If Aragorn survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king and all that you hope for comes true you will still have to taste the bitterness of mortality. Whether by the sword or the slow decay of time, Aragorn will die. And there will be no comfort for you, no comfort to ease the pain of his passing. He will come to death - an image of the splendor of the kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world. But you, my daughter, you will linger on in darkness and in doubt as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Here you will dwell bound to your grief under the fading trees until all the world is changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent.
Elrond – Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
I love words. I adore fantasy and the dream of epic adventure. Put those two things together and you have the nectar that sustains me. My favorite novel of all time is, The Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson. However, one of the most poetic and quotable fantasies is, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien’s prose, as beautiful to me as Shakespeare’s sonnets, makes me feel the truth of what he is saying. They both have the ability to unleash raw emotions and completely immerse me in their imagery. Thus far, there has only been one MMORPG that has evoked the same level of reaction within me…
It was dark – both in the real world, and the fantasy world in which my Enchanter inhabited. A light snow was falling across the frozen land. Everything around me was quiet. I heard nothing and saw no one. I gazed above me at the shattered moon and wondered if there would be enough light to find my way. I was a bit lost but unafraid. Up ahead of me I saw the purple glow of a portal. Hoping that it was the right one, I raced forward and leapt through.
When I materialized on the other side, I was standing outside the gates of the walled city known as, Linvak Tukal. The poignant orchestral music that had begun to play in the background was mesmerizing and inspiring. The once great city loomed before me. It was empty but not dead - walled but not alone. From my vantage point, I watched as players raced by on the crossroads below. I saw common players such as myself and Heroes of Dereth; their telltale golden light burning beneath their feet. Even in the thickening darkness the splendor of their armor shun brightly. The urgency of their errands reflected in their quick and decisive movements. They seemed to have purpose and deeds to be done of importance. I wanted to be one of them! I wanted a more grand adventure. Something more than killing at will or for my singular need. And I wanted to be steeped in glory – shining armor and the light of the sun glowing eternally beneath me. I wanted to be a Hero of Dereth too.
Such was Asheron’s Call 2 for me. When was the last time you felt that way playing a game? Have ever felt that emotionally vested in an MMO?