Sod carrots and sticks – have a banana

As noted by far too many others to link, there’s been a strange slump in the tone of WAR-blogging in the last week or so. Lots of PvE levelling and pacing thoughts, people wondering about burnout, others wondering when (or if) they should start alts, folks liking one activity (PvE or RvR) and not the other — and so on. I’m clearly guilty of that myself.

It occurs to me this morning, however, that I sometimes approach my MMOs from the wrong angle. They hold a very large place in my life, true dat, and have done for a decade now — but so did tabletop RPGs. And yet with tabletop RPGs I never expected those games to somehow provide more for me than entertainment. Games aren’t there to provide meaning to life and yet sometimes we seem to get so wrapped up in them that it’s hard to remember. A movie has more of a chance of being a life-changing experience, to be honest.

I spent most of last week in a weird funk, maybe due to the big four-oh, maybe not, and a lot of that time was spent wondering why I suddenly wasn’t having so much fun in WAR. As I eventually (finally) worked out last night, it’s not the game, dummy, it’s the player.

A game that was fun yesterday and suddenly isn’t today probably didn’t turn into a steaming heap of crapness in 12 hours. Work it out. This doesn’t actually obviate many of the comments made about level pacing — but those are matters of nuance rather than base build, I suspect. I would prefer not to have to travel across pairings to level because I don’t want my million alts ALL doing the same content over, and over, and over. But that’s a personal thing, really, and at least the RvR will always be different.

So, yeah. I certainly sometimes seem to expect my MMOs to alter my central moods far more than this kind of entertainment can, until I regain my reason. It’s just a game — there’s only so much it can do for you.

Also related, I suspect, is the fact that we’re now a month into launch, give or take. That shiny new game smell is starting to be only a distant whiff, which probably makes many of us game geeks nostalgic and melancholy.

The real test, now, will be to see who’s still playing in 2 months, and then in another 5 or 6. Does WAR have enough lasting appeal to keep people playing for 6 months, let alone a year and then some? I think so.

4 thoughts on “Sod carrots and sticks – have a banana

  1. I wish with all my wishitude that Mythic/EA would offer a Lifetime Subscription option. I think WAR is ideally suited to that kind of model. I don’t see myself playing it exclusively in 6 months (though you never know) so it’ll be that old dilemma of “Am I going to play it $15 worth next month?”

    With a Lifetime Sub I’m pretty confident I’d keep an oar in even if it was to do a bit of RvR once a week. LOTRO has kind of spoiled me in this regard. It’s great to play an MMO without feeling some kind of vague fiscal pressure to play.

    Of course a lot depends on what Mythic does to keep things “fresh” too. I may still be playing like mad in six months!

    But for now I just have to worry about next month, and I’m definitely going to get my $15 worth next month!

  2. I have a close friend that will love a game one minute, and hates the game the next and complains about how such and such company needs to fix this or that.

    You’re right, WAR didn’t suddenly become a crappy game, and I do need to suck it up. I think my problems are the recent rash of random CTD’s since a few patches ago, finding a class that I really like, and having too many other games that I want to play as well.

  3. That was my poiunt, JayeDub — you’re not alone. So many people (incuding me) have had miniwhines about WAR lately, when I think it’s not really WAR’s fault.

    As it happens, I’m getting my fill of playitude this morning! Ysh is now 19 and I can smelllllll that mount!

  4. I think that once I figure out what role that I want to play class wise, then things should get better. Joining a guild might help too!

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