More Great MMO Players of History
by Tyler Edwards, March 8, 2013
A few months ago, we imagined what would have happened if some of the greatest figures in history had been MMO players. But there are many more noteworthy individuals from the pages of history, and MMOs are a big genre. It's time once again to let our imaginations run wild and try to picture what kind of players our historical heroes would be if they were alive today. Who would be fail, and who would be leet? Who would you want in your guild, and who would be on your /ignore list?
"I came, I saw, I pwned."
One of history's most iconic figures, Julius Caesar was a great political and military leader of the Roman Empire, eventually installing himself as its supreme ruler following a civil war. However, he was a controversial man in his day, and many hated him for his lust for power. This eventually led to his assassination, sparking another civil war.
In an MMO, such controversy and conflict would translate to one thing: guild drama. Old Julius would be an accomplished player in a large and successful guild, earning victories in both raiding and PvP. But he would not be content with his lot in virtual life. He would seek leadership of the entire guild.
The resulting argument would tear the guild apart. Caesar would seize power, but only after alienating many players; once in charge, his arrogance would grow, angering yet more of his in game subjects. Eventually, they would tire of him, abandoning his guild to form their own and leaving him alone with no one left to command.
A harsh fate for a player once so respected. Not as bad as being shanked to death on the Senate floor, mind you, but it would definitely suck.
George Armstrong Custer:
George Armstrong Custer was considered a great hero of the American military in his day, having served with distinction in the Civil War and conflicts with the indigenous peoples. These days, though, he has the ignoble honor of being remembered primarily for getting himself and all the forces under his command horribly killed in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
There is some debate as to whether Custer deserves the blame for this military catastrophe, but many believe the massacre was entirely the result of poor decisions on his part. He refused reinforcements and equipment from other commanders, rushing in unprepared with just his own small force to face a vastly superior number of Native American fighters. Custer's forces were rapidly overwhelmed and killed to the last man.
Reminds you of someone, doesn't it? One can almost imagine his lieutenants estimating their chances of survival at 32.33%. That's repeating, of course.
There is no historical evidence that George Custer had chicken at the time of the massacre.
MMOs are a genre largely based on fighting. Kill rats, kill Orcs, kill dragons, kill other players. But believe it or not, there are some players who eschew violence entirely, leveling through trade skills, the handful of non-combat quests, and other peaceful means.
Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian activist known the world over for his non-violent means of protest, would almost certainly have been one of these players if he'd played MMOs. While other players are foaming at the mouth with loot driven bloodlust, he'd be quietly picking flowers and enchanting cloaks – and probably having far more fun than anyone else.
Gandhi would likely be a pillar of his server community, as well. He would organize friendly events and get-togethers. He would wander low level zones, handing out bags and gold to newbies. He would be the voice of reason while other players are busy trolling and griefing each other.
Gandhi would likely make many enemies among the less savory players for his patient opposition to their trouble making, and his in game life wouldn't always be easy, but his game would be a far better place for having him in it.
Christopher Columbus is famous as being the man who discovered the New World, but modern knowledge of history tells us he doesn't really deserve this title. There were already entire civilizations of people living there for thousands of years. Columbus wasn't even the first European to find his way across the Atlantic. The Vikings beat him to the punch by a couple of hundred years.
MMOs don't really have exploration in the same way the real world does. The closest they have would be newly released raid content.
Columbus would be one of those people leading a hardcore progression guild. To even get yourself a test run with his guild, you'd have to provide achievements and multiple references and pass a thorough gear inspection. And then you find out he's still stuck on a raid two tiers out of date.
Meanwhile, Leif Ericson – leader of the guild – is mocking Columbus in general chat. "Lol, n00b. We cleared New World months ago. L2 explore."
George Washington became a hero of American history by leading the country to independence in the Revolutionary War. He seems like another guild leader – most likely a player versus player oriented guild on a PvP server.
But he would not be the top dog on his server. At least, not at first. He would be the underdog. He would play a woefully underrepresented faction, and his guild would be outnumbered and outgunned at every turn. He would accept and even welcome this challenge, and his guild would win many victories against all odds.
Eventually, Washington would turn the tide on his server. He would carve out a place for his small faction, and his fame would spread such that countless players would transfer servers to fight for him. The balance would shift, and Washington's faction would become the dominant power.
After his retirement from the game, Washington's faction would continue to grow, eventually becoming overconfident and decadent until they become the poster child for spoiled excess among the game's community.
Attila the Hun:
A famous rival of the Roman Empire and king of the barbarian Huns, Atilla seems like yet another PvP guild leader. He would not be the sort to thrive on the honorable meeting between opponents of equal power, though. He would be a lord of gankers, leading an army of trolls and griefers in a campaign of terror against all decent hearted and under geared players.
Atilla's guild would bring together all the worst aspects of MMO PvP culture [Warning: Link contains mature content]. Arrogant, vulgar, and immature, they would have no respect for other players, and barely any respect for each other. Their guild chat channel would be so vile as to be unreadable without the mature language filter turned off.
Atilla and his goons would be the scourge of low level players and "care bears" everywhere. They would shut down entire zones simply to be jerks. They would camp quest givers and other crucial NPCs, massacring and tea bagging any players that try to stop them.
They would likely be the great rivals of Washington and his small but elite guild. In fact, his cruel depravity would probably send more players flocking to Washington's banner, furthering the other guild's rise to power.
We ended the last list with a deranged monarch, so we might as well continue the tradition. Caligula is mainly remembered as one of the most depraved, maniacal emperors in the entire lengthy history of the ancient Roman Empire. It's difficult to confirm these things accurately, but if even half the stories about him were true, he was crazier than a warrior in an intellect robe.
To give you an idea, Caligula is believed to have appointed his horse a senator, and he reportedly once ordered an entire section of the crowd at a circus fed to the animals just because he was bored. And those are by far not the craziest or most disturbing things he ever did. We won't even get into his private life...
In the MMO world, Caligula would probably have been the leader of a role playing guild, and he wouldn't have been one of the good role players. He would have been one of those creepy oddballs that give role playing servers a bad name.
Caligula would have been a narcissistic tyrant, dictatorially orchestrating every rambling detail of his guild's nonsensical storylines. Characters would be killed off randomly and for no apparent reason. Female players would find their avatars repeatedly seduced by Caligula's in game persona in the most perverse ways imaginable.
Eventually, his guild would likely disintegrate. Unlike in the real world, he would not be able to execute anyone who disagreed with him in an MMO – though he would probably still try.