Time for some finite experiences

This is one of those navel gazing posts that no one will really care about but six months from now *I’ll* read it and laugh at my own weirdness.

I have a stormy relationship with MMOs. I love them right up until I hate them, at which point I quit them forever, which generally means a couple months at most. By then I will have forgotten that I hate them and remembered that I love them, and I’ll get excited for one and find I’m missing the unpredictability of being in a game with a lot of other people. So back I’ll go.

Over the past few months I’ve been hardcore into MMOs…too many of them. Landmark, ArcheAge, Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar. I’ve sort of cycled through them, unable to decide which one I wanted to play. Obviously trying to play 4 MMOs is incredibly stupid and something had to give, and it has.

E3 was this week and there are a number of games I’m interested in. But I’ve got a huge backlog of great games on my consoles and on Steam now. And I’m missing the satisfaction of finishing a game, crossing it off my list and then looking forward to the inevitable sequel.

At the same time MMOs have been disappointing me. The last two I’ve been playing (ESO and Wildstar) I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and really tried to be social and haven’t had much luck. Most of my issues I think have to do with my reluctance to use voice chat. I’m happy to use voice chat for a purpose (a dungeon, a PvP outing) but the idea of jumping on just to ‘chat’ is not something I’m interested in. I don’t really like chatting in-person; I certainly don’t want to do it via VoIP. A lot of gamers SAY they’re introverts but I don’t think they know what that really means. Chatting with a group is exhausting to me and when I finally get done my day and can fire up a game at 9 or 10 PM I’m already pretty tired and the last thing I want to do is chat about cats or listen to dick jokes or whatever the hell people talk about when they’re gaming alone but in voice chat together.

That’s totally my baggage, not anyone else’s. But these two factors (excitement over new non-MMO games, and frustration with social in MMOs) have pushed me back to that ‘hating on MMOs’ place again.

So I’m diving into my backlog of single player and non-MMO MP games again. Tonight I started Bioshock Infinite on the PS3. After that I might try once again to finished Dragon Age: Origins in order to get ready for the new game coming out this fall. We’ll see.

Not that the blog is all that active to begin with, but if I’m playing old single player games I probably won’t have a lot to say here, so the blog will probably go even darker than normal. Though I probably will keep dabbling in Landmark since it is inherently non-social and is almost more a creativity tool than a game anyway.

Of course Destiny beta starts in July and I’m all over that. The nice thing about MP gaming on consoles is that people log in and actually PLAY TOGETHER which makes voice chatting relevant. Hope to see some of my friends in the Destiny beta!

7 thoughts on “Time for some finite experiences

  1. You’re definitely not alone when it comes to VoIP. I avoid it like the plague because it’s just not enjoyable for me. I much prefer typing in guild chat, mostly because it gives me some time to think about my response without me looking like an idiot!

    Enjoy your MMO break 🙂

  2. Now I feel bad for the cat example! I don’t hate cats. In fact I kind of feel sorry for them. Through no fault of their own (other than being photogenic) they’ve come to represent all that is frivolous on the Internet. And I’m just reinforcing that!

    Neri — Yeah there’s that as well. I’m always worried I’ll say something stupid or offensive before I think it through. And there’s the ‘local social’ aspect; I’m not alone when I’m playing games and don’t want to wear a headset and shut out Angela. I also have some anxiety issues over the whole process and meeting people. Lastly, even though “immersion” seems to have become a dirty word, for me listening to people talk about hockey or Game of Thrones (better than cats?) while I’m exploring Tamriel or Middle Earth just detracts from my experience.

    So yeah, for me it’s a complex issue with lots of down sides and few up sides.

  3. I know I for one would be interested in hearing your take on games like Dragon Age. Just because you’re not MMOing it up doesn’t mean you don’t have to blog.

  4. I’m with you on the guild voip thing. I’m happy to join it for a dungeon run, or a group event or something, but just hanging out in there? After a few minutes I want to just pull out my hair. Plus since ESO is voiced…. voip chat makes it so I can’t hear what the game is saying. Deosn’t work well for me.

    I’m also one of those that like to be “alone in a crowd” so… I like MMO’s since the people are around, but I still like to go it solo for the most part.

  5. I wish I could +1 or Like a comment because pludude your ‘alone in a crowd’ phrase is a perfect way to encapsulate what I like in MMOs!

    Jeff I’ll write about current games when I get to them but I just figure for old titles its all been said.

  6. Totally agreed on the voicechat thing. Not really my thing. I didn’t spend all this time training these fingers for that! I like chatting in MMOs…with text. I like being able to be helpful, I like crafting and trading and all that social stuff. I like to be able to share my gaming experience with others so I love MMOs for that, but I also want to listen to the music, the voices, and the ambiance and voicechat just kills it for me. Immersion!

Comments are closed.