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The Astral is an MMO

thedragonslibrary:

Or at least, it’s a lot like an MMO.

Some people can’t even figure out how to log on, let alone afford to pay the subscription. Sometimes their computers are too old or their graphics card isn’t right, which makes the image blurry and the animation choppy and it crashes every couple of minutes.

Most people start out at level one, and they have to grind through the really boring story stuff.  Lots of times these people are confused and misled, but also amazed by the open world, and they run around a lot without getting anything done.  Many of those people will level up for a while without ever making any friends or joining any guilds, which is a totally perfect and valid way to play.

Some people have one of those instant level 99 tokens, and they level up instantly, and are kind of overwhelmed by how difficult the game was right off the bat.  Sometimes those people decide it’s in their best interest to quit now before they stress themselves out, and that’s okay.

Some people get in the game and they already have friends who are in pretty high-ranking guilds, so they’re pulled into giant awesome boss fights.  And man, are the boss fights awesome.  They play their role naturally and have a really great and fun time doing it.  Everyone in the guild really feels how fun and exciting it is, and the people watching them stream the game are also pretty excited, even if they’re a bit removed from the situation.

And the next day, when they’re talking to their IRL friends and they say, “Oh man, killing Archimonde last night was so cool,” their guild friends will totally relate, and agree with them!  But their IRL friends, who have never touched an MMO, will just kind of say, “Yeah, that sounds pretty cool,” even though they can’t relate at all.  They feel a little left out and almost like they’re expected to play the MMO, even though they can’t really commit the time to learn how to play.

And meanwhile, there are thousands of other players who have beaten the same bosses, played the same games, earned the same trinkets, and had guilds of their own.  Some people have explored most of the game without ever beating a boss.  Some people spend their time on the market earning gold. Some people play on a trackpad on their laptop and some people own a Razor Naga mouse.  And some people never even pick up the game at all.

And all of this is totally and completely valid.

Just because you’re not beating the biggest baddest boss in the game once a week, doesn’t mean your astral travel is less cool or less valid.  Do what makes you feel good, and what your abilities allow for, and don’t feel like you have to meet any extra expectations to have a good time.

Reblogged due to reason: Accurate analogy.