In the old days, games started you out in a few tattered rags, and if you were very lucky, you had a weapon after character creation. The tutorial was "try not to die." You learned where things were by asking other players or blindly stumbling from place to place. In many ways, themepark games like RIFT
can be seen as a direct counter to that playstyle, giving players a clear sense of purpose and a direction so reliable it can feel like handholding.
But there's another side to the discussion: the fact that how easy it is to figure things out at the start of a game contributes to how welcome you feel. There's a rush when you realize you're in a hostile world that won't hand you what you need to survive, but there's also a question of whether or not you want to carve out a niche in a world that doesn't seem to want you anyway. So how welcoming should a game be to new players? Should it be gently guiding at the risk of over-protectiveness, or should it throw you in the deep end and let you sink or swim?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!