8 Great MMO Players of History
by Tyler Edwards, Aug 22, 2012
You can run into some pretty memorable people while playing massively multiplayer games. It's a medium with a very broad appeal, and whether you roll with raiders, roleplayers, PvPers, or casual soloists, you're bound to run into all sorts of characters. But MMOs are a new genre; imagine what kind of folks you might have run into if MMOs had existed decades or even centuries ago. What would it be like to run into the most memorable figures of history in game? What kind of players would they be, and most importantly, would you want to group with them?
Teddy Roosevelt is widely viewed as one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States. Not only was he a great leader and progressive, he was also a badass of the highest caliber. He lived through sickness, wars, the simultaneous deaths of his wife and mother, and an assassination attempt and just kept going.
Naturally, he would have been an amazing gamer. As a famed hunter and outdoorsman, he would probably play as a ranger or hunter class, but Roosevelt wouldn't be no huntard. He'd be the kind of player who can top the damage meters while deftly leading his raid over Ventrilo. He'd be the sort of guy who kites the boss to death after everyone else has wiped. He would be the sort of player you dream of being grouped with while suffering through a pathetically bad pick up group.
As the namesake of the Teddy bear, his in game pet would undoubtedly be a bear.
Not just a character played by Gerard Butler, King Leonidas was a real leader of the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta. He really did lead a force of three hundred fellow Spartans - plus several thousands Greeks of other cities - in a suicidal stand at Thermopylae, delaying the Persian invasion and ensuring the rest of Greece had time to prepare.
Such a mighty and self-sacrificing leader would undoubtedly be an advantage in an MMO. One gets the feeling Leonidas would be a PvP fan; no pansy AI controlled enemy is enough to challenge a Spartan. No, he would lead a mighty PvP guild, and while he wouldn't win every match, even his losses would be more epic and inspiring than a lesser player's victories.
Leonidas would most likely play a warrior, and perhaps be one of those players who doesn't realize you can turn off the caps lock key.
"SPARTANS! DRINK YOUR POTIONS, FOR TONIGHT WE REZ AT THE GRAVEYARD!"
Niccol˛ Machiavelli was a philosopher and political scientist during the Renaissance, and most would agree that he was a nasty bastard. In his famous book The Prince, he essentially advocates corruption, immorality, and occasional brutality as necessary and acceptable in the creation and maintenance of an orderly society. He embraced everything wrong with politics, and he has been immortalized with the adjective "machiavellian," which refers to a ruthless determination to achieve personal power at any cost.
This is not a guy you'd want to group with. Someone with that belief set would likely be a loot ninja, a player only looking out for himself. Don't expect him to gear properly or coordinate well with the team; he'd rely on others to do his work for him. He'd get kicked from various groups and guilds for his selfishness, but he would still find some saps na´ve enough to help him.
Machiavelli would probably play an assassin, thief, or other class devoted to winning through any means necessary, but he might also have been the sort to just play whatever's overpowered during the current patch cycle.
"We shall own them on the beaches, we shall own them on the landing grounds, we shall own them in the fields and in the streets, we shall own them in the hills; we shall never ragequit."
One of the greatest orators and leaders of all time, Winston Churchill, like Teddy Roosevelt, is also notable as being one of the most badass figures of recent Western history. The prime minister of Great Britain during the Second World War, he is famous for being an early champion of the fight against Nazi Germany and an inspiration for his people during the darkest days of the war.
One has to think that his skill as a leader would have carried over to gaming had MMOs existed in those days - if he'd had the spare time in between defeating Hitler and giving the most memorable speeches of history. Churchill could only have been the greatest of raid leaders, the sort of fellow who could take any guild and whip them into world class raiders in no time. Can you just imagine the voice chat for one of his raids? Best pep talks ever.
As for his character, it's hard to imagine such a tough and indomitable figure playing as anything but a tank.
Sorry, but it had to be done.
You might think that Chuck Norris would play a monk, rogue, or other martial arts themed class if he were to play an MMO, but there is only one class Chuck would play: the Chuck Norris. The code of any given game will simply bend itself to his will until he is perfectly represented in game. He's sort of like Neo from The Matrix that way.
Chuck Norris would be a raider, but he would not group with anyone, for he needs no assistance. As soon as he zoned into an instance, the bosses would simply give him their loot rather than face his wrath.
Chuck would not need to farm materials for his trade skills. They would simply farm themselves. Enemy players would kill themselves rather than face destruction by fighting him.
As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Ben Franklin would obviously make an excellent raid and guild leader. He's likely the sort to start his own guild and raise it to greatness, rather than taking over someone else's.
He was also a man of many talents, being a noted musician, scientist, and inventor as well as a politician. In an MMO, he'd probably be one of those people who has at least one character of every class at max level - and he'd be an awesome player of all of them.
Everyone has vices, though, and old Ben was no exception. He was known to have a fondness for the ladies, siring an illegitimate son and rumored to be an attendee of a social group known as the "Hellfire Club" believed to participate in all manner of "wenching" and debauchery. In the world of MMOs, this would probably translate into him being one of those people you find making creative use of emotes with nude Elven women in the basement of the inn.
H.P. Lovecraft was one of the great horror writers of the last century. His bizarre and twisted stories of monsters from below and cosmic horrors beyond man's comprehension were a great influence on modern culture, including MMOs. The Secret World and World of Warcraft are both examples of MMOs that are heavily inspired by Lovecraft's work, so it's not hard to imagine him playing if he was still around.
Lovecraft was fascinated by horror and the tales of the occult, so he'd likely play a warlock, necromancer, or other dark themed character. He was also known for being a loner, so he probably wouldn't have been the sort to participate in raids or other events involving large groups of players, though he might have enjoyed roleplaying with small groups of friends.
More likely, he'd have been a soloist. On the rare occasions he grouped up with strangers, he'd probably be one of those oddballs who says little but uses a lot of roleplay emotes, leading you to wonder if he's still in character.
King Henry VIII:
A king of England during the sixteenth century, Henry VIII was an important historical figure and an accomplished ruler, but most people these days remember him for executing his wife, her brother and friends, monks who had refused to except his religious reforms, and pretty much anyone else who pissed him off.
This is another fellow who would probably have been a raid leader if MMOs had existed in his time, but not the inspiring, capable kind of raid leader Churchill or Roosevelt would have been. Henry would be one of those players who give raiding a bad name, a bad tempered elitist out to pad his own ego.
Henry would lead a guild with a high turnover. Cause a wipe? Kicked. Low damage? Kicked. Take some gear he wanted? Bye bye. Question his decisions? You're gone!
Henry enjoyed hunting and the outdoors, so he'd probably be another ranger. He'd get into an argument with Roosevelt in general chat about who's the better player, until Roosevelt posts damage logs showing his clear superiority, at which point Henry would attempt to cheer himself up by kicking people from raids for no reason.