I’ve probably said before, and will certainly say again, that the social interaction is certainly one of the higher appeals about any MMO. Possibly more so in the CoX universe which has so many ways for you to talk and team up with people, whether they be complete strangers or long time friends. The question is, is this one of the biggest attractions to the game?

This comes to my mind only lately. First, lets observe the fact that I’m mostly soloing my Scrapper in an effort to get as much of the stories as possible. Well, that means that at least the story lines are interesting, right? It depends on the person, of course, but I know I do enjoy that aspect of the game as well. However, lately I’ve been playing rather less, and at least part of that reason is because my SG, entirely made up of friends, has scattered rather neatly to the four winds.

Two of them are still around, just not as often, and one is temporarily offline thanks to rather important real life factors. Thus our SG channel is emptier than a desert and sucks up all comments like said desert would some rain. It’s almost depressing. In fact, it is depressing. Even when not teamed with them, I still talk with them, share exciting moments and so forth. There was no one there to cheer me on, or bug me, when I finally hit 32, or to commiserate with me the first time I wandered into Crey’s Folly.

Do I blame them? Of course not. But it did make me wonder – do other people view the game this way? Does your quintessential power gamer make friends and miss them when they are gone? What about the true casual gamer who is very rarely on? Would it be different if I was in a larger SG?

The answer to most of these I can’t say. I’m not a power gamer, nor truly a casual gamer, so I can’t speak for either of them. I’m not in a big SG, so I have no idea. However, what I know is that I started playing because of a social reason in the first place. Friends introduced me, they played, we teamed. It was good.

I’ve made friends in the game, as well, and have missed some of those. Where did they go? I have no idea. I made friends, teamed with them quite a bit for a while and then – poof! – gone. Admittedly, people do tend to come and go, it’s just a game after all, right?

I would venture the opinion that, in many ways, it’s not. No MMO is. It’s a community. It’s a group of people sharing an interest and a past time. There are thousands of people on there, but at least you know that each of those people has something in common with you. Every single person is there because they want to play the game. You can share experiences and advice. You can even give each other presents, lend each other a hand – or get in fights, argue or hinder people.

I’ve talked with a few people who seem to feel the same way I do. A major attraction of the game is the social aspect of it. Heck, just wander into Atlas Park at just about any time and you’ll find people just hanging around, visiting, talking, causing trouble and, in general, looking like a normal group of people. So, to me, it looks like many people feel the same, and you even see posts and comments from people along the lines of ‘no more friends playing here, I’m leaving’. All I can say is, I do love the game itself, but it wouldn’t hold as much attraction for me, and probably many others, without that social aspect. I do give cudo’s to Cryptic for make one very excellent game – but in the end, it’s all the people playing it that make it truly worth playing, so go you.

Thats it for this week. Happy Easter, remember to have fun, enjoy the company of your friends and make some new one’s while you’re at it. – Mialiah.

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