Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Moormur (Chapter 3)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 14, 2009

MMO community connection:


Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?

Ah, MUDs. I was heavily into the MUD Achaea about 10-15 years ago (good Lord, I feel old). I played for about two years then moved on. It was a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong, but without having a concrete map I found it tough to get around. It was my first time RPing, and it is a heavy RP setup. There was less joking around like we have here in LOTRO. I really didn’t understand what RPing was all about, really. I remember I had to do a ‘novice’ interview of some sort and I was talking about all my real life experiences to answer questions instead of getting into the mindset of my character. I learned a lot about RPing from this game and I remember it fondly.

More recently, I had a little fun programming my own MUD-style local game. Using what little knowledge I have of coding, I put together a zombie survival game in the style of a MUD, although it is solo. That was an interesting and very challenging experience.

What was your first MMO experience?

Star Wars: Galaxies. Do I really want to bring up those memories?

I started Star Wars: Galaxies back around 2005. I bought an account, which I didn’t know was wrong at the time. Regardless, I made a new character and deleted the old one. I remember the early days fondly. Star Wars: Galaxies allowed you pretty much endless customization, what with the multi-class system the allowed. And then came NGE. And suddenly the country was filled with 9 year old Jedi players (when all but a few Jedi were supposed to be dead) who thought they were so l33t that they accused me of cheating whenever my Officer would whoop them. They just couldn’t understand that sometimes skill and strategy are more important than button-mashing…
I ended up quitting that about three or four months into the NGE. It turned into more of a grind game than any I can think of. SOE created about three different bunker designs and cloned them over and over and over and over. On every planet, every single bunker, cave, and building seemed exactly the same. Once I realized this, I jumped ship.

About a month ago, I got an email from SOE telling me I had a free week to play so I thought ‘what the heck’ and jumped in for old time’s sake. It only brought back the memories. At level 40 something, I only had about 8 skills, three of which were combat skills and the rest were buffs/non-combat skills. Also the aiming system sucked. And they had such a weird set of invisible walls: in that game, you cannot jump off a ledge no matter how high it is…50 feet or 5. I ram through Theed, the central city on Naboo. Not a single other live person existed. I left after less than a day. For good.

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

If you consider Achaea an MMO, then I played that first. Starting in about 2001 and going until about 2003. Star Wars: Galaxies was next, going from about 2005-2006, with a day trip here in 2009. I have played Lord of the Rings Online since 2007 and have a lifetime account there. I’ll be around for a while.

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

Definitely Lord of the Rings: Online.

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

As of now, (again, counting a MUD as an MMO) it would be Achaea. I’ve been playing for two years.

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

I have reached the level 50 (when it was the cap) and level 60 now that it is the cap in Lord of the Rings Online with one character.

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?

I would pick LOTRO, obviously. No other game dev team out there has taken so much pride and care in making their game so perfectly molded. The environment in LOTRO is superb. You haven’t lived until you have seen nighttime in Forochel, or jumped down into the Waterworks in Moria. Every time I enter a new area for the first time, I have to just stop and stare for a few moments.

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

I was interested in the new Star Wars MMO developed by Bioware, but when I discovered it would be run through micro transactions, I ran the other way.

Feel free to share an interesting or amusing anecdote related to your MMO gaming experience.

To be honest, I’m not all that interesting :(. I would like to share a passion I have developed over the past few months for the in-game music system of Lord of the Rings Online. LOTRO allows you to take a .abc file and play it in game. Your character does all the work while you get the credit. There are whole websites dedicated to the LOTRO Music system. Recently I have started up an in-game band where we take songs with multiple parts and play them on different instruments. I made a video of another band performing pretty recently (you can find it here).

I remember not too long ago playing a quartet piece called “Rohan” from the films. We stood in a circle and played the song. The moment was magical. Each instrument gives off a different colored note, so the colors were mingling in the air. The song was picking up pace and reaching its peak. People stopped and clapped for us. Some were even dancing. I will never forget that moment, standing right near the stables in Bree. LOTRO is filled with little moments like that, and that is the reason I will never stop playing it.


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