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My Secret Gaming Breaking Point

May 6, 2011

Most people have secrets when it comes to gaming. For instance, there are people who lie about the amount of time they’ve played a game, or others who use exploits to further their advancement in the game.

For me, however, it’s far more innocuous, but definitely potentially more expensive to maintain. You see, most people would assume that I enjoy playing games all the time.

The truth, however, is that I have a secret gaming breaking point, and unfortunately, it’s rather short.

While there is no official number of hours I would place on my breaking point, I have noticed that I tend to come back to games that I’ve spent at least two weeks in. Games that fail to capture my interest for any reason for at least two weeks are often forgotten entirely.

As such, I go through a rather large number of games on a yearly basis, and with MMOs, my current main preoccupation, I’ve noticed that despite finding so much to love with specific games, I still keep looking for something beyond the game I’m playing. My case in point right now is STO. I love the lore, and have meta-gamed it by reading up so much that I’m excited to play, and yet here I am downloading a different game to test my mettle on.

Is it because I find something missing in the game, or is something changing in me that I can’t understand yet?

In any event, it’s probably why I wrote that entry about five MMOs I’m excited to play. Possibly because I can’t seem to be satisfied, which is kind of weird.

Do any of you experience this? What is your gaming breaking point? Is it based upon an arbitrary time frame, or upon sensing a realization, or upon getting burnt out?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2011 21:00

    I think in a way, for those of us who are veterans of playing multiple games… part of why we keep trying new stuff is to validate our current game of choice. I was a wow tourist for years, I would go off play another game, only to return back to wow feeling validated about my choice. This all changed when I started playing Rift and ultimately left WoW.

    To some extend, for the multi-gamer what game we are playing is a battle royal. Each time a new game enters the fray, it is judged against everything minutia of the games that came before. And ultimately we keep playing whatever it is that is the “most complete” choice.

    Anyways just my two cents.

    • May 7, 2011 01:14

      Thanks for commenting. You raised an issue that I’ll need to take into consideration in relation to Elementalistly’s comment. Thank you for bringing it up. 🙂

  2. May 6, 2011 21:47

    I do this same thing, that’s why I’m back playing SWGEmu (I’m sure DAoC will rear its ugly head again soon as well). For me what it is is that each of the games I return to has something the others don’t and that something is lets say, the crack that is laced in our MMOs. My longest sub time to an MMO while actively playing is 3 months and sadly it was WoW (Cataclysm to be exact, though EVE may have tied, not sure).

    I play DaoC for the PvP and the nostalgic PvE zones (NISSE’S DUNGEON BITCHES!), SWGEmu(/swg kinda) has the best resource system in any game, period. Plus it is set in the star wars world, so, I can’t help but love it. WoW for me is the, go to an amusement park once a year kind of thing and realize why I left early last year. DF is the I want to feel like I may be a badass game for me and EVE is now probably the, I want to get away from it all, game.

    • May 7, 2011 01:20

      Hmm… so you’re looking for the best aspects you love in a variety of MMOs, but can’t find it in an indiividual MMO, correct?

      • May 10, 2011 01:35

        I can’t find them all in an individual MMO, yes.

  3. May 6, 2011 22:55

    It really is simple burnout. But, you have to be aware of it.

    You have discussed 3 games you have played over the last two months; you are pining for new MMO’s that are not even out…

    All signs of “cannot be satisfied”.

    MMO’s are too similar that when you play one, jump to another and are doing the exact same things, you are not giving yourself a chance to breathe.

    I always note my “drinking” habits as an example of how you should treat MMO’s.

    I do not drink per se. Thus, when I do, I will belt back a small amount…and when I do, the rush is extreme. I can even drink one “microbrew” and be done, because it kicks me on my butt.

    Same with an MMO. An extended leave will do you good. I was gone 6 months when I quit MMO’s a while back. Tried other games, watched movies, read books. And for the love of all thats holy to you…avoid similar games while weaning yourself off. NO RPG’s

    The big deal is to keep away and just not read about it, think about it…

    Can you break the addiction?

    • May 7, 2011 01:26

      Thanks for the advice. I’m going to need to weigh it really heavily on my end.

      I have three weeks of STO time left, and I’d like to see what progress I can make of it.

      Thing is, I don’t know what I’ll write about if I’m not playing an MMO or an RPG. I mean, the only other game I’m actively playing outside of MMORPGs is Red Faction: Guerrilla.

  4. May 7, 2011 01:54

    For me at least, right now Rift has the MOST features I want in an MMO, but I still feel nostalgic about game I have played in the past. I just fired up my EQEmu account the other night and logged into an EQ server because I was reminiscing. While I can’t see myself ever subscribing to that game for real, it was fun to revisit.

    I guess for me, WoW was the game that managed to focus my radar for the longest time. The major reason why I stayed was for the large community of gamers I had become a part of and the large guild I lead. But it just came down to the point where I wasn’t having fun anymore, and was and am still bitter over the dilution of that game over the years. I reached my own breaking point with it.

    In my post-wow era, I just see myself flitting between several different games. I was the consumate “wow tourist”. I don’t know yet if I am now a Rift tourist, or if I truly am not terribly connected to any one game. More than anything I am enjoying my freedom back. Being a guild lead and raid lead is a second job no matter how you chop it. So much of my time was spent doing administrata that I really didn’t want to deal with.

    But the concept of a breaking point really does ring true for me. I have been there before, I reached it with everquest very clearly, and again with City of Heroes when I first experienced WoW beta. All the years playing wow, I arrived close to it many times but always was able to change something and relight my fire. But I finally reached it, when I played Rift and I remembered what it was like to have fun playing an MMO again.


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