It should be apparent from my blog feed that I play a mix of MMORPGs at any one time. For a long while now I’ve wanted options when I sit down at my computer for a gaming session. However with several goals this summer of progressing characters in various games (e.g. SWTOR, EQ and WoW) I think I forgot a cardinal rule.
Gaming happiness for me isn’t just about having a variety of games to play, it’s also having a good mix or balance of activities to do in those games. Guild mates in WoW were chatting on voice comms and they started talking about how many garrisons each had fully unlocked, my gut reaction was a huge wince – I just wouldn’t want to spend large chunks of gaming time swapping alts to micro-manage that.
The strongest reminder of this though came after several recent sessions of Everquest 2 in the Vesspyr Isles zone. After questing away intensively for hours and seeing my experience bar creeping slowly towards 96 (despite having guzzled an XP potion AND having my AA conversion set to zero), I happened to stop next to an ore node and reflexively started mining. I realised I hadn’t gathered anything, nor crafted since coming back to the game.
What followed was most of a session of not-questing. It was rather liberating to stop staring at the XP bar. Ravious of Kill Ten Rats talks about watching the XP bar in a recent Guild Wars 2 post. It struck a chord. Sometimes you just have to remember to stop caring about progress and to just play the darn game for fun!