedicated to showing the new pilots what Eve could actually be. At the time a guy called Morning Maniac was the founder and CEO, he also funded it in large part. There i found a group of people who were willing to give up time in the game that they all payed for themselves to help others. They taught me about mining (ninja mining was a rush), they taught me how to fit a ship and more importantly the theories of ship fitting, they taught me what to do in a gang and in a fleet, the theories of combat in Eve. They taught me how to manufacture and how to explore. They taught me what was needed to run a corp.

With Eve University I fought in a large scale campaign (TBB vs MC) as a lowly tackler, it was intense and boring at the same time, I became invested in the game through these people. The learning curve of Eve at the time (and somewhat still to this day) is known to very very steep and opportunities to carve out a niche for yourself were great. These people helped me to get a very very good grasp on what Eve was and what it could be. I stayed with EU for a time, helping the next generations of new pilots. I loved my time there, they made Eve glitter in grandeur for me and I was bathed in glowing community.

People who help with the newbies count yourselves as special, because your are, you can make a game glitter in grandeur for them as these people did for me.

F2P/P2P excellent thread.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/13
Posts: 259

"You are mine, I'm yours, and if we die, we die. But first we'll live." Ygritte

7/09/13 3:13:01 PM#9

My wife and me were playing SWTOR which I had played for years  and she was interested in giving MMOs a shot again.

Leveling was fun and she had a blast til we got to the first flashpoint.

We pugged it and the other 2 players who were the same level btw. Total asshats. Wanted to skip all the convo's and all the scenes.  It was awful. By the end of it one of the party members insulted my wife cause she didn't heal them. Now if you played the first flashpoint, you know its kinda brain dead easy and the guy didn't even die. He was just being a d*ck for no reason. I swiftly reported him and that was the end of it.

Needless to say. We don't play SWTOR anymore. The MMO community I believe is a rotten apple. Pretty much asshats bound freely now.

I find myself playing more for the features and innovations in MMOs then actually wanting to play with other people.

MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/30/13
Posts: 224

7/09/13 3:13:10 PM#10

The sort of people who are rude in response to newbie questions are the same sort of people who trot out tired lines like 'I don't suffer fools gladly'.  They wear this demeanor as proof of intellect and general superiority when in reality it just means they need to be taught a few manners.  


Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 756

The Ambassador of PvP.

7/09/13 4:22:52 PM#11
Originally posted by Konfess

Bad people are bad, either from upbringing and environment or they are just born that way.  Asking them to change is pointless, because they can’t or won’t.  But you hinted at the solution, /ignore them, shun them, and exclude them.  True, the isolation may nourish their hatred, but like most animals it will starve their being. They have no place in a social society.

Maybe I’m wrong, and tolerating them will not cause this sickness to spread.  You don’t become evil, simply from being around evil do you?

Its a scientific fact...

Essentially you are who you hang around, if you have an athletic body and you play basketball... both your athlectic ability and skill will improve playing with players of greater skill than your own. Same applies with the negative aspect of life... if all you do is hang around people that glorify things such as (speaking negatively about others, Stealing from stores, Fighting) these things will rub off on you. Even spending alot of time with a person one could pick up on their body language or catch phrases.







Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/17/03
Posts: 160

7/09/13 7:02:16 PM#12
I literally will not touch a MOBA for this very reason. No LoL, no HoN and no DotA2 for me... I get enough abuse in life, I do not need to subject myself to those communities.


"Give a man a fire, and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he is warm for the rest of his life."


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/06/03
Posts: 155

7/09/13 7:41:01 PM#13
well i usually help newbs get thru the 1st flashpoint on the way towards coruscant after all im so high i can solo it :) i let him/her get all loot all i ask of th player is to comeback n help another person later when he/shes higher lvld :) for i wus helped once when i wus new so y shuldnt i help others?

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/10/08
Posts: 58

7/09/13 9:02:48 PM#14
When I start a new game I like to do as much as possible solo, till I get at least mid level. I like to be able to contribute when I start grouping. But whenever I can help out a noob I will, regardless of my level. I'm old fashioned that way. I like to help others, but I don't like to ask for help. 

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/25/06
Posts: 503

7/09/13 9:13:04 PM#15
I always enjoy helping out newbs when I can. I also really enjoy it myself in a new game being a newb. Discovering things a new game, good times.

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/19/11
Posts: 782

7/09/13 9:44:23 PM#16
I enjoy helping out newbies. I do it a lot in EvE. We get a bad rap there but newbs have to understand that we're more than willing to give answers to questions and  actual help when it's not too much trouble, but we don't give any sympathy. We don't have any. So take your lumps like the rest of us and learn from your setbacks but don't go whining about them. Also there is no best ship for anything, except the Tristan is best at looking awesome.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/06/03
Posts: 103

7/09/13 9:51:25 PM#17
Been a newbie in alot of games.  I am kinda obstinate and prideful so rarely ask for help and often times just like being alone.  If someone wants to help, I will accept usually.  That said, I try to pay attention to chat for those who need help once I am less newbish.  And I never refuse to answer a direct /tell from someone.  This often makes me the 'loner' in the guild.  You know the one that will always drop what they are doing if someone needs help with items or raids, etc but usually is off doing his own thing.

Major or Current Characters
AC - The Brute lvl 85 macer -HG (retired)
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Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

7/09/13 9:53:03 PM#18

"A lot of time, however, players would simply tell the asker (sic) to “look it up” or be even ruder in their replies."

Doesn't have to be rude. The vets always know where the web resources are; newbies can benefit if you direct them to a site where they can look things up. Give a man a fish, or teach him to fish...

Fortunately true newbies are really a very rare experience, after fifteen years of mmos.

But Hardcore Culture seems to almost require information delivery to always be accompanied with the proper amount of condescension, or even direct insult. You'll see the same posters bemoaning the loss of community an hour later...


"I’d love to hear your own “newbie” stories from games you’ve played, both the good experiences and the bad ones."

Which leads to a novel about the Mentor Society and one game's solution to newbies. But that kind of investment in newbies is out of style with current game producers (who want to spend as little on Customer Experience as humanly possible).

So these days, it generally lands in the hands of moderators (forum or in-game); keep the vets from eating the rare true newbies alive.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/01/09
Posts: 415

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”

7/10/13 12:16:26 AM#19
It would help newbies if so many players were not so dam lazy. I regularly see questions in chat in games where that question was answered by a tutorial pop-up the had to click on be at a point where they would have the question. To many players are too lazy to READ, but they expect others to take the time to answer them. This is the source and reason for so many of the rude answers.
I tend to be a player who tries to take the time to politely help new players, but I totally understand where the rude responders are coming from.

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 1

7/10/13 4:32:15 AM#20

I have noticed an increasing trend in the situation that Jagarid describes above. I agree that there is, in my opinion, no situation which warrants making the experience of a game less enjoyable to someone acceptable - and, as Matt says, surely this is always counterproductive to the game?  However this does go hand-in-hand with an increasing "instant gratification and less effort invested" culture that is growing up in MMOs.

For me, the ideal solution seems to be to practice tolerance but encourage independence. I would not reply rudely to someone and indeed challenge many who do so; but when giving the requested information I also point the requester in the direction of a website that contains solid and well-updated information and guides.

Granted, some of those who start a game only seem to want to know the bare bones information so they can do X or Y as quickly and/or efficiently as possible. You can usually spot them by the classic "Which class is the best?" question in General chat; but I don't doubt that there are several "newbies" out there who want to glean as much information and enjoyment as possible out of their MMO experience but often aren't aware of all the possible ways in which they can do this. Making them aware of some of the extra depth and intricacy of their chosen game may well help to make them more invested in it and appreciate the helping of others a little bit more themselves.

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