We all have regrets about many things in life, and for the most part, there’s nothing to be done about them (unless there is). What’s past is past, as they say, and it might seem silly to harbor any regrets whatsoever when it comes to video games.
But you know what? I have a few. Not a lot, but a few that I wish I could have gone back to correct, mostly so that I wouldn’t have missed out on a few things. When it comes to MMOs, here are six regrets that I still keep tucked inside.
1. Not really knowing about MMOs in the 1990s
Most of my (scant) gaming information in the 1990s came either from friends or the occasional issue of PC Gamer. And I honestly don’t recall if I ever saw anything mentioned about online gaming. It might have been there and I might have ignored it, since I didn’t really get my own internet connection until 1999. Still, it is regrettable that I was ignorant of things like text-based MUDs, Ultima Online, and other early pioneers of MMOs. I think I would’ve flipped at the novelty if I had known at the time.
2. Being too afraid to get into MMOs
There were two primary factors of why it took me a little longer than it should’ve to get into MMOs. The first was being on dial-up until the mid-2000s (what’s a cable modem?) and the second was allowing myself to be intimidated by the complexity and arcane interfaces of the few games that existed. I must have picked up EverQuest and Asheron’s Call boxes dozens of times to look them over and then put them back because I didn’t want to buy 6 expansions and try to figure out how to play without any sort of guide.
3. Skipping out on Star Wars Galaxies
In hindsight, I really should’ve been all over this game. I was primed for MMO gaming by 2003, I always loved the Star Wars franchise, and gradually this game grew to include a lot of features that I think I would’ve enjoyed (like housing and space combat). But reading the Prima guide prior to launch made SWG sound like the most boring, needlessly complex, and aimless game ever, and I wanted no part of it. Later on, it felt like it was too late to join the party, and eventually it closed down entirely. #regret
4. Not sticking with City of Heroes longer
Don’t get me wrong, I played the heck out of City of Heroes for the first couple of years, but that was back in the subscription-only era and I ended up choosing World of Warcraft later on. I have great memories from those early years but I do wish that I had maintained better contact with the MMO in its last half-decade or so. I miss that game.
5. Rerolling so often that I have a hard time getting characters through an MMO
Granted, this doesn’t happen all of the time, and there are plenty of occasions where I do level up a character to the cap (even multiple times), but when I think of all of the characters that I ditched and the time spent on them that could’ve been used to something a little more long-lasting, I wince.
6. Not being able to play all of the MMOs that I want to
This is a total pampered gamer whine and feel free to ignore it, but I’m constantly racked by mild self-doubt over the fact that I’m playing Game A when Game B is getting ignored while still moving forward without me. Some days, you just want to play All The Things.