About a month ago something profound happened to me in Warhammer Online. Another player sent me a new pair of shoulders for my low level Sword Master in tier 1. At these levels getting shoulders early is really nice since they are somewhat rare. I met him in a scenario killing the enemy together. He sent me a tell in game and in role-playing chat told me in essence to use them well to guard against destruction. Of course I asked if he wanted compensation and he didn’t. This got me thinking about MMORPG’s and how “solo” they seem to be in some ways, this person didn’t benefit or have any reason to seek me out to give these to. Yet he did, so it got me wondering, what if I did the same for every rare blue drop I got?
Since then I’ve payed it forward to three other players, all very excited that someone would give them a nice blue for free. I’ve made alliances and formed bonds with complete strangers over such a simple act. The best thing about it is how simple it is, I have a conversation with them, ask them if they are in need of say a blade (or whatever the item is), then offer it up to them and tell them to use it well to defend against the evils of the world.
Now before I come off as looking like I’m some saint or something (I’m not) let me just say that in Warhammer this is sooooo easy to do. First off you don’t really need money, I have oodles of it for mounts/items. Maybe at end game and buying certain things you would feel like you need it, but I’m still not feeling it at the moment. Even so these items I freely gave away would have got me maybe 3-4g at best, nothing spectacular. Also I’m not looking for anything in return, if you are then maybe its not for you. I just want to help out another gamer somewhere, feel like they had someone in their massive multiplayer world looking out for them, and feel a little more immersed in the game. Not to mention get a nice blue upgrade they weren’t expecting.
I plan to take this concept into other games I may play in the future if they have the ability to. All because of one little gesture by some random guy in Warhammer. Imagine what might happen if someone I give an item to starts doing the same, could make our MMORPG communities better for everyone. Well that’s a pipe dream but still, in some small way I like the idea a lot. Do you have any stories like this? Does paying it forward seem like a good idea to you?