align=center>A Journey’s
Lesson… />


align=center>By
Niborea


 


style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">On a recent trip with my youngest
son, I was hit with the realization that how traveling
through life correlates to traveling through my favorite
MMO’s.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">You see we had already been on the
road for several hours, with several more hours ahead, our sights set on our
destination…home, much like grinding out those levels doing the same camp/mobs
over and over. We were tired already of the journey that is quickly becoming
routine. We will be making this trek every 6 weeks for the next year as part of
a treatment program for
style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Cerebellar Developmental
Delay.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">My realization hit as I watched the
many cars and trucks going faster than needed,


style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">weaving in and out of traffic,
making rude gestures at those they perceived as impeding their progress.
Obviously their focus was only on the destination and not the
journey.


style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I’ve met a few folks like this in
games too, jumping from group to group, camp to camp only caring about the best
exp and loot.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">While we still had nearly four hours
of road ahead of us and were feeling quit anxious to get home we noticed the
sign - "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /> class=bodytext> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Indiana class=bodytext> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">
style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Dunes class=bodytext> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">
style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">National class=bodytext> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">
style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Lakeshore class=bodytext> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">
style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Park
class=bodytext> style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">. class=bodytext>We thought this
sounded intriguing. I love anything to do with a beach; they have a very
tranquil feeling for me.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">So I pulled off the

style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Toll
Road
style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"> we pulled onto not more than 10
miles back and we then proceeded to drive a short distance to a parking area and
walked to the beach.


style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">It was a site to behold. A gentle
fall wind was blowing, the sand shifting underneath its rhythmic pulsing, the
water lapping onto the beach with each gentle wave, and the
style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Chicago class=bodytext> skyline
visible as we glanced westward. As we strolled along the beach with our shoes
off and our pant legs rolled up, my son talking excitedly about this experience,
I knew it was well worth the detour.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">How many people drove the toll road
past this treasure everyday with only their destination in their sight? How many
times have they driven the same route, day after day, not even noticing the
brilliant colors of fall as they creep over the landscape in hues of yellow,
reds and oranges?


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">We had found one of the many
treasures laced through this world that not everyone takes the time to discover.
Sure there are others who found this treasure before us and those who will find
it after. Yet the experience alone is ours, unique and
unforgettable.
style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">There was a time when I was grinding
out the next level on my paladin; I really wanted to reach level 9 to access my
spells. I had been spending most of my time in Crushbone, having not explored
much farther from my home of Felwith. There was a plea of help in /OOC. Someone
was asking for help in a place called Befallen. They had lost their corpse to
the undead that languished within. Being the noble and compassionate knight that
I was, I answered the call. I set aside my destination of reaching level 9 for a
time to help another.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">In the process of helping that
person, I found something I really loved…exploration. Traveling through many new
zones, crossing the OOT on my first boat ride and seeing my first Cyclops. It
was all very exciting and an experience I would not soon
forget.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">There were times when I would see
some high level character with the best gear and feel a bit envious. But more
often than not when I got to talking to them realized how much of the game they
missed on their single minded path to their destination, more common now than
back in the early days.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">They often only fought in areas
known to give the highest rewards or exp. They missed complete zones if they did
not feel it was the fastest way to their next level. I have grouped with those
who never seemed to enjoy the interaction within but only barked that the pulls
were not fast enough.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">While I always have a destination in
mind, I don’t think I allow it to consume me completely. I still feel that there
are rewards to taking the time on a journey to talk with others, help where
needed or just take some time to enjoy the surroundings.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">When I found it harder to find
groups during the daytime hours, I created a monk. One afternoon when I was
working her way towards Feign Death in Oasis, I came across a young man killing
orcs. His name looked vaguely familiar and he seemed to be struggling to keep
the camp of orcs at bay. I offered to help and mentioned that I knew someone
with a similar name. He accepted and he told me he had just returned after
having left the game for some time. He mentioned his previous name and lo and
behold he was the person I knew long ago! I had to tell him who I was, for he
knew of only my paladin. It was not very good exp for me, but with him being
lower in level was good for him. Thus I set aside my destination to spend a
lovely time catching up and enjoying the afternoon with an old friend. Another
treasure hidden along the journey.


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style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">So the next time you’re traveling,
whether it’s in RL or your favorite MMO, don’t forget to keep your eyes open for
all the hidden treasures laced along the way to your destination.


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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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