What newbies can teach developers about MMORPGs
This week's editorial theme is "back to school." No need to buy a Trapper Keeper or some tasty No. 2 pencils; Ten Ton Hammer is discussing tutorial improvements - what developers can do to improve the teaching side of the game. Ethec leads off with his views - namely that newbies aren't the only ones that need some low level educatin'!
"And this is my gripe with cram session tutorials why? We're not playing a simulator here; there's no reason to learn the minutiae of combat mechanics and how to most advantageously climb a skill tree in the first session. While these games bear little resemblance to the role-playing games of yore, the spirit of role-playing is that you don't know everything about your character at the start of things. Learning is an important part of the game- Raph Koster is often quoted for defining fun as "learning in a safe environment." Besides, there's already a way to offload the amount of stuff newbies have to learn to later levels. Unlockables (the most common being the "mount" that usually comes a little past halfway to level cap) provide a tangible sense of accomplishment and allow newer players to concentrate on other things. More unlockables!"
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