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Mastering the MMO

September 29, 2008

MMOMassivly Multipler Online games or MMOs for short can be complicated beasts, especially for people new to the genre. To help ease the pain and frustration a MMo can bring to a new comer, I’ll hand out some helpful tips.

Action Bars

Action bars are bars at the bottom of the screen which contain the players skills and other items. In games like World of Warcraft(WoW) or Warhammer Online(WAR), there are a variety of action bars initially hidden from view. you can make these action bars visible in the option menus but this quickly makes the screen cumbersome and will make selecting skills slower & harder to do. In both WoW and WAR you have the ability to “scroll” through action bars so you only see one at a time. this can be done by clicking the arrow or holding the “Shift” key and a corresponding number. This is the ideal way of using action bars, and if organized right, can make playing the game easier and more enjoyable.

Organization is key to making action bars work and I will use my High Elf Swordmaster from WAR as an example. The Swordmaster is a melee fighter/tank(Defender of the group) in WAR. For normal solo hunting it is not the best thing to constantly use defensive techniques when pure damage ones work the best. To this end the first action bar is dedicated to skills for solo hunting or group hunting that doesn’t require me to tank. This is my “DPS(Damage Per Second)” bar and is used for dealing damage. My second action bar is dedicated towards defensive play/tanking. This holds techniques to help me defensive, such as the skill that increases my chances to parry. This is my “Tank” bar. The third bar is for buffs(spells/techniques that help you indirectly in battle). This is where my sword enchantments and running abilities go, as well as items for healing. This is my “Support” bar. Lastly I have an action bar dedicated for misc abilities such as my crafting/gathering abilities, as well as the book of binding. I keep these abilities here rather than going through the ability menu to find them.

U.I

The U.I, or User Interface is what the player sees on screen while they are playing. It is not necessary to mess with it, but it can be beneficial. For example in WAR I was unhappy with the size of the Player & Target sections that showed mine, and my opponents health. I went into the U.I option and made this larger, as well as the chat section. As I said the U.I is not as important as the action bars in terms of improving the game, but removing/altering sections of the U.I can make the game easier.

Players/Guilds

MMos, by their nature are meant to be played with a lot of people, thousands, even millions of them. Going into the game with a solo player mentality will not help you in the least. Of course the majority of the game can be played solo, but making friends/joining guilds has its benefits outside of helping to defeat a strong enemy. Other players and guilds are a source of knowledge that can help you in advice about your class, what monsters you should avoid or anything else that deals with the game. You can still quest by yourself if you want, but have the support of others is always a good thing.

Classes

Picking a class that appeals to your personality is key. I myself have always been the “warrior” type. A melee fighter who protects the group. My first character in WAR was a White Lion, a melee fighter but not a tank, I played it well, but when I created my SwordMaster, it was night and day, I was much more skillful with the tank melee fighter than the pure melee one. So don’t pick a class based off what your friends are making, or which one is better, pick the class that suits you, as that will make the game even more enjoyable.

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