This is a series of posts for anyone new to the MMO genre of video game. SWTOR is sure to be very popular and for many people, it may be the first online game that they have played. These articles introduce the basic aspects of a MMO and offer a few tips along the way.
There is no getting around the social element of a MMO game. When an entire genre of gaming has the words “Multiplayer” and “Online” in its description, you are sure to meet some very real and often quite interesting people along your journey of saving (or destroying) the universe. Sometimes, these meetings develop into friendships that last years and continue on into other online games and even real life!
If SWTOR is your first MMO, please be aware that your in-game actions have an impact on other people from how they play the game to how they perceive you. Everyone in an MMO is connected and even the slightest misstep can make or break a relationship and perhaps even prevent one from forming in the first place.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when playing SWTOR or any MMO for that matter. While following these guidelines won’t make you more attractive or whiten your teeth, they will make you appear to be less of a “noob” and more likely to be invited into a group or good guild.
- Don’t Abuse Chat. Please don’t make the general chat channel your own personal venue for all things related to your life. No one cares about the movie you just watched, your girlfriend/boyfriend, how awesome you think this game is, etc. People are busy in-game. Those messages scrolling past their screen quickly turn annoying if they aren’t relevant to gameplay.
- Don’t Spam. Chatting can be an effective way of recruiting for your guild or letting people know that you have some items up for sale, but don’t belt out these notices over and over again ad nauseam. People will quickly get angered with you for the same reason as the point listed above.
- Don’t Pester. If you ask a question either in main chat or in a private message, don’t keep asking if you don’t get a response. People get busy, or they may be away from their keyboard (AFK). If you didn’t get an answer the first time, you probably won’t get a (nice) answer the fifth time you ask.
- Research Before You Ask. If you have a question about something in the game, use your favorite search engine to see if you can find the answer before asking in chat. When people see someone asking “how do I get my lightsaber?” in chat, they roll their eyes, sigh, and think “great, another noob.”
- Be Polite. Manners go a long way in a MMO, especially with the older gamers. A simple use of “please” and “thank you” can give you a lot of credibility as a decent sort of chap that others may want to quest with. Don’t swear. Don’t insult people (or their mom). Don’t be the rude, obnoxious person at the party that everyone wishes would go home early.
- Know Your Role. If you have a character that does a couple of things well, ask the group how you should play for the duration of the group session. For example, if your character can dish out DPS as well as Heal, ask what you should do. If there is a better healer in the group, they may ask you to concentrate on DPS.
- Be Upfront. If you haven’t done the quest/dungeon before, let the group know right away. If not, everyone will assume that you have done this before and if you make a mistake, people may get upset with you. If they know that this is a new experience for you, they will most likely be a little more patient with you. Perhaps they will have you switch into a different role in the group allowing you to learn as well as contribute to group play.
- Don’t Desert. If you have a limited amount of time, let the group know ahead of time. Tell them that you only have a hour to play, or that you must log off by 9:00 in order to avoid any consequences (better do what your mom says). That way, no one in the group will be surprised when you tell them, “Gotta go. It was fun. Thanks!” If they weren’t expecting your exit, you may not get invited to the group next time out of concern that you will “abandon” the group at any moment.
- Don’t Be Greedy. In a group setting, don’t try to take everything. The temptation can be hard to resist, especially if something pops up that you want. If people see that you aren’t trying to take everything, they may be more willing to trade items with you if you let them know there is something that you really want.
- Other Players. Help out other players as much as possible, especially those in a lower level than you. They may be able to help you out later on.
- Freebies. Do things for free. Buff people for free. Give some items away for free. Tip people. Word will travel quickly across the game that you are friendly and willing to help people out.
Above all, remember the rule that is golden: treat others how you would like to be treated. This applies both in real life as well as any virtual one that you live in. The rewards that you will get may last a lifetime.