The MMO Tribute and Weekend Blog Updates

I’ve spent the past few days skimming through an immense archive of MMO screenshots, from early beginnings in Final Fantasy Online (I don’t have anything older stored anymore) on to four folders full of WoW to different titles I’ve played whenever I was jaded with the game and those I’ve played after. Needless to say, it put me in a painfully pensive and nostalgic mood, reliving some of the time I’ve spent in virtual worlds, looking at pictures of old friends who are no more and remembering some of the epic fun and silliness we shared. There is nothing that sets such an MMO picture album apart from real-life photographs; I’ve been to Vana’diel and Azeroth, to Hyboria and Telara, I have lived there and all the memories are memories of real things, real experiences and emotions. It’s been a hell of a journey and I don’t regret one damn minute. When I close my eyes I can be anywhere I want to and that has always been my escape.

Pewter recently examined what makes “the soul” of an MMO which is not an easy mission. It’s a question that can only be answered individually, what it is that draws each of us to virtual places and what we seek there. I once attempted to name that magic that makes games compelling to us, that draws us in so completely and utterly like only the best of them achieve. Where does the soul of an MMO lie? To me it’s many things come together, as it is no doubt for everybody (if not necessarily the same ones): it’s atmosphere and setting, a sense of world and scale, it’s in randomness and freedom, balance and cooperation. Longterm, the social component has the power to change everything. I am also a sucker for shiny art and beautiful music, but then you knew that already.

However you like to call this soul of adventure, I’ve found it there preserved in my screenshots, a decade of fun and wonders documented – a decade of me made up of different pieces. And it hit me that for each of those worlds I’ve visited, I left something of myself behind. That is the painful nostalgia, that’s what it means to truly immerse yourself in an MMO – it doesn’t come for free. We are all paying a tribute.
And maybe that’s why as the years pass, the longing increases and the older we get newer games make us feel less and less. For every world we’ve traveled, we leave a part of ourselves behind…until there’s nothing left to give. “When I was young I was a fool…”

The gallery is up and new blog is shiny!

My gallery is finished now and I’m very happy with it. It was initially only meant for my recent GW2 beta pictures but I’ve always wanted an online documentary that shows all the places Syl has been to and to go drown in nostalgia whenever I feel like it.
Unfortunately I haven’t found too many screenshots of the older games – I’m especially missing my Age of Conan folder that I seem to have lost. I realized too, that I haven’t taken nearly enough good screenshots in Allods, but then I’ll be back – I am always back to Allods.

Since I’ve spent so many hours picking pictures, I’ve finally also tackled another big to-do on my list, which was re-designing the entire blog to make it feel more personal to me and expressing the MMO / gamer thematic. The assorted screenshots were a big help and I absolutely love the new look and header image! This might get me to stick to blogger for a while longer, absolute pain in the ass that it is sometime.

Speaking of which, naturally the overhaul made me lose my blogroll again – this is the third time in a row now and I’m sick and tired of it. I finally found a way to store the links for good (doh), however I had to reproduce all of my blogroll pages manually (from memory) again and I am still missing at least 10 blogs on it. There’s only so much I can remember out of 55 links. So, in case you’re one of my blogroll users or find yourself missing all of a sudden – it’s quite possibly not intentional and I hope to restore the last few over the coming days. Letting me know is also much appreciated.

A good weekend to all of you out there paying the MMO tribute – and yes, one day I will tackle the even bigger headache that is switching my blog over to wordpress!


    1. Thanks! =) I love playing around with PS, I used to make a lot of header pictures and avatars for my own guild webpage in WoW. I’m more than happy to assist you if you’re looking for an image for your blog – feel free let me know if you already have a rough idea what you’re looking for.

    2. Naa, I didn’t really have anything in mind. Red Skies hasn’t changed it’s banner in years. If I can come up with a concept Ill pass it along for your input. you accept cats and koalas as payment?

  1. Albeit not intended by yourself, THANK YOU. I am a huge sucker for old snippets of what MMOs used to be, and why I still believe in the genre. FFXI especially, I can only vaguely remember my white mage and shorelines, lots of shorelines and killing crabs.
    THANK YOU for taking the time to build that photobox. +1 to you, sir.

    1. You are very welcome – and it was absolutely intended that way too. the gallery isn’t only there for my enjoyment but everyone’s or it wouldn’t be public.

      And I am still a Ma’am. 😉

    2. @Syl
      Well, ‘Ma’am’ (I didn’t know!) would you happen to have more screenies locked away that haven’t been uploaded for public enjoyment? I live and breathe the golden age of MMOs!

      I’m lacing up my boxing gloves as we speak. Put up your dukes!

    1. Thanks Shintar! ^^ and indeed, by now I’m wondering how I could live for so long with that older, clunky template lol!

  2. Hey, great redesign! I enjoyed looking through your screenies, and the idea of a gallery is so good that I may just steal it. >.>

    1. I can only recommend it – it’s such a flashback of memories and nice to have a (tidy) testament of your online travels. 🙂 and thanks!

  3. Love the new look! That header is fantastic.

    I’m taking a ridiculous number of screenshots nowadays. I always took a lot but with newer games looking increasingly amazing it’s beginning to get out of hand. Both GW2 and TSW offer endless photo opportunities. I still have most of my old ones going back to about 2003 and I have them all backed up in more than one place but the thought of sorting them into any kind of meaningful order makes me come out in a cold sweat, so kudos to you for getting it done!

  4. Thank you both very much!

    The task did fill me with dread, which is why I’ve waited for so long. However now that my fav shots online, I’m glad to have this kind of backup. just start somewhere! 😉

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