I shall preface this by stating that I am in no way an MMO gamer, nor a fan of them. The few MMOs I have played have not offered up gameplay that I find particularly scintillating and have only really been able to appreciate the ease with which one can play with a group of friends, which is of course how this all began...
The Lord of the Rings Online
went free to play around this time last year, and when January came several Dtoiders including myself took an interest in it. The game was free-to-play, not requiring of a powerful machine and set in a fictional world that we were all acquainted with through various degrees of being terrible nerds. We deliberately chose a variety of classes to bolster any teamwork that might happen. I played as a Dwarf Champion, despite how disappointing the lack of female Dwarf characters was to me. The Guy with the Hat played as a Hobbit and spent way too much time tending to root vegetables and making stews.
Over the course of a few weeks we started playing and moved towards coordinating our play sessions and trying to keep at similar levels, most early outings were predominantly spent with people walking great distances just to find one another. The size and faithfulness of the Middle Earth recreation on the game is incredible in my opinion, and one of the most fun times I had on it was in travelling to Rivendell despite being vastly underlevelled just because it was goddamn Rivendell
. We even set up a Kinship
on the server we were playing, that's how much sheer fun we were having!
Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.
The fun reached climax point when we discovered that you could play music files on your in-game instruments
and play time quickly devolved into abuse of this. It would be the end of us.
The thing that happened
On this ominous day, we coalesced in Bree. The Bree area in-game has early story quests found in the Prancing Pony, and it is one of the more interesting places in the region for the amiable atmosphere within. Those who, like us, were hell bent on showcasing our ability to copy files from the Internet into a folder on our computers found a place to do so here. Since the Inn itself was crowded and noisy we eventually went outside to showcase our musics at each others faces.
Outside the Prancing Pony... there is a rock.
And on it, we played.
And we saw everything that we had played, and, behold, it was very good.
However, we were not the only ones who favoured this polygon podium. A handful of members of a certain Kinship on the server were also present and after a while a discourse broke out between our parties in the local chat. It was a lackluster battle of the bands if there ever were one. Despite the amicable nature of the situation, the interlopers were genuinely displeased with our presence there. Sexual advances were made and improbable implications were made, yet these so called gamers
would not warm to us. They went running to a moderator and got one of us banned. Clearly, bias
and a surgically removed sense of humour and of social grace were on the cards that day. We found the whole situation funny as hell and haven't really bothered with the game since.
Enjoy your rock, assholes.
I know this isn't much of a story, and it has been so long since the event that we can barely remember it, but it has nonetheless left an unfortunate impression of MMO gamers with us. These games must rely on and facilitate interaction and cooperation, and promote friendship between players, more than any other genre of game. I am sure there are less sucky players for every group such as we encountered, but I'm not going to waste a single iota of time looking for them. For me personally the most illuminating and important feeling to take away from this is the contentment in not need strangers to play with. As annoying as it can be when a group of friends only have a few games in common, I'd rather have those games and friends than deal with people who can't share a fake fucking rock.