I was reading an article over at Bio Break about juggling your MMO game time, and I didn’t think any of the options fit how I juggled my games. Although I almost always intend to set aside certain days for certain games, it almost never happens that way. I get sucked in, and the binge begins.
Binging is probably the least liked option as it really doesn’t allow a true sense of juggling. Instead of playing multiple titles throughout the week or month, I tend to congregate my gaming activities on one particular game, 2 at the most. At some point, a game will lose its allure, and I will happily relegate it back to the shelves as a new (or old) game catches my fancy, and the process is repeated. Of course, like the rest of Syp’s choices, there are pros and cons to being a binge gamer.
Completing a Task
As much as task-oriented goals are derided for their lack of creativity and imagination, I love completing things: quests, achievements, you name it. When you’re chopping your entire game-time for the day into segmented blocks for game a, b, and c, it’s easy to lose that cohesive: I FINISHED! It’s easy to find yourself spending your game night in a particular world just moving from location A to location B without any “actual” gameplay being accomplished.
I tend to keybind everything. I love having my mouse loaded with all kinds of nifty abilities and spells. On the other hand, when I’m swapping games often, I find myself confusedly trying to spam fireball when I’m playing my ranger and find myself trying to use animal fear on a troll. Not good. By immersing myself semi-exclusively to a MMO of choice, I find it easier to get readily comfortable with everything on my bars.
The main problem with binging is that it’s hard to keep the thread alive between gaming obsessions. By the time I return to a game, there has likely been a patch, a buff or nerf, or a completely different set of currency. This can be horribly disconcerting, and even a bit off-putting if you’re not prepared to spend a bit of time re-integrating yourself.
My binging, I think is in part, my aversion to and absolute love of group play. I really don’t like leveling with another person, finding that often our goals are so disparate that it sucks the fun right out of the game. On the other hand, I absolutely love end-game, and will gleefully give up many a free night to down internet dragons.
I find myself dedicating myself almost exclusively to one MMO when I’m raiding. However, it’s pretty easy to burnout when you spend all of your time grouped. Almost every game I’ve left permanently was a result of “forced” group play.
If I’m not at end-game, I tend to ignore all attempts at communication or group play. I think my lack of ability to get immersed in end-game in multiple games contributes to my lack of commitment once the exploration/leveling portion of the MMO is done.
Binging isn’t for everyone, but I find that it helps me keep perspective on what I want out of my gaming experience as well as providing me with a sense of refreshment. While a new game has it’s own perks, coming back to an old friend and finding yourself captivated in a similar way by the things that you loved make the break worth all the more.