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All My Games Are “Casual”

May 6, 2013

NW horse

Here are the MMOs I’m currently playing:

  • quite a bit of Neverwinter
  • some World of Warcraft
  • a little Defiance
  • weekly dose of The Secret World
  • a light smattering of Rift

I used to tell myself I’m a horrible juggler and that trying to play a whole bunch of games at once never works out. Indeed, given the choice I’d prefer to be able to give an MMO my full attention, do things like reach level cap, explore the entire world, finish “everything” before moving on. The “hardcore completionist” way of doing things has always been a better match for my own personality and play style.

But since the year started, game time for me has pretty much been reduced to about 2-3 hours a night on weekdays and I’ve long come to the realization that doing “The One Game” thing isn’t going to fly anymore, especially with so many new releases that look so fun and amazing, and many older titles I still want to stick with. So…unless I win the lottery or learn how to bend time: A limited gaming schedule + MUST PLAY ALL TEH GAMEZ = everything I play must become “casual”.

The great thing is the majority of MMOs on my list now are subscription-less, and are completely adaptable to my current schedule. TSW Mondays are enough for me to do grab enough AP/SP to advance each week, and I’ve always thought Defiance is the perfect game to jump in and out of if you only have an hour or less of free time. Even in WoW, the one MMO in which I’m participating in even a semblance of an endgame, is now a lot more suitable for the more casual player; through LFR I’m still able to raid and not have the encounter take up my whole night.

It does mean I don’t get to play as much of one game as I’d like each week, but on the other hand I get to experience everything I want to — remember how I almost gave Neverwinter a pass, and looking back now I see what a shame that would have been. I’m glad I didn’t; it’s been a lot of fun so far. Cramming it into an already full gaming schedule felt like a crazy thing to do, but it was totally worth it.

22 comments

  1. I recently did a two-week binge of SWTOR. Then I did a day of XCOM Enemy Unknown. Now it’s nothing but Neverwinter (did some Civ IV when the servers were down). I’m planning on more XCOM soon, followed by STO when the Romulan stuff drops on the 21st.

    If you’d like to play some Neverwinter together or just talk while playing, I’m on quite a lot. :D


    • One of these days, I’d like to go on a SWTOR binge myself. I didn’t get the expansion, but I am interested in it, and I hear it doesn’t take that long to run through the new content and reach the new level cap. Gotta wait until things in other games cool down a little though, because I’m interested in the STO expansion too, which is coming up fast :P


      • I’ve not gotten a Republic character to max level, but my one level 50 Imperial is slowly working her way through Makeb — and the plot is really well written! It’s very… tight? I do recommend it, eventually.

        (Also, they introduced the ability to get personal speeders that look like the Endor speeders from Return of the Jedi. Which is awesome.)


      • I’m the opposite, I don’t have an Imperial character at 50 yet, but she’s close! Like, low or mid 40s or something.


  2. I think you are me, or, maybe I am you? I use to be a “one game only” person, but now I flit about like a hummingbird on steroids. I use to feel guilty, especially to the devs of the game I was playing. This way is better, though, since I get to show love to all the devs!


    • It used to be easier to just stick with one game, or at least feel like you’ve gotten your fill of one before moving on to the next. These days the new releases are just coming out so fast, and still like to give most games a good number of months before I feel like I can step away, so…there tends to be a lot of overlapping, hence this juggling problem :P


  3. You pretty much described my last year, or at least last seven months or so. My life got super busy on 9/11 of 2012 and has not fully recovered since. As a result I have flitted around from game to game, playing whatever happened to suit my fancy at the time. I really do miss the one game thing though. I am not sure if it is that I miss the game, but more that I miss being an integral part of a constant community that games together every single night.

    So many of my friends are still doing the wow thing, so that is the largest reason why I keep popping my head in there. I keep playing Rift, because it is really the king of the wow-clones… it is like that top of the line model that has all the bells and whistles you could ever want… but ultimately lacks in the heart and soul department. Then I tend to keep playing whatever happens to be the flavor of the month game, along with whatever friends happen to be playing it. Finally I always have EQ2, which is my loyal companion that would never leave me or let me down… but isn’t terribly exciting or new either.

    I tend to think of myself as a gaming nomad


    • I’ve always moved from game to game, just very rarely all at the same time! I understand about the community thing, though. Luckily, it helps that a lot of the friends I play with also check out and juggle the same games I do, and in some ways I blame them for turning me on to stuff I wasn’t even all that interested in in the first place :P


  4. I tend to be a casual gamer. Though I like to think I’m enthusiastic about games, I still tend to play them casually. At the moment, I’m juggling between Defiance (which is winning in terms of playtime at the moment), Guild Wars 2, The Sims 3 and Skyrim – plus keeping all my other MMOs up-to-date with routine patch-checks in case the inkling for them strikes me.


    • Yeah, I’ve got a lot more games on my list, but I’m shelving the single player games for now. Sims 3 is always a nice stand by, I get the itch to play that once in a while. Ugh, and I just remembered, I got Tomb Raider when it came out, but I haven’t even gotten a chance to even look that that yet!


  5. In terms of MMOs, I pretty casually play TOR and STO — though I only re-installed STO last Thursday, after a year+ hiatus! Outside of that, I tend to work in one other game that I try to play through pretty quickly. Earlier in the year, it was the complete Bioshock series, and now it’s Spec Ops: The Line.

    i gotta say, I’ve experienced what you have: the balancing act isn’t actually all that hard to pull off. But then again, I’m not a part of any super committed or super active guildes (I’m sometimes the only person in the Mercenary Corps online!), so I think that helps keep the pressure low.


    • I’ll have to update my STO client very soon, with the expansion coming up…figured with Romulans added as a race it’s a good chance for me to start over with a brand new character and learn the ropes again.

      I’m still with the Mercy gaming peeps these days and it does help that a group of us has stuck together even if it’s across different games — we’ve set up weekly game sessions so we can still play together, like TSW Mondays and now Neverwinter Wednesdays in the works.


      • If I were playing any of those games, I’d love to hang out with you guys — but I’m trying to concentrate on just TOR and STO. And maybe GW2; the link to it on my desktop keeps haunting me…

        But that’s exactly my reason with the Romulans. Sometimes fresh starts are the way to go.


  6. The same for me… except I don’t think it’s because there are so many games out. I think it is more because I’m not finding the want to dedicate so much time to a singular MMO. So many MMOs (to me, at least) feel more like a massively single-player game and I sort of treat them that way. I play them for a few weeks or so and put them down for a while until an update is released that catches my attention. Which really is no different than a single-player game… I’ll play them until I get to a stopping point and then generally not pick it back up until some new DLC or an expansion is released.

    I think the killer for me is I’m not finding in MMOs what I use to find in them. When I played UO, EQ, DAoC, Shadowbane, etc… there seemed to be a lot more on the community elements. While they have those today, my perception is more is put on the single-player elements (or what I’d consider to be that).

    Neverwinter is a good example. Most of the time I’m playing it lately, I feel like I’m playing a lobby game. It’s more like Diablo 3 (multiplayer) or the original Guild Wars having a baby with Neverwinter Nights than what I think of as a [social] MMO. A lot of it is instanced; skirmishes, PvP fights, dungeon crawls, etc. Granted, I’m only Level 15 but I haven’t really felt the “MMO” in it yet.

    That said, Guild Wars 2 is very much an MMO, but I do not feel the tug of it that keeps me wanting to play it. I’ll pick it up every so often (which is easy to do without the subscription) but I just don’t feel the same “community” elements I use to feel. And maybe they are there and I’m just not seeing it. Or maybe I’m just the jaded gamer who remembers the “good ol’ days”. But that is part of the reason I did (and do) want so see something like Camelot Unchained succeed. I think they may do more on the social elements of the game vs trying to add more single-player elements.

    /rambling off


    • I tend to play that way too, play everything until I’ve exhausted all that I can do and then wait for the next update. But the “Too Many Games” issue still bites me in the ass because with my attention divided I can’t put in the time like I used to to do everything I want so I tend to juggle the multiple games longer than I expect to.

      I know what you’re saying about community, the only thing that’s helped me in that area is my gaming circles that I run with, even if it’s just a handful of the friends I can play the same games with. On the other hand, they are also to blame for the sheer number of games I play or become interested in :P

      Neverwinter is definitely not as “deep” as a full MMO. I suspect I’m okay with this only because I’d always thought of it more as the type of game you describe, so I knew I was going to get more instances and less of a “full” world. I’m still impressed by the sheer number of systems they’ve put in place ready for launch though. Even though the game as a whole is a relatively less robust experience for an MMO, I’m still marveling at how complete it feels.

      Speaking of Camelot Unchained, I personally gave the kickstarter a pass because it was too PvP centric for me, but I’m really glad it funded. The MMO world needs more projects like it that are different enough to shake things up, and I know a lot of people are excited for it even if it’s not my cup of tea.


  7. Cross WoW and Defiance off that list, and add in RO2 and that Square-Enix game that I’ve been testing for and that’s my playlist right there GeeCee.

    -And I play them all casually. I was raid healer for a progressive RIFT guild for a year and some change, and I’ve been convalescing ever since.


    • Oof, yeah raid healing is stressful. I do some for WoW on my panda monk…it’s fun, but it could take a lot out of you.


      • Yes, it really can!

        I still like being a healer, and especially for really challenging content, but when it starts becoming like a full-time job, then it’s time to throw in the towel. XD


  8. Hmm the casual gamer, I don’t think I fit that description really that’s pretty much known. I’m sticking to my “Focused Gamer” thing. As well I’ve always tend to stick to my gaming limit over the years of 3 MMO games limit and that just don’t seem to change much no matter what. Another reason is being good at the games I play as well and it’s harder for me to do that playing lots of games. The 3rd MMO game on the list also tend to get the long end of the stick. No matter how many games I find interest in that limits stays at three. And I guess for me that’s a good thing knowing myself. I guess know thy self!

    Of the games on your list the only one that really remain an interest, even if I don’t get to play it much is TSW obviously. When my Mac Book PC crashed a bit some weeks back had to redo my hard drive and that was so much of a pain to go thru. Ended up wiped my drive and that includes removing the Windows Bootcamp partition as well. That partition only existed to play non Mac Client games I have accounts with like STO, RIFT, TSW, CIV5 and GW2. GW2 now has a Mac Client and one I have already downloaded, not that I’ve used it much. But its there just in case I feel like killing time. STO and RIFT i’ve long departed forever. CIV5 loves but don’t play much due to time.

    So TSW was the only MMO Client really left on what was then my Windows Bootcamp Partitioned Drive. When I got my PC restored I just didn’t feel it was worth the trouble to have to go back to repartition my Mac Book PC to make a partitioned drive just to play TSW for mostly 1 night. As well have to always update the client for the 1 day I will be playing it which consumed allot of time. Plus it be the only time I’ll ever be booted out of Mac OS mode and into Windows which I never quite like. Needless to say as much as I liked TSW it has no Mac Client, so it got the long end of the stick as the third wheel in my short list of MMO games. I’m not exactly sad not to have restored Windows Bootcamp partitioned Drive either on my Mac Book. Missing TSW though yes, but I can live with it.

    Before it used to be EVE, TSW and GW2 and GW2 always got the stick as third in line. Then it eventually became EVE, DUST514 and TSW and TSW started getting the stick as third in line. Now TSW is not on my Mac Book as too much of a pain in the ass to have to go thru the trouble to redo a partition drive for Windows Bootcamp just for one MMO game. Unless Funcom makes a Mac Client, it will remain as is. It would be so much easier for so many gamers if most MMO games had both a client for Windows and Mac versions vs having to make the customer jump thru countless hoops just to install and play their games.

    I’m picky as it is when it comes to playing other MMO games as well deciding to play many other games. Not because I don’t want to try them out, but for me the question usually is it worth my time investment in the game. And few are the MMO games these days that the answer is clearly “Yes” in the games I tend to like and find interest in playing.

    But it remains fun to see what other players are playing, even if i’m not playing. It keeps me informed and open minded. As it helps to see some glimpse of what’s happening in other games that could be of interest. But I for one remain picky with the games I play and with the limit of games I play and it don’t get above 3 MMO games. With that limit I have some good chance of being good and remaining so with the games I tend to play as well.


    • Ultimately, the third, fourth and subsequent other games on my list get the shaft too, LOL. Sometimes I can even barely keep up with my second game, which is why these “game nights” help because it encourages me to keep a constant or at least a weekly presence in some of these games I love.

      For a new game, NW is really keeping our attention though. I don’t even remember sticking with GW2 so faithfully when it came out, but nowadays NW seems to be all my husband wants to play and in general while I choose which games to buy, he’s the one who determines what we actually play during our gaming sessions since he doesn’t have as much time. Since before NW, all he wanted to play was WoW and I was starting to get sick of running dailies and heroic dungeons, this was a very welcome change.


  9. Good news, you can now add Rift back to the subscription less list! It’s gone free to play since June. I’ve read some good things on this blog and decided to give it a try back around two weeks ago! Pretty much liking it so far!


    • Rift is lots of fun! I’d be back now for F2P if I weren’t swimming in a sea of other F2P games at the moment, lol.



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