Belghast has a post up on the “getting to know you” theme of week 2 of Blaugust. I don’t post about myself that often on this blog, it is about gaming more than anything else. In the spirit of Blaugust, however, I’ll do a post just to give some insight into my own gaming background – no doubt it informs my writing and opinions in ways I’m not even conscious of.
Pen and paper RPGs
I’ve been playing roleplaying games since I got the original ‘purple box’ around age 11, so about three decades. There’s been years where I’ve not had the opportunity to play games at all, but having a virtual tabletop like Fantasy Grounds really helps to make playing with friends easier to schedule.
Over all those years I’ve played many different systems: Dragon Warriors, Dungeons & Dragons in many varieties, RuneQuest, RoleMaster, Shadowrun, Alternity and most recently Starfinder. My desire to play a variety of MMORPGs, something I often write about here, doesn’t end with online gaming.
Thanks to Fantasy Grounds I GM in three active ongoing campaigns: a 3.5 D&D Eberron game, a 5E D&D game and a new Starfinder game. All are rather sporadic, so preparation isn’t that much of a time burden. But with the adding of Eberron to the officially supported settings list for 5E, I’m keen to spend more time on adventuring writing and I do want to get a chance to play more Starfinder, I find the Pact World setting to be really compelling. I’m considering attending one or more conferences in the UK this Autumn to that end, a chance to give ‘organised play’ a go for the first time.
I’ve been gaming with computers, offline, for much longer than my recent focus on MMORPGs. From the 8-bit ZX Spectrum in the 80s, through the Atari ST years and on to the first of many IBM PC-clones – gaming has always been a primary use of any computer for me. Strangely I’ve never been that into console gaming, I guess I’ve always had a computer anyway so consoles are just surplus to requirements for me. I’ve owned a few different playstations and hand-held consoles but the games never captured my interest like PC games.
There are way too many games to name that I’ve played but a few of the greats include: all of the “gold box” SSI D&D titles, Dungeon Master, the Eye of the Beholder trilogy, Doom/Quake and the many clones they inspired, Command & Conquer and all its spin-offs, the Jedi Knight series, the Mech Commander games, KoTOR 1&2, Ascendancy.
Moving into the late 1990s and early 2000s, I got hooked on LAN gaming, multiplayer but small group coop. I made my first home network so I could play Diablo (1) with my husband. We played Icewind Dale 1 & 2 avidly as it had great coop support, likewise we played Baldur’s Gate 1 together as well. Gaming with those became my main focus where ever possible.
Unlike many who blog about games I have a teeny-tiny Steam library, and I’ve bought very few games other than the massively multiplayer for years. I never got excited about steam sales or collected a vast library of games to play because I have so many hours of entertainment ahead of me in the games that I’m already playing. That’s the great benefit, or drawback of MMOs, so much entertainment value that I never find time to play other computer games anymore, not that I really miss them.
Since 2007, and my arrival in Azeroth on the Moonglade server, I’ve been wholly focused on online and multiplayer gaming. Starting with World of Warcraft, but also passing through many other virtual worlds including Warhammer Online, Runes of Magic, Allods, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift, Aion, Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, Star Wars the Old Republic, Everquest 2, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy 14, Elder Scrolls Online, the Secret World, DCUO.
I tend to cycle through games based on expansion releases or other significant patch updates. Of the games I have played; World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online and Secret World Legends are my current most played games. We return to Guild Wars 2 semi regularly for the latest chapters of the Living World, although I’m currently a bit behind. I have plans to return to Dungeons & Dragons Online when we’re fully up to date with the content in the re-launch of Secret World – at some point there’s Ravenloft content to explore. I could also happily return to Neverwinter to see the new Ravenloft campaign in that game, these two Dungeons & Dragons inspired MMOs are very different in their actual gameplay so playing through content with the same story or theme isn’t a problem for me.
So that’s a brief summary of my gaming history, glossing over a great many details, but showing the types of games I play and how I’ve mixed and matched various genres and platforms over the years.