Being (New) TogetherMarch 3, 2011
“What the heck does this boss do?”
“How does that item work?”
“Why does such-and-such do this-and-that?”
Ha, no one knows a damn thing! And guess what? I love it.
Personally, I feel that’s the beauty of playing a new game with everyone else. I like how not one person knows everything and it’s still too early for an all-inclusive website guide to pop up with all the answers. I think that’s part of the reason why I’m having such a good time in Rift. Within the community, now is a time of questions, discovery, speculation, and experimentation. And it’s fun being a part of it all.
It’s bringing to my mind the age old question of “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Well, to be honest, I know if I’d hated Rift, felt no connection to the game at all and didn’t feel it was worth money, I probably would have uninstalled after beta testing and never looked back. Time and money are too important to waste on something you don’t like.
But as I recall, I did like Rift, my first impressions of it being positively so-so. And while I wasn’t completely blown away at the time, I knew of several people who were going to be adventuring in Telara this spring. Peer pressure probably isn’t the most accurate way to describe the situation, but I’m also not going to lie and say that the prospect of playing with others isn’t a factor that ultimately pushed me over the edge to make my purchase. And I’m glad I did. The game has been growing on me ever since beta (around the time the NDA got dropped, coincidence?) and the deeper I get into the game, the more I’m finding to like about it.
Still…the souls, the quests, the rifts and public groups — all fine and good, but I think the game discussions I’ve been seeing everywhere in my Twitter feed, on articles in my blogroll and on the forums I frequent are also a big part of why I’m enjoying myself so much. People are sharing ideas, tips and other neat things they’ve found in-game, and that makes things even more exciting and fun. I’ve been reading some of my comments, for instance, of readers telling me about the random little Easter eggs they’ve come across on their journeys of exploration, and I constantly find myself thinking, “Oh damn, I never knew that! I’m going to have to check that out next time I’m on!”
Plus, nowhere do I discover more things than when I’m online playing with people. When a game is fresh and new, that’s the best time to be playing it with others, in my opinion. I’m not afraid to be a noob — because we’re all noobs. Take something like running a dungeon, for example. It’s like the experience is taken to a whole new level when it’s everyone’s first time, and I certainly don’t mind doing things by trial-and-error even if it means wiping a bunch. Heck, that’s the best part! I like the clean slate, of not only being able to play with my friends but also being able share knowledge with them at the same time, making mistakes and and learning together.
In the past I’ve made friends and built many gaming relationships this way, and it reminds me once again why I love playing MMOs.