Global Chat: What powerful memories come from playing MMOs?

Upon seeing how a friend was becoming disenchanted with MMOs, blogger Ravalation hypothesized it was because he was shying away from other players too much and thus failing to form the powerful experiences that elevate these games to a whole new level. She took it upon herself to conduct a community-wide survey that asked other writers to share their favorite memories from MMOs in order to try to nail down the “essence” of playing these games.

“I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows,” she wrote. “I’m sure we can all recall encounters with trolls, guild drama and misunderstandings. But there are also good times, and I would argue that these have the potential to transform into powerful positive memories, which in their turn make us want to login and expect us to have fun.”

We’ve got plenty of other interesting essays and articles on MMORPGs, including a look at Elder Scrolls Online’s housing, preparing for the worst in WildStar, and changing specs in World of Warcraft!

Aywren Sojourner: Little nook in Tamriel

“So, I’m not going to knock it or anything, because the windows are nice and all, but the size of this place makes the starter inn room in EQ2 look like a mansion. Granted, you don’t have to pay upkeep and all, but still. Couldn’t they afford to give you a little bit more space? There’s hardly room for much more than a bed… if the merchant had a bed for sale. At least they gave me a free candle, right?”

Aardwulf’s Lair: Elite Dangerous noob thoughts

Elite Dangerous is in some sense the ultimate sandbox. It has all the hallmarks of sandbox gaming, in that it is almost entirely undirected. You set your own goals and do what you want within the confines of its universe. But the key is that its universe is so unconfining — the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy, a hundred billion stars or more, all out there waiting to be explored. No other game has anything close to this kind of scope. And it’s visually pretty stunning.”

Gnomecore: Changing specs

“Switching specs is becoming easier and easier with every expansion. Gear has been given double or triple major stats: that is, you’re automatically start to benefit from intellect rather than agility if you Enhancement Shaman switches to elemental or restoration. Rings and trinkets have those stats removed — this is the next step in this direction. Legion has also granted us the ability to switch to whichever spec you want upon click without visiting training masters. At the same time the introduced artifact weapons became some sort of impediment.”

GamingSF: Recovery time in MMOs

“Playing a few different games had me thinking of recovery time as a concept. I mean time in-between fights where your character needs to rest or do something to recover health, mana, or similar resources. The point being that in some games, you do not leave a fight necessarily ready to start the next one straight away.”

Through Wolfy’s Eyes: Stocking the bomb shelter

“I’m starting to load up on the experiences I’ve had with WildStar. I’m starting to bear in mind the fun I had with my very first guild before they dissolved. I’m recalling the PvP matches I dove into when I was hoping to face off against the devs. I’m remembering the ‘special event’ the game held which ended up being a sort of zone-wide stress test and all of the random stuff it brought.”

Psychochild’s Blog: The complicated nature of friendships in MMOs

“People we’d never meet can become close friends. This includes people who might not have a lot of social opportunities offline: people who suffer from anxiety and depression, people who are just massive introverts who can’t handle a lot of in-person interaction, or people who are physically ill can make connections that would have been impossible a few decades ago. Yet, online designers often overlook this element.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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7 Comments on "Global Chat: What powerful memories come from playing MMOs?"

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Melissa McDonald

I’ll never forget falling off a glacier and my body being unrecoverable by normal means in original EverQuest. So then I had a mini-game of finding a necro somewhere in the world, that could summon my body regardless of what pixel bug my avatar had fallen into. It ended up being a charity case, which lessoned the pain a lot. Dying had teeth in that game and you played conservatively, and not to die in EQ. I haven’t done it since, as no other game has much of a penalty, and you go after yellows/orange foes to power level and don’t care if you fail.
Other good times are mostly just ‘couples’ moments with my ‘husband’ in Star Wars Galaxies or a paramour in Second Life. A lot of good memories in Second Life because you can do virtually anything you can think of. Pirate ship? I got two of ’em – one uses real wind/sails, as the game does include wind physics for sailing. :)

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Brown Jenkin

Almost all of my greatest MMO memories come from PvPing.

    * Shadowbane: Too many glorious memories of conquest, triumph and sorrow to list here. Shadowbane was a wild ride, PvP mattered in that game and the comraderie built around it was amazing.
    * WoW: I’ll always have fond memories of Alterac Valley and of finally earning THE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE
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Danny Smith

When things go wrong.

See nightmare dragon in duskwood in vanilla.

everyone has that memory of being in or watching a zerg train try and kill it.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

borghive
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borghive

This is my biggest beef with modern MMOs, they have streamlined out most of the social barriers that existed before. While the modern grouping tools and heavy focus on solo play have made MMOs more accessible for non MMO players, I can’t help to think that these tools and design goals have really eroded away what made MMOs fun in the first place.

Sure, you can still be social in an MMO, but it is a lot harder these days to form any kind of connection with others and I think that is why many of us just jump from MMO to MMO, we are trying so hard to recapture that comradery we had in the past, but it isn’t going to happen in these modern games since most of them are designed to be played solo pretty much.

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enamel

I think you are spot on. MMOs used to be a place where forming a social network was a big in-game benefit for everyone. Now other players may as well just be advanced NPCs used for 30 min to get your drop or token, then discarded for the next run.

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Koshelkin

All I can say is that MMO’s of course encompass the good and the bad, the selfless and the selfish, the humble and the bragging, the lovely and the disgusting, the intellectual and the stupid, there’s all sorts of people you can encounter. You, really, never know who’s facing you on the other side of screen.(Fun fact: It could be your mom.)

While there’s enough drama in any game we should sometimes remember is that we all play the same game/games and thus, in fact, have something in common which is a shared hobby. Digitally expressed feelings are sometimes misunderstood, arguments might ensue, but we are, indeed, one community. It wouldn’t hurt if people remembered that once in a while.

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