Sunday, 3 February 2013
I just couldn't take the responsibility
I think I may not have been entirely honest with you, or myself, over why I quit WoW. The more that I think about about it, the more I realise that I was spooked by the responsibility. This
goes back to the compulsion to log in on a daily basis, just to
essentially do WoW chores. I felt responsible for my character, as if I was letting him
down if I didn't log in and do some farming (literally looking after his farm). I realised
that I never felt this way in any other mmo, I always log in, have some fun and log out.
I don't feel obligated to play, perhaps this is why I haven't touched GW2 in months.
But this sense of obligation and responsibility only escalated when I started the raiding.
Not just the raids themselves, but knowing that I had to grind reputation and unlock
points to get better items. I am not criticising the game, it grabbed me in a way that very
few games have, but I ultimately recoiled from that, well, sense of duty to my character
and other players.
Anybody who knows me well would be hard pushed to list responsible high on the list of
positive traits. Hell one of the reasons I game is to leave behind the cares of world behind
me, and if a game does get too demanding or tense, then you are free to stop playing
whenever you want. And for me this is almost always true, except when I got to the end
game of WoW, where everyday that you don't log is, is another day that you are behind
on everyone else. I just didn't want that, admittedly largely self in-forced, pressure. And
so I wussed out and quit. I am sure that there are many out there that happily thrive on
that level of responsibility, I am just not one of them.
I suppose this responsibility has moved onto other online games, to a certain extent.
Those that play a lot of online shooters, tend to have the upper hand over those that play
a little, as many games have (usually superior) unlocks as you level. However with these
games it is usually a case of it has to stay fair otherwise people don't play (sigh ok yes
COD breaks the model). However games like WoW trick you into responsibility, you
spend so long levelling up this character, that by the time you hit maximum level you
already have a strong affection for your little guy. So when it seems viable to log in each
and every day for a few hours, to make him better, you feel compelled to do so. And so
I did for a couple of months, but the responsibility of it became tiresome, and a tedious
raid broke through the affection and I lost interest in caring for this digital pet.
Perhaps that's why I have always preferred levelling to end game stuff. You get to see
your character expand and improve as you play, but you don't have the same sense of
responsibility. The same fun without any of the guilt I guess.