For the purposes of this post, I’m using (my understanding of) the Meyers-Briggs definition of the terms introvert & extrovert. I’m not normally a fan of Meyers-Briggs; I kind of resent being pigeon-holed into a 4 letter classification. But I do think they’ve nailed it on introverts and extroverts. These ‘labels’ aren’t indicators of whether you enjoy being around people or not. Instead, they’re indicators of where you go to ‘recharge your batteries.’
Extroverts who are feeling low-energy will seek out a group of friends, and from this group they’ll become rejuvenated. Introverts who are feeling low-energy find a quiet spot alone to read a book, watch a movie, draw a picture, play some music…whatever activity soothes them will also help them regain lost energy.
So what does this have to do with Warhammer? Well, I personally am firmly in the introvert category. I enjoy being around (the right) people, but over time I lose energy to the group and eventually I need to retreat to somewhere quiet to recharge on my own.
Mythic of course designed Warhammer to strongly encourage people to socialize and join groups. They’ve made the process easy and painless, but a group is a group. I was planning to spend mega-hours in Warhammer this weekend (first weekend of full release and all that) but I’m finding that just isn’t comfortable for me. I mean, I could log in and solo but when I do that I feel like I’m not playing the game ‘properly’. I worry that my Rank (level) and my Renown Level aren’t going to get too lopsided. So many of the games best gear comes from having good Renown. The problem is becoming more acute as I draw closer to Rank 12, when I have to enter the Tier 2 RvR zones. If I’m using Renown 8 gear in there, I’m going to get destroyed. Not only will I be the lowest Rank character in the zones, but my gear will be feeble for my character level.
So I’m not playing as much. I play when I’m feeling high energy, and when I’m feeling low energy, I go back to LOTRO or even Spore. In LOTRO (or EQ2, or WoW, or….) I can play solo when I’m low-energy and feeling the urge to be alone, and not feel like I’m “gimping” myself by doing so.
None of this is a slam on Warhammer; when I’m feeling energized and I jump in and hook up with other people, I have an absolute blast. I spent hours in RVR the other night, learning the maps, learning my class, learning the strengths and weaknesses of other classes, and the time just flew by. This is exactly the game that Mythic set out to design and exactly the game they advertised. War IS everywhere and going solo, while possible, isn’t going to get you the optimal experience.
But this is what’s going to keep me from playing Warhammer as my “primary” MMO over the long term. Sometimes I really do feel like finding an out-of-the-way spot and grinding mobs, or collecting harvesting materials, or just decorating my silly house. Something about the predictable rhythm of these activities can really soothe my jangled nerves and let my psyche rebuild energy. Again, I can DO the mob-grinding in WoW, and even unlock stuff in my Tome. But I’m always watching that renown level and wondering what’s going to happen if the gap between it any my Rank gets too wide.