Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Beauty of a Smorgasbord

Like the awesome side dishes at a Thanksgiving feast, Syp is wondering how to fit all the games he wants to play onto his plate. He talks about "invested" games, that seem to require a great deal of played time to make any real progress. Others are "buffet" titles, games that you can jump into, have fun, play for a bit, and not feel bad when you don't.

"I can’t lightly play a sub game without feeling like I’m wasting my money." ~Syp
For years I was invested in this way to World of Warcraft. I never played the original Guild Wars for precisely that reason. I was locked into WoW by my wallet. I certainly don't regret the time and money I invested in the game. It was fun—until it was not. Over the past year, I've changed my mind about F2P titles, or at least subscription-optional games. I no longer think you need subscriptions to create great content. F2P doesn't have to be a ghetto. I am thoroughly invested in The Secret World, but that everything to do with how much I enjoy the game, and the community that has sprung up around it. It helps that I am in a position to interact directly with the developers on occasion.

"Some titles get preferential treatment and some end up collecting dust." ~Syp
Like Syp, Guild Wars 2 is more of a buffet game for me, as it is easy to jump in and do something quick with no real regrets about not logging in all the time. While I have dabbled in quite a few games this year, none have really caught fire with me. And that's OK. Unlike Syp, I don't have a dozen games I want to be playing. There are a few on the horizon I am interested in, like Wildstar and EQNext (and Landmark), but I am content with what I am playing right now.

I can't say I regret too much leaving games like STO or Rift, they'll be there for the foreseeable future. And, while there is some social pressure to return; ultimately, it is my leisure time. And the last thing I want is for my fun to turn into a dreaded social obligation.

If all I want is Scooter's dressing and green bean casserole, that's my prerogative.


  1. I had that problem this weekend - lots of games, lots of specials, little time. So I find this to be true - the games I really want to play, to explore, to live in, to appreciate - I can't play them. I'm not at a place in life where I can, as much as I would like to. So instead, its a couple of battles of WoWp/WoT here and a half hour of TERA there, and off to bed. TSW is a good example - I love almost everything about the game, but it seems daunting right now to try to get in and make any sort of progress or have any feeling of satisfaction, knowing how little I can give to the game.

    But this goes back to the MMO genre overall doesn't it? Is WoW the most successful ever because it was the best, or because it was the easiest to get to? Since one could waltz into Walmart and pick up a boxed computer off the shelf, a time card from the wall, and be off and running...

    1. I don't think it was necessarily access alone; more a combination of being in the right place at the right time with a well-designed (despite what haters may say) fun game and a popular IP. On the other hand, while I am deep into TSW, I think it can be done in chunks as you describe. With a limited number of active missions you can jump in do one or two and not worry about the list of twenty you have in your queue. And they rarely take more time than you're spending on a session of WoT or TERA. Also, the maxed-out characters aren't gods compared to the beginners. Anytime you want to fire up your toon again, let me know. I can often help, and if I can't I'm part of two awesome communities that probably can.

    2. I've never really understood the "I'm paying a sub, I have to play all the time" point of view. How many people have a Gym Membership they only use a few times a year? How many people are members of The National Trust but only visit properties once in a blue moon?

      I've had subs for MMOs that I rarely played because I liked to know I *could* play them on a whim. That I didn't have the whim very often is neither here nor there; the value in the subscription came from my satisfaction in the knowledge that I had it.

      Of course, so long as MMO companies insist on letting me come through their doors on a whim without having to pay a cent I'm happy to let them go on being idiots about it.

    3. I guess it's a different mindset. I have often felt when paying a sub that I needed to "get my money's worth." On the other hand, I have no problem paying for stuff I want/need in a cash shop. I also don't have a gym membership, because I *know* I would not be getting my money's worth out of it. :P

  2. The gym and the National Trust properties aren't there right in front of you as you sit down at your computer. Out of sight is out of mind.

    Plus most people that have underused gym subs "mean to go", and if they ever think about it how they're not using it, they will tell themselves they'll go more in future.

    Paying for subs you seldom use might be an option if you have bundles of spare cash, but most of us these days don't feel like that. Which might also explain the timing of the rise of F2P.

    Time was when I personally subscribed to magazines I didn't have time to read, to orgs whose services I didn't use and much more. Those days are gone.