Virtual Real Estate

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I have never owned real estate in a game before. In the past, saving up money and having an actual housing option stopped me from making such a commitment. Until now…

Note my awesome hat!

Lord of the Rings Online offers housing options that are not prohibitive in price. A starter home only costing about 1 gold. My interest piqued, I decided to visit the local real estate agent in Bree. I was quickly given a list of homes available. Not knowing if one neighborhood was better than another (I have no idea what school districts are like in Bree), I randomly picked a neighborhood to see what was offered.

I love the cartoon drawing of the house. It's the little things.

The house was small, situated on a good piece of property, and had a convenient mailbox located outside. Inside, the floors were bare and the walls ready to be decorated with my spoils of war. Now, I do want to note that while there are no utility costs involved, there is a monthly upkeep fee (in the case of this house, 50 silver). Wonder if that is for both the gardener/ housekeeper? Having seen enough of the house, I rode around the neighborhood and happened upon an area meant for parties. Wonder how many this area holds?

I was all ready to purchase a house, however, I found myself a bit short on funds. A few more adventures across Middle Earth should do the trick. I’ll be sure to post a picture of my house once I have settled in. Until next time.

Cold Nostalgia

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Bouncing off a topic Syp @ Bio Break wrote on today, I want to take a moment and dive into what I believe is one of the reasons people still play World of Warcraft, nostalgia.

Personally, I have played WoW off and on since its inception in 2004. Sometime after graduating college and getting married, I put down the game for what I thought was the last time. My friends and I went on to play other MMO’s (Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer, etc.) and always talked about the glory days in Azeroth. Our nostalgia was not just rooted in WoW but in the Warcraft RTS series as well. Hours upon hours spent playing online in high school only helped cement memories in time.

Last year I did the unthinkable though when my friends and I dove back into the lands of Azeroth. What had started out as a series of conversations about the good old days, soon manifested itself into us playing again. The past, the memories of days gone by, had pulled us back into the behemoths claws. This all didn’t last long though, as I soon grew bored in zones I had slogged through before.

Going back to Syp’s post, what will pull gamers back to World of Warcraft for the great Cataclysm? Will it be new specs? New character classes? Hardly. I believe cold hard nostalgia will be the drawing factor. Here is the thing though, nostalgia only lasts for so long. Soon reality sets in and people see things for what they are now, and not what they used to be.

The great cataclysm awaits…yawn.

Alive

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Wow, haven’t written something new in almost a month. Curse you writers block!

Life has been a bit busy lately. Gaming wise I have found myself dabbling in a few games:

  • World of Warcraft – I think I am going to call it quits for a month or two. I am stuck at level 55 and can’t seem to muster the strength to continue onward towards level 80. The time commitment alone is daunting and not something I am willing to undertake at the moment. Rest in peace World of Warcraft…for now?
  • Pokémon Platinum – Burned out on Dragon Quest IV, I decided to engage in something a bit more mindless. 🙂
  • Plants Vs. Zombies (iPod) – Good game!
  • Lord of the Rings Online – Abandoning the personal Titanic that is World of Warcraft, I have started a new character (Aubrik the warden) on the Landroval server. Anyone know of a good guild?

I watched the Sons of Numenor slowly canter through Bree (as a group) and then assemble in The Prancing Pony. I swear I'm not a spy...just a nosey hobbit!

New content inbound. Look for a journal chronicling my adventures in Middle Earth.

Confessions of an MMO Tourist

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My vacation into the virtual lands of MMO’s began with Asheron’s Call in 1999. Playing with friends in a persistent world had a certain novelty to it. Granted, the release of Diablo II the following year quickly put my stay in Dereth on hold. Not one to limit myself to one game, I “toured” multiple MMO’s up until World of Warcraft’s (WoW) launch in 2004. Multiple MMO’s huh? Take a look at this virtual itinerary:

  • Ultima Online (1 month)
  • Everquest (1 month)
  • Final Fantasy XI (1 month)
  • The Sims Online Beta (a few days)
  • Asheron’s Call 2 (a few months)

The release of Asheron’s Call 2, in 2002, marked the first time I had set up a base camp in an MMO since the original Asheron’s Call in 1999. My stay in AC 2 did not last long, however, the group of friends that I was playing with ended up quitting the game. For the first time in years, I was no longer traversing the virtual landscapes. A whole year would go by before I would once again venture forth.

  • Saga of Ryzom Beta
  • World of Warcraft

In 2004, the perfect storm came together in the form of the Warcraft universe becoming an MMO.

Blizzard + Warcraft + MMO = WIN!

Blizzard games have been a staple of my PC gaming diet for years. Warcraft II, Starcraft, Diablo, and Diablo II were go-to games for me and my friends.

Sidenote: How many of you remember playing the original Diablo with a modem? I remember many late nights, on my Macintosh, spent listening to the pinging/ ponging modem language as I hooked up to battle.net. Good times. Haunting music. No option to run!

World of Warcraft came out the year that I went away to college. The game quickly became a way to communicate/ game with friends three states away. WoW had a darkside, however, one that almost cost me my love in the summer of 2005.

Guild Wars launched the following year (2005). Though technically not an MMO, Guild Wars provided a few alternative to WoW. Unfortunately, the beta period for this game all but killed the game for me (there are only so many times you can create a character, level, and then have it deleted). So I went back to WoW until things came to a head with my real life. Decisions had to be made.

Girlfriend or WoW?

Girlfriend of course! She won.

Girlfriend now wife.

I have played many MMO’s since WoW.

  • Dungeon Runners.
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • Warhammer Online
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online

So many hours poured into games I never plan on returning to again. Reminds me of books left half read, tossed under a bed. In the end, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the different worlds that I have explored. Each has offered a different experience that the game previous could not provide.

2009 marked the year I returned to Azeroth with my wife’s blessing. In playing, I have found that World of Warcraft does not have the same pull it once did. So I left the game once more to try:

  • Maple Story
  • Guild Wars (again!)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (again!)

As you can see, I am an MMO tourist with a passport full of stamps. If 2009 has been any indication as to my less than monogamous gaming habits, 2010 is sure to be a busy year.

(Used as a resource for this article http://biobreak.wordpress.com/mmo-timeline/)

(1/26/16 Update: Reader Kevin Woodberry emailed me and asked that I link to his guide as a further resource. Check it out: Guide to Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games.)

The Lunchtime Gamer – 9/1/2009

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Guild Wars

The World of Warcraft servers were down over lunch (until 2PM PST) so I decided to jump into Guild Wars. After spending some time reorienting myself to the game interface, I was off on a quest with a group of henchmen. Ruins of vast old cities, minotaurs, and ice giants were just a few of the sights and creatures that were encountered. Fun stuff. I had forgotten just how beautiful the graphics in this game are. Not only are the graphics beautiful but the scale and vastness of the games world is simply incredible. So why did I leave this game in the first place?

  1. Guild Wars lacked that hook that other MMOs (WoW, LOTRO) have to keep me going.
  2. Confusion over PVE versus PVP characters. I’d prefer to build a character for all seasons.
  3. A level 20 cap that ended in gameplay being focused on finding the perfect skill set. I did not have the time nor interest to do this.

The lunch hour is only so long, and so are my musings. Until next time.

Virtually Acceptable?

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LOTRO LOGO

Have you ever wondered how well you know someone that you don’t really know? An odd question to be sure. Today (6/26/09) I came across a blog post entitled “Godspeed Gynnie, We Will Miss You“. The post, which was found on the 2 High Road blog, weaves a tale of pain, suffering, and virtual escape. By the end of the post, “Gynnie”, whom the entire post has been about, has died. This “true” story made sense to me. Someone using an online videogame to escape life and pain. However, “Gynnie” was not all she (?) seemed to be. An update on 6/23/09 states:

“The good news is “Gynnie” didn’t die after all.”

As fate would have it there was never a sick girl by the name of “Gynnie”. For all the author of 2 High Road knows, “Gynnie” could have very well be Steve. This brings several questions to mind.

  • 1. How well though do you know the people that you play online games with?
  • 2. Are we supposed to take people online at virtual face value?
  • 3. Is lying about your real life circumstances virtually acceptable?

Your thoughts.