MeMMOries

I have had many memorable experiences in MMOs over the years.  Some of them made significant impressions upon me.

Ultima Online: Just seeing and talking to another player was amazing.  Prior to UO, the only online game that I had played was Shadow of Yserbius.  Yserbius was OK, for the time, and coming on the heels of the Bard’s Tale in its heyday, it was pretty good, graphically.  UO was completely different.  Your toon’s appearance would change according to what gear you equipped.  That was pretty damn cool, back in the day.  With the lore of the Ultima universe, just wandering through the various towns was pretty cool, as well.  At least, for those of us geeky to know which city was associated with which virtue, and so forth.

Dark Age of Camelot: It took the majority of my guild leaving UO for DAoC to drag away from Sosaria.  I had dismissed Everquest as uninteresting, but I could get into DAoC.  I had minor interest in Norse mythology, and almost no interest at all in Celtic mythology and culture, but I had read some of the Arthurian stories.  I was hooked pretty quickly, upon playing in Albion.  The game changed over the years, but the catacombs in Cornwall and the barrows in the Salisbury plains were awesome dungeons.  They were not instanced, but exploring them was amazing fun, even when other people were already fighting the creatures in there.

Star Wars Galaxies: In hindsight, this was an example of how not to make an MMO.  The things I remember when people talk about SWG are that your starting player had trouble walking up hills (yes, there was a skill you had to develop just to walk up hills), a pistol was only dangerous because someone could beat you with it, and all missile/energy weapons have a range shorter than an NFL quarterback.  I distinctly remember playing my rifleman/ranger, and shooting Neanderthal-like natives ten or twenty times in the head to kill them – yet, if they spotted me, they could hit me two or three times and instantly kill me with a stick.  To hell with military technology, we need to equip the armed forces with sticks!

City of Heroes:  As innovative as the instanced mission system was, the environment was just amazing.  You had to play a flier in order to appreciate the effort that the artists put into Paragon City.  But, it was worth it.  The size of the city, the skyscrapers, and the reactions of the civilians to player and NPC activity made it feel more dynamic than almost any other game that I have played.

World of Warcraft: My close friends decided that they had experienced enough of CoH, especially the flip-flopping going on with respect to class balance.  CoH was originally a PvE game, and when PvP was tacked on, players began to cry foul about other archetypes.  My friends and I never played for PvP – we were PvE players.  And we didn’t like having to respect every month.  So, we tried WoW.  And we got involved in raiding, and ended up respeccing every week, instead.  Sheesh.  There was two major positives that I remember from WoW, though.  First, the client was smooth as silk, after the first year of jitters had been worked out.  WoW and CoH definitely have had the best game clients of all the MMOs that I have played, but I put WoW slightly above CoH.  Second, the voice acting at crucial moments added a great deal to the game.  This is something that other game develops should note: quality audio performances are just as important as quality graphics.

Warhammer Online: WAR has many features which people touted as new, groundbreaking, and innovative.  Despite the epic RvR, PQs, and instances, there is only one part of WAR that I will cherish when I look back on it: you feel engaged in the whole struggle even at level 1.  Everything that you do, PvE or RvR, it all contributes to your realm.  The feeling that I was actually making a difference, even when I was just pounding away on a handful of puny PQ mobs, made things more worthwhile.  No one likes to grind for weeks on end before feeling that they are contributing to the overall effort which lies at the very heart of a game.  When I started to play, I wasn’t just a neophyte adventurer, I was a soldier in the service of Order.  It makes a difference in the way you play the game, and I appreciate that above other features, in hindsight.

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One Response to “MeMMOries”

  1. […] Nuts and Bolts looks back at their favorite MMO memories. […]

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