He would punch a hole through Dovahkiin.
It’s been a long time coming. The last time I played was way back in middle school. That was 1995-ish. I got interested in D&D again when I found the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts. I started reading up on fourth edition, and I generally liked what I saw. I couldn’t see what all the long-time players were complaining about. Granted I never played third edition.
Let me slow down a bit. I spent some time really trying to figure out why I wanted to get back into D&D, and it hit me: online multiplayer today just plain sucks. There was a time when playing games with other human beings was an enjoyable experience. After middle school and the end of D&D, I burned pretty much every afternoon following high school in Team Fortress Classic. I didn’t care about gamer scores, achievements, kill streaks, or anything that could serve to enlarge my e-peen.
You see, back then games for the most part could only run on custom built computers. Maybe this is the PC elitist in me talking, but you had to be in possession of a logically functioning brain to assemble a PC in the pre-2000′s world of computers. Generally this meant that players partaking in the online world of gaming were of high quality. The few that weren’t got banned and that was that. It was a small world, so when those people went away, the average quality went up sharply.
Fast forward to today. I play maybe a handful of hours a month of Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead. That’s pretty much it. They’re great games, don’t get me wrong, but joining them means I have to wade through the unwashed masses of the current crop of “gamers.” So I hardly ever play them. Gamers today are a bunch of foul-mouthed, spoiled, bratty, selfish, egotistical, social problems. I usually leave voice chat modes completely off and type what I need to say. It’s just not worth it anymore.
I wouldn’t touch the multiplayer mode of a console game with a 40 foot pole and ear protection. The one mode I will entertain on a regular basis is co-op. That’s because I’m always playing with a friend I know in person. Following that lengthy line of explanation, it comes as no surprise that I got back to D&D.
D&D at its heart is a cooperative game between friends. It’s the ultimate cooperative game, because there are humans behind all of the controls. There aren’t any achievements, there are no stat trackers. It’s simple and honest, and can only be played because you really want to play. I enjoy the single-player aspect of video games, but I’d really been missing that social component that comes from having quality human beings playing the same game you are.
I blame consoles. Always.