I Just Can’t Keep Up
I know it’s a Sunday and I should probably be doing my weekly “best of the rest” article (I know, I know I’ve been slacking off with it lately) but hell, my blog, my rules. Plus I accidentally cleared all of the articles I’d been tracking in my RSS reader. But that aside, I wanted to share with you a bit of a personal frustration I’ve been having lately. Sure, if you’ve misread the title of this post then you’re probably thinking I’m about to share an issue I’m having with Little Gordon but, ladies fear not, that’s not the case at all. I am in fact talking about the rat race of leveling and gearing that plagues our MMOs.
It’s funny. You’d think that with Blizzard only releasing expansions every two years players would savour the content like it was their last meal on Earth but no siree, instead they scoff it down like fat camp at McDonald’s. “What’s the rush?” I mentally think to myself in my mind. “I’m in no hurry” I hear from my brain. And it’s true, I don’t want to hurry past all of the juicy new content in WoW just to hit some artificial game cap that’s in place and end up with nothing left to do for the next 24 months. Except my guild don’t see it that way at all.
No, my guild are racing through content like there’s no tomorrow. A ton of them hit level 85 within a couple of days and most of them are now half way through gearing themselves up with heroic loot for raids. Me on the other hand, I’m still only level 84 and plodding along like a three legged dog trying to keep up, always the last to figure out what the heck people are talking about and what all of the three letter acronyms mean (I just discovered what “CoC” means tonight after about five days of seeing it bantered about in guild chat).
I’m not a hardcore player and the hours that I do play (1-2 hours a night) are already enough to annoy my wife (fortunately she’s just as addicted to the Japan’s answer to Farmville, Sunshine Ranch, which buys me a bit of play time every evening). Oddly enough, I still remember having difficulty keeping up with all my guild mates several years ago in Everquest 2 when I was a bachelor and had, what I considered, plenty of time on my hands.
I suppose I consider myself one of those rare breed of MMOers who actually takes the games quite seriously and likes to really immerse themself in it yet still doesn’t plug in obscene hours (oh I used to a long, long time ago, believe me…). Everyone else I know is either incredibly casual and plays sporadically, logging in only once or twice a week, or super super SUPER hardcore and puts in more hours than a second job. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of folk in between.
In some ways it makes me kinda lucky that I’m able to walk this fine line and possibly epitomise the concept of a competent, serious yet casual player and that would be fine if I didn’t have this competitive streak in me. You see, I talk all this crap about taking it easy and not rushing through but deep down I still want to be the best. I want to be able to compete with my peers, play and be admired by my guild mates, and rule the WoW school. That though takes time and definitely gives advantage to those that can put it in sooner rather than later. By the time I hit level 85 and get round to partaking in some rated BGs, everyone else will be miles ahead of me in the gear department and able to batter my ass from one side of the zone to the other.
Oh well, I suppose I should console myself with all of the other great stuff in life that really matters. Like Little Gordon still being there when I need him. Bless.