Once upon a time, I was brand new to MMO gaming.
My boyfriend and his best friend/roommate were talking about this new game that they were going to play, some Star Wars game. My boyfriend and I were at Fry’s, the huge electronics store here in Las Vegas , and he was talking to the enthusiastic store associates about the game as well and how he needed some new stuff for the computer (my computer!). We left with a brand spanking new monitor, Bose speakers, a headset with microphone, and more.
When my boyfriend started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, it was annoying and intriguing at the same time. While I was bothered that he was on the computer all the time and not hanging out with me, it was also very intriguing watching him play, seeing he had a cute little companion named Mako and watching him wipe pretty hard for hours doing Eternity Vault with his guild.
One day, he gave me the password to his account so that I could try the game out while he wasn’t home. I made my own character, a Sith Inquisitor named Heather. His guildies were very surprised that I got my actual name, and I didn’t realize the difficulty of that back then. I leveled my little sorcerer quite horribly, not knowing what main stats were, and dying on some of the easiest tasks. At the time I was trying to play some type of fail heal-dps hybrid, and clearly that didn’t work for me.
Eventually I asked to be in the same guild my boyfriend and his friend were in. They were officers in the guild after all. That was probably my first mistake, not making my own friends and seeing for myself what kind of guild I liked. But they were nice enough and must have been amazingly patient with me not knowing what I was doing.
I dumped Heather the Sorcerer and leveled Katnyss the Juggernaut because I thought it would be helpful, since my guild needed more tanks. I got tired of being a fail-tank and made my first DPS toon, Dianah the Sith Assassin. My guild leader’s main toon at the time was an Assassin tank, so I asked him whether to go Deception or Madness. I was actually leaning toward Madness, but he somehow convinced me that Assassins were made to play the Deception skill tree. And that is when the love affair between me and my Assassin’s Deception DPS began. Now that I think about, he may have been trying to doom me by telling me to play a skill tree everyone hates. Hm.
Back then, I sorely needed to upgrade my CPU and motherboard, and SWTOR had this weird memory leak thing going on that affected my game. One day while we were doing Terror From Beyond, back when it was new, my computer completely crapped out on me, and I disconnected while they one-shot the first boss, The Writhing Horror. Great. By the time we got to Operator IX, I needed to log off for some real life stuff. We beat the boss no problem, and I got some pretty good loot from it as well. I told my GM that I had to go, sorry, and he begged me to stay on just a little bit more to help get the chest right around the corner. I left anyway. Pugging must have been some serious task back then. (BTW, I must have been with some bad ass raiders if we were killing everything easily.)
The next morning, he had posted on our guild Facebook a long, mean rant about how we needed to prioritize raid times, and how rude it was to take a stim from him and not even stay the whole time. As a fairly new gamer that just started to really like playing the game, this was so crushing. I felt so bad, and it was uncomfortable to be in the same guild anymore. I was traumatized.
I quit the Guild That Shall Not Bepp Named and joined a friendly little guild, oTb. I don’t even remember what that stood for because it was in Latin. Eventually I had to quit that one too because it became inactive, and that’s when I joined Despair.
Of course now I realize that setting aside time for raid is very important (and I love being on a schedule now), but that first guild leader probably shouldn’t have been so mean about it. For a long time after that, I was also very self-sufficient, being extremely responsible in getting my own stims. I’ve gotten a bit soft on that… Finally, as my guildies will definitely know, my boyfriend no longer plays or has a SWTOR account because I have swiped it from him.
Honestly, I’m surprised with myself that I hadn’t played MMOs prior to this. I liked video games, and I’m a pretty social person. MMOs should have been an easy decision. While I was aware of the stereotype of the guy playing in his parents’ basement, one of my favorite musical artists, Lights, played WoW and she made it seem like it was totally fine for a girl like me to go in headfirst into an MMO. Additionally, I was familiar with internet series The Guild by Felicia Day, and this was one of the other things that made MMOs look really fun and approachable.
What was your first experience like playing an MMO? When did you decide that it was something you really liked? Leave a comment below, and share my blog with your friends! Maybe my old guild leader will end up seeing this blog entry!