Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Quickie: Help Channels

I’ve been playing some Fallen Earth lately (yes, you can expect posts on that topic soonish) and noticed something that I never really experienced in another MMO before – the help channel. Characters up to level five automatically join this channel in which they can ask questions and have them answered by the communities or a resident game master. And it works beautifully. People ask questions in a decent manner and actually get decent answers back, which leaves me flabbergasted. Ask a question in a general channel in World of Warcraft and you’ll be lucky if you are ignored. Normally you’ll get mean and/or false responses mixed with a heartfelt “ask a guard” once in a while.

I don’t know if it’s the more mature aspect of Fallen Earth, the presence of a game master at all times, or the fact that only characters below level six and those that voluntarily join are actually in the channel, but it works. Even “where’s Mankrik’s wife?” type questions get answered politely, something that hardly ever worked in other games I played. As recent as my adventures in Star Trek Online I saw quite the opposite in fact – asking questions just meant to be begging to be made a fool of.

Have you seen other games in which help was actually given most of the time? How did those games achieve that?

Aside: Yes it’s a quickie on a Monday, I’m sorry for that. You’ll get your full post tomorrow. In my defense, I just had the final presentation for my master’s degree and need some sleep now.