What I want isn’t what I wanted

The spousal unit and I were both in the Lord of the Rings Online Beta a few years ago, but we decided against getting or playing the game at launch.

Why?

I’m not really sure. It just wasn’t our thing back then; maybe the crafting wasn’t hardcore enough.

Now it is (our thing; the crafting still isn’t hardcore). Well, mine, anyway, and I’m trying to talk him into playing too on the rare occasions we both have some free time – which have been rarer than the jackalope this last month, so I think we’ve been able to log in together maybe twice so far. But the new Free to Play model makes it easy, and you don’t feel pressured to log in to get the most of your sub or trial time.

I’m subbed up though and will stay that way. There are too many useful perks to being subbed. That said, the LOTRO F2P model does seem quite well done, without too many “I can’t do this!” frustrations and without too heavy a stick beating you about the head telling you to spend money. In contrast, I get the feeling SOE pulled out their biggest stick when designing EQ2X, but since I haven’t actually tried the latter — and really don’t want to right now, they’re not in my good books — I shouldn’t comment.

The point being: tastes change. Requirements change. Free time amounts change.

In my 20s, I could spend hours and hours hanging out with my friends, shooting the shiz and fixing the ills of the world. Beer was a bonus but not obligatory.

These days, I have neither the time nor the inclination to do stuff like that very often. I have a schedule. Responsibilities. Stuff to do (rather than just talk about). And besides, it just isn’t as thrilling to talk about stuff all day when you’ve already spent 20 years talking about said stuff.

My gaming life hasn’t been all that different, though offset by about 10 years. In my first few years of MMO gaming I was perfectly content to spend hours and hours hanging out with my friends, shooting the shiz and fixing the ills of the game. And I don’t mean hanging out in the same chat channel – we actually hung out in (virtual) person. Did I mention Asheron’s Call didn’t have very advanced chat capabilities?

Those truly were halcyon days — both my 20s and my early gaming years — and part of me always looks back to those when I look for something new to play or wonder why I’m not perfectly content in what I’m currently playing. But the plain fact is, we change.

I grew (not up, necessarily). I want different things from games now, but part of me will always judge games (or social gatherings) through the lens of my early experiences. Sometimes those games don’t look right through the lens and it takes me a while to realise they might actually be fun for who I am now not who I was 10-20 years ago.

That’s it. No point as such, just the observation of something I only needed 10 years of gaming to notice.

So yeah. I’ve been working. A lot — no, let me rephrase that. A LOT. Apologies to readers old and new (hi Alarron!). I’m trying to take a few days off, though some dumbass accepted work for today (/e slaps self on back of head). I will most likely spend those days playing, not blogging — though it’s good to see that the old urge hasn’t quite abandoned me yet.

I love you guys, but there’s no way I’m going to make time for blogging when I’m getting up at 0500 and working till 1900, even if my gameroom is my office is is my blogging desk. I’ll make time to play something first. Speaking of which, it’s time for my self-prescribed game-hour.

~

Quick chars/servers update. I’m mostly on Elendilmir right now, because the queues on Landroval were too high for the spousal unit (not paying, doesn’t get to jump the line). So even though we haven’t really played as much as we’d have wanted to, it’s where I am.

Ysharros the Man-Captain (/raisebrow) is now 23, has a faster horse and better armour, and owns a deluxe house in Falathlorn. To the manor born, I tell ya.

Heloyse is the duo-with-hubby-hunter who hasn’t had much screentime yet.

And… err… I think Aethinviel (tbc) is the Lore Master I made in a fit of OMG MUST HAVE AN ALT!!! She hasn’t been played much either.

Someone actually contacted me yesterday in game, asking if I was the Stylish Corpse Ysharros — as far as I know there’s only one other person who occasionally uses the handle and she’s in the UK — and that was really flattering. I’m sure the big bloggy types get that all the time, but as far as I can recall it’s only ever happened to me once or twice. It’s pretty neat.

This many goblins!*

*I lie. It was all Elrohir. I just cut him out of the picture.