Subscription Guilt

I’ve just remembered why I don’t subscribe to MMOs anymore. I feel a sense of guilt for not playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I am currently subscribed to (technically my subscription is canceled, but I have the better part of a month left). I haven’t played Marvel Heroes as much as I’d like to lately, and my Guild Wars 2 guild probably thinks I’ve fallen off the face of Tyria. There are also, of course, a number of non-MMO games that I’ve wanted to play, like last weekend’s beta of Star Wars Battlefront (not to be confused with the 2004 game Star Wars: Battlefront), which, incidentally may break my general apathy toward shooters. Playing those games isn’t as fun right now because I have the swiftly approaching deadline of Knights of the Fallen Empire hanging over my head, and with it the end of the 12x XP bonus that I subscribed for. I’m really in love with the newly-F2P WildStar right now, so I’ve actually been playing that a lot, but every time I launch the game, the SWTOR icon right next to it calls out reminding me that I have less than a week to get my characters to 50, or they’ll have to go back to the normal leveling slog that I’ve had to do in the past. I keep consoling myself with the fact that I’ll be getting a free insta-60 token at the expansion launch, but I really want to wrap up a couple of the class stories before the deadline.

My normal philosophy when it comes to games is that you should play the thing you get the most fun out of at the moment. It’s a game. If it’s not fun, it has no purpose. There’s a certain amount of deferring fun for the promise of future fun that I can stand, but I have a lot less patience for that in a game than, I don’t know, real life. But on the other hand, I paid $15 for a month of SWTOR game time, and if I don’t play during that time, I’m essentially throwing away a chunk of my limited gaming budget for the month. WildStar isn’t going anywhere any time soon. In fact, if I wait a couple weeks there will probably be less random lag.

And the thing is, it’s not that I’m not having fun when I log into SWTOR. I still want to play it, it’s just that WildStar is more shiny right now. And in a few weeks, Guild Wars 2’s expansion will be more interesting than that. That’s just the way things work, and it’s frustrating that, so often, they all hit at the same time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for gaming.

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3 thoughts on “Subscription Guilt

  1. In norway, one sub is the same as one ticket to the movies. Therefor I only feel the “need” to play like 3 hours before I already feel I have gotten my moneys worth. 15 dollars a month, is it really that much? Can you really get that much for it, if you would have used it for something else? I think it’s a matter of how you look at it. I can’t get anything in Norway that would give me a month of fun, like a sub does, even if I only spend say 20 hours a month on it even just 5 hours.

    I suggest when you feel the urge to play a game like SWTOR, play it for free. If you keep playing it for a longer period of time, it will be time to get that sub. Don’t pay it until you are really going to play it.

    • Well $15 is less than two movie tickets here (actually, a weekend evening 3D movie is probably not much less than $15, if at all, depending on where you go), so I guess by that measure if I get 5 or 6 hours of enjoyment out of the game I’m ahead.
      I’ve been playing a good amount of SWTOR lately, so I felt like the sub was well worth it last month (especially since SWTOR’s F2P model is pretty restrictive), but this month I’ve been distracted by other things.
      I probably should have mentioned that subscribing this month also gets you the first part of the expansion content, so at least I’ll have some story and an increased level cap for when I go back to F2P.

  2. I have the same issues with subscription guilt. Thankfully most of the MMOs I play (albeit not very regularly) are either B2P (ESO, GW2) or F2P (EQ2, Rift, SWTOR, Wildstar). The only game outside of WoW that I ever subscribed to was EQ2 (and outside of the free month with the box). I’ve gotten back into EQ2 here and there over the past few months, but I can easily take a break for a week with no guilt, because I’m not paying the sub. This only works though, because I’m not at the end-game after having stopped playing the game for several years and only coming back recently. If I was closer to the end I would have to sub to access the newest content and whatnot.

    I’m with Missy, play what’s fun for now and move on when it’s no longer fun. What sucks for me is I’ll play a game for a few weeks and then move on and not come back for a long time, and there’s always something new pulling at my attention, and if I do get into a game enough to where I want to subscribe, doing so usually means I’ll lose interest. Funny how that works.

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