The best moments of PC gaming A small celebration of some of our favorite gaming memories.
There’s a special kind of camaraderie that only happens on the new MMO’s rare, coveted launch day. Inevitably, it’s two in the morning and I’m going to stop actively playing the game I’ve waited months for and instead stand with my 50 closest strangers, wearing our exact same clothes, /dancing and/ Waving at each other.
Someone would capitalize the lyrics to Smash Mouth’s 1999 hit All Star in a global chat, and I would find it charming rather than jarring. There’s a steady stream of newly logged-in players asking for the location of a particular NPC, and my enthusiasm for answering the same request 12 times with a smile is endless – I’m proud I only had the answer an hour ago.
I’ve attended my MMO launch days (and extended launch days) over the years, and they’ve always been accompanied by a certain adrenaline rush. Everyone gets stuck in the same starting area, running back and forth between NPCs while learning the basics of fighting, crafting or building, and slaying five wild boars like everyone else. I was inevitably involved in the hustle and bustle of Crazy Anthill, and once the player started to distract himself, it created a sight that would never be seen again.
When the fantasy colony MMO New World launches in 2021, excessive campfires clog the area players are told to try to build for the first time. And, of course, nude prone crawling glasses.
While my screenshots have faded over time, I’ll never forget jumping into the long-awaited Guild Wars 2 with my first norn character in 2012 and exploring the mountain hiker foothills, Delighted with the newfound jumping ability. Every bit of information gained is sweeter without a veteran player and eagerly shared in text chat. In our dedicated starting area, with dozens of other norn players surrounding us, we solved riddles framed by raven statues and found the first kick in the area’s jumping puzzles.
While it’s not an MMO, the first day of Elden Ring was almost like watching other players take their first steps from the stranded graveyard next to me. The presence of player information on the ground, often the same jokes being told by hundreds of people, is like being surrounded by global chat. A month later, the “hidden road ahead” lies may become dull, but the first day of the new world makes those tried-and-true words a special inside joke for those overwhelmed by them.
New MMO games don’t appear very often. Not even twice a year these days. I cherish when they do, because a single player game can’t replicate the joy of being surrounded by strangers, and they all walk past me with their eyes wide open for the same first moments.