With the release of Halo 2 on Nov. 9th, I'm looking forward to breaking out my XBox Live Communicator once again, and joining the ranks of the online warriors. (Actually, my dog chewed up my Communicator, so I've got this cell phone adapter headset that doesn't quite work right...)

I was one of the early adopters of XBox Live. Unreal Tournament was a blast. I loved sitting there in my living room, with my XBox wirelessly hooked up (thanks to a Linksys WET-11). Of course, my wife was always looking at me like I was crazy as I verbally laid the smackdown on my foes.

I recently haven't played XBox Live that much. I think there are a few factors contributing to this:

  1. Time: Definitely the #1 limiting resource.
  2. Single Player Games: I still enjoy playing single player games like Knights of the Old Republic. I've been playing single player video games for most of my life, and that's going to be a tough habit to break
  3. Don't Take Candy from Strangers: I'm ok with playing with people that I don't know, but in that situation, I'd prefer to be in the “Every man for himself“ type of game. Teaming up with strangers....somewhat frightens me. Maybe I'll get over that in time. Along the same lines, most of my friends aren't online, so most of the time I'm forced to play with strangers..
  4. I suck at video games: Not really, but when I play online, I certainly feel that way. Everyone is so good online that I don't even stand a chance.

Why I think Halo 2 is going to change the XBox Live experience:

People will make the time for Halo 2. I still occasionally go to LAN parties to play Halo, more than 2 years after its release. Halo 2 is going to make finding a pickup game much more convenient than lugging that 2 ton piece of hardware to your friend's house.

Let's face it. Everyone is going to have Halo 2. No longer will XBox Live be limited to the L33t. You will have ordinary players (like myself), who can join the fun and know that no matter what, there will always be someone worse (unlike today, when I am always the worst player). Also, more of my friends will be online, which means I'm more likely to be online as well. Which means I can actually play some of the team games with people I know, instead of that guy who keeps breathing heavily into the microphone. :)

 Nov. 9th, 2004. I'll see you online! Go easy on my, alright?