Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How far down the rabbit hole shall I go?

I have been looking for a game to play.  I am pretty much done with Mass Effect 3 as this last playthrough will complete Insanity difficulty and do everything I ever missed before - importing a perfect save to do everything took a lot of doing!  The tricky thing about picking my new game is that whenever I do pick a game I tend to fall pretty far down the rabbit hole and I need to be concerned about just how deep it goes.

When I played Portal or Plants vs. Zombies there just wasn't that far to fall.  Both games were fantastic and I spent quite a few hours getting myself set up to do 65 flags on Infinite in PVZ but in the end there is only so much you can do.  There just isn't enough momentum to spawn endless forum posts and build a community like you find around big MMOs or games like Mass Effect.  Those communities are what really catch me and keep me in a game for long periods, like the years I spent building spreadsheets and running raids in WOW (elitistjerks) or my Civ V modding (civfanatics).  I have been moderately captured by D3 but it has some real issues with community in that the forums are a cesspool full of mindless whining and bumping and almost entirely bereft of interesting debate.  I am having a lot of fun with the game but I really want to talk about games with people and chatting about D3 on the internets is more awful than amusing.

All that has me thinking that I will probably relapse into WOW once again.  Getting back into the game is hard because I have to go through the newbie phase all over again.  I hate being the guy who doesn't know anything and I am not impressed by stumbling around and sucking.  I want to be perfect, I want to be beautiful, I want to play right!  I want to be the one who has all the answers, not the guy who doesn't even know what questions to ask.  That slow climb back up the hill of knowledge is painful and I know very well just how long it will take to get back to the top of the heap.

I started reading the elitistjerks forums again and it really got to me; the people there were using acronyms I don't know and talking about strategy that I can't quite follow.  They were speaking about specific fights as if I should really know and understand them and instead I am quite in the dark.  Looking into a community that I used to be an integral part of and not even being able to understand their language is a harsh reality check.  I really want to be back in that mode, being an expert player who knows all the ins and outs, but without hurling my spare time bodily at the game there isn't any way to be there again.  I should really spend my time instead writing my book or exercising or doing something else productive but all I really want to do is find a game to be awesome at again.

It seems that I will end up falling very hard, very far down the hole of WOW.  I know how far down that rabbit hole goes but there doesn't seem to be another game on the horizon that offers a gentler landing.

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