Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Patrick (Chapter 3)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 15, 2009

MMO community connection:

How I WoW | Frenchspin

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs? If so, when was this and what was the experience like?

Unfortunately, no.

What was your first MMO experience? Again, when was this (a year please) and what was this like?

Ultima Online, when it came out (must’ve been 1997 maybe?). I was on a 33.6 modem from France to the US: horrible speed and lag… I was fascinated by the idea, but only played a couple of times.

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

  • Everquest – level 14 or 15… Can’t remember the class. It took me six months to get there. One of my fondest MMO memories comes from this game: I tried to go to one side of the world to the other when I was way too low level. On that epic voyage, after having run away from lions and all manners of horrible monsters for hours, I came upon a wonderful vista of the sun setting over a dune in the distance. These four pixels of red and dusk were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen on my computer screen. Not far behind in memory lane are the trains of gnolls from that cave north of Qeynos (I forget the name). Trains were fun, I miss them to this day. Sort of.
  • Everquest 2 – level 41 templar. The experience was good at times, boring to tears at others. The idea of camping Chompers for days still makes me shaky with anxiety today. Ultimately the grindiness of it and the inability of the class to solo effectively (or rather, to solo at acceptable speeds) got the better of me. I keep very fond memories of the game though, mainly from my guild, The Legion of the White Rose, which I joined without knowing it was headed by Kendricke, a very respected member of the community. When I logged off for the last time, he came to meet me, took pictures of my last moments in Antonica and posted them on the forum. I still have the pictures and get a pinch in my heart every time I look at them.
  • World of Warcraft – level 80 mage and druid. I spend my days talking about the game, I guess the memories and experiences are too many to sum up.

I also tried out a TON of other games that I didn’t go beyond the first month with.

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

Wow of course.

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

Wow, many hours a week for over three years now… I never thought this would be possible. I played the beta and dismissed it before moving on to EQ2 which I considered more adult and diverse. I was right in many ways, but didn’t understand what I really needed from an MMO (fun>realism&possibilities). I guess many people made the same mistake, devs included.

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

Wow is the only one I reached the level cap at. It’s also the only one in which the grind wasn’t an unbearable necessity to work through to get to the fun.

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?

Can I choose the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic? I guess not…
That’s a really difficult one, but I think it might be Eve because the ever expanding universe is full of worlds and possibilities… and the ambulatory pack is (hopefully) coming soon so we’ll be able to get out of our ships.

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

SW:TOR is the only MMO that has seriously sparked my interest in a long time, and that includes recent games like AOC and WAR. I detailed my reasons in this blog post here, but the gist is that Bioware is probably the only company that can come to the idea of an MMO with a fresh mind. They are also masters at crafting a compelling and immersive single player experience, and that is something I especially enjoy in a role playing game, even if it is multiplayer and online. Ironic, I know. My point is: I think they can make it work in ways that the “big dogs” of the MMO market couldn’t, because they were constrained by the rules and habits they gathered from their previous, old school experiences.

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

I was at a wedding and a bunch of us were wow players. At the evening reception, a group gathered and started talking about the game, the classes and the like. After about 40 minutes I turned to a guy who was sitting quietly in the corner and apologized for talking about this arcane topic that he probably didn’t understand very much about, figuring that he was bored to tears. He looked at me, beaming, and replied: “ah not at all, I have a level 46 shaman on Shadow Counsel”… 🙂


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