Have you ever sat down to do something and then couldn't quite figure out what you wanted to do exactly? Here I sit, well it's more of a lounge really, trying to to decide what I want to do with the rest of my afternoon. It's kind of interesting that right when I joined an interesting community of bloggers like AyAitch, GeeCee and Gordon, and joined new games, RL stepped in and I feel busier than ever.
Do I play WoW? The venerable, really incomparable; not the first, but the one that got it right? It's flawed, but still better than any other MMO I've played. I raided for the first time in almost two months last night, but I am tired of getting through the first level of ICC25 only to have the commitment of the second wing or more. And we seem to stall out at Festergut and Rotface. This is my personal opinion, but it would be nice not to have to run the first wing in order to get to the second. We one-shotted everything but the ship battle, and that was in heroic mode (I got a new hat!). But that is time consuming, and now I and my guildmates are stuck together if we want to move on; but of course RL commitments may prevent. That, and it all starts over on Tuesday. I am not complaining. I guess long haul raiding is not really for me. I love the story and immersion of WoW, not the gear race. Others have commented that various elements of the game break their immersion, but I think at least for a long time, it suited me just fine. My characters have stories, or least personalities, and I love playing alone and with friends. Which brings me to . . .
Star Trek Online. I love jumping in and blowing up ships or taking an away team to rescue the princess (yes this was a mission in STO). But the balancing issues they are having mean constant changes on what is "the best" ship equipment/configuration--something I don't want to care about. Not to mention the people who want to both PvP and PvE crying that they can't min/max and still be versatile. OK, this is a problem in WoW, too. It is more flawed than WoW, but I love playing it. I love the crew concept. I love the customized, already-cool uniforms. Maybe I should find a nice offline game I can play at my own pace, with no balance issues.
Of course, there is always Age of Conan. Interesting stories, I guess. Hyboria's mature themes have definite appeal. But every time I consider playing AoC, I hear the siren song of STO, or WoW. I got a six-month subscription on this game, more of a financial commitment than STO, which I pay monthly for. But that may be part of why I do not feel such an urgency to play it. I think I may need to read a novel or two of Robert E. Howard's works to get a better feel for Hypboria. I do think Blizzard's stories of Azeroth helped me appreciate the lore of WoW better, though I was already committed. And my love of STO stems mostly from my love of the IP it is based on. But for now, Chamomile languishes in Tortage, waiting to break out or overthrow the Red Hand or whatever destiny awaits her. I haven't even been through all the leveling content, but I am already aware of a thin world; like STO, you will level new characters through the same content over and over. Contrast that with WoW, which currently has eight distinct starting areas for 10 races, soon to be 10(12?) starting areas for 12 races. STO has . . . one for each faction. Are there even factions in AoC? There is only one way to level as far as I can tell. And when you hit max level, you've probably hit everything in the vanilla version. I realize there is expanded content in the Rise of the Godslayer expansion, but I have not purchased it yet, because of my ambivalence toward the game as a whole.
Oh and then there is the blog. Obviously, I am choosing to blog right now rather than raid, but mostly because this topic piqued my interest in getting my thoughts "on paper." You, Dear Reader, get to suffer with me. However, what I mean by including the blog as a choice is that this is where much of my actual roleplaying occurs, sort of. I like creating backstories and inter-stories for my characters. They become more real to me then. But while I am playing, I am not necessarily thinking of myself as being the toon. I have unfinished stories, both published and unpublished, that people have expressed interest in--that I want to finish. But that takes time, maybe more for me than for other short story/vignette writers. Time that cuts into my game time.
Because my game time is limited by my RL commitments. I have have both voluntary and obligatory things going on my life that do not involve the computer or the internet, at least not in an unrestricted way. So when I am online, blogging or writing stories, it means I am not playing. Right when I started expanding my horizons in the MMO community, my overall interest in gaming has started to wane. Is it because my focus is spread too thin? Is it because the hack on my WoW account and subsequent break from that game helped me realize how much time I actually am spending on something very ephemeral? Is it because I am realizing the need to spend more time with my daughters before they grow up; and less time with friendly strangers, few of whom I'll ever even meet in person? Is it because an ex-girlfriend whom I dragged into the gaming world axed me, stopped playing, and seems much freer for it? I can't decide.