Escapist Podcast: 109: MMOcast

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109: MMOcast

This week as promised, we discuss MMO. We talk about everything from MUDs to WildStar.

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Thank you guys (and girl!) for this MMO centric podcast.

I really was looking forward to hear all your experiences. As a Vanilla (started at beginning of 2005) player it warms my heart to hear others talk about it. It brings back so many fond memories it's fantastic.

I am still actively playing it and although it has it's up and downs, it still remains the best MMO I have ever played.

I would have thought that at the "EvE 2" moment someone was surely going to mention Star Citizen which already has more than 200,000 people in it two years away from the finished game... :\

Awesome Podcast cast guys. I have enjoyed all the ones that I have watched, but this one was definitely a lot closer to heart.

Two things for anyone and everyone to take away from this podcast, be you developer, market'er, or player:

1) Having the right social connections transcend games from merely being fun to being Awesome!

2) Be polite.

MMOs at their heart are the current pinnacle of social gaming. I would argue that if you are playing an MMO, you are looking for a person or people to play and have fun with in your chosen virtual world. Joining guilds or outfits, making friends, learning to work and play well together, complimenting each others' gameplay, all of it just creates such a fun, accepting, positive atmosphere.

My first big three multiplayer games were Starcraft, Unreal Tournament, and Counter-Strike pre-1.0. At a younger age, playing with friends and family on console games was always such a blast. When I learned you could do that on my computer games, playing with tons of other people online, I was hooked. Since I had bad attitude beaten out of me during my formative years and niceness and politeness instilled into me as base traits (Thank you, Mom!), I would find communities of awesome people, decent servers to play on, and such experiences had no equal.

Then came Planetside.

I was at my First Person Shooter pinnacle. 32 man UT (Last Man Standing INSTAGIB ftw!) and CS servers were nice, but the thought of hundreds of other people all vying for control of the same territory in real time made me salivate. By this time I had my own job. I bought the game with one of my first paycheques, used my mother's credit card (payed her back of course) to get my subscription and GAME ON! For the first month or so, I had a lot of fun. Battles were raging, gunning and piloting vehicles were major adrenaline rushes, but it wasn't until I found the perfect outfit that my Planetside experiences really became the stuff of legend and nostalgia. US West / Markov server. Bellum Aeternus for those who know and might have seen the outfit. Such a great time.

To this day, some of those folks are my best friends (found in real life, moved into the same city), and have maintained contact with others through various games and platforms.

I have done my time in World of Warcraft. Where Planetside was shooting star, incredibly bright but over with quite quickly, WoW was as steady as the sun. It was also my first true MMORPG experience. Being my first, I really had no idea what I was doing. Why the game interested me was because I had played through Warcraft one, two, and three, and I had a burning desire to discover what had happened to my favorite characters. So I stumbled into this gigantic world.. and quit. But three times. Three false starts.

There were a few reasons for this. One, still a teenager. Angsty, confused, impatient teenager. Two, complete inexperience and lack of direction with regards to RPGs. Three, no clue what I actually wanted to do in game. I got to 58 and quit because I had no idea ultimately what I was doing, how to raid, any of that. Came back a couple months later, brand new server, got to level 60, did a couple raids.. and quit. The guild I joined.. just wasn't a good fit. Driven, passionate people, but too hardcore. Didn't have the time (even though I was the second warlock on our server to 60, I was pround of that), and didn't like where the guild was headed. Round three, was lured by my Planetside friends onto the server they finally settled on, got to level 43.. and quit. Turns out I didn't want to be healer.

Went and played EVE for six months. Ah, EVE. If I could devote my every waking moment to your glorious'ness, I'd still be playing. But, I do not have that kind of time.

Finally, cracked it. A few months before Burning Crusade. Made a rogue on an RP server. Friendlier, low key people, I could learn the ins and outs at my own pace. Got a Rogue to 60. Got geared. Led PuG 10-man Scholomance and Stratholme raids. Had for too much fun while raiding. Found my direction. Transferred back to my old Planetside buddies. Game'd and raided until just after Cataclysm was released. That was enough.

What kept me playing for over five years? The Right People. Good people. Not the best raiders, but I had the most fun playing with them against the world and content offered.

At the moment, I am game hopping. Currently hiding out in Guild Wars 2 and Secret World. These are merely hold-overs, I am waiting for the next game with the right mix of mechanics, world building, and people to make it a truly awesome game.

Wildstar looks very promising.

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TL:DR? All multiplayer gaming is social. Are you online? You want human contact and want to play with people. Be nice and polite, make friends and allies, and you will have the best gaming experiences of your life!

The Escapist Staff:
Running Time: 57 minutes.

00:00 - Introduction
03:03 - What MMOs did we start with?
12:15 - Early Days of MMOs
14:56 - World of Warcraft
27:07 - Next Generation of MMOs
36:50 - WildStar, Eve Online, Pathfinder Online, Star Wars: Galaxies
55:27 - Elder Scrolls Online and more World of Warcraft
1:07:54 - User Questions

Read more at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escapist-podcast/8093-109-MMOcast#xP5i8rwkf3hvUteJ.99

I did not watch the video. Why? Because you neglected the 2nd biggest Elephant in the room: GW2. Seriously, WTF? I mean, 'fastest selling [western] MMO, ever' and it's skipped in favor of the shut down SWG and niche EVE Online? Really, that's messed up. It's done so many revolutionary outside-the-box differences from standards that EQ/WoW helped create, yet it's all so right. I'm so irritated that it's completely skipped over like that. >:(

Deathfish15:

The Escapist Staff:
Running Time: 57 minutes.

00:00 - Introduction
03:03 - What MMOs did we start with?
12:15 - Early Days of MMOs
14:56 - World of Warcraft
27:07 - Next Generation of MMOs
36:50 - WildStar, Eve Online, Pathfinder Online, Star Wars: Galaxies
55:27 - Elder Scrolls Online and more World of Warcraft
1:07:54 - User Questions

Read more at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escapist-podcast/8093-109-MMOcast#xP5i8rwkf3hvUteJ.99

I did not watch the video. Why? Because you neglected the 2nd biggest Elephant in the room: GW2. Seriously, WTF? I mean, 'fastest selling [western] MMO, ever' and it's skipped in favor of the shut down SWG and niche EVE Online? Really, that's messed up. It's done so many revolutionary outside-the-box differences from standards that EQ/WoW helped create, yet it's all so right. I'm so irritated that it's completely skipped over like that. >:(

We talked about GW2, it just didn't make the Table of Contents. Listen to the podcast to check it out.

Greg

Haven't listened yet, but I think the posted running time is incorrect since you have things listed at 1:05:54 and that's beyond the currently marked 57 minute running time.

I've never played an MMO, but a friend of mine is totally into WoW and I would always ask him the latest stories because they were so interesting. It made me want to get into MMOs, but the only problem is that I don't really have the time for them. However, after looking at all the coverage of Final Fantasy XIV and Elder Scrolls, I think I might actually make the plunge into them. I have no idea why, but they look like so much fun.

Also, I'm totally excited for the Expo and I can't wait to be there. I had a blast last time and I know Thursday night I'm meeting up with some other early birds and wandering around.

Also also, chicken and waffles are the shit. :D

Bes decription of eve is "Excel with graphics". And im loving it.
Though like most people you completely forgot the first graphic MMO out there, Tibia....

The monster luring mechanics, you know, in plenty of MMOs you will get banned for that. and the others make mechanics where monsters would dissapear after certain dsitance from spawnpoint, making a low level archer chracters impossible to play.

Rassmusseum:
Haven't listened yet, but I think the posted running time is incorrect since you have things listed at 1:05:54 and that's beyond the currently marked 57 minute running time.

Our video system wasn't built to accommodate hours, so it's actually got a 1 hour 57 minute running time. :)

Greg

Ah, classic EQ. Many a hour spent cursing while waiting for a boat to take me between continents for a corpse run.

So, for your reading pleasure, I'll leave this particular story I came across a long time ago.

2clueless:

[snip]

Then came Planetside.

[snip] US West / Markov server. Bellum Aeternus for those who know and might have seen the outfit. Such a great time.

[snip]

WHAT. That was my server!

New Conglomerate for life! <Vive le revolucion>!

I doubt you remember me, as it were, because I played in a small outfit with some close friends. I can remember seeing Bellum Aeternus looming over the battlefield. Y'all were the largest on the server, right?

I know it's a one-off throw-away joke, but come on... you didn't use "where did you come from, where did you go? Where did you come from, Janelle Bonanno?" Seriously, it's your own name. heh.

Deathfish15:
I did not watch the video. Why? Because you neglected the 2nd biggest Elephant in the room: GW2. Seriously, WTF? I mean, 'fastest selling [western] MMO, ever' and it's skipped in favor of the shut down SWG and niche EVE Online? Really, that's messed up. It's done so many revolutionary outside-the-box differences from standards that EQ/WoW helped create, yet it's all so right. I'm so irritated that it's completely skipped over like that. >:(

Stop that. Seriously. We all love Guild Wars 2 (except "dem haters") but our communities are better than the childish "you no talk about teh guilwarzz! UNSUB!", common among the youtube and other "interwebs". Please, if you're going to represent a community, do it with dignity, not ferocity. (...or at least charm. heh)

You bring up an interesting point though, Mr. Deathfishie. Do they consider Guild Wars 1 an MMO? why/why not?

Also, ignoring the fairly disappointing story arc featuring Trahearne more prominently than yourself, what do you guys think about ArenaNet's current "machine gun" content strategy? To me, it feels like a biweekly DnD campaign with some incidental feature and technical updates, but I'd be curious to know your take on it, assuming you still play after Trahearne "Kormir'd your glory".

easily my favorite time in a mmo came in the old republic it was a four man instance two sentienals and two sages(so 3 dps and no tank), most of us were under leveled but we were getting by till the optional boss he killed us three times and looked to do it a fourth time killing all but one sage who promptly started running back to the begging of the raid bringing the boss with him giving the rest of us enough time respawned and start fighting again. there's nothing i love more then winning in unconventional ways. so many players will bail at the first sign of trouble and thats sad cause thats when it starts to get fun.

JonB:

"US West / Markov server."

WHAT. That was my server!

New Conglomerate for life! <Vive le revolucion>!

I doubt you remember me, as it were, because I played in a small outfit with some close friends. I can remember seeing Bellum Aeternus looming over the battlefield. Y'all were the largest on the server, right?

Forever Vanu! Technology equals Might!

Heh, I am not sure if we were the largest, but I would say we were one of the outfits that made an impact if we entered the battle. BA was all about surgical strikes, missions, goals, and learning the skills to achieve them. Taking towers, back hacking bases, blowing generators behind enemy lines, all the good stuff.

At our best, I think we could field 4 or 5 squads, but we usually had a couple going at peak times.

Was Vive your outfit name? Not sure I remember seeing it. Main outfits I remember from NC were the zerg of Devil Dogs, and persistent/elitist/hackers.. their name escapes me.. abbrev. UT? Anyways, remember being killed by Dreamer far too many times.

Greg Tito:

Deathfish15:

*Snip*

I did not watch the video. Why? Because you neglected the 2nd biggest Elephant in the room: GW2. Seriously, WTF? I mean, 'fastest selling [western] MMO, ever' and it's skipped in favor of the shut down SWG and niche EVE Online? Really, that's messed up. It's done so many revolutionary outside-the-box differences from standards that EQ/WoW helped create, yet it's all so right. I'm so irritated that it's completely skipped over like that. >:(

We talked about GW2, it just didn't make the Table of Contents. Listen to the podcast to check it out.

Greg

Any timeline as to when or will you make me listen to the whole thing? :P

2xDouble:

*SNIP*

Stop that. Seriously. We all love Guild Wars 2 (except "dem haters") but our communities are better than the childish "you no talk about teh guilwarzz! UNSUB!", common among the youtube and other "interwebs". Please, if you're going to represent a community, do it with dignity, not ferocity. (...or at least charm. heh)

You bring up an interesting point though, Mr. Deathfishie. Do they consider Guild Wars 1 an MMO? why/why not?

Also, ignoring the fairly disappointing story arc featuring Trahearne more prominently than yourself, what do you guys think about ArenaNet's current "machine gun" content strategy? To me, it feels like a biweekly DnD campaign with some incidental feature and technical updates, but I'd be curious to know your take on it, assuming you still play after Trahearne "Kormir'd your glory".

Sorry, but rabid-fanboy mode kicked in when seeing that list of mediocre games being discussed in something that says "Everything from MUDS to Wildstar" yet neglects the really good GW2. Had to call them out, even in the most obscure way possible.

Not even the developers considered GW1 an MMO. It was an RPG with multiplayer aspects, but nowhere near a massive scale like GW2 has.

I'll approach the next question and last as the same (though you smashed the Trahearne question with the constant content question together). Trahearne is a pain in my arse with which I wish would have tried turning Frodo at the last moment, allowing me to kill the glory stealing twig. If the story keeps to what it was, his "Wyld Hunt" was just keeping with healing Orr only, so he shouldn't be returning to the personal story when it continues on with the other Elder Dragons in other locations in Tyria. But the more recent story arches have included much more likable characters like Rox, Braham, Ellen, and Scarlet (hey, I actually like her cackling craziness).

The Living Story is spectacular. Never has an MMO ever really given such a constant reason for logging in every few weeks for something completely new. Sure there are those with snail's pace progression blocked by artificial timers/reason to keeps the players from eating through the content fast, but even WoW has gotten rid of that stuff (in TBC they had keys,...then they got rid of keys...WTF?). But during the Anniversary celebration at the Q&A, the developers have said that the Living Story has given consistent increased weekly logins to the population at a steady pace. And with Scarlet (as well as other returning characters such as Canach in Southsun), the story pieces are all coming together so smoothly.

Deathfish15:
Any timeline as to when or will you make me listen to the whole thing? :P

If I remember right it's in the block of 36:50 - WildStar, Eve Online, Pathfinder Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, etc. We unfortunately don't spend a huge amount of time on it, I'm the only ones that has played it. But considering I gave it high praises in my review and 1st in my Five Favorites last year, it certainly wasn't going to get passed over.

Slycne:

Deathfish15:
Any timeline as to when or will you make me listen to the whole thing? :P

If I remember right it's in the block of 36:50 - WildStar, Eve Online, Pathfinder Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, etc. We unfortunately don't spend a huge amount of time on it, I'm the only ones that has played it. But considering I gave it high praises in my review and 1st in my Five Favorites last year, it certainly wasn't going to get passed over.

Found it, really closer to the 59 minute marker. At first it's a bit of discussion about how friendly the mob tagging/dynamic events are, then it's to say that the new 5.4 patch in WoW has content {Timeless Isle} that is essentially GW2 in WoW. Kind of a flattering thing that WoW copies GW2 in such an extreme way, only helps solidify the fact that it's a great game.

Slycne:

Deathfish15:
Any timeline as to when or will you make me listen to the whole thing? :P

If I remember right it's in the block of 36:50 - WildStar, Eve Online, Pathfinder Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, etc. We unfortunately don't spend a huge amount of time on it, I'm the only ones that has played it. But considering I gave it high praises in my review and 1st in my Five Favorites last year, it certainly wasn't going to get passed over.

All of this makes me want to check it out. MMO-style content minus the fee appeals greatly to me.

Deathfish15:

Sorry, but rabid-fanboy mode kicked in ... Had to call them out, even in the most obscure way possible.

*SNIP*

Thank you.

As to the rest of it... while I find your opinions well thought out and presented and thank you for the detailed analysis, I was really more interested in the panel's opinions on the subjects... both from Justin, who has played and covered GW2 extensively, and from the others who seemed to prefer other games to it. ("outsider" opinions are always welcome and valuable, so long as it's not blind fanboyism or dickish trolling).

I'm sorry if my intent wasn't as clear as it could have been. (damn you, English language, and your imprecise second-person pronouns! /fistshake)

PS: I also liked Scarlet as a character. She's like a Harley Quinn mixed with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.

Ahh Everquest corpse runs. Through bloody Kithicor at night, firebeetle eye in hand, to the top of the aviac treehouse in SK, L Guk, and on to City of Mist for my epic quest and Sebilis for that awesome fungi tunic. That game made dying so much fun, up until soulbinding gear became a thing. Then it was just a minor annoyance. My character was a half elf ranger named Temken, the first of a long line of characters with names stemming from obscure book or movie references. Everyone had a Drizzt or an Aragorn or a Legolas. My name was unique. EQ made travelling long distances fun. I quested for my SSoM, chased down the ghoul messenger. I was actually 5th in line to my target so wiped out a camp of ogres that netted me a turtleshell helm as an upgrade. Later my guild took me to get a ykesha. Of course these two blades had the same graphic so people would see me and immediately shout "TWINK!" Though completely untrue, it was good for a chuckle.

In my time playing EQ I went from solo questing, to being guilded with 400+ players casually, on to raiding through PoP. The ranger class never truly found its niche in my time playing, many hybrids shared a similar fate but rangers often had it the worst it seemed. Which made it all the better when occasionally I would surprise people by for instance getting solo exp off a Tunare kill (yes I killed my own god, what of it?) up against a full raid that had no room to spare. So I got to call loot by default teehee.

My time in EQ came to a bitter end when, in the midst of a stagnant raiding guild halfway through the Discord expansion, the lead CS rep chimed in on a DPS balance discussion. My class having taken some lumps, this rep simply replied with something akin to "Why don't you all reroll rogues?" As most MMO players know, with their main character comes a certain attachment, so being told to start over in order to progress further was that last straw and so I bid the game adieu.

Leaving EQ left a bit of a gap in my playtime that I was spending a ton of rental money trying to fill. Vanguard was down the pipe soon so I filled that hole with Guild Wars in the meantime. Decent game but not nearly the social experience Everquest was. I pushed through 2 expansions but after upgradeable hero henchmen, the groupable player pool kinda dried up, and LO! There was Vanguard Saga of Heroes! This was it, Brad McQuaid, back to basics, with better graphics. But this was a modded UE2 engine, which if you've ever tried to make a large map on UE2, you would know that is not what this engine was built for. And I have, so I knew this but still played nonetheless.

So, Vanguard, beautiful game but not optimized. It had the "heroic opportunities" combo system that Brad wanted for EQ but never incorporated, so stronger skills were tied into weaker skills. WoW would also use a similar system. I leveled as one would level, the maps were annotated with their level, the further you get from a city the more dangerous it got, except this game had housing! This game was very rigidly structured. No dual-spec system. If you played a DPS class that's it. If you played a tank class, you were a tank. So even with this structure, the not-optimized game engine, the game still had its charm. I leveled a ranger to raid level wherein my guild came in direct competition with an old EQ guild, Brotherhood of the Spider (first to wake the sleeper don'tcha know). I raided, I conquered. The devs would create new challenges by changing raid mechanics since Vanguard wasn't funded well enough to actually make new content reliably. This eventually forced my guild to leave the game. We killed that dragon one last time and all posed for a screenshot, bent over, pants unequipped, back to the player taking the shot, in front of said dead dragon. There was an odd clothing bug at the time where some characters, namely the large ones, appeared to have no pants when armor was unequipped so it looked as bad as we wanted it. We posted the screenshot to the official forums and we migrated to WoW, where the guild promptly fell apart. I was not a fan at first, preferring more realistic graphics to the cartoony look of WoW's races but I stuck around, having no place to go.

I joined WoW in the midst of the WotLK expansion. I level grinded as one does. This had become old hat up to this point except there was no groupfinder or instance queue so a lot of it was soloing, lest I sit in Orgrimmar spamming tradechat for hours on end. From the second I started raiding in WoW I was not really a fan. I liked it for the lore but building the right spec, and rotation, something that periodically changes with every second patch or so, became akin to my old M:TG days of rebuilding decks when a new set was released, just unnecessary tedium. I liked raiding but maxing out my spec down to the nanosecond, not fun. This is why I always went for more casual raiding guilds, the kind that had fun together but didn't care about arbitrary things like world firsts or guild rank. Over the course of my time in WoW I've been in 3 different raiding guilds and left them all for about the same reason - not the right mix of casual and core. They were too bent on downing content no matter what and would sacrifice members to that end.

As mentioned, I liked the lore in WoW. I liked that it had roots in another gaming genre entirely and would draw on those roots for new release content. This all but fell to the wayside with Pandaria. Sure there was that one pandaran that showed up in Warcraft 3, whatever. It still wasn't a big enough piece of the game to build an expansion around and the transition from Cataclysm to Pandaria simply did not feel organic, more like it was new content for content's sake, so get back on the treadmill. I have only stuck around to see how it ends. I had leveled my rogue to raid with a guild I have now left, and being lv 90 and ready to raid, I want to see why I bothered to level the character at all. After that, it will be time to move to greener pastures.

So I won't confirm or deny whether I have played an MMO based on a long-standing single-player franchise, but if I have it could be inferred that I might purchase this game on its official release date sometime in the future. ;)

*breathes* Sorry bout the wall of text.

The only MMO I invested time into was EVE, and I sunk two and a half years into that, running my own corporation with some friends I made in the game and the only reason I stuck around was because they were so much fun to hang out with.

Seeing as everyone else is sharing stories about how certain MMOs are great for X reason, I'll say that one of the more fun and... reactive things I did with my corp was head out to low-LOW security space in preparation for the release of the Noctis blueprints, get one and hike it back to high-sec, dodging blockades and gangs of pirates/corps wanting to monopolise on the blueprints.

Small explanation for those who care: Eve, you make ships from materials via use of a blueprint. If you own a blueprint original (sold from certain NPC corporate owned stations), you can make as many as you want, if you have the materials. But certain NPC corporations focus on certain modules and ships (X corp will do shield items, Y will do armour, Z will do items to boost your speed, that sort of thing). The release of this new ship that everyone wanted was only going to be released by this one corporation, and the only station (therefor the only place you could buy it) was all the way out in pirate controlled territory, so no "police" would help you if someone started attacking you. So, player corporations who knew what would happen set up these massive blockades on the gates on the way to the system where this blueprint was being sold and basically blew up everyone who came along to buy it, presumeably so they could then buy as many of the blueprints as they wanted and sell them back in high-sec for a massive markup. So myself and a band of merry men managed to get in before the blockades were in place due to the foresight of all this, then sneak back home to high-sec to start building this ship and sell them for a massive markup!

In my attempt to play less MMO to have time for console games, I somehow ended up now playing 3 MMOs again... But at least one of them is F2P.

No real mention at all of the 3 MMOs I've actually spent time with, but at least this podcast didn't come across to me like the previous one did where it felt like those who were more into the social aspects of the MMO genre were being slapped down for not being hardcore raiders.

My first, and still in many ways favourite, MMO experiences actually came from The Matrix Online. Sadly, it was a MMO that while perfect on paper ended up being run into the ground by overexpectations and terrible management. It was, however, one of the very few MMOs that actually really supported role playing in more than a social gathering sense. By being a strong character and immersing yourself in the world, you could actually become a real part of the world's story, including interacting with major characters on a personal level. The world and story were regularly growing and changing, and logging in felt purposeful even if you were already at level cap and didn't have dailies to grind out because your experience of the world could expand by just "existing" in the world. Plus, the game just looked damn amazing and still holds up well visually even today, especially in the visual spectacle of the interlock combat system.

My current MMO is Guild Wars 2.. which I have recently found myself losing interest with. The combat system which actually requires movement, skill and attention has probably forever positioned me to detest standard MMO combat, though, so I find myself in an ackward place when considering others to try out.

The Escapist Staff:
109: MMOcast

This week as promised, we discuss MMO. We talk about everything from MUDs to WildStar.

Watch Video

Despite the problems with dancers/musicians, one thing Star Wars Galaxies really did that no game has done as well since is legitimizing non-combat gameplay. You could be an Armorsmith/Architect, and just make armor and houses and statues... you could track down and harvest your resources, work to get the very best materials and tools, and experiment to get just the right combination of unique stats for your armor, and that could be your full-time play experience.

I liked that, early on, I didn't have to be the savior of the galaxy. I didn't have to be Han Solo to be a smuggler. I didn't have to be Boba Fett to be a bounty hunter. I could just be Steve, the guy that makes hats, and I could still enjoy being a part of the SWG world.

That kind of thing just hasn't happened since. Full-time crafting? Yeah, right. In-world, non-instanced player housing that you can freely decorate using any item in your inventory? Please. All that is gone, because everyone has to be Han Skywalker-Fett, Lord of the Sith, and everything is about combat.

I played a MUD called Dirty MUD, I spammed that thing before spam was invented because I never new what I was suppose to be doing.

I played a bit of Everquest, but again didn't know what I was supposed to doing.

Then I got into Starwars the Old Republic. Finally knew what I was supposed to be doing but then it got feeling all samie. Go here, kill these 30 of these thing for us. 30, really I am suppose to kill 30 imperial saboteurs? That is a lot of people I have to kill. So I kind of got burnt out.

Glad you guys mentioned Guild Wars, the loot and XP sharing mechanic is really great. Like Deathfish, I'm super surprised that you guys barely touched the Guild Wars franchise. Especially since I remember Justin playing quite a bit of it last year when it was released, even making super useful videos on the gameplay and cooking craft. I'm guessing maybe that's because Justin's the only that's played it?...

The first MMO I ever played was The Realm Online which is still active to this day. I remember getting killed by rats and how proud I was when I finally reached the level cap of 1,000 on my main character with the beautiful hunter green baldric. I even had two accounts I'd run in parallel, one with my ASGW (all strength giant warrior) and my AIEW (all intelligence elf wizard), and I'd raid the Anvil dungeon and auction off the final chests. Fun times. And the community was great, to boot. Those were the days of ICQ and fighting the family for the phone line...

I completely skipped WoW, interestingly enough. Because I was knee deep in med school, without an internet connection, and because I knew I'd get hooked.

And then I started playing MMOs again, first Guild Wars and then Guild Wars 2, and I was done for. I'm currently on a ten day break, but I'd been playing GW2 on a daily basis since I got it in November.

Unlike Janelle and Greg, I have altitis. I do have a main I'll level, but I love having a myriad of different characters (my GW2 characters include a sylvari elementalist, a human ranger, a norn thief, an asura mesmer, a sylvari engineer, and pretty soon, I'll add a human necromancer, and a warrior - either asura or sylvari).

I thought the question on gender in MMOs was very interesting and thoughtful. I've definitely been mistakenly referred to as "he" numerous times. Like Janelle, it doesn't really bother me, I know it's the "default" pronoun people will go for, and so I just politely correct them (usually with a short "she, not he :)"). I've always played female characters, because, well, I'm female, I identify as female, and if given the chance, I will always choose to play a female character (disclaimer, that doesn't mean I'm adverse to playing male characters, I'll play a male character like Geralt in the Witcher if it makes sense story-wise). I tried creating a male character a few weeks ago in GW2 and ended up using a makeover kit, because he just wasn't *me*. I often call my MMO characters my "kids", but they're actually more like a tiny shard of who I am.
Anyhow, I always play a female character and the only time I did get showered in gifts was like 15 years ago in The Realm Online. Hasn't really happened since.

Anyhow, great MMO cast!! Was nice to have something a bit more focused this time around. I will say, however, that the podcast ended a bit abruptly, without any outro music, that felt weird. =/

Just wanted to add my voice to those surprised that GW2 was glossed over. Best MMO we've seen in years and it barely gets a mention. Because of that alone I'm not listening to this, you can't do an almost 2 hour podcast on MMOs and ignore the fastest selling Western MMO ever.

Eleima:

I thought the question on gender in MMOs was very interesting and thoughtful. I've definitely been mistakenly referred to as "he" numerous times. Like Janelle, it doesn't really bother me, I know it's the "default" pronoun people will go for, and so I just politely correct them (usually with a short "she, not he :)"). I've always played female characters, because, well, I'm female, I identify as female, and if given the chance, I will always choose to play a female character (disclaimer, that doesn't mean I'm adverse to playing male characters, I'll play a male character like Geralt in the Witcher if it makes sense story-wise). I tried creating a male character a few weeks ago in GW2 and ended up using a makeover kit, because he just wasn't *me*. I often call my MMO characters my "kids", but they're actually more like a tiny shard of who I am.

Any time I play ANYTHING online with avatars and social interaction of some form, I always refer to them by the gender of the avatar. Always makes it interesting when you talk with someone via chat, get used to thinking of them as female because of the avatar, then get into an audio channel with them and they're a baritone man!

Unrelated to that, what's with everyone up in arms about the lack of GW2 discussion? Justin was the only one who played it. It was still mentioned. You're going to limit enjoying content from content creators you (presumably) enjoy?

Henriot:

Eleima:

I thought the question on gender in MMOs was very interesting and thoughtful. I've definitely been mistakenly referred to as "he" numerous times. Like Janelle, it doesn't really bother me, I know it's the "default" pronoun people will go for, and so I just politely correct them (usually with a short "she, not he :)"). I've always played female characters, because, well, I'm female, I identify as female, and if given the chance, I will always choose to play a female character (disclaimer, that doesn't mean I'm adverse to playing male characters, I'll play a male character like Geralt in the Witcher if it makes sense story-wise). I tried creating a male character a few weeks ago in GW2 and ended up using a makeover kit, because he just wasn't *me*. I often call my MMO characters my "kids", but they're actually more like a tiny shard of who I am.

Any time I play ANYTHING online with avatars and social interaction of some form, I always refer to them by the gender of the avatar. Always makes it interesting when you talk with someone via chat, get used to thinking of them as female because of the avatar, then get into an audio channel with them and they're a baritone man!

That's how I've always handled it as well. If the avatar is male, I refer to both avatar and player as he. If the avatar is female, I refer to both avatar and player as she. At that point, if I'm corrected, I'll go with whatever the player prefers. As a male who often plays female characters, this has generally been how I've been treated as well and it doesn't bother me one bit to be referred to as "she" or "her" when my avatar is clearly female. I'm actually a bit surprised that it seems to be the norm for a female avatar to be referred to as he as I don't recall ever personally enountering that myself.

To speak to the "stories from MMO's" I have a couple good ones.

In City of Hero's, I had joined a small supergroup of "saiyan" characters. We went around as a full group - Invuln/SS tanker, Energy/Energy Blaster, Martial arts/regen scrapper (represnts the nameks) and a Empathy/Energy Defender (needed some healing). Had a blast flying all over town and using a combination of super speed/knock ups/knock backs and "power attacks" to recreate battles from the anime.

Second "memorable moment" for me in MMO's was - Camping the FBSS in lower guk (Everquest). Played with my dad and younger brother over the summer. In a week of abject glory (or depravity, your pick) I stayed up for 5 days straight, only moving from my chair to use the washroom/grab more delicious caffeine based products or food. The drop % for FBSS was ultra low, so required a lot of time to get, and we were trying to get 3 (Ogre Shadow Knight, Woodelf Ranger and Gnome Enchanter). I took the "night shift" on the 5th day as we were waiting for our 3rd and final FBSS to drop. 3 boxing the mob spawned, killed him (and the add that appeared) and looted. BOOM new FBSS. Made the run back to the entrance (thank you fear/controlling spells), and ran everyone to a safe area. Feeling pretty happy with myself and "energized" by the accomplishment, I switched toons and jumped onto my Iksar Necromancer "Skinan Dbones" to level him up a bit. I then apparently passed out.

I awoke 20 hours later, still at my keyboard, smelling bbq chicken and hearing the familiar "clickity click clack" of fingers typing on keyboards, and my dad repeatedly saying "Stop breaking the &#%!ing Mez on that mob, your screwing up my rotation. I, blurry eyed and disoriented, reached for a bottle of water and asked how long I had slept for as I saw they finished the fight. Both Father and brother turned around and started howling with laughter. I had apparently hit the keyboard so hard when I passed out, and then didn't move from that position, that the letter "jkl;" were imprinted on my forhead. *shakes fist* damn you raised letter keyboards... damn you!

-Has no great MMO stories to tell at all-

So that Wildstar huh? Looks like it is going to be great to me :)

Odd that you mention getting confused with a guy, I always get confused with a girl, not sure why since I normally play guys but people just seem to assume I'm a girl, it's OK though I don't mind don't really care about it I just find it funny.
As for MMO stories, I don't have that many I'm not really a people person so if I play them it's normally by myself.

Henriot:
Unrelated to that, what's with everyone up in arms about the lack of GW2 discussion? Justin was the only one who played it. It was still mentioned. You're going to limit enjoying content from content creators you (presumably) enjoy?

Wait a sec, I'm not "up in arms" about anything! I merely pointed out that seeing how big GW2 is, that it's a shame that they didn't mention it more extensively, but that I understood why they didn't, because I recalled that Justin was the only one who'd played it! :) Far be it from me to cast any stones! Who says I'm going to stop listening to the podcast because of that?!? Laughable, I say! :D

Eleima:

Wait a sec, I'm not "up in arms" about anything! I merely pointed out that seeing how big GW2 is, that it's a shame that they didn't mention it more extensively, but that I understood why they didn't, because I recalled that Justin was the only one who'd played it! :) Far be it from me to cast any stones! Who says I'm going to stop listening to the podcast because of that?!? Laughable, I say! :D

Hehe, that was unrelated to your post (and I know you to be a fellow podcat rabid enthusiast). Was more directed at AldUK.

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