I would never describe myself as a goal-oriented person, because that makes me feel like it’s only the destination that matters, but I would say that I’m very much project-oriented. It’s taken me a long time to realize that my interest and energy in something is directly proportional to whether I have a clear-cut project defined in that. I need steps. I need structure. I need a finish line.
When it comes to MMOs, if I lack a “project” to do in a particular game, my interest in it usually diminishes. Many of the times where I’ve come close (or past) to the point of burnout is when I’m merely logging in and aimlessly doing stuff with no greater purpose in mind. Yet I’ve witnessed my interest rekindle in a title when I identify and get excited about a specific project. Maybe that’s why I like to roll alts a lot: Each alt presents a clear project to accomplish from scratch. Endgame characters for me typically lack interesting projects because it’s either a choice between hardcore grinding or… nothing.
Case in point: Over the past month or so, I was feeling very lackluster about LOTRO. I just had nothing specific to shoot for. My Captain was at the cap and waiting for Rohan, and I didn’t want to start up new alts. Without a project, my enthusiasm waned. But a few days ago I resolved to get everything fully in shape for Rohan and make sure that my Cappy’s virtues were up to spec (as well as starting to work on reshaping my Lore-master), and suddenly I got excited to log in once more.
In RIFT, I’m lacking a major project. I know I’ve identified several things I could be doing on this blog, but I haven’t settled strongly on any of them. Raise up an alt? Pursue crafting? Get rich? Gear up? Achievement hunt? I don’t know. I like to pour myself into a project fully, but it’s got to be something that has a finish line and a tempting enough reward.
Guild Wars 2 may be totally okay with me logging in and wandering around all footloose and fancy-free, but I had to have a project. Actually, right now I have three: To get my main to 80 (I’m 50 at the moment), to earn money so I can unlock account options that I want, and to hit 100% world completion. I’m not so insane as to add “get a legendary weapon” to that, because I have a life and want to keep it as such.
The Secret World is great to experience as is, but I’ve needed a project in there as well. Right now it’s identifying a better build for my character and working on gaining the SP/AP needed to flesh it out. A friend showed me a really cool hammer/shotgun build that’s versatile against single and multiple mobs, has ranged and melee options, and boasts some powerful DPS while having a good element of survivalism to it. But that’s going to take me a while, because there are a few expensive skills to purchase.
One thing I have to be on the lookout for is taking on too many projects. I only have the attention span and enthusiasm for a handful, whether it be in my personal, professional, or gaming life, and I need to allocate those carefully. I’m all psyched about Pirate101 coming this month, but I think I’ll be shunning the title for the time being to keep my attention fixated on these four games.