Welcome to MMO couples

Every one who is familiar with MMOG's (massive multiplayer online games), knows the stories of people who are so addicted to playing these games that it costs them their real life friendships and relationships. There are also stories though of people who meet in a MMOG and fall in love, like my boyfriend and I. 'MMO couples' is a tribute to our lovestory, but also an invitation to share your story and experiences with others.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Will you join my Linkshell?", the story of a couple who met in Final Fantasy XI

"This is my story of how I found the most wonderful guy. I truly am grateful to Final Fantasy XI for letting us get in touch and meet.

I had started playing Final Fantasy XI in June of 2006, after being a long time fan of the Final Fantasy series. A few months in, and I felt ready to take on the world with a band of friends by my side. So I thought to myself: 'Let's start a linkshell!' I formed BurningSunrise, my very first linkshell. I was darn proud of it too, inviting all of my friends to join and share the fun. But after a while, people moved on, and I found myself in the city of Jeuno shouting for new members to do missions and quests with.
That's when 'he' popped up.

'I'll join', were his first words to me (he still can't tell me why he joined my particular linkshell). He wasn't what I was expecting: a 75 Dragoon came strolling up to me and introduced himself, wearing the coolest armour, and sporting a long black lance on his back. I was instantly in awe of this guy and how much time he had put into his character. So he joined up, and over the next month we spent a lot of time together, mostly him helping me with my rank missions and acquiring the level 30 unlockable jobs. He even came along for my fight to unlock Dragoon as a playable job, which I kept telling him would be my first job to level to 75 (and it was: I finally finished it off a year later). All the while, I couldn't tell him how I was falling for him in a big way. I thought the age gap was too wide, that he would laugh at me if I told him how I felt. So I kept schtum until one day...

So, here is the scene. I was in West Ronfaure, levelling a level 1 job, when he popped online and started talking to me. I finally made my mind up:

<Me> I got something to tell you...
<Him> What is it?
<Me> I love you.
<Me> Yes >.> <.<
<Him> Good, cos I love you too.

I could have screamed from the very rooftops at that moment in joy. A month later, he drove 300 miles to see me for a weekend, and it was the best weekend ever. He was everything I had hoped for and had seen in the pictures, and I was so happy. But then he had to drive back, which of made me feel very upset.
It carried on for a while, until he decided to move down to me permanently. It was difficult, as we would have to live with my mother for a while, but she gave her blessing. So on the worst winter's night in memory, he drove down. I didn't think he would get through the snow and ice, but he rolled up to my house at 2am, and I have never been so glad in my life to see someone.

One and a half years on, we have our own place and are very happy with the life we have made together. He still feels like he doesn't fit in here sometimes, and that he is finding it hard to make friends, but we are getting there now that we have moved out of the family home.

For the first time in my life, I feel that things are going my way and that I have found a man that I can put my trust in completely. I couldn't be without him, and I am so glad that we had a chance to meet on Final Fantasy XI. We still play regularly, as we have many friends on there. We have also got engaged in-game, so hopefully I get that white wedding I want in Chateau D'Oraguille in the fabled city of San d'Oria. Or maybe we will use the gil to buy ourselves a Haubergeon +1 >.>"

Monday, May 12, 2008

All we will say is: "Moonglade"

The woman who sent me the following story, wrote in the header 'I wasn't looking for love, but love found me!'. Enjoy the saga of a guildleader in disguise who whispered to her Night Elf Hunter for the first time in Moonglade.
*Note to self: what is this attraction between Druids and Hunters... :)

"I used WoW as a get-away from my real life issues. Work, the ex-boyfriend, just life. I enjoyed running about and exploring this fake world. In-game I was a co-guild leader of a rather large guild and was always being asked for help. Nothing new, but one night I was asked by one of my members (who I always thought was one of the best members my guild had) for some help with some quests. Unfortunately I was busy that night and couldn't help at the time. But I always remembered how nice he was and how great a member he was. I even remember the day he joined my guild. Some time later I did end up helping him with some quests, and found that he was amazingly sweet and kind. Though we weren't together long, I thought about him often and when seeing him log on over the next few nights, I wanted to speak to him but never could find an excuse to. So I never did.

Being a leader of a guild that size you sometimes just want to get away from responsibility and play the game without whispers or anything else that might come your way. I had a secret Druid alt that very very few knew was actually me. It was around the time of the Brew Fest activities and I was running around doing those events, enjoying the quiet night. Being a Druid I was able to teleport myself to Moonglade to get myself over to Darnassus much faster. Running toward the flight path I happened to mouse over a Night Elf Hunter standing in Moonglade (something you don't see too often), noticed this person was from my guild and: that sweetheart of a member! I found myself smiling and trying to think of something to say. I could not think of anything and instead just waved at him and ran off. Still to this day I'm not sure why I decided to stop, but I did and whispered him, saying who I was and hello. We stood there in Moonglade talking for about 20 minutes until he told me he was now late for something he had to be at in real life. I was extremely happy I stopped and he promised me he'd come back to chat some more. And he did! We talked for what seemed only minutes, but was actually hours. I ended up staying up all night and found out he was living in Australia and me being in the States I just couldn't stay awake any more. I had to log which was tough to do.

A while later, WoW had introduced in game voice chat. Big deal at the time for my large guild. I had thought about this Night Elf Hunter often and wished to talk to him more, but found myself being too shy to really start up conversation. For some reason that night I was on our guild's in game voice chat and never knew it. I heard someone quietly say hello to me. It was the Night Elf Hunter! I instantly was attracted to his voice, but never thought much of it, seeing it's just a game. I wasn't looking for a relationship in a virtual world. We did small talk, asking each other age, jobs, etc. I found myself really enjoying his company and thinking about him all the time. In game and out of game. We continued to talk to each other whenever possible. Either over voice chat or just in whisper chat. I soon was in parties with him all the time and invited other online friends of mine to join us for quests/chatting. They would tell me how much we flirt. I guess I never realized how attracted I was to him. We soon did everything together and were inseparable.

Finally one night, while we were talking, he told me he had something to say to me. He was thinking of transferring servers. I was heart broken. I told him right away how sad I was to hear that. How fun he really was and how I would miss him. He told me he felt the same. How he'd miss me too much and didn't want to leave, but some of his other in game buddies were leaving to a better server for his Time Zone. It was that night we both realized how we cared for each other more than just a friend in game. Seeing that I was never looking for love or a relationship of any kind, we told each other everything. The highs and lows in our lives. So honestly, there will be no surprises when we finally are together. Which is a really good thing to do.

I still remember where I was when he first told me he had something that he's been thinking about a lot and needed to say to me, but was afraid to. I finally got him to say it. I'll never forget hearing those six words "I'm falling in love with you." I was speechless, I had no idea what to say and must have been silent for some time, because he had to ask if I was still there. I'll admit, I wasn't able to say it back to him. I kept thinking to myself that this is a virtual world and you can't find love in a game. I've truly never been more wrong in my life. I can now say that I've found the love of my life and yes, in an online game! I've never been happier and I can't wait to live my life with this man. We laugh now about how when we'll be asked where we met. All we'll say is: "Moonglade"."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For those who move for love: some tips

This post is not only handy for people who plan to move to another country to live with their cute Gnome Mage or courageous Blood Elf Paladin, but for anyone who plans to move to another country, for what ever reason. But since this is a blog about MMO relationships, we just pretend it is only for those who move for love :)

Like I have written in one of my earlier posts, all you want is to get to the significant other as soon as possible. Because of that, you might not have a clear overall view of what you need to know in general concerning moving to another country, and what you can/should do in advance. I certainly wished I had thought of some things before I moved; would have saved me a lot of headaches and frustration. But I had to find out the hard way. So based on my experiences, I have have written down some tips to help you out. At least those of you who are EU-citizens. But I am sure that people living elsewhere can get some valuable information out of it as well.

Before I start with the list, be aware of the fact that you will leave family and friends behind. Can you handle this? Will you be able to visit them from time to time, or they you? If a beloved one is having problems, you can't simply go and see him or her. You can't go out for a drink with your friends whenever you feel like it. This is something you need to think through very thoroughly. Eventhough you will be with the one you love, you can still feel very loney.

Another thing you need to realize, is that you will have to start from scrap. Not only do you most likely need to learn a new language and invest time in building up a new circle of friends, you also need to build up a new life for yourself and find a fulfilment. Once you have thought these things through and still want to take the exciting chance and move to the one you love, you should try and arrange a few things in advance:

1. Have your diploma's translated and legalized. For some countries you need a Apostille stamp on your diploma, which is given by a court of law. I suggest to get the stamp anyways: in my case, the information I got in Austria told me that I did not need the stamp. In Holland though, they said the stamp was needed... It will cost you only a few extra euro's. The translation is probably the most expensive part and needs to be done by an offical translator.

2. Find out what is needed to be allowed to work in the country where you are moving to. For people moving from one EU-country to another it is easy: you need a valid pasport and you need to be registrated in the city you are going to live in.

3. Prepare your resume (in English at least).

4. If you have a job and will quit it: try and get a letter of recommendation (in English). Might make it easier for you to get a job in the new country.

5. If you have the possibility to do this, I strongly suggest to already look and apply for jobs in the country you are moving to, before you are there. It is not uncommon that companies do a job interview by telephone if they know you are not living there yet.

6. Find out what is needed if you want to study or continue the study you are already following in your home country.

7. Get 2 forms from the organisation where you have your health/social insurance: E 104 and E 301.

- The E 104 is needed to get a new health insurance in the country you are moving to. It shows that you have been insured in your home country.

- The E 301 is needed if you are unlucky with finding a job (or losing one) and can get unemployment money. In Austria for instance, the office handling the unemployment money and taking over your health insurance, want this form as a proof to see how many years you have worked in your home country and that your former employers had insured you. Better to have that already in your possesion before you move, than having to wait for it once you really need it.

8. What are you going to do with your personal belongings: will you take them with you, and if so: how? I was very lucky that my father could arrange to have my stuff brought over to Vienna. It might be quite expensive if you do not know someone who can help you with that.

9. Maybe a silly tip, but a tip none the less: if you fly over, buy a retour ticket. It is usually cheaper than a one-way ticket.

10. Don't forget to unregister in your home town and ask for a print out.

Once you have arrived, register at the town hall and arrange your health/social insurance as soon as possible.

Don't postpone looking for a position or start studying. Especially when it comes to work: the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Also, do not expect you will be working on the same level as you did in your home country. Of course, if you speak the language fluently and have the right diploma's, your chances to find something that fits your working profile are good. But if that is not the case, you should be aware that you might end up having a job you have not studied for.
It can also be that your diploma's are not worth what they are in your home country, which could mean you are expected to follow a course before you can work in your field.

The best way to get to know people and make new friends, is to do a language course. This way you kill two birds with one stone. You will most likely meet people there who also moved to be with someone, which in addition to not knowing the language, creates a connection.

And last but not least: enjoy finally being together! \o/

For more useful information: see the link list in the right sidebar.

Monday, May 5, 2008

How Two Rogues Pick Pocketed each other's Hearts

This evening, before the server crashed (grml, was almost done with a BM run!), I was chatting along in the guild chat. And what do I find out: a member who joined the guild recently, has also met her boyfriend in World of Warcraft! Here is their story:

"It all started out ever so innocently, like it always does. I was introduced to WoW by a friend of mine and I had just started playing. My first character was a Night Elf Rogue with blue hair... later on my boyfriend would say that it was the blue hair that had attracted him, as well as my headstrong attitude :)

Me and some people were questing in Ashenvale when another night elf rogue got invited into the party. I was excitedly slashing away at things, but when the rest of the people completed their quests they hearthed away. This other Night Elf Rogue stayed behind to help me out though. We started talking and I was intrigued by him because he seemed to be interesting, intelligent and was making me smile.

A couple of days and quests later, I gave him my email address and the next day he emailed me from his work place. The more we talked, the more excited we both got and started telling each other the stories of our lives. I found out that he lived in England and he found out that I lived in Sweden. I began feeling such profound connection with this person I hardly knew, and while trust usually never came easily to me, I felt like I could really talk with him. Only a month later, we knew we had to try and see where this was going, so he bought me a ticket to England and I flew over there to live with him for a month. It was an amazing experience that changed me in many ways and by then I already knew I was completely in love.

That was two and a half years ago, and our journey has not been easy. As Gabi has written in her own story, long-distance relationships, wherever they start, are one of the hardest things anyone can possibly go through. It has taken us a long time to come to this point and we have survived more relationship horrors than most couples probably do in their entire life... But we are still here, and we believe that everything we have gone through has made us so much stronger. Our love for each other keeps growing every day. It is surreal to think that this all started with a couple of quests in an online game - fate and chance seem to go hand-in-hand in these situations - and it's hard to even think about what my life would look like right now if I hadn't been online one day during October 2005. Yet here we are, and my boyfriend Christopher is still the most wonderful and caring person I have ever known. We have gone through fire and water to be together but now it's all finally coming together. We are currently looking for our own place in Sweden, as he is moving to live with me.

World of Warcraft is still part of our relationship and we have levelled many characters together since the day we met, having a lot of fun along the way. I also love watching him play on his PS3 and cheering him on :)

We know that there are going to be more hardships along the way, but we also believe that when you meet that right person - no matter how or where or who - you need to hold on and fight for that, because it's never going to come again. If you don't take your chances, you will never know what could have happened. One thing is for sure: he has changed my life and I wouldn't be the person I am today without him."

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Counting the Days: the Tale of Ionara and Elimthor

This is the story of a 21 year old woman and a 23 year old man, both living in different states in the USA, who have started a virtual relationship in World of Warcraft and have not met in the real world, but will soon:

“Originally, we met online via AOL, in a chat room. I thought he hated me at first, and apparently he was intimidated by me (which blows my mind!), so we never talked. I had never really said more than "hello" to him, until he asked for some pictures from me and mentioned that he had been a long time World of Warcraft player. The timing was great, because I had just started playing WoW with my brother and sister-in-law. We decided to play together so he could help me understand the game a little better, and it became a daily ritual for us. Thank God, because I'm so very happy with him. We grow closer and closer every day, and even though he's half a country away from me, I know it doesn't get any better. He's more than I could ever wish for.

I think the turning point for us was a random jealous moment of mine while we were playing, that opened both of our eyes. He had been talking to another female player about Anime (he loves it), and I just couldn't stand that he was talking to someone else for some reason... I couldn't figure out why until it dawned on me that I liked him. I really liked him! After that point, we slowly started to get more intimate with each other, kissing and hugging and flirting (virtually, of course), until I couldn't stand to be away from him anymore. We finally got on the subject about our feelings for each other, and started "talking" as it were, until he asked me to be his woman.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy his company and love hearing his voice. He's my lover, my mate, and I can't wait to have him in my arms. Which will be soon! We have decided that it's time for a visit, and he's coming to see me in a month and a half!”

I am looking forward to hear about your real life meeting, so: to be continued!