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The Daily Grind: What do you want from a starter area?

Eliot Lefebvre

When you start a new character, the starter area determines more than whether or not you want to bother playing any longer. It determines what you think about the game, what you come to expect of subsequent areas. Some games give you a brief tutorial and then throw you into the larger pool almost immediately; others deliver a carefully tuned experience that would fit well even in a single-player game. Both approaches have their positives and negatives, but both are going to form your impression of the game from then on.

As a result, it's important to ask what players actually want from this experience. Leading your character along a single storyline, however engaging, is going to wear thin if you plan to start another character further down the line. On the other hand, it gives you a chance to get used to the new mechanics of a given character, and it keeps you engaged, a definite asset compared to letting you sink or swim from the word go. So what do you want out of your opening zone? A smooth and cinematic experience, or the chance to head down your own path right away?

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!

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