My brother (known as Grimx in WoW) plays MMOs a lot. He is the one that got me into them, introducing me to Asheron’s Call way back when. He recently became the first player on the Doomhammer server to reach level 70, accomplishing the feat in just a few days. It is a play style I don’t understand, with motivations I personally can’t figure out. I decided to ask him some questions and the end result is this interview. I hope it is of some interest.
Ethic: Tell me about your history of playing multiplayer online games.
’99-’00: Gemstone III
’00-’02: Asheron’s Call, Leafcull Server, GM of “The Lords of Leafcull”
’02-’02: Anarchy Online
’02-’03: Asheron’s Call 2, Leafcull Server, GM of “Clan Integris”
’03-’03: Earth and Beyond, Planetside, Gemstone III
’03-’04: Final Fantasy XI, Bismarck Server, GM of “Kupo Emperium”
’04-Current: World of Warcraft, Hellscream/Dalvengyr/Doomhammer
Server(s), original member and later officer of Immortalis (R.I.P.),
currently with Juggernaut.
Ethic: What has been your favorite of them to play?
Grimx: Without a doubt, World of Warcraft.
Ethic: How long have you been playing WoW?
Grimx: I started with Closed Beta back in July of ’04, so 2.5 years now!
Ethic: What is your /played?
Grimx: Right around 160 days on Grim, maybe a combined total of 40-50 days on my other 4 level 60’s.
Ethic: If I did my math correctly only considering retail, that is over 6.5 hours of gaming each and every day including weekends.
Grimx: I know I play about 6-7 hours per night, and then anywhere from 8-16 hours per day on the weekends.
Ethic: How did you get from 60 to 70? Groups? Solo? Quests? Grinding?
Grimx: Solo grinding quests, with the occasional assistance on group quests from a warlock guildmate, Ripe (the 2nd person to hit 70). I was already fluent with the content (was in beta), had the right class with the right gear (Full Tier 3), got ahead of the pack quickly enough (never had competition for spawns) and never looked back. Took 4 days of vacation, loaded up on Code Red, neglected sleep, and viola! Level 70 in 3 days.
Ethic: How long did it take you to go from 60 to 70? What is your main character?
Grimx: 65 hours over 3 days (Tuesday 12:15 AM until Friday 3:15 AM). My main character is an Undead Rogue.
Ethic: How much time did you sleep during that stretch?
Grimx: 10 hours (2 + 6 + 2). I overslept on the 6 hour nap =/
Ethic: What motivates you in MMOs?
Grimx: To be the best and be among the best, plain and simple.
Ethic: In that case, please define what you feel makes you the “best”?
Grimx: Quite a few categories would have to be considered, I think. The top of the list would be being a knowledgeable and experienced player. I want people to be able to ask me anything about everything! Being the “model” raider with the best attendance, best gear, best attitude, strategic contributions, etc. In the case of the expansion, the first person to 70, the first group to go through the instances, the person most “progressed” with the available solo and group content.
Ethic: What do you like most about MMOs?
Grimx: Character development and having something to show for the time that you put into the game. It’s for this reason that I typically avoid first person shooters and RTS’s.
Ethic: In a case like WoW, where you can leave no real permanent structure (so far), what is it that you have to show what you have accomplished? If it is just levels, that is only temporary as everyone will catch up sooner or later. There is nothing in WoW that you can leave behind like a house. Do you get any special titles or any one-of-a-kind items? Or is it simply the knowledge inside that you did something?
Grimx: My character and my reputation. I dont know exactly what people would say about me if you were to ask them, but I am 100% confident that it would be something positive. I always treat people how I’d want them to treat me, no matter what. My gear is a reflection of my time and dedication to raiding. There are special titles in the game, as well as legendary items (only 1 legendary item that rogues can use and it isn’t all that great), but I have neither.
Ethic: What did you do when you hit 70?
Grimx: Trained my new skills and then slept for maybe 6 hours.
Ethic: What do you plan to do now that you hit the new level cap?
Grimx: Well, hitting 70 is only the beginning of things, in my world. I’ve already exhausted all of the “solo” quests in the expansion, and am
probably the only one on our server (at the time of this interview) who can currently claim that. Now it’s finishing up group quests, 5-man
dungeons, 10-man instances, and soon 25-man raid zones.
Ethic: You say 70 is the “beginning” and yet you have exhausted all the solo content. How many of these group quests and dungeons are left to do? What will you do when they are all done?
Grimx: The end of solo content is the beginning of group content. The end of group content is the beginning of raid content. By the time the raid content is exhausted, another expansion should be out, or at the very least, a new raid zone should be released. I don’t yet know the extent of group content as I am waiting for a few more people to catch up so I can really start hammering them out.
Ethic: Was it worth it?
Grimx: Would I do it again in the next expansion? You better believe it. I’m not ashamed to admit that I loved the attention I got from peers and even complete strangers.
Ethic: Any idea how close you were to first on all the American servers? Any way to tell? Did the devs confirm it or anything?
Grimx: I don’t think I was the first US player to hit 70, as I recall reading a post by someone who claimed to hit 70 a few hours before I did. Back when the game first came out, there was a website that monitored/tracked progress to 60 across all servers, but I don’t remember the URL, and am not aware of any site that did it for TBC.
Ethic: What do you find to be the most fun thing about WoW?
Grimx: Gameplay mechanics, classes, raid environment/progression, items/gear, graphics, the list goes on.
Ethic: Just pick one thing you like the most about playing WoW.
Grimx: Raiding, but only with the right people. Doing a smaller raid zone (ZG, AQ20, even MC) with a pick-up group can be quite frustrating.
Ethic: How many characters do you have and what are their levels/classes/races?
Grimx: 70 Rogue, 60 Warrior, 60 Hunter, 60 Mage, 60 Warlock (Alliance), 40 Shaman, 42 Druid.
Ethic: Can you rank the classes in order of how much fun you have with them?
Grimx: Same order :) I haven’t decided what class I want to get to 70 next. If I had a horde warlock that would be my #2 choice.
Ethic: If you could improve one thing about WoW, what would it be?
Grimx: The rogue class. We’re definitely in need of some improvements, as several other classes are on par with our DPS, bring utility to a raid, and have much greater survivability.
Ethic: Any ideas to expand on this? What improvements? What kind of utility? More lock picking or stealthing needed in quests/raids?
Grimx: They need to either improve upon the one thing we bring to a raid (more DPS), or give us utilities (like abilities/spells/functions) that benefit the raid group. The suppression room in BWL is a perfect example of what NOT to do ever again. Hunters got a neat new ability that can temporarily redirect the threat generated from their attacks to a target raid member. That’d be a perfect ability for rogues!
Ethic: How do you think playing WoW (or any MMO) has affected your social and personal life?
Grimx: I think it’s safe to say that I am so devoted to my time in WoW, that I intentionally avoid having either.
Ethic: Do you regret playing it as much as you have?
Grimx: Absolutely not!
Ethic: Do you think you are addicted to WoW?
Grimx: Think? I know!
Ethic: Any upcoming MMOs that you plan to check out?
Grimx: I don’t think anything on the horizon can hold a candle to WoW, so it’s very doubtful that I’ll be going anywhere anytime soon!
Ethic: Talk a bit about your other hobbies and activities.
Grimx: Motorcycles, Movies, Computers.
Ethic: What kind of job do you have and is it full time?
Grimx: I have a full time job as a Network Engineer.