While watching TV the other day, something reminded me of one of my many grisly deaths in various MMOs over the years. It made me chuckle, so I am going to share some of them with you in hopes that you’ll likewise be amused.
I am by no stretch of the imagination a hardcore player; I dabble in MMOs, flitting from one alt to the next, often for just a few hours before moving on. When I do find a character I like, I hang onto to her (I rarely play dudes) tenaciously. It’s almost an emotional attachment, like crying when your first Sims 2 character bites the dust because hey! You made them!
My first Internet death happened in GemStone III. Early on, I wandered out of town toward an area called Coastal Cliffs, mapping.
Nowadays, mappers like Brasse are very skilled folk; their maps are works of art. I had no experience in it at all. I drew little boxes on graph paper and wrote in them; not too unusual as I was playing a text-based game. But I have never yet observed any other text game mappers to actually write entire sentences in their maps, as I did. I used red ink to indicate key words in the room so that I could quickly tell where I was by glancing at the map, but in essence I was writing the world into tiny squares on paper.
This went rather well until I fell into a pit and broke my leg. I eventually died from pain and suffering as this area wasn’t heavily traveled and there weren’t any clerics available to rez me.
Back in the day on GEnie, time really was money. Access to the Internet was charged by the hour and some hours cost more than others. Clerics who could resurrect were highly valued folks as there weren’t as many of them; you could play for several hours, if you could afford it, and not run across one. If you remained dead in the game without clerical intervention, your body eventually decayed. You could respawn in town then dash madly out into the countryside to retrieve your gear and hope some random creature (critter or player) hadn’t wandered by in the meanwhile and swiped your unattended mace of doom.
That’s why there was The Temple.
The Temple was a bulletin board “room” to which we dead folk would retire to, waiting for a cleric. But the hourly cost still applied while you were on the boards, so often folks would email a cleric they knew and say, “I’ll be in the Temple at X-time.” The cleric could drop in to confirm you were online before they logged into the game. Some folks even had their favorite cleric’s phone number to ensure swift resurrection and return to play.
Game mechanics changed, for various and sundry reasons. Clerics abounded once the game was live on AOL. Non-clerics could carry about potions to stave off corpse decay. I stopped tediously mapping areas once I realized that other folks had better looking and easier to obtain maps. By paying more careful attention to my surroundings and the critters in the area, I stopped dying in remote areas so frequently.
And somewhat oddly, since it’s the area in which I met my first demise, Coastal Cliffs remains my favorite place in GSIII. I guess it’s because I was so happy there, discovering a new-fangled internet game that formed the basis for my current career and meeting cool people who are still my friends today.
Want to meet some of the cool people I’ve known since waaaaay back when? Want to meet other gamers, share experiences and find out more about what it’s like to be a woman working in the games industry itself?
G.I.R.L. has a group on Facebook! Join up and check it out! You won’t have to map your way around or fall into any pits while there. I promise.