I played my first MORPG (not Massively, but definitely Multiplayer) game on AOL way back in 1996. It was a single server that would hold 500 people at any given time. The name of this game? AD&Ds Neverwinter Nights. This was the original online gaming social fest for me. In 1997, AOL shut it down and I have never been the same since. I have been trying to recreate the fun and adventure I had in that game without much luck.
With nothing better to do, I joined TEN (Total Entertainment Network) and picked up AD&Ds Dark Sun Online. Graphically, it was a much better game. Overall, it lacked the fun factor I had experienced in oNWN.
Soon after, I jumped into Ultima Online and it was fun and all of the old NWN guild came along. We were a thriving group of 50 or so players. We had a good social network and we enjoyed working together for a goal. However, it lacked something. I could never put my finger on it, but this was no oNWN.
Well, I think I finally know what it was missing. The recreation of the paper and pen D&D games I had enjoyed through my late teens. Meeting once a week with the same group of people to make it just a little further down the path set before us. It was exciting and enjoyable. It was social and fun gaming all at the same time. The one thing it was not was about getting “Phat Lewt”. Sure, we loved getting cool new items, but we always put the need of the group before the needs of the individual.
This is the problem with todays MMORPGs. They are all about the reward and never about the adventure. They require the efforts of large groups, yet only reward the individual. They are about instant gratification and never about the adventure.
I can hope this will chance soon. Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach may be just the game to bring me back to the days of Neverwinter Nights on AOL. It may not appeal to the “l33t G4merZ”, but it should appeal to those of you who are just like me. Looking for the adventure along the way rather than the reward at the end. If this sounds like something you are interested in, check out this article on DnD Vault. It goes a long way to describing what type of adventure you can expect to find in the new Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. In the meantime, Ill keep my fingers crossed that my Beta application will be accepted so I can get my first taste of adventure.