Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your 2013 is already off to a wonderful start! I’m going to kick off the New Year with a question regarding gaming that I’ve struggled with for years. Ok, so this isn’t the most pressing of inquiries when it comes to gaming, but it’s one that really bugs me: am I the only one who has a really, really hard time leaving a game?
Maybe it’s just for MMOs, since they involve subscriptions in order to play the game. I mean, if you play games like Halo or Portal or Mass Effect, once you’ve bought it you can continue playing as long as you want; it’s just the newest iterations that cause you to shell out the moola. But with (most) MMOs, you have to pay monthly to continue to play; otherwise, your account is suspended and you can’t even enter the game.
But this thing happens when I play MMOS – even if I’ve gotten tired of them, even if I’ve played them to the point of utter boredom, even if I get frustrated enough to determine that I never want to be in that world again – I have a very, very hard time letting them go.
So what it is that makes it so hard for me to leave a game, even one that means nothing anymore? The simple answer would be that I don’t want to let go of the time invested, but I honestly don’t think it’s that. I’ve done lots of things that have taken up much of my time and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and I’ve walked away. And it’s not that the story I’ve built with those characters is too precious to lose – the nice thing about RP’ed characters is that their stories will always live on.
Maybe it has to do with a sense of accomplishment. Most things that I leave behind, I do so once work on them has finished, or when I have hit some kind of solid stopping point. In MMOs, there aren’t that many places where you can draw a line and say, “I’m done, there’s nothing more to do”. Sure, some of the best players can play the endgame out so that there’s precious little left, but I’m not one of those players. And especially as an RP’er, the game can exist and be dynamic even without focusing on ingame accomplishments, so those tend to come more slowly than for a Mastery player, or any kind of power gamer.
So maybe it’s not the time vested or the characters crafted, but the sense of “I’m not done yet.” Even if I’m not interested in going further, there’s still a feeling that I’m quitting before getting to the place I was supposed to get, be it an endgame or a particular level or badge of exploration of a world, or whatever. I’m not convinced of this yet, but it makes the most sense so far.
What about you guys? Do you feel comfortable just walking away from a game, and if so, when? I’m especially interested in hearing from other MMO players, but any feedback from any type of gamer from any platform is welcome.
Am I the only one that can actually feel angst when leaving a game?