I love MMORPGs. That is Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. I am going to talk about them. Probably a lot. With this post I am also adding the beginning of another post that I intend to update progressively with the MMORPG that I made up and exists in my brain (and maybe a few print outs, scraps of paper, and other word docs).
The first role playing game I really got in to was The Elder Scrolls: Arena. So when I first heard about a role playing game over the internet, my reaction was
It was called Everquest. I got into it. My siblings also. My youngest brother’s best mate who spent most of his time at our house as well. My best mate too. To this day, my youngest brother still brings up the sore point of the time his mate went to do a drop bag trade in East Commons and lost 5k plat worth of gear. NB: That is gamer speak. If you never played EQ, don’t expect it to make sense. But anyone who did play it just went
Next, along came Everquest II. All of us (except my best mate who was banned by his missus) jumped in. It didn’t really hook us the same way its predecessor did despite having upgraded graphics. So before long we all quit and went off to find real lives.
Then one holiday I’m tight on cash and see a World of Warcraft demo disc at the store.
A few years later and my incredibly evil Warlock named Mortality is raiding Ulduar (at the time the ultimate dungeon). Other random players that have warlock characters are messaging me in game for tips. I am in a fantastic guild called Warmachine. Fun, social, regular raiding. I was having the time of my life – and not much actual real life besides. To the point where I would continually turn down social engagements to play the game instead.
Then one day my account was hacked. I had, not long before, bought gold in game. I was lazy and wanted to get a flying mount for an alt (alternate character) but couldn’t be bothered spending the large amount of time required to earn it. So I bought game currency. A few clicks on a dodgy website to provide some details on my character so they can contact me in game, and soon after I am messaged to meet a game character in Ratchet. The character is a naked gnome character who transfers me the currency.
So, imagine how I feel logging in one day to find Mortality standing naked in Ratchet in the exact same spot where I had met the gnome for the gold transfer. All my gear had been sold and my bank storage cleaned out, including on all of my secondary characters. When Big Bang Theory had the episode where Sheldon’s World of Warcraft account got hacked, I felt his pain. Many of the nerdiest aspects of Big Bang Theory could be recut to make a documentary of my life.
It took several days before the lovely Blizzard support were able to verify and restore my equipment. In that time I was pathetic. By the time my account was restored, I had gained enough perspective to realise just how addicted I was. I bloody loved that game. And it was unhealthy.
So I quit playing. I am now around 3 years sober. I have played around with other MMORPG games over the years. I lost count of how many around the 20-25 mark. But I have been careful never to be as addicted as I was with WOW.
I still love MMORPGs. My brothers, mates, and I still talk about missing it sometimes. Online games with social interaction, progressive aspects, and new worlds to explore and adventure in are my catnip. In the last 12 months I have played with Guild Wars 2, DCU Online, Rift, and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I am sign up for and await the upcoming release of Everquest Landmark and the information around the Everquest Next dynamics sound amazing.
In the heart of my World of Warcraft experience, I would be thinking about the game all the time. I was also in a job where I was easily capable of handling my workload much faster than others I depended on to provide me tasks could come up with work for me to do.
To offset the boredom, I began thinking about WoW at work. Corporate internet restricts most of the websites you can visit relating to computer games and I exhausted those pretty quickly.
So, one day, I decided to occupy my mind with creating my very own MMORPG from the ground up. I started a Word document, put tables and calculations in to spreadsheets, imagined. The word document was over 250 pages long when I received a redundancy from that job (they were paying me a lot for what I was doing). That imagined world has mainly lived in my mind since then. The original document was unfortunately lost in a PC formatting accident. But the world lives on and continues evolving as I continue having new online gaming experiences introduce me to new and different mechanics that further refine my idea.
So, right with this post, I am adding another that begins to talk about that MMORPG game world concept. It will likely be a living post with regular updates and may never truly be finished. It will be a treatise and will likely have giant holes, dramatic changes in writing style shifting from technical aspects to storytelling or discussion on why I think things should be a certain way. Perhaps even open questions that are hard to answer without being able to play-test. I enjoy the art of creating a world. Like writing, it is a creative release. And if anyone ever came along and built it for me, I would play the @#$%& out of that thing.