Saturday, October 18, 2008

My name is Jeff and I am a....gamer

I like to consider myself a gamer. I will never be as good as those 2/3 my age, but still I profess a liking and commitment to play them through to the end. I play only on the PC as I have never mastered the art of pressing six buttons in some particular order quick enough to beat the opponent I am up against. I also do not like first person shooters due to not being able to see behind me or on my sides. Which is why I like games from Blizzard.

I got into gaming when a friend of mine told me that he and his son were playing a game called Orcs and Humans. I was hooked, literally. There I was stumbling into work after finally beating the level at, oh, 4:00 in the morning. Apparently gamer must mean “he who sleeps little.” From there I played Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo II, and then left Blizzard to try my hand at EverQuest, one of the first successful on-line multi-player game. This was back in the days of dial up which on large raids was an interesting endeavor as key people became disconnected or “DC’d” right in the middle of a fight.

To this day, EQ still holds the top position for depth of play in my humble opinion. But nothing can hold a candle to the all around game play and beauty of World of Warcraft. What I like about WoW is all the things I hated about EQ. Your character actually hits his foe, the skeletons don’t look like an empty toilet roll with a skull head, and best of all, everything you pick up has a purpose – crap to sell or crap for a quest. In EQ there were thousands of things that no one had discovered a use for – so for questers like me – I hung on to everything. Thank Rodcet Nife they started a shared bank slot!

What I hated about EQ most was the ridicules way you went about questing. Once figured out, you followed the directions posted on web sites. But for the ones still locked up, it was, well kind of stupid. First you had to find the NPC that would start the quest. No little yellow exclamation points over their head in EQ. You had to find them among all the thousands of NPCs that were in place. In terms of size, EQ is to North America as Wow is to Rhode Island.

So there you would be trying to find out if the grave dust you collected in some zone is part of a quest. You would walk up to an NPC and type in a question. The problem was you had no idea if this was the correct NPC or if you asked the question correctly. No response – move to the next one. But wait! Some NPCs would only appear at certain hours of the day or night. That is the one you needed, but in order to talk to him you have to bribe him with some ale. I kid you not – there were quests like this that someone figured out. So you would wait, and wait, and wait for the NPC to show only to find out that “opps sorry”, he was camped by another player who got him before you showed up. Come back in 24 hours.

But still I played until the time waiting for a group to quest or raid got to be drudgery. Which got me into WoW when it came out. Started on day one played ever since with a few months off to concentrate on school. But WoW also brought about the drudgery of “LFG” looking for group). I was lucky enough to be in a guild that could raid the upper stuff – but that demands more time than I want to give. Time is what it takes to move up in these types of multi=player games – and unless you can devote the time it takes to learn the fights you become less and less wanted because of your noobiness and chance to wipe the whole darn raid. So I either commit to playing three nights a week from 11:00 till about 3:00 in the morning or I sit there “LFG.” Wow is turned off right now….until the next expansion.