Back when I played SWG (Star Wars) — and still do…we had always believed in the group setting. Buds. Pals. Friends. Our initial group of friends are still in contact to this day, 5 years later. Maybe it was the social and life experiences that made us friends with mutual respect. Maybe it was good timing. Maybe it was the game itself, the game of SWG could be played Solo and in a group/guild setting. This was before World of Warcraft, which has not only changed the face of MMORPG’s but changed how we interact with other players. The original MMO’s have such hardcore followings it borders on fanaticism. Everquest, Everquest 2, Runescape, SWG, EvE and a few others all had a common theme, small mass appeal. Sounds like an oxymoronic statement but if you’ve played those games you know that an MMO can feel very home like, friendly and personal. I played SWG WAY past it’s prime and as of last week still do..this month being it’s 5 year anniversary..which is a feat in itself in todays up and down market of MMO’s. WoW is a different game, it’s the “Soccer” of MMO’s.
World wide NO one can dispute the popularity of Soccer. Go ahead, dispute it…speaking WORLD WIDE, not the USA but world. Ok? Any arguments? Why is soccer so popular? In my limited play experience (4 years in middle and highschool) and my kids play it. I’ve recently become a fan of soccer during the recent Euro World Cup (GO SPAIN!!!). It’s popular because it’s easy to play and learn. Why do you think there are TONS of Soccer moms out there with minivans full of kids? Soccer fields galore here in Overland Park and surrounding areas, because it’s easy to play but still has enough skills to learn to make it worthwhile to LEARN and get better. Mostly, it’s easy to play. THIS is why WoW is so popular. Give someone ONE week in WoW with little to know help and they will level in no time. Easy to play and easy to learn = HUGE Popularity. With over 10 million to 11 million subscribers @ 14.99 per month it’s hard to argue with simplicity.
The changes WoW has done to MMO is obvious. Elitism. Sure there was certain play styles, classes, professions that made your characters that much better than others. Reaching a certain goal ingame is the core of game. Goal oriented with the opportunity to be social. What’s nice about WoW is you can do whatever you want and no one cares. I play WoW for several reasons. 1st was originally to hang out with my buds from SWG. After we did our own thing it moved onto PvP for WookieLuv and attaining a certain “Rank”. Coupled with wanting to be the BEST of whatever I was doing but I reached a point in the game where it crosses over to being a complete asshole. I’ve been called asshole by many but “complete asshole” is an entirely different level of assholeness. Let me explain. I’ve known friends who go into the “complete asshole” realm of gaming where they call into work, ignore their children, don’t fuck their wives/gf, forget to pay bills, gain 50 lbs all in the name of being the best they can be. Elitism. Ironically being an elite player tends* to mean you’ve sacrificed everything in your life to get to that level. I did this with Magic the Gathering and wanting to be a “Professional” player– minus forgetting to fuck my wife, ignore my kids all the time and pay bills. To me it wasn’t worth it. I think my mindset might have been different If I had almost no responsibilities such as having a family, If I was single then odds are I wouldn’t be playing games hardcore.
Our guild, to me is about family and friends. I want to hang with you and you want to hang with me, simply put I want friends. I’ve a handful of people I call friends in “real life”. In game I have more than handfuls, online friends are easy to deal with, real life takes work. I have times where I want to be in raid like guilds so I can get the “phat loot” but I know I’d have to sacrifice my real life to do so. It means I’d have to lose some time I spend with guild members because they are not good enough to go one certain instances. I have to tell them in not so many words “Your not good enough, sorry”. I don’t want to do that. I want to have my cake and eat the damn thing too! I want my friends to be there beside me in all the fervor of almost wiping on some boss, I want to be able to take a screenshot of us posing beside a dead carcass of some dragon, ogre or elemental. My character “AutumnKnight” is a healer class, she will always find a group, always….I have a tank…same thing. I made these toons specifically FOR our guild….to heal and tank so we as a guild can get things done without having to ask strangers for help. I like being the one responsible (most of the time) to heal or tank because I want to feel wanted (in game). LOL I try to keep a balance of my toons and learning their roles in most aspects of the game. I am selfless in that aspect of this game. I want this in my guildies as well, team work. Friendship. Trust. Loyalty. Valued words for me, to some they are just that…words and nothing else. That is the bad part of WoW. It’s made normal selfless people into guild hopping, selfish, unloyal fucktards for wanting a certain piece of purple loot. Yes, I want a purple loot. Yes, I want to go on these epic instances and progress. No, I don’t want to sacrifice my personal friendships for a fucking piece of a belt or trinket. To me that crosses over to being a “complete asshole”. I’ve remained friends who have moved onto other guilds by pst’ing them and inviting them to our runs– specifically Tyiako who almost always will come with us on the drop of a hat. He gets it. It’s as if once you leave our guild you want NOTHING to do with us/me. Our friendship was based on convenience. Meh I say, meh!!!
Most are a product of their gaming environment.