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MMO’s, I’ve been doing it wrong
I had been in a real bad MMO funk for about a year. See, I started playing MMO’s with people I know. The only reason I even began to play Everquest is because everyone I worked with was talking nonstop about it. I then moved to Dark Age of Camelot for something different, and found a fantastic bunch of folks to talk with. I kept going back to the game long after I really should have, not just because I loved the game, but because I enjoyed the moments I shared with friends. That same bunch moved to Warhammer Online, and after they decided to split, I knew I wanted to find that sort of companionship again. I moved to a different server and got acquainted with the same folks who you can currently hear on our podcast and read on this blog.
I fell away from WAR and I’ve been adrift ever since. I’ve tried every triple-A title and a few less than stellar games to try and rekindle that flame. The big hope has been for a while now, that Star Wars: The Old Republic will bring us all back together under one roof. That hope still remains, even more so now because every bit of released information increasingly get’s the majority of us to geek out. It’s still a while until we can set foot in that game, so I still drift. But then about a month ago something like a switched flipped on in my head. I started playing Star Trek Online, and enjoyed it. Then I went back to Age of Conan, and enjoyed it. Then I even considered restarting my World of Warcraft account.
I think I lost track of why I even play MMO’s. I started getting far too critical of Warhammer Online for its faults. Every game has faults, MMO’s especially so. And while I will never stop pointing those faults out, because they can truly overshadow any wonderful parts to a game, what I think I need to look at more is how these games are at encouraging interactions and socialization. I honestly think that a big reason I never enjoyed WoW in the past was because I never found that group. I never found people I could stand to be in a chat room with for more than 5 minutes.
So I’m currently subscribed to Star Trek Online and Age of Conan. Of the two, I’ve found myself playing a lot more Star Trek Online. Partly because I find the change in setting to be refreshing, but primarily for the same reasons I stated above, namely; I am more connected with people in STO. In Age of Conan, I only know one person who plays, and I’m honestly not on enough to see them around. Given the grouping system, it’s been far easier to group with people in Star Trek. I can raise my level to the group leader’s or vice versa. This is an immense help with keeping people with limited playtime like me interested in the game.
I may end up dropping my Age of Conan sub for now. I still have another time card to activate, and I could just hold onto it for a rainy day (much like how I have EVE waiting to be installed in Steam). The only other change that may occur is I may jump back in WoW, that is, if the Multiplayers who are currently hanging out in Azeroth stay around past this month. This time around though, I think I’ll be looking at the game more as a social device than something deep to sink my teeth into.