I’ll admit it. I just like talking about handling multiple MMOs so that I can spend a half-hour Google image searching the most crazy juggling picture.
So if you have any semblance of a life, school, or work responsibilities, chances are that it’s a little difficult to handle more than one of these time-sucking MMOs at once. Many people stick to just one at a time, and I’ve certainly done that. But I usually can’t resist dabbling in a buffet of online goodness, and because of that I’ve had to experiment with different methods of juggling MMOs.
Over the years, I’ve found that there’s really four different ways for a time-strapped gamer to engage in multiple titles, and wanted to share those along with the pros and cons of each.
1. Game by the hour
This method tries to get the best of all worlds every day by dividing up your available game time by the number of MMOs you want to keep tabs on. So if you have three hours and three games, you give each one hour apiece for that day. Two hours and four games? 30-minute play sessions.
Pros: You keep all of the games fresh in your mind, since you’re logging in daily to each of them. You experience a wide variety on a daily basis. You make some progress in all games daily.
Cons: Advancement will be slow. You won’t be able to do time-intensive activities, like dungeon runs. You’ll often just be getting into one game and then have to switch to another. It’s hard to shift mental gears like that so often.
2. Different day, different MMO
This is a little like number one, except that you divvy up your days instead of hours. Three days a week for WoW, two for STO, one for Aion, and one as a wild card.
Pros: You get to devote your full attention to just one game for that day. A longer play session allows you to do more activities, including dungeon runs.
Cons: It’s more difficult to keep track of progress and goals, since it could be days between logging into a particular title. You may really want to spend time with a game but have to wait days to go back to it.
3. Group play
In this method, you join a dedicated group or team that meets on a regular basis (usually weekly) to tackle the game together at a cooperative pace.
Pros: You’re always assured of having a group. It’s great for games that you’re okay with only playing once a week. Lots of community and socializing.
Cons: You won’t be able to go at your own pace or play that character otherwise. Playing weekly means that it will be hard to remember how to play your character or what you were doing.
4. Do whatever you feel like
This is the least structured out of all of these methods. In it, you simply decide that night what games you want to play, whether it be one or several.
Pros: This allows for the most flexibility according to your moods, schedule, and desires. You’re not forcing yourself to play a game that you don’t feel like playing at that moment. If you have strong personal discipline, you could use this method to give equal time to all of the titles in your umbrella of interest.
Cons: Very easy to allow one title to dominate, time-wise, and to allow others to slip into obscurity. Could lead you back to a single-game playstyle much easier than the other methods.
Right now I’m going for a #1, but #4 keeps pressuring me. Some nights all I want to play is RIFT right now, while others are balanced with LOTRO. Starting this weekend, I’m going to be tossing TSW into the mix for a while at least, so I’m giving this juggling thing a lot more thought. I may need to structure my time more than I’m doing so right now.