The process of picking out a different MMO to play

I trust that I’m not the only one who, on occasion, looks at my desktop and thinks, “I don’t want to play any of this tonight. I want a little something different.”

I mean, for a good month or so now, my entire online gaming life has been limited to two games: FFXIV and The Secret World. And that’s not been bad at all; I’ve been getting tons done in both, enjoying the stories, and feeling more grounded. But it’s created nights like the one that I’ve described above where — at that moment — I don’t have the heart to log in to either of those. I’m in the mood for a change-up, but for what?

While I’m a strong advocate for fostering a diverse MMO portfolio so that focusing on one title exclusively doesn’t result in burnout, it’s not always as easy as, say, having a collection of old-school video game cartridges that you can sort through depending on that night’s whims. MMOs have three (perhaps four) significant barriers to casually playing them:

  1. The size (most MMOs aren’t small games and depending on your HD real estate, it’s not always feasible to have 30 of them loaded at any given time)
  2. Getting situated (Figuring out new control schemes and systems or trying to remember old ones and where you last left off)
  3. If the game is enjoyable and acceptable if you only play it once in a great while (is this a game that requires a lot of time to really get into?)
  4. Cost (not every MMO is F2P; some require up-front purchases or even a subscription to access)

And if I’m going to spend an hour or two with an MMO outside of my regular, I’m going to want to make sure it’s something that will be enjoyable for that duration. Selecting a title to fit my mood and my current appetite for a type of game can be surprisingly fiddly.

Sometimes I’ll gravitate toward a game that’s getting a lot of chatter, either in the news or twitter or on blogs. Sometimes I’ll pick up a game that’s been on my “should try sometime” pile. And often I’ll boot back up an old favorite for the comfort factor.

I’ve been considering buying a cheap 1TB hard drive and loading it up with scads of MMOs, just so that they’re there if I have whims in the future and don’t want to wait through a 30GB download. Might want to create a spreadsheet to help remind myself what’s going on in certain games too, in case months go by between plays. I also think about you all reading this blog — I’ve seen an interest over the years for a variety in what I cover, and I don’t want to bore you too much by only talking about a couple of titles. Yet I certainly don’t want to overextend; what I’m talking about here is that “every so often” impulse to play a different game, not trying to shoehorn more regular titles into my current rotation.

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5 thoughts on “The process of picking out a different MMO to play

  1. pkudude99 February 16, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    My usual “fallback” if I don’t feel like playing any of the MMO’s that I hve installed is either Civ5 or Endless Legend. Something about changing up to the 4X genre somehow reviatalizes my interest in MMO’s after 2 or 3 days.

  2. Jeff Howe February 16, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    I’ve seen that myself Pkudude99, not sure why the genre switch works but it does. I’m feeling the pull of the new shiny though with Black Desert Online so I’m debating that myself.

  3. bhagpuss February 16, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    I can never figure out what the supposed problem with having a lot of MMOs installed at the same time is supposed to be. I hardly have massive capacity on my aging machine but it comfortably seats three internal hard drives, two 1GB drives and an old 250GB I scavenged from another PC. That’s more than enough to hold twenty full-size MMOs and leave a ton of space for mountains of video, music and what-not. I do also have two 1GB external drives but they are both currently empty because even with the large number of MMOs I keep around I haven’t needed to shunt any over yet.

    I’d suggest giving Blade and Soul a try. It’s new (to us), free and surprisingly good fun.

  4. Telwyn February 17, 2016 / 7:40 am

    For many years now I’ve wrestled with this issue. I certainly agree with the suggestion of just having a bigger hard drive and keeping a bunch of games installed.

    I often return to games I’ve put on pause as a way of rejuvenating my “gaming batteries”. But even then occasionally I just want something totally new to try even if only for a few sessions. The latest for me was Trove. The good thing is the genre of MMORPGs is sufficiently diverse now to offer the occasional random distraction.

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