This is difficult. On the one hand I could regale you with a ton of great stories, but that would bore everyone but me. So I’ll settle for four good ones.
The Priest and the Paladin
My main charater in WoW was a Human Paladin named Kohen – a transliteration of the Hebrew word for “priest.” The overwhelming majority of people I ran into did not know that – or if they recognized it, probably chalked it up as coincidence. But one day in my questing, I ran into an Elf Priest – I don’t remember the specifics -whether I bailed him out of an add or vice versa. But he asked about my name – “Are you really a priest?” I replied no, I just know Hebrew, I’m actually a pastor. Then I said, I’m guessing you are Jewish? “Actually,” he said, “I’m a rabbi.” We had a good laugh over that, even more so when I pointed out that we had carried our religious stereotypes into the virtual world – I was a very western crusader and he was a priest for somewhat ostracized people of ancient tradition. I wish I had thought to write down his name. I’m sure its on my friend list somewhere, but I don’t remember now what it was. Just think what a podcast we could have done!
When I was playing EQOA it was in the month leading up to and the years following the birth of my first child. It was a rough time for us, financially and emotionally, with a long distance move, job loss, culture shock, and several other things going on. I got a private message on our guild’s forums from a husband and wife duo that played with us. They let me know that in real life, they were actually managers of a Baby’s R Us store. And if there was anything I needed – diapers, formula, etc. – to let them know and they would be happy to send me anything I needed so long as I was willing to cover shipping for it. Thankfully, I never had to take them up on that offer, but wow. Just offering it was great. It drove home that what I wanted most in a guild was a sense of community and family.
When Bloggers Unite
This is still one of my favorite MMO memories. This is the only time I have been side by side playing online with another blogger. I just never seem to be in the right game or the right place or the right level or the right time. I’ve been close – I joined Rowan‘s guild in GW2, and I’ve been in chat with Ysharros in EQ2. I’ve extended invitations to play in WoT to Kirith and to Wilhelm. But nothing has ever come to fruition. It was fun running around with someone I was at least acquainted with, and to see our varying takes on our respective blogs in the days to follow.
Hitting max level for the first time ever in an MMO. An unforgettable event.
I could put a dozen others here. Truth is I have a lot of fond memories in MMO’s. Should I tell you about the early MMO games where dungeons were open world and quest drops happened if you needed the quest or not, and how that lead to awesome guild events where the entire guild would run a dungeon together, grabbing drops for everone? Or watching retiring guildies throw themselves into the volcano outside Klik’Anon as a way to “say goodbye” to the game? Or the time I got 8 kills in a WoT match and completely dominated? Or the first time my brother and I, who grew up on PnP RPG’s got to adventure together in a virtual world?
If you get right down to it – these memories are the reason I play MMO’s, even down to the present day. These games exist for making memories. Everything else is just icing on the cake.