It’s Not You, It’s Me
Right now I find myself struggling to get excited about anything in the MMO genre. I think I part I am feeling this overwhelming feeling that there are so many games that are not MMOs that I want to be playing. For years I have just defaulted to playing an MMO for so many different reasons. For starters it was more or less my social lifeline and the primary way that I kept in touch with all of my friends. The guild House Stalwart that I lead and still do lead more often than not in absentia of late… was a vessel in which I collected all of my friends in one place. During the heyday of World of Warcraft this was a glorious thing, and kept me tied to the game because it was the place I could hang out with everyone at once.
When I entered the twitter and blog community this shifted considerably, and I started wanting to hang out with new and different people and had pure hell trying to incorporate all these new friends with my old friends as well. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and the end result has been a series of games played with a small subset of friends each time something new came out. I guess over the last few weeks I have realized that I no longer need the crutch that is MMOs as a way of capturing my friends and hanging out with them. At this point I pretty much have contact with everyone I have ever gamed with seriously outside of said MMO. Just because I am not playing the same game doesn’t mean I no longer have access to those people.
The Pause Button
At this point I really want to indulge my absolutely insane steam backlog, and start playing my way through it. In part this is because a single player game has something that an MMO will never have… a pause button. Over the last few months my wife and I have gotten more serious about exercise, especially since getting our fitbits back in March. Neither of us necessarily like doing it, but we know we need to and the payoff in the long run will be a much improved life. So much of my gaming life has been about getting home and getting everything done that needs to be done before gaming “primetime”. The problem is our exercise routine doesn’t fit into this plan, since in general we need to wait for things to cool off before going out and about. Sunday I made a walk in a heat index of 110 degrees, and that is not something I want to do again anytime soon.
What this means in reality is that I really cannot get involved in anything at all until I get back from my walk. This also means that for sake of sanity sake… this only gives me an hour or two to do anything structured and still be able to get up and around in the morning in a non-zombie state. So right now my exercise routine has pretty much destroyed my ability to do group MMO content, which is the primary reason why I plan MMOs in the first place. I don’t mean grouping to quest or grouping to PVP… but grouping to run Dungeons. Without the drive to do the next dungeon, the MMO experience I am finding is rather bland. At the very least that thing that used to drive me higher and higher in level just isn’t there right now.
The Treasure Trove
I am not saying anything dramatic like I am done with Wildstar or Elder Scrolls Online or World of Warcraft or MMOs in general. Instead I am giving myself the leverage to not care about them if I so choose. I am sitting on what feels like a gold mine of narrative games that because of the feeling of having to log in nightly to whatever my current MMO was… I did not play. So you are likely going to see a lot more single player game coverage… and significantly less multiplayer coverage. I guess this is the good thing about having a blog format that revolves around my whims and not necessarily a specific game in it. I might end up losing some readers in the process, and I guess I am okay with that. I have become known for being an “MMO Gamer” and while I won’t stop being that, I will probably focus on more of the content that I would normally talk about during Steampowered Sunday.
Right now I want to actually finish some games. I have this horrible habit of getting near the end of a game, generally within an hour or two of beating it and losing the drive to push across the finish line. It is like I had so much fun playing the game that I don’t want the experience to end, and if I never go back and finish it up… it never has to. Right now I am within two hours of being the new Wolfenstein game for example, but I have been reluctant to do so… because I really enjoyed the experience on the way to the end. I am honestly the same way with novels and my bedside table is strewn with a ton of half finished books. In games the journey has always been so much more important than the destination… so I guess I avoid finishing the journey. All of that said it is something I would very much like to change. Back in the era of Nintendo, I had challenges with friends to see who could beat a specific game the fastest… so I know that me is somewhere deep inside waiting to get out.
All of that said… what did I end up doing last night? Playing World of Warcraft while watching movies. I was in the mood to hang out downstairs and watch stuff off Netflix, and after making a couple of attempts to play various games I settled to playing WoW. I have lost the ability to ONLY watch Television, after having done it as an activity while I was doing something else for so long now. That said games like Divinity: Original Sin require too much of me to be able to play them and keep track of a movie at the same time. WoW on the other hand is almost pure muscle memory at this point… I don’t have to think about the game to play it. So I decided to fire up one of my army of new hordies over on Scyers and at least get one of them into my guild of horde friends Bloodmoon Chosen. For years I have made an attempt to play Horde, because I have a large number of friends over there as well as Alliance. However because of my desire to have all of my slots available for Alliance, I kept relegating the horde to an alternate account. With the merger of Argent Dawn and The Scryers server, this gives me the ability to have 11 Alliance characters and 11 Horde characters.
The first movie of the night was Odd Thomas… which was familiar sounding but I did not have a clue why. It was staring Anton Yelchin… aka Chekov from the new Star Trek series, and more or less I have liked him in everything I have seen him in so far. Turns out that maybe somewhere deep in the bowels of my mind I realized this was a book series by Dean Koontz, but when folks on twitter informed me of such last night I was surprised. I really enjoyed the movie in a more action hero Donnie Darko kind of way, which likely makes zero sense anywhere other than my own head. It was good enough that it makes me want to track down a copy of the novels and read through them. I’ve never been a huge Koontz fan, and generally I tend to consider his novels a bit on the cheesy side… but I dig this protagonist. I like the whole unlikely crusader for good aspect of the story, and it tends to be a trope I enjoy in most movies.
The second movie of the night however was not nearly as enjoyable. One of my guilty pleasures is that I like John Cusack. I am a huge fan of movies like Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity, but the unfortunate truth is that Cusack tends to play exactly the same character in every movie he is in. Edgar Allen Poe likely was a neurotic mess… but Cusack’ particular brand of neurosis doesn’t quite work here. Additionally while I can get behind the transformation of the cerebral Sherlock Holmes into the Robert Downey Jr. badass action hero… this doesn’t work at all for Cusack and Poe. I am honestly not sure what I was expecting, but after the high that was Odd Thomas I was just looking for something else and this movie showed up in one of my Netflix streams and I figured what the hell. Unless you are supremely bored and have literally watched everything else of substance in your movie feed… I would highly suggest skipping it.