It just occurred to me last light that I’ve been playing MMOs now for 18 years. That’s a tad bit insane. That’s also a lot of time put into what should have been the enjoyment of making many new friends.
Now, I did make many new friends, some of which I still speak to on occasion to this day. Most of those, however, have drifted off to other things. What did that do to me? I started to solo.
My first experience in gaming came in high school on my Macintosh Performa II. Yep, I gamed on a Mac. The funniest part about that to me now was the game that I was playing: Marathon, by Bungie. Imagine that. I’m still playing Bungie games. Marathon was my first FPS (first person shooter). It won’t be my last.
I had to get a PC when I went to college. It was required for my intended major of Computer Sciences. Little did I know that it would seriously change my life forever. I found Diablo at first. It had been out for awhile at that point, but I still put many hours into it. Then I found Underlight.
You may have never heard of Underlight, but that’s because it always had a relatively small player base. It was running through MPlayer at the time. Underlight was (IS. It’s been brought back by dedicated dreamers.) an MMO that had zero NPCs (non-player characters). Every interaction in the game was with someone who was also behind a computer screen moving their character around. There were no vendors or quest givers. It was all run by the players. The storylines present in the game were introduced by the Lyrans (characters run by the people who ran the game), but those storylines were expanded upon by the players.
It was a true role-playing game. OOC (out-of-character) talk was frowned upon in game. It was truly an amazing experience that brought out so much creativity in people. I tried playing it again recently when certain people brought it back, but apparently the graphics was lacking for my tastes, now, and my creativity just doesn’t seem to be there anymore, which I don’t really like but that’s a different story. I sincerely hope that Underlight can keep going.
Next up? Everquest became my addiction at some point down the road. There was only one person that I played with in the game when I wasn’t soloing and that was the guy who found out that I had just started playing it. We played some on one of the PVP (player versus player) servers and little bit on one of the others, but that wasn’t quite enough for me. I ventured out on my own and ran into a small group of players who were very much like myself. The next thing I know, I’m part of a role-playing guild by the name of Candiria Knights.
I still spent a good portion of my time doing content solo. Sure, there were things that I couldn’t do without a group, but my guild would help out during those times. They were absolutely the best, but then I took a break from the game to deal with some life issues.
Underlight called me back. We had a thriving community in the sense that we were so tight-knit. We were all friends there. I still remember waking up one morning to hear horrible news in our IRC chat. It was September 11th, 2001. There were a couple of us that lived or worked in New York at the time. Luckily they were all okay.
I still wanted more, however. Community can only take me so far. I wanted excitement and adventure. Oh, and better graphics, too. I really wanted better graphics, so I went back to Everquest. Let me just say here that Shadows of Luclin really improved the graphics of Everquest!
I played and played. I eventually met someone while playing Everquest that would change my life again. She lived down in Mississippi, and I, of course, was living in Virginia. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. We clicked. We talked in game. We talked on the phone. She drove up here one night, and guess what? That was almost eleven years ago. We’re married and have a nine year old son. Crazy, isn’t it? Yes, but I love it.
Finding here introduced me to even more gaming with friends. We had groups for dungeons. We ended up joining a raiding guild. Now I find that I want to play games with groups of people. I don’t really want to solo content unless I absolutely have to. I don’t want to play a single-player game.
I realized that last night as my fireteam failed to take down Skolas yet again. It was annoying that we couldn’t do it, but in the long run I didn’t mind, because I was playing with friends. I will say, however, that the third member of our fireteam has not completed his Moments of Triumph because of Skolas, and he’s been playing since Day 1. That aggravates me to no end.
I’ll jump in and run Skolas again at some point, because I enjoy the gaming with friends aspect. Someone mentioned Fallout 4. I probably won’t get it because it doesn’t have multiplayer. Maybe I’ll see who I can drag into The Elder Scrolls Online. I haven’t touched that in awhile, although The Taken King is almost upon us.
And now I’ve typed too much. Maybe it’s time for some pictures. Yeah… pictures.