My first online game was Phantasy Star Online for the Sega Dreamcast. Infact, PSO was the reason I bought a Dreamcast to begin with! Wow. Talk about fantastic memories. Some very funny ones too. I played using a dial phone set up going through Earthlink online service. Then you had to buy a pass to play the game online. You could play the game offline too. But the whole reason to play the game was to play it with 3 other people and just have some fun!
You pretty much just killed stuff and moved on to the next levels, if you were strong enough. You leveled and leveled and leveled and during this time you got tons of different item drops like weapons, armors, and potions. Then you had those precious rare drops that gave you super cool stuff. This was like Diablo on steroids to me. It was also my first social experience online with other gamers.
For someone who would have 10 + people over to play Super Street Fighter 2, you would think I would have not been shy on my first try. But ..... I was. My character name was Optimus3. When I first got online I seen TONS of those comic book circles pop up that had messages in them over the characters/people that were talking. Then all of a sudden I seen tons of "Hey Optimus3! let's play!" type messages come up. Every pop up message had a whiff sound and there was a lot of them. I got scared and cut the game off. Muahahahaha! Optimus3! WuuuuUUUSSSY BOY!" Lol.
After I grabbed a soda I came back and didn't wuss out. I entered the game with others and boy what a world of fun I entered. I started out watching a mage and a ranger doing their thing first. It was cool as I was a swordsman and was interested in how the other classes played. But it was just so cool to bash stuff, play the story line, and especially fight bosses, just begging for those precious rare drops.
Fighting the dragon for the first time, like any other boss in games, was super cool. But fighting with others, figuring out the bosses moves, was awesome. Now someone could talk to you and let you know what to do! Well if you actually needed it.
But talking to people in a game and making friends was a new experience for me. I was used to playing single player RPGS mostly by that time and those days of Street Fighter tournaments was over for me because most of my friends stopped playing games or moved on in life.
I finally found a posse to hang with. We would go into the healing area of the ship and do like a club/guild thing and chat a bit before we would go out and kill stuff. And in the beginning, when there was no cheating going on, the game was just a pure blast because getting new and cool loot was the name of the game.If you got a rare item, it was awesome to show it off to everyone.
Then the blessed little American darling angels decided to cheat, and I forgot how they did it, but they started duping weapons,armors and items. Then they made super items and weapons, like the super omni-powerful +99 Spread Needle Gun, which was totally hacked. Oh yeah, some kid figured out how to erase your characters. That was super scary. This was the reason Japanese gamers stopped playing with American gamers. Japanese gamers hate cheating. Well most do. It is also why it is very hard for American gamers to even play PSO 2 now in Japan.
You could get to level 200. But when you got past 120 it was super duper slow leveling and the monsters were extremely hard to kill. You really needed a good team to help each other move on. But if you had that precious hacked weapon you could go to the hardest levels yourself and level up fast. By the time the game had been out over a year, many were bored and took that Spread Needle +99. I caved in myself and accepted one. The race was on to still try to collect stuff but getting to level 200 was the game now. But even with the Needle gun, it still took forever to level up. I think it would have taken 2 years to get to level 200 legitimately. I don't think I ever got to 200 either.
But after a year or so, and many many hours of play, I was getting bored and was looking for other game experiences. I had a friend who played Ultima Online, but I hated those overhead graphics style play. So I kept looking and read a pc magazine that showed a game called Everquest. Now that game looked really good. But in that same magazine was also another game, the cover game for the magazine, called Dark Age of Camelot. The graphics looked better, the story line was tremendous, and it had 3 realms that battled in pvp battle areas. It had raids for pve and pvp. Getting this game was a must and I went and bought a pc just for this game. It lead to a 10 year love affair that, to this day, has never been duplicated in terms of teamwork, friendship, realm pride, and gameplay. First loves of anything tend to give you those feelings eh? You can better believe I am going to write many blogs on Dark Age of Camelot.
I have been every saddened that America never got PSO 2. But I will be forever grateful to Sega for bringing out such a fun game that brought me into the online gaming world.
I hope that all of you had such a great first online game experience. If you have any stories to share let me know!
Please forgive me for being a little corny but ..... don't forget to unplug from the gaming world and enjoy the greatest game of all, Life. Take care.
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