Questing

It has been a long time since I have posted any thing here but I feel the time has come for me to write this.

I have been playing MMOs for a long time. I started with UO and have played almost every major MMO since then.

Questing in MMOs has a strange history.  UO did not have any questing to mention, it was a sandbox game and you did what you wanted to.

Everquest dispite what the name implies also did not have much questing and the questing that it did have was fairly difficult. You had to actually read the quest text and figure out what you needed to do next. Most of the time you would have your browser open and you would alt tab to get hints. Unless you really wanted the reward you pretty much ignored questing.

There were a few other games that came out that tried to improve on the everquest model but all of them were still pretty much like EQ.

The major breakthrough in questing was made when WoW came out. They decided to stop being so hard and put a big fat yellow exclamation point above the heads of quest givers. They also decided to make questing the primary way of advancement. This pretty much eliminated the old grind of camping and made a new grind of running around and completing quests.

This was the greatest advancement in MMOs made in years. This was the creation of the theme park. You were now led by the hand from quest hub to quest hub. It took all of the imagination out of it. I loved it.

Now years latter every game I play follows the same exact theme, quest hub to quest hub, level to level. There is no imagination in it. I long for a game that lets me grind again, like the old days. I want to sit in one spot for a hours and massacre innocent orcs. This gave me time to chat and get to know my fellow gamer. Now I don’t have time to chat because I am always RUNNING to complete another quest.  I dont have time to explore, I have no reason to go off the beaten path.

I want a game that lets you quest or farm and gives you equal reward for each. I want an incentive to explore and not just some stupid badge, reward, or achievement.

I am not sure that the two types of games can coexist.  I am not sure what I even want. I just know that I am very sick and tired of the WoW way of questing. There has to be something better.

Every sandbox game that has come out since UO has been about PVP. Open world PVP sucks no one likes to be ganked and all of their stuff taken. I want a sandbox game that is primarily a pve game with some very structured PVP built in. Like WAR and UO all mixed up into one great a glorious game.

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Memoirs of an MMO player: Roots

Sometimes I do not have the time to write during the week and this is one of those weeks so I present you with one of my earliest blog posts (This blog is almost a year old!). I apologize if some of you have read it.

My first MMO was Ultima Online.  One of my friends said I should try it. During that time there were really only two MMOs, Ultima Online and Everquest. So I went to the store and purchased the box. I went home and installed it then waited 3 days for the patches to install, all I had was free dialup provided by freeWWWeb. When I finally got it all patched up I fired it up and did not get off for about 10 hours. This was the most intense gaming experience I had ever had. Hundreds of people were at the Brit bank selling stuff. People were chatting and arguing. I was killed countless times by a chicken.  It was great. At this point I was hooked for the next year and a half.  It is still some of my fondest memories of gaming I have.

I look back and try to figure out why it attracted me like it did. What about the game made me want to play it so much? Other games had much better graphics even at this time, unreal had just come out quake 3, lots of games that looked better.

It is the only game I have played that had status symbols. Things in game that were used for nothing but were worth millions of gold, statues, rare colored cloths, all kinds of things that really did nothing to help your character. There was a tailor on our server that was named Gucci his cloths went for a premium it was amazing.

The game was entirely skill based; this made it very versatile and fun. You could be a mage/archer or whatever and switch as you liked. This system has only been recreated in one game since then, Star Wars Galaxies then they went and screwed up the one good thing about that game with the NGE.  I am still waiting for a good skill based game to come out. It feels more natural then the level based systems. This was written before darkfall was released. But I did say “Good” game so I am still waiting.

Eventually I got tired of this game and started to look for a new game to come out. I tried EQ and at that time it was way too hardcore for me to much time wasted. Then I noticed Anarchy online was about to release. I waited and bought it the day it came out. Huge mistake! Anarchy Online unplayable for the first 3 months so I quit and went back to UO. I played it until Dark Age of Camelot came out then switched, and never looked back.

Since then the level system has grown on me and I am now okay with it. I have played almost every major MMO release since DAoC.  Sometimes it is nice to look back and see what lead you to where you are. I will play MMOs the rest of my life but now I expect them to be easy.

Memoirs of an MMO player: UO PK Hunting

UO is broken up into two land masses one is called Trammel the other is Fellucia.  Trammel was the no pvp area and Fellucia was the full PVP area.  So one weekend my friends and I decided that it would be a good idea to go and hunt murders.  This would be the first time that we had PVPed in UO.

So we get all geared up with our best armor and potions and weapons and transport to fellucia using stones we found on lizardmen.  We throw the stones on the ground and a little gate opens, we walk through and arrive in a barren dead land.

We then make our way to the brit bank, thinking that we will be able to chat with the locals and maybe get the scoop about where to find us some reds to kill. We arrive, and there is no one there. We stand around for a few minutes and discuss what we are going to do now.

About this time I notice that someone is snooping my pack. Great I will get some action! So I reveal the vile person thinking I will smite him where he stands. I start to cast Corp Po….. crap the little bastard stole my black pearl. By this time he has gotten on a horse and is getting out of town. We mount up and pursue.

We follow him over the bridge and out of city limits. He decides to stop and face us; we surround him and start casting. At that time about 6 other people pop out of hiding and kill us in about 3 seconds.  So we run around as ghost watching these people loot all of our best gear and laugh at us.

We run back into town as ghost and get resurrected by the healer. We get some spare gear and head back to get our stuff back. We die again, and again, and again.

So we decide that trammel really is a better spot to play. We decide to head home and realize that we don’t have any more of those magic stones.  So we begin our search for more stones to get us back home.

To be continued….