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This is for all the veteran players out there and I ask you to really look into yourselves and think about your early days when MMORPGs were few and far between. If you were a pioneer then you should know how I feel.
I have played mmorpgs for a very long time. Since the first days of Meridian 59 to the first beta tests of Everquest. From the first extremely buggy days of Anarchy Online, to the beginnings of Dark Ages of Camelot. I have learned a lot of insight from all this playing and leveling and socializing. I have seen what makes a game quality, and what "keeps a player entertained". Nowadays with so much competition between MMORPG's my mind is clouded by all the options available. In one way, I like the diversity out there and the options, but on the other hand I feel like no matter where I turn I lead to dead ends. I will explain...
As I logged into Everquest for the first time, I experienced something I will never forget. I created my first character ( a barbarian in Halas) and explored the city. At first I thought, "this isn't so special". I wandered around and found some npc's etc. I exited Halas for the first time into Everfrost Peaks. I was standing there just wandering, when all the sudden another player ran by and attacked a polar bear cub in front of me. I watch him fight the bear with all his might and shortly thereafter he kneeled down to loot the corpse. He then approaced me and we had a short discussion in which he told me the route to the acclaimed Blackburrow. "Be Careful! " he said. "The gnolls are dangerous!" He handed me 2 gold ( which seemed a fortune!) and I bought me a backpack and a few items and went out in the the great Peaks!. I wandered towards to famed tunnels and I was scared as hell! When I found Blackburrow it was a paradise of killing and exploring!
After this experience, I was extremely in awe when I look back. The effect it had on me was profound. This simple interaction was unheard of to most of my peers and people around me at the time. (In a way it was incomprehendable to most) This was leading edge technology and I was in a "NEW WORLD NOW".
These days, all MMORPG's seem like they are worthy of this experience and more, but I feel like they fail in the way of delivering that first "Shock and Awe" of your virgin MMORPG experiences. I am corrupted by my own device in that it will never be the same! MMORPG's aren't TOUGH anymore! Does anyone remember how extremely hard EQ was at release? It seemed IMPOSSIBLE. But you know what? That's what made it so intriguing!
As my barbarian warrior progressed in lvls, he was around lvl 12. I had saved enough to by a few peices of banded and I also bought a bronze bracer and arms from someone selling them for 2pp per AC (which was standard price...1pp per AC for banded). I wielded a Fine Steel Long Sword as well as my "COVETED" Shiny Brass Shield from atop the orc hill in Crushbone. I was hanging around the castle there in Crushbone when I came across a lvl 43 warrior in FULL CRAFTED!!! "WOW!!", I thought. There was a crowd of people around him just looking at that fine blue tinted armor glowing. He put on a show and killed DVinn right in front of us!! That's when I realized for the final time that I was playing a game that I would never stop playing, and that I would never forget. Sure enough that was true, and it's been 7 years of nonstop experiences, some have been the most incredible ever.
But other games fall way short.........YOUR FIRST MMORPG WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST. And maybe the last if you are like me. I would just love to hear what others have to say about this and see if they feel the same way. Is there a way to get that "Shock and Awe" back? or will I have to wait till some new concept of online rpg's come out? Virtualy reality MMORPG? lol. Who knows? Tell me your stories and what has impacted you the most out of MMORPGs.
Chonka Kimoto 70 Shaman (EQ I since beta) - Retired
Azuri Spiritweaver 26 Mystic / 13 Craftsman (EQ II) - Retired due to boredom
Azuri Jingizu W/N20 (Guild Wars)