Changing up my nightly gaming routine

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.

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6 thoughts on “Changing up my nightly gaming routine

  1. Sylow May 18, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    I very much understand your decission. I mean, i already asked and wondered how you could go for the previous schedule when you announced it.

    Cutting things down a bit seems very reasonable to me.

  2. Geoff Hardy May 18, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    I find it remarkable that the very day I pondered the question of how to balance playing multiple MMOs, you post on this very topic. Or at least, chose to revisit it. I’ve been playing LOTRO since it was in beta, but never exclusively, and it fell by the wayside a couple of times in favor of newer, “shinier” games that came along, but I always come back to it and fall in love with it all over again. But it’s created some stress in my life as I realized that I don’t want to give up the newer games I’m playing, but no longer want to forget about LOTRO or some other games I keep around. I play only a few single-player games and mostly play MMOs these days. I’ve been pretty die-hard into ESO for the past year, played SWTOR before that, and a couple of others as well. Now I’m determined to continue my Hunter’s story in LOTRO yet reluctant to abandon ESO (particularly with Morrowind about to drop). I’ve now read your previous article and love the suggestions you made in it, although the idea of switching after only 30 minutes left my head boggled. I’ve more or less settled on the idea of spending 1 or 2 days at a time on a game before switching. It allows me to truly focus in during my 1-2 hour sessions per day on what I’m doing and actually enjoy my accomplishments, rather than stressing about trying to do much, or else leaving my other games behind for too long. I’d be interested in hearing how your recent decision to focus on just one game/character per session works out for you. Great articles! I’m glad I found our blog.

  3. Particlebit May 19, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    I definitely agree – keeping focus on one thing instead of spreading across games when time is limited leaves you feeling much more satisfied. I still feel a little regret I’m not getting to the games, but I know I will eventually, and be able to devote more time to it at that point.

  4. DDOCentral May 19, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    “Change the secibd”

  5. Telwyn May 20, 2017 / 9:15 am

    I have a similar dilemma ahead, I’ll have less gaming time now as I’ve returned to part-time work – the knock on effect is also needing to go to bed a bit early and probably being more tired. So I’ll not be able to juggle as many MMOs as I have in recent months. I can’t imagine just playing the one game as I’d get bored too quickly but I’ll have to let a few slip probably.

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