Thursday, February 19, 2009

What is your threshold of pain?

It's a very weird juxtaposition, but I prefer solo content in the MMORPGs I play. Many people will respond to the sentiment that MMORPGs are intended to be social and you are expected to play with others. In my view however, the "social" aspect of the game can mean many things. Just playing in a world with thousands of others, and interacting in any way with them is social. Social, in my view, does not mean that I have to work in concert with others all of the time in order to do anything meaningful or fun.

My first MMO was Star Wars Galaxies (SWG), which I played for three years. Having zero experience with any other MMO I didn't realize just how bad it was designed and implemented. I stuck with it though until the day the first Combat Upgrade (CU) went live in March 2005 when I switched to WoW. Toward the end of my time in SWG though I was beginning to get very annoyed because unlike WoW there was absolutely no endgame. SWG is based on "player created content", meaning PVP, crafting/trade, and politics. I had a crafting toon, but frankly that does get boring after a while if that is all you do. I also had a second account which I PVPed on. I would troll the major cities for hours just looking for combat which I would find all too inoften. Even in the evenings a group of us would go out and troll and all too often, find absolutely nothing. We also had bases to defend, but weeks would often go by before any attack was mounted against them. In short it got very boring. The CU was the last nail in the coffin, but my attitude toward the game had already begun to change as I realized there was literally nothing to do by oneself.

And that really is what I'm getting at with this blog entry. What is your threshold for boredom? I've been playing WoW since March 2005 and I love the game. That is I love playing WoW up to the end game. The problem is WoW really starts at the end game, but the endgame if fraught with drama and disappointments. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that a group of us split off our old guild over raid drama and formed our own guild. Our 10-man raid group was intact, but most of the team wanted to do 25-man content. And therein lies the problem. Recruiting has not been easy, and several people in the guild have not leveled to 80, or are not entirely dependable for current raiding plans. Such as last night. We had to cancel yet another raid because we had too many unexpected holes in the team.

I've been spending considerable time in EVE Online this week because I'm a little burned out with the end-game drama in WoW. And the fact there just isn't anything to do in WoW for me right now other than dailies, farming, and achievement chasing. Frankly I'm a little bored. I love to raid though, and raiding is really the only reason I still play WoW. I've nearly met my threshold for pain in WoW, so I will step back and seek my entertainment elsewhere while the raiding situation sorts itself out a bit.