(Quick heads up, this is a long story. All names in this are shortened or have a letter censored to keep a certain level of privacy)
So I love the idea of adventuring with friends, conquering dungeons, going on quests together and tanking to protect the group of friends I have. But there are a couple problems with that…
- I am antisocial, as much as I don't want to be, I am afraid of people.
- I have a grand total of 2 friends, none of which play MMO's.
- Tanking is a role that I fear and love.
So as I just said, I am an antisocial MMO player. I don't like being antisocial but I just can't talk to people, I am afraid of running dungeons because as I also said, I like being a tank, but I fear it because it means I am supposed to have a standard of confidence and knowledge of the dungeon. I started my journey with WoW retail and found it to be a lonely adventure. I never made a friend. I never talked to anyone. I wasn't good. I made more mistakes than contributions.
I eventually gave up and didn't play for a whole year, only coming back when my fantasy dream fuel had started to overflow again giving me false confidence. Going straight to WoW retail again I decided that it wasn't for me and went to classic. One of the best experiences I ever had, for one reason as well, I found a friend. Their name was Ger*in. It was when I was on a quest to kill a certain enemy that I met them. The quest was a bit above my level and I found this out pretty quickly but before I started heading back another person, 1 level above me came up to me and asked if I wanted to team up with them. As you can guess this was Ger*in. It was then that we became a team, we finished the quest and just as I was about to say thank you and walk off, they asked if I wanted to join them even more. They sent me a friend request and I… accepted slightly hesitantly… since it was a social situation I wasn't used to.
(Keep in mind we only talked through written chat in-game, I still to this day can't speak online.)
A little side story here for comic relief, we (Ger*in & me) were on a quest to deliver something to a place we had not yet discovered. This quest had a time limit, which is why it confused me when they said they had to go afk after we started. Anyway 7 minutes of the 30 minutes we had went by and they came back. After telling them about the time limit they, understandably, became pretty panicked. We started heading down the path I had planned out during their afk time, the correct path keep in mind. Halfway there I start to doubt myself and decide to head back and head down another path, as we go down that path with about 15 minutes left I realize… this is the actual wrong path. After realizing this I break the news to my partner and we start booking it back down the other path, making it there one minute late, we get the flight master guy then head back and do the quest again, much, much easier this time.
Anyway, Ger*in was kind of like my tour guide for the game, as I had chosen a tank they were kind of like my emotional support for when I messed up… so basically every ten minutes I relied on them to cheer me up. They would do all the social stuff, like doing all the LFG stuff and talking to people for me in dungeons when I had my panic attack moments. After a while I found myself less playing the game but waiting for them to come online so I could play. But as they got on less, so did I and slowly I got lost in the game. Then with the Hong Kong protest things I received my final push to leave the game.
If you see this Ger*in, thank you for some of my happiest moments, I don't get friends very easily and you helped me a lot. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Anyway, moving on. I had given up on WoW but not because I hated the game, in fact I actually loved the game. But the company… I hated it, so I moved onto what was next. Final Fantasy 14. This game was where I gained more confidence, but sadly still not enough.
It was on a normal day, long, long after I quit WoW that I saw that FF14 had a rather generous free trial (even before it was recently increased) and started my new, once again fueled by false self confidence, journey across A-or-ze-ah? I had done some research this time and picked gladiator, with the intention to become a paladin later on. I went on and started the game, it was simple and started out slow. Just quest after quest, and to me… well, this was perfect. I mean I was bored at times but, heck! I was playing an MMO and getting passed level 20!! But it was there that I quit, it slowly got boring, but about a month later, I started it back up again and went back on my journey. Pushing through the slow start. It was during this time that I was approached by someone, Solani, asking me to join their FC (guild). Now I, as a fully fledged antisocial, did my ultimate strategy. My social skill of ultimate power. My show stopper.
I pretended to be afk
For you see, I was having a panic attack that I decided to pretend to be afk. Sadly ( or rather fortunately ) they did not leave, so I gathered my courage and said, "Hi, sorry I was afk." A complete lie. They invited me again and I told them that "sadly" I could not join as I had not purchased the game yet and was still on free trial. Which was true. But they sent me a friend request anyway. Not finding a way to politely refuse it I accepted. Over the next period of time they helped me on dungeons and the like, reminding me of Ger*in. As I gained more confidence and skill in the game I did the unthinkable… I… Solo… Queued… and surprisingly I handled myself rather well… well, well enough ( I did not mean for so many wells there ) for a low level newbie. People were nice to me and even when I messed up I, usually, never got hate. Taking a week or two for a break I decided to buy the game and join Solani's FC, this was near the end of the main game story, and in the end of the main game story there was my first 8 man dungeons.
Now as a newbie to the FC, as a sort of welcoming celebration, they helped me with the dungeons and even though I was a clueless off-tank I just followed them ( the dungeons were kind of a joke as constant updates made them easy as hell ) while watching the fireworks ( their abilities ) and yawning at the unskippable cutscenes. Constantly making jokes along the way I beat the main game and before realizing it made a memory… a core memory if you would. Moving on in the game as fast as I could to catch up with my guild mates I went into the new content. Even though I thought I had grew though, I slowly realized I still couldn't speak with my voice to them and asking them to play with me was near impossible. So as I watched them all get along and run dungeons I started growing more and more distant from them. Eventually… I stopped playing. Now once again I have quit, having a hole in my heart.
As much as I would like a happy ending, there isn't one. I have made friends, but subsequently lost them. I have gained confidence, and lost it just as fast. I was antisocial, and I still am. I like MMOs, but maybe I am just not made for them.
If you read all of this, I thank you for listening to my story. I really wanted to have someway to tell it, and if somehow the stars align and someone that I mentioned sees this… hello! I miss you.
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