What is MMO March?

Here at GoPlayThat Towers, we try to cover a wide variety of games, from indie discoveries, to major releases. From puzzlers, to shooters and even walking simulators. However, there is one type of game that has eluded our gaze until now: the MMORPG.

To do this properly and to truly judge the experience, this will require the whole team to drop tools and group together. MMOs are primarily a social experience and for the best shot of us all having a good time, we are going to spend the entire month (or more?), playing together. Rob and Tom have never played an MMO, so to break them in, we felt it was right to seek out a game that truly embodies what the genre is capable of. The chosen game is World of Warcraft - the most popular subscription MMO, with 11 years under its belt and arguably the best game in the genre. Connoisseurs of the genre may wince at that last sentence, but regardless of your opinion of WoW, you've played it and you have an opinion on it. Now it's our time to express ours.

Join us as we embark on a journey into discovering Azeroth. The first time for some of us, the first time in many years for the rest. Throughout the month we will stream, talk and write of our experiences and discover if a group of people scattered around Europe with full-time jobs and partners are capable of enjoying an MMO in 2016.

THE RULES (cos rules are fun!)

  • No help from outsiders. Others can join us in our adventure (feel free to reach out to us!), but we won't accept money, items or "boosting" from high level players. We want to play the game as if it was for the very first time, at our own pace.
  • Play when you want, but leave nobody behind. If the lowest leveled player in the group needs help, you have to help them.

THE CREW

As mentioned, some of us consider ourselves experts in the genre. Others, not so much. Here's some words from each participant so you can see where we are all coming from:


TOM

All RPG and no MMO is my motto. While I love role-playing games as a genre, I have generally stayed away from online gaming in all forms. I did dabble with Guild Wars back in the hazy mists of my post-uni days, but not having any friends who played it led to me quickly abandoning it.

I am looking forward to getting all up in a game as legendary as WoW, especially with a solid group behind me (or as I'm playing a mage, in front of me)!


ROB

My history with MMOs is pretty dry. I spent a few short, but guided hours with EVE Online, got to see some of what it had going on, but didn’t stick with it; A combination of not feeling comfortable with playing on PC, and of the complexity of it, led to me dropping it. I really liked the idea of existing in a digital world that had so much going on for so many people concurrently, but the vast expanse of space was more than a little overwhelming. 

I have never played World of Warcraft, but I’m looking forward to playing it with a group, facing challenges as a well-knit team, and going on big adventures on tandem streams with Earl. I get my jollies from co-operative play first and foremost, and it sounds like WoW is going to deliver plenty of that.


HUSH

World of Warcraft is the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. 

I remember talking about this game and reading about the smallest detail for years before it was even released. When it finally came out in Europe, I already had over 1 year experience with open/closed betas, but I still remember that 11th of February, after picking up my Collector Edition from FNAC as if it were yesterday.

After that moment, I was engulfed by the most immersive game ever, the first time I saw the impact of this type social/cooperative game, a true MMO that set the trend and is still unbeaten, many years after release.

I am a Blizzard fan boy, I loved Warcraft and Diablo, spending many hours of my youth playing these games, but very few things in my gaming life will beat the feeling of your first instance in the Deadmines, thinking that you and your friend found something that no one has ever seen; The first time you win a Battlegrounds; The first time you escape being pwnd by horde and kill them instead; and of course, your first 40 man raid, completing Molten Core after weeks and weeks of trying.

Like I told the GPT crew before, I wish I was seeing WoW for the first time, and I envy Tom and Rob for this.


BOB

I’ve had a lot of experience playing MMORPGs. 

My happiest memories of my life in gaming involve playing World of Warcraft every night with a set of friends, laughing and questing together. After our group was dissolved (shortly before the third WoW expansion came out) I tried to replicate the feeling by playing any MMO released since then with my wife Maggie (who will also join us this month!) to no avail. 

The feeling wasn’t the same, and the common factor was precisely the lack of a meeting place with our friends. I’m really happy that we’re doing this, and that we return to Azeroth, which will be completely different than we remember it anyway, for this occasion. I look forward to seeing the impressions of the others and to feel like I am 19 again. 

Damn, that was like, 10 years ago! I'm gonna go jump in a ball pool so I can feel young again.


STU

My MMO experience is pretty extensive. My first major foray into the genre was with Everquest 2. Earl and I put our lot in with that game over the upcoming World of Warcraft and for a few weeks held no regrets. The game was beautiful and hardcore. Earl, myself and a friend embarked on an epic, several hours long quest when near the end I accidentally destroyed the quest item (you could do that in EQ2) and we could not complete it! After that we did move onto WoW and played quite seriously for several years.

My fondest MMO memories are certainly Star Wars Galaxies though. That was up until the ill fated New Game Experience (NGE) and Combat Update which turned an incredibly open ended sandbox MMO into a WoW clone. Since then I have dipped my toes into basically every mainstream MMO released. My most recent one being the fantastic Final Fantasy 14. I am looking forward so much to jumping back into WoW and seeing what the world of Azeroth has to offer for me after all these years and changes.


EARL

I first discovered MMOs with Asheron's Call 2, an experience that was as amazing to me as the first day I used the Internet itself. Being thrown into a huge, dynamic world with thousands of other players, each with their own agenda, fascinated me. Online shooters were always plagued with latency, which broke the illusion of reality, but MMOs worked well within the confines of the technology available. They became a second reality.

Much of my MMO flirtations have been with fellow GPT'er, Stu. We have both spent countless years together in-game, with Star Wars Galaxies being a highlight. This won't be the first time I've played WoW, but the game has changed substantially since I last logged on, so this will feel like an entirely new world to me.


You made it this far through the article, huh? Well, thanks! Please follow our MMO March page, where we will keep you up to date on how we are doing, with all of our podcasts, videos and how you can interact with us!