Hello everyone and welcome back to my parlour! My guest this month is a highly requested guest, honestly I don’t understand why it took so long to get him here but I’m happy it finally happened! He’s a legend in the community, a gamer, a 360° nerd, a father and a husband, I’m talking about Nic aka Mr_casoria!! Welcome!! Thank you for accepting my invitation!
You are very welcome and thank you for letting me vote for myself multiple times.
Ahahaha shh don’t tell people secrets! Aaaaanyway as every good character background, let’s begin from the origins of your passion for videogames!
Tell us everything!
Oh wow… From the beginning huh? Ok well let me get out my scrolls!
A long long time ago, back before many of you were born. In the dark ages before the internet and cell phones were widely available. A little boy named Nic got his first console for his 4th birthday. That console was the Nintendo Entertainment System. The original Mario Bros and DuckHunt edition.For months that damn duck hunt dog would mock our hero, for he was a pretentious little twat. Every time he would miss a duck, that pixelated K9 would taunt him with his laugh. Then one day, our hero prevailed, he made it all the way through the game…. holding the gun directly on the screen and spamming the trigger (I was 4 come on). Ever since that day, the sense of accomplishment and pride he felt. It was glorious. He was a true champion. That was pretty much the start of it. We would go to the little hole in the wall “VIDEO RENTALS and more” down the street next to the gas station and I would rent a game every Friday. I would just play it until the next Friday when Mom would take me back to the rental place and we would swap it out. This continued for years. Many consoles, handhelds and PCs later. Here I am. Still chasing that same high and sense of achievement from accomplishing something in video games.
My mom has a picture from that birthday with me holding the box. I’ll have her send it, because I was truly the most adorable child on the planet.The real ADDICTION to video games came when I was in seventh grade. I remember it like it was … 20 years ago.
It was Summer time in America. Me and the Boys had all just gotten that month’s Electronic Gaming Magazine and on the front page FINAL FANTASY IX. It had a picture of Vivi the Black Mage on the front and was the big reveal of Square Enix’s next masterpiece. It was incredible. We were looking at the review to greatness. It came out a few weeks later and I was so excited. Then I heard the most devastating words any kid with a dream could hear, “Ask Santa, maybe you’ll get it for Christmas “. Shattered, I went to the boys on AOL instant messenger. Oh yes, dial up noises and everything. 12 minutes later I was in, chatting with the boys. To my surprise, the boys had also heard the same heart shattering rhetoric from their parents. We were brothers in angst. It only helped our bond grow. This was before the days of YouTube and twitch, so we could only imagine what gameplay was like. Then finally, Christmas came, we were all elated. The thought of the jolly fat man bringing us Hironobu Skaguchi’s masterpiece into our lives was pure ecstasy. That morning came. Skateboards, bikes, clothes, CD players, it was all there. Everything my brothers and I had asked for. Except…. No. The presents were gone… There was nothing more to open. I had been tricked, betrayed even. The one thing I wanted. The SINGLE thing that I asked for alone. Wasn’t there. As the emotional devastation was taking its toll on me internally. My step father pulled the oldest trick in the book. “Nic… What… What is that over there?” . . . . “Over where?” I asked. Mildly panicked. “Right there. Behind the couch poking out.”
I ran over to the edge of the couch where a box was shoved just out of site. It…. It had my name on it. “To: Nic From: Santa”. Could this be it? I tore it open to reveal a chorus of angels singing Ode to Joy. A brand new Final Fantasy IX WITH the official strategy guide.
I nearly peed myself with elation. I said 1 million thank you’s. I cleaned up ALL of the Christmas trash. Took the trash out. Then ran upstairs and started my journey into what would be the next 20+ years of my life in video games.
I spent months playing that game. I read every line, did every quest, killed every boss, collected every piece of loot. I had played games before. Completed games before. Even really enjoyed games before. This was the first game I obsessed over. I even named the main protagonist’s love interest “Jessica”(a girl I had a crush on at the time). It was all I thought about. I woke up early to play it. I did my homework on the bus so I wouldn’t have to worry about wasting time at home. I followed the guide and found it all. That’s when I knew. I was a nerd.
There were a few games that hit me like Final Fantasy IX. Pokemon, Metroid series on GameCube, and a few more sprinkled in. My first dive into MMOs came randomly. I was 16 and I was dating a girl named Katerina. A girl from California that was living in Georgia at the time with a friend. We broke up and she moved back to California and we would keep in touch. She introduced me to a game called MapleStory. Cute little Korean MMORPG 2d Side scroller game. It was in its early days so it was a bit rough. It was a game you couldn’t really win. You would just grind monsters to level up, and get gear then you would grind monsters some more. It was simple, but there was something so interesting and soothing about just mindlessly smacking cute mushrooms and snails for multiple hours while talking to people from all over the world. Fast forward a few years and I am still playing it. Long after Kat and I stopped keeping in touch. My brother and I had gotten hooked. We were both in the higher levels and we had a guild of about 50 people (mostly kids) and we were DieNasty. It was great.
All good things must come to an end though. Like anything else, drama happened. My at the time girlfriend started playing and then we broke up and things happened and the guild fell apart. Nate and I stopped playing. We went on with our lives. Around that time Call of Duty 4 came out.
It was no life time again for the Casoria boys, but this time our dad joined us.
We set up in dad’s living room with 3 big screen TVs and we would play CoD4 for weeks at a time. Our dad was actually the best of us. While we were at work or hanging out with friends. He was no life-ing online. He beat us both to 10th prestige and would just wreck search and destroy.
It was around that time that a friend of mine that worked at GameStop, who had been hounding me about playing wow for all of vanilla and Burning Crusade, started talking to me about his druid healing in battle ground. How he was just this big tree throwing HoTs on himself and just live-lording through an entire horde of enemies pounding on him. He made it sound… SUPER cool.
So I finally, after years of him bugging me, went and bought the battle chest at Walmart. You know what I’m talking about: the big green cardboard box with burning crusade and vanilla in one pack for $49.99. So I took it home and downloaded World of Warcraft. That was it. It was over. There was going to be no other game that consumed more of my passion for video games than this one game.
oooo found a picture of our CoD set up
Me as a baby, just to prove how adorable i was
This is my buddy Avesneakz. He was the one that convinced me to play WoW. This was taken literally in the middle of our conversation about his healing druid. I saved this picture as it was the beginning of my WoW journey.
and me a few weeks later at the midnight release of Wrath of the lichking in that same parking lot
No idea if these pictures help or are even going to make it into the interview, but I have them and you are getting them.
Is it safe to say that WoW is still your favorite game?
You could say that. It is definitely the one I’ve put the time into. Even with the direction of the design philosophy going in a direction that I may not agree with, it is still the best designed game game out there. Sure some games can do one or maybe two things better, but there is not another game out there that can even compete with the level of success in the amount of areas in this genre. Period. There is no better end-game experience. There is no game that comes close to the combat smoothness. Sure other games can do the minor systems better, but nothing gets it as right as WoW does in the “overall” category. If that makes sense. Most importantly, there is no game that has Sylvannas…. long may she reign.
(Oh shit we can talk off the record by using these things…. I feel so sneaky)
Besides undead-momma, what else kept you in love with the game for so many years?
Wolf daddy! No! The game just feels good. The combat has weight. Regardless of how tone def the devs are on the systems of the game. The animators and design team are fucking world class, top tier, alpha and omega, chads. They have perfected that base mechanics of what makes a game feel good to play. I’ve played everything else. Every MMO that’s come out, I give them a month at least to impress. 90% of the time they fall short in one of the basic major areas. The few that did impress me, I would play to the end game and then they fell short… so short. So I guess what keeps me playing wow is just… Good game is good.
and that is why I have 1200+ days played.
Side note. For everyone that complains about the toxic community in X game. Welcome to the internet. As someone who was on the internet from dial up to fiber. It has always been like that. Anonymity is a blessing and a curse. It will always bring out the worst in some, but for every shithead there are that many more good people to connect with. Take the good and leave the bad. Be the good you want to see in others. The more that spreads, the better it will be for everyone.
What other games do you play at the moment?
I have a few Ol Faithfuls. They’re what I do when I’m just done with WoW for a bit and need a palette cleanser. Number 1 on that list I MapleStory. I STILL play it. 18 years later. I have over 40 characters, all over 140, most over 160, a few over 180, and 2 over 200. I don’t think I will ever stop playing MapleStory. It’s just a really good, blank out the mind and grind game. Watch 3 hour “Unsolved Mysteries” on youtube and just go. Real relaxing. Factorio is another go to. It’s FLIPPING FANTASTIC. I love it. It’s basically an infrastructure efficiency simulator/survival game. I picked it up like 5 or so years ago and never gets old. Once or twice a year I’ll boot it up and just put 80 hours into a new map in a week. So good. Looking forward to Valhiem Updates as well. That was super fun. My kid also gets me into some other games when I need my WoW break. He knows what to look for. If Daddy is staring at steam and not playing WoW… THAT is the time to ask about getting a new game, because that is when I’ll buy us both a copy and knock out a few hours. He gets frustrated though, because I am an efficiency expert by trade (literally in my job description at work) I will play the game for a bit… and then just go ham. I may take it overboard some times, but I will sit and explain to him in excruciating detail how to set things up and what needs to go where and how we should do this.
He is picking it up though. He does surprise me with how quickly he picks up my neurotic need for efficiency and adapts to my play style. His attention span is rather short though and well, I don’t require sleep to function. So we will start a new game, and I’ll get into it. He will play for a few hours and go do something else or go to bed….. 4 hours later I’m still at it. I get that from my Mother I think. Once we start something… We want it finished. He gets his attention from his mother, Vicki (shout out to my super-hot wife). She makes it about 12 minutes into any project and then goes and finds something else to do. HAHA. It’s cute.
Diablo 3 and PoE are also something I play seasonally. I always try to play for a few days at the beginning of a season. I love speed running D3, to see how fast I can hit max level then race to see how quickly I can hit a GR 100. Then in PoE it’s just about finishing the story and playing the broken meta build.
You aren’t only a gamer, you’re also a big D&D fan!! How did this passion begin?
That was actually a very random story. It happened about a year ago and it was thanks to big tech and their advertising bots watching everything we do that led to this new passion. So a buddy of mine Pehk, anyone who has been to my stream for more than ten minutes would know him as the one who bitches constantly, has played DnD for years. I never really knew he did until one Thursday another buddy and I were looking to do some arenas and needed a 3rd, but Pehk was busy saying “oh I’m playing DnD sorry”. I was like…” oh snap, DnD? You dudes like meet up at the house and play?” He responded “No dude, it’s on a VTT (Virtual Table Top) and we play through zoom.” Well that led into a conversation about DnD and some other stuff and I got him to stream it for me so I could see. It was pretty cool and I was like “man that sounds like fun”. So I just googled DnD. Well DnDBeyond popped up and I made an account and played around on it for like an hour. Then I saw an add for HeroForge, an app where you can make little miniatures for your characters. So I played with that for a bit. Then on YouTube just browsing around, I saw it. Those damn ad bots knew exactly what I needed. It was a One Shot with Marisha Ray as the DM and Felicia Day as a player at some event. Damn big tech knowing my weakness for hot nerdy redheads and demons. Well I watched that… and then watched another one…. and another one…. AND another one. These are all an hour or so long by the way. Then, the algorithm knew it had me, I saw “Critical Role Campaign 1 episode 1”. I started watching. 16 hours later I was hooked. Fast forward a few days and a few 4 hour long episodes later, I was talking to Pehk about DnD and he mentioned a buddy of his who wanted to try his hand at DMing and needed another player to round out the table. I agreed and that sealed it. From then I have been a serious fan of everything DnD.
What other hobbies do you have?
Oh god I love cooking. I love learning new recipes and cooking for people. My favorite is when someone goes “What are you cooking?” Then I tell them and they go “Oh ok…” and then they taste it and are like “ZOMG THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER TASTED.” I get that a lot from Vicki’s side of the family. They are very country and very conservative. So they don’t try much of anything ever. For 4th of July last year I made tacos, and they were all like….. oohh K. They’ve only ever had taco bell and a random hole in the wall mexican restaurant. So they were expecting basic ass tacos. No mam, I got this recipe from a friend of ours in Miami. Whose mother just happens to be a caterer and uses 100% authentic recipes from her grandmother. They were all slamming them down. I ran out of chicken and had to make more. Vicki’s grandfather, who had never once had a taco, and never ate anything but hamburgers and breakfast food ate one. He said it was the best thing he had eaten in his whole life and that I was the best cook he ever knew. That right there is why cooking is my hobby.
Ok we’ve talked a lot about you but who is Nic besides all this?
Wow, we’re just gonna dive right in aren’t we. Who is Nic… You know, I’ve spent 33 years trying to figure out the same thing. The answer I usually come up with is a scared little boy trapped in a giant scary man’s body. HA jk… Let’s see.
Nic is a complex individual with a simple modus operandi. I live my life in a duality of sorts. The balance between Logic and Passion are a quandary I deal with on a daily basis. There are many paths in life one can choose from, I like to focus on those two specifically and I try to keep them in parallel as much as I can. The hopping back and forth between those two paths is where the complexities in my life arise. This sounds way more complicated than it is in reality, because I just want one simple thing. Now we come to my MO of sorts. I want my family to be taken care of. That’s it. All other things are secondary. If I am faced with a decision, I run it through my internal algorithm and find the most effective way to fulfill my primary object. Will this make my wife and kids happy? If yes, what is the most efficient way to achieve this goal? If not, is there a way I can change the situation or approach this differently to benefit my family? If not still, then abort the mission. It is not worth it. That is Nic boiled down into his most common parts. Everything I do can be summed up as this “algorithm for family happiness”. …. Or were you asking about… where I work? Did I go too deep?
No worries, it’s the perfect answer! How did you end up joining that crazy place we usually call the IG gaming community?
You know it just kinda happened. I’ve been on IG since 2012 when it first started to gain popularity and my 4th picture ever posted was of my Pandarin Warrior when MoP came out. Over the years, facebook started to get soapbox-ie and was just a huge turn off for me to exist there, so i moved to IG for my social activity. As far as my account goes. It messes with people sometimes in the community that I don’t have a “Gaming Page”. I have a me page. Gaming is part of me, so I post my gaming things there. I also post pictures of my dogs, videos of me cooking, dancing in the shower, and soooo many memes. That’s just me. I guess after a while of people stopped saying “Hey… I like you, but that’s your personal IG and not a gaming page.” They just gave up and accepted that well it IS a gaming page. For me personally, in order for there to be a gaming page, there has to be a gamer. That’s me. Hi, I’m Nic! I game AND exist outside of the game. Come watch me cook eggs or talk about science. Steal all of my memes and look how cute I look from this angle.
Do you have a message for the community?
Sup ya’ll, it’s ya boy, Asmong…. oh wait, no… That’s someone else. Oh wow! Kinda put me on the spot…hmm. As I have gotten older, I have learned to have more patience with people. The things I used to get upset about or worked up about, it seems in the big picture never matter. What I want you to do is realize, the person on the other end of that picture, avatar, or account is just that. A Person. Before you speak to someone else in any way, stop and think a moment about your worst day. Imagine that person has just had your worst day. Imagine them being in that head space and feeling those same emotions. Now imagine someone says to them what you just said or are about to say. How would that have made you feel on that day, at your lowest? You never know what someone is going through, so give everyone the benefit of the doubt and just be nice. It’s not hard to be kind.
You not only play video games, you also stream them. What got you into streaming?
I think I owe it to the world to give it as many forms to see my gorgeous face as possible. HA just kidding! There were a couple things.
A bit of boredom, a bit of needing it for the raid, and a bit of loneliness. It was a mixture of those things and the fact I worked in Television and setting it up was all really easy for me.
That’s really it. I never really expected to even get affiliate, but apparently people enjoy my slightly above average game play.
What are your hopes for the future?
Long healthy life. Happy family. That’s all I can wish for, really.
And lastly, who are three members of the gaming community you would like to see as my guests?
Beanmom, since she’s new to me, definitely Moceratops and Sajmon!
Oooooook and with this our interview has come to an end! Thank you very much for accepting my invitation and for being just the simple, crazy, nerd-self you are!!
You are welcome and I’m sorry.
Being the best interview ever
Oh my gosh hahaha! Isn’t he just a crazy, funny, gamer? Thank you all for joining me for the most random and crazy interview yet! See you next month with a new guest and a new amazing story.