Running Out of Steam

Call it what you will; “boredom,” “burnout,” “laziness,” “expansion-itis…” I have noticed my interest in the game has waned significantly in the past 2 weeks. Part of this is, no doubt, due to having anything other than a positive attitude heading into raids because of Screamy-GM’s potential to go off. Another is that my best in-game friend has had some real life troubles spring up on him so he hasn’t been around, and probably won’t be around for awhile. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m in a guild that, after our Saurfang 25H (and Rotface) is almost in a legitimate position to break into the top500. Hard modes are just not exciting me right now. I know I’ve spent a great deal of time basically name-dropping world rankings, but that’s only to provide context for my gripes, not because I actually care. I’m 10/12 on 10H, so there really isn’t anything to “see” in 25H. I’ve already said that I’ve debunked the idea that I play this game “for the challenge,” so really, the only 3 reason I seem to be continuing to play this game is iLvl277 showoff-gear while riding my showoff-mount, because WoW is a fantastically diverse and accessible time sink, and because of my friend. Well, with my friend gone, my reasons are down to 2. And then, there is Dragon Age…

Yes, I realize I’m very late to the party (I also have Mass Effect 2 and it is still shrink-wrapped), but I’ve been enjoying Bioware RPGs since I first played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I’m not sure if that was the first one I ever played, but I know I didn’t play the original Neverwinter Nights, and I can’t really remember who made the games I played so long ago in the DOS days other than MicroProse (oh yeah, X-Com baby). But as I’ve played Dragon Age I’m reviving those memories of what it was like to not spend every moment in Azeroth. I don’t think I’ve booted my PS2 up in over a year, I still don’t own a PS3. Final Fantasy XIII has come out and I haven’t even taken the shrink-wrap off of XII yet. I originally bought a Playstation because of Final Fantasy VII, and a PS2 for FFX and MGS2. I knew I’d always be buying a PS3 for FFXIII but the price tag still seems so high, and a lot of the games seem more like work than games. I’m actually kind of wishing I owned a Wii just to play lots more Mario platformers. I guess it’s just kind of unfortunate that raiding has turned WoW away from time-sink entertainment to a full-blown hobby for me. The big disconnect, of course, is that it’s not a hobby I can just mess with occasionally, it’s pretty much all-or-nothing at the level I’m at.

I’m honestly enjoying myself much more with Dragon Age than the thought of spending 3 nights a week pushing 25man hard modes. Maybe I’ll just transfer back to my old guild, currently 6/12 in regular, somewhere in the 15,000s and become a casual, showing up to raid whenever I feel like it, but mostly not under any obligation to get on and do more than socialize when the warm pixel-ly glow of my simulated BioWare romances can’t keep me from feeling lonely. I keep meaning to quit the game for good anyway. There’s still quite a single-player backlog waiting for me, and I’ve always been fond of replaying the classics anyway. I loaded up my Sega Master System emulator last week and boy that was a trip, lol. I certainly don’t feel any responsibility or loyalty to my current guild in the same way a mercenary isn’t exactly loyal to the people who signs their checks, they just a place I can be to meet some in-game goals. It’s a tough balancing act, between achieving hard mode goals that you’ve only ever really been slightly more than indifferent about, while at the same time having fun, and not the least of which is making time for things in the rest of your life. At the moment neither really has a compelling factor tipping the scales in their favor, so, as usual, I’m still in limbo.

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