Real Hot Mess

I’m struggling finding fun in gaming right now.

It is definitely not for a lack of trying, I have been buying games like crazy and giving them a good chance to hook me. I even made blog posts about it, to try and drum up some momentum to get into a game or two and strengthen that tie and enjoyment with some good old fashioned blog posts. It’s just not happening. I have been abandoning games at an alarming rate this year and am just not finding that groove. I am completely jealous and envious with Bhagpuss who continues to find enjoyment in the same spaces and am struggling with a hobby I am not getting enjoyment from and missing terribly at the same time. As you can probably tell, the quality and frequency of my blog posts has also deteriorated. The struggle is real.

Looking back at my 2016 to date and my positive gaming time:

  • Destiny (Heavy time): I was on a nice schedule of an hour a day. I have all 3 classes at top level (not top gear, since I do not raid) and since the content has dried up I stopped playing. There are expansions on the  horizon (and sequels!) and that is something to look forward to.
  • EQ Progression Servers(Heavy Time): I shot myself in the foot here as I did three characters to level 30 (and had so much fun doing it) but took a step back when I heard they were launching a no-box server. When that server finally launched, I had a hard time chewing through the first 10 levels for a fourth time. Daybreak also nerfed quest XP and XP gains in general, so it was extra painful (even with XP bought potions.) I couldn’t get a good start again and the servers I had abandoned were leveling ghost towns (all end game).
  • Pillars of Eternity (Completed): A good RPG but I admit that near the end I was rushing to finish, not explore.
  • X-COM 2 (Completed): Fun game, but hard to pick up DLC when you already saved the planet!
  • March of the Living Dead (completed with one character): Really enjoyed this title but like many indie experiences, there wasn’t much reason to replay through as the encounters became familiar and repeated.
  • Portal Knights (ongoing, its gaming time with my 11  year old. Infrequent but checks a lot of good boxes)
  • ….is that it? Really?

That is a lot of single player experiences outside of EQ. Sure, Destiny is online but not a chat/social platform at this stage (unless you include pointing and dancing.) Looking back at 2016 to date with my stops / starts:

  • The Division (40% done): I grabbed this for the PS4 (and also received a free copy with my new laptop) and finished half of the main storyline (which was intriguing enough
  • Fallout 4 (60% done): I’m not sure when or why I stopped playing F4. I remember actively enjoying it and then… done. Not sure when or why that changed.
  • Landmark (toe dip)
  • Rimworld (three solid days, and lost interest)

I have even started reloading MMOs on my gaming drive “just in case”. Last time I checked I had EQ2 (highest level 18) ready to go, EQ (highest level 55), TSW, (in Egypt), SWTOR (level 22) And just this weekend, WildStar.

WildStar is my new “give it a go”. I did something in WildStar I never do (play the “bad” side) and this weekend was a blast as I worked on weakening a local tribe that was capable of building very powerful weapons, which made the Dominion nervous. They do not want any new, strong enemies. The action combat does wear on me (I read an article where it was changed from tab targeting half way through development – bad move!) but the stories are fun. I do want to get a max level for the story aspect – both sides. This is another MMO that for me would be better as a single player game – although, I do like some of the early dungeons when the queues used to pop. I just wish WildStar took itself a bit more seriously, there would be a great story there if there was less joking around and less 4th wall breaking. I think it could prove a worthy distraction. With quarterly revenues up, but low (2M USD equivalent) I’m afraid the game may go away before I get a chance to learn more about the planet.

I am struggling with WoW as a tempting revisit. I didn’t play a single level in Warlords (I did buy it at 75% off) but my pocket cleric from EQ Testserver (Candarie) messaged me – “Come tank for me B (Braack). Just like old times.” Candarie is still a full time gamer and I am now on the other end of the spectrum. A few hours a week is lucky for me, which makes commitment to anything in gaming worlds hard to do. For the first time in my life I feel like a big hot mess in gaming. I miss it, I wish I could make more time for it in my life, but something else would have to give. I am not quite ready to sacrifice my wife, family, work, or health.

Yet.

4 Comments

  1. bhagpuss

    My advice, for what it’s worth, would be “don’t push it”. It does get harder to commit to the sheer amount of time that MMOs demand if you want to do anything more than potter about at the low end. You’ll have noticed that I tend to lose focus and wander off after about 4-6 weeks in most new MMOs I try, even though it seems right up until the moment I stop writing about them that I’m heavily committed.

    I love playing a wide range of MMOs but there truly isn’t time for anyone to do justice to more than a couple simultaneously. As to which those are, or whether there even are any, that’s not something you can control or force. They either sink their teeth in or they don’t. And anyway, it’s summer – everyone takes a break when the weather’s good. It may all feel different when it’s dark and cold and wet outside – certainly does here, where we seem to get at least six consecutive months of rain.

    Everyone seems to be very positive about Legion. That might end up being a good choice. WildStar, as you point out, might be a precarious place to start settling down…

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      All that is true and not sure why the panic. I think it is because gaming was always a place to unwind, be interested, and have fun. Now it is a place of stress. The struggle is the stress is when I don’t play (need that healthy outlet!) but also when I do play (not getting what I want from gaming – stress free enjoyment!) It almost sound self induced when I write it that way.

      The reason for WildStar right now is that I am wholly intrigued and interested in the story campaign and nervous that if I don’t take some time to explore that, it could be gone before I know it.

      Perhaps the Winter blahs will be the cure afterall =)

      Reply
  2. Psy-Q

    Take a break from gaming completely. I’ve gone on a break of buying new games for other reasons, I couldn’t stop buying new games and bundles anymore but of course most of the games went unplayed, so I took a year off buying new games, playing the backlog, etc. A very unexpected consequence is that I found joy in gaming again, and I play a lot fewer games at the same time than I used to. Even went back to the SNES, Dreamcast and GameCube games I had missed.

    If you wanna read lots of walls of text about the experience: https://psyq123.wordpress.com/category/culture/gaming/one-year-of-not-buying-video-games/

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      I will definitely check out that post Psy-Q. Also, perhaps there is more solace in the comfortable (old games) especially since I am such a nostalgic fool. Exploring the huge unplayed Steam Library could also be a fun exercise.

      Reply

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