I just have a job and stuff again! Losing Glitch as my main source of ideas for posts on top of having the demands on my time and my overall lifestyle change simultaneously hasn’t left me a lot of time or desire to write. Certainly not to write about games, and my primary fiction piece has seen maybe a paragraph added in the last three months. I’m not full time, but the job keeps my brain burning glucose and leaves me rather tired. Most work nights I’m not up for gaming at all. And MMO-gaming and the social interaction—even the casual interactions—it brings is out of the question. I’m an introvert to the bone — even if I do not talk to anyone and only deal with emails in a day, that’s enough social interaction for me.
For the last month, I’ve barely played GW2. I can’t decide if I’m done with the game, or if I just don’t have the energy for an MMO. I think it’s a bit of both — I don’t have the desire to make enough time for the game to see event content during the time frame it is available for, and I have otherwise experienced most of the content I find interesting. Combine that with a desire to be isolated most evenings, and I’m really not logging in much. I know from past experience—I have been me for my entire life after all—that my need for isolation will pass — the “too much interaction for the day” baseline will move as I become accustomed to the interactions required for work.
So I’ve been asking myself what it would take to make me excited about GW2 as I grow used to the new demands on me, and the best I could come up with are two possibilities: “small group, non-dungeon, permanent content” is the first. This means, to me, something I can pop in to with one or two other people and still have it be challenging and fun, but not something that requires a set number of people and becomes impossible without that number. And it doesn’t have an expiration date — the last few events have passed me by — I haven’t been able to log in during each more than once or twice. The second change that might bring me back would be entirely new environments and mechanics.
The first of these seems likely to come eventually, though it’s quite possible that by the time it does arrive, I’ll have moved on to new pastures. I feel as if Anet has focused on event content, which is probably not a bad thing for the regular players, but I don’t feel motivated to start a task that won’t be available to finish the next time I feel like playing.
The second seems less likely based on Anet’s own statements about not adding professions, crafts, races, or zones but focusing on free content updates that expand the existing. I’d almost prefer that a large paid expansion was in the works to release at the one year point — the one year mark is when GW got its first expansion, and when GW2 released, I commented to several that we’d probably see one in August or September.
But such a large expansion, with more skills, more weapon skills, perhaps even a new style of combat altogether (mounted? ahem) would likely give me another 8 – 9 month surge.
I’m not sure I’m the one they want to market to though. My server seems otherwise healthy. Subjectively, it seemed to reach a low point about two – three months ago and has bounced back in my absence. My favorite way of gauging the health of the game has always been to observe gem sales — those seem to be about the same as ever, since an early rise after the honeymoon phase of the game ended.
In the meantime, I’ve taken this time to acquaint myself with single player games I missed and to reacquaint with the ones I’ve been missing. I’ve been playing The Cave, Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition, Tropico 4, Saints Row the Third, and XCom: Enemy Unkown. I picked up Borderlands 2, and played it a wee bit, but it’s much better as a co-op game. I’ve mostly ignored it in order to play with Havok, and she has even less time for gaming than I do.
I’ve also been playing an unnamed beta. The combat feels more like I expected GW2 combat to feel, at least in the early game, so it’s getting points for that.
For the near-future, I plan to give Age of Wushu a try. I like the sandbox elements and the setting, though I’m not sure how I feel about their monetization strategies. But I’d like to get a firsthand feel. I’ll try to write about that experience, at some point.
I’ve also been strongly considering playing Darkfall: UW. But I think that would need to wait for me to actually feel like gaming with other humans again. Solo Darkfall is a bad idea.