Finally, there are three other small categories that player narratives fell under.
In the section on Death, we saw a mention of role-playing. Here are other memorable stories that players had that relate more specifically to role-playing.
I was bored in Ironforge, so I just started RP walking around. All of a sudden, this guy I'd never even seen before started RP walking behind me. I figured he'd get bored and leave after a few seconds of walking, but he followed me for around two minutes. I turned around and confronted him about how he was following me. He claimed that he was just going the same way, and when I called BS, he said that he was hired to kill me. We then got into a 30 minute chase in which we just ran all over the city yelling random stuff about how I was going to get away from him and such. I tried all kinds of things like mind-controlling him off a cliff to get rid of him, but he kept coming back. He played the part of a persistent killer absolutely perfectly. Eventually, I managed to finally foil his plans by killing myself in lava, hence preventing him from obtaining my head in order to complete his job. After I rezzed, he told me that I had won this battle, but that he would chase me to the end of my days in order to complete the job. It was completely random, but the whole event was really fun. [WoW, M, 25]
I was able to roleplay so much more in EQ and I do miss it. I was able to officiate several weddings as a cleric. I remember them all. I miss people wanting to marry ingame. It was something created while playing the game but completely separate from it. I've never seen such strong community in a mmo since EQ. New mmos are so fast paced. I don't miss the long long hours of EQ which were necessary to progress and made RP easier to get into. [WoW, F, 33]
Meeting Guild IRL
We've seen mentions of guilds already in the two previous sections, but several players mentioned meeting their guild members in RL as their most memorable experience.
I have been in the guild for many years and in March of this year, a group of us decided that we should have a guild get-together. So we settled on the Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles. We all shared two rooms though one of them was for sleeping purposes only. It's interesting meeting the group of people that are usually found on guild chat and Ventrillo. We came from all over. A few of us were local to California but we did have a few Canadians and one person all the way from the UK. Getting to see the different faces and bodies and relating them to their respective voices was interesting too. Most of us have seen each other's pictures so there were not too many surprises (though people found me short!). [Ragnarok Online, M, 20]
One of the most memorable experiences in my MMO career has to be the first IRL party in my guild. Being in charge of the planning and meeting everyone face to face - most of them for the first time ever - was a very special and positive experience. We have had similar parties since, but the first one will always be the one I will remember as the most memorable as that took the guild to a whole new level. [WoW, M, 29]
The Initial Euphoria
And finally, a small handful of players described the euphoria they felt when they first get into a game - the sense of stepping foot in a whole new world.
Someone in my guild's forums has posted a link to a tribute to the *old* days of EverQuest. This was in EQ's 5th year, a bit before I quit EverQuest (1) and went to EQ2. Watching the tribute brought on a strong feeling of bittersweet nostalgia. Back in 'the day' EverQuest was sort of enchanting. It was my first real MMO. For a while everything about it was simply so wondrous. And then you learn the game mechanics and over time, you're disenchanted. Everyone is. But remembering those days of old (in the tribute and such -- which featured real game graphics/screens and a bittersweet melody), when the game felt so alive... it was a wave of emotion stronger than most any I've ever felt. [EQ2, M, 18]
After playing MMOs for about 4 years, it gets harder to pull out one time that sticks out among others. So instead of picking a specific moment, I instead pick the first few weeks I played WoW and also the first few weeks I played EverQuest Online Adventures (The MMO version of EverQuest for the PlaySation2 Console). This part of the game is my favorite. Everything is new, everything is different, everybody is new (yay for the newbie zone). I still remember my first friend, Elvennoir, my second friend Jaira, and what I had for dinner the first day I got to play EverQuest Online Adventures at my own house. [WoW, M, 17]
I think to me that first experience of leaving the Human newbie area of Northshire Abbey for the first time and going down the road to Goldshire and feeling this sense of wonder for the wide virtual world ahead of me just overwhelmed me with this sense of awe at this living breathing 3D environment. [WoW, F, 30]
As MMO players know from their experiences, gaming is much more than just about killing things. The narratives in this article highlight the social nature of play and the variety of relationships that cross over the boundary between the virtual and physical worlds.
My most memorable MMO experience was on an Role-Playing realm in WoW. Me and my friend rolled orcs and delved fully into "acting" your role, etc. The best was when we joined a guild/tribe. Our meetings were atop one of the hills in the Barrens.
The "younglings" were seated in a line in front of the 3 leaders. We were saluted individually and then we started to discuss guild affairs (all in front of a fire). Each night we had this meeting. It really felt like I was a part of my own story. When I eventually did not agree with they way the guild was run, I stood up (as a youngling), gave the leader the finger, and ran off.
It felt like I actually had "power".
Great read Nick!
one of the most memorable moments of my gaming time is on christmas day, playing diablo, just running about, killing mobs to level, when occulus dropped ! (+3 all skills) imba item for my necromancer ! i was shocked, overjoyed and feeling like i hade just won the best present on that special day ever !
I'm really surprised none of your responses on this question involved roleplaying events. Well, one did, but it was more about death than about RP. I honestly expected a whole category of memorable roleplaying events. Did you not receive any, or what?
Great question Powers. I went back and did text searches on "roleplay" and "role-play" just to make sure I didn't miss a whole bunch of them. I only found 2-3 stories that related directly to role-playing itself, but this definitely needs to be mentioned as a category so I added these to the article.
There were several other cases (like the Death one) where RP was invoked, but it was in the larger context of something else. So for example, one story talked about RP but what was memorable to the player was being voted as a Guide by the community.
Answering to Powers, I should say there is no memorable moments whithout the unexpected (even the so-called "RP" chase around Ironforge above says it). Now, role-playing is, in my opinion, too often planned, concerted, polished... over-expected.
More, and apologizing to Nick : should I have read this note before filling the current survey, I would have point "Being surprised" (or "Always expecting the unexpected" :-) as THE cause of my playing.
Always enjoy reading end-results of your works Nick Yee.
Be safe and keep foraging into the minds of online players!!!
I think my most memorable experience is probably the first Rikti Invasion I was involved in with my main character right after issue 10 was released. It was late at night, and I was bored and just heading to the Tailor in Founder's Falls to play with my characters costume when the event started. The sky went dark sickly green, the citizens started freaking out and running away and the air raid sirens started as the War Walls in the distance dissipated.
My character at this point was a Defender, Kinetic/Psionic Defender, I really wasn't going to be much good on my own so I went to put a call over broadcast for a team when someone else started posting to broadcast in character calling for all Heroes to rally south of the tailor to fight the incoming Rikti.
The next half hour was probably the most amazing RP zone level event I have ever been involved in. The rikti came in waves and the heroes, probably numbering in the 50's continued to fight. Everyone was shouting battle cries and taunting the Rikti over local and broadcast in character. One guy was leading the charge, the same person who started the rally, quoting "300" over broadcast in a hero context, but I do remember this exchange quite well:
Broadcast: "This is where we hold them. This is where we fight. This is where they die. Give them nothing! But take from them everything! This is PARAGON."
Local: *various yells from people of Hoo rah and other battle cries*
*Heavy Mech Rikti arrive*
Broadcast: "Heroes! Prepare for GLORY!".
Local: *more battle cries*
Broadcast: "We've got canned Rikti, anyone got a can opener?"
*snickers all around*
Broadcast: "No can opener mate, but I have my boomstick... This is my BOOMSTICK!!"
Hilarious fun, and everyone was into it, role playing after the Rikti retreated, helping each other and celebrating. I don't think I'll ever forget that, I mean it even inspired me to write a story based on it for my character. ^_^
I think it's somewhat questionable characterizing team kills as "social" activities. I strongly suspect the main reason they are commonly mentioned is that the biggest enemies in most games require teams to kill. Designing a good solo challenge in a multiplayer game is very difficult.
I'd also note that responders are self selected, and people who like to socialize are more likely to write about memorable activities. You're not likely to get a lot of essays from PKs, as they just don't talk much.
When 2 guild leaders and my class officer gave me an interview hotseat in vent "in channel 2 please"-about why I accidentally looted an item I needed in Zul Grubb. They gave me some minus dkp. I felt so guilty after I logged off that I realized I was in a cult. so of course I stayed in for another year and gquitted after we started naxx.
wow 37 yo
Yes good read. I think this says it right -- "As MMO players know from their experiences, gaming is much more than just about killing things. The narratives in this article highlight the social nature of play and the variety of relationships that cross over the boundary between the virtual and physical worlds." The boundary between the virtual and physical worlds has come a long way for me since playing with GI Joe action figures and Lego characters.
Also I identified with many of these experiences that people shared as their most memorable experiences: Team accomplishments, PVP accomplishments, seeing/hearing about in-game funerals/romances, RL guild meeting, and initial euphoria. I'm not quite sure what I would have listed as my most memorable game experience before reading these except initial euphoria does strike me -- I can just photographically remember getting into the Barrens zone in WoW for the first time at "night" (the environment actually changes to emulate real life) and moving around the camera angle so I could see the horizon and then only the sky dark with stars. Sure they're only pixels & etc. but it was very pretty. I go back today and the zone disgusts me -- except for the sky.
First time I joined a guild in EQ, I was actually duoing with the guild leader without knowing his status. After a few weeks he asked me to join. Must've been the way he asked - it felt like I was quietly evaluated and considered a signification addition were I to accept.
It's been about ten years since, and I've switched to many other MMOs. But my attitude toward any guild I join still stays the same - no matter what guild it is, if I am to join, I will give no less than my full dedication and ask nothing in return.
Fortunately, the guilds have always recognized my effort and let me know that I've not been taken for granted.
On the Intrepid server in pre-cu swg we had a bitter war of atrition going between the rebellion and the empire. There was absolutely no love loss between the sides and it had been going on for many months. Our guilds city was getting hit particular hard in the recent fighting due to multiple base destructions we had carried out.
One afternoon while standing around guarding our bases we were attacked by a solo dark jedi. He took a few of us out and was was subsequently incapped by our turrets, then deathblowed by one of us. I recieved some threats from his guild mates that they were soon to return in force, while in the mean time the same dark jedi attacked us again to the same result.
A bit later he showed up again with two or three allies, and one more dark jedi. Again a short fight inssued with our bases proving to be the deciding factor. We knewm, however, that we were overmatched and it was only a matter of time before a very large group of dark jedi put the hammer down on us.
Sure enough, soon after at least a dozen full template dark jedi showed up. At this point there was only two of us left to defend, as the rest of the guild had ran for cover once it was made known this most brawny of wrecking crews was coming to town. It was down to myself and my roomate to defend our two remaining bases.
Somehow we managed to incapp the entire group with our bases turrets and I remember running out into the fray all by myself while my partner manned the guns to deathblow each and every one of the encroachers. I was doing this on a very tempermental cpu that crashed on a regular basis, yet somehow the machine stayed up long enough to take care of business.
This group of dark jedi didn't return to our town that day and for many days afterwards. We had protected our home and were accorded a new level of respect on the server as the war continued.