This coming October it will be exactly three years since I started playing SWTOR and MMO’s in general.
As I said in the introduction post, my first MMO experience was Kung Fu Panda World, which closed down in 2012. I played it for almost a year and enjoyed it a lot, though technically it wasn’t a true MMO so much as an online video game for kids that allowed young players to interact with each other.
I didn’t do any online gaming growing up because I was only allowed to have an hour on the computer, so more often than not I ended up playing one of our PC games. The very concept of online gaming was foreign to me and I didn’t understand how it worked.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I truly got into gaming and began using my hard earned cash to buy Xbox games and my own computer. When SWTOR first came out in 2011, I looked into it because it was Star Wars and made by Bioware, so it had to be awesome, right? But because it was an online game that required downloading, I chickened out and didn’t play it when it first launched. Something I have truly come to regret since because I would have loved being a part of the community when it first started.
I got there in the end. I’m still learning about the game and I haven’t even tried the PVP side of things yet, though I would like to try it out sometime in the near future.
Recently it has come to my attention I may not exactly be a newbie anymore when it comes to certain aspects of the game.
I remember how overwhelming it was when I first started playing. I had no idea what the etiquette’s of an MMO were; couldn’t understand most of what was said in the chat since they were using abbreviations and jargon I didn’t know; and half the time it felt like I was competing with the population to complete all the quests. I made a ton of newbie mistakes by not gearing up or leveling correctly and I was afraid to ask questions because I could see other players trashing newbs on the chat. I ended up learning how to do things on my own or googling how to do something since that was a safer option than getting called names because I didn’t know what I was doing. There were moments when I considered throwing in the towel because I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I thought I would.
That’s actually one of the reasons I haven’t tried playing any PVP yet because I’ve heard so many horror stories of how toxic it is.
Anyway, recently I have found myself able to answer a number of questions someone asks in the chat and I’ve even aided a few people on the first few planets because they needed help defeating someone. I especially jump in if some smart alack refuses to answer their questions since I remember what it was like starting out.
In the last Rakghoul event I found myself promoted to leader all the time during the heroics when I teamed up with others. As a general rule I don’t like to take charge…either in real life or in a game, so if at all possible I hand over the reigns to someone else. However, more often than not I ended up taking charge because the people I grouped up with didn’t like being the leader anymore than I did. I also found myself having to play the role of support even when my characters weren’t built for that.
A number of times I was the last man standing because the others died in spite of my attempts to keep them alive. Sometimes I managed to kill the boss on my own and other times I died as well. I suggested we get a healer for our group, but most of them didn’t want to wait that long and one of us ended up leaving the group so someone could summon their companion. There were other times when I would also have to play tank with a DPS character to get the boss off someone else’s back for awhile to let them recuperate.
After doing this several times I was beginning to wonder what in the world was going on and it had to be pointed out to me that maybe I was more experience than them and knew what I was doing. That boggled my mind because I’m used to always being the newbie of the bunch. It never occurred to me that I was the more experienced one in the group.
That got me thinking, when do we start classifying ourselves as seasoned players? I’m still a relative newb to the game. I don’t know the answers to everything and I’m still learning new stuff all the time, but it’s gratifying to know that I’m slowly transitioning into a better gamer.
With that in mind I now keep an eye out for anyone who might be struggling or need help with something because I don’t want them to have the problems I had starting out. As a community we need to lift each other up, not tear each other down. I am happy to say that lately the community does seem to be getting better and there’s less toxicity than there was three years ago.