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This blog will be a meditation on games, gaming, and gamers. Especially those of us who have been playing the gaming game for a while. The title is from "Legend of Zelda: Link's Adventure," because who but an Older Gamer would remember that?
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The Kids These Days with Their Fast-Paced MMOs

Posted 21st November 2010 at 03:57 PM by daranthered
Tags mmorpg

Like many of you who will read this, I enjoy MMORPGs. I've been playing them off and on (mostly on) since the late 90's. I started with Asheron's Call, took a detour through Everquest, City of Heroes, Star Wars Galaxies, and I have found a comfortable existence in Lord of the Rings Online, and World of Warcraft, with the odd attempt now and then to give myself a seizure in Perfect World. While some of you may count this a thin resume, I feel that it gives me a certain pedigree in the world of online gaming. At least I know which way is North on my HUD. So, why is it that my first priority in playing a new MMO is getting totally lost?

The answer is, at least I think it is, that I'm an adventurer. If you put me in a sandbox, my first instinct is almost always to wonder off and get lost among the dunes. You see, I just don't have that drive, killer instinct if you will, to power level through a game; boar's blood barely dried upon my axe before the Wargs start to fall beneath it.

No, I'm more like: "Oh, what's that over there?" waddle, waddle, waddle, "Why, upon closer inspection this is a slightly different tree than the one looking at earlier. Oh, what's that over there?" waddle, waddle, waddle, "Oh, it's an elite mob who is twenty levels higher than me, I've wondered out of the newbie zone, maybe I should have been killing things, rather than looking at pixelated trees." Sadly, this is not a fictional account.

I am easily distracted, this is not something that generally hinders me in my daily life, but when I'm playing video games, it's in my off hours, and I tend to want to indulge in my vices, and one of my vices is to be very flighty. It makes playing MMOs with friends difficult. Oddly, many of them want to get to a high level and take part in end game content, like raiding and the like. I don't get that. I mean, I like doing that stuff eventually, but I'm far more content to fish, or bake, or craft, or just wonder around and look at all the funny animations and detail the designers put into the game. It makes hanging out with the "sever first" crowded a little difficult.

Part of my problem with the whole rush to the end mentality is, I'm paying for this game, I want to wring every last drop of entertainment value that I can out of it. I'm reading every book on every table, going down every dead end in every instance, climbing to the top of every mountain, even if uninhabited by Man or Troll. I'm going to swim all the way around Kalimdor (they don't have an achievement for that, trust me, I know), decipher all the runes in Thorin's Hall. The game designers put huge amounts of work into the details of these worlds, and I really think they're awesome, the idea of rushing past them as fast as some folks do, well it makes me sad.

To my fellow heroes of the virtual realm, I offer this advice. Stop and view the roses; you may not be able to smell them, but they are beautifully rendered.
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  1. Old Comment
    That's me! Everything you said about wandering and exploring is how I tend to play too, especially in the game I've started playing these past three weeks. The level of detail in Age of Conan is amazing. I have my graphics settings at maximum, and it is simply gorgeous. The landscape is completely covered in foliage swaying in the wind; the water ripples and waves flow out from your character swimming through while the water reflects every object on the other side of the harbor; the moon casts a shadow at your feet over the top of a tower hundreds of yards away; mist floats across a whitewater river; weapons and clothing and armor are intricately detailed and 3-dimensionally realistic, not just painted on the shape of a body. I'm stopping and zooming in to appreciate the art and design of the game. Hey, I'm paying for it--I want to get my subscription's worth!
    Posted 31st December 2010 at 02:10 PM by rainandnight rainandnight is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Smokeyjobe's Avatar
    I completely agree with you. Almost two years into LOTRo and I have a lvl 56 minstrel and a warren of younglings below 20. I've spent many days online completing perhaps one or two quests but acquiring 10 or 20 others as I've wandered further and further from my intended goals. No doubt you have obtained the revered title of 'Ridge Racer' in LOTRo too? The one negative in being this way is that the people you get to know and play with in a Kin tend to 'grow up' much faster and you get left behind, and when you do want to (or need to) team up, everyone seems to be busy raiding or in high level instances! Oh well, I'll just continue taking my time smelling the beautiful fields of flowers.
    Posted 23rd January 2011 at 11:47 PM by Smokeyjobe Smokeyjobe is offline
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  5. Old Comment
    I like doing that stuff eventually, but I'm far more content to fish, or bake, or craft, or just wonder around and look at all the funny animations and detail the designers put into the game. It makes hanging out with the "sever first" crowded a little difficult.
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