I’ve been kind of anti-MMO since I first heard about them (via FFXI), and I didn’t like the sound of them. I’ve never been a big fan of multiplayer games, probably because they tend to be more action based, faster paced, and that plus either worrying about being the weak link or actually fighting other players is stressful to me. I don’t play video games in order to have more stress, so, I generally avoid such games.
But as I understand it, FFXII is basically a single-player MMO in its playstyle, and I really liked that game. And not just because it’s so damn pretty. So when I saw a Coursera class on “remediation”* of literature to other media, including MMOs, which focused mostly on Lord of the Rings and the corresponding MMO, LotRO, I figured I’d give it a shot. I wouldn’t say the class was particularly rigorous or intellectually stimulating, compared to others I’ve taken (like Ronen Plesser’s intro astronomy class, also on Coursera and starting again in a few days–go check it out!). But it was enjoyable and set up a group of people who were totally new to the game, along with a handful of veterans, to help each other out and muddle around together for awhile.
I do like interaction with other players insofar as you can trade with each other (can save some time if they’ve gathered a resource you need, say), be silly (several times I’ve run into a particular character who runs around playing pranks on random players), or randomly help each other out (like a time I was running through the Trollshaws on the way somewhere else and came across a wizard who accidentally got into a fight with a higher-level, tough troll; I jumped in and together we managed to beat it, where the wizard alone would’ve gotten killed). I have done very little actual group content, though–maybe it’d be fun, if the players are good enough (did an impromptu group one time with a player who kept drawing too many too difficult enemies and got me [and himself] killed three times before I just gave up on him).
I’m still in the game, a few weeks after the Coursera class ended. Still enjoying it, but I want to back off from it and get back to reading some of the many books on my To-Read list.