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May 05, 2008


Humble Hobo

The game I played the longest was *blush* Runescape.

This was the first MMO I had ever heard of, and at the time it completely blew me away. (This was the original version - still stuck between 2D and 3D)

I immediately got myself lost in the woods and a bear killed me. It was AWESOME. I got waaaay into the crafting and leveled up to 80 Mining (If you played runescape, you'll know that was difficult).

The one defining factor that hooked me:

PLENTIFUL non-combat activities. I was respected for my mining level, not my combat level. People would be shocked to see a lowbie in the mining guild. It was fun! I could have spent years in the various crafting aspects... and there was always plenty to do.

I'm sad that modern crafting is so much like Kool-Aid with too much water. Bring it back I say!


First off Lauren, we are so glad to see you back and writing about the the games you enjoy \0/. What keeps me interested in an MMO is a depth of character developement from beginning to end and a true diversity of character classes (this would also include a lack of classes). The strange thing about me is that any MMO I've stayed with for a long period of time is one where I some how managed to get in on the ground floor of. Not so much betas since they usually end up frustrating the hell out of me and my pathetic rig but atleast a few weeks into launch. It seems that this is the time when the classes are at their most diverse and have not been "balanced" to the point that either a) they are completely inter-changable or b) they look and feel like the classes in all the other MMO's out there. In fact, it is always my m.o. to find the least played and most complained about class/race/whatever and jazz it up to the point where fellow players will at least admit some level of respect for the under-dog. An example of this in City of Villians. Outside of of EvE, CoV was the game I played the longest and that can be soley attributed to the Dominator class. Anyone who has ever play CoV/CoH will most likely laugh (Domi-lolz!) but that was the most fun I've ever had in a MMO both PvE and PvP. There are a coupla more examples of this under-dog love of mine and how it keeps me hooked such as the Amarr in EvE Online (5 years and counting as an Amarr pilot and I still don't know how to fly anything but Amarr ships), the Hunter class in WoW at launch/beginning of Battlegrounds, and now the Psionisist in Vanguard. Give me a soggy, sad-looking dog with potential, a cool story to develop him/her in, and a small group of friends and I'll be there for a pretty long haul.


@Humble - Lots of people have talked about Runescape and how much fun they had playing that game. I never played it and dont think I even know what the game looks like. :-) Like you I really enjoy crafting and the impression that I'm creating something useful in whatever that virtual world. In my early days of AC2 I crafted a lot. It was one of those games where you could actually make items appropriate for your level. Imagine that?? Not many people were crafting on Thistledown. The system itself was very simplistic and there was no auction house. But I loved it and crafted all the same. I even did it the "right" way by farming the few resource nodes instead of using dropped vendor trash.

With no auction house available I crafted then tried to sell things at the forges. What I couldn't sell I gave to players that passed by or left them in the guild hall for friends. I just LOVED that you could drop items and they persisted in the world.

Some people snickered behind my back as I did that instead of leveling. Then crafting 2.0 released, an auction house and you had to farm nodes. Suddenly everyone was crafting but I was way ahead of most when they converted the previous crafting skills over to crafting xp. Good times. :-)


@Mash - Thank you for the kind words and for coming by. You expressed something that I'd forgotten that I prefer in games - diversity of classes. One of the things that annoys me most about WOW is the unending changes to classes based on PVP. I think the after the fact implementation is a primary reason and I find it annoying to endure the nerfs and changes to core class abilities over what's happening in PVP, especially arenas.

They should have gone the route of GW a long time ago and implemented the system where to compete you just get a max level character with a set of Tiered gear that you can pick out based on your spec. I guess the problem with that for WOW is that game is all about the gear and very little else at max level. That being the case, there'd be little incentive to play because the whole motivation behind PVP in WOW is gear. If they'll give you gear when you play then why PVP to get good gear.

Not sure why they didn't just change abilities for Arena or BGs only instead of the whole sale changes that have rippled across the classes since organized PVP arrived.

Beyond that I guess skill based systems provide more playing variety than class based games. You have more opportunity to build a spec that reflects how you play. Many people will still choose cookie cutter but others won't. I've seen people play so-called gimped specs and enjoy the hell out of a game.


In general I am drawn to games that offer alot of social interaction and competition.
I love being on Teamspeak/Vent with a few people, having a good time and trying to best eachother in dps/healing/kills etc.
It has come to a point where I flat out refuse to play single player games anymore, apart from a few exceptional RPGs (SW:KotoR 1+2, Jade Empire and Mass Effect for example) where the story is just too good to pass up.
I chose WoW over other MMORPGS or shooters because it just seems to be much more polished.
Most of the things that used to bug me in other games have disappeared, leveling is swift, you can respecc your characters whenever you want to, you can get epics through PvPing, faction grinding, raiding or all of them and so on.
Being a software engineer myself I am also stunned by the amount of thought that must have gone into many of the subsystems and the optimizations many of them have received over time.
I would be hard pressed to think of another complex software project that is so well thought out and sleek, so there is alot of professional admiration there as well.
Finally, I am a huge fan of the warcraft lore (even though WoW has introduced some errors that bug me), so its great to see many of the characters come to "life", or read novels about places you have seen in game.


I like games that:
- Present me with plenty of options and few “rails.” (Totally agree with you about WoW’s not having rails.) Everyone will likely have multiple alts so if it’s possible to go through the same zone multiple times but in several different ways, that should keep it fresh for a bit.

- Give me some pretty things that don’t have to do with any of the main activities of the game. I want stuff which is obviously well-done but serves little purpose. Nen Harn lake in the Northern Breefields as well as ruins in the Weathered Hills (both in LotRO). I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps I just enjoy having places where the machinery of the game (questing, boss mobs, loot drops) don’t apply. I can go there when I want to fish or just goof off.

- Immersive elements – ruins with traps and evil things lurking in dark corners (Oblivion); a travel system which isn’t instant but gives a feeling of traversing a massive world (WoW – love the windriders and the fact that you can see other players and mobs moving around from them) but is fast / cheap enough not to be a burden.

- Mood-swing play. I’m a player that can alternately: want to fight other players / want to be totally alone and lost in the wilds; want to raid / want to fish; want to be presented with chances to think through a difficult situation and have my victory decided by working a problem mentally / run around just stabbing the bejesus out of stuff. Games I’ve stuck with have presented me with options along the lines of the stuff above. Games that I’ve bailed on have resulted in forcing me down a single path or presented a wall so high for entry into one of the types of play I enjoy that I decided it wasn’t worth scaling.


The two things that attracted me to raiding was the content and the socialization. I'm not a very social creature but it was fun being on vent with the whole guild. Even members who werent in the actual raid party came into that channel to listen in, cheer us, shoot the shift during the down time and drool over the the loot drops. Back then I stayed on vent almost all of my waking hours. It was just on in the office - like the PC stays on. I might not be playing but I could hear if anything fun was being organized and jump in if I had the time or just listen while I did housework.
Not sure that I'd do that again as I spent WAY too much time playing WOW back in those days. :-) But it was hella fun while the obsession lasted.

Free space to exist within in the game. I need that too, Zahn. Places to go to just for the sake of going there. I had my places in AC2 that I go to in order to sort thru loot, drop-mule items and just rest. Players need downtime within the game's landscape. Many times I'd be chatting on vent while my character was way out in the middle of nowhere. In AC2, I might be relaxing in one of the abandoned Outposts just watching the scenery. In WOW, I might be sitting on one of the islands off of Booty Bay or Theramore. Or sitting on the ledges of one of the shops overlooking the auction house/bank/repair shop in Ironforge. It's nice to have places to chill out in game.

Gaming Diva

I dislike restrictions, give me a game that gives me freedom to choose how I can play the game and I will play it for a while. The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind and their latest Oblivion are like that. I enjoy the freedom and love the fact that I can do anything I wanted in the game. For the first three years playing The Elder Scrolls Series I did not complete any quests I just spent my time exploring the huge virtual world.

WOW is very similar but it has the additional element of social interaction. Even though I mainly play solo I like that I do have the option to interact with others and I do.

I know that is why I was turned off by some of the guilds in WOW they had restrictions thankfully I have the choice not to participate if I don't like it.

I am a full time business owner, my office is in my home, so for myself, that is just one way I can interact with others. Of course their are other ways, active in a variety of organizations, also go to the gym regularly.

I thought about picking up a guide for WOW but I'm having too much doing my own thing in the game so I felt purchasing a guide would be a waste of money since I know how I am. :-) I did purchase a guide for Oblivion that is when I actually started doing a few quests but I lost interest quickly. I still flip through the book the pictures are gorgeous but I don't use it to play the game.

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The Smithes

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