I’ve heard the phrase “we must have been having fun wrong” a ton of times over the last year or so, usually to describe a change made to an area or skill that disrupts the status quo.
I heard it when the experience formula changes were brought in preceding prestige characters being introduced. I heard it after gold farming was impacted by what I assume was changes to the economy code. I heard it loudly after Lord Seth’s Throne Room was changed.
Yet it’s really only in the last year where I’ve taken time to think about what that phrase means to me as an individual player. How do I have fun on Realms? I do enjoy having characters that I think reflect good abilities and that is useful in lots of places. Yet I know that other people can simply buy and sell the same gear that I’m going to run or quest for. To me grinding out gold is a low risk, low skill activity, but why would it bug me if someone puts their time in to doing it while I choose to go on a run? In a way, sometimes I’ve felt like it devalues the efforts I’ve made to learn runs and how to survive on them. That’s where I was having fun wrong and it took some thinking to recognize it.
Some recent players have more or less been trafficking for fully dressed characters and I had to stop myself and think about why that bugged me.
To many of you reading it’s obvious what the problem was. I was valuing the adventures I’d been having only as much as other people valued them. I bought into the text high score syndrome.
When I was away from the game for years it wasn’t the DR on my character that I remembered or the time I got a really good buy on auction. It was getting up at reboot and putting characters in the La Chute trans maze to go to Danbala with the Guild of Druids. Of popping our first Danbala skull unexpectedly after that change was made and brainstorming where else to look for pieces until we managed to get a Garland of Skulls. It was the thrill of being included in going against Orcus and Hastur as part of a team, not for the gear – the Spiral I have today is the only remnant of those runs I have, I never earned any of the Hastur equipment, but in the puzzle solving. The spitballing ideas around. Following the Black Monk and absolutely misinterpreting everything he had to say.
I also still possessed the skills that I had developed because I needed to work on them for playing Realms. No – not how to quaff fast, or learning to flee and reenter the room and attack. Learning to write triggers. Learning from there how to create databases and websites. Those were things I took away from the game. All I wanted to do was get rid of all the little bits of paper from my desk and lo and behold.
My success with getting big gear pieces or going on big runs has more to do with the people around me and the legacy of notes and experience that has been passed down by players long gone. When I think back though, I had more fun exploring Wendle’s Mansion than I had sitting through hours of S/O or Seth. I am exploring things and loving it. I don’t care if I get loot, really, I just want to be part of figuring out how the loot is got.
That fear of missing out I talked about before, it can come back easily if I let it. For now though it’s under control, especially if I just do things I consider to be fun. Being a reliable part of the team has been a big part of that.
To the golders, script levellers, traffic channellers, all the best in your goals. You’re having fun your way. God bless.