Restless and Wandering

A couple of weeks ago I noted on Twitter a desire to download several clients back onto my PC— Neverwinter, DCUO, and Blade and Soul— and within a day or two I did along with a few other titles including Tera, Path of Exile, and Wakfu. I haven’t played them all but that initial feeling of wanting to have them available came from a sense of restlessness and wanderlust in my MMO gaming.

I go through this every now and again, a feeling of wanting to play everything and nothing all at once. All game sound inviting yet none seem to keep me from eyeballing other titles in my periphery. I’m not sure what causes this, if anything, or if it’s simply a natural stage in in my gaming habits, much like that pang to revisit World of Warcraft that so many (myself included) have from time to time.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing either, as I enjoy revisiting old flings or discovering new ones, but it does more often than not leave me feeling dissatisfied. “I could have been making progress in Tokyo,” or “I could have gained another level or two in Tree of Savior,” are not uncommon thoughts for me to have after I’ve spent an evening dipping my toes in another title other than my current MMO staples.

However I do find that ultimately allowing for these detours rather than forcing myself to stick with whatever else I’m playing as I did during my WoW raiding days is a kind of pressure valve that allows me to take a step back from where my focus has been and avoid the inevitable burn out that would come otherwise. I was reaching that point with The Secret World and taking a step back to focus on Tree of Savior as well as sample a selection of other MMOs in my Steam library has made those evenings when I do play something to look forward to again.

That said, I’m still not eager to dive back in to TSW exclusively or any other game for that matter. I think I’m going to continue spending my time as the mood carries me and try my best not to worry about the Black Bullion I’m missing out on or the Tokyo missions I have yet to clear. The one casualty in all of this would be my guild, HivePro. I feel bad that shortly after joining I started to play less especially considering others have done the same from what I hear and it’s made for a slimmer pool of members to draw from for dungeons and other group oriented activities.

But again, just as I don’t think I should feel guilty for not playing a game when to do so would feel forced, I don’t think I should feel obligated to log in nightly because of a guild. If it’s a good fit for me and going to last, it will have to include these moments of wanderlust rather than only work so long as they are absent. This is one reason I have refrained from joining guilds so often because I realize I’m not the most dependable member, but I am glad I did in TSW as I have enjoyed the camaraderie and I have no plans to completely sideboard the game anytime soon. I just hope this fits with the culture of the guild and I’m fairly certain it does though, as I’ve seen other members via Twitter playing other MMOs as well. And speaking of Twitter, it’s been a good way for me to stay in touch with several other guild members even when I’m not playing.

For the sake of this blog, my restlessness may be a boon, or it may be a hindrance; I’m not sure. I noticed a significant hit in visits during the first half of April when many of my posts switched from being about Black Desert or TSW and started to focus on Tree of Savior. I’ve been meaning to put together a poll because of that observation as I’m curious which games people prefer, whether they like to read about games they’re playing or ones they are not, if they blog themselves or only read them, etc. It’s not that I intend to tailor content to what’s most popular, but I am interested in the preferences of my readers. Consider it professional curiosity.

So for the next week or two, or perhaps for the next month you’ll still see me writing about The Secret World and Tree of Savior but you’ll likely see a few other titles pop in to say hello as well. If you have an MMO or even single player game that you think I would like or should revisit, now is a good time to let me know. I’ll still be in TSW a couple nights a week as well, and you can find me in Tokyo searching for answers. Since starting Issue 10, things have gotten really interesting there.

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Oh, and don’t worry Jac, I have someone watching the dog whenever I’m away.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Restless and Wandering

  1. I absolutely get this same feeling. I’m not so bad with the “I should install this because I feel like playing it right now” at the moment but there are a few that remain installed should the need arise. (SWTOR, Wildstar, Guild Wars 2, FFXIV, TSW, BDO, please the 2 I’m active in, WoW and ESO, to name the MMORPGs…)

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    • I usually have a few installed at all times as well, for a few months that’s been LOTRO, ESO, Trove, and TSW but I’ve only been actively playing the last one on that list.

      I think I’ve been in the mood for something different though, and that’s shown in what I’m leaning towards. I’ve really enjoyed Tree of Savior and consider it an “active” MMO on my list and then Wakfu was surprisingly fun.

      But then games like PoE and TERA, both of which I did like, after a while start to feel like the same games I’ve played with a different coat of paint. And of course that’s because they are and most of the time it’s why I keep playing in the MMO/OARPG genres! Right now I’m interested in something a little unusual though, still an MMO, but different in some respect.

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  2. Don’t force it. It’s a good idea to go where your mood takes you. If you feel the will to “settle” down, it’ll probably happen naturally.
    On the other hand, sometimes these games need time and investment to be enjoyed fully. As i’ve mentioned, i find ESO quite strange in this regard- when i’m not playing, there’s actually not much i miss. But when i’m immersed and “stay in touch” with it, i love it. I start to notice and care about details in the world, the lore, the builds, crafting and so on, that i simply wouldn’t care about if i weren’t pretty much “exclusively” playing it right now.
    That said, i’m mighty unhappy that i can’t see Elder Scrolls Online on your list…again! 😉 Would love to read about that game from your perspective.

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    • I think what you’ve said about your experience with ESO is important, sometimes staying in touch with a game is what creates the desire to keep playing. That’s why I’m still keeping TSW in my sites at least a couple of nights a week because I always have a great time playing and I really want to see all the new content. But I also know I would likely burn out if I kept playing it exclusively.

      As for ESO, it’s actually on my hard drive (the install takes too long to ever uninstall!) but it does seem to perpetually fall just short of my list of games to play. LOTRO is in that same place right now; I really want to continue with it but there’s always something else I want to play just a little bit more.

      Maybe I’ll fire up ESO again this week though if I have a night when I don’t have anything else I want to play. Or maybe I’ll just make a time to play and write about it. At this point I’m considering deleting all my characters and just starting from scratch as it’s been so long.

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  3. Me too although for me it’s not so much restlessness as a feeling that there are lots and lots of great MMOs and I want to be playing most of them, which is just not feasible. I am going to attempt to at least log in and sample more than I have been doing of late, even if i can only really “play” a handful.

    As for what you write about, I personally read blogs because of the bloggers and how they express themselves rather than the specific subject matter. I do skim the odd post here and there when it covers in detail some game i know i will never play but generally if the post is well-written or at least written in a way that catches my fancy then I’ll read it regardless of what game it’s about. For example, there’s very little chance I’ll play Tree of Savior but I have enjoyed reading all your posts on it. And I think everyone has been getting a big hit from posting about BDO. Two of the posts I did are in my all-time top 10 posts by page views already. There are a lot of people googling for anything Black Desert related right now!

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    • I agree, there’s more out there to play than I’ll ever have time to really experience, at least in the way an MMO is really designed to be. For me I notice that I’m eyeing those options a lot more after I’ve spent a focused month or two on a single game, or in the case of TSW it was almost 4 months of near exclusivity.

      Black Desert definitely provided me with some of my biggest posts and definitely my biggest day ever but I feel like those “successful” posts skew the data on actual engaged, readership. Which is fine, it’s just something I try to remind myself before getting too excited about big numbers.

      That’s good to hear that someone is enjoying the posts on ToS! I don’t get many hits on any of those but I’m assuming that’s because the title is pretty niche so it’s probably curious people like yourself who already read my blog taking a look at them rather than a lot of Google hits or similar. I wish there was more to write about with the game because I’ve spend most of my time playing it this month but much like Diablo or any other dungeon crawler, it’s repetitive and doesn’t leave much to write about.

      I’m thinking about starting a fresh character though and journaling the story elements of the game for my own sake as well as others. I am interested in what’s happening but I’m not sure if I’m unable to follow because it’s disjointed or because my memory is faulty.

      That’s interesting to hear about what you read as well, I think I’m more or less the same. I do like reading about games I’ve never played before but it does have more to do with the writer than the subject. It’s kind of a significant thing to realize, considering we probably all found each other because of the subject matter but stick around for the personalities.

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  4. Yup, certainly have those same feelings from time to time. For me the change happened way back when I first got involved in Steam and then of course Steam sales. Prior to that I would buy relatively expensive games and play them through, or in the case of MMORPGs at least more exclusively. With the arrival of Steam sales and F2P for that matter I have tonnes of games from Steam that I have bought for “some day” and never even installed! I have become a collector rather than a gamer it seems by times. For me I do experience a little frustration in spreading myself thin because I advance so slowly in any given game but I can’t resist the fancy new thing! But I chalk that up to being a part of the hobby these days for a 40-something gaming father who has limited spare time! 😉

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    • Steam has definitely made an impact on me as well. I didn’t really start using it until this past fall after I purchased TSW. At the time I think I had 2 or 3 other games on my list and now I have 25-30. Not much considering the libraries some of my friends have, but a significant change in how I access games.

      F2P plays a big role as well because there is no investment besides time. However I often find these titles on my hard drive sitting at an hour or two played and then ultimately being deleted because like you, I am a father and have less time on my hands then I would need to play all these games. Which is probably for the best, I actually like the process of stopping to think about what I actually value enough to continue playing. It’s good insight into what appeals to me the most in a game.

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  5. I like reading both about MMOs I play myself as well as about those I don’t.

    I seem to be somewhat of a rarity in that I don’t have the desire to play dozens of different games all the time, but that means that I’m pretty “hardcore” into the ones that I do play. For that reason I always appreciate the perspective of someone with a different approach – it increases the depth of my understanding of the game even more.

    Reading about games I don’t play makes me feel more knowledgeable about the genre in general and like I’m “keeping up with the Joneses” in regards to whatever is the newest hotness on the MMO market even if I’m not playing it (e.g. Black Desert right now). It’s a win-win with me!

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    • I’m pretty diverse in what I read as well, ranging from game specific blogs to genral MMO ones, games I’m playing or have have played, games I’ll likely never play, etc. It’s a combination of writing style and the perspective brought to the content that attracts me to a blog rather than a specific game.

      I tend to waver between being extremely focused on one game to sampling several new ones until latching on to one of them and starting the cycle all over again. The biggest hindrance is in building relationships but that’s why I like blogging and Twitter so much. Sometimes I think my social MMO networks are more of a guild to me than anything in game.

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