Being completely new to the whole online gaming experience, not to mention MMORPGs, I didn't know what to expect, and I must say that I was not ready for the "EverCrack." After I spent several hours creating my character, which involved choosing a race, class, and the appearance--everything from hair and skin color, to size and sex had to be picked--I then entered the world.
Since my chosen race was Dark Elf and my class was Rogue, I started out in the creepy city of Neriak. There were many fellow Dark Elves running about, killing and looting in hopes of leveling up. Leveling up is the goal of every player. I think there were a total of 60 levels, each of which takes longer and longer to get to--with a 59 level player having to spend nearly a year of daily playing just to make it to 60. With each level comes power, and attaining power, which makes the gaming experience more enjoyable, is the goal of every player.
For the first few weeks of playing, I just explored and slowly gained levels and made friends (making friends is the secondary goal of EverQuest). Since I was still a low level, I didn't dare stary too far from Neriak, my home. If I had tried, powerful creatures--run my the computer--would come from a bush, cave, or some other element of the incredibly detailed landscapes and kill my character, which takes points--making it harder to level-up.
After a few months passed and I reached level 10 or so by killing small snakes, wolves, and the occasional zombie, I was then able to really experience the game; I was able to leave my city and the woods that surrounded it in search of other lands and far away places. And boy were there places to see: jungles, mountains, islands, caves...and cities, golden plated cities, tree cities, magical cities, forbidden cities. There were also thousands of other players to meet (Wikipedia says that in the early 2000s there were "subscription numbers close to 450,000"), of whom made the gaming experience more social, and thus more enjoyable.
I played the game obsessively from about 2001 to early 2003. My character got more powerful (I think I got him to level 30 or so), and I even got a few of my friends to join in on the fun. I often remember skipping dinner because I was in the midsts of making some great trade--maybe my old rusted sword for an enchanted earing, or something like that. There were so many. I also remember pulling all-nighters in the middle of the week, on a day of a test, in order to beat some dragon or powerful rock monster. Oh, the memories!
But I started to realize I was addicted (check out this youtube video if you don't believe me (: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAQSkw_rj8w) to the "EverCrack"; I was going out less and less, hating school more and more, and making my virtiual, fake EverQuest character an important part of my real life. So, I slowly weened myself off. And eventually, though it was hard, I was a free man; I started skateboarding with my friends again, going out with girls again, and doing my homework again.
So, anyway, that was my MMORG experience. I have not touched the stuff since--clean and sober for almost 5 years. I do, however, still have cravings. I mean, how can I not? These games are amazing and can be great entertainment for a mature person able to make boundaries for him/her self. But that I am not one of those people. Maybe some day I will be, but for now I need to concentrate on more important things in my REAL life.