Our dungeon group has been on hiatus for nearly two weeks and I’ve chosen to take that opportunity to really step away from my usual, quite intense, gaming habits. After a day of sitting in front of the computer to work from home, spending most of the evening at the same computer to play World of Warcraft, Everquest 2 or another MMORPG isn’t always the healthiest choice.
This break coincides with a few other factors dragging me away from the usual gaming haunts: the weather has been pretty awesome, and husband and I have been indulging in some nostalgic point & click gaming marathons – we’re most of the way through the first Broken Sword, and before that played through Cruise For A Corpse.
Another background reason for this though is that I have some leave planned mid-August and intend to use it to do some intensive writing on my next Dungeons & Dragons module for publication. I’m keenly aware that the last time I went into this mode I ended up with some repetitive strain injury-style symptoms – aching fingers and cramps. Given that I have to type away all day long on a keyboard, this is not something I can risk, and the obvious thing I can do is rest up in the evenings and weekends more by *not* gaming all the free time I have available.
That’s not to say I’ve given up on MMOs completely. Far from it, but I limit myself to much shorter sessions and do not play them every single day. It’s good for not reaching any possible burnout point as well probably as well. One activity that really suits this current mode is the Overseer system in Everquest 2. It’s super low-intensity gaming. I log into different alts, take the rewards of any completed missions and/or set off new missions. Sometimes I log in twice a day to allow the optimum expiry of cooldowns on missions or agents. It involves switching between alts, trading rewards back and forth, bank sorting and some comparing between alts of which character has what agent with the needed combination of agent traits.
There’s the typical MMO thrill of receiving a useful reward, such as a new agent with a trait I haven’t available is a particular positive outcome. There have also been a lot of gear upgrades for my poorly equipped heroes. When I’m feeling like more intense gaming again I must get around to finishing the adventuring timeline on my main, but that requires running the solo dungeons which are non-stop fighting.
I do also do the odd emissary run in WoW Retail, say if a gold emissary or a weapon-reward chest emissary is up. These are usually easy and quick to complete, though we do have quite a number of alts that can run these sets of world quests, so I have to resist the temptation to overdo those as well.
Do you have a favourite low-intensity gaming activity in an MMORPG?