Blaugust Day 4: My First Day in an MMO

My first day in an MMO was eventful to say the least. In fact this entire story will take place in just the first hour, okay, maybe two if you take character customization into account.

The year was 1999, MMOs were still brand new things. After seeing my then boyfriend playing Everquest I realized that my dream of playing games with other people was about to come true. So I took the 80 miles round trip it took to get to a Best Buy and I got my copy of Everquest. Getting it installed was a breeze but I very quickly hit my first snag. What server do I play on? Making it even more difficult were these strange letters next to the server names. PvE and PvP. What did they mean? I had no idea. For some reason it never crossed my mind to look it up either. Instead I tried to work it out in my head.

The first P well that obviously stands for player, meaning me. That seemed easy enough. I understood the v meant versus as well. But it was those last letters that had me all mixed up. Eventually I thought I had worked it out. After going through dozens of possible words, I knew for a fact the E stood for everyone. That meant I’d be fighting other players! I didn’t want that. So, I quickly rolled up on a PvP server not ever working out what that second P stood for.

Whoops.

It didn’t take me long once I logged in to work out I’d made a terrible mistake. I got attacked by a player. Instead of trying to fight I ran. I kept running until I found a group of people. They happened to be roleplayers though I had no idea what that was at the time. They very swiftly dealt with the person who was chasing me and explained to me where I’d gone wrong. So thank you random roleplaying heroes! I quickly deleted that character and made my very first main character in an MMO, Dystia.

Sadly my time in Everquest was short. When the first expansion was released there was an upgrade to the system requirements and I no longer met them. But I look back on my time in the game fondly. I was even in my first in game wedding with my first friend in an MMO all because I stood under the Wood Elf city and yelled out “Bored girl looking for bored boy.”

 

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This blog post is part 4 in a month long blogging initiative called Blaugust. It was also prepared ahead of time because I’m headed to Gamescom for nearly a week. Though I will make every effort to blog while at Gamescom I’ve prepared enough posts to get through the convention. If you’d to know more about Blaugust head over to the official Anook page.

Blaugust Day 3: Game Recommendation Speed Round

Yep, it’s one more day of game recommendations and also one more day until we leave for Germany! Why? Because they’re easy and I’ve been busy getting ready to go away for a week.

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Previously I talked about my recommendations for the various business models for MMORPGs and a MOBA. This time there will be more games recommended for a variety of different interests.

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Blaugust Day 2: More Game Recommendations!

Yesterday I actually thought I would get a lot more recommendations in than I did. This has sort of worked in my favor however as I’m writing more than one blog post a day so I don’t have to worry during Gamescom. So if you’re looking for my recommendation on the best subscription based and buy to play MMORPGs head over to yesterday’s blog because we’re moving ahead!

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Blaugust Day 1: Game Recommendations from the Editor of an MMO Website

There’s something I see on Reddit quite often that I usually feel compelled to answer, people asking for tips on which MMO they should play. I feel that my job as Editor in Chief of MMOGames.com puts me in a unique position. I get paid to keep up on the industry, play these games, and give my opinion. With that in mind here are my recommendations for MMOs, MOBAs, and other online games.

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eSports Complaints

I haven’t blogged in a while. In fact I thought I was going to give up on blogging all together, but recent events have driven me to the point of needing a good old fashioned rant.

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I’m not a sports fan. Hell, I’m not even an eSports fan. MOBAs just confuse me. But there’s an aura around them, something electric that pulls you in even when you have no idea what’s going on. It’s a connection I feel with eSports but not traditional sports, why? Who knows. That isn’t the point.

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Not Being A Fangirl

Meeting a celebrity is hard. Either you fangirl out at them and you just become another one of the fans or you keep that fangirling to yourself and treat them like a human being and hopefully you can go on to become friends with them. So last week when I was faced with the prospect of meeting one of my favorite people in the gaming industry who had up until that point eluded me by being in California while I was in Ireland I was nervous. I didn’t want to be another fangirl. I didn’t want to geek out and scare him away. I’ve always thought that celebs of any sort need people who just treat them like people. They are after all just people.

Of course developers aren’t celebrities on the same scale as actors but that didn’t keep me from my glee. After watching him online doing broadcasts for City of Heroes I finally got to meet Andy Belford. Thankfully I managed to keep my cool. He even helped us get into the EA behind closed doors area when the people at the front desk had never heard of Dawngate. Seriously, we got asked if we meant to go to the Activision booth by the ladies controlling the front desk. They had never even heard of Dawngate, which I will just point out is most certainly an EA game.

So one of my three missions of Gamescom was a complete success.

Achievement Unlocked: Meet Andy Belford

Achievement Unlocked: Meet Andy Belford

 

This is me, posting twice in one day as I catch up on Blaugust because of Gamescom.

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It Was Too Much

Gamescom was fantastic. We got home super late last night and I’m still feeling like I could sleep for a week. Sadly Gamescom was just too crazy to try to keep up with blogging. The Wargaming party was what really killed it. We didn’t leave until 2 in the morning. After that I just stopped trying to keep up. But! Now that I’m home you can expect to see lots of thoughts on Gamescom, images, and amusing stories of running into bastards who didn’t see the wheelchair coming straight for them. I might even post an image of all my sweet loot in one place. I got some pretty awesome loot this year.

Be sure to keep looking back at the blog twice a day while I catch up on Blaugust. I may not have been able to keep up while I was gone but I’m not going to fail the challenge.

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It has been a long day so I’m keeping it short this time. Had a fantastic first day. Saw lots of friends old and new. I also saw Guild Wars 2, Destiny, and many more. Still, I cannot wait to start day 2. I have a few images but they have to wait for now. Check back for them tomorrow.The hotel WiFi is so painfully slow. But tomorrow is a big day. Take care!

Plants and Zombies, Oh My!

Nearly a month after it was announced I learned that the little Plants vs Zombies Facebook game is being shut down in October. I played it for a little while back when it first launched, much as I do many games I come across on Facebook. Sadly it just didn’t live up to the Plants vs Zombies name for me and I quickly left. And my total reaction to the closure was, “Meh.” But at least it inspired this blog post so I suppose it did something positive. I’ve played almost every Plants vs Zombies game that has been released.

Plants vs Zombies

I actually resisted playing PvZ for a long time. I’d heard of it and knew that everyone was playing it. That naturally made me not want to play it because I’m difficult like that. Of course once I did play it I was immediately in love. I quickly played through the story and jumped into mini games. Even now I still log in from time to time to play.

Plants vs Zombies Adventures

This was the little Facebook game that is being shut down. I was excited for it because it was the first PvZ game we had seen in ages. So when it launched I jumped right in. It was…well, it suffered from the same things all Facebook games do for early adopters. There weren’t enough people to complete the tasks. So I eventually reached a point where I couldn’t continue because not enough of my friends played. It is clever, make it so you need friends to succeed and in theory you’ll recruit friends. But I think this method backfires far more often than it succeeds. So in the end they have to change the game or die. I would say most of them die. And even the Plants vs Zombies name isn’t enough to keep this one alive.

Plants vs Zombies 2

I’ve found Plants vs Zombies 2 to be a bit of a disappointment. Not only is it incredibly easy but also it feels like the soul of the game has been removed to make room for the business model. In my mind PvZ2 is more like Adventures than it is the original game. And that makes me a bit sad. It also leaves me uninterested in playing further.

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare

From the first moment I saw PvZ GW announced I knew I wanted to play. It feels like they went back to their roots (pardon the garden pun) with this game. What amazes me even more is that it’s a shooter and tower defense game. Two types of games I am very much not known for enjoying or playing. But I bought it. In fact it actually counted as a pre-order. I got it just a few hours before the pre-order ended. Unfortunately it was only afterwards that I realized my computer couldn’t run it. Not on a 64 bit system yet. Which is totally my fault. I can’t wait to play it though.

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This is another blog entry in the Blaugust blogging initiative. We’ve been at it for 10 days now, though it hardly feels like it.

A Roleplayer’s Dilemma: Old Character, New Game

Here I go, still backing out of the idea of blogging about things other than games. This is happening mostly because 1. This idea was given to me by a friend. and 2. I don’t have any other ideas at the moment. My good friend Seph asked me a few days ago about my thoughts on taking an old character with you to a new game. This is really only a roleplayer issue. But it is one I face every time I start playing a new MMO. And of course there are several different ways to do it. So, before I get into my thoughts on the matter lets take a look at the different ways it can be done.

 

Character Moved To A New City

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This is exactly what it sounds like. You keep the exact character you had in a previous game, same personality, same history, same everything. This really only works in modern MMOs as fantasy settings tend to be wildly different from each other and be an entire world. There is often a problem matching up abilities however. Characters often have to learn new skills in this new town because their old ones aren’t available elsewhere. Imagine trying to take an Earth Controller from City of Heroes into The Secret World. You couldn’t. On the other hand though, if you have a beloved character it is good to know they live on even though you don’t play the game where you originally created them.

 

Same Idea, New Character

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Maybe you made a really awesome catboy in The Elder Scrolls Online and you want to take him with you to Guild Wars 2. The Charr and Khajiit aren’t exactly the best fit. Yes, they’re both cats but that is about all they have in common. Still, you could make a Charr who is considered particularly odd. In this case, unlike the first one you can cross settings, genres, and all sorts of boundaries with relative ease. The difference between this method and the first is that your character has no history in the old place they’re from. They’re effectively a brand new person like any other you roll up. This is by far the most common way of bringing characters from one game to the next. It is also widely used by non-roleplayers. The people who are Amazonian Babes no matter what game they’re playing.

 

Same Name, Obeys Lore

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This one is only very slightly different to the one above. But the general idea is that while the character may look the same and have the same name as the previous version they’re a better fit for the lore of the new MMO. This requires that small changes are made to the character to make them fit. Making a Bahmi from Rift into a Norn in Guild Wars 2 for example. Racially speaking they’re sort of close. The big difference is that instead of trying to force your idea into the established world you change your character slightly to make them fit in. A Bahmi turned Norn would be louder and more boastful for example.

 

Where Do I Fall?

That leaves us with the final question, what are my thoughts on it? Personally, I hate it. In all forms I hate it. As City of Heroes was my favorite MMO it will serve as an example. I once had a friend in CoH who went on to play Champions Online when it launched. He played it as the first type. His character had just moved to a new town. That effectively meant, once City of Heroes went free to play that he could (and did) bounce between the two games on the same characters. This wasn’t too bad. The two games were close enough to each other in a lot of ways that it could be excused. Even though these two were obviously in two different universes. But the whole time I played with this friend I couldn’t help but wonder why he moved his characters from one game to another when he was clearly happy playing them both.

But for me the real issue is with lore. Before I start playing an MMO I dive into wikis, I read up on everything I can so that when it comes time for me to make a character they have a deep connection to the lore of the game. I also never play an MMO I didn’t beta test. I make a character who may or may not make it to live and I get a chance to learn a little bit more about the world that way. So I wouldn’t be able to take my Eth from Rift and put her into ESO as a Redguard. They just wouldn’t work despite the fact that both would be from desert dwelling people and back from the dead.

In the end I suppose the answer is, as with so many views I have, that it is ok for other people to do it but I would never do it myself. Sadly that means that all of my City of Heroes characters are lost to me. I won’t ever play them anywhere else. While that does make me sad, it isn’t something I’m willing to change. Instead I will be happy with the knowledge that they continue on in Paragon City, fighting crime and living life as they always have.

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This is day 9 of the Blaugust blogathon! If you don’t already know about it check it out out here.