Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Playing MMORPGs my way. Part 2: Conflicting Requirements.

Looking at my list of likes and dislikes about mmorpgs the most stark conflict is my love for all things group related contrasting with a dislike of schedules, organisation and planning. Group activities require organisation. No organisation, no group.

One outcome of this conflict is that it limits my ambition within the game. I fully accept that challenging group content such as instances and raids is the most exciting and engaging part of mmorpgs. I also accept that in order to have a reasonable chance of overcoming these challenges you need planning, you need raid schedules, you need loot rosters. At the moment I don't want to participate in scheduled activities so that precludes me from partaking in these group activities. It's a choice.

Luckily I also like pugging. I enjoy the randomness of pickup groups and I am tolerant enough to accept that you don't get efficiency in a pug. I am happy using pugs to get through lower level group content.

There is a moral dilemma relating to my rejection of organisation in my gaming. I realise that I benefit from the organisational efforts of others. I have access to a chat channel filled with agreeable people because someone organises screening and recruiting. I have access to guild forums because someone put together a website. I can ask for help with difficult quests. I have access to crafters and so on. In not contributing to the organising I am sponging off the efforts of those who do organise. In order to try an re-dress this balance I try hard to be a good guild citizen. I try to contribute in a friendly and helpful way to guild chat and guild forums. I try to help out others with quests when I am in a position to do so. I am also careful not to abuse the goodwill of other kin members.I use pugs where possible to get through content and I try not to bother guild craftspeople with requests.

It might appear that my love of getting things finished conflicts with my love of a challenge. Lotro, like many other mmos does not always reward player's who take the more challenging rout, particularly in the solo game. The fastest way to level is to pick easy mobs and easy quests which are a bit below your level. Testing yourself by soloing elite mobs can be very entertaining but is not a route to rapid progression. Oddly enough I don't experience this as a conflict at all. While I enjoy finishing things I am very happy to take my time completing them as long as the journey is enjoyable. I feel under no pressure to race to the finish as long as I have interesting things to do along the way. I do however have a problem with being forced to endure long boring treadmills just to get to some desired end goal. Rep grind, trait grind, loot grind, in fact just about any thing with the word grind in it is anathema to me.

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