I begin my story, at the beginning of the story. (You have a few minutes, right?)
Ten years ago, I started playing online games … I think there were maybe three available that I was capable of. By that, I mean games that weren’t role-playing, move around a chessboard-type map and solve winky dinky puzzles for some lame ass reward.
One thing I hate is winky dinky puzzles. I also hate lame ass rewards, hence the name.
Since I was an AOL subscriber back then (possibly I was subscriber number 24, that’s how long ago this was), I tried out the AOL online games, one of which was Rolemaster: Magestorm. For you noobs, Magestorm (MS) was a team-based PVP similar to a Capture the Flag-game. I played MS almost daily until March 1999, which, as even noobs know, is when EverQuest (EQ) went live.
EQ was part of my regular gaming diet for the greater part of the next 4 or so years, with some brief layovers in Asheron’s Call, Anarchy Online, Shadowbane, Dark Ages of Camelot, Asheron’s Call 2, and miscellaneous others whose names escape me now.
Cue Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) in July 2003. For almost a year, I played over there. And just like all the other games that went before it, I enjoyed my time, I sometimes didn’t. It was fun in a not-EQ way and it was not fun in a not-EQ way … same old story you’ve probably heard and experienced before.
I gave City of Heroes a whirl for a few weeks but never went very far with it. Who was I kidding? I was just killing time until I could sneak my way into The Next Big Thing’s beta.
November 2004, I entered World of Warcraft about 6 hours after live, and that is where you would find me as of this writing. There’s been some lessons learned; there’s been some lessons missed. And, I’m not just taking about myself.
April 2005, I took a Warcraft vacation in Guild Wars’ Ascalon. Two groundbreaking concepts that I fell in virtual love with: instant travel for all and no monthly subscription fee. If this is the future, sign me up!
I still play and chat with gaming friends I met in MS, EQ, DAoC, et al. (as opposed to real friends, you can’t ask gaming friends to be designated drivers or to help you move cumbersome furniture.) I’ve done some writing on gaming over the years and I’ve read even more. I’ve witnessed all the scams, hustles and backstabbing of online society. I’ve ranted, I’ve cajoled, I’ve pharmed, I’ve grinded and I’ve looted. Phat lewt, even.
I document it all here — a chronicle of my regular gaming diet.
Online gaming AFTER the beta … it’s a helluva drug!