EQOA is (and mmo’s in general are) a waste of time. You’d be hard pressed to find many people who disagree with that. What good comes out of sitting at a computer/console for hours on end doing quests, getting angry about dying, or getting excited about some rare loot? At the end of the day, when the console is turned off, you have accomplished nothing in the real world of value.
With this said, I began to wonder what I can squeeze out of my gaming experience to claim it has changed me in one way or another. Is EQOA a complete waste of time? Here’s what I have come up with…
1. Organization Leadership, and Logistics. How often is a group, raid, or quest too difficult to complete by simply just running in and attacking the monster? Mostly all of them require some sort of strategy and problem solving methods. I’ll attribute this to logistics and organization, as well as leadership, because to be successful at the game, you must use some portion of your brain.
Also, planning for coach runs and quests used to take a bit of planning… If you wanted to be efficient. Unfortunately this element of the game has died out thanks to HnG quests and powerleveling.
2. Negotiating. The first time I ever bargained on EQOA was over an ancient breastplate and a lion tuffed helm. I was 15 years old and learned that even with fake money, such as tunar, people still valued it. Tunar has become much too abundant, since there is no depreciation or limitation on currency. Yet, before the CV was NTL, it was a great example of valued item for the right price. True there is an over-supply of tunar, but there was a finite number of CV robes. I was able to negotiate a CV robe for 150 million tunar, which ended up in a ton of real life cash for an 18 year old.
3. Investing. This goes with negotiating, but I had a post early on about how I made money in this game. Essentially it came by investing $300 in a game item, trading it for tunar, then selling the tunar in game. This is no different than the stock market… Just a bit tougher for my parents to understand.
4. Mental-mapping. EQOA has no in-game map. This made quests and traveling extremely difficult until full questhelpers were published on Cryptic Souls and Zam. Yet, I can map out new cities twice as fast as most of my friends because you learn to take note of land marks, N-S-E-W coords, and traveled paths.
5. Perseverance. This is a stretch. Not that the others aren’t, but it used to take a lot time to get to level 60 and it was much to easy to stop and make another alt. Granted it would have probably been best to just turn the game off… I think you can tell a lot about your personality based on how easily you got bored with a character. I was one of the people who did get bored easily and would make alts… and let’s just say I changed my major close to 10 times, changed my college once, and have changed my career interests daily since I graduated.
6. Lastly, I think EQOA has greatly improved my internet conversation skills. If you ignore the grammar used in mmo’s, communicating via chat with people who don’t know you is not natural. You’ll notice in groups that some people are just horrible at it. They either come off as an idiot or an A-hole. I can tell you from working for a major corporations that even managers suck at this.
Finally, I’d like to leave you guys with this article about the new-ish CIO for Starbucks. There is something to be said here…