To MMO or not to MMO; that is the question

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts on my “Age & Blogging” post. I’m going to keep that topic here but I’ve kind of paralyzed myself now… so many people chimed in that I feel like I have to come out with a strong post to start off the series! LOL But it’s slowly been forming in my head, so please bear with me.

But for today I’m back to gaming and wanted to share a dilemma. Square-Enix sent me an email this morning warning that my free trial period to FF XIV is about to end. First of all, a big kudos to them for drawing my attention to this fact. I can’t tell you have often I’ve forgotten to cancel MMOs I’ve stopped playing and then had them auto-renew: money out the window.

I like FF XIV and as I mentioned here before, I bought Crysta to pay for a month of subscribing (this was before S-E gave us an extra 30 free days). So I’m set to pay my way…

Except ever since we brought the puppy Lola home, I haven’t really touched any MMOs. Life was busy before she joined our household and she makes it busier (though generally in a good way). This past weekend I had some free time and I could’ve logged in, but instead she and I (and Angela, on Saturday) went for a couple of long walks in the nearby state park.

When I do have some time for gaming I’m never quite sure if it’s going to be for 10 minutes or an hour. So logging into an MMO feels too time-consuming. I want to play something I can jump into and have fun with in the first few minutes of firing up the game.

Now that Lola is getting into some patterns of behavior that ‘chaos’ in my day is easing somewhat and I could probably go back to MMOs, but now there are all these single player games that I’m interested in. (I mentioned on Google Buzz that I have a bad habit of buying too many games when I have no time to play…as if buying a new game could somehow scratch the itch of wanting to play.) So I have Fable 3 and the rest of Undead Nightmare in Red Dead Redemption and Rock Band 3 w/Keytar and The Shoot for PS3 Move and Amazon had a great deal on Enslaved: Odyssey to the West… all of that purchased in the last month or so. And of course Minecraft.

So it makes no sense to spend my Crysta on a month of FF XIV now; I have all these single player games that I splashed out for, after all. But on the other hand I don’t want the game to vanish while I’m waiting to find time to play it. That happens to me all too frequently. Gone are the days when one can assume an MMO will be there when you find time to get back to it. Today it’s play it now or accept the fact that you may never play it again.

Smart money is on canceling FF XIV and if I get an MMO itch, going to LOTRO or DDO or something… a game where I don’t need a monthly sub, so if I play for 20 minutes/week I won’t be wasting cash. But man, when I was playing FF XIV I was *loving* it. But it also occupied all my time…it’s a time-sink of a game, unlike more typical ‘bite-sized experience’ MMOs that we see today.

I’ve got a couple more days to ponder this decision… but I really think I’m in the mood to play a game that has an ending, just to get some stuff off my plate. Here’s hoping FF XIV will stick around long enough for me to find time to go back to it!

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