Great MMO Players of Fiction
by Tyler Edwards, February 27, 2013
Sometimes, it can be fun to imagine that your comrades in an MMO are more than just average players. Perhaps they're developers incognito, gathering information on the mood of their players. Maybe they're celebrities gaming in secret so they're not swarmed by fans while they try to relax. Not so long ago, we imagined what it would be like if historical figures, the celebrities of the past, played MMOs. Today, we'll take a similar tack, and try to picture what it would be like if some of the most famous fictional characters were playing alongside us.
Homer Simpson is a simple man, so he would probably play a warrior or any other class that involves hitting things. And he wouldn't play it well. Homer would be the guy who shows up to tank your dungeon group in leather armor, shouting, "WTF WE WIPED. WHY YOU LITTLE NOOBS..."
The worst thing about Homer wouldn't be his own lack of skills, though. It'd be his guild. He'd lead the guild , and a greater train wreck than you can imagine. On top of Homer's "leadership," the rogue, Bart, would constantly be stealing gear and ninja pulling bosses just to watch the world burn. His hunter, Maggie, wouldn't communicate at all. His mage, Lisa, and his healer, Marge, would probably be all right, but they can't save a raid from the shenanigans of the others.
And since the guild isn't big enough to put together a full raid group, they'd be constantly subjecting PUGs to their madness.
Still, Homer wouldn't be completely without merit as a player. He'd be loyal to his guild to the end, sticking with them through all the failures and all the raging. After all, a good guild is like a family.
"Speak not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd gank the sun if it insulted me."
Pursuing the whale that crippled him until it kills him and his crew, Captain Ahab of Moby Dick fame is a character who has become synonymous with the need for petty vengeance. Which is, appropriately enough, a common trait in MMO players.
Ahab would be a PvP fan, probably preferring the thrill of hunting players in the open world to instanced battlegrounds. Everyone eventually meets a player more powerful than them, but Ahab would not be able to forget any of his defeats. He would doggedly pursue them, desperately trying to exact his vengeance upon those that ganked him, even if it only leads to him being killed over and over again.
In desperation, Ahab might call in his guild for backup, but that, too, would lead only to ruin as they are all crushed by a superior force of enemy players.
Despite not being real, most people would likely still consider Sherlock Holmes the greatest detective of all time. If MMOs had existed in his day – and if he'd found the time to play them between catching criminals – he would have been a very impressive player, but he wouldn't have been your standard raider or PvPer.
Raiding would be too predictable, too "elementary" to challenge an intellect such as his, and besides, a loner like Holmes would never have had the patience for the social drama of a raiding guild. PvP might have provided a brief thrill for him, but it still seems too simple minded and clumsy an activity to appeal to the great detective.
But there is one aspect of MMOs that might have interested Holmes: theorycraft. No doubt, Holmes' method of deductive reasoning would have been invaluable in crafting the perfect builds and finding exactly the right combinations of skills and talents. He wouldn't be an accomplished player in his own right, but he would lay the groundwork that would enable other players to achieve great things.
As for his class? He would probably be a ranger, with his trusty pet, Watson, by his side.
As a classic antihero, it's hard to imagine the dark and brooding Batman being anything but a soloist. No guilds for this guy, and don't expect to see him in dungeons, raids, or organized PvP.
Yet he'd have a reputation on his server. Playing as an assassin or similar class, his cup of tea would be open world PvP, and he wouldn't just be another random ganker. He'd be the guy who appears when low level players are getting massacred by players much higher than them, and when griefers run amok. He would be the terror of trolls and troublemakers everywhere.
He's the hero your server deserves.
Batman would be the one to step in when Ahab goes on another of his vengeance sprees, defeating the captain repeatedly and then fading into the shadows when poor Ahab finally ragequits in disgust.
Over time, Batman's reputation would spread, until the entire server would be afraid to look at another player the wrong way lest they find themselves nursing a hefty repair bill courtesy of the Dark Knight.
If he were an MMO player, James Tiberius Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise, could never be anything but a guild leader. And not just any guild leader. His guild would be the best of the best, a progression guild earning world first achievements mere days after the release of a new raid. They would boldly slay what no one has slain before.
Kirk would be one of those cocky, arrogant gamers. He'd boast in general chat at every possible opportunity. He'd stream on YouTube just so others could bask in his glory. Of course, one has to wonder if it qualifies as arrogance when you really are that good. And make no mistake: he would be that good.
Of course, there was that one incident where Kirk was suspected of exploiting. But everyone knows that boss is over tuned anyway...
Romeo and Juliet:
Shakespeare's star crossed lovers' relationship famously ended in tragedy, and it's doubtful they would have done any better had events taken place in a virtual world.
MMOs are full of rivalries. Progression guilds vie against each other to kill new bosses first, and PvP guilds battle it out to prove they're the toughest bastards around. Romeo and Juliet would be from opposing guilds. Brought together by random chance – perhaps a pick up dungeon run – they would develop a fondness for each other, and eventually a long distance Internet relationship. This is not uncommon in MMOs, believe it or not.
But their guilds would not approve of their members mingling, and it would keep them from playing together. In an attempt to solve the issue, Juliet would spread the rumor that she had quit the game, instead hoping to level a new alt to play alongside Romeo. But Romeo would believe the rumor, and ragequit the game in disgust before Juliet could get word to him, forever destroying any hope of them getting together.
Well, it's still better than both of them dying... so maybe they would have been a bit better off in an MMO.
If there was ever an example of a troll, it'd be Batman's famed nemesis, the Joker. He wouldn't even have to change his habits much to fit into an MMO world. He'd fit right in with all the griefers, trolls [Warning: Link contains mature language], ninjas, and cyberbullies.
This is the kind of guy who would tell newbie rangers to specialize in fire magic and counsel warriors to stack as much intellect as possible. This is the kind of guy who'd ninja gear he didn't even want just to piss other people off. He'd steal nodes and then vendor the resources just so nobody else could use them. He'd join a role playing server and then dance naked in the middle of other people's RP events.
Of course, all his troublemaking would naturally put him in constant conflict with Batman. At times, they would engage in epic PvP conflicts, but often, the Joker would be content to lead Batman for a wild goose chase, taking refuge in sanctuary zones and among allied players.
"I find your lack of gear... disturbing."
As the dark lord of the Sith, it's obvious that Darth Vader would be another guild leader. He would not be some inspiring leader, though. No leading through example like Kirk would do. Nor would he even have the clumsy loyalty of Homer Simpson. He would be the worst of guild masters, a ruthless tyrant and elitist.
In Vader's guild, you only get one chance. The moment you make any mistake, you would be kicked without mercy. Each and every raid would be a brutal attempt to meet up to Darth's exacting standards.
Perhaps Vader's cruelty in game is a result of his troubles at home. He has a strained relationship with his son and has tried to use gaming as a way for them to bond, but his son always picks the opposite faction, and it just causes more harm than good.
Thanks to Star Wars: The Old Republic, we don't need to try to imagine what class Vader would play. He can simply continue to be a Sith in-game. We heard you like Sith, so we put a Sith in your Sith?