As I often spend more time thinking about games than I do playing them, I occasionally find myself discovering some aspect of gaming I had not recognized before. In this most recent inspiration, I realized that I hurry through games too fast.
Perhaps it is the monthly fee (doubtful because I’m speeding through Guild Wars too)? Perhaps it is the desire to reach a new level or the “end game” (whatever that is, I swear I’ve never seen it) or perhaps it is the desire to see a new area or a new monster to fight. Whatever it is, it gets me in a mode that has me blowing through the content as fast as I can.
I skim the quest descriptions looking for my objective and I run off seeking to accomplish it as soon as possible. I don’t read the story. I don’t get pulled into the plot. Thus, I find myself losing interest in MMOs at an alarming rate.
World of Warcraft is perhaps the most interesting MMO I have played in a long time and yet I only lasted a couple of months. Level 28 out of a possible 60 is the furthest I made with any one character. Having people playing more often than I do, I find myself trying to maximize my time to try to keep up. I have started to avoid crafting and side-activities like fishing. I figured that stuff is all in place to slow down the hard-core players a little, not for me.
I think I would like to try to play a game slower, but how? I can think of a few options here. I could play on a server that nobody I know is on. I could read EVERYTHING that there is to read (do you know there are many books in WoW to be read?). I could walk everywhere instead of using instant transportation. I could do more exploring and less fighting. I could take up role-playing. I could choose a place to live and make sure I start and finish each session there.
I remember back to my first MMORPG, Asheron’s Call. I played that game with a few people I knew. They had all been playing a long while and were high level, but they were also very social. We often spent the evening sitting on a rooftop shooting the breeze or making up quests for prospective allegiance members to do in order to be allowed to join. I look back on it now as one of the best times I have ever had in an MMO. So perhaps the socialization is what I am missing the most. It seems that a guild chat channel just doesn’t work as well as standing in front of someone and talking, even if it is just a virtual person.
Anyone else feel the same way? Have any other ideas? Feel free to share.