I think that I can honestly say that I have always been a gamer. I was raised with some of the most popular gaming consoles including the original Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Dreamcast (one of my favorites), and I currently have a regularly used PlayStation 3. I have even been brought up playing pen-and-paper roleplaying games including Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and Champions (Hero System). These things have shaped who I am as a person (a total geek) and how I process things (with geeky thoughts). As I have grown up, my tastes have changed and the way I perceive games has changed.
Firstly, I like to have fun when I play games. I won’t waste my time with games that I don’t enjoy. The concept just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would someone do it? Before I try a game, I will often seek knowledge pertaining to the game from other people who have played it to see if it is worth my time. The most common way that I go about accomplishing this is by seeking out videos on YouTube that list key details about the game or actually show the game being played. I don’t trust in the word of most reviews because I can’t actually see the game being played. If I find a game that looks like it would be fun to play and totally worth my time (and even more so, my money) I will acquire it as soon as possible.
Probably the best, worst time of my gaming “career” is when I discovered this revolutionary new genre that would even further change the way I see games and how they can be played and created. This genre is the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplay Game, or MMORPG. I have come across many games from this genre that I thought would be fun. Very few have managed to keep my attention for long while many others have severely disappointed. I try to hold my judgement of a game until I have given it plenty of play time, but sometimes the game just doesn’t cut it. Though, as mentioned before, there have been a select few that were able to hold my attention for a great length of time.
The journey begins…
The very first MMORPG that I found myself playing was EverQuest. I didn’t get to play the game very much (because the account belonged to my mother), but I became intrigued by what this kind of game had to offer to those who played it. When I was able to play, I ran around Norrath with a Half-Elf Ranger. I don’t recall that much about what I did in that game except that I managed to get lost inside an underground den, belonging to the dog-like Gnolls, called Blackburrow. Later, I found out that some players would gather up Gnolls from Blackburrow and drag them along behind them so they could catch aggro onto unsuspecting players. Funsiez! -_-
I found my love of the genre through a game that has long since come to a close called City of Heroes. When I first got to play it, the idea that I would get to create my own superhero from scratch was amazing. The pen-and-paper Champions allowed me the same capacity, but this was the first time that I had played a video game with such a robust character creation system meant for a world of Superheroes. My very first character was a Stone Melee/Stone Armor Tanker who stood a mighty 8 feet tall, with muscle mass to match the Hulk, he was clad in thick plated armor, he could leap hundreds of feet through the air and wielded the earth as both a weapon and shield against his foes. I thought he was the most badass thing that I had ever seen. I still do and the moniker that I use regularly for gaming is a tribute to this amazing character that was a huge part of my life for a while.
I played City of Heroes until the day that the stand-alone expansion, City of Villains, was released. While I still loved the game and many of the good friends that I had made during my time in Paragon City, the time for me to move on had come. Granted, I do wish I had done a better job of keeping in touch with my old friends. My reason for leaving the game was two-fold. First, I was no longer enjoying listening to the leader of my Supergroup (or Guild) complain about a game that he hardly played. He complained a lot more during the beta for CoV, but I never saw any reason for him to complain about a game that so many of us were having fun in. Second, many of my close friends in real life were already starting to play World of Warcraft. It was a game that I was looking forward to playing because I was a fan of the Warcraft RTS franchise. It had become one of those games that I felt was worth my time to play.
So, without saying much of anything to the members of my SG, I moved on to join my friends in World of Warcraft to make a fresh start in a new world.
Then came the downward spiral…
During its glory days, World of Warcraft was a fun game. I mean, my friends and I played it often and were always helping each other out. It was a new game that had a lot of new things for us to discover. We had a lot of fun and didn’t take it too seriously. My primary character during this time was a Human Paladin who I created to pay homage to the Paladin I played in Diablo II. While I only ever reached level 27 with that character I felt it necessary to “reincarnate” him in another Blizzard universe. My partners in crime were a Dwarf Hunter and Gnome Mage. We were a regular fellowship of the noobs. We conquered everything that the game put in our path and we enjoyed every minute of it. You could say we were more of a casual group of players. We weren’t concerned about acquiring the best gear or trying to get into raids. I am pretty sure that I was invited to do a Molten Core raid once, but it meant absolutely nothing to me. I think I left a couple minutes after we had stepped into the instance because I didn’t want to spend my time on something that I had no interest in.
After the release of The Burning Crusade my friends and I decided to make a serious attempt to become raiders. After several weeks of leveling, acquiring gear and building up the numbers of our guild, we were successful in achieving our goal of becoming raiders. We weren’t necessarily hardcore by any stretch, but we farming Karazhan in no time. During this time we had switched factions, and servers, and began anew. With this change I took on a new role as a Blood Elf Warlock. I became fond of the Affliction tree, back when there were still Talent “trees,” because of the potential to damage multiple targets at once. I also created a Blood Elf Paladin who ended up becoming my main throughout most of the guild raiding. I have leveled a Paladin many, many times and have never had an issue doing so. Unfortunately, like all good things, the success and enjoyment that occurred within the guild didn’t last and it eventually came crumbling down upon itself. I still kept in touch with many of my good friends that I started playing the game with, but lost touch with some of the newer friends I had made.
As more expansions came rolling out for World of Warcraft, I became less and less impressed by what the game had to offer. I played the game for some time after the release of Wrath of the Lich King, bouncing from server to server to play with the friends that still had active accounts. Death Knights were a cool concept, but I didn’t end up playing one for too long. I was excited to see the changes that the release of Cataclysm would make to the old world, but I only played the game for a few months after it was released. I stopped playing the game after that point. There was nothing left for me to be excited for. Everything that I had done in a previous expansion I would have to repeat in the next, and I didn’t want any part of that anymore. I didn’t even bother purchasing the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
The continuing search for greatness…
Ever since I stopped playing World of Warcraft I have been looking for something new to take my interest. There are so many choices these days, there is bound to be at least one that can hold my interest like City of Heroes and World of Warcraft once did. Sadly, I can honestly say there hasn’t been a single game that has managed to hold my interest for long. While I have been looking for something new, too many games have made me feel like I was playing the same game I left years ago. I wanted to play a game that had a different feel, but kept being given more of the same. Even if this wasn’t the case, the game didn’t always meet the hype that was surrounding it. This has happened many times.
While I have left many of these games behind me, there are a few that have sparked new interest as of late. There are even a few new games that I dabble in when I have the opportunity. If you couldn’t tell by the various images used throughout the site, one such game includes Guild Wars 2. I have also found myself playing RIFT a bit more since it has gone free-to-play. I have played a little bit of Neverwinter, but not a significant amount to really have a good opinion on it. I also have several non-MMORPG games currently installed onto my computer that I try to find time for, but I mostly stick to the MMORPG genre nowadays.