Friday, December 29, 2006

Virtual Kindness

I sometimes play and online MMORPG called Guild Wars, mostly to pal around with my buddy Laura, who is secretly a rad gamer grrrl under her polished, ladylike exterior. I like Guild Wars because it doesn't charge a monthly fee like many other online RPGs. Once you buy the box, you can play indefinitely. The only other charge is for later releases, and once again, once you get them, gameplay is free. Anyway, GW just came out with a new release called Nightfall, and I bought it with some of my Christmas money.
I had checked the Guild Wars web page to make sure that I could carry my existing GW character, Ellak, into the new environment. They said, sure, just make sure you add the access code for the new release to your existing account. And so I did.
What they didn't tell me was that you have to finish a pretty seriously difficult quest in the original game before you can travel to the new world. Now, I'm a casual player. I generally only play an hour or two at a time and I often don't play for weeks. This means I've been leveling up slowly. The level cap for GW is 20 and I'm like 14 and a half. Powerful enough in a group, but I couldn't beat this quest solo and Laura has guest for the Holidays and isn't online. Laura and I have a winning technique. She's a mage/healer and I'm a Tank. That means I kill stuff and she heals me while I'm fighting. Gets us through most battles. But without her I just kept getting killed. Now I could have waited until next week to do the quest when she could help me, but I was impatient to see the new environment.
So I had my little armored avatar hanging out outside the gate that led to the quest and I started typing on the general chat "Need others for quest." It took a bit, but eventually five other players joined me, all except one who were higher level than me, and they went into the fight with me. These were all really good players and they really did most of the work. One was so high level that he killed most of the bad guys singlehandedly. I killed a couple, but the quest was over almost before I knew it. A couple of these folks didn't even need that particular quest. They just went in to help out a fellow player.
Gamers get a bad rap sometimes, and there are certainly a vast number of online trolls, lamers, and player killers, but there are also some darn friendly, helpful folks. Thanks for the back up, guys.

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