Friday, March 12, 2010

Not being obligated to play

Void brought up a good point yesterday. With Dungeons and Dragons Online I don’t feel obligated to play… well sort of. It is a MMO and I still have that mindset that I must focus on only one MMO to make significant progress or I’m just a n00b. I’m trying to get out of that mindset though.

This week I have ran a World of Warcraft random Wrath Instance 3 nights straight in order to get the emblems. Since I am only running one instance a night I am not using up all of my rested experience, so I get the illusion of making a lot of progress on my character for a limited amount of time and effort. WoW feels rewarding; which is good because the game also feels boring to me so I need the ‘ carrot’ to outweigh the distain of playing the game.

Why play at all still? That is easy, I feel obligated too for two reasons. First is I’m not stupid, I know I’m going to go back to WoW at some point and I’m going to wish I had played during this off period to get EXP and emblems. It is like when I did dailies religiously during The Burning Crusade, I hated it with every ounce of my being but I understood the necessity of it. The second is I’m still paying $15 a month for WoW. It is a waste of money to not play. The nice thing is I don’t actually hate playing WoW, I’m just bored with it because of its age and my lack of overall progress.

I however don’t feel obligated to play Dungeons and Dragons Online. The game is free, so if I don’t play I don’t lose out on anything. I doubt I’m going to play DDO for an extended period of time so I’m not worried about falling behind and since the game is free I don’t feel the fiscal pull to play. DDO is more of a filler between subscription based MMOs, don’t get me wrong though I wouldn’t have a problem making DDO my full time MMO if it turns out to interest me enough.

Not being obligated to play has made DDO that much more relaxing. I can walk away from a half finished quest to do something and for some reason it doesn’t bother me. In WoW it was always, after I’m done with this. DDO is freeing in a way and it isn’t per say anything Turbine programmed in, it is the way of thinking of the gamer. I look forward to playing, but as soon as I hit a boring spot I do something else until I’m ready to tackle it. It is very liberating.

Right now I look forward to playing DDO but I don’t see myself playing it in another month. I hope I’m wrong though, I want to love DDO but there is just so much confusion early on in the game it is hard. You can tell DDO was built around the idea that experienced Pen and Paper D&D fans would be playing it. The problem is I only played P&P D&D once and I had to have help on every decision because I didn’t understand the game. Dungeons and Dragons biggest down fall is that it is over complicated due to its focused target marketing of existing D&D fans.

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