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The MMO Information Station: Help for Prospective Players

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  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    I have done the annual update.

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  • The_InfidelThe_Infidel Registered User regular
    Any opinion as to which MMO has the most satisfying combat and solo leveling experience at the moment? Not too keen on juggling mod-aided 45 hotkeys and 20-step rotations...

  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    Any opinion as to which MMO has the most satisfying combat and solo leveling experience at the moment? Not too keen on juggling mod-aided 45 hotkeys and 20-step rotations...

    The only MMORPG I play is Final Fantasy XIV, so I can't compare with anything else, but I can comment on your questions with that at least.

    I've leveled to max entirely "solo." When I say solo, I mean I haven't grouped with any friends or such for any of the content, save maybe once or twice for fun. The way the game is set up, is that everyone at higher levels will also run lower-level content. You get bonus moneys and such by queueing up for "whatever needs people," essentially. So as you are leveling, you just queue up for what you need and you'll get a party of other people doing it automatically. There's never really an issue of needing people and no one running the content you need (for the main story and leveling, at least). Actually doing it solo though? As in, if you don't want to play with anyone? I haven't done that, I imagine it would be unpleasant.

    I did it all as a DPS, which has the "worst" queues, but I never had super long queues or anything. Usually ~5 minutes for the dungeons and such. Sometimes longer, but not often. I think they bump you to the top of the queue if you're running it for the first time or something like that?

    re: combat.... I don't have any mods. I think a lot of the classes play very differently, so I don't feel super qualified to say in general. For Black Mage, which is my main class, I have.... ~15-ish buttons I really need to be pushing in combat? I find the rotation pretty complicated (you have to be keeping track of multiple timers and such), but it's not like... fast apm or such. Maybe better players find it easy :P

    I enjoy the combat because it's fun (for me) to try and keep track of everything to maximize my DPS without dropping my buffs and whatnot. It's brain-thinking rather than fast-button-pushing, so I enjoy that.

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  • Pixelated PixiePixelated Pixie Registered User regular
    edited August 2021
    Any opinion as to which MMO has the most satisfying combat and solo leveling experience at the moment? Not too keen on juggling mod-aided 45 hotkeys and 20-step rotations...

    Elder Scrolls Online, hands down. You can solo for years (been playing since beta and I've never not solo'd), no ridiculous rotations, fun combat. Bonus: it's on sale on Steam right now for $8 for the base game plus the Morrowind expansion, or $40 for the base game and every expansion since release including the one that just came out in June.

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  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    Guild Wars 2 has a pretty good solo leveling experience, but the combat system is incredibly shallow.

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  • The_InfidelThe_Infidel Registered User regular
    Thanks for the insights. I've dabbed with all except FFXIV, may give ESO another go. Decent controller interface if I recall as well.

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    FFXIV likely doesn’t fall within those requirements, but the number of keys to press is always going to have a cap due to people who play with controllers.

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Any opinion as to which MMO has the most satisfying combat and solo leveling experience at the moment? Not too keen on juggling mod-aided 45 hotkeys and 20-step rotations...

    Elder Scrolls Online, hands down. You can solo for years (been playing since beta and I've never not solo'd), no ridiculous rotations, fun combat. Bonus: it's on sale on Steam right now for $8 for the base game plus the Morrowind expansion, or $40 for the base game and every expansion since release including the one that just came out in June.

    Combat in ESO is pretty much a eight-button thing. Five regular abilities (number keys 1 - 5), one quick-item button (Q), and an ultimate attack button (R), with your regular attack on left-click- usually you’ll use a maximum of 3 with one or two for buffs/heals/etc. If you have your hand on WASD, that’s still pretty convienent.

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  • TcheldorTcheldor Registered User regular
    Any opinion as to which MMO has the most satisfying combat and solo leveling experience at the moment? Not too keen on juggling mod-aided 45 hotkeys and 20-step rotations...

    Depending on what you like, you could check out Dungeon Fighter Online. Combat's the game's core.

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Standing Stone Games decided to be awesome again.

    Not only did they decide to bring back the awesome reward code from last year for Lord of the Rings Online- LOTROQUESTS2021 (which gives you an epic amount of free game content)- and knocked down the price of expansion quest zones and instances for a bunch of their past expansions (seriously, you can get weeks of content for cheap until Nov. 30th)- but as of today, they've expanded the same offer for Dungeons and Dragons Online, their other game, with the code DDOQUESTS2021 that unlocks an epic crapload of content, and pushed forth cheap sales on three of their past expansions for 99 DDO points each- and the awesome part is that DDO and LOTRO points are earnable in game just for playing the freaking content!

    Earn favor in DDO by completing quests, reach a total favor level, and ding! Free DDO points! You can create a new character, grind up easy points, and then spend them to get the expansions!

    Complete deeds (killing a bunch of enemies, complete a certain number of quests by zone, explore the map, complete festivals, etc.) in LOTRO, and get free LOTRO points!

    ...or you could just pitch them a couple of bucks and buy the stuff outright, I guess.

    Fair warning, though- the LOTRO code is good until the end of November 2021. The DDO code is good until the end of December 2021. If either of these interest you, you might just want to download the games and get in just to grab the packs and the cheap content before everything goes back to full price!

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  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    Updated for the first time in two years!

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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited May 4
    Sterica wrote: »
    Updated for the first time in two years!

    Would this be a good time to mention that some of the Guild Wars 2 stuff is out of date?
    Frequent Compliments: Dispenses with the "holy trinity" of tank/heal/damage. Emphasis on builds over having 30 skills to remember. Excellent PvP, with both huge World PvP zones and special structured PvP battlegrounds for a more level playing field. Breaks up the standard MMO progression with no quests but rather events and special renown hearts that offer more freedom in how one levels. Living Story provides regular content updates. No real gear grind at endgame. Expansions add interesting travel methods, such as gliders and mounts that are more than speed boosts.
    Frequent Complaints: The lack of holy trinity makes combat feel a bit loose and weird for some. Instanced PvE content is present, but added to the game infrequently. There is regular content, but up until season two all Living Story content was temporary. You have to pay for older story content if you miss it.

    Group instanced content and to a lesser degree more recent open world meta-events are heavily based on roles, just different ones than the classic trinity. Outside of a few specific raid zones, there's still no dedicated tanking but healing builds are one of the key roles. The other defined non-dps roles involve providing a group with two specific combat buffs. These roles are more flexible than they are in other games (the buff support builds usually still do significant dps, some support builds can heal while providing one of the two major buffs, some hybrid builds can dps while providing enough healing for a skilled group, etc.) but most groups will struggle to clear instanced content added within the last 5 years or so without covering those roles and some open world events in the recent expansion also are unlikely to succeed without some players covering those roles. The game's combat in harder content is extremely dependent on a somewhat complex system of buff support such that a design goal is that every build will output at least some (even if they're not the big 2 buffs) in updates planned this summer.

    The game doesn't explain this or some other important mechanics for boss fights/major encounters. The core game areas that get you from level 1 to max level predate the introduction of the major buffs and builds that provide them and many other mechanics and design decisions. They are happy to let you get to max level facerolling the keyboard which is a big part of why some players often think the combat is really shallow. Then you step into an expansion pack zone and start dying a lot. What's become an extremely common complaint about the game is that it does a really poor job of helping you learn the game and on top of that will let you shoot yourself in the foot. The difference in dps output between a two builds with the same optimized gear but different traits chosen can be on the order of 40k dps for the optimized build vs. 5k dps for the non-optimal trait choice build.

    So the new player experience sucks (and it's something the devs are trying to improve in the base game. The most recent expansion has a training course on the basics of CCing, dodging AoE, and combo fields and finishers as one of its first missions to progress the story) and you have to use out-of-game resources and do homework to learn how to play the game well.

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    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • StupidStupid Newcastle, NSWRegistered User regular
    Not to focus overly much on a specific game, but MMOs in general are really really bad at informing players about How Things Work. Games that are... let's just say "past their prime" have the additional added benefit/problem of later content that is not explained in the base game, and/or a base game that is heavily modified in order to "rush" new players through to the current content. It's like reading the wikipedia about a game and then playing the final boss fight on a pre-made character.

    It's a rare and precious thing when a dev team asks "How does this affect the NPE?" and actually cares what the answer is.


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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited May 6
    Stupid wrote: »
    Not to focus overly much on a specific game, but MMOs in general are really really bad at informing players about How Things Work. Games that are... let's just say "past their prime" have the additional added benefit/problem of later content that is not explained in the base game, and/or a base game that is heavily modified in order to "rush" new players through to the current content. It's like reading the wikipedia about a game and then playing the final boss fight on a pre-made character.

    It's a rare and precious thing when a dev team asks "How does this affect the NPE?" and actually cares what the answer is.

    I've seen my share of poorly explained onboarding in MMOs in the last 20 years. Guild Wars 2 is by far the worse in terms of major gaps that I've experienced as far as mechanics that make or break combat even compared to jank like OG Star Wars Galaxies. Even the content that added in some of those mechanics did not explain them.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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