MMO gaming from the ultra-casual perspective.

At the request of my bf that is swamped at work, I am writing my first
blog post ever. And ironically, it is about something that a year and a
half ago, I knew virtually nothing about. I am a gaming newb in every
sense of the word. My idea of sitting down to play video games was
Super Mario Brothers 3 circa 1994 . So being introduced to the world
of computer games was overwhelming to say the least. New skills,
buffs, healing, gear, experience…..I thought I was pretty sweet in
mastering up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, BA, select,
start in Contra…this was a bit tougher.

My first gaming experience came in the form of LOTRO. My bf smartly
lured me into it, playing on my slight obsession of the movie trilogy.
After learning the basics, I actually learned to like the game
(although my playing threshold was about one hour max.) I liked how
different players and skills complimented each other in gameplay and I
looked forward to upgrading my gear. But after leveling characters
close to 40, I (we) fell off and got bored with it. That’s when I was
introduced to the motherload of all MMO’s…..World of Warcraft.

I was actually quite adamant about not playing WOW. My bf had had a
slight (understatement of the century) addiction to it, and I wasn’t
about to open up Pandora’s Box. But I gave it a try when he got a
guild together with his old raiding buddies. WOW was beautiful to me
from the start. Everything was bright and picturesque. While LOTRO had
beautiful natural scenery, WOW was more cartoonish and over-the-top,
and the characters were more interesting and unique. I quickly saw how
it could become addicting. Within the first few weeks, I was fiending
for a purple item, or any item to increase my intellect (I was
leveling a mage). And soon we were creeping towards level 70. Playing
with ten man groups was very interesting, although I was terrified
with being the most inexperienced. I definitely pulled too much aggro
often and stumbled into groups of enemies I wasn’t supposed to. And
then there was sheeping… (thank god for marking). All in all, WOW has
been a fun learning experience. But sitting down to run instances for
several hours just seems so trying to me. I thought my threshold of
playing time would increase, but it really hasn’t. I get bored after
an hour or so. My play becomes careless and I stop paying attention to
details. Unfortunately, at this stage of running heroics and such, the
details become vital to a group surviving runs, or at least not wiping
several times. So I think I have found what kind of player I am:
happily casual, with no plans of changing.

I still consider myself a newb even though I have been playing for
over a year now. We have recently returned to LOTRO and I am finding
differences between the two that I would not have picked up on a year
ago. LORTO seems a lot more relaxing to play, rather than the chaotic
feeling I had with WOW (granted we are only level 13). I decided to
take a chance and play a minstrel, so healing will be a whole new
experience for me. I guess my main message to all reading this is the
next time you play with a PUG, keep in mind that they may not just
suck, they may be learning to play. Give them advice instead of
yelling at them. And as for me, I can now finally say: My name is
Ariapantsonfire, and I play computer games.

Edit: Posted unedited from her email. Even having seen everything happen, an interesting read to have it all recapped. Thanks Aria!

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Lord of the Rings Online, MMO design, Site update, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to MMO gaming from the ultra-casual perspective.

  1. mbp says:

    Woot, first comment on your first blog post ever Aria!

    I have made a few unsuccessful attempts to introduce my wife to MMOs. I am pretty sure it is a hopeless cause because she has declared that she doesn’t like games where you have to kill things. She also insists that I sit beside her giving advice which scuppers my plans to play together.

    Mind you she still talks wistfully about the time someone tried to chat up her Night Elf Druid….

  2. slipstreamcc says:

    You wrote a good first post, Aria. We hope to hear more from you in the future. I personally enjoy multiple people posting on blogs. It gives variety in writing style and differing viewpoints.

  3. Nieco says:

    Considering I’m not mentioned once throughout this shoddy wall of text; I would like to declare my utter hatred for this blog entry.

  4. syncaine says:

    Nieco I think the post was mostly about people who we play with, as in, they log on and actually play.

  5. Swift Voyager says:

    Great post. It’s always good to see someone discover the gamer inside them, even if it’s only a casual gamer. Even my baby-boomer parents have games they enjoy, though they hide thier Nintendo DS and laptop computer when friends and family come to visit. :) Gaming is growing more like television all the time. There is such a wide variety of game experiences available that everyone can find something they like, but that doesn’t make a gamer out of them. By posting on a gaming blog you have certainly taken your first step into a larger world. (deliberate Star Wars geek ref)

    My gf will never be a gamer, though she enjoyed kicking my butt in Gran Turismo on PS 1. She just doesn’t have it in her. My daughter on the other hand is already well on her way to becoming a real gamer. She cares for something like 25 Webkinz, along with a Club Penguin account. I let her dig through my old box-O-games and she actually fell in love with homeworld and Civ 4 without any encouragement from me. hehehe, like father like daughter.

    She has asked (begged) for a chance to try Eve because she wants to hang out online with Dad. That’s kinda cool, but I’m not sure a 12 year old girl really needs to be on teamspeak with the alliance (UK and EU guys can be a little crass).

    I don’t want my daughter to get carried away, but I’m glad to have my gf outnumbered 2-1. I was afraid that being the only male in the house would leave me as a minority in all things domestic.

  6. Openedge1 says:

    My wife is a casual player as well, but has done marathons at times…
    What is interesting is that she almost quit MMO’s due to how LOTRO was…

    It seemed oversimplified, and did not have as much to do…she could not find a niche to fall into

    In Guild Wars where she started, it was all about the missions, and the world lent itself to roleplaying, which she liked…and you could play the game single player style…meaning you could hop in, complete something and hop out…

    Then she went to WoW…and there it became the cooking, she loved it, and then she started messing with jewelry, and learned how to work the AH…so to her it was more fun to login, check the AH, cook, etc…so, for that limited time, she had something she could “work over”…like playing the ponies…

    And of these two games, she also stated she enjoyed the way the characters looked…the women were “hot” as she noted…hehe

    Then we played LOTRO…as WoW was becoming boring to us…
    We would say…”Look at how pretty it is…”
    Then she went to the AH…and it just did not work well…stuff was disaorganized, she could not find what she needed as search was broken at times…
    She did not like the food in the game as no one ever used it much…in our guild anyways, or the AH…

    Then the hitting a wall everytime we were the only ones on, and we could not run any major questlines (like the fellowship quests)…and PuG’s were worth their weight in gold…and hard to find..and the standard quests all seemed the same…

    She logged in less and less…then one day, she stopped logging in…
    No matter how much I tried..
    I finally quit as well…as my favorite partner, friend, guild mate, gamer….was gone.
    Then a friend of ours who gamed for 3 years also quit…and there we were
    No more MMO action…

    I played single player games, watched TV…it was a bummer…
    Then, I started to look again…went back to GW (had fun) back to WoW (still boring)
    Then finally loaded up EQ2
    This was the motherload…
    This game had so much…so I finally dragged the wife back…and she was extremely pleased…the game had so much to do…we never have a dull moment now…and a lot of people to play with…
    But, the fact we can log in for an hour or two and accomplish something says a lot…

    Anyways…good luck in your gaming world…and enjoy

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