I’ve always thuoght that metagaming was the real challenge in an MMORPG. The game itself is what it is; do quests, kill stuff, conquer the world, etc. What distinguishes any game is the metagame – a game about the game – that grows around it.

You can call it community, call it offtopic, call it whatever. Since we, as players, cannot directly change the game, the metagame is where we thrive; it’s wholly us.

Since I started in World of Warcraft, my troll priestess has been in two guilds which were started with the best intentions, but for one reason or another, didn’t make the cull. The leaders drifted off.

Four of us were left in a guild with no leader. I volunteered to look for a new home for all of us; I researched the guilds on the forum for my server, grouped with several of them in-game, and negotiated with the recruiter for one of them to bring all of us on. Sunday, during one of their guild get-togethers in Thunder Bluff, we were invited to share our stories and join The Ghost Watch.

It was a lot of fun. But, it was purely in the metagame. It would have been as fun on an IRC chatroom.

Game companies are not unaware of the metagame; the guild structure shown in all current MMORPGs shows just how seriously the makers strive to be the catalyst for a metagame. WoW’s auction house (and the auction counter in FFXI, and the Bazaar in EQ) provide another metagame, that of gaming the economy.

Could the success or failure of any recent games be due to its lack of metagame? It’s something for nascent designers to consider.

WoW check: Kanda Der’a’Zun, troll, is halfway through level 33. She has about 15 of the 90 gold needed to buy her mount at 40. Things aren’t looking good, and I fear I’ll hit 40 before getting 90 gold.

Sulu is gay?

George Takei says, “I’m gay”

People popping out all over! It’s odd and amazing how you can look at a person one day, and at the same person another day, and they become totally different. But hey, if someone had said, which Star Trek cast member is gay, I’d have picked him.

I logged on to EQ, gathered my corpse and attended the Halloween raid (though the event ended prematurely for some reason). I stayed out of channels aside from cleric channel, which I kinda have to be in to do my job. Afterward, we did Jurek and one of Bininon’s 1.5 fights after (the same one I did with Felwyn on Stromm) in an RCoD instance.

And then, on to WoW.

I’m really having trouble with the RP for Troll races. There just doesn’t seem to be much to do there. Maybe it’s just me – heck, I know it is. So I started a gnome rogue (Tipa, natch), and slipped into character incredibly easily.

Horde, I tried. I’ll still play Kanda (there being no pressure to play or level her, so I will continue), but now my soul is in Tipa 2.0. Well, I have a Tipa in EQ2 (halfling monk, Lavastorm), so I guess… this would be Tipa 3.0.

Made level 10 this morning while gathering parts to finish a machine to turn leper gnomes back into non-leper gnomes.

It’s Friday!