So I thought I would start things off with a post about my gaming history, etc. just to give you an idea of where I am coming from when I write about these topics. Also, let me make clear from the beginning that I keep my gaming persona as separate from my real life as possible. You will not get posts from me about what my dog is doing, going out to lunch with a friend, or workplace gossip. I value my privacy and keep those aspects of my life distinct from what I choose to share on my blog or online generally. And besides, I would think that the reason you are coming here is to read about MMO's... not what I ate for breakfast. :P
But as I said in my first post, I've been gaming for nearly as long as I could walk and talk. My parents bought me an Atari 2600. I begged and pleaded with them for a Nintendo. I owned a Gamecube, Xbox, and Playstation 2 all at the same time. I've dropped more money on gaming PC's than I have on cars in my adult life. So video games have always been a part of my life to one degree or another. These days that manifests itself mostly in my interest in online games, specifically MMO's. I do still play other games, but it is the MMO genre that attracts most of my attention.
I got started in MMO's with a game that really doesn't quite fit the term, Guild Wars. At the time I thought it was the most amazing game I had ever played, and looking back, it was still pretty good times. It was a good way to be introduced to the concept of an MMO without really "jumping in" with both feet. But I was so impressed I even remember posting on a fan site that ArenaNet (the GW developer) had a fan for life and I would be buying all their expansions and sequels. Yeah... that didn't so much happen (and GW2 is still vaporware half a decade later.)
It didn't happen because in the course of my time in GW someone I was playing with introduced me to World of Warcraft. I know, I know... I just lost half of you. "zomg wow was his first mmo!" Yes, yes it was. And I am far from alone in that distinction. But let's be honest, WoW may be far from perfect, but it is far from terrible as well, especially in its earlier forms. I won't get into a huge discussion at this point about WoW's "peaks and valleys," as that could be fodder for an entire month's worth of posts. Suffice to say I abandoned GW for WoW and never looked back. I played and enjoyed WoW for nearly five years and was one of many players who said "enough is enough" when Cataclysm turned out to be a huge disappointment.
So since leaving WoW in early 2011, I've "bounced around" the MMO universe a bit. I spent a few months with RIFT, which turned out to be a disappointment. It was like WoW... except without any of the content. I gave Star Trek: Online a chance, but every time I was forced to do a ground mission, I hated the game more and more. And I've tried my hand at several free-to-play games... Runes of Magic, Forsaken World, Rusty Hearts, etc. It really bothers me that so many people think F2P is the "future" of MMO's, because there is a reason most of these games are free....... they suck. I'm sorry, but I've yet to encounter an F2P game that struck me as decent, or worth spending a dime on. I would much rather pay per month for a fully-featured and supported game than get "nickel'd and dime'd" by these half-ass, clunky cash grabs. But that too, is a topic for another day.
Altogether, I am far from a novice in terms of my experience with MMO's or gaming in general. Does that make my opinion any better than someone else's? Not at all. But it does mean that I have some understanding of the things I'm speaking of and not just ranting off the top of my head. Heck if you want ranting, just try the official forums of just about any MMO. You'll get all the whining, moaning, complaining, and unsubstantiated opinions you can stand. Hopefully you'll keep coming back here for a bit more... insightful analysis. :)