Twitch streams as background

I’ve had a couple of thoughts linked to Twitch streams recently in the back of my mind. I’ve started watching them occasionally on my second screen while playing solo gaming session. That’s not to say I’ve always something on in the background, I think it depends on the type of content I’m doing. If I’m gathering and doing crafting writs (repeatable quests) in Everquest 2 then it’s easy to have something on to watch at the same time. It’s less doable if I’m running dungeons in World of Warcraft.

Pulling up roots doesn’t require 100% concentration…

I suspect I started with Massively OP‘s various Twitch streams, I hadn’t touched the platform before the early part of this year. But as I’ve cycled through a few games this year I’ve explored whether there are any regular streams that I can watch as background. Some games make this easier than others; both of Standing Stone Games MMORPGs (LOTRO and DDO) have official Twitch channels that host a scheduled rotation of streamers.

Non-story content mixes well with a background Twitch stream

Time zone differences are sometimes a problem as the majority of streamers seem to be in North America so I catch their streams at (for me) times when I can’t necessarily sit through the whole thing. But it’s nice to engage with them where possible and I’ve actually found myself learning little tips on gameplay or game systems even in games that I’ve played for many years. I had no idea that there’s a method to save and load UI layouts between characters in Lord of the Rings Online, for example – thanks to a comments discussion on a recent stream I now have these commands written down for future use.

Do you watch Twitch streams of your MMOs?


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3 Responses to Twitch streams as background

  1. Shintar says:

    I do the same thing with long-form Youtube videos and podcasts. Still don’t quite see the appeal of raw gameplay streams though, as they just have too much downtime where nothing interesting happens (IMO).

  2. Jeromai says:

    I usually have either Netflix or Twitch running in the other screen if I’m doing something grindy/leisurely in a game which doesn’t take up too much attention or require the absolute lowest latency possible, eg. Crafting in an MMO, click-controlled games like Path of Exile or A Tale in the Desert, solo puttering around in Minecraft.

    But I’ve very rarely ever watched -someone else- play an MMO on Twitch. It seems ridiculous to inflict double the grindiness on myself, watching someone else do inventory management and go from point A to point B in a livestream. If I need tips, Youtube and nicely cut pre-edited videos are over thattaway.

    The very rare exception once was watching a new player experience a familiar MMO for the first time (aka watching a newbie work his way through GW2 Heart of Thorns – a mix of schadenfreude – noooo, don’t stand in the green goo, don’t just stand there and swing your sword… ouch – and bemused wonder at his joy finding his way through jumping puzzles and vistas and figuring out gliding.)

    By and large, I mostly use Twitch to check out glimpses of games I don’t play, especially newly released games, or watch games built for fun spectating (I was on a Dead By Daylight and Evolve kick some time ago.)

    What’s fun to spectate? Competitive games; sandbox games; things where the unpredictability factor of stuff happening good or bad is high enough that I’d rather watch someone else experience it, than experience it myself, or put myself through hours of boredom, grind or conversely, intense practice, before one can experience it.

    Most MMOs don’t fall in that category of “watchable.” (IMO)

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