Even more nail-biting of a decision to pick a new/different MMO to play is the choice of what character to pursue in a given game. There are two factors that play into this. First is the fact that time is limited for me and I don’t have gobs of hours to pursue multiple characters (hey, I have a tough enough time juggling a small handful of games!). Second is “the grass is greener” phenomena, where I get this suspicion that what I’m *not* playing might actually be better than what I am.
Maybe that other alt would be a better use of my time. Maybe it would be more fun. Maybe I should start from scratch. Maybe I should stick with a high-end toon to complete the journey and see content that’s fresh to me. Maybe perhaps I don’t know.
Instead of making on-the-spot decisions to abruptly change course in character journeys, what I’ve been doing is to give myself permission to go on what I call “character expeditions.” Usually this is just a single day, maybe two at the most, where I tell myself that I’m going to check out this character and see if it’s what I really want to pursue versus my current one. But — here’s the important thing — I won’t commit to the change right then and there. I’ll splurge on a long gaming session to really get a feel for that toon and help inform the decision that I want to make.
What often happens more times than not is that I’ll get that rash impulse out of my system and return to the character I was playing all along. I’ll satisfy my curiosity and get a hands-on feel for comparison. And while in one sense I’ve wasted a night of progression, I don’t feel that I’ve wasted the time.
It’s kind of like taking a car out for a test drive to see if that’s what I really want, or if it just looked good on the lot when I drove by. And by doing this, I have saved myself a whole lot of future wasted time in which I might invest into a character or course that’s ultimately unsatisfying.