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?