This post by Wolfshead pretty much sums up (nicely, as usual!) where I’ve found myself the last few weeks when it comes to MMOs. I’m just feeling a little…blah. Maybe “bored”, but that’s not really the word. Malaise? Ennui? Apathy? Maybe. I’m still playing (mostly RIFT), and I want to log in but not for the reasons I usually do.
Seems like a one week vacation has turned into a four week break from almost all gaming. I’m still logging in when I can, but I find that I’m feeling a lot less of the urge to find time for MMOs. RIFT still has the lion’s share of my MMO attention these days; I haven’t logged into LotRO for more than ten minutes in the last two weeks, which makes me kind of sad. There are people in there that I miss (no, not you, Gimli).
And I think the issue is as Wolfshead describes it – I’m a little tired of doing the same mundane tasks over and over again, just in a new locale, under the guise of some kind of grand Quest To Save The World. Just like the three people standing next to me at an NPC. Just like everyone else.
Honestly, what keeps me logging into RIFT, and keeps me out of LotRO, is the prospect of seeing new sights and finding new places to explore. Yes, I’m still doing quests in RIFT, but it’s more a matter of convenience than anything else. “Sure, I’m headed out that way anyway, and I know I’ll have to wade through at least ten orcs, so…yeah…I can help out!” The experience is a nice bonus, and since I’m poking my head into every corner, I figure I can do a few “favors” at the same time.
But the utter helplessness of all these “people” standing around their outposts and villages, doling out mundane tasks that they should be doing for themselves – it wears on me. Last night I ran a task for a Defiant NPC that involved walking twenty meters from the camp. Literally – TWENTY meters. I killed two low-level mobs before I could reach the device that would magically complete some other device, that I would then be able to use on a rift not 100 meters from the camp.
I mean, c’mon people. Let’s get motivated here. The Defiants are supposed to be “The Vigil Helps Those Who Help Themselves” types. I believe a little initiative is warranted!
So that’s where I find myself. A lot of single-player excursions into games where I can explore a world (Oblivion, The Witcher, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.) and feel like I’m making a difference. Because that’s what I really feel the drive to do recently – explore. I want to see new spaces and discover all the secret little details; which is why RIFT has been so appealing while LotRO lingers unloved. But I don’t want to wade through shambling hordes of monsters and countless franchises of vending machine NPCs (McQuestGivers? Barter Kings?) to get there.
Ah, well. I’m still having fun, and that’s what really counts, right?
(Anyone know a good exploration-based, sandbox game out there? Doesn’t have to be an MMO…)