Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Wilhelm2451 (Chapter 3)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 27, 2009

MMO community connection:

The Ancient Gaming Noob

Chapter 3: Online

Were you ever exposed to MUDs?

Yes, I have played a number of MUDs over the years. I think the first that would be recognized as a MUD was Gemstone. I was in the beta for it on GEnie back in 1988 or so. It was a lot of fun. Having played enough text games ala Zork, I was ready for the multi-player environment that MUDs brought to the table. From 1993 through to 2003 or so I played Sojourn/Toril MUD quite regularly. It is a Forgotten Realms based MUD, so had the advantage of being in my favorite D&D setting. I still play online games with people I met in that game.

What was your first MMO experience?

Does Island of Kesmai count? If so, 1986.

If, however, we’re going to stick with what we refer to today as MMOs, then EverQuest. I picked up the box on the afternoon of March 16th, 1999. I still have the receipt.

I had considered Ultima Online when it came out, having played some of the Ultima series. Unfortunately I had also gotten a bit tired of that series so never quite got around to the MMO iteration of the game.

EverQuest though… on day one it was buggy and slow and I got dropped a lot and it have high system requirements (a 3D card?!?) and I immediately felt at home. Part of the reason I felt at home was that many of the people who created EverQuest played Sojour/Toril MUD and sought to bring the fun of that MUD environment into a 3D world. There is an oft told tale that the city of Waterdeep in Sojourn/Toril MUD was the basis for the layout of Freeport in EverQuest.

If possible, list all the MMOs you’ve played extensively. Please start from the beginning and work your way up to the present. For extra bonus fun list your main (class & level) in each game as well.

Limiting myself to games I played for at least a year or more of calendar time, I get the following list:

  • EverQuest (1999)
  • EverQuest II (2004)
  • World of Warcraft (2005)
  • EVE Online (2006)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (2007)

There are other MMOs I have tried, such as:

  • City of Heroes
  • Guild Wars
  • Planetside
  • Runes of Magic
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • The Matrix Online
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Vanguard
  • Warhammer Online

But I did not spend long enough playing them, for various reasons, to meet my own criteria for having actually really played the game to any great depth. I just played them long enough for me to decide they were not the game for me.

I tried to list my main characters, but that can be difficult. I have a serious pack of alts stored away, so it can be hard to decide who is the real me.

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

World of Warcraft is probably the one I play the most of late. I have a regular group that plays on Saturday nights. I also play with my daughter and mother on the weekends. And then I have a solo career. EVE Online is the other MMO to which I am currently subscribed, which I think defines it as an “MMO of choice.” It offers a different experience in that I spend at least as much time trying figure out how to do things as I spend actually doing them.

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

In terms of total hours played, probably EverQuest II. I couldn’t tell you an exact number, but there were many hours of concentrated daily play for me in post-cataclysm Norrath.

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

Because of the alt situation, I have not reached the level cap very often. In fact, I think World of Warcraft may be the only MMO where I have stopped levelling because I hit the then current level cap of 70 during the Burning Crusade expansion.

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?

Loki is always pulling this sort of crap too. Hrmm, that is tough. I would probably pick World of Warcraft, but then try to convince Loki that EVE is really just a multi-player sandbox and really doesn’t count. But if you had asked me a year ago I might have said EverQuest II. And next year I might say something else. But for the moment I would choose WoW because it is the game where I spend the most time playing with other people.

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

I have an odd personality quirk where I try to avoid something I know I will be interested in when released so as to not dilute the experience in advance or get my expectations set to high. So I avoid trailers for movies I know I’ll want to see or reviews for books I know I am going to pick up.

With that in mind, I am diligently ignoring Star Trek Online. Star Trek is deep in my psyche. The first game I ever played on a computer was Star Trek. I spent much of my youth playing Star Fleet Battles. And I have consistently been disappointed by Star Trek games on the computer. The best so far for me has been the Star Fleet Command, which was based off of Star Fleet battles. So I live in hope that maybe Star Trek Online can deliver.

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

There is a quest in WoW called “Mudrock Soup and Bugs” that sends you out to collect some “Forked Mudrock Tongues.” I mis-read this as “Forked Murloc Tongues,” an error compounded by the fact that there are Murlocs running around not too far from the turtles that actually drop the tongues. I spent ages slaughtering Murlocs to no avail and eventually just abandoned the quest. Later, I picked it up with an alt, groaned in memory of my futile effort, the decided to read the quest closely as I was obviously killing the wrong Murlocs. And, of course, I figured out what it really said. The odd part is that almost anybody I mention this story to says that they too thought it said “Murlocs.” Not all that amusing or interesting once I wrote it down I suppose. Way to close on a down note Wilhelm!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: