Usually, not playing a game falls into a pretty logical bucket, such as “I don’t own it and can’t afford to buy it right now” or “it’s on a platform I don’t own” or “I was savaged by wolves and am in a full body cast”. Very rarely does the excuse “my own dumb self is getting in the way” come up, but it’s not totally off the table as a reason.
Sometimes I stare off into space (usually when I should be doing something more constructive) and think of the cool games I’d really like to play, but don’t, and why not. Here’s a few!
This one comes up a lot because I love Battletech a lot. I played the original tabletop game, the games PC, the games on consoles, and then there was nothing until MWO (the ill-fated web-based Battletech adaptation notwithstanding), so you’d think I’d be all over whatever I could get until the official Battletech tactical game drops sometime…next year?
Nah, mainly because of that pesky Other People thing. MWO is like EVE Online in the sense that the mechanics favor those who really dig into the guts of building out your death-machine. That tends to lead to “good” and “bad” builds, or at least “very specific and powerful builds” and “did you really just take something off the shelf?” builds. People really like to rely on what works are aren’t super-tolerant of experimental or “learning curve” game play, and I’m just not good enough to qualify for people’s nice list in games like these.
Civ is well respected, but I’ve never really gotten into them. My initial turns are usually spent passing as I wait for things to get built and explorers to explore. Of course, being a strategy game, I have a deep interest in games like Civ that are positioned for mass-market appeal while still retaining the hardcore investment. Problem is, I don’t have the time to invest these days, so several consecutive turns of doing little but hitting the spacebar makes me question my sanity.
When Skyforge launched, it clicked with me for some reason. It was an action RPG, which I don’t usually go for, but I liked it so much I decided to get their premium pass…and thus began my descent into hell.
I somehow ended up with two accounts, and my progress was on the account which didn’t purchase the premium pass. I tried to get their customer service to switch it, but there were long drawn out bouts of silence followed by vague questions and vaguer responses. After about a month — during which time my premium benefits were rolling — things were finally ironed out, but I had little interest in spending money with My.com.
Still, I went back to play just a few months ago, and had as much fun as I’d ever had. Skyforge is a game I’d really like to play, but I’m not sure if their CS problems were launch-time woes or systemic and ongoing. Meanwhile, I just reinstalled. I ended up with eight 14-day premium passes and one 3 day pass, so I can take advantage of the loot boost when I think I’ll actually have time to devote to it.
Man, I was gung-ho for this one, if you remember. I spent the time researching the mechanics, and writing up what I’d hoped would be well received guides (despite the fact that others with more resources and better discipline were writing better guides, faster). I got — and still get — many hits on those posts, but as time wore on, the allure of BDO kind of faded when I felt I’d milked what I could from the resources I had, and needed to strike out to get more in order to expand.
That’s the name of the game, but not how I’d gotten into the swing of playing. I really loved BDO’s complexity and first-world non-combat gameplay, but when I had to go back to normal questing, I lost interest.
MMOs will always be near and dear to my heart, and most games listed here are “_MO” anyway. Many people look at MMOs as having very narrow gameplay requirements — you need to min/max, internalize the mechanics, gear up, raid, and most of all, play with other people. Fact is, I’ve always loved MMOs for their always-on, persistent nature, that things keep on keeping on while you’re sleeping. The world doesn’t always change, but you know there’s activity going on. The need for carrots for retention also keep the game expanding for years, well beyond what we can expect from any single player game. There’s always the possibility of making a home in an MMO…if you’ve got the support network.
That’s been my critical failure in the MMO realm, and why my love of the genre is also a hate-relationship. My gaming friends and I are all pretty much alike in that we’re creatures of experience who value a lot of broad opportunities over a specific and narrow ecosystem. We are ships that pass in the night, playing different games at different times, or even if we’re playing the same game at the same time, contrived barriers keep us apart — servers, factions, time-zones, previous commitments, and so on. Playing with people has never been my forte, and I seem to have fallen in with a specific crowd for whom commitment to game and group is on the same level as mine. I’m not the type to butt into someone’s established group, and few groups seem as welcoming to new folks as their recruitment pamphlets would lead us to believe.
No matter what the game, though, I’ll keep trying to find the time, the push, or the reason to maybe give it one more shot. Things change, people change — including me and what I’m able to deal with.