Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Esri (Chapter 3)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 13, 2009

MMO community connection:

Gaming Granny

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?

I never played any MUDs. I knew they were out there and what they were, but never really had any interest.

What was your first MMO experience?

2000 – Asheron’s Call. I had been thinking about trying an MMO for awhile — I read reviews of both Everquest and Asherons’ Call. Then I was in the Best Buy in Savannah one day and saw AC on the shelf. EQ was there too and, quite frankly, I chose between them based upon the cover art. From the first logon, I was hooked. I remember a day or so after I started playing, I had my husband playing on a second account. My son came home for a long weekend from college and said “What’s that? Can I try it?” So, he made a character on his Dad’s account and we were running around Holtsburg together. We were hunting in the swamp and my son, at the desk behind me, said “What’s that?” I glanced over at his monitor and literally shouted “REEDSHARK!!!! RUN!!!!!!” I hated those things — as a baby melee they just ate me up. By level 10 or so I had built my stamina up enough that I could handle them, but in the beginning they literally terrified me. My husband played AC for a couple of months before he got bored and I don’t think my son ever played more than that one time, but I was in love. For two years, Dereth was where I was when I wasn’t working or taking care of my family. I didn’t watch TV, I didn’t read, I just played AC. I remember Christmas of 2000 — my sons were both gone with friends for the holiday. It was the first holiday we’d spent without them home. After I got the turkey in the oven (yes, I made a big dinner for just me and my husband… we ate turkey for a week!), I sat down and logged into AC. The server, Thistledown, was practically empty. I ported to Holtsburg and just started running north. I was running through the falling snow and everything was so empty and peaceful. I just felt at home. It was an amazing moment and one I remember (obviously) to this day as a great MMO moment — just me and the virtual world. Just running around seeing sites I’d never seen.

If possible, list all the MMOs you’ve played extensively.

Let’s give this a try:

  • Asheron’s Call – 2000-2003 and then off and on until 2006 – Aluvian Dagger, 82
  • Asheron’s Call 2 – Beta from “Friends and Family” and then 2 or 3 months into live – Human melee of some kind, level 25 or 26?
  • Earth & Beyond – Open Beta and 1 month into live – Space Trucker — no idea what race or actual class or level.
  • Star Wars Galaxies – Beta from Shuttle 1 Closed Beta and 2 years into live. Human Creature Handler. I loved that game and my creatures. The game and my guild friends saw me through a very bad year after I lost my mother to lung cancer. When I wasn’t working or playing SWG that year, I was sleeping.
  • Everquest 2 – 18 months steady starting at launch and I still play off and on a few months at a time. Kerra Guardian, 62.
  • Lord of the Rings Online – Beta and a lifetime subscription. Human Guardian, 44.
  • Warhammer Online – Beta and 3 months into live. High Elf White Lion, 26.
  • Eve Online – Tried to play in beta, but couldn’t figure out how to fly my ship! Tried to play soon after it went live, still couldn’t figure out how to fly my ship! Read about a new tutorial about 3 years ago and finally figured out how to play. Played for about 18 months before I got distracted. Went back after the expansion pack was released a month ago. I started a new character due to the change in the way skills were distributed to new characters — wanted a more focused character for industry. There are no levels or classes in Eve, but my current main is Caldari and I have a second account with a 2 year old Caldari miner character.

What is your current MMO of choice, or perhaps, what are your current MMOs of choice?

I am currently playing Eve Online (two accounts), occasionally logging in to Lord of the Rings Online and just started beta testing a game that shall remain nameless.

Which MMO have you spent the most time playing? How long would you say that has been?

In hours probably Star Wars Galaxies, but I’m not sure. In years, Everquest 2 — going on 5 years.

Have you reached level cap in any MMO? If so, which ones?

Never have.

Loki taps you on the shoulder one day to inform you that you have fallen victim to one of his elaborate pranks. The world you’ve been inhabiting of countless MMOs to choose from and play has merely been a dream. In reality only one MMO exists. After laughing at you for a bit he decides to take pity on you and allows you to choose which MMO will remain. Which one would you choose and why?

On any given day, I’d probably have a different answer, but even though I’m playing Eve primarily at the moment, if I had to choose I’d take Everquest II, because it is the game I keep going back to and the one my friends keep going back to. If there was only one game, I think we’d all be happy if it was EQ2.

Are there any MMOs currently in development that you are particularly interested in? Please explain.

“Beam me up, Scotty” — Star Trek Online. I’ve loved Star Trek since I was 11. Given any universe save this one to live in, I think it would be that one. If done right, Star Trek Online is going to be an awesome game. I am also watching Free Realms, so I can play with my step-granddaughters in Minnesota, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

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