Confessions of an MMO Polygamist

guild_wars_image.gifI have a problem. It’s not a serious addiction, in fact its much the opposite of an addiction. I can’t commit.

If the subject of my problem were a woman I’d be the very picture of a man who wouldn’t commit – frequent hot dates with a possibility of long term relationships are tossed to the side in search of the next shiny object or attractive game setting. I dawdle between games like a child with free run of a candy store and no oversight. I just can’t seem to find that special game to break me of my wanderlust.

Now you might not think this a serious problem, I mean after all, who doesn’t play multiple games? But my issue goes beyond rotating pastimes to keep from losing interest. I have a staple game I play – Guild Wars – mostly because its free and doesn’t require a huge commitment of time or energy to hop into any of its settings and grind out a few missions or quests. Guild Wars is like the partner who dislikes your wandering habits but lets you come home whenever you feel like it because it knows it’ll always get what it can while you’re around.

I’ve had so many trysts with other MMO games that I can hardly recall them all. Some are still strong and popular while others have burnt out and gone away. I’ve spent hours playing these games and in many cases never looked back once I’d wandered on. The Matrix couldn’t keep me. I grew bored with the Galaxy Far, Far, Away. Norrath is a distant land I visited in my youth but I’ve no interest in returning to.

Azeroth is a frequent hangout but I seem to go through periods of love and hate with that place. I’ve toyed with playing since the world opened up and I’ve yet to stay long enough to get even one toon to the advanced level of 60 or more. I’ve joined guilds and tried to break myself of the wandering habit but no social group has been strong enough to persuade me either. It can’t hold my interest long enough.

world-of-warcraft.jpgMiddle-Earth is one of the places I’ve been spending my time more and more lately but even then I find myself wondering what is going on in the Caribbean that could hold my interest, or whether London has managed to get that damned Hellgate closed. I’ve bounced from game to game in search of the one thing that would grab me and not let go but I’ve yet to find it.

Cloning myself in Tabula Rasa might have been fun for a bit, but it couldn’t fight off the ennui of grinding and grinding, collecting various animal parts and fighting off invaders on the roads between military encampments. Even my time as a Dungeon Runner and explorer of Mythos couldn’t keep me excited as I fought for the next better shiny piece of loot. Flying from building to building while attempting to take over Paragon city didn’t excite me too long either.

I’m not sure what it is I search for. I’m not afraid of commitment but I think I fear boredom. I like to believe I wander because I want to taste the variety of life before I am forced to settle down on one or more games like a responsible person does. Responsible sounds dull to me. Scheduling my life around Guild Raids and applying for credits at the guild bank to buy this year’s latest elite set. A life of simple MMO domestication, a nice house in the The Shire.. It all sounds so pedestrian to me.

ageofconan.jpgI know I’ll have to settle down eventually. Being a wanderer is expensive. While I can shift the monthly payments between games it’s hard to imagine what my transaction history must look like from any forensic accountants at these various game companies. I flitter in, renew for a month or two and then I’m gone again. Maybe it doesn’t matter for them, after all they’re still getting my money from time to time.

Am I the only one like this? What could possibly make me stay with one game, one setting and one social group? They say the first step to overcoming a problem is to recognize and define it. I’ve done that now. Maybe this will be the first step on the road to recovery.. oh. Look, Age of Conan, Stargate Worlds and Jumpgate Evolution are all coming out this year. Maybe everyone else is strange for liking just one game or style of MMO. Maybe I’m not in the wrong, despite so many people and their seeming addictions to games like World of Warcraft. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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7 Comments on Confessions of an MMO Polygamist

Bounce

On March 28, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Why games like WoW gets such a low rating, considering how it makes kids completely hooked to the game so they play it 24/7, is beyond me.

used cisco

On March 28, 2008 at 1:54 pm

You’re not “wrong” in your behavior, just maybe a bit expensive. As long as you’re only paying for 1 MMO per month, who cares which it is? I think it’s good to try what’s out there. If for no other reason than to find out that what you’re missing isn’t that amazing.

Gigarayzor

On March 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Maybe its not wrong, but it sure is expensive. Yes, you only pay one subscription at a time, but the only way MMOs are affordable compared to normal games is if you play them for an extended period, constantly jumping to new MMOs means not only are you paying the monthly fee, you’re paying the still-high box fee for each game. I have the same problem, and it sucks.

zeth

On March 29, 2008 at 6:59 am

Well…Guild Wars DOES have an indirect way of billing us. Those extra expansions released every 6 months to a year cost money. But those expansions cost nothing compared to the monthly payments WoW extracts from us MMOers.

NEHOOO…I don’t blame ya. Unless you’re hooked on games 24/7, you’re pretty normal. In the meantime, stay tuned for Guild Wars 2. I never got too deeply into GWs…I liked her. I liked her hecka lot too. But…she was too complicated! So much about her I just never came to know. Over time, I got sick of trying to understand her, so I unofficially just dumped her. I might occasionally check on her once in a while, but we’re no longer together. Now a friend of mine’s getting me hooked up with this other “one” from Korea. For the time being until I meet GW2, this one might serve as a temporary “fling,” hehe. Might not be until 2nd half of 2009?

Dekun

On March 30, 2008 at 6:45 am

I’m in the same boat as the OP. I was happy and content with WoW since early beta until about 4 months ago, and now I just cant even stand to login. Now, I find myself unsatisfied with every other MMO available. Ive even resorted to trying the Free MMO’s… All I can really play is Hellgate, and thats only because its free and undemanding.

At this point I really have no faith in any upcoming MMO either, its not like were going to get anything new. Age of Conan is giving us WoW with updated graphics(video lag ftl), boobies, and a bad combat system created for a console port, and the usual “new gimmicks” every new MMO brags about. Warhammer is giving us WoW with far uglier graphics, horrid animations, emphasis on mindless pvp, and the usual “new gimmicks” every new MMO brags about. Jumpgate is giving us EVE without the EVE and SWG:Jump to Light Speed without TIE fighters and X-Wings. Stargate? I’m sorry, I hated the move(lol kurt russell), hated the TV series(lol macgyver), so I skip right over the articles about it.

They aren’t even next-gen MMO’s, they’re last-gen that have been delayed over, and over, and over again to avoid the same fate as Sigil/Vangard. I’m sorry for the over simplification, but isn’t that all it really boils down to? New gimmicks wont make your bad game fun. Atleast we know that if any of those gimmicks turn out to be a good idea, Blizzard will find a way to make it even better in their new MMO…

Lets keep our fingers crossed for the real nextgen mmo’s from Bioware and Blizzard.

Mrk

On March 30, 2008 at 7:20 am

I liked the writeup. I have a similar problem, but a bit different. I try lots of games too, but, IF it doesn’t grab me within the first, oh, week or so, I say screw it.

So, I have paid the high prices for the new games, and I have a pretty good stock of them, all basically unused. Lotr seemed to target younger folk (I’m 35+), city of heroes was too in-yer-face pretend, and WoW is OK but my son is light years better than me and I have my pride….but I’ve loved tabula rasa, the story line is realistic, hooking up with squad members to nail an instance has no obligations (except being decent enough to complete the mish with your mates) and is a real blast, and the interaction with bad guys is way more engaging than the button mashing you can do as you watch TV on traditional mmo’s. It has it’s faults, and I’m starting to grow a bit bored, but its still the best I’ve found so far.

Maybe my subject should be “Tabula Rase rocks”, especially for older gamers like me. :neutral:

Anyway, it was nice to read someone who is ‘hard to please’ like I am,

Spongly

On March 31, 2008 at 6:31 am

Maybe you are like me and are trying desperately to find an MMO that thinks out of the standard box of level to cap, then grind/pvp/raid. So you log in to chat to a few friends you made along the way, wander about a bit till you realise nothings changed and continue on your endless search.

I currently play EQ2 and have just resubbed to WoW to get some interaction with old buddies and kill time till AOC. Although I don’t expect Conan will be any different to the above scenario. At least I can enjoy the journey to level cap somewhere new.