Finish and move on or return again (and again)

Today’s Promptapalooza prompt has been addressed by Nogamara at Battle Stance, go take a look at their response. The prompt in full is: Do you “finish” games/hobbies/projects and move on or do you come back to the same things again and again?

This dovetails somewhat with my last post on a previous prompt topic. In that post and in a comment on it the subject of returning to something came up. It’s true that I used to watch repeats of favourite shows, like Star Trek Next Generation, a lot more back when we had no YouTube, no TV on demand and the like. Nowadays I almost never rewatch anything, or at least haven’t recently. Ironically, just to disprove my own theory, my husband and I have been bingewatching, in the very modern way, but not on some new series. We’ve been watching old episodes of the 1990s adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, plus some more recent Miss Marples. They’re all available on the ITV Hub streaming app. So I find myself, suddenly and for the first time since those old STNG days I reminisced about in my last post, watching old TV again – in many cases for the second time only.

I have very, very rarely reread a book, that’s a lifelong thing that I hold to. There are more books already printed than I could ever find the time to read so I always “move on” when it comes to literature. I have reread the entire True Game trilogy of trilogies (by Sheri S Tepper), excellent Science Fantasy novels I might add. I am now rereading the first Shadowrun novel I can remember ever rereading but that’s to practice my French reading comprehension (I have many of them in English, but a few in German and a few in French).

Part of my Shadowrun book collection

When it comes to the main topic of this blog, MMORPGs and online gaming, I return to the same games and even the same things in those games again and again. Of course it is pretty difficult to ‘finish’ a MMORPG. I have occasionally finished with a MMORPG; the most obvious case is that of Eden Eternal, which I played briefly and intended to go back to, but then my account was ‘locked’ for not ‘spending enough money’ and I closed that door forever. My staple games like World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 see me almost continuously engaged and playing a lot of the same content on repeat. But with the other MMOs that I play, I tend to drift away from games out of boredom or because a new expansion or content release captures my interest elsewhere. So with gaming in the MMO space, it is very much a case of coming back again and again, and again.

Even within the individual games there’s an element of coming back again and again as well. Leveling multiple alts through the same content of a given expansion is standard practice for me. Not all challenges are achievable first time, so on a specific character you might need to repeat the same dungeon, quest or achievement twice or more to get it done. That is in large part by design, gear systems in MMOs tend to be built around RNG or time-gated acquisition and lots and lots of repetition of content. But then players find their own motivations for repeating content as well beyond the explicit designs, farming dungeons for old gear to “transmog” (appearance collecting) is one example of this.

Given that I’m naturally against repetition of experiences by my nature (rereading books, rewatching films), it is maybe strange how much I enjoy playing MMORPGs given they are founded on so much “coming back again and again”…

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2 Responses to Finish and move on or return again (and again)

  1. Jeromai says:

    I’m chronically incapable of considering anything finished or done.

    If I liked or loved it enough to stick with it for a while, even to a given “end,” I stick it in long term memory for a revisit when I want to recapture the atmosphere/experience. I just cracked Terraria open for another run at it lately, for example, and I’ve played Wolf Among Us twice or three times now. Books have been re-read, just less that ever get to second completion due to the time it takes.

    If I didn’t like it enough, then I probably never even got around to a “finished” state or end before getting distracted by some other shiny way over there. Nearly everything stays in “someday I might” territory. It’s a rare middling to above average quality item that makes it to “it’s done and I don’t plan to revisit it because I didn’t like it that much” status – if it’s short, then maybe, if I can hang on long enough before distraction.

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