( This is a re-post of an entry I made on my other blog, elsewhere, back in 2011 )
When I first started playing EQ back in 2000, it was a magical time. Everything was new and amazing. Seeing all these characters running around that were actually real people! It's so difficult to put into words what it was like back in 99 / 2000.
Fast-Forward to today, and It's like some people play MMOs the same way they would tackle a spreadsheet. Point A to point B, intersect here and Do X and turn it in on the way to D prior to A again, etc etc etc. Boring!
I was exploring Gloamwood in Rift the other day and it all of the sudden dawned on me how far mmorpg graphics and art style had advanced since EQ and its directx 7? (originally) I think. Anyhow, I started looking up and around. I started to actually SEE this amazing world that the developers created for us. Things have come such a long way and there is so much to see!
When I started playing computer games they were all text. This is way back with the C64, before PCs. You had to imagine everything with those games. The entire game was essentially formed in your head as you progressed through the story. I feel that an unfortunate side-effect to having such great visuals in our games now is that it leaves little to the imagination. I feel people are so used to good graphics that they are taken for granted. How many gamers do you think actually take the time to really look at the game-world around them?
People are in so much of a rush now. A rush to level, a rush to the next zone, a rush to level cap, a rush to end-game. This seems to be the norm for many people who are coming to Rift from other games. It's completely ridiculous to me. I want to explore and see every inch of every zone. I want to climb the various mountains and see what goodies the devs left for us up there (and it's true, they did. Try it sometime).
I read all quest text. I immerse myself into the world and have an amazing time. You see, what I am doing is simple. I am having FUN. The game doesn't start at level cap, folks. The game starts at the character creation screen when you go about creating your own avatar for the game - With the look you want and the name you want to be known as. This is where your journey begins.
I realize that everyone is different and everyone's definition of fun will be different. There is just so much to these games we play that I hate thinking about people missing out on a large part of it.
For me, things are different. 9 times out of 10, I reach the next level by surprise, not having any idea I was that close to leveling. This is because I was just out having fun. Doing this quest or killing these mobs to reach that area to see what's over that next rise. When you level and it surprises you, there's a good chance you have been having fun. However, when you start calculating how many mobs you need to kill to reach the next level and start figuring out where you should kill said mobs to maximize your experience, you're heading down the road to inevitable burnout and boredom.
In short, folks.. Slow down, look around and see the virtual world around you once in a while. Try having fun instead of racing to cap in competition with other players or some imaginary clock. Have FUN.