Life Tap: A Tale of Three Rhos

From the beginning of my console and computer RPG days, I had a tendency to always name my character Kyle. Back then you were usually limited to keep character names short, and having a fandom for the then “new” Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, I used his namesake.

With Ultima Online in 1997, I was given the freedom to give the “Kyle” of that world a surname. Thus was born the legacy of Kyle Duskwalker (and no, he wasn’t a vampire.) In those days I fully RP’d my characters, and it was an amazing experience to have that kind of interaction with other roleplayed personas inside a game which was more than simply text.

One of Kyle’s children was given the name “Rho” after the name of a knight in Virtue Village that Kyle had looked up to. I never really played Rho much in UO. At the time he was just an extension of the developing family.

One day in 2003, Rho Duskwalker wandered into a mysterious moongate and left the world of Britannia forever. Little did I know then that “Kyle” would be passing the torch to Rho as my most common alias.

Enter Vana’diel, a land of dragoons, samurai, summoners, and dark knights. At the start, I tried to continue the idea of fully RPing Rho. However, the community and landscape of Final Fantasy XI was just a different beast. My focus shifted from role-playing and move toward establishing strong friendships and enjoying the most challenging gameplay possible…

and casting Refresh and Haste 867,5309 times on other characters. I didn’t mind though. I loved the support role that Rho the Red Mage played. If WoW had a “bard” or other support class when I switched, I would have played it.

After roughly three years and change the game had lost its luster for me. One can only camp King Behemoth, Tiamat, and Nidhogg for so long. By this time, World of Warcraft was a couple of months away from releasing Zul’Aman (the 10-man Burning Crusade incarnation.) A fair number of players from FFXI had moved on to other games. It was practically a coin flip that led me to choose Azeroth as his next landing point.

So began the journey of Rhonyzul the Warlock. Wait, what? Rhonyzul?

For shizzle. Ugh… why did I name him that…

Seriously though, I was irritated to learn that the name “Rho” had already been claimed on the server my friends had gone to. So, following the story of how I explained Rho’s crossover into this brave new world, I had him go by the name of Rho Nyzul after the name of Nyzul Isle… the last place he had been seen.

Lightbringer-US is not a RP realm though, and for the past several years my WoW experience has been similar to FFXI in that regard. I’ve dabbled in RP realms, though it’s difficult to find a realm with a strong community that’s also free from griefing.

Rhonyzul would not be Rhonyzul forever though. On December 30 of last year I was browsing the Armory on Lightbringer and discovered that there was no longer a “Rho” listed there. So on the eve of completing the last portion of the Dragonwrath questline I paid the price to claim the Greek letter as my own.

Whether it’s Rho Duskwalker, Rho the Red Mage, or Rho (Nyzul), the name is one difficult for me to discard. It’s simple, easy to remember, and a piece of nostalgia representing my journey through the MMO gaming experience…

… and eternally the target of a “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” parody.

Life Tap articles are stories about my past that hopefully give a little insight to who the player behind Rho is. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions feel free to email me at RhoWoW@gmail.com.

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