Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Riknas (Chapter 3)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 19, 2009

MMO community connection:

Free Play Podcast

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?

No. No I haven’t. I hope that story was interesting.

What was your first MMO experience?

It really doesn’t count as a true MMO experience, but I first tried the original Everquest in the year 2002 when planes of power came out. Considering I was nine at the time, the experience was less than pleasant and I had no idea what I was doing. I never read the manual. Even if I tried, I probably wouldn’t have been able to comprehend most of the suggestions or the explanations of how to play. On the bright side I figured out how to walk. For all intents and purposes though, I didn’t really know it was an MMO, the concept just didn’t really connect to my brain. All I knew was that my uncle loved it, and he played it with his friends. And in my mind, my uncle was more like God. So, I should play what God plays right? It wasn’t for a few more years that I’d come to grip with the potential an MMO really had.

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

Oh dear. The list is quite large actually, but there’s no way I’ll remember the levels for all of them.

As I stated earlier, there was Everquest, and then a dormant period as I thought, “Wow, that stupid game was broken.”

A good two years later, then I tried Everquest 2, where I first actually had fun in an MMO, really grasping the idea of one big world. Eventually I got tired of the “Kill 10 green blobs. No, not SICK green blobs, they need to be just normal green blobs. They’re somewhere in here.”

And I came across Star Wars Galaxies when I was twelve I believe. It was quite the experience as I finally understood the full concept, not only was it one huge world to explore, but it was a world you and people all over my world could explore. What wasn’t there to like?

Things all started to really blur that time, and I’m probably not supposed to write an essay on each MMO anyway.

Toontown, Runescape, City of Villains, City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, Dungeon Runners, DDO, Tabula Rasa, EVE, Age of Conan (Level 60 there. At least I remember that.), Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, The Matrix Online, and Planetside.

Don’t even get me started on the other F2P games out there or the website might crash.

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

Right now I’ve been flopping back and forth between The Matrix Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online. DDO has mainly been what I’ve been doing to group up in, while MXO has proven to be my “Solo” MMO when my good friends aren’t on. That said, I’ve been spending a lot more time in The Matrix Online.

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

So far I’m going to have to give it to City of Heroes, where I had been playing it for a good two years albeit off and on. In terms of actual time spent playing it’s possible I spent more with EVE or Age of Conan, but I highly doubt that.

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

In retrospect, it seems pretty absurd to have played so many MMOs and only reached end-game content in one. But I think I might learn patience with age, and I certainly hope to see the cap in more games. That said the one game I hit the cap for was CoX on the Heroes side. It was quite the experience to realize I hit the cap in something. I had to do it to try out the Warshade and Peacebringer!

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?

Well, in reality I’d probably just curl up and die, either from shock or I hung myself at the thought of such a miserable truth. Assuming I did manage to get past that hurdle, I would probably have to give it to…well, I’ve typed up three different answers six times and I want to have that on the record before anyone else reads what I have to say after that. Ultimately, after crying about Dungeons and Dragons Online I’d really have to say Age of Conan, though again, DDO would be a remarkably close second. In the end, although I’m not playing Age of Conan right now, that was the game that really was able to give me back the “sparkly” feeling of my first MMO back as I went through tortage. The role play community was there, the action was there and everything felt edgey. The game is beautiful, and I really think if that’s the only thing that exists, it would be able to fix all its bugs and we’d all be able to have a jolly old time.

I can’t say it enough, (Though I’ll try anyway), that I hadn’t actually felt truly immersed in a game for so long. Although DDO really hit the nail on the head with the sheer amount of interactivity, AoC gave me the feeling of a huge world, that also really let me interact with it, as well as providing combat that didn’t consist of whack-a-mole style game play.

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

No. NOT A SINGLE ONE.

Okay, fine. That’s a lie. Honestly I have a love for all MMOs, and as goodie-goodie as it may sound I want every single one of them to come out and succeed, but for the sake of the question I’ll say my hopes are riding highest for Earth Rise, I love the concept and the fact that it really nails down a reason for everything to happen ranging from spawning and all the skills. As well as the fact, I have the feeling it might be able to succeed where Tabula Rasa failed, by offering a somewhat more fast paced shooter like experience, while still having the aspects of an RPG.

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

All these “feel free” questions make me feel obligated to think one up. But this one is a lot easier than the previous ones.

Back when I was playing Star Wars Galaxies, I had hooked up with a pretty sweet guild on the Tempest server, I never really leveled though, I was too busy running a town out in the deserts of Tatooine, every now and again though I would wander off to the different planets, and for some reason my good friend in-game was calling me over to Corellia. I was curious, and flew off in my singular Y-Wing as soon as I could. When I walked out of the building I saw a huge line up of people several yards away from the entrance/exit. I walked over and asked someone I saw frequently at the Mos Eisely Cantina, “What’s going on?” There was a pause, “The Sith are coming,” he said. I was curious what he meant. I was pretty sure nothing spawned aside from the usual space port guards at the dock. A few minutes passed by, and nothing happened, I was ready to go back and assume it was just some weird rumor.

But just like out of a movie, I saw the Rebel begin shooting to the right. Less than a second later, the guard went flying left out of view, presumably into the wall opposite him. Just moments later, from both entrances to the space port, black cloaked players ran out towards us. Simultaneously everyone (Aside from myself and my friend) pulled out green and blue lightsabers, while all the Sith players turned on red lightsabers. In a panic my friend ran back and began firing his blaster. I instantly partnered up with my cantina buddy and hacked away at a Sith with my vibro blade. Many of us were dispatched, and I ran off in a panic, hiding in one of the many corellian buildings. My friend screamed for help on the other side, and I ran off to find him. I didn’t even get out the building though, and was cut down by a sith myself, and we had both died. Eventually though, the Sith had left when more Jedi came into to remove them. After that though, I simply said to my friend, “This is the best game ever.”

I still can’t think of any singular event that wasn’t role play that could come even close to matching that event in the scale “awesomeness”. I dare say that event invented the word awesome.

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