Delayed Gratification Is No Gratification
Gamescom is going on right now (literally, as you read this) and we’re getting a lot of info on a lot of expansions from Europe’s E3. By the time this is published we’ll have heard about expacs for SWTOR, probably maybe more on GW2, and something regarding Blizzard will be happening in a few hours.
I have a real indifference-hate relationship with expansions mainly because I never get far in a game to require them, never mind take advantage of them. I have bought into the WoW expansions because I think it’s mandatory, like paying taxes or having at least one asshole friend on Facebook, and I’ll no doubt buy anything they put out this time, if they put anything out this time. It’s become more of a matter of “gotta catch em all” than it is about the wet dreams people seem to be having about it on social media.
I watched the new SWTOR expansion trailer yesterday morning and thought, “I can get behind this!”, but really, I can’t because once again I don’t have a character that could take advantage of it. The weird part is that SWTOR had their 12x XP boost on story missions this summer, and I still couldn’t bring myself to get a character to the cap. The only reason I have a level 100 in WoW is because of the boost to 90 I got with the WoD pack, in STO because of the duty officer offline leveling system, and in GW2 because other people were around to play with. In all other aspects, I fail, even when the game helps me do it in ludicrous ways.
Would that the excitement surrounding an expansion be around all the time to fuel my interest! But it’s not. By the time an expansion comes around to generate that kind of interest, I’ve already lost interest in a game. Even if I were to bust my ass to work through a game — and let’s face it: if I quit shy of the cap, then it would be a pretty painful experience to force-feed myself — it might just prolong the burnout to the point that I wouldn’t really care much by the time the expac arrived. Although I have a capped character in GW2, and a whole lot of things to do to prepare for the Heart of Thorns expansion, I just can’t get enthusiastic enough about it to really care enough to go back into the current game and make up the difference. I don’t know what’s coming in HoT and I suspect that I won’t actually reach whatever cap they have set this time, because I don’t think I’ll have that same support network to help keep me excited about the process.
Part of it, I suspect, is the time between expansions. I know that they’re complex to create, but for me, it seems that a steady burn under my butt is needed to keep my progressing; I need some kind of steady rhythm that would allow me a seamless transition from base game to expansion, but I don’t see that happening unless *GASP!* the game’s first expansion is created alongside the base game and held off for only a few months after release. But we know how people feel about tactics like that.