In my (seemingly) eternal gaming voyages I tend to visit games for a while, then move on, then come back. There are a few reasons for this and each is quite interesting. Well, to me they are and you are reading my blog. So yeah….
First is curiosity. I absolutely love game design and love seeing how each developer interprets the needs of their game in terms of game mechanics. The progress of some games is simply fascinating. Firefall is a good example. When it launched the first beta, it was primarily a PvP game with some PvE content. The last patch completely removed PvP from the game due to metrics. I won’t get too much into the PvP vs PvE debate but the argument here is rather convincing. At least in F2P terms. I also go back to WoW every 6 months or so for a 30 day period, well more like every 2 patches. For a game that loses more players than any other game has active, you have to pay attention.
The second reason is content. Let’s be honest for a minute here. No company on the planet can develop content faster than the consumer can eat it up. Sandbox games work here since a fair amount of content is player generated. EvE has staying power because of that, but also because of the training time being measured in weeks. Most games, I can get through the majority of content I think is valuable, within 2 months or so. Upon repeat visits, this can be a matter of hours or weeks.
The third is time. I have X amount of time to play. That amount varies dramatically from week to week for multiple reasons; work, family, social, etc… If a game requires a certain amount of playtime and I simply cannot commit, then I just won’t even bother. I can fit a game of Marvel Heroes in. I can’t fit most raids or massive PvP battles. I have tried to set aside time for this, booked the calendar and all that. I can assure you that gaming at home there is a perception that you are available even when you are not. Maybe there’s a better solution. Also, I don’t game in the summer months or at least very, very little.
The fourth is the social aspect. They are the reason I return but also the reason I leave. I used to have Vent installed and that worked ok when I didn’t have kids or a wife. It’s really hard now to have any voice chat active unless I’m hidden in some corner. I like coming back and meeting friends again but when it comes to active social content, I have difficulties finding the time to invest properly. Plus with friends that game in multiple games, it’s hard to pick a single one to play.
So that leaves me in today’s pickle. I have Rift, Neverwinter, Marvel Heroes, GW2, WoW, SWTOR, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and a few more games on my revolving plate. That doesn’t even account for the single player games that have come along (Ni No Kuni, FF7 remake, GTA5, Tomb Raider, Dishonored and a pile more) over the past year. As only one of those requires a sub (though 2 have it as an option), the barrier to entry is super low.
My gaming trip continues…