I have been very retrospective of my MMO career the past week. I’ve been thinking of past friends, past games, past joy, past sorrow. I look at where I am now and where I’ve been, and I wonder what happened to me. There are many things I wouldn’t change about myself at all. My knowledge about the genre in general, and how to act for two. But then I wonder why I’m not as nice as I once was, why my goals in the game has changed so drastically much, why my play style, while still playing a lot has changed to the point of unrecognizing the importance of what you do.
When I was younger, I didn’t play for the loot quite as much, I didn’t play for the levels. I played because I wanted to hang out with my friends that I met online. Even more important I wanted to meet new people. I loved meeting all the various people online, in fact I can just think of my younger self telling me how foolish I am now for not wanting to do that still. Now, I am extremely anti-social, as much so online as I am off, something that never used to be true. I once thought the greatest part of these games was your ability to meet people whom you would have no chance of meeting in real life, no longer. Now it is all about the stats, the gear, the loot.
I once liked all those things, but it was never important. Yeah we would go out and camp the giants in YS to get some quick xp in order to level up a few times in a night, but it was more about hanging out with my friends.
Now, even when I am out with friends, there is little fun to be had, it is more about finishing quickly so that we can earn more xp or get more loot than before. A good example of this is our raid alliance which is considering going DKP, and we instantly start thinking about setting up our own raids, and i start thinking about “do we have the pieces to do it?” Instantly I start thinking of all the classes that we have in our guild, and all the classes that another guild has that would come with so that we can have successful raids. But now, I sit here and wonder, why do we even care about raids? There are plenty of difficult places that we could go to hang out as a group. Raids are just a means to an end and we can find that end elsewhere. Yes the loot is nice, but it is secondary and somewhere I’ve lost track of that.
I’ve lost track of what these games are really about. And while I know that it is about hanging with friends, and not about loot, stats, or how fast we can go through a zone, I don’t really know how I can get back. I can on the base stop caring about loot and all that… but will it make me the more pleasant, fun, carefree, and outgoing player that I once was? I don’t know. I wish I knew how to be that guy again, but I don’t, and it makes me really sad. Because truth be told, I had a lot more fun back in those days when I was that player.