Goals for May 2016

After taking a little time to try other MMOs and going back and forth on whether or not to schedule my gaming time differently, I’ve come up with what I think will be a fun and productive plan for May. Most of my time will continue to be split between two games, The Secret World and Tree of Savior (hopefully with a little more love reserved for TSW). I’ll list a few goals below specific to those games.

Then once a week I’m going to take an evening to focus on a game I’ve wanted to explore more but just have not gotten around to doing. For May, that will be Blade & Soul. Finally, I’m going to dedicate a couple of hours over the course of the month to a one or two new MMOs I’ve never played before. This month those games will be Dragon Nest and Continent of the Ninth Seal. Both of these games heavily feature action combat and instanced dungeons with scaling difficulty levels that must be completed multiple times in order to progress. There are several MMOs available on Steam like this and I’ve never played one before  so I’m eager to try them and see if I like the playstyle.

Lastly, I have an additional project in mind for Tree of Savior. I find the lore in ToS interesting enough to want more but as with most games I’m having a hard time remembering what’s happened at earlier stages in the game and thus end up at a loss as to how current storylines relate to previous revelations. So what I’d like to do is start a new character, an Archer, and play through the game one map at a time while recording the story elements in a series of blog posts. I’ll include a screenshot of the map, an example of what the environment looks like, the name of the map, and a summary of what story elements were revealed during the missions in that area.

I haven’t decided if I want to do a mission by mission account or if I want to write a single summary of all pertinent story points for each zone. I have a little time to decide, as I would like to first reach at least 127 on my Cleric so that I can unlock the Monk advanced class and finally be able to do some real damage. I’m really excited about this project though, and hope to get started this month. I’d like to do one post a week, but I’m going to be flexible with regard to doing more or less as the mood hits me.

Tree of Savior

  • Reach level 127 on my Cleric and unlock the Monk class
  • Write the first two posts in my lore series using the Archer class
  • Level a Swordsman from 20 to 50

The Secret World

  • Finish Tokyo through Issue 11
  • Upgrade remaining Head and Major Talismans to QL 10.4
  • Earn enough AP to put together a Fist/Pistol healing build
  • Try healing in an elite dungeon

Exploring Additional MMOs

  • Play Blade & Soul once a week, leveling the Warlock class
  • Try Dragon Nest and Continent of the Ninth, 1-2 hours each

Reviewing Goals for April 2016

April is coming to a close and May is only a couple days away so it’s time once again to take a look at my goals from this past month and see how I did. Overall I made little headway in any game other than Tree of Savior, however I spent about two weeks trying four or five new MMOs and that proved to be a refreshing and productive change of pace. Between shaking things up a bit in terms of game selection and writing one post on feeling restless with my current choices and another on whether or not I should try a weekly, multi-gaming schedule I have a pretty solid idea of how I’m going to approach May. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s look at what April was like first.

The Secret World saw very little playtime this month, no more than five or six hours in total which means I did not finish any of the goals that I had set. I was able to complete Issue 9 and begin Issue 10 so that was at least something. However with Tree of Savior I was very productive. While I did not write a beginner’s guide (I don’t feel I know the game well enough for that just yet) I did manage to reach 20 with each class and after choosing to focus on the Cleric, I leveled well past 50 and am currently sitting just a few levels over 100.

As for single player games, I don’t think I played any of them this month. Instead I spent my time trying TERA, Wakfu, Path of Exile, Firefall, and Skyforge. And although I don’t think I will be continuing with any of them for right now, I did find a few worth revisiting, but more on this when I set my goals for May. While very little was accomplished from my list, I had a lot of fun focusing on Tree of Savior and playing a slew of new games I’ve never tried before. I don’t know what it is about Tree of Savior in particular that has been so compelling for me, but I’ve enjoyed it all the same and will likely continue to in the coming weeks. So how did everyone else do this month, did you manage to accomplish what you wanted? What plans do you have in mind for May?

The Secret World

  • Finish Tokyo through Issue 11
  • Upgrade Head and Major Talismans to QL 10.4 (only need seven more upgrade kits)
  • Determine what glyphs to use for my Minor Talismans and Weapons
  • Upgrade my Weapon glyphs to 10.4
  • Complete the first 4 dungeons on Nightmare difficulty

Tree of Savior

  • Level all classes to 20
  • Select one class to focus on; level to 50 Cleric, and I actually reached 100 and beyond!
  • Continue researching the leveling process and “end game” activities This could still use more work, but I did find out a lot more about leveling.
  • Write a beginner’s guide to leveling in ToS before the F2P launch I don’t think I’ll be doing this now, as there are plenty out there already and I have another project in mind for ToS.

Single Player Games

  • Finish chapter one in Life is Strange
  • Complete Summer, Year 1 in Stardew Valley
  • Finish playing The Deadly Tower of Monsters

Setting a Weekly Schedule

Once again I’m playing around with the idea of having scheduled days for each of the MMOs I’m either playing or interested in playing. It’s something I’ve tried before with limited success but whenever there are more than two MMOs I’d like to play at one time, it seems to be a helpful approach.

The advantages are of course in managing progress in multiple titles. If I plan time for each game I’m less likely to favor one over another and thus end up in a situation like I have with LOTRO where it’s perpetually on my “maybe tomorrow” list but never actually gets played. Sometimes I just need to log in to kindle the excitement I once had for a game and a schedule encourages this.

The disadvantage comes when holding too rigorously to the set schedule, such that playing a particular title feels forced. However that has never been a problem for me when I’ve tried this before; I usually just abandon the routine all together when it’s clear the issue isn’t time management, but rather that I do not like one game well enough to choose it over another.

The monthly goals I started to set in March are a kind of alternative solution in that they provide motivation to log into each game in which I’ve planned to reach certain benchmarks however this still suffers from the perpetual “maybe tomorrow” fallacy that I experience when I have no real plans at all.

I’ve also considered focusing on a single title until reaching level cap, and then moving on to the next as I did for most of last year with FFXIV, Trove, Diablo III, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and WildStar. It certainly worked then and as a result I was able to see much of what each game had to offer. This makes community involvement nearly impossible though, and while that is not always a priority of mine, it is something I have missed since my World of Warcraft days. Were I to select this route I would have a difficult time choosing where to begin. In addition to the new titles I’ve tried and enjoyed over the last week, there are a few older ones I wouldn’t mind going back to as well.

I think the fact that I’m considering any of this is just evidence of what I wrote about on Monday; I’m restless and don’t have an overwhelming desire to play one particular game over another. There are certainly titles I favor— most notably Tree of Savior— but not enough that I want to play any of them exclusively.

If you like definitive resolutions in the blog posts you read, you’ll find none here. I’m just thinking out loud in written form. I would appreciate feedback, however. I’ve seen several other gamers try a weekly schedule, have any of you been able to make this work? For those of you setting monthly goals, has this helped you balance your time between multiple titles?