There have been a few bloggers lately posting about going back to games that they haven’t played for a while. A sort of trip down a virtual memory lane. The latest is Stargrace of MmoQuests who has just reinstalled Everquest 1, and is finding it a bit frustrating remembering how to do everything.
This all started because Tipa of the West Karana blog recently challenged her readers to go back and get into the MMORPGs that they played a long time ago.
I must admit I gave it a bit of thought. I recently mentioned that a few months ago I checked out Anarchy Online, only to find it much the same as Stargrace is finding EQ. But this new wave of nostalgia making the rounds got me thinking about my first MMORPG, Asheron’s Call. So I checked it out.
I got as far as the web page for Asheron’s Call before I had second thoughts. Perhaps if I wasn’t focusing on getting to 70 with my WoW hunter, didn’t have an EQ 2 Shadow Knight on the backburner, a lifetime subscription to LotRO, and an eagerness to play Age of Conan when it is released in a month, I might have been more inclined to reload AC.
In a lot of ways the cliche — You can never go home again — is completely true.
Maybe it’s the law of first impressions, but the first MMORPG that a player gets into is often looked on more fondly than later games, even if those later games were better. With AC being my first game, I still find myself being influenced when judging new MMOs. I have some great memories of that game.
AC had a lot of great features. Big world, great story and lore, regular monthly updates, an interesting magic system, and an innovative use of armor and weapons. It also had a sense of wonder. I recall traveling across the countryside to climb a mountain to see what the view was like, something I still do occasionally.
I know that if I did reload Asheron’s Call, I would be disappointed. The game is old. There were a number of flaws, especially economic. The interface is now quite dated, and I’m not sure how they manage quests anymore. I expect that the features of modern MMORPGs, absent from the early models, would be too much missed.
Trips down memory lane are not all they’re cracked up to be. Everyone has experience at some time or other, returning to a place of fond memories, only to find that the memories had glossed over many of the negatives.
Nostalgia is best left where it belongs. In the memory.