Thanks for dropping by and reading this first post of mine. I've done this sort of thing before when I played EvE, and in fact I'm doing it now as a Fallen Earth player (as Bekka Jai). In fact, I may crosspost some of my postings for Fallen Earth Bloggers here because very often the issues they address are common to MMOs in general.
I thought I'd start off by telling you a little about me to give you an idea of who I am, where I'm coming from, and what you can expect to read here.
I've been playing video games a long time. So long in fact, that when I was a kid I won one of the original Magnavox Odyssey systems in a sweepstakes. Back than, Pong and the other simplistic games that system offered were a source of endless fascination, only superceded years later when my brother got an Atari 800 and introduced our family to the technologically cutting-edge gaming wonder that was Star Raiders.
So, yeah, I've been around a long time. Most of that time has been taken up with life. I owned a Playstation 1, but never a 2 or 3. I'm proud to say I've never purchased an XBox nor will I. Since the one television in my home is in use for actual television viewing most of the day, console gaming just isn't a truly viable option for me.
A few years ago, I stumbled across Everquest, my first MMO. I'd played and enjoyed the pen-and-paper version of Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid, and assumed this would be similar only with graphics and sound. Damn, was I ever wrong.
I ended up playing Everquest for about eight months. During that time, I joined a guild, met and played with many terrific people, and perhaps most importantly, discovered a lot about what I like and what I don't like about the MMO gaming experience.
On the positive side, I learned that gaming can be a lot more fun and the rewards can be substantially greater when you do it with other people.
On the negative side, I learned that over time when left unchecked consistent displays of immaturity and misbehavior by fellow players can destroy that positive experience and cause a player (or at least, this player) to lose interest in the game itself.
Really what I learned most from playing Everquest is that I'm an adult gamer and I want to play a game that treats me like one. By that I mean that I don't want to have to deal with smacktalking public chats that sound like recess at the schoolyard. I don't want to deal with griefers who get their jollies from screwing up the quests of other players unless there's a good in-game reason for it (such as the pirates in EvE). I hear plenty of racism, homphobia, misogyny, and other bigoted nonsense in my daily life and I have neither the desire nor the willingness to deal with it in a game I'm playing to relax and have fun or in the official message boards focused on that game.
I enjoyed playing Everquest, but I didn't enjoy the social aspects very much. While it may be different for other players, both have to work for me in order to stay with a game over the long term. After months of considering leaving because of these issues, I finally moved on, just eight months after I'd first downloaded the client.
About a year after leaving Everquest, I discovered EvE and immediately fell in love. I enjoyed my time EvE so much that I wrote a blog chronicling my experiences in the game for most of my time as a player. Yet, a year later I was gone. Again, my leaving wasn't really about the game itself as much as it was about issues around it.
At the beginning of my time in EvE, I was essentially a solo player and could do things on my own schedule as I had time to log in and play. As time went on and I began doing things in concert with other players such as when I joined a player-owned corporation and later when I co-founded a corporation myself, I found myself more and more having to readjust my real-world commitments to facilitate being in-game when needed. I didn't mind at first, but then when the responsibilities (and time commitment) at my job increased significantly I felt I just could no longer devote the kind of time to EvE the game seemed to demand from me.
And that was it for about two years. No more MMOs, I just didn't have the time. My old computer could handle PC games made during or before 2006 for the most part, and I was exclusively a solo PC gamer during all of that time.
Earlier this year, I decided to see if I could find myself some paid writing work. I'd done plenty of unpaid blogging, some freelance, and a year as a biweekly newspaper and magazine columnist, but those jobs were drying up along with the US economy. I felt that I had the tools to be a pretty decent gaming writer and set about to see if I could make it happen.
Of course, the first thing I did was research what was already out there. I found not only MMORPG.com, but also Ten Ton Hammer, IGN, and a boatload of others. During one of these research surfs, I came across FilePlanet and an offer of a beta key for Champions Online with the purchase of a FilePlanet subscription. Thinking that both the beta experience and an FP subscription could prove useful in this quest down the road, I went for it.
To be brutally honest, Champions just didn't impress me much. I loved superhero comics as a kid, but this game just seemed so very...well, ordinary. Charge, zap, zap, blast...charge, zap, zap, blast. Perhaps some will tell me that I just didn't create my toon well enough, but I dunno...the game just didn't draw me in, certainly not enough to consider playing actual money for it. Even more disappointing is that your hero can't fly in this game. Maybe it's because I grew up wanting to be Supergirl, but the truth is that without that most basic and familiar of superpowers available, it's hard for me to see Champions Online as a real superhero game.
During my time in Champions beta, I continued my research and kept coming across interesting and positive articles and comments about a new MMO that was still in closed beta called Fallen Earth. The post-apocalyptic theme intrigued me andI started making it point to keep up on news relevant to the game. When Icarus announced an in-game Dev Hunt and invited all interested players to sign up, I did.
As it was my first time ever in Fallen Earth that day, I had not the slightest clue where to even look for a dev much actually hunt one, but I was fascinated by the game. After a few minutes, I completely forgot about hunting devs and started exploring. The next day, I tried logging in again, not entirely sure if my key would still be active or not. It was, and it remained so throughout the closed and open beta periods. My login credentials kept working, so I kept coming back. By the time an official opening date was announced, I was thoroughly hooked.
I've got a lot more to say about Fallen Earth, which I'll cover in more depth in my next post, and about MMOs in general, and so that's why I've started this blog. Also, I'd be a complete and total liar if I didn't say that I hold out half a hope that some gaming editor from somewhere will read some of my stuff here and think to his or herself that I'm someone who'd be a useful (paid) asset to them. In today's economy only a fool doesn't take advantage of every possible advantage to land the job they want.
So, that's the scoop...for now. I hope you'll comment and participate in the discussions of my spoutings here. I may have some strong opinions, but I'm always up for a good debate.
See ya out there.