Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Aaron (Chapter 3)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 21, 2009

MMO community connection:

Anyway Games

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?


What was your first MMO experience?

I first played Everquest in 2001, shortly before the Luclin expansion. I didn’t care so much that I was playing with other people. I enjoyed it because there was such a large world to explore and so many character possibilities. I mostly soloed and joined small groups. I played to level 48, I think. It lasted about a year.

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

  • Everquest (Kunark and Velious): Hallower – dwarf cleric – lvl 48
  • Shadowbane: Oske – minotaur barbarian, Fesk – shade warlock
  • Star Wars: Galaxies (at launch): Dubaash – wookiee master creature handler, master ranger
  • City of Heroes / City of Villains
  • Everquest II

I’ve also played Asheron’s Call 2, EVE Online, Horizons, D&D Online, and others for only a month or two. I’ve beta tested other games that I never played when they went live. Since I’m an explorer, I try many characters in every game.

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

I haven’t played an MMO in years, other than some betas. But I’m looking forward to The Agency and Huxley.

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

I spent the most time in Everquest and SWG. Everquest was my longest at about a year, because it was my first. SWG was my favorite, and I played that about 9 months.

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

Only in SWG, which wasn’t hard to do. I don’t like games that are drastically different at higher levels.

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?

Star Wars: Galaxies. Because there were no levels and equipment didn’t add many hit points, players never became superhuman. New players and veterans shared the same content. The non-combat animations and variety of strange beasts made it feel like a living world. There was so much to explore, and no barriers to exploration. My Creature Handler could wander into true wilderness (areas where few players journeyed) and tame animals many players had never seen, and bring them back to the cities to share. Every player’s character looked unique and had unique experiences. Basically, SWG sucked you into the setting and players could have true adventures — unpredictable and unique experiences.

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

The Agency interests me most, at the moment. The combat is real-time FPS action. The game allows players to switch styles and combat roles frequently, in response to group needs or impulsive interests. The comedy-espionage setting looks like a lot of fun.

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

My most memorable MMO experiences were in SWG.

Once, I was sitting in a cantina with many others, listening to the music and watching the dancers, when a Stormtrooper walked in. Suddenly, a firefight broke out between him and a Rebel soldier. The music and dancing stopped as every watched the fight… watched the soldiers running around the bar and duck behind walls as they shot at each other. Finally, one soldier killed the other. The music and dancing quickly began again, and it was like it never happened. It was exactly like that cantina scene in the Star Wars movie!

Another time, my ranger stumbled onto a lair of narglatches (like demonic lions – scary and aggressive). He got down on his belly and spent the next hour or so slowly crawling down into the cave, occasionally stopping as narglatches walked by and growled. Finally, he reached the bottom and found the cubs. But when he tried to tame one, it alerted the narglatches to his presence. He got up and sprinted for the cave entrance, but died before he could get there.

That’s what made SWG great. Those were unforeseen experiences which few, if any, others experienced. My character’s story was truly unique… not just my customization choices, but what I encountered and how I was able to respond.

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