Choices in MMOs

I was running out of ideas on what to post this morning (it’s been “one of those” weeks) – and didn’t want to break the three year streak of posting on a daily basis, so thankfully Calthine over on twitter suggested I ‘blog about too many choices in MMOs’. Something I hadn’t really thought of a whole lot.

As much as I love to game (and trust me, I game a lot) there comes a time when I really don’t want to have to think. I don’t want a huge selection of choices on where to go and what to do. Some times I just want to pop into a game and simply play. MMOs are not exactly the type of games that offer this I’ve discovered. If I want that sort of game play (and it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen) I typically pick up a console game. RPGs offer a great selection of ‘follow the story’ where I feel as though I’m progressing, but I don’t have to worry about who I’m playing or what I’m doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want LESS choice in my MMOs, I certainly don’t. I’m just saying that some times, having that much choice simply doesn’t appeal to me. Some times I have no idea who I want to play. What server I want to play on, whether I want to quest, adventure, mentor, craft, collect shinies, or any other huge selection of things in EQ2. Some days even figuring out what game to play is a chore in itself. It’s nice that there are SO many games out there, and so much selection, but in times of confusion, or when all you want is something comforting, it can create a headache.

Am I the only person who gets like this? Do we develop gaming ‘habits’ where we log into our favorite MMO with no indication of what to do and simply sit around and log off a few hours later having done nothing ‘productive’ at all out of habit? If I logged into a PC game or a console game I know with a pretty clear mind what I’m going to be doing in any particular game. Again I’m not saying it’s bad, but it makes me think even more about the different types of gaming out there, and how a lot of us are simply not satisfied with one method.

I have no idea if this is what Calthine had in mind when she offered the suggestion, but at least I got a post out of it today (grins). Happy gaming no matter where you find yourself, and I’ll see you in Norrath.

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10 Comments

  1. Gothun

    I usually get like this if I have a lot of choices in games to play as well. Steam had some amazing holiday deals up until January 3rd, so I was buying games left and right. I got around 40 games for $120 and get all antsy just thinking about them. It gets pretty crazy because I can’t really get into any of them since I have so many to play. I normally play one for maybe an hour then get this weird urge to switch and play something else. But MMO wise, I’ve experienced enough to know what I like to do and when and with who and stuff like that. Most of the time I do like what was mentioned above and just log in and talk to people because sometimes interactions with other people is enough from a game to satisfy me for a while.

  2. Daria

    This is why I usually don’t have any or many alts. I like sticking to one character and one game plan so I don’t feel I’m all over the place. I’ve only recently started to play alts in WoW, since I have a max level healer that I can only progress so far with each day. I log in to do my heroic daily and then I switch to my alt. And even then I have to focus on one alt at a time. :) As far as playing more than one game at a time, I simply can’t do it. I admire all you people who can though.

  3. tuvogg

    I logged in to EQ2 last night with great hopes of getting loads done and ended up using the game as MSN for nearly 4 hours when an old friend who i havent seen for months logged in.

  4. I think there’s 2 types of choices – what games/servers/characters you want to play and then what choices you can make with your character. I think the latter should be as varied and flexbile as possible although nothing can really help the former :)

  5. It’s funny how when you’re logged in time passes without really getting anything accomplished. I don’t usually feel like that’s time wasted, as I play most games windowed and if nothing is going on I’m checking mail or reading news.

    Choice isn’t a bad thing, but I think there will always be a game or two you fall back on when you tire of all others. That’s the way I am anyway.

  6. My original glimmer was that you play so many MMOs it must be hard to choose sometimes. But I totally agree with this blog, I do the same thing, and it’s why I burn through a lot of casual games :)

  7. Ahh… the paradox of choice.

    Now, if there were one huge monopoly of an MMO, we would all be happy!

  8. This is one of the reasons I think there should be MORE choices in a MMO. No one has really made a living, breathing world yet and I wish someone would. In fact, a comment about this would be WAY too long, so I’m going to write a post about it :P

  9. I used to do that when I was a single MMO gamer, actually now that I think about it I was also a single character per MMO gamer. Now, though, I no longer login to a game out of habit or without an idea of doing something. I may login just to do some house-keeping, like LotRO to sort through my vault or make sure my house maintenance is paid up, or like EVE to add a few more skills to the queue (which I do often), but I no longer login to stand about and then logout again. Normally there is at least one game on my computer that fits my mood when I sit down to play, and if not then there’s always a couple of shows on the DVR or a stack up books to read.

  10. Kameron

    I do that to when i play eq2, i would just by default log my main in and sit around doin nothing. just i guess waiting for a guildie to ask me to do something or to see a grp LFM. then after 2 hours of standing in Qeynos Harbor i would log off.

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