October 31, 2013 8:30 p.m.
Back in late 2001, I started my first real officially titled sysadmin job for a company. Although, I'd been doing performing the duties with other employers and personally for years. The people that worked at this new company were all about my same age, which meant they grew up playing old school console and text/cga/vga computer video games as I did. Little did I know at the time that this new place of employment was about to expose me to a gaming world I'd never truly experienced before.
Maybe I was just naive as to what MMO really stood for when I was first exposed. I had already played online games like Doom, Unreal, Quake, Diablo, Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear, Counterstrike and the like. Not to mention, my brother-in-law showed me Everquest when it first came out, plus I'd heard about Asheron's Call and Ultima Online. Although, for some reason those really didn't seem to spark my interest when I first saw them. Apparently I really didn't know what I was missing!
Back to the initial point... My first MMO exposure was the result of people from my office asking me to try out the recently released Dark Age of Camelot MMORPG with them. After a little discussion (not that it took much), I left work that day and picked up the game. Went home, installed, signed up, logged in, created my first character Ladric the sorcerer (which I still have) and logged in for the first time.
Growing up in a PnP RPG D&D world, this totally blew my mind and what I was really looking for in a game to keep my interest. Now, early MMOs that I experienced were painful to progress and grow, but with great rewards. I played with friends I knew personally and people that I'd never met in person. However, if we were part of a guild or group to complete a special task it was like a best friend or brother/sister.
Funny part is that although I love this type of online game, my life does not allow me to dedicate the time that I once could. Not that I need/want to at this time. Games that allow me to login for 30 min stints and do what I want totally make more sense. Honestly speaking, once any MMO players move behond college and develop families it may be this way most.
These games still hold a place for me. Totally hate to admit, but I do sometimes frequent an old MMO I once once loved, read forum posts, etc. It's a way to pass time with something that I still love to do. Of course I stay with an old MMO because I can do what I want and not have to focus on getting levels quickly or obtaining the newest cool item that everyone needs/wants. I just login, do what I want when I want and log out when I want. Kinda defeats the purpose of an MMO and being social, but for the moment it works for me and my current lifestyle.