My MMORPG New Year’s Resolution

It’s custom to come up with a resolution every New Year and although there’s plenty of things in my personal and professional life that I want to resolve to change, I’ve got a very specific one for MMORPGs:

Play less; play more quality.

It’s now 2010 and when I look back at my MMO gaming over the last 11 years, I think a lot of it has been very blind and habitual, especially around the turn of the century (I feel so old saying that). The simple fact is that I often spent a lot of time in MMORPGs that I never fully enjoyed or, quite simply, weren’t good enough. I did so because time wasn’t an issue and it was no skin off my nose to invest 4+ hours a day playing Earth & Beyond or Asheron’s Call 2 or even more recent games like Aion (yeah, I know some people love it but it just didn’t do it for me).

I also want to make my time in game count for more. I’m a big supporter of making games more accessible (which doesn’t necessarily mean dumber or easier) because, quite frankly, I don’t want to spend my time waiting, queueing or grinding any more. I want to enjoy every moment of the game that I play and if something’s a chore, then it’s not fun and, hence, not a game. This is a difficult thing to balance with the whole risk vs reward aspect of gaming and measures of gaming to make things challenging but I’m a firm believer that it’s possible to achieve without just plonking down an unimaginative timesink.

A lot of these feelings are due to the fact that I, as both a person and a gamer, am evolving. Gone are my wild bachelor student days (I used to be able to rock MMORPGs all night long, baby!) and here are my calm married professional days. My time is simply too precious now to waste on things that aren’t good enough or enjoyable enough.

So that’s my MMORPG resolution. I want to play more quality and have more quality experiences when I play and I’m not going to sink time into games that don’t cut the mustard.

What’s your MMORPG New Year’s Resolution?

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  1. I’m going to vow to just play more games instead of waiting around for an MMO to play. I picked up a dozen or so games off the Steam Holiday Sale and I’m going to dedicate 2010 to them.

  2. Grimfire says:

    My mmo resoltion is very similar to yours. I used to spend long hours hours in SWG grinding holo professions to unlock a Jedi. Was it fun? No. But I used to have the time. Now that I am married with children and have a career it can sometimes be challenging time at work vs time at home. On top of that I still enjoy gaming, I usually only have a late night hour or two to play and want to enjoy myself.

    I do not want these games dumbed down anymore than they already have been but I’m hoping there is content readily available for a player with limited time.

    • Gordon says:

      I don’t think content needs to be dumbed down in order to make it accessible. I honestly believe it’s a mistake that developers make. Frankly, they need to find new ways to creating challenges that don’t involve silly timesinks. Take any good single player game – they don’t require you to spend 12 hours farming items in order to accomplish a goal? No, they just have a boss or scenario that’s tricky to overcome. I’d like to see more of that in MMOs.

  3. As far as MMOs are concerned, I don’t rightly know. I suppose if there were to be one, it would be close to yours: make my playtime count. I have a bad problem of getting too engrossed in the minutiae of MMOs which really turns into a time-sink where very little is accomplished. If I end up MMOing much this coming year, I’ll definitely try to make my playtime count for something.

    • Gordon says:

      I want to avoid timesinks and I always want to avoid bad games in general. I want to play good games and have fun in them. If I’m not having fun, I’m not going to continue. Time’s too precious to waste right?

      • Totally agree. If you’re not having fun, why play? Which is why I ended up cancelling my WoW account. I had the potential for fun in the future (and did enjoy the dungeon finder a great deal), but I could get more instant gratification and professional gain by scaling back that kind of game time and working on reading and writing more. Time is too precious to waste on half-hearted attempts that might be fun.

  4. Andrew says:

    I wonder if this resolution is even possible to succeed at, Gordon. Modern MMOs, by their very nature, are filled with grinds in order to keep players hooked in. Even this basic quest/content structure is fairly boring compared to non-MMO games.

    • Gordon says:

      I’d love to see the grind culture come to an end and instead be replaced with well designed content and clever challenges. The gaming equivalent of digging holes and then filling them again in order to achieve something is so very tiring :(

  5. says:

    I have been playing EQ2 since launch, but even the next expansion fails to interest me. It will after all just be more of same but in a new location.

    I think Dragon Age Origins has helped me see how mundane MMO content is, and it opened my eyes to all the other great games that have both passed me by and are coming in 2010.

    This morning I went shopping and picked up GOTY Fallout 3, Mass Effect, and Uncharted 2. Also looking at some of the stuff on Steam. 2010 is going to be MMORPG free for me. Unless SWTOR gets released, the force might be strong with that one.

  6. Xenith says:

    Totally agree with alot you’ve said here. I used to love grinding to achieve things no matter how trivial. I guess now, I find that there are more important things to do in MMOs. For me, the focus over the last couple of years after leaving EQ at least, is PvP. I’ve decided that I will skip most of the PvE content if I can (as this almost certainly will lead to copious amount of wasted time grinnnnding my butt off), and focus on upgrading gear solely for PvP. After playing Warhammer Online for 18 months, I started to see MMOs in a different light. The PvE content became mostly redundant. The other good thing about player vs player is that it’s an ongoing challenge you can set yourself to become a better player against REAL people, not AI. With this focus in mind, I am sure as an MMO gamer at least, I have evolved a fair bit and hopefully, I’ve become a better, more appreciative gamer because of it. So in 2010, I am trying to focus alot more on spending quality time online rather than alot of time going nowhere :)

    • Gordon says:

      Absolutely. I think it’s all about having fun and not about doing something you see as a chore just because you have it. Gaming should be about gaming, not about grinding. I’m totally up for hedonistic gaming sessions from now on :)

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