Welcome to my first blog entry!
First, I'd like to say hello, and extend a great big "thank you" to MMORPG.COM for providing us true fans of the MMORPG an outlet to express ourselves and our opinions on the games we love, and the games we love to hate.
I run a message board of my own (albiet in it's infancy stage) dedicated to the wonderous opportunities that MMORPG's provide us, with topics ranging from the social and cultural impacts the games play, down to a board dedicated to discussing the MMO business model, where I encourage devs to come by and check out. As I said, it's in it's infancy and hope to expand the topics in the near future. Please feel free to drop by anytime and express yourself.
I cut my MMO teeth on a game based on a very unpopular and struggling IP (Intellectual Property) called "Star Wars". The game was named: "Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided". I stumbled across the game box at a local Best Buy in 2003 and was astonished at the price I saw on the box: $59.99! And a MONTHLY service fee of around $15! What?! After the sticker shock wore off I kept reading the box. The more and more I read, the more I couldn't put it down...I went into panic mode...I can "LIVE" in the Star Wars world?...can my crappy computer even run this game?...man I hope so...God, all I have is dial-up...Stormtroopers? Empire? Rebels?...my own AT-ST? I was foaming at the mouth...So, after I departed the store $60+ poorer, I went home and installed it.
I was completely hooked on this game, and on the genre. Four years, 2 Guild Creations (and leaderships), 2 City Creations (and mayorships), 1 Combat Upgrade (CU), 1 New Game Experience (NGE), and 10 respec tokens later, I still find myself subscribed to this game. And in posession of an SOE Station Access Pass. And have tried all of the SOE games, plus many many others (in later blog entries I'll cover this expansive list in detail).
I guess to summerize, I was "hooked", hook, line and sinker. I truely enjoy the sandbox type playstyle that many of these games include. I enjoy being able to experience "living" in an alternate world THAT IS NOT BASED ON REAL LIFE, such as "Second Life" or "Entropia Universe". I'm not interested in making real money...nor spending real money (outside the monthly subscription) in order to enjoy a basic shell of a game. In a word or two, MMORPG's are my chosen game type. The social aspect of the games also intrigue me. I no longer enjoy playing standard RPG computer games, outside a very small selection of titles, that DON'T include the ability to interact with other live human players.
I'm also what I define as a "Casual" MMORPG gamer. I'm not a hard-core raider or PVP/PK'er nut. I'm not interested in reaching the end-game 3 days after installing the game, I'm not interested in obtaining the level cap even sooner, and I'm not "innit-to-winnit". Those types of games are First Person Shooters or Real Time Strategy, not MMORPGs. I also have a family and a full-time job, so I don't have all the time in the world to dedicate to a game.
My gaming style is I guess, more of an explorer/adventurer than a crafter, and never take into consideration PVP aspects. I'm not saying that I dislike crafting, it's just not my #1 interest. I enjoy exploring huge, non-instanced worlds, either by horseback, boat, spaceship or on foot, living off the land (which is why Ranger is my favorite class), and occasionally accidentally stepping foot into an area that perhaps is too dangerous for me to explore and figuring it out the hard way. Taking it all in if ya know what I mean. I enjoy grouping up with others and tackling a quest and reaping the success, and learning from the failures. Just not every day, for 5+ hours a day. This to me is Casual Gaming.
So I dedicate this blog to the Casual MMORPG player, where I plan to explore the benefits and some of the non-benefits of playing in this style. What is your playstyle?