Gestalt Mind takes us back to his first memories of EQ and how they revisit him to this day.
Your first MMORPG really does seem 'magical' when you look back on it, doesn't it? Stepping out as a freshly-minted newbie in a world that seems so big and strange and cool, and your first days exploring and learning all about it. Halcyon days, those were! I think that's seriously why WoW has that affect on so many people -- the affection of your first MMO stays strong for a long time.
It's WoW's fifth anniversary, and I've been in Azeroth from day one on the same server in the same guild -- I've seen many changes both ingame and 'IRL' across these five years. It's kind of overwhelming to look back and realize how many memories and adventures I've had in this one game with the same group of people. Some of those people left long ago, but others are still there and still going strong. I stepped away for other games several times, but always came back to WoW in the end. So many memories and friends are hard to make a break from. But those games showed me, a newbie MMORPG-player, other ways of playing and other types of communities. They helped me discover my 'true playing style' and affected my view of what the 'perfect MMORPG' would be. It's a testament to how important I think free trials are, imo. =P
I don't know if I'll be coming back to Azeroth anytime soon. But I will never be able to look back on it without affection born from many happy memories of playing with great people. In the end, they're what make MMORPGs so special and so lasting in our minds, regardless of whether it was WoW, EQ, or any other game. That's the reason we take pictures of our guild's first kills -- not to brag and show off to others (though many do) but so we can look back and remember how exciting it was, and who was there with us when all that group preparation and effort has paid off. And THAT feeling is the true magic of MMORPGs.
Above is a shot of my guild's first Magmadar kill, way back in the MC era. Many folks in that pic that no longer play WoW, but I still recognize their avatars. Those were good times with good folks. =)