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Ten Things to Remember When You Play Your First MMG

Everyone has to start somewhere. Keep these simple hints in mind for your own gameplay!

Failure is okay

Most new players' characters die a lot. A whole lot. It might bother you to the point where you're about ready to give up, but it will get better, especially as you learn the ins and outs of playing your character, and more importantly, as you learn how to recover quickly from failure and, at times, use it to your advantage. (Being sent back to your bind point when your character dies can be awfully convenient if that's where you're trying to go anyway!)

There's a command called /assist

When playing in a group, killing things quickly is really important. When you are a new player, many times you might think that if you keep a monster busy by yourself, you are doing your part to keep everyone in the group alive and happy. Then your character dies, and shortly thereafter, so does everyone else in the group. Lesson learned: When everyone is on the same target, the monster dies faster and the people in charge of crowd control can do their jobs more easily.

Not every game has an actual /assist command to automate the process. Just remember that everyone in your group should focus on the same target, and you'll do fine.

The A key means attack

This one is specific to EverQuest. When EverQuest first came out, the H key was preset to say "Hail!" which was the way you said "Hello!" to trainers, NPCs, quest givers, random small animals, and the like. And the A key was preset to start swinging your sword — at random small animals, and also at trainers, NPCs, quest givers, and so on, because EverQuest didn't prevent you from making a suicidal attack run at your more-levels-than-you-can-comprehend trainer.

However, when you're new to the game, you might not remember these facts. The trouble begins when you decide to imitate the way you see everyone else talking to the trainers, and you begin typing hail. You can see where this is going, right?

Don't forget Google

Many MMGers wish Google existed when they started. When you get frustrated by being unable to find a particular monster in a game, or a solution to a quest, just type the game's name followed by the name of the thing you're looking for in Google. If you have a laptop or a second computer hooked to the Internet, just leave it set to www.google.com while you're playing your MMG on your gaming computer. You'll use it more times than you might think.

If at first you don't succeed, scale down your expectations

If your character dies three times in the same place, it's time to move on. There's no reward that's worth the frustration of being constantly killed, and unless you just created your character, there is always somewhere easier to go.

If you need help, ask

As you first play MMGs, you may have a hard time just asking random strangers for help with something you are doing, whether finishing a quest or just trying to finish off a particularly difficult monster. Maybe it's because you're used to single-player games where getting help implied getting a second player to enter the game, or more likely, you are just shy or stubborn. At any rate, things are a lot easier when you get help, and more people than you might think will be willing to pitch in and lend a hand if you ask nicely. MMGs are social endeavors, and many people really don't mind making new friends.

When on a large raid, don't wander off by yourself

For some reason, the wonderful people who take it upon themselves to lead huge hordes of fidgety players through the toughest content in the game tend to have very little patience for people who like to see where that dark crevice leads to. It's probably because making a hundred people wait for your character's body to be retrieved from that dark crevice is considered somewhat rude. Who knew!

Join a guild

This is really, really important. There's so much of a game that you miss out on by not having a regular group of friends to organize around. Plus, it's part of what makes MMGs unique. How many guilds do you see in Pac-Man or Civilization?

Humor helps more than you think

When things are starting to go wrong and tempers are beginning to flare, a well-timed joke can really lighten the mood and help defuse tensions that are building up.

Note that it helps if you're actually funny.

If you're not having fun, stop doing it!

This point can't be emphasized enough, because it's something a lot of people tend to get away from. MMGs are games. They are meant to be fun. If you're not having fun, something is wrong and needs to be changed. It's okay to be passionate about what you're doing. It's okay to want to be the best of the best in your game. It's okay to get frustrated when you fail at something and suffer a setback. But if it starts to get away from being fun, you'll not only resent the game, you'll resent the time that you put into it, and that resentment and frustration will spill over into other parts of your life. Which, really, is not the point of a recreational activity. If it's not fun, stop. Really. It'll still be there if you want to go back later!

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