I’m fairly new to the magical world of MMORPGs, but despite that, I do feel like I’ve had ‘the experience’ – and by that I mean that I’ve gone through the myriad of feelings towards my game (Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, if you must know) that millions of other people around the world have also felt when logging into their own online multiplayer time-sink of choice. Today, I’ll be taking a look at twelve of the things that we’ve all experienced, at one point or another, during the course of playing our beloved MMOs:
1. The Endless Grind
This one goes without saying: MMOs have a nonstop grind to at least try your best to keep up with. With each and every new patch comes more content to play through, new weapons to acquire, new dungeons to play and new raids to take on… The grind never does end and always feels a little overwhelming, but it keeps everything exciting and ensures there’s always something to do, even if you can’t muster up the energy to run those extreme Primals again.
2. Feeling Like a N00b
I can totally relate to this one: the scary feeling of being a tiny, new fish in a very, very large and established pond. Having to ask for help with battle mechanics and not quite knowing how to play your class or job well is always saddening, and sometimes intimidating. That said, there will come a turning point while you’re playing that something will just click, and BAM! You suddenly know what you’re doing – and then maybe, like me, you’ll look at all the new players with some strange in-game maternal instinct, wanting to teach them the ways of the MMO and make sure they’re well geared. Awww, so cute!
3. Death by Lag
This is especially real for me; being an Aussie with a terrible internet connection means there are just some things I cannot do in-game. Too many times I have died at the hands of Titan – so many wipes because my internet lags behind and I can’t quite move out of that AOE fast enough. It’s best to have an understanding party when you absolutely have to take part in these encounters, otherwise you might end up encountering some pissed off folks who are trying to clear the events.
4. New Lingo
AOE, DPS, tank, RMT, aggro, bot, crit, debuff, dex… These words may not mean anything to you – and if you’re a newbie you might not be able to keep up – but as with anything in life, just give it some time and you’ll be speaking in abbreviations before long, too!
5. Gear Envy
No matter how much of a seasoned veteran of the game you are, there will always be someone who is even better than you. The grind for high-level, awesome-looking gear is strong in an MMO, and there’s always some new stuff coming out – so even if you’ve just got the latest, it won’t be for very long. For a fashionista like myself, I look at the other female players in the game and examine what they’re wearing. And if it’s more chic than what I’m wearing and they look way better, I’ll have to go and buy that piece of gear immediately, which leads me well into…
6. Being Poor
Oh, this. Oh, this one. Making money in an MMO can be very daunting and difficult if you are new. You can pick up a crafting class to make gear to sell, or you can sell items that you farm from dungeons, and so on. There are so many ways to make money, but it can be an overwhelming process to go from rags to riches. Just look at all the game oldbies and their millions; meanwhile, you have a few thousand that you’re clinging onto. Help me, I’m poor.
7. Real Money Traders
Real Money Traders (RMT) are the scourge of the MMO world; at least, they are in Final Fantasy XIV. As soon as a new patch has dropped, you can guarantee these little buggers will be relentlessly pestering you to visit their dodgy sites to part with your real money in order to get some in-game cash quickly. For the poor players among us, the temptation is there, but it is against the rules – so much so that if the game mods were to find out you’d gotten that easy million from the gaming black market, you’ll have your account closed faster than you can say kerching.
In social games like MMOs, you are bound to come across some strange characters, but none so fun as that one person (or maybe a handful) that you will find on every server that has been through every guild and gotten the boot for various reasons. For their transgressions, they start to gain a little bit of infamous celebrity status. Maybe you are this person. All I can say is, when you happen to stumble across said infamous character, you might immediately inform your guild of what they’re doing: “Omg, I just saw X and they were completely being a prat during the event”. If you’re not that person, you’re certainly thinking of them right now. Of course, they aren’t all ‘famous’ for bad reasons, there are often a few characters on a server who are well known and completely beloved just for… well, being there!
9. Angry Dungeon-Goers
These sort of fall under the infamous tag, but not quite. The angry dungeon-goer is a staple feature of the MMO. Their favourite phrases are based around a repertoire of passive-aggressive questions and statements and they are impatient and unforgiving. They can be quite aggressive in their approach to trying to complete a dungeon; they will pick up on your every mistake and generally make the game a lot less fun for a little while. The best way to deal with these people is to either laugh at them, or just ignore them. Have fun with your game – otherwise, what’s the point?
10. Really Beautiful Scenery
I can’t speak for all MMOs here, but at least in Final Fantasy XIV I can say that the scenery is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in any game. The weather changes, day turns to night, and the world comes alive with people from all over the globe running around. From the snowy cliffs of Coerthas Central Highlands, to the idyllic beaches of Costa del Sol, time can be wasted just drinking in the surroundings of Eorzea… Ahhhhh, bliss.
11. Really Cool and Awesome People
MMORPGs are probably the most social gaming experiences you can have. You can join guilds and play together, talk to each other, interact with your avatars and it feels like a real world to get away and get lost in. The people you’ll find in MMOs (not including the weirdos, pervs, angry people, trolls, and RMT) are some of the nicest people around. They’ll make sure you pass every dungeon, gear you up, and be there for you when you’re having personal trouble, too. They’re awesome.
World of Warcraft addiction is real, people. Of course, if you play MMOs then you already know this. It’s hard to stop playing. There is no real end to an MMO, and they’re such social games that for many people their friendships revolve around playing in these fantastic, virtual worlds – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
With all things considered, it is fair to say I’m a huge fan of my MMORPG, and I love the social element it has. I doubt I’d stick around in such a huge game without friends to play with, and while it makes me want to tear my hair out sometimes, I love playing it, and I love the grind, I love the lingo, I love the scenery; heck, I even love the minor celebrities on the server… I love MMOs!
I play on Final Fantasy XIV’s Sargatanas server as Liara Lavender – hit me up if you ever want to run some dungeons or take down some Primals!