Tell us about your first day in an MMO. How did you feel? What did you do? Who did you meet? What sticks in your memory, in particular? – Jaedia
There was my first day on a BBS over my mother’s phone line. I stayed up all night for that one. It was intoxicating and magical – an experience I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recreate. I played every game my sysop friend had and poked around in every possible corner.
There was my first time in a MUD. I played the daylights out of it with other people. I became one of the most hardcore, outdone only by a guy named Catshadow who was probably able to pull so many all-nighters because he was on drugs. That was my theory, anyways. We’d pair up and take on the biggest, baddest creatures the game had to offer us (the ones that wouldn’t instantly destroy us, anyways). I’d use the “circle” command to prevent the monster from attacking and he’d backstab it before leaving the room, returning, using the “hide” command, and repeating. He’d report the amount of damage he had done each time. This could go on for hours depending on how much health our target had. I seem to remember on more than one occasion that we’d have to end the attempt because one of us had other obligations. Those were the days when hours had no meaning and days were what happened when the sun went up or down.
If you’re talking about massively multiplayer online games, I assume you mean the type that have graphics and all that. For some reason this one isn’t as immediately clear to me as the others. I want to say that my first time in an MMO was when I was introduced to EverQuest by the same friend whose Cleric character I eventually cloned. I seem to remember creating either a High Elf or a Dwarf. I had taken no more than a couple of steps from my starting spot when I found myself fully immersed in a swimming pool and drowning. I had no idea how to move my character upwards. My agitated friend (agitated because he was fully addicted and taking time away from his high-level character to teach me the basics of the game) repeatedly asked me “Do you want to die?” I finally admitted that, having just started to play the game, I was not entirely prepared for death.
My friend was so kind as to come over to my keyboard and remove me from my watery grave-in-waiting and then proceeded to escort me far across the lands at a breathtaking pace. I struggled to keep up with him; I was able to track his location as he faded out on the horizon by following the dusty trail in front of me. Eventually we reached a crossroads next to some sort of wooden lift.
I later learned that I could more succinctly describe my journey thus: I had created a Dwarf, followed my friend through Butcherblock into Greater Faydark, and he had deposited me at the Newbie Lift.
I felt overwhelmed. I think I killed bats and wolves and wasps until I was strong enough to move on to orcs. I met a whole lot of different people with interesting costumes and faces and weapons and ways of talking that sometimes bordered on the absurd. (I later learned that this was called “roleplaying.”) I don’t really remember what class I chose. It didn’t matter much as I ended up deleting it and creating the High Elf Cleric who would become my eventual mainstay.
What sticks in my memory? Nothing much. I was too addicted to be able to focus on anything. There was lightning in my veins. I was entranced. Ensorcelled. Fully enraptured by the sights and sounds of the day. A small part of me hopes that one day I’ll capture just a spark of that initial euphoria in a melody or a texture or a combat animation. It’s usually in that place between waking and dreaming that it resurfaces with greatest potency. That’s why I’ll always be a dreamer.