Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why Can't I Finish My Games?

When I stopped playing WoW, the fact that I couldn't commit several hours a day to raiding and farming anymore was part of the reason. Another part was the endlessness of the game, the fact that I had ended up in a cycle of repeating actions over and over just to see if I could do things slightly different, slightly better. I loved the feeling of trying out new ideas in old surroundings, finding out new things about myself as a player as I went along. After having done that for 8 years, I finally felt like it was time to take on a different style of gaming. I really felt like I wanted to simply be able to start up a game, go from A to Z and reach an end somewhere. something that would allow me to eventually put the game aside and feel like it was over and done with, and then jump onto the next. I knew there were tons of games out there that allowed me to do this, all of which I had neglected for the sake of all that was WoW. I didn't mind a game being long, but I needed to know there was an end somewhere and that my time invested into the game would lead to me eventually being able to quit it so that I could experience another game. Time for me to take on all the RPGs, FPS and Adventure games out there that I had missed.

I do miss tanking though...

I think the gaming universe is out to get me though, as the new big thing seems to be to make huge games without and actual ending and I just recently noticed how they are basically piling up on top of eachother on my computer. I have this idea that to not bog down my poor computer too much (it's a couple of years old now after all, sweet thing), I'll only ever keep a set amount of installed games on it. At the moment that number is around 14, depending on whether you count emulators or not (in this case, not counted). I try to only install a game whenever I've uninstalled one, a sequence of events which often takes weeks, if not months, before I finally go through with as it normally pans out something like this;

"Hmm, haven't played that game in a while, maybe it's time to get rid of it? But I haven't really finished it, and if I uninstall it I lose my save and have to start from the beginning again, I'll never have the energy for that. Or I save the save file and it will be yet another thing that fills up my computer memory while rotting away in forgotteness... Nah, let's just keep the game a bit longer".

And for the record, I do talk a lot to myself. Not out loud though, 'cause that would be weird right?!

And that's just for the games that do have an ending, imagine how much harder it is when the game is endless! In fact it's virtually impossible for me to get rid of the endless games because there is always a reason to play it sometime in the future. I am really bad at getting rid of things outside of my gaming, it's not any easier when it comes to my gaming. Whenever I install one, it will surely end up lying around in my computer for a very long time to come, making it hard for me to move on to new games I want to try and it bugs me.

Just another turn! -

For instance, at the moment I have a couple of oldies but goldies installed that I know I will probably never want to get rid off, because eventhough I play them quite rarely, I do want to play them every now and then and they always give me hours of fun - these are Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and Settlers 2. MtG: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is another one I like to jump into occasionally for a quick game of MtG and eventhough that happens maybe once a month I would miss it if I didn't have the possibility to anylonger. Or would?! Maybe I wouldn't but I am too chicken to take the risk. Hearthstone on the other hand didn't really stick with me, but I keep thinking I need to give it another chance and then it totally will blow my mind and be my next favorite thing because this is what everyone else keep telling me. Therefor I keep it around, but I should probably just let it go and replace it with a game I actually want to play now and not in an hypotethetical future, like Half-Life 2. I can always get back to Hearthstone later after all (although I am always worried something will happen to Valve or that will make my games libraries vanish).

Faster Than Light and Steam Marines are endless games (damn rogue-likes) that I am actually playing actively at the moment, so they at least are earning their keep on my hard drive. But even if I am enjoying those games, I am a bit stressed out by the fact that they might be hogging my attention for months to come. I mean, that shouldn't be a bad thing at all because they are fun games! But it's just WoW all over again, I am having fun but still think I might be missing out on something. My gaming time is very limited and any time put into one of the endless games isn't putting me any closer to it's end or to me feeling like I am done with it. In the case of those games I just have to wait until I get bored with them and who knows when that is?

Dem graphix -

The problem is that eventhough I never regretted any of the hours I put into WoW or any game I enjoy playing, I then occasionally stumble upon a game where I think "why the heck haven't I played this sooner?!". Thief The Dark Project and Planescape: Torment are good examples. They remind me that there are so many other good games out there I have yet to try (my list is now very, very long) and here I am just playing FTL all over again or sinking another six hours into HoMM3 which I've already played ridiculously much. When I played WoW all that time I could find myself wondering whether I was actually having fun or just thought I did. If I never played another game, then what would I know what true fun would be like?

It's like that first real relationship where after a while you start to wonder whether you are actually in love with the other person or if you just think you are - how will you know if you never experience another relationship? But then you don't want to give up what you have because as far as you know you're having a good time. But how do you know for sure you are? Yeah you see the dilemma...

Just as with life, my gaming has to enter that perfect balance between not feeling stagnant and at the same time not feeling like you're risking losing anything you like. It's not an easy thing to do, in the end I wish I just had more hours in the day so I didn't have to choose but could do ALL the things. Or maybe I should just accept that as long as I am having fun I'm not doing it wrong.