Who can forget their very first MMORPG experience? For some reason, I skipped UO, probably because I had young kids and no time to play games. Possibly it is because I loved text games, and could not give up the ability to IMAGINE a beautiful world in my mind for a world that was, well, a little too low poly. Of course, I did not know the word poly back then and had no idea that those graphics would someday be outdated.
So I entered this new world full of magic and fantasy creatures. I played an elf, of course. I like elves and they seem elegant and lovely. So my first visit consisted of me walking around on some wooden docks and falling into the water, over and over again. And dying and then trying again. I was getting used to navigating in a 3d environment, a very new experience for me. I also fell out off the ramps that ran around the trees. Frustrated, I almost left the game.
But months later, I will still running around the world, banging into the loading areas when your character went still…hiccup…and then runs again. I met a few people and killed stuff and mostly explored. It was so cool.
Life has a way of drawing you back. A new baby kept me busy and I was busy with the other kids’ school. I did not totally give up games, but I played them a lot less. Over the years, I played Asheron’s Call, Star Wars Galaxies, and now ESO with my son and husband. Each had their own magic, their own immersive style that drew me in. I liked some more than others and I still miss the exploration in the old games where you did not have to die so much to look around and take in the sights.
Today, I make games and 3d environments. We have clients and I work with other game developers. The graphics our team makes today totally blows the ones in the old first EQ.
One thing though that I will never get from a game again, especially an MMO, that feeling when for the first time you enter a world full of others, a world that is full of surprises. Today, the games are not as wondrous, they are faster, less time to ponder, less time to see the amazing work the artists and programmers and others accomplished. Today we expect more. It takes so much more to amaze us.
20 years. Here’s to EQ, and may they have another 20 years. 🙂
Agreed, nothing quite like the first time you experience something magical and as you say, especially true for an MMO. Played singleplayer games basically my whole life but the idea of a simulated world with other humans blew me away.
For me it was in an otherwise poor game (compared to other games at the time even), it was Roma Victor. Wasn’t much to it, especially when I started playing it but most objects were created by players, there was property, crafting and conflict which was semi-roleplayed.
Had it not been the first sandbox MMO I played and had people not made the attempt to roleplay or if I were to pick it up now I expect I would soon put it back down again. That said not only was the idea of a simulated fantasy (even if historically based) world populated with other humans magical to me, it sparked the idea of what it could become in the future.
Roma Victor, didn’t survive the market long in MMO terms and better games have come and gone. Now and again cool features reignite the spark but it burned greatest with what in comparison, mechanically, shouldn’t even have been that memorable.
Thanks for posting, Ozmono. I think we all have had that first experience in a game that we will never forget. 🙂