by, 16-03-2010 at 18:36 (610 Views)
I always think of nostalgia as a longing for something that never happened in your past but someone else tells you was wonderful.
This leads me into the apparent nostalgia for pugs that often rages in GW forums. Back in the old days sayeth the sages, pugs were plentiful and wonderful, if only we could get back to the good old days! (understanding of course this was only five years ago ). My memory of the 'good old days' diverges from the notion of heroes ruining everything.
I started as a true newbie at GW, I'd never played an MMO before this and had no idea of mechanics, movement or what to do with armor - reading manuals did not help me as I had no prior experience to base them in. So, if my friends were not around and I wanted to progress, I depended on the kindness of strangers.
Kindness is a strong word, more like the cussing and nastiness of strangers. If I asked why something was bad in my naivety, I was spoken to as if I were the dumbest child in the dumby child class and if I had further questions I would be kicked. Then there were the plain old abusive people who were just mean on principle, or the creepy individuals who would whisper me with their rape fantasies and tell me they knew where I lived.
I got to the point where I would beg for help from my friends in places like Thunderhead Keep and Hell's Precipice. I hated begging because I have my pride, but anything would beat the prospect of another pug. Does no one remember the first months of Hell's Precipice and the fact that 90% of pugs could not beat it? Repeating this a half dozen times, trying to get past these missions was an exercise in frustration, and since games are supposedly fun I would stop playing until someone was around.
Granted, there were some good groups in there, but the bad ones made a big impression on me. I simply came to dislike pugs and avoided them to the point of simply loading up with henchmen and doing the best I could. I was delighted when heroes came along and I could skip the whole pug thing.
The paradox I have experienced is that my more recent pug experiences (when I allow them to happen) have never been as bad as the ones I had in the first few months of GW. I've never again encountered perverts, people professing to be skinheads or the griefers (I have some wonderful griefer stories). People are generally helpful in places like Vizunah where you have to cooperate, people I've had along to dungeons and elite areas are generally cool - possibly a bit full of themselves but not insulting. In all, I would have to say I prefer the pugs I encounter these days to the ones I encountered in the supposed 'golden age of pugging'.
Anyhow, all anecdotal. I imagine that I had bad luck and many people actually had positive and wonderful experiences in those opening days. At least, I certainly hope so, because otherwise they are deluding themselves or are masochistic and enjoy abuse.