The Legend of Mir, have you heard of it? No? Strange… Back in 1999 I had my first taste of real MMORPG gaming with this rather addictive, panic inducing and overall thrilling game. For it’s time it held numerous world records in China and when it came to Europe it had its own dedicated TV show , forum and community that any games developer could only dream of.
Back in ’99 I was fortunate enough to play it at its peak and progression but also given this was my first real online game that I played in a truly multiplayer sense I was also a complete newbie. I recall the very first time I logged in-game to see a player standing there walking circles and me begging for help but he refused to talk to me. Out of frustration I figured how to attack and next thing I know I am dead on the floor , head in my hands thinking what the heck just happened? As it turns out, that player was an NPC and his duty was to protect the town from monsters, doh!
So, I’m logged back in, lift my head up high and waltz around like I own the place (by slaying chickens to increase my EXP by 5…) and eventually find my way to a town.This town was in the province of Bichon and had a large population of players, like myself, totally out of their depth and talking about random nonsense, perfect! One of my favourite parts about this game is that you’re able to form a team and a guild. These teams and guild would be essential in the long run as the best items would only come from boss mobs (monsters) and they require team effort.
Now, by the time I’m a level 17 wizard I’ve already learnt the basics. I’m there with my light armour , trident sword and lightning bolt spell in the mines attacking any zombie that wishes to get in my way, but wait.. a rouge player comes out of know-where and kills me… what the hell just happened? That’s right! One of the fundamentals of this game is that under any circumstances a player can attack and kill you, and kill they will! Whilst some players may find this uneasy let it be known that each time you die, you drop items from your bag that you have collected and even actual equipped items. Imagine now, spending weeks and months saving, slaying, questing and hunting for that most powerful Dragon Slayer Sword to only be teamed up upon by a team of rouge players whom kill you and you drop that item. This was a daily occurrence and my god, it’s addictive!
One of my daily ritual during the early 2000’s would be to wake up late (having gone to bed in the wee hours of the morning) and level my character, after all… those people who call you names in-game and flaunt their wealth need to know who real daddy is, me! But there comes a problem with that. By the time you actually attain the highest rank you can imagine , you are a full-blown addict and my addiction was BAD. I would neglect school, social interaction and even at one point would rage so hard that I would get violent with the wall. I told you, I’m an addict!
By the time I was able to wean myself off the game I already had found the joys of life, women and alcohol but during those dark days of my late teens the game also struggled. Legend of Mir would become infatuated with hackers, botters and scammers. Wherever you turn you would be greeted with “Download our cheat here” or “Your mother is a wh#@!” there, realistically… I got out in perfect time, at least for that game. Remember when I said I weaned myself off? I lied… 10+ years later and I still occasionally play MMORPG’s, maybe not as much but I still do.
Who needs drugs when you got online games.