EDITORIAL: Frank's Addiction to the MMOs

In the past, I have mentioned, at least I hope I have, that I have a long-standing love-hate relationship with the world of MMORPGs. I have played a few of them, some I visited in depth, and others I kinda just drove through, and checked out the scenery and then left without so much as a second thought. And I have learned a lot about life, and the pursuit of fetch quests. So, if you will indulge me, as I wait for the release of Iron Man 3, I'd like to take you into the depths of my madness. Follow me, after the jump to see just why I keep coming back to these horrific realms of digital crack.

As an aside, we are working on the final preparations for the new site to go live... If all goes well, it should be up and running before the end of May. So, I am now in a race to see which member of the Slamfist team will be the last to post on this site, and who will be the first to post exclusively on the new site. We shall see how that turns out... now, back to the reason for this post.

As I am driving home from work today, stopped at the longest red light ever, I see a notification on my phone that the Neverwinter Open Beta is finally here. This is notable for a few reasons:
1) It is a new MMO, and thus I am practically obligated to try it out
2) It is a free Beta, so... Why the hell not?
3) New Character creator to play with!

That third item is my weakness. I will admit freely, that my Kryptonite is creating an infinite array of new and visually different characters. Games like City of Heroes and Champions Online would keep me occupied for days on end, just fiddling with the most minute details of my characters. Creating hulking freaks of nature, or beautiful creatures, I did it all.

The obsession actually started with offline games, however. Back in college, one of my roommates was obsessed with wrestling games, and would pick up every WWF (yeah, this was before they decided to become the WWE) game known to man, and then we would spend inordinate amounts of time, trying to create the craziest characters our sleep-deprived brains could conceive of. Over time, this evolved into trying to create digital representations of ourselves, or digital representations of famous actors, or cartoon characters, or...well... you get the picture.

I didn't venture into online gaming until 2004 when a little game called Final Fantasy 11 happened to show up on my radar. Before too long, I had created members of every race, job and gender, and I think I may have actually spent more time playing with the character creator, then I did grinding for those first few levels.

I moved through the games after that, at an almost dizzying pace. Picking up expansion packs, and new MMOs faster than my bank account seemed to be able to handle. Everquest 2, WoW, City of Heroes, Champions Online, Star Wars the Old Republic, Rift, Guild Wars, DCU: Online, Guild Wars 2...

In fact, as I write this, I am queued up to enter the land of Neverwinter... staring at the latest creation, that will soon join the pile of my other discarded digital children. And this one is doomed, just because of how many options I was offered when creating her. This game, may very well have my favorite character creator yet... and that is saying quite a bit.

And, what will make this post most interesting to me, is that the entire thing was conceived, composed, and posted while I waited just to enter the world of Neverwinter... While I pondered the next creation, I decided to post about my obsession with creation...

So as I approach the end of my rambling, if you happen to be making an MMO, and want my money, all you have to do... is make that character creator fun, and super-customizable, and you will be guaranteed my funds... and at least a small portion of my time.

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