I wrote this almost a year ago on the Vanguard forums long before it came out hoping I could connect with like minded individuals that share the same indescribable feeling that I think every single one of you felt at some point when you started your FIRST MMORPG. I have discussed this in the past many years ago with long forgotten players, co-workers, and friends who all at one point or the other got “The Feeling” but has been unable to obtain it once again. Tell me what you think, can you describe what I am talking about? Have you gotten it more than once in different games, same games? Let me know!!!
Do you remember the first MMORPG you stepped into? Either it was Ultima Online, Ever Quest 1 or 2, Anarchy Online, World of Warcraft and the others that flood the market these days. Did it give you that feeling? Do you even know the feeling I am talking about? Can I even describe this feeling? I will try and perhaps you gamers out there can help relate to “That Feeling” I speak of.
My very first real attempt at joining a MMORPG was Ever Quest, like many other people out there like me Norrath was out first home in the once new concept long ago. I played a Barbarian Warrior and walking around the land of permafrost I knew I wanted to venture out and view the world. It gave me a sense similar to how one may feel in real life if they decided to set out on a long journey across our real world. The sense of utter amazement, the feeling that I am about to become apart of something bigger in these lands, and that I can accomplish anything not because I can grind out a camp for hours on end to gain levels but because I have the know how to extend my own self into my digital avatar.
This is the tip of the ice berg in my thoughts on “The feeling” I am trying to convey to all of you.
Why do we play these games? Is it because of the impressive persistent world? Is it because we like the power and feeling of accomplishment from the time or dedication we put into our character, or is it the people you have met in the game. The people who share the same ideals as you in terms diving into a game sitting at a computer for hours on end where the people who “ Don’t get it” look at you strange and label you the stereo typical names I am sure we have all heard before.
For me I will have to say it is all three. Being my first experience at a MMORPG, Ever Quest yields some of the fondest memories I have in any type of game I have ever played.
For me playing that Barbarian Warrior was taking my self and projecting it on to that large humanoid to give it a life of its own. I will not go as far as saying I role played him, but I played his Role. He was the big tough guy that protected those weaker than him and he would stay if the flight was a failure to “hold off” the enemies and die fighting them so others may live. I loved that feeling and it gave me a sense of “The feeling” that at the time I did not know as I do now but knew enough that this game was the best thing I have ever experienced.
Soon I joined a guild and this is where I really had my first real social interaction with other players, I continued to play my role as the tank and tanked for them on many occasions as we all leveled in our low teens to 20 and so on. To this day I speak with these same people in other games/AIM. Some play the different varieties of MMORPGs out there some do not play any and some still play EQ1 to this day. I think after the “The Feeling” began to wear off as I played the game more and it dawned on me what it was, after that sense of newness wore off that I had to grind to progress the social aspect of it is what kept me playing and still playing these games to this day.
Finally the last thing that in humble opinion that brings up this “Feeling” you see me refer to a lot, is the impressive persistent world that the developers, story writers, and other employees build for you. As I previously said at all the MMORPGs that I have played ( EQ1, EQ2, AO, WOW, DAOC, to name a few) EQ1 holds the most special moments that can recall that brings a smile to my face.
I can remember killing Bandits at the “Bandit Farm” in West Karana. I can remember the feeling I had when I killed my first real humanoid. I can remember the HOLY CRAP feeling I had when I went to investigate the rumbling sound of a Random Hill Giant walking past and then aggro’ing me and me running for my life. I can remember grouped up with my friends still at the Bandit Farm and when night fall would come, we would continue to kill but were prepared for the Random Werewolf to spawn there. Knowing that we had to run as we were to low of a level to kill it after repeated attempts and feeling the terror when it would spawn and start hitting on a party member and running afraid we would die.
All these things I mentioned above is what made the game for me so special, and gave me this feeling I speak about that I cant even name. One thing I do know is I have been searching for that feeling again. I have played a large variety of MMORPGs currently playing World of Warcraft, and though it lit a spark in me I have been hungering for more. How do you guys feel about this , and do you think Vanguard will live up to it?
Any rate, like I said, I tried Vanguard and that was that. Tell me what you guys think, I am off to play a little EQII 🙂