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All Posts by Tanemund

All Posts by Tanemund

4 Pages « 1 2 3 4 »
65 posts found



Usually I find your stuff entertaining.  Lately, however, I'm getting distracted by a word you repeat over and over.  It reminds me of the line from The Princess Bride; "You use that word a lot.  I do not think it means what you think it means."  Its also starting to make me wonder about your objectivity when it comes to your reviews.


I'm not a hater and I'm no English teacher, but you've used the word "amazing" enough.  It seems like you use that word to describe everything.  While you did throw in an "astounding" for spice, after reading your article all I got was everything at PAX was "amazing".  In the end your use of "amazing" distracted me from the theme of  your article and I simply started counting the number of times you wrote "amazing".  "Amazing" is on the verge of becoming your catch phrase.  It has become like that Seinfeld episode where the doctor describes everything as "Breathtaking". 


In the future please try to use an "astonishing" or an "impressive" or an "electrifying" or an "extraordinary" or an "absorbing" or an "arresting" or an "exciting".  A quick flip through the thesaurus (that's not a type of dinosaur, kids) would make your writing much more "engrossing".


Glad you had an amazing time at PAX.

Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Tanemund

There are griefers in video games, but they only have as much control over you as you allow them to have.

The problem is that most human beings have at least one easy button to push.  Most players on this board, for example, will tend to lash out if you attack their favorite game, or playstyle; making them easy to "troll" with repeatable copy/paste topics.

The fault doesn't lie in being human, and therefor possible to manipulate.  The fault lies in an internet 'society' that applauds manipulators.

That's kind of my point, Icewhite.  Life is full of all kinds of frustrations just as video games are.  No matter what mechanic is buit into the game, some people are still going to behave badly.  The only thing gamers (and people in general) can control is how we react.


Once someone shifts their perspective and starts looking at their gaming as "hard worK" and become fixated on "goals" in the game (loot, Experience etc) they become prime subjects for griefing and trolling.  The only antidote is to remember these games and the "achievements" in them are just computer generated pixels that could vanish if someone spills a cup of coffee on the server.


Let me give you an example.  I played WoW and I never was much of a raider, but I did PuG a few raids.  Unlike other people, I actively seek out PuGs because I enjoy meeting people in the game and I decided a long time ago I'd risk the few jerks to find the many more good people.


So I decide to PuG a low level instance and I get in a group.  I tend to play healers (Priest in this case) because it makes it easier to PuG if you have a healing class.  Lots of healers won't PuG and, truthfully, I understand why.  But like I said I decided to assume the risk, so I go in with open eyes.


As happens from time to time I land in a group with a tank who likes to pull fast, even when I announce I am out of mana.  It doesn't take long before my group mates are grumbling and sending tells.  I now have a choice.  I can get pissed or I can entertain myself.  I play games to entertain myself, so I'm going to get my entertainment one way or another.


So on the next OOM pull I stand up and blow the little remaining mana I have spam casting Power Word : Fortitude on her toon.  She dies in short order and she's pissed about it.  She unleashes a screed about "crappy healers who don't pay attention" in group chat, to which I respond, "Oh, gee.  I'm sorry.  I guess we both did the right thing at exactly the wrong time."  Message delievered and thanks to a soulstone, no harm, no foul.


Another one of my favorites is when someone starts spamming "heal" at me I like to cast my little low level heals or my smallest heal on them.  When they die and scream about it I'll tell them, "I did heal you, but you never told me WHICH heal to use.  Since you know so much about healing, next time you should be more careful to specify which heal you want."


Even if "society" is to blame, each of us has the remedy in our possession.  The point is each gamer is responsible for their own good time.  The ultimate antidote to "griefing" is to keep a good attitude.  I do think it's a little tragic when someone is playing a social game like an MMO and they refuse to socialize with anyone outside their guild.  I'm sure they have their reasons, but still.


Just in case you're wondering I try to live this in real life too.  In stores I'm the guy that likes to read the employee's name tags and call them by name and I try hard to start every conversation with a smile and a sincere "how are you?"  I keep it up even when peopel are grumpy or rude.  Especially then.  Its my little message tot hem that I'm happy no matter how they behave so they might as well drop the grumpy/rude act. 


There is no great reason for this beyond, well, I like to be happy and enjoy myself.  So a while ago I just decided to be happy and enjoy myself.  Strangely I suddenly found myself surrounded by happy people who were enjoying themselves too.  I'm not so arrogant is to think I caused that, but I think that when you're happy and enjoying yourself you tend to attract other people who are also happy and enjoying themselves. 


It  works well in video games as well and it doesn't prevent you from "striking back".  It just enables you to handle bad behavior with a wink and a smile and the people around you seem to get a kick out of it too.  For example no one else in the group with the OOM pulling tank minded the wipe when they saw how I handled it.  And after that we all had a good time, including the tank who quit pulling when I was OOM (BTW, she happens to be a good friend of mine now and a member of my gaming group). 


Besides, if you think about it, truly epic griefing and/or trolling can be appreciated as an art form.  "Lerooooooooooooooooy Jenkins!" anyone?  The other 30 or 40 people on that raid were griefed, but I think even they had to say (later on after the shock wore off), "hey that was pretty funny.  I'm kinda glad I was there to see it first  hand."


My only point in this wall of text is if you don't want to be griefed or trolled then you can make that happen.  Killing the griefer isn't the answer because if they cared about their pixels they wouldn't be griefing.  By killing them you're letting the griefer know they succeeded in their goal, which was to have a good time by ruining your good time.  Bad behavior on the internet is easy to ignore if you use the "logout" option.  By "logout" option I mean just stay positive.  It works against even the most creative trolls and griefers.

Originally posted by TruthXHurts
Originally posted by Tanemund

Real life has griefers.  Those people who whip into the parking space you've been waiting for, people cut in line, people take all the free samples, people eat food that isn't theirs in the lunch room refrigerator, people go on welfare rather than get a job, people get lost in online worlds rather than call their RL buddies.  I'm sure everyone has wished they had a gun so they could shoot those people from time to time, but you don't because normal people don't shoot other people over parking lots.


There are griefers in video games, but they only have as much control over you as you allow them to have.  At least in video gaming you can log out and go do something else rather than getting your blood pressure up.  Maybe real life needs a "Logout" button more than video games need a "Vaporize Azzhat" button.


Of course you could just do drugs and log out of real life that way, but that has it's own set of problems.


[mod edit]



Ah, proof positive that nerd rage knows no bounds.  Consider yourself "trolled" IRL.


Look on the bright side.  With a board name like that you shouldn't have any trouble figuring out where to start your little shooting spree.  Remember, screenshots or it never happened!


Here's wishing you a steady hand and true aim! 


Can i have ur stuffz?

Real life has griefers.  Those people who whip into the parking space you've been waiting for, people cut in line, people take all the free samples, people eat food that isn't theirs in the lunch room refrigerator, people go on welfare rather than get a job, people get lost in online worlds rather than call their RL buddies.  I'm sure everyone has wished they had a gun so they could shoot those people from time to time, but you don't because normal people don't shoot other people over parking lots.


There are griefers in video games, but they only have as much control over you as you allow them to have.  At least in video gaming you can log out and go do something else rather than getting your blood pressure up.  Maybe real life needs a "Logout" button more than video games need a "Vaporize Azzhat" button.


[mod edit]


I remember the term "Grind" and "Endgame" turning up in MMOs simultaneously.  As soon as players began to talk about "endgame" in MMOs then suddenly everything that wasn't "endgame" content (epic raids or PvP) was considered "grind" content.

I've always believed that the original MUDs and MMOs were outgrowths of pen and paper RPGs.  They were 3D representations of what every D&D player pictured when they rolled the dice.

As a result everyone who played went in with the mentality of playing in a persistent world to explore and adventure in.  The fun was in going places and doing things with others.  The trouble came when people began to hit the goal of level caps and ask, "What do I do now?"  Well the answer was either level a new character (i.e. do the same things in the same places again) or fight the "world bosses" or fight other players.  Either that or wait until the developers added new content and raised the level cap (usually once or twice a year).

I don't think there is a real answer to this problem.  Even in life there is grinding.  I go to work and grind to make money.  I even have to grind faction with my wife sometimes.  Its just part of the matrix.  The only solution is for the individual players to stop looking at game mechanics as a "grind" to be raced through to get to the "endgame" and relearn to enjoy the enitre experience, just like you have to do in real life.  Its not the goal that's fun.  Its the journey.  No Dev can program that.

Just say "no".

But that would take more guts than any gaming company had.  It should be "here is your world.  Good luck with the rest" but no one would play that game because that's too much like life.



As someone mentioned above I think Underworld is something that is just BEGGING to be made into an MMO.  The horror genre is also completely unrepresented in MMOs today.  The Secret World appears to dip it's toe in the horror area, but none really go all out.  With CCP seemingly pushing back World of Darkness, this genre is ripe for the picking.


Someone else mentioned Dune and that also could be spectacular.  It should follow the Eve model and allow players to form their own Great Houses in the universe.  That would give you a multi-sided war for control of the Spice.  Plus there are loads of character types to choose from.


The Untouchables with gangsters and police would make a nice setting.  Would be cool to whip out a tommy gun and write your name in blood on the walls.  Again this game lends itself to the Eve model of player formed factions warring with each other for control of liquor distribution with the police elements trying to stop it or control it and profit from it.  That would make the police a kind of "wild card" that could change the interactions between the various criminal elements.


Unforgiven or some other western genre is another movie that just shouts out for consideration.  Player built towns servicing community and defending themselves from roaming bands of outlaws.  A third faction consisting of Native Americans could be added which would resist westward expansion and interact with both sides according to the player's wishes.  For that matter Dances with Wolves is another movie I could see being developed.


Others off the top of my head.


The Postman


The Godfather

Toy Story

Out of the list given I think Bladerunner is the one that sticks out the most.  I'd love to see a game world based on this IP.



Originally posted by lizardbones

The vampire's minions were a lot more disturbing than the vampires. Renfield was a lot scarier than Dracula. Which makes sense...vampires are supposed to be attractive...that's how they operate. It's their strength. Twilight is just the ultimate expression of that aspect of vampires.

Vampires were never really all that scary to begin with. Humans always win against the vampires eventually. Stake through the heart, garlic, find them in their coffin during the day...whatever. We always win. With zombies, humans never win. Even when humans win they don't win. The best you can hope for is being able to survive them.

If you want a more disturbing vampire, watch 'Stake Land' or read Guillermo Del Toro's book 'The Strain' and 'The Fall'.


Hehe ... everyone knows that's because Vampires solo in PvP to display their l337 skillZ while all the Zombies ever do is Zerg.

The Vampire is the latest victim of the age of the Participation Trophy.  They even took some of the scare out of my favorite creature of the night, werewolves.  When I was young Vampires and Werewolves were as real as cats and dogs and when you went home from your buddy's house in the dark you'd better pay attention and haul ass or you'd be the next victim.  They were as real as that kid who cried outside in the winter and his face stuck taht way.  And if you ever felt your belief waning all you had to do was turn on the TV and Scooby Doo and the 4 O'Clock movie would assure you that such vile and debased creatures existed and were hiding behind every tree waiting to gobble up children.  The reason none of my generation was kidnapped and molested was we were so busy and so adept at avoiding Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies and Frankenseins that we were impossible for regular humans to catch. 


Now it's all gone.  Now anyone can be a vampire.  It's easy.  Everyone knows Vampires shop at Hot Topic, so just head on over and pick yourself out a pair of chunky black boots and a shirt with buckles.  Don't want to leave the house for fear of getting sun on that white skin?  No problem.  Every other role player in your favorite MMORPG is an angst driven, emo - kid Vampire, so role 'em up and get stuck into it.  Nothing is scary, nothing can hurt you and those things that go bump in the night are just friendly spirits watching over you while you sleep.


Yet why would anyone need a friendly ghost to watch over them while they sleep if there is nothing bad out there in the dark?  Because, one day, inevitably, those scary monsters will be back.  Not the half baked emo - kids, but the true souless flesh craving ghouls that stalked my childhood.  In the end we need those terrifying images of the night just like we needed the stalwart and fearless heroes who eventually vanquished them, because when you make the bad guys into the heroes, well then the heroes have to go, and what is this world without the good guys and the bad guys to teach us wrong from right?


They'll be back.  Bank on it.  And when they come ... well those of us who are adept at avoiding them will have to hold classes on how to keep from becoming a statistic.

Oh  and one other thing . . . Someone got rolled in RvR.


This?  This is the best you've got?  Yeah, you really told me didn't you, you two Twinky and a Mountain Dew Dinner llama.  Here are a couple of tips to help you acclimate back into society when EA has the common decency  to pull the server's plugs out of the wall and consign DAoC to sweet cyber oblivion and you get done pining for a DEAD GAME!

1. You're not really a Vampiir, so go outside and get some sun.

2. You can't grind faction with women online.

3. 16 level 50 toons.   Really?

4. Trolling you "DAoC was teh bestest evah" wads is like watching a chimp playing with a bic lighter; at first it's kind of cute and amusing but pretty soon it just smells like burnt chimp, which is pathetic.

Stop embarrassing yourself.  I've watched you guys bend over backwards trying to point to the game mechanic that made DAoC great for years and in all honestly it's gone past pathetic to annoying. 

I'll keep saying this until I die and I'm right, which is why you can't stand it.  The game was good because the people playing it made it good.


Blinders?  Ok, you call it, pot or kettle.  I should have known better than to try and talk sense to a rabid fanboy with no objectivity on the subject.


Lets just start here.  How can you say that not every IP lends itself to three faction warfare is false?  Obviously you DIDN'T read the whole post.


Also I said that realm pride 'STARTED TO DIE" with the implementation of realm points.


Frankly I could go on and on, but I'm wasting time on you.  You'll never see past your own nose on this topic, which is just too bad since you're supposed to have some kind of objectivity. 


I understand you loved it.  Maybe you broke your maiden on it?  I did.  I loved it, but I understand the game didn't love me back and it wasn't the best thing ever to grace the intrawebs with it's presence.  The game you love DIED in 2004.  It's time to let go ... let go!

Once again trumpetting DAoC as the highest evolution of MMOs.  Slow down here champ.


First off you're mistaken if you don't think there was "Good" vrs. "Evil" in DAoC.  THEY CALLED IT DARK AGE OF CAMELOT!  The Albions were the "good guys" fighting to preserve King Arthur's Camelot days against the invaders from Hibernia and Midgard. 


Second there were plenty of DAoC servers where one faction just completely dominated due to population.  There was nothing that magically split the DAoC population into thirds on every server.  In fact there were several where Albs outpopulated the Mids and Hibs put together.  Maybe from time to time the two underpopulated realms could get together and do something, but it was so rare you remember it a decade later. 


Third not every MMO setting or IP lends itself to multiple factions and I think that World of Warcraft has proven that more people play MMOs to PvE than to PvP or RvR.


Fourth those "glory days" where the realms fought each other in DAoC actually lasted about a year.  If you played from launch you know that "realm pride" started to die the day they introduced realm points into the game.  This started the inevitable fall towards Group v. Group rather than RvR (the vaunted 8 mans) and the three faction feel of the game broke down into two realms ... 8 mans v. Zergers.


Fifth if two is bad and three is good than why wouldn't five be the bomb?  Why not nine factions?  Better yet why not everyone be their own little faction ... oh wait .. that's open PvP and that's too "hardcore". 


Please stop looking at it through rose colored LCD screens.  The reasons for DAoC's success have nothing to do with the number of factions etc.  It had to do with the community it drew and the spirit of that community.  Stop giving game mechanics the credit for what we human beings built in a cyber world.  Kindly remember that DAoC wasn't mainstream, was never meant to be mainstream and it released today would be a dud.  It was made for table top roll playing game afficianadoes who had access to the internet, not the twitter kids.


Please let DAoC lie where it belongs in the mass grave of MMO passed and stop dredging it up.  If you like a game mechanic, say you like a game mechanic for these reasons, not because your all time favorite game did it and you're praying someone else will make you DAoC 2.



I didn't even have to open this article to know you'd be shilling for DAoC once again.  It wasn't anything about the game that made the game great.  It was the gamers that made it great.  I love how the fan boys always trot out, "If it was 'done right' it would be huge" yet "done right" inevitabley translates to "put in the mechanics I like and leave out the rest."


If they redid DAoC the way it was at launch, you'd HATE it.  It was origionally built for table top gamers who wanted an alternative to EQ.  To the first generation of DAoC players the game wasn't about RvR and if you were around during those times you'd know that.  It was about the journey.  The adventure to get to level 50 and that included RvR.  Then realm points came and the serpent entered the garden.  The gamers were the ones who abandon the realm system in favor of the eight man system, not the game. 


This touting of the three realm mechanic is a relatively new phenominon.  People used it to explain why they thought Warhammer was a "failure".  I think it's about time that this was place very high on the list of "games killed by the people who played it" and the game itself should be mercifully put down.  The two thousand people stlll playing will find something else to do with the money they spend on three monthly account fees.


And now I'll wait for you to shilll for DAoC again, however, you won't do it again for another five articles because you think that makes you appear to not be a fanboi.

Another DAoC 2 post?  Thinly disguised but immediately recognizable with the addition of "at least three factions". 




Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Originally posted by Morcotulcon

Originally posted by Tanemund
Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

there are a lot of threads on our forum, where people try to describe pretty precise, what features are leading into the wrong direction and what is expected for the future. this forum is not full of whiners and naysayers as you assume with your statement above.

do you expect, that we vote for their crap, just because they keep ignoring us otherwise? how weird is that?

PS: OK, Perpetuum is no crap. it just came very late, therefor pretty unknown and a niche game for the time being.


To me the Vote isn't the key.  It's the general negative tide that is constantly flowing here.  "None of the Above" is a vote for general throw your hands up frustration.  I'm not saying that kind of frustration isn't warranted.  I'm arguing that it's not constructive.  Think of the Devs as employees.  If all you do is give your employees negative feedback they get discouraged and eventually will move to some place that makes them feel they at least are appreciated. 


Perhaps this should have been a separate poll.  Something about overall satisfaction with the direction of the industry as opposed to having the option to say, "It all stunk" in a game of the year poll. 


The voice of this forum is only the voice of the 200 odd people who post here.  It is exrreme arrogance on our part to think we speak for the vast majority of gamers out there.  In truth people are playing these games and paying to play them, so they devs did something right for someone. 

I just don't think we should yeild to our frustrations is all.  It's too easy.

Although I partially agree with you, I think you have to consider that this IS a good fact too. If we see this poll have this results this year and the next year the "None of the above!" have much less people, than we can get a great conclusion to see if the years are going well or not. We just didn't had this choice before, but in the next few years we might have good conclusions about the success of the genre along the years and the satisfaction of the players. You have to remmember another thing too: most players have frustation about one game but they might end up liking another game, but this year there was no new game to considerably caught their attention.


Another thing: this site has 1,290,576 members, so at least 200,000 must post here (a little more than 10% I'd say)... multiply your "200 odd people" by 1000. =)

Edit: just got 2 more members while I was writing the post xD


Many members, but how many of them post?  Again many people read, but few post.  I didn't see a total number of votes cast in this poll.  I still think it's more than generous  to believe that many more than 200 people post here with any regularity.


The point is that even if we say, for the sake of argument, that 32% of the members of this site agree with "none of the above" that vote really says nothing except tell the devs that there are 32% of the people reading this site that just can't be pleased no matter what they put out.  Like I said, I've been as viriulent in my critisims of games this year as anyone else here, but I'm beginning to wonder if that isn't making me one of the people that the Devs simply dismiss as a perenial malcontent. 


No one is saying you don't have a right to be disappointed.  The question is how you handle yourself when you're disappointed.  Do you rant and rave and throw things or do you attempt to make the situation better.  The messaage is always clear to the person sending it, but the person receiving it might read it in an entirely different light.  We risk marginalizing our own opinions expressed here as nothing but the wailings of the Ghost of MMO past. 


None of that addresses the fact that putting "None of the Above" on this poll changed the nature of the discussion from, "Which of these was the best game put out in 2010" to " Who thinks 2010 was a crappy year for MMO releases?"  I object to that question being stealthed in by the Staff under the guise of Game of the Year.  The poll was not intellectually honest in it's question.  The question the poll really asked should have been asked in a separate poll, open and honestly instead of snuck in so that it can be used as some kind of negative referendum on the state of gaming in 2010. 


Everyone has the right to be disappointed.  The issue is if that disappointment will be used constructively or destrutively.  The Staff gave us the rope and we used it destructively and it seems that we're proud of it.


In the final analysis doesn't it bother you that our entire community opinion seems to have been reduced to, "It all sucks!"  That sounds like something you'd read on a  bumper sticker. I've always believed that if a person can view a bumper sticker and agree that it encapsulates their enitre world view then they're not very well thought out and probably not someone who has an opinion worth hearing.  We risk becoming that person if all we ever say is, "That sucks!" and this poll is just the latest and most graphic example of that general tide of opinion that is constantly present on this site.

Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

there are a lot of threads on our forum, where people try to describe pretty precise, what features are leading into the wrong direction and what is expected for the future. this forum is not full of whiners and naysayers as you assume with your statement above.

do you expect, that we vote for their crap, just because they keep ignoring us otherwise? how weird is that?

PS: OK, Perpetuum is no crap. it just came very late, therefor pretty unknown and a niche game for the time being.


To me the Vote isn't the key.  It's the general negative tide that is constantly flowing here.  "None of the Above" is a vote for general throw your hands up frustration.  I'm not saying that kind of frustration isn't warranted.  I'm arguing that it's not constructive.  Think of the Devs as employees.  If all you do is give your employees negative feedback they get discouraged and eventually will move to some place that makes them feel they at least are appreciated. 


Perhaps this should have been a separate poll.  Something about overall satisfaction with the direction of the industry as opposed to having the option to say, "It all stunk" in a game of the year poll. 


The voice of this forum is only the voice of the 200 odd people who post here.  It is exrreme arrogance on our part to think we speak for the vast majority of gamers out there.  In truth people are playing these games and paying to play them, so they devs did something right for someone. 

I just don't think we should yeild to our frustrations is all.  It's too easy.

P.S., Maybe the staff could help us a little by inviting the devs to a constructive discussion or two about their games.  I'm sure there are many people here that are willing to work with Devs in helping them understand what gamers like and what they'd like to see more of.  I think most Devs would like to hear from people who can have a civil discussion on the topic of the game and come at it from a constructive angle such as, "Do more of this" and "Emphasis more of that.".


This might lead us to more games we are happy with.

I'm not sure this result is something this particular gaming community should be proud of.  I think it shows a lack of discernment on our part as consumers.  I think it shows that as a group we simply gave up and rather than even try we declared all of 2010 a failure.  Millions of people around the world have found fun in the very games we've condenmed with a broad brush.  If anything this makes us look like a pack of emo nerds who dress in black and lament the fact that the world is totally worthless and against us. 


All the staff has done here is hold up the mirror and let us see our own faces.  Was I disappointed in some of those games?  Yes, however I did manage to find some fun in them all except for STO.  STO left me feeling duped, but that had more to do with Cryptic's marketing than the game itself.


If we could, as a group, concentrate our efforts on what areas of a game we like and explain why we like it, the gaming developers might get the message.  We've tried screaming about what we don't like for a decade and I think the development companies have finally become numb to it.  It's like kids.  If you yell at your kids all the time they eventually just don't hear it anymore.  We've carried on our war with devs so long they've probably begun to regard us as perpetual malcontents that will never be happy and therefore should be ignored.


To me this looks like nothing but the ultimate expression of frustration and the final step in marginalizing the opinion of the forum community here.  We've told the gaming companies that everything they put out stunk this year so why should they even care what our opinion is going forward?


I'm as guilty as the next guy in this, so try not to get your backs up too much at me.  Maybe our new year's resolution should be to start from a positive angle in 2011 and say, "We liked this mechanic or we liked that feature.  Could we get more of that and a little less of this?"  Constructive criticism can be resepcted.  A collective throwing all of our toys out of the pram will simply get us ignored.

It's too easy to vote for the whole year so I'm going with STO.  The magnitude of that flop is still being measured.  First off it was an iconic IP that people were literally begging for.  Then comes Cryptic cynically selling beta spots to people for the price of a lifetime subscription to their other dud Champions Online and then teling those people who bought lifetime subscriptions, "Oh, wait.  We didn't mean you'd get into STO beta".  Then there was the Klingon disaster and the game just imploded from there.  I'm convinced that the only reason it's still in existence today is Cryptic was so aggressive in selling long term subscriptions.


To me it reads like an epic MMO scam.  Crytic robbed a lot of people from Atari on down.  The other games on the list might have flopped but STO flopped and yet found a way to rob people.

I tend to be on the cynical side when it comes to my posts about MMO gaming.  I'll take a shot at any part or person in the industry when I thik it is called for.  I do it for various reasons at various times but in the end the result is a, shall we say, negative slant to my posting history on this and many other boards.


Well Saturday afternoon as I was cleaning up in the basement I came across a box full of old games I'd played.  On a lark I pulled the games out of the box one by one and I felt a smile coming over my face as I looked at each game.  That smile came on because I was recalling the cool stuff.


The first game I ever played online was Starfleet Command II:Empires at War and it's twin Starfleet Command:Orion Pirates.  It was there I cut my teeth on PvP combat and learned what it was to be a part of a group of gamers.  I was a member of the Klingon Empire then and through the wonders of voice comms (Roger Wilco anyone?) I got to meet, for the very first time, other gamers like myself.  I found out there were others like me and getting to be a part of a gaming community.  There I was Qi'Garth, the Dragon's Bastard and I did battle from my ship, the Foresaken, and Disruptor Bolts glittered blue in the dark.


The next game was Dark Age of Camelot, my first MMO, which I took up a couple of months after it's release in 2001.    I can't recall exactly.when I started, but I do recall my first night as I logged on and saw all those avatars running around this virtual world and t hinking, "Each one of those is being run by a real person!" and the seeing the number of people on each server nearing 3000 was amazing to me.  In DAoC I got to do all those things I'd done playing Dungeons and Dragons on pencil and paper.  I ran through dungeons, faced monsters, collected coin and experienced a world full of people.  In DAoC I got to go exploring and adventuring and I got to do that in places I'd only read about before.  It was like someone had read my mind and stuck a sword in my hand and said, "have at it!"  I found out there were even more people like me.  There I was Aiogath "Sockfoot" Cleavenhardt, the broke hearted champion of the realm of Hibernia and later I would be Dirgyth Grymfrost, the one eyed and jocular dwarf berserker of the realm of Midgard.


The next game was City of Heroes which I tried upon it's release .  In City of Heroes I leaped tall buidlings in a single bound and fought hordes of bad guys bent on world domination.  I spent hours designing a costume and a back story for one of my all time favorite characters.  It didn't matter that the game was totally devoid of loot or PvP at the beginning.  I was in it for the show and what a show it was.  In City of Heroes I was Nox Noctivagus a lycanthrope and slave to his mistress, Cimarron.


The next game was World of Warcraft.  There I found there were not just thousands, but millions of like minded people in the world.  All of us were searching for a little adventure in a place different from our real world lives.  A little escapism in a huge world full of stuff no one had ever seen, but had read about. 


And there were others.


City of Villains where I brought the stalker Madame Cauchemar to life.


Lord of the Rings Online where I made a spectific point to take my little hobbit, Curly, to the House of Tom Bombidill.


Pirates of the Burning Sea where Nathan "Sockfoot" Ravenhart the pirate sailed the Caribbean chanting, "T'is a short ane merry life we lead, lads!"


Warhammer on line where Guthrum Bloodfrost the Chosen stalked the realm of Chaos.


Which brings me to the cool stuff.  Each avatar I breathed life into took me to places and did things that I'd never have done in real life.  Through them I got to see and do things I'd only dreamed of.  Each avatar introduced me to real life people I'd never have met but for them and their in game counterparts.  Some of those people I have lost contact with as I've moved from game to game, but I hope that sometimes when they look back on their gaming past they smile and remember having fun with my avatar in their game of choice.  I hope I've played some small role in one of the pleasant memories of cool stuff they did in those games and I hope those memory makes them smile as I did this Saturday afternoon.


Do you remember the cool stuff?  What was the most fun you had with a random stranger in game, whether it became a life long friendship  or simply a single dungeon crawl or night of farming?  Tell us a story that makes you smile to this day.

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