Lately I’ve been going through somewhat of a gaming malaise. Nothing terrible, nothing that makes me want to quit MMOs or anything, but simply I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and unsatisfied with how I’m playing and what I’m doing with my time. And when that happens in my life, I try to take a step back, look at the situation objectively, and try a different approach.
What I’ve been doing is trying to juggle multiple MMOs on a given evening, doing my WoW dailies and logging into LOTRO, SWTOR, and Guild Wars 2 to do a bit in each. It’s the format that I came up with years ago to handle my diverse interests, yet I just don’t think it’s working for me any more. Fracturing my game time during an evening is starting to cause distance and disinterest in my progress, and I’ve noticed that when I just stick with a game for an hour or two, I find myself far more engrossed.
Plus, I’m logging out earlier than I used to in favor of getting in some more reading time before bed. This means that my gaming hours are now 8:30 to 10:30, and that’s too short to be divvying up between three or four titles.
So. Two major changes going forward for me, at least for the time being.
Change the first: One game per evening. No set schedule, just pick a game that day and play it. Make some progress. Get a good blog post out of it. Could be an MMO or a single-player game, whatever. Maybe a new title, to try things out.
Change the secibd: One character per game. I’ve been getting bad at this lately, creating alts here and there instead of focusing on my main character, and I just know that I won’t actually see any of these alts through. My roster that I’m going to stick with is:
- Guild Wars 2: Engineer
- SWTOR: Imperial Agent
- LOTRO: Lore-master
- Secret World Legends: Templar shotgun-something
I think that when you stop having as much time for things, it actually becomes more important to give what you’re doing your full attention when you’re doing them. Thinking about multiple characters or what else I have to do in other games that evening is too distracting for me, and making this change has already had the effect of taking some stress off of what should just be a relaxing time.
I started this last night, just giving an evening over to Guild Wars 2, and it turned into a highly productive session. I wrapped up the personal story on my Engineer — no crashes in the instance, hooray! — and now can move on to the living world and expansion content. I also spent some time guild shopping, which I’m approaching in an unusual way by joining up with multiple guilds and then lurking in their chat channels to get a feel for them.