The Diary of an MMO Virgin
Editor’s Note: We’ve asked our darling Stephany to enter the realm of MMO’s for the first time, and to give you all the benefit of that experience. This is part one of a multipart article wherein she’ll discuss what it’s like being a first-time MMO player in Lord of the Rings Online. Enjoy!
I have always been a bit of a solitary creature by nature. Sure, in my teenage years I was a social butterfly and in my twenties I liked to socialize a bit here and there. However, the older I get, the more time I prefer to spend alone with my thoughts, books, music, and favorite television shows. This is also the case when it comes to gaming. I have never been one to play well with others unless it involved D&D or Vampire/Werewolf, and since the majority of my friends are males the usual stereotypical “female gamer” tag has hovered over my head like black moist cloud at times. On the rare occasion when I was actually invited to participate in the latest game a guy friend purchased, I was either A) not interested in the title because it was Tiger Woods or the latest Madden, or B) they hated loosing to a girl. I am not saying I am some uber pwner – far from it, but they hated it when I beat them even once out of the twenty times we played together. Of course those numbers are a bit of an exaggeration, but they prove my point. Therefore, I am a solitary gamer, and I prefer it that way.
Being that I am a lone gamer, the thought of actually investing time and money in an MMO where I would not only have to deal with other players but actually participate in raids and cooperative junctures, never interested me in the slightest. Our News Manager Ron and his wife have been trying to coax me into playing WoW with them for almost two years now. Granted, WoW is pretty, looks like a lot of fun and the mythology behind it fascinates me – but I could never get around the fact that not only would I be paying a monthly fee for a game, but that I would have to deal with a bunch of ill-mannered teenage gorillas spouting nonsense at me or running in and ruining one of my quests. No thanks; I am fine with RPGs that only require me, a console, or a PC – not a credit card.
The great thing about being human though, is that we are highly adaptable mammals and when faced with certain tasks that force us to come out of our shells and think in broader terms, we may actually find the experience exhilarating and most of all – fun. Case in point: Ron has assigned me the task of playing The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar and telling you, our dear readers, my thoughts and feelings from the perspective of someone with zero experience playing an MMO. Refreshing and intriguing as that sounded to me, I stepped into this assignment with trepidation and prejudice towards anything MMO related. Granted, the idea of stepping forth into Middle Earth and kicking some orc ass appealed to me because while I have been a fantasy buff since I could talk – I have been a Tolkien nerd since I could read.
Thus begin my adventures in the realm of the MMORPG – albeit in Tolkien fashion instead of Alliance and Hoard. After the initial VERY long download time, I installed the game and created my character, which is, of course, an Elf from Mirkwood. At this point I am impressed with the graphics, the controls and ungodly size of the world – it is not only gorgeous and well designed, but easy and non-restricting as well – maybe this won’t be so bad after all.
It is now 3 a.m. EST. I have been playing LotRO for over five hours straight – my eyes are blurry, my back is killing me, I have smoked way too many cigarettes and drank too many cokes to even try and attempt sleep. The damn Hobbits want nothing more, than for me to run their stupid little errands for them because they are too fat, lazy, and scared of their own shadows to do it themselves. But you know what? I am loving it so far and the only reason I am going to stop playing at the moment is because my body is hating me at present. It needs sleep and the dogs are looking at me like I am some kind of madwoman. I though crack was illegal – apparently when in video game form, it isn’t.
I plan on giving you more of the sordid details of my foray into the MMORPG realm in a future post, plus my overall impressions on the game itself. So far, I have to say that I am enjoying it immensely and this is coming from a person who swore that she would never play an MMO. I guess I will be eating crow tonight for dinner, and as unappetizing as that sounds, it is nothing that a little ketchup can’t fix.