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!