Archive for January 19th, 2011

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Of Puppies And Finding Refuge In Single-Player Games Before The Onslaught Of The MMO Storm!

January 19, 2011

Question: Do you always play the games you buy? Because I know I don’t. Damn Steam and their sales. They are the worst at making me commit this travesty. Every holiday season they hook me in with dirt cheap prices and I end up with another half dozen games in my cart, all purchased with a “buy now, play later” mentality. Except “later” becomes weeks and stretches into months until they become all but forgotten, sitting in your games library gathering the proverbial dust, all loaded and installed with nowhere to go.

Part of the problem is the MMOs I play. It almost goes without saying, when you play an MMO you’re committed to it for the long haul. At the very least, if you’re paying a sub you want to be getting the most out of your month. I fit in a single-player game every now and then, but that’s time usually made for new releases that I go out of the way to pay full price for at the store the day it comes out. It’s rare that I can find time for those other games relegated to the “later” pile.

Sometimes it takes some personal changes in your life to break the pattern. You see, I haven’t touched a single MMO in almost three weeks, with the exception of the Rift beta weekend — no World of Warcraft, no Star Trek Online, not even free-to-play Lord of the Rings Online.

Remember a week and a half ago, I mentioned getting a new puppy? Don’t let her face fool you, Mara is a little devil. Her type of coloring, a rich true red all over like that of an Irish Setter, is called “ruby.” The breeder told us there is a myth, that as in the world of humans, many owners of ruby Cavalier King Charles spaniels say these red-heads are more volatile, wild and fun to live with. I’m beginning to question whether or not this is really a “myth” at all. Mara the rambunctious little hellion constantly needs watching — every single hour, if she’s not needing to be taken out, she’s either escaping her puppy pen or trying to chew something she’s not supposed to.

Moral of the story? I can only play games with a big fat pause button. MMOs are out of the question, as there is nothing more embarrassing than having to sit back down to a wiped group, trying to explain “Sorry for going AFK guys, dog got into the laundry hamper and was trying to eat my panties.”

This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for, to tackle those single-player games in my Steam library — games that include titles like The Witcher, Bully, and Bioshock 2…games that I actually really want to play. The puppy’s going to settle down sooner or later (GOOD GOD I sure hope so) and this lull could be my only chance before the MMOs take over my life again with a vengeance:

January 25: Rift Beta #5 – Battle of the Ascended, and Champions Online goes free-to-play. January 29: STO returns with Featured Episode Series 3 (I. Can’t. Wait.)

February 24: Rift head-start access for those who’ve preordered.

March…geez, do I really need to go into it again? March is full of goodies; apart from Rift releasing for real, I’m also heading out to PAX East, and my nose should be buried deep in the new Star Wars: The Old Republic novel by the end of the month. And with luck (though quite honestly, I’m not holding  my breath), SWTOR will come out late spring or early summer, and then it’ll be all over from there.

This is the calm before the storm for me (well, as calm as things can be with a 3-month-old puppy nipping at my heels everywhere I go), and if I don’t start making a dent in that to-play list now, I’ll likely not have another chance until summer.