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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 9:08AM SkuzBukit said

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I enjoy the pure escapism of MMO's, & judge them on their ability to provide me with an alternative world to exist in & be a part of, which sadly hasn't been happening much lately.

I am a driven & ambitious person in real life but pragmatic, I aim for realistic goals & achievable aims rather than get disappointed when I can't realise pie-in-the-sky dreams.

In games I take a relaxed approach preferring to enjoy things at my own pace, I set goals but these are more horizontal goals, rather than aim to be top level or top geared I aim to do as many of the things on offer as possible, so I'm happy achieving things as a crafter even if it means using time i could be spending on levelling, for example my current goal is levelling a whole bunch of alts, & when I've done that I plan to level up my crafting skills, aiming to be totally self-sufficient.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 9:10AM GRT said

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I'm definitely one of the opposite types. My day job is stressful and packed from the moment I arrive until I finally get to leave.

I play games pretty casually. I certainly don't need *more* stress in my life.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 10:06AM Darkdust said

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I work in high-tech fields and have a degree in mathematics. Correspondingly, I like science fiction games with deeply complex mechanics.

On a less superficial level, I like games with a strong storytelling element, even if that means telling myself a story through my gameplay. If I can express my character concept via game mechanics and choosing activities that reflect that, then I've gone a long way to achieving my goal.

Contrast this with work with little storytelling but a great deal of analysis and focus on minute technical detail. Stories may come out of this work from time to time, but in general the devil lies in the details.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 10:57AM Jesspiper said

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I enjoy the journey in both, in neither case is it about racing to the top. Too many people race to the top and look back with nothing of worth in regards to memories, experiencing everything the journey has to offfer etc.

Slow and steady wins the race, bitches.

Just not in the most apparent ways.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 11:46AM Minofan said

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Stuck being unemployed for *far* too long, I'm finding I mainly crave variety & versatility from my gaming at the moment: no patience for games that simply fill-time, and little patience for the "here's 1 button to press - come back in x levels and you'll get a 2nd!" style of introduction.

Very good for Free Realms & Guild Wars, not so good for all the games I'm testing - though at least anticipating the testing is itself fun for a while.

On the positive side, I'm finding myself achieving MMO goals I never thought possible just by thinking outside the box / trying new angles; in the last week of Guild Wars-ing - more than 4 years in - I've gotten Obsidian armor, some rare miniatures I'd written-off acquiring and a HM title I thought I'd never complete!

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 11:59AM Pingles said

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Well, you have given me a bit of a revelation when I described my career and gaming methods.

At work I am very successful but refuse to advance because the jobs above mine do not interest me. Luckily for me the job I do work pays me quite well.

In games I take my time and perhaps even restart on a regular basis because I enjoy the lower levels more than the inevitable grinds of upper levels.

So I suppose in both I am avoiding the upper levels while thoroughly enjoying the lower levels.


Posted: Aug 30th 2009 12:23PM (Unverified) said

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I definitely have a very busy, demanding job in the medical profession. I deal with people and high stress all day, so when I get home, after the kids are in bed, I like to wind down with a fun, entertaining game.

I DEFINITELY do not like to grind or rush or have serious hard core ambitions.

Saying that, if I am with a group of friends and we wish to tackle elite content, I am all for it! But for general solo-ing and wind-down time, exploring, following story-lines, and general relaxing is my gig.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 3:24PM Sean D said

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Will, I'm happy to contribute to the conversation and I hope to see it continue. I wish there were more articles like yours out there. Thanks for the moment of fame!

I think there are many more paths to explore with this topic. I have strong opinions on goal-orientation vs. journey-orientation in both life and games and I tend to see the humanity as becoming increasingly goal-oriented, possibly as a side-effect to the exponentially increasing rate of technological development (speeding to get to work, fast food vs. cooking at home). I'm glad for the responses that your article has garnered. It's good to know there are those of us out there who use MMOs to balance our otherwise hectic lives, seemingly in spite of the strong push to achieve (at the expense of the journey), which is a fundamental concept on which MMOs are designed. This brings up some more questions, though. What can we say about the idea of using MMOs as a tool for education or therapy as well as entertainment? Would we want to do so if we could?

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 3:34PM Sean D said

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EDIT: "...and I tend to see humanity..." - no the (I was going to say, "the world")

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 4:45PM myr said

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Mmm. Yeah, both my job and my college classes are very boring and time consuming, and I'm not much of a social butterfly in real life either. Might be why I'm putting together a legion for Aion's release.

As far as what I'm actually aiming for, though... I have defined goals in both. It's just that life is more of a forced slow grind while there are things I can do in games to speed it along. :)

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 5:06PM Graill440 said

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Hmmm, missing a catagory. I am methodical and very ruthless. No matter how well we knew each other we werent friends until after a project was complete, business is business and needs to be. I used no one as stepping stones (integrity and moral valuaes come in here) and rewarded those that deserved it and fired those that required it, more that a few of you would say i had no feelings, this is true, but i have more than a few friends that respect me.

I play MMO's the same way. I >HATE< that there is nothing (has been nothing) out that requires no levels and no skill sets, both being a joke, both methods REQUIRING the need to grind asses off to keep up with the jones. Since i cannot directly punish some moron that mouths off and is in dire need of correction i usually solo. I will level one character, one time, i wont level any other class, there is no need, the content has been seen, the entertainment value is gone.

Then why grind or have to level skills in the first place? You really do not need to. Everyone wants to be on the same sheet as everyone else, they want the same chance to be as good as some cave dweller (dont think choice, people are hardcore gamers because of life styles, none being good) that spends 24/7 grinding and leveling and then states on forums they are elite because of time invested with another bunch of cave dwellers and can access the elite content because of this method. Last itme i checked monthly fees were pretty much the same for everyone, content is not, thus the methods to access it are not.

As a couple have stated, some like to pop in from time to time and see whats up, the nagging thought of a person just coming in say once a week is they will not have access to content nor the gear to get to said content, on any level. The devs have had this explained to them time and time again, the most laughable response is "we build for the hardcore crowd" sadly the joke with this is the hardcore crowd does not supply the funds to keep you operating, there simply isnt enough of them.

We do not need to grind, we do not need skills. Before you start jumping on soapboxes try this, you are good at something or your not, you can get OJT or have someone that knows how to do something show you how to acomplish the same thing, in real life we call these folks leaders and teachers, the good side to MMO's is we do not need them in the game as it is hella simpler than real life.

If i am in a game (this is assuming the devs have their heads out of their asses and have the right mechanics rolling), and i should happen upon an "object" i should be able to experiment with it to see what it does or find someone, another player ingame that knows what it is and will show me how to use it, fee or not. Whether or not i know what makes it work or how to operate it will determine how good i am ingame, my knowledge of an area, etc included.

Grinding or taking your time (hardcore or casual) because of restricted ideas and limitations by ignorant devs are why there are "classes" in the first place (dont think the obvious).

Really to bad someone cant find and discover over a few months, longer or shorter depending on how smart or stupid you are, what they are in an MMO, i long to see a town square full of vibrant laughing player avatars suddenly obliterated because someone was testing a new something or reading a sheet of whatever and boom!!, the implications of the action simply stagger the mind at this point. The simplicity of seeing someone else ingame and not knowing what they can do or are capable of is something you only get in real life. Why MMO's wont do this is beyond me.

I made a choice 5 years ago, not to pay ignorance, havent yet, well except for government taxes maybe. So tired of "betas" (puke).

Dawn of discovery anyone?

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 7:49PM (Unverified) said

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I grind money in a chair irl, I grind Rathalos Rubies at night.

Grind grind grind, thats what she said.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 8:55PM Yoh said

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As far as this kind of thing works for me in RL, I'm a slacker, where I do things when their covenant for me, and I'm never in a hurry to get things done.

But one thing I loath to do, is repeat myself. Which is odd, where I find myself very good at jobs that are monotonous in nature.
The way I see it, is that in that kind of work, I can just switch off and go on automatic, while I entertain myself.

But when doing something that is meant as entertainment, I just won't stand for grinding. If I want to work, I'll go find myself another job. At least that way I'm making money out of it.
But I sure as hell am not paying someone for me to grind. Fuck that.

When I'm playing a game, I want to be entertained, and I don't want to work much for it either.

Which is why I stay far far away to heavily level based MMO's, as they make the act of grinding the point of the game, and I have zero interest in that.

I much prefer games like Guild Wars, which allow me to build a character and progress with them in a rather short amount of time, and it revolves around my own skill as to how well I do.
Getting me to think is an important aspect in games that I relish, and I wish I saw more of it in MMO's.


Posted: Aug 30th 2009 9:08PM (Unverified) said

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I'm a lazy bastard, and unless I must do somthing, i never really do it.
This personality seems to reflect in my gaming life as well.
I will never force myself to grind away for gear or levels if I don't want to, or unless it is absolutely needed.

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 9:25PM Tom in VA said

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In real life, I am self-employed and work mostly at my desk (MMOs are a constant "getaway" temptation!).

Does my MMO playing style match my professional life? In many ways, it does.

I am persistent, detail-oriented, curious, and very (VERY!) independent in my work as I am in my gaming.

I thus prefer online games with an MMO world but that are very solo-friendly, since while I like playing in a populated world -- I do not necessarily want to play *with* said population. I guess you say I am not much of a "team player", even though I do enjoy MMOs. ;)

I also tend to prefer the journey, the story, the setting -- and not so much any kind of gear or reputation grinds (i.e., the "endgame" or PvP). As I am neither competitive nor terribly ambitious in real life, such things have no appeal for me in a game world either.

Players strutting their epics in Orgrimar or Stormwind just make me laugh. If I could I'd don only the simplest of homespun armors in WoW (as you can in LotRO) regardless of my level. Alas, but WoW does not offer that option...

So, yes, I'd say art imitates real life for me or, rather, my gaming style reflects my professional style in real life.

This is an interesting notion -- I'd never really stopped to consider the (many) similarities between my professional life and my gaming preferences before. :-)

Posted: Aug 30th 2009 11:36PM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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My job is rewarding but sometimes methodical, while needing to be able to think laterally to solve problems I also have the need to be meticulous in my paperkeeping. (Otherwise when that 747 you are flying on crashes they won't know who to blame)

That need, and actual desire, to be as good as I can causes me to take my time, to really look at what is around and then what is within my ability to achieve in a game.

I hate to grind, loathe it, but sometimes it is the only way to improve. Conversely though I don't understand a shoddy rush to the cap without exploring your class? How on earth have you actually learnt it?

No, I don't rush, there is no need and it is too counterproductive.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 2:03AM (Unverified) said

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In games I prefer to do something interesting, or make something interesting. I don't like to be bored with what I'm doing, but I'll happily fight against the game's inherent boredom. Wow was like that for me. When they started making the game ridiculously easy, I would pull extra mobs - as the healer - or urge the tank to pull two or three groups at once. I took every opportunity to world pvp, even if I knew it was doomed. I fought the increasing ease of the game, but sadly it won :\

In real life I have the same problem - and in real life it can be crippling, since the majority seem to be more interested in stability, or wild borderline insane upward mobility rather than just making it interesting. I'm currently trying to get an education.

I'm more currently more interested in MMO's that allow more freedom. Like real life I tend to be a loner, however, so I'd like a solo able game, but at the same time I hate ease. Dunno that there's a game like that, specifically, but I'm trying EVE atm.

I like to level quickly, I think, in order to move on to something else. I want to get the new abilities and try them out, experiment, do tricks with them if I can. I'll happily grind if I get a cool enough item, and back when instances in wow were hard, I would mostly level through instancing, since the groups were always different and the fights were challenging, and there were always people looking for a healer - or a tank.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 4:34AM (Unverified) said

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In my case, my MMO game-play is always the exact opposite of my real life.

Back when I was a student and didn't have much to do in the real world, I would take my MMOs seriously - raid at the highest possible level, grind for items, be at the top.

But now that I'm a bit older, have a degree and work with something that actually matters to me (which means that I will willingly invest extra time to progress and get done), MMOs are more of a leisure activity that I enjoy doing solo (leveling, crafting, exploring) or with closest friends. And I can go for days on end not playing at all. :)

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 5:13AM cray said

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In life I'm somewhat cautious and introverted. I suppose that could reflect my defensive style of gameplay. Despite the supposed correlation, I don't think gamers deliberately try to inject their lives into the games we play. I think most try to go out their way to play in way that allows them to escape reality or a sense of adventure. I think if there's any correlation, it is most likely a subconscious thing.

I believe that even when we are consciously inserting our lives into the games we play, we are also subverting virtual reality as we know it. So we are still attempting to create a diversion regardless of what kind of reality we face.

That's the core of being entertained, to free your consciousness.

Posted: Aug 31st 2009 5:57AM (Unverified) said

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Another for definitely wanting to come home and do something completely different to my day job. To be blunt, also I find the day job a lot more rewarding (as in, they pay me fairly well for the time I sink into it), so feel a lot less need to be rewarded by a game.

Time is also definitely an issue. Getting home at 7pm isn't out of the ordinary, and I then need to cook, deal with anything else that needs doing around the house (clean, sort bills, etc.) before I can get settled into whatever I want to do that evening.

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