A Momentary Regression

They were standing there on the kitchenette counter where a co-worker with an overflow of Easter candy had left them.  The marshmallow Peeps were lined up, execution style.  I gleefully grabbed the nearest one and popped it into my mouth.  There was a satisfying soft cry as the air inside the marshmallow tried to break free from the sweet inside of the bird-shaped candy.  I took a moment to reflect on all the cruelties the Peeps endure.  I imagined people’s deepest desires blossoming from the days of cave and fire to inflict carnal delights on small animal shaped treats.  And, then I thought of MMOs…

MMO developers can be a clever bunch.  They put that 2 HP spotted faun or clover-eating rabbit walking along while players are on a zone-wide crossing.  The obvious thing to do?  Drop a run-by DoT or damaging yell on your way by the poor beast and watch it flop over dead.  It’s like a minigame without consequence or reward.  Sometimes the devs allow the poor creatures to fight back.  Regardless, it is nearly an MMO pastime.  So much, I believe, that if it weren’t for the graveyard daemons, peaceful fields would be strewn with dead, lootless fauna.

It goes deeper, though, when players return as completely overpowered demi-gods to places of relative peace.  Whole hapless murloc villages are torn asunder by a sole dimension-walking hero.  The guy wasn’t even helping anybody else.  The imagination makes up for what the game engine lacks.  Over on the Darkfall side, the practice targets the plump, weak freshly-minted players in the noob zone.  The hardened veterans fall upon the sheep like avenging razor-fanged wolflords.  The world is theirs.

And, maybe that’s it.  In worlds where players have no perceptible stake amidst the infinitely respawning mobs and hallowed raid locks, for that one moment we can be kings.

what is best in life?

6 thoughts on “A Momentary Regression”

  1. I once had an innocent squirrel actually *parry* a sword I was casually swinging around while running (in LOTRO I guess). Try to envision THAT.

  2. Damn, we’re really cruel Kings. Not benevolent at all.

    My first day playing Ultima Online I recall getting killed by little creatures like rabbits and gardner snakes. So perhaps this is retribution.

    Although in truth, I tend to leave the little lvl 1 ones alone. Sometimes they get caught up in AoE’s, which I admit does make me chuckle “silly rabbit”.

  3. The defeat-condition skills for a Captain in LOTRO used to open up when you killed a passing squirrel. It was great; on your way to a worthy mob you shout at the 2 HP creature and pump yourself up.

    Turbine fixed that though.

  4. In WoW there is an achievement for killing 15 turkeys inside of 2 minutes. Upon successful completion of the achievement, every turkey left in the area suddenly attacks the player. Hilarious.. it’s Revenge of the Critters!

  5. That’s pretty awesome. I like Turbine’s Deed system, but WoW seems to have a lot of fun Achievements that are “gamey.”

  6. In Ancient Greek, the word for king is “tyrannos”. It’s where we get the word “tyrant” from.

    Just saying…

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