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6 MMO regrets I have

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.

7 thoughts on “6 MMO regrets I have

  1. You would have loved SWG and hated it.
    It was both incredibly amazing and incredibly boring all rolled into one. Imagine running across Tatooine, it was gorgeous and would take hours of running to get anywhere.

    Check out the SWG Emu project. They have done a great job so far and the community is fantastic!

  2. I was playing EQ while SWG was being developed. At that time as you know MMOs were relatively scarce and I was generally excited to try any that came along. Given my love of Verant/SOE/DBG’s MMOs in particular and the fact I already had an account all set up and ready to add SWG, it seems odd in retrospect that I never even thought of trying it until long after the NGE had changed it out of all recognition.

    The reason was exactly what you describe: everything I read about SWG made it sound overdesigned, directionless and dull as ditchwater. The graphics seemed to be archaic even by the standards of the day and of course i’m not and never have been much of a Star Wars fan.

    Unlike you, though, I don’t regret giving SWG the skip: clearly it was a very lucky escape. Think about it – either we were wrong, the game was amazing and we’d now be part of that bitter, jaded cult that can neither forgive nor forget, or we were right and we’d have wasted time and money both on a boring snorefest.

    Either way I think we dodged a bullet.

  3. I regret not having the hardware to play a few now extinct MMOs at decent settings for the few years they were out. Tabula Rasa, for example, really sucked at the settings I was forced to play it on and was gone by the time I got my next PC. Of course that was also a case of poor design. It came out in an interview that roughly half of their players were having to use the minimum settings at the same time I was.

    I also regret never having tried Matrix Online. It sounds as if it was a really unique MMO I would have liked to at least set foot in. There are a few others that came and went before I got around to them that I regret.

    Oddly, that still doesn’t yet motivate me to run out and try any of the titles out now that are on my back burner. Fallen Earth, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Guild Wars 1 and 2, Tera, and Wildstar are all on my list, but I know I’m much more likely to fire up LoTRO or EQ II this weekend than try one of them.

  4. I don’t think I have a lot of big MMO regrets. There are a few games that I would have liked to try but shut down before I had a chance to: Tabula Rasa, City of Heroes, Matrix Online. I don’t know if I would have liked any of those, but it’s a shame I’ll never get to find out.

  5. I’m not sure you would have gotten much out of the text-based MUDs. I tried some of them as a teen (say between ’93 and ’96), but they were a lot of work (trial and error with commands) for not a ton of reward. I loved text-based adventures when we first got a computer in the 80s, but by the time I discovered MUDs, they were just something to tinker around in briefly before going back to more interesting things. Seemed more geared for adults, anyway.

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