What’s The Rush?

clock 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.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

8 thoughts on “What’s The Rush?”

  1. MMOs are like drugs. The first time you do it, it’s fantastic, the best time you’ve had. Every time after that is just an attempt to recapture the feeling of the first time.

    I can relate to a lot of what you say. I remember playing EQ the first few weeks it was released. I found a good group of people and we played without any regard to xp or loot (for awhile). I remember stopping at towers and sittting around a campfire talking, waiting for sunrise. Good times. Every game since then has been an attempt to recapture that feeling, with no luck. It seems now in every game it’s more about winning the race than enjoying the scenary. Even if you do find a good group of people, it’s a burden to try and keep pace with the lead leveler so you can all still group.

    I just recently started playing EQ2. They have a mentor system that hopefully will ease the pressure on keeping pace with friends. There’s a lot of lore, it’s just a matter of forcing myself to stop and smell the roses once in awhile.

  2. I have found in my experience Ethic that the socialization is indeed key, but at the same time, there still has to be a game wrapped around it that all or most of you enjoy. And, there has to be some comradery that allows for that difference in levels that inevitably occurs, at least if you play as slowly as me.

    And yes, despite my distaste for the guild meetings and such, we’ve found that a simple guild channel doesn’t take the place of that, that we actually need to sit in the same house/hall or whatever or it just doesn’t feel like real socializing, which is very odd.

  3. I cannot understand your need to rush because there’s nothing better than WoW to respect the playstyle you choose. In most of the other mmorpgs you do not have this luxury.

    I play in a guild that now grew above 100 members but I rarely played with them in my journey through the levels. I just kept chasing my needs and my quests. The game is open to the casual play and I focused mostly on the instances. I do not need guild mates to form a group of five peoples to go into one. Sitting in Ironforge was already enough to join someone else and fill the vacant spots through the /who command.

    So I mind my own business and continue to play at my pace. If I need mates to do something I search for them and join casual groups, if I do not them I just continue alone and maybe join someone else that needs help or that I find in the same zone.

    Right now I’m level 56 and just because I never played in the last two months. Since most of the guildies are level 60 I can start to join them and I’m having a lot of fun. I can choose what I want to do between many possibilities.

    For sure I never felt the rush to level up, on the contrary I just track down the quests (instances in particular) and it’s since level 45 that I play constantly under the rest bonus. I always feel like I’m levelling too fast and often I found myself trying to finish grey quests just out of the curiosity.

    Look at this page.

    That’s what I did for most of the time. I track instance quest-lines because they are extremely fun for me and they satisfy my “completist” needs.

    There’s always a lot of what I have planned. Right now and in the future (phat loot, raids, PvP). Now I’m about to log in and I’m still tracking all the nine quest lines in “Blackrock Depths”. One of them is a long list of quests in Searing Gorge that will keep me busy for a bit. Then I have to look at the other four in the nearby zone and I still have various quests to complete in Feralas, Felwood and Winterspring.

    There’s enough meat to remain busy for another couple of levels so the problem is again that I’m rushing the content too fast. Joining groups for BRD shouldn’t be hard and I’ll go there various times (and that’s enough to occupy many hours).

    See? You are at level 28. For me that would mean Gnomeragon. And it’s definitely one of the most fun times I had in the game. Even if you do not go there there’s plenty to do in the Wetlands and on the other continent. At level 30 I was super busy in Arathi and Duskwood and before I was halfway done with the quests it was time to run into the Scarlet Monastery and then Uldaman, Maraudon and Zul’Farrak. I didn’t had time to blink and I was already 50 trying desperately to catch up with some of the quests outside.

    Most of the times I log in and check my quest journal or the list of quests that I need to track. So I build my “itinerary” for the day. Most of the times I finish to derail because I join other groups and chase something I didn’t plan like when I discover a new quest nearby that I want to check and that starts its own branch.

    It’s a different journey every day and I definitely enjoy it. If anything I feel like running too fast.

  4. The design of most MMOs encourages this type of play
    – group-centric, don’t want to keep your group waiting
    – spoiler-centric, don’t want to waste time unnecessarily
    – reward-centric, play for rewards, not for minute-to-minute entertainment
    – crappy content, poor writing style, poor (or absent) story-telling , quests are always pointless in practical terms (aside from the reward)
    – poor presentation, no cutscenes, no immersion
    – drawn-out gameplay, takes so long to do things that you rush through the game to compensate.

  5. Abaileno, I would agree that WoW is a very good and very polished game that can allow for a few different playstyles.

    I just wasn’t having fun playing it, even after several months of forcing myself to play it because of my guildmates.

  6. Hmm…leveling in WoW is fairly easy. I’m surprised that you have 3 maxed characters in CoH and 28 is the highest you got in WoW. I’ve never played CoH, so my opinion probably isn’t accurate, but WoW makes lvling very easy (i have 2 lvl 60s, one 50, and a variety in the mid 20s). Granted, I have spent WAYYY too much time playing this game, but it’s still very enjoyable.

    Someone mentioned MMOs like a drug, and I totally agree. I spent about 3 years playing UO, starting on the public release date. I gave that up in grad school, and haven’t played any MMOs since…until WoW. I’m addicted all over again, probably just as much as I was during the first few months of UO.

    Maybe it’s time to give MMOs a break?

  7. I’m not sure who you are referring to Bart, but I do not have any maxed characters in any MMORPG. My CoH character is level 11. I have two level 28 characters in WoW. My highest character in Guild Wars is 9. I don’t play them very often, but it’s still my game of choice. Perhaps since I don’t have as much free time as I used to, it is yet another reason why I rush through the content.

    I think you might be getting Zubon and I mixed up.

  8. Games are for fun, otherwise they’re not games. I recently quit my uber-guild in WoW, just decided I didn’t have time for the commitments anymore. I’ve actually been having more fun playing my old single-player games (Colonization, Dungeon Keeper – The Deeper Dungeons) and screwing around on FPS games.

    The first online RPG I played was a LOOOONG time ago (it was $3/hr. on AOL, before the internet was used by hardly anyone but scientists & DoD people), and it was a fairly serious roleplaying game. Very social-based, and what you said about standing around just chatting reminded me of that game. There were classes in GemStone III (text MUD) that a lot of people would pick because you could level up without ever “hacking and slashing” but rather just sitting in town socializing and healing the wounded when they came back from “hacking and slashing”. You also go bonuses for roleplaying your character well, and people would pretty much ignore you if you were talking about something out of character out loud.

    What Eon said is true, your first game is what you end up looking for in every other game. It’s never really the same in new games, and if you go back to the old game the reasons you left start bugging you again. I just stop playing a game once it loses it’s fun, why waste spare time not having fun? It’s like watching a TV show you don’t even like and you’re bored with just because everyone else watches it.

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