I logged on to Radishing on Deepwood the other day to be greeted with mail. Being a curious radish, I rode over to the mail box and read my letter. I had received a guild promotion. Woot! Not woot. The guild I was in, Creative Outlets, had died and I was the only toon to log in for over 30 days. My reward was promotion to leader of a dead guild.
Most readers won’t know this guild or who Kumberlin (winner of the Joy of Dimensions contest) and Embri were. Both were dimensioneers from the Storm Legion beta and formed the guild, Creative Outlets, to gather Deepwood dimensioneers together. Kumberlin and myself, along with Embri, used to chat about all sorts of things and, occasionally, dimensions. Kumberlin and Embri were also brilliant builders. They sparked off each other to create some of the best pre-patch 2.3 dimensions. They were my friends and I miss them.
Nor are Kumberlin and Embri the only names to disappear. Check the link, Silky Dimensions, at the top of the blog, none of the people listed there play still. More people have disappeared from my list of dimensioning friends than remain now. The names in my guild have churned over to an almost completely new set of players; few remain to remind me of the ‘good, ole days’.
This churning of players is natural and I have a theory that MMO months are like doggy years, one MMO month equates to a year of real time. Many of us log in and talk to our gaming friends more often than real-life friends or family. Friendships are quickly made, zones explored, goals met, bosses defeated and interest in the game wanes. Often this cycle happens within months. Those that remain, losing friends and guild mates, become more tenuously connected to the game each day, only to inevitably disappear themselves.
I’ve been through several of those cycles during my time with World of Warcraft and it seems I’ve completed one of these cycles with Rift. It’s much harder to make new friends while at this end of a cycle. I’ve already done the exploring that brings people together to make new friends.
As creatures of habit, we go on doing the same activities and forget to reach out to people, both inside and outside our guilds and shrinking circle of friends. Finding yourself at the end of a similar cycle? Then shake things up a little. Maybe it’s time to level a new toon, but this time linger on the process, meet new players and get to know them. Look round your guild, I bet there’s quite a few new names there. Introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Only PvE’d before? Switch tactics and PvP; new activities bring new friends. Or maybe it’s time for a change of scenery, move shards or start anew on a different shard. Just don’t forget that making new friends takes time.
It’s only by shaking off our habits that we can meet new people and make new friends. The time I’ve been spending on the European shards has done this for me. Slipmat, chaining me to the walls of Consortium’s Halls of Shaping, has been the spark I’ve needed to meet new people. The guild is full of interesting folk and I’ve finally been making inroads in the dimensioning crowd (why, dimensionaddicts@argent was bubbling with conversation yesterday!) I spent a lovely time with Moystia, Polynomia, Shaeye and Shallow, chatting and visiting dimensions.
Now to bring that renewed enthusiasm back to the N.A. shards, just as soon as Slip forgets to lock the chains securely.