Listening to a podcast about MMOs and one of the hosts, while introducing herself, said "I learned of MMOs like many of you- World of Warcraft".
Yeah, I feel old now.
I remember Everquest and WoW coming into the picture. I'd been on MMOs for probably five years at that point, though they went by a different moniker, MUDs. Old-school, text-based, but they had plenty of population.
And no fee. I remember thinking "No way am I buying plus paying per-month to play a game." Even later, when I finally did sorta enter the real MMO realm with beta-testing Earth & Beyond (still have the Stress Test t-shirt), I couldn't bring myself to pay to play. It took me forever to get past the upkeep cost, especially for a game that was (and still is) still releasing content regularly and runs mostly on player donations.
The mold did finally break, though- I enjoyed the crap outta Auto Assault (another t-shirt still in my collection, heh), to the point I paid for it upon release. I think I even stayed subscribed for its whole lifespan.
WoW did get my money for a little while, right after WotLK came out. By that point, though, beta testing was the new marketing thing, so I hopped from test to test. Free-to-play popped up, and I wandered aroudn those, too.
And then came Star Trek Online. Ugh. Beta, pre-order, special sub price for a year. I think that's why I've never paid a sub fee since. I'm surprised STO even exists in the F2P space with how much the game was built around microtransactions. Forget fixing bugs, we've got more stuff for you to buy! Such a shame. (Especially having a Klingon faction that was just PVP. I REALLY wish they'd make something in that part of the ST universe. It's always been interesting.)
Hell, now even kinda-MMOs like Guild Wars 2 are going the way of the dodo for me. It sucks not being able to see and getting bogged down in end-game content that's designed for multiple users, that depend on quick reactions and everything else that I can't offer.
So, what's next?