Victory means nothing if it’s not achieved honorably. That’s a belief of mine. It’s not enough for me to just to win, I have to feel good about it too. That mindset is very fitting for role-playing a do-gooder character. TANK may be a Warrior / Elementalist right now, but in his heart he’s a Paladin. (I’ll probably switch him to a Warrior / Monk when I unlock the other secondary professions.)
A champion for the cause of righteousness is constantly faced with temptation. Here I am again, at another attempt for the Survivor title. It’s been so many tries that I lost count. Do I just cheat the system? With knowledge from Guild Wars Alpha and Beta testing, I know how to exploit the rules of the game. I could already have the Survivor title maxed out with another dozen titles already accomplished. What’s stopping me?
If I was a player without scruples, I could easily get more titles. But in doing so, would this blog exist? Where is the honor in explaining to you that I completed my titles by paying some kid in China to play for me? I think it’s a waste of money to buy in-game gold. Obviously, I avoid exchanging cash for gold. I see this as a dark side to the game. It’s fantasy and it should stay in the fantasy world. Part of the adventure is in the telling of the story. Besides, trading cash for virtual coin is against the rules of the game. When forced with that ethical question, it’s easy to answer. It’s an extreme situation. It’s black and white. The game prohibits it. Doing so would obviously be cheating.
What about a more gray arena? What about getting help from other players? I’m not referring to regular teammates, this is about the runners.
Any player who knows how to use the Guild Wars Wiki knows that Kilroy’s Punchout is one of the easiest paths to completing the Survivor title. That quest can be repeated over and over for easy experience points. It’s also fairly well known that in-game players will “run” you through hard levels if you pay them enough gold. I could simply skip to the Kilroy quest and complete the Survivor achievement quickly.
It’s within the rules of the game. I could use my main character to harvest enough gold and then I can use that gold to sneak TANK into a good leveling position. What’s so wrong with that? If an honest player is simply providing a service to a fellow honest gamer, is that not acceptable? Doesn’t that strengthen the community?
No, I don’t think so… not for me anyway. Online Role-Playing games are not about winning. They’re designed without an end. Instead, it’s the experiences felt during these adventures that are the reward. That is the true victory. How much fun do you have playing these games? If you’re having fun, then that is a victory. This dilemma may not have a wrong answer. It is not against the rules of the game to use a runner. Yet, I realized that I would not enjoy it. As tempted as I was to skip all the mundane stuff, that’s not who I am as a player.
After pondering the situation again, I reminded myself of who I am. I try to do the right thing – even in video games. I role-play heroes because that’s what I aspire to be – a hero! I also realized something else, that I was too tired for another mission. TANK, a level 8 Warrior / Elementalist, was done fighting for tonight. Too much deep thinking can make me sleepy.