Monday, March 06, 2006

First day as a noobie

I decided to sign up for a MapleStory account several weeks ago and mentioned the idea to my students, becoming instantly inundated with advice and ideas about what world to play in and what job to take (magician, warrior, thief, or bowman). I even took the time to call my cousin and ask for his advice. It wasn't until nine days ago that I actually signed up for the account though, using a couple of e-mail messages my cousin had written me to guide my decisions. I even gave him a call as I got my username and password, just to make sure I was doing everything ok.
My cousin had mentioned that he could "train" me in the game, but as I began playing I realized that I was stuck on a training level, apart from the main game where he was playing and thus, unable to be "trained" by him. The idea of "training" levels in games is relatively new, a product of the digital native generation. As I child I used to pore over manuals to video games I had just bought in attempts to understand exactly how the game worked and how it was played. Such a resource is rarely necessary in modern video games though, as the manual to play is frequently built into the game's first levels and players are either forced or encouraged to go through some sort of initiation stage to learn the basics of game control and operation.
Believing the training ground to be the only barrier between myself and my "training" at the hands of my cousin, I was overly anxious to leave the training ground and join the main island of players. Had I joined the game without prior knowledge and advice from my students and cousin though, I'm sure I would have been more receptive to the lessons being taught on the training island of MapleStory.
I did learn more about the basic operations of the game in the training ground though, mainly how to complete a quest for a non-player character (NPC) and how the map function operates in the game. I also learned how to use the chat feature of the game as my cousin answered various questions I had about the training island and how to advance to the main island in the game.
When I finally did make it to the main island, I immediately contacted my cousin about training me. He informed that there was a good area to train near Hensys, a town I located on the map and headed towards. On my way to Hensys I passed by several NPCs and talked with them, accepting more quests and learning about which animals I could defeat easily and which were too difficult for me to kill. Playing for only a couple of hours, I quickly learned the controls of the game, strategies for moving within the world, and how to communicate with another player with the game's chat program. The second day I would learn more about the most important aspect of the game: levelling.

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