I Began My Story at the Beginning of the Story

I began the story one year ago, today.

Some 123,000 words in some 480 posts later, there you have it.

The End.

HAHA, it’s never really the end of gaming though, until you walk away forever. I’ve walked away before, probably like most of you, and sometimes I’ve been away for quite a while. I’ve always come back, so far, but I suppose someday I’ll walk away and I’ll be away for a long while, then I’ll say (in my head, don’t want to frighten the general public), “Well, I guess that was forever.”

Maybe as the future unfolds, games will become so engaging and will be released and updated so regularly, they’ll be like movies. Nobody ever says, “Well, I don’t think I’ll see any movies anymore.” Then we’ll all be gamers forever.

Wow. Considering some of the crap I’ve seen in games, content and players alike, that gives new meaning to “I have met the enemy, and it is us.”

Don’t think about that for too long — it’s like staring into a black abyss.

I was thinking about this Vanguard: Saga of Heroes thing that’s coming out maybe someday. (Yes, this is a Vanguard fan site! Mail all ridiculous IGE offers to the contact info.) It’s been pitched as a game for the hardc0re, maybe they’ve changed the pitch, I dunno. They should. The hardc0re is a dying breed, my friends.

(It’s all mathematics! They’d have to get a date first before they could breed little hardc0res and dating would require actually LOGGING OFF. You can see the problem here.)

I’ve visited the Vanguard message boards a few times to see what’s up and if there’s any wildly inaccurate predictions for a release date. Goddamn, there’s all the people I played with in EQ. Y’know how you’ll play a really shitty game and you’ll say to your bud, “At least that asshole Soandso from EQ isn’t here” and he’ll agree that’s the one good thing about the shitty game?

There they are, all the killstealers, the whiners, the 20-hour a day players, the steamrolling guildleaders, the ninja looters, and the cyberfucks that I had hoped (prayed) I had left behind, never to cross paths again. There. Waiting for Vanguard. Breathlessly. (more like out of breath.)

Scary. And haven’t those players advanced in their real lives AT ALL since EQ? Spouse? Children? A JOB? Finally finished college?? I realize this doesn’t apply to ALL the posters on the Vanguard boards, but there is a nest of ’em over there. Saw with mine own eyes.

(And don’t think I forgot about you, fucker — got your character name written down in my EQ notes!)

I get a kick out of comments and emails that are so obviously written by today’s hardc0re, like “dude, just do these 345,930 tasks and you’ll get the quest item, quit your whining, pussy.” Ya, really. Why would I whine about that? Why would I whine about keyed dungeons or forced raiding or requisite classes to do anything worthwhile?

I used to be hardc0re. Much as I’d like to revise history, ain’t no doubt about it, that used to be me. That’s just not me anymore.

So. What does the future hold? I’m not sure the future, for me, will be Vanguard. Of course I’ll buy and try. I’m a buy and try kinda guy. Will I stay is an entirely different question and I never know until I shut down the game for the last time … then many months later notice on the credit card bill that I forgot to cancel the subscription. (DAMMIT!)

There was a time, there was a place. That’s just not me anymore.

9 thoughts on “I Began My Story at the Beginning of the Story

  1. Hmmm. That was meant to be a restrospective anniversary post with a dash of foreshadowing.

    AFK Gamer isn’t closing up shop. Haven’t received that $50k check from IGE yet. It’s probably still in the mail.

  2. Hehe, the old twisted saying of “no matter where you go, THERE THEY ARE!”

    While I agree with the viewpoint of “I have met the enemy, and it is us”, I think it is still possible to change that. Why? Because just as people affect the culture they are within, so to does the culture affect those within it. It goes both ways. Therefore, if you create the right environment it will attract the right people. My friends and I proved this when we used to play Counter-Strike a long time ago (where most game servers have quite a negative environment to them). We ran a community server with a great culture and a lot of people had a blast on it and griefers where extremely rare (as they got dealt with quickly and efficiently).

    Of course when you are talking about a MMO game this is a slightly different story. The players in the game can definitely help towards making a better culture within the game but most of the necessary environment needs to be defined by the developers. They need to ensure that the culture of the game will be one that supports strong community interaction. If they don’t and let it fall to the players then obviously the griefers will once again take advantage of the situation. If the developers can give some form of empowerment to the community at large to deal with these griefers than it will radically change the gameplay and make it a much more enjoyable game for everyone.

  3. LOL… okay. I was a bit shattered for a minute. Had to go grab a Vente Americano to adjust. I thought it was a nice writeup and then I saw Elbows’ comment. I thought, “Man, I missed that. I didn’t see that coming”. I figured you had to have some more MMO time left in ya. There so much more to come! I’m waiting for MEO to fire up….. someday. I swore WoW would be my last MMO. I’ve played so many. But, I loved Asheron’s Call and I’m hoping Turbine cranks out another good one. As long as it’s not the same team that did AC2. MEO promises to be for the non-hardc0re crowd much like WoW advertised. Your post rang true to a lot of my thoughts on the subject of MMOs. Hardcore was nice for EQ when I was in college. Life has moved on for me and I’m hoping MMOs keep getting less hardcore as time goes on so I can keep playing them. I don’t want to be stuck playing shuffleboard like the previous generations. Of course, by the time my peers are playing shuffleboard, I suppose I’ll have more time on my hands for some hardc0re MMO playin! If MMOs are so addictive now, I don’t know if I want to see then once I’m 80.

  4. saccia – you yuppie gamer you.

    everyone knows it’s all about the doppio machiatto w/ extra foam. 😛

    congrats on the anniversary, foton.

  5. Grats on one year, reblogger. I’m sure I will be suffering alongside you in the purist hardcore omgwtfbbq 1000 day treadmill level up game in Vanguard.

  6. Nollind > If the developers can give some form of empowerment to the community at large to deal with these griefers than it will radically change the gameplay and make it a much more enjoyable game for everyone.

    That’s one way to deal with it, but I think what makes grouping so potentially dangerous/annoying is that it’s so easy. You’ve got to kill all these elite Mercenaries in Loch Modan and you don’t want to wait, so you just grab whatever 20+ tank comes along and go to it.

    What if there was a game that raised the bar on grouping? Like, you had to pay to form a group (bad idea, I know, no one would like that, just throwing it out there), or what if the game tracked who you’d grouped with so that you got some tangible benefit from grouping with the same players more than once (like slight increase in stamina or something from the camaraderie you’d presumably built up), or if you could add a limited number of players to a “comrades” list and get the benefit from them only (and some penalty for kicking people from your comrades list so that you couldn’t just rotate people in and out at will) or some variation of one of those schemes. Then we’d all presumably be more careful about who we grouped with. It would slow down the gameplay a little bit, but personally I think that’s not a bad thing. It would enhance the role-playing aspect a little and make questing resemble FPS play a little less (i.e., where you group up, run through some dungeon you’ve never been through before because the high-level you’re grouped with has been there eight times already and doesn’t want to look around, kill all the mobs, run out. I hate that).

    Making it harder to group might make it easier to avoid the perils of grouping. Or am I crazy?

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