There are a few times in gaming that I feel like an utter newbie like I did my very first day. The first is ofcourse, when I play an entirely new game that I’ve never really played before, and the other is when I play a new expansion and have to relearn everything I thought I knew.
Both these scenarios are going to be upon me very soon – at the same time. I’ll be delving head on into Heavensward as soon as I wrap up the main story line – while still reminding myself what’s the difference between Mind and Piety… and other important things. I know that in gaming being new sometimes takes on a negative connotation – hence the unfortunate but all too familiar “OMG you’re such a NOOB!” comments from folks, or some such variation thereof.
Being new however, has always been something precious to me – because you get to be it so rarely. The world is shiny, unexplored, and waiting for you to dive in. You go around playing, soaking it all in wide-eyed and full of excitement. There’s nothing that can quite compare to that epic feeling as you discover something new and genuinely jump in your seat for joy.
In Final Fantasy XIV, I’ve had a lot of these experiences (as my twitter feed no doubt illustrates lately), but it’s been a remarkably positive gaming experience. Not only have I yet to experience a single “omg you’re a nub” or anything like, I’ve actually made friends thanks to my green nature. Perhaps this has been the most critical aspect in encouraging me to play the game more.
The internet being what it is, I expected (at least for the sake of statistics) to encounter one person not inclined to deal with the new players who don’t know squat. And considering that the game has been out for two years now, it is somewhat plausible. At the very best, I simply expected not to encounter any jerks… but I didn’t expect to actually turn it all the way around to something positive.
I think it’s fantastic that I get to be a clueless newbie again with so much to explore and experience… and most importantly, that the community so far is welcoming to us new players and our nubtastic moments. It brings back the epicness and the excitement that got me being a gamer in the first place.