The Changing Face of my Gamer Friend

This post was written largely due to an excellent post that I read by MMO Gypsy.

I recognize that I have become a game “grazer”. This applies equally to Single Player games and MMO’s, but I am going to focus on MMO’s here.

MMO’s started, for me, with 5 years of WoW, and then 2+ years of LOTRO.   Since then, I have moved on to a smattering of others (just take a look at my Raptr feed if you want proof). Since WoW and LOTRO, I have gone from having a very stable set of “guild” friends, with forums that were an integral part of my daily life, to a smattering of like-minded individuals that I communicate with primarily through Twitter. In fact, although I play the same games as them, I have rarely played in a game *with* them.

I want to feel ashamed about this, but frankly, I don’t, mostly because my current real life situation hasn’t afforded me the opportunity to play in the same way I did when I was playing WoW and LOTRO. Back then, I played consistently on 2 nights per week, starting at 9PM and going until whenever. That just doesn’t happen anymore. I probably play more in total hours now, but they are inconsistent as to the length of a game session, and, the night(s) of the week that I play. I also hate “grinding” and so feel very little incentive to “get to end game”. I know, for many people, the end game is the only game, and I respect that. It’s just not what I enjoy (quite possibly because I would never have the time to Raid anyway).

The bottom line, for me, has been that much of my “gaming” community has morphed from a single game “Guild” that plays in games together, to a “collection” of acquaintances that talks and plays a lot of different games, but hardly ever actually plays them together.

Original comment that got me started on this blog can be found here.


Burned Out?

Just a few distractions 🙂

Why am I feeling burned out these days?  I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I am just mindlessly grinding through the next area, the next level, the next story point, the next quest.  Gone seems to be my excitement and verve for the games that I have loved so much.  I feel like a hummingbird, speedily flitting about from game to game, and experience to experience.  Is it me, or is it a sign of a change in the times?

When I first started playing World of Warcraft, I stayed “committed” to that game for 4+ years. Not until Lord of the Rings Online came about did I even remotely consider playing a different game.  Honestly, when I first jumped into the LOTRO Beta based on an invite from some friends, I felt I was cheating on my “first love”!  Eventually, I got my head around making the switch, but it was traumatic (from a gaming perspective, anyway).  Ultimately, I purchased the Lifetime subscription in LOTRO, and proceeded to play for 3+ years.  Not as long as WoW, but, still a pretty good run.

I can’t even remember the game that I switched to from LOTRO, no, wait, I remember now. It was Age of Conan! I fell hard and deep into that game. I even became part of their volunteer online support community for a time.  It was a lot of fun, but lasted less than a year. The game just couldn’t keep me as I had no friends playing it at all.  I went back to LOTRO, eventually, but never ever found back that initial love.  The only real thing that kept me going back was my friends, who were still playing there.

In between then and now, the Dragon Age franchise held my rapt attention for quite some time (pre and post launch), but the hours needed to complete those game is nowhere near the requirements of an MMO. My desire to re-live my Neverwinter Nights days by playing with the “Toolset” became invalidated when I realized just how complicated it would be to do anything meaningful without separate degrees in programming and game design.  I loved Dragon Age, I liked Dragon Age 2, I am hopeful for Dragon Age 3.

There’s also Steam,  and a lot of games that I own, but have never played;  yet still, quite a few I have played.  Torchlight, Orcs Must Die, Skyrim, Portal, Portal 2, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and, of course, the Mass Effect games, among others. Minecraft was also a lot of fun, for a while!

My hype level leading up to Star Wars: The Old Republic was 11 out of 10.  I still love to just play through the story, but once again, without friends to share the enthusiasm, it’s just not something I feel the desire to continue to play.  I am really sad about this one, because I absolutely love the community, I love Bioware, and I especially love the many SWTOR devs that I have developed relationships with through Twitter, Podcasts, etc.  I will still play through stories in F2P mode, after the subscription model is gone.

So where does this leave me? I am still playing GW2. I pulled out Skyrim again over the weekend, but maybe I need to do something totally different?  Maybe I am weary of the genre?  Of gaming?  Perhaps I should try to find a love for Strategy games, one that I have attempted to nurture on many occasions, but have never truly succeeded? Maybe my readers can point me to greener pastures?  I am interested to know what you all think I should do during this time of uncertainty! Drop me a comment and let me know.