July 14, 2014 by phicks2012
I started playing computerized fantasy games way back in the 80s with a little text game called ZORK, and another with (very limited and static) graphics called WIZARDRY. Let me make it very clear, in case somehow it isn’t already obvious, that aside from “theme” those games were almost nothing like the on-line games now available, and they were NOT multi-player. But, at the time, they were WAY COOL and a definite step up from PONG and ASTEROIDS on the Atari plugged into my TV set, so that was all that mattered!
Over the years, games have gotten more and more elaborate and complex, and the graphics have gotten ever more impressive. They would definitely no longer run on an Apple IIe with a magnificent 64K memory (even upgraded to 128k and later to a WHOLE MEG), and I’ve played a number of these games including (but not limited to) Ultima, Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Horizons of Istaria, and finally WOW (World of Warcraft). All things considered, I’ve enjoyed playing them, but I’ll have to admit that there are sometimes “issues”.
Even way back in “the day” when multi-player on-line games first appeared, I had friends who would talk me into playing a game “with” them, and then just when I was getting into it (it took me longer to level because I had other interests and wasn’t spending 24-7 hunched in front of my monitor using cheat codes and power-leveling as quickly as inhumanly possible) they would invariably 1)jump servers or 2)jump to another game, leaving me all alone.
I followed my friends numerous times unwillingly to different servers and different games, having to start over from scratch each time only to have it happen again, and again, and again, until finally I had to acknowledge that this was ALWAYS going to happen — EVERY TIME — and that if I wanted to play on-line games I either needed to make friends on-line with other players who actually hung around (generally other women, since in my experience rapid server and game-jumping behaviors appear to be mostly testosterone-linked), or I had to get used to adventuring mostly on my own with characters that didn’t need to be in a group to survive.
I got talked into playing WOW by an old friend who convinced me to try it, and I was advised to play Horde on The Scryers server, because a lot of real-life friends supposedly were playing there. “A Lot” turned out to be just “a bit” misleading, because actually most of those people had already (typically) switched to other servers, or games, and the Guild Master of the Guild I joined (another dear old friend who really did play on that server) passed away just then — a great loss in real life as well. The friend who persuaded me to try playing WOW did help me out a good bit, bless him for that, but being power-leveled at warp speed through dungeons (while useful in some ways) isn’t really my preferred mode of play.
I’m one of those bizarre, unlikely people who likes to make friends on-line, explore the fantasy world in question, do quests, and craft items, with fighting pretty far down the priority list, and unfortunately WOW is pretty much fighter-centric. You have to fight your way to do just about anything, unless you’re too high a level for the resident mobs to do more than just annoy you.
So, I recently decided, for all that I finally had a couple of high-level characters on The Scryers/Horde, to switch to a less desolate server (Sentinels) and play Alliance (to aid me in exploring the rest of the WoW World unavailable to Horde). Thus I started all over again on a game, but for the first time of my own volition.
The difference is that this time I have no expectations of playing on-line with real-life friends gathered around me, and I also know that I won’t have to anticipate/dread those real-life friends jumping servers or games, so at least I’m going in knowing that I’ll need to make friends in my Guild to really have anyone to talk to or adventure with in-game.
I’ll still need to be playing characters that can stand alone and survive, because I’m not looking even at WOW through rose-colored glasses. I know that’s likely to be needed. But the players in general on Sentinels/Alliance are turning out already to be friendlier and more helpful than the general lot on Scryers/Horde. I don’t know whether they’re just generally less immature (you can pretty much tell when you’re interacting with a smart-ass 14 year old boy) or whether it’s an Alliance vs. Horde sort of thing, but I do hope it continues that way. I’d like that, thank you!
So wish me well in my new on-line gaming endeavor — hoping that it works out better this time for an old fart who has lots of other interests and doesn’t live, or want to live, 24-7 in the World of Warcraft. LOL