How One MMO Changed Gaming For Me

Drastic Changes In Character Choices

QUESTIONSChoosing what character you play defines your entire MMO experience.  It’s a big decision.  When i’m choosing what classes to play in games, I make it very personal.  I take it personally.  A hero or character I play has to follow a pre-defined archetype that matches my personal views.  When I started playing MMOs, there were constants that ruled my choices:

  • The good guys.
  • Human characters.
  • Melee classes
  • Tank or DPS roles.

Before The Change

Going back, way back, I played a Human Paladin in EverQuest.  I tried a Bard, and a Beastlord, both difference races, but just didn’t make it nearly as far.

Star Wars Galaxies was next. I played a Human, but tried several different classes with him.  All ranged.  The one I enjoyed most was a Rebel Commando.

World of Warcraft was Paladin and Warrior at first, both Human.  This all changed with the Cataclysm expansion to World of Warcraft, and the introduction of Worgen.  I’m so glad I had the chance to bring Worgen into this!  Truth is, i’m a canine fanatic.  I love dogs.  The Worgen models just look(ed) perfect to me.  My friends commented on this change too.  I went from all Human characters, to almost exclusively Worgen, even adding a feral druid.  Still, all melee, and all tank or DPS roles.

When I left World of Warcraft to play SWTOR, I started with a Human Jedi Knight.  Yet another melee character.  Then one day, for some reason I can’t recall, I tried a Human Smuggler.  Wow.  Ranged rocked my world.  I main that Smuggler to this day, almost exclusively, in SWTOR.

When I started playing League of Legends right before leaving WoW, a champion had to look good to me.  It also had to have some neutral to good lore behind it.  By the time I stopped playing LoL (that time), I owned all the champions that met my criteria.  They were all either Tank or Damage champions.

The Game That Changed Things

Guild Wars 2.  What a great game.  I played a Human Warrior to max level.  As time went on, I wanted to try the Guardian class.  I had decided to try the Charr race one day because their lore piqued my interest.  I played both a ranged and melee support build on my Warrior.  The Guardian was melee, as well as support.  I enjoyed both characters thoroughly, and would love to return to Guild Wars 2 someday.

Trying to make sense of things, this is when I think whatever changed, changed.  It was about November of 2012 when I found my support role love in Guild Wars 2.  February of 2013 was when I left the game.  Playing a support role in GW2 was the biggest change to date at this point.  Before this was over a decade of gaming.  Worth mentioning is that my Warrior support build was extremely successful, and is one of the most visited pages on my site to date.

Chaos Theory Continues

Over a year later, the addition of the Clarion to the Galactic Starfighter expansion arrived in SWTOR.  The Clarion became my favorite ship/class.  It is a heavy, heavy support role, akin to a healing class.  To this day I still avoid all other healing classes in all MMORPGs.  The playstyle just doesn’t appeal to me.   GSF however, remains a small victory in regards to making healing fun.  Moving on!

I came back to LoL (for the third time), I found myself gravitating towards some of the old champions I had passed on before.  Some had a darker lore than I had gone for in the past.  Some even had the same old aesthetic.  It was such a drastic change for me that my friends commented on it.  My affinity for support roles extended into League as well.  I became a fan of some popular support champions.

After returning to World of Warcraft, I picked up a Death Knight for the very first time.  Death Knights were always a non starter.  I didn’t like whole undead thing.  Paladins and the Light are the foundation of what I like about Warcraft.  Meanwhile, my next stop was boosting a Worgen Hunter (ranged) to 90, and leveling it to 100.  Currently, i’m loving both characters.

Things Begins To Take Shape

All of these changes continue to affect my experience with Heroes of the Storm.  I like Brightwing, a non-human, support role.  Falstad, a non-human ranged class, is also a Hero I enjoy.  Most recently, I really, really love Arthas, the evil Lich King.  At first, I steered clear of him.  It’s pretty cool to see the last two years repeat itself over the last four months.

Reading over what I’ve written so far, I think only two things have really changed.  My stance on the good (or at least neutral) guys, and my enjoyment of support roles.  I’m a little more forgiving on the good versus evil front now.  Redemption-related lore stands out to me as a big factor.  And while I don’t have any support roles in WoW per se, the Warrior class relies just as heavily on a support class, as a support class would rely on a DPS class.  I also have a ton of support role options in both Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends now.

As for melee versus ranged, I think the setting may have a lot do with it.  Star Wars is all about blasters.  There are Jedi with Lightsabers, but far fewer in number than your troopers and everyday galactic citizens.  Perhaps this is my inner join-the-crowd psyche speaking.  Maybe I tend to like whatever the predominant weaponry is.  Knights and soldiers rule the battlefield imagery in my mind for Warcraft.  The Human racial choices have always been about the visuals.  I just didn’t like the character models of other races in games to that point.  Once a visually appealing race came along (Worgen!), I didn’t hesitate to go all in.

This has all occurred over less than a years time.  I can’t really explain why either.  I guess becoming more tolerant isn’t a bad thing.  Still, I’d like to know what things affect me so profoundly.  I think that understanding yourself helps you make better decisions.  Did I waste a decade of gaming playing all the wrong classes?  Is it more important to my enjoyment that I like the visuals, or the game play more?

Deep thoughts, for sure.  I’ll finish on a lighter note.  I wouldn’t trade all my time for anything.  The one thing I have learned apart from all this in the last year is that friends are the deciding factor in gaming for me.  No matter what I like in a game, or how much I like it, without friends it’s game over.

What have you learned about your gaming preferences?

2 Comments

  1. I also enjoyed my MANY hours in GW2. Although not related to gameplay, it’s no lie that Arenanet’s pay model made this game even more appealing to me. So, with the combination of great classes mixed with a buy2play model making a game more fun than others, I have to recommend another title for you: Elder Scrolls Online.

    This past weekend, I was given the chance to return to the Elder Scrolls Universe with Zenimax’s “Welcome Back to Tamriel” free weekend pass. This pass was given to all of us that played back in beta (I played at two different events during the beta), yet had not become part of the Elder Scrolls Online community.

    I was blown away by the difference in beta/launch and what I experienced this past weekend. Although not a lot of time for leveling, I nonetheless found myself enjoying every aspect of it. I ended up rolling up 2 different characters (just to see the differences…and there were plenty) and getting each of those up to around 7 or 8. That might not sound like a lot of levels, but the levels don’t really represent the time invested in the game as it might in other MMO’s. I played close to 25 total hours over the course of the weekend, and found my time well-spent.

    I’m not going to do a review of the game, but I do want to say that I WILL be picking this game up, and hopefully very soon. There are several copies on ebay that are unopened, and Green Man Gaming has a VIP price of $46.00 through Friday. I love that this game is now a Buy 2 Play game with optional subscription. The cash shop in the game is very unobtrusive and seems to be very tasteful in what they offer. It mainly looks cosmetic (other than the horses…a very good investment for spending money on, from what I’ve read), and it doesn’t constantly try to sell you something while your playing.

    The freedom of the class system is something that you may like as well. Zenimax has done wonders in the past year to improve this game, and they have some good upcoming patches/content as well. The game runs wonderfully, even on max settings (my pc isn’t low end, but it is starting to become dated). It’s very stable, with little to no lag, and practically non-existent frame rate drops.

    I’m looking forward to returning to Tamriel soon. You may want to visit as well. 🙂

    • I’ve never played Skyrim, or any of the other titles in the Elder Scrolls franchise. I have heard the game got better recently, compared to how bad it was at first. Freedom in a class system does sound good, but with GW2’s expansion coming soon, i’m already a little more invested in that. I like to dedicate myself to the games I play. Hopping from title to title can be expensive, and then I end up feeling like I’ve wasted my time if I don’t like it. Kinda like I did with Wildstar. That game looked like it had an awesome end game, but I just couldn’t get there.

      Enjoy Tamriel! If you stick with it, i’d be interested to hear how it compares with GW2.

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