What games are you playing now, and what are your characters?
Recently I've cut back on the number of games I'm playing as it was getting more than a little silly, so now I'm just subscribed to three. The main game has to be Lord of the Rings Online where I have a weekly group with a bunch of good friends. I'm playing an Elven Minstrel called Galithir because I still think there's something immensely funny with a character who kills people through playing bad music at them. Only pushing forwards with the books and instances once a week gives me the rest of the week to potter around doing my own thing, exploring, crafting and generally seeing how far I can get into places I'm not meant to be yet before I get a crippling repair bill.
I've also just started to play Warhammer Online again as a few friends kept promising me I'd have more fun this time. I've not managed to play nearly as much as I'd like yet but I'm certainly having a lot more fun than I did when I first played, which was right after launch. I'm not sure it could be my main game but diving in for a few hours every so often seems to be the perfect way for me to play.
Lastly I'm sort of playing EVE. I say sort of as I'm on a low point of my interest at the moment, but every time this happens something in game usually happens to drag me back in and I remember how much I love the game.
Why do you like MMOs so much?
It has to be the people. Whether it's getting together with some friends to play through LOTRO, or watching how the players in EVE have pushed the game in directions that CCP never considered over the years you just can't beat the fact that having so many people bring something special to games.
What accomplishment in-game are you most proud of?
That's a tough one. I'd say the current corp I'm a member of in EVE is almost the top thing as I was CEO for a long time before stepping back and letting a much more talented guy take over. Mostly though I'd say that I'm most proud of something that actually drove me out of Star Wars Galaxies. This was back in the day when they were still adding new servers and a friend and I hopped onto a server as it opened in order to experience the game as the economy and social side grew from nothing. We used planet chat to grow a group of friends and after a while we built a city. We grew it up over the months and even, which I am I really proud of, managed to maintain a nice street layout. Of course all good things come to an end and after a while I was spending far too much time being Mayor and no time at all playing for myself so I of course burnt out. There was no way to resign from being mayor without being voted out, and that system was stacked against me because of the people who don't vote so there was no way for me to get out of it without stopping playing that character. So I did. Along with the game. After that they started messing with the game with the various updates like the combat upgrade which put me off. It's a shame as it was a really nice game that did a lot of things well to start with, but after they added things like proper levels and made it so that looted items were usable instead of having to rely on the player economy I really didn't feel like going back.
What's the most terrible, drama-filled, awful thing to happen to you in an MMO?
I haven't actually had anything that I consider that bad happen to me. I think the closest was in EVE where the manager in charge of the POS division of the corp I was running decided one day after a year of doing a great job to take down all our assets and defect to our enemies. Because it's EVE I can't really say that it's an awful thing as if you play a game where things like that can happen you really have to accept that they will happen to you from time to time. We were bored of hauling fuel all day anyway!
If you had 10 more hours to play every week, what would you spend them doing?
Only ten hours per week? At the moment I need about ten more per day. If it's going to be that stingy then I'd have to say I'd probably use it to not neglect my corp mates in EVE quite so much. Actually, just give me access to corp chat on my iPhone and that'll easily give me 10 more hours per week to get some meaningful corp management in.
When you're not playing MMOs, what do you do?
A large chunk of my time is spent podcasting, I'm the one on the Van Hemlock Podcast who didn't get his name in the title. The rest of my time I can be found hanging out on XBox Live or reading far too many books on History than is healthy for any one person.