Games I’ve Played
Here is the list of games I’ve played (reverse chronological order):
- April 2013 – November 2013: World of Tanks on NA server as taugrim
- Aug 2012 – November 2013: Guild Wars 2 on Blackgate as “Taugrim the Ele” the Elementalist and “Taugrim” the Warrior
- Dec 2011 – August 2012: SWTOR as Taugrim the Trooper Vanguard and Taugrymm the Smuggler Gunslinger on Ajunta Pall (US RP-PVP)
- Feb 2011 – Jan 2012: RIFT as Taugrim the M*A*S*H Cleric on Sunrest (US RP-PVP). I shelved Taugrim the Rank 4 Riftblade/Champion/Paladin Warrior on Harrow (US RP-PVP)
- Mar 2010 – Feb 2011: World of Warcraft as Taugrimm the Paladin (L85) and Taugrim the Balance Druid (L80) on Wildhammer
- Feb – Mar 2010: Allods Online as Taugrim the Melee Healer on Tensess
- Sep 2009 – Jan 2010: Aion as Taugrum the Chanter and Taugrim the Sorcerer on Lumiel
- Sep 2008 – Sep 2009: Warhammer Online as Taugram the Swordmaster (RR65 L40) and Taugrim the Bright Wizard (RR41 L40) on Phoenix Throne
- Nov 2007 – Sep 2008: The Lord of the Rings Online as Taugrim the Captain (R6 L50) and Taugrem the Orc Reaver (R6) on Landroval
- May 2006 – Nov 2007: World of Warcraft as Maeglor the Feral Druid (L70) on Agamaggan
- 2005 – May 2006: Knight Online as Taugrim the Archer (L61) on Beramus
- 1998: Meridian 59
My History with MMORPGs
In 2005, I searched for a F2P (Free to Play) MMORPG and landed on Knight Online (KO). I wrote my first gaming guide, Guide to Rogue-Archer, to answer questions that kept coming up on the forums and to address the widely-held perception that Rogue-Archers sucked. Rogue-Archer suited me well: the class had excellent mobility, solid DPS, and enough spot-healing and cleansing to bail people out of trouble.
KO was fun, but the game was very hackable, and I got tired of PVP’ing against players who cheated. So I switched over to World of Warcraft (WoW) with a few friends from KO during the summer of 2006, and we rolled on the server Agamaggan.
WoW was the first game I ever played that had serious class balance issues, and because of Vanilla WoW’s design, gear balance issues. It was sometimes amusing, sometimes frustrating dialoguing with the community, as there was a lot of in-fighting between players of the same class of different specs and between players of different classes that filled the same role (tank, DPS, or healer). In the first 10 months of The Burning Crusade (TBC) expansion, I played as a Feral tanking Druid named Maeglor. Eventually I got burned out of the raiding gear grind, so I quit WoW cold turkey in November 2007.
I still wanted to play an MMORPG, I just didn’t want to deal with a grindfest. At the suggestion of a friend, who I’d been playing online with since KO, I tried The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). The community was stellar, the game was immersive, and there were no issues of different classes playing the same role (e.g. main tank, main healer, etc), as there had been with WoW. While LOTRO’s PVE was quite good, I’m a PVP’r at heart, and the Moors PVP had a lot of issues. I initially only PVP’d as a Freep (with my Captain), but eventually I switched to playing a Creep (Orc Reaver) because Creepside needed more players on my server (Landroval) to balance things out.
While playing LOTRO, I wrote several class guides (2 for Captain, 1 for Orc Reaver, 1 for Uruk Blackarrow). One common issue I ran into was that a written guide only went so far in terms of explaining how to play a class, and players often gave feedback that tips I wrote in my Guides didn’t work, even though I knew from personal experience that they did. So I bought FRAPS to record footage and started posting PVP videos on YouTube in the summer of 2008. What I found lacking in most MMORPG videos is any kind of context; usually a video has music playing, and it can be difficult to tell what is going on. So I started narrating my videos, and the narrations generated a lot of positive feedback.
In late Spring of 2008, I started following Warhammer Online (WAR) with keen interest. WAR was incredibly attractive to me. The concept of leveling up via RVR (Realm-Versus-Realm, which is another acronym for mass PVP) sounded awesome, and I was intrigued by the mechanics of classes such as the Warrior Priest, which uses melee abilities to generate “mana” (called Righteous Fury) for healing. When WAR launched in September 2008, I switched from LOTRO to WAR.
In WAR, I initially played a Bright Wizard to 40, made a lot of narrated BW videos, and wrote the Bright Wizard Class Mechanics Guide. Due to a shortage of Order tanks on my server, I rolled a Swordmaster as my main character in November and continued cranking out narrated videos and wrote a Swordmaster Class Mechanics Guide.
I played WAR until April 2009, at which point I de-subscribed because I was frustrated with the lack of server and mass PVP stability in Patch 1.2. In early July, I decided to check out WAR in Patch 1.3 on a free trial basis. The game’s stability had improved, so I re-subbed and played until mid September 2009, at which time I de-subbed because I wanted to try Aion, and WAR had gone from being fairly stable with the great Patch 1.3b to being very unstable and buggy in Patch 1.3.1.
In September 2009, the North America version of Aion launched. There was a lot of hoopla about the game in terms of its polish and PVP potential. My initial impression was that the game was tedious but I leveled a Chanter to 40, by which point the grindy nature of the game just killed my interest to continue leveling to 50 so I de-subbed in early February 2010.
I started playing the F2P game Allods Online in February 2010 but by the end of March decided to stop playing AO due to concerns about the game. In the meanwhile, I’d heard that there were several changes to World of Warcraft in Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) that removed a lot of the grind that I’d detested back in TBC.
So I decided to give WoW another try. This time around, I chose Balance as my main spec for my Druid and eventually decided to level a Paladin to play as Retribution in PVE and Protection in PVP.
Prior to WoW Patch 4.0, my Protection Paladin became my main PVP character. When 4.0 launched, there were significant class changes that were introduced for the Paladin (and other) classes. There was a dearth of information for how to play the Protection spec in 4.0, so I put together a detailed Prot Pally PVP Guide, which I’ve continued to update in Cataclysm. The Prot Pally PVP Guide has been my most comprehensive Guide to-date, and I received a lot of great feedback and input from the Paladin community (~1000 comments and counting). I managed to break 2k Arena rating in the 2v2 and 3v3 brackets as Prot in Cataclysm, and I was the only person to do so in those brackets in the Shadowburn battlegroup during the time I played.
In February I started feeling restless with WoW, and I heard some very compelling things about RIFT, so I pre-ordered the game. RIFT had a terrific launch and has been the most enjoyable game for PVP that I have ever played. I wanted to play a heavy melee class so I rolled a Warrior and published the Riftblade Warrior PVP Guide. In early June I switched servers to Sunrest and rolled a Cleric, because our new guild needed healers.
The RIFT Cleric community widely believed that “melee healer” Clerics were not viable, but my gut feeling was that the mechanics existed to support melee-healing, it was just a matter of sorting them out. After hitting level 50, I wrote my M*A*S*H Melee Healer Cleric Guide, and to my pleasant surprise many Clerics overcame their skepticism, tried out the spec, and raved about it. I began to lose interest in RIFT with Patches 1.5 and 1.6 due to the overbalancing of classes.
I played SWTOR with my guildees in <Maven> since the first week of launch, and for most of that time we were on Ajunta-Pall (US RP-PVP). We rolled on Republic on AP because we wanted to be on a server with reasonable faction balance, or at least to be on the side that was outnumbered, because it’s way more interesting than running with the zerg. In August I made the decision to stop playing SWTOR, as the vast majority of my guildees moved on from the game, the game became more grindy in 1.3 which did not align with my limited free time per my new job, and I want to see how F2P is implemented before I commit further to the game.
I’ve played GW2 since launch, as it provides all the systems for PVP that I really care about (battleground, tournament / ranked battleground, and World PVP), and the horizontal scaling system for PVP simply rocks, especially in 5v5 tournaments, as gear is strictly cosmetic and it’s therefore a level playing field. GW2 PVP requires timing, movement, communication, and team management of the downed state – so it provides the highest skill cap of any game I’ve played. In addition, I love that you can play in endgame battlegrounds within literally a half hour of rolling a new character – this allows players to experiment with new classes with minimal time investment.
In April 2013, on a whim I picked up WoT and it’s been the most pleasant surprise of any PC game I’ve ever played. I posted about my experience as a non-paying noob player.