MMO Burnout

Lately I’ve felt a little bit burnt out on my current stable of MMOs. It’s not like I want to stop playing any of them, but often in recent days I find myself logging in to a game and getting bored a few minutes later and logging out. As you can probably tell from a cursory glance at my blog history, it’s not unusual for me to get burnt out on a particular game after a while, but what is unusual is that I’ve been burnt out on all of them at once. What’s even more interesting is that I’ve become burnt out on games for a wide variety reasons. Here are a few.

Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is the MMO that I’ve put the most hours into over the years, and my problem here is that I’m starting to feel like I’ve done it all. I have almost every class to 80; I probably could have every class to 80 if I blew all of my tomes of knowledge. Heart of Thorns was fun, but it’s really not designed to be played alone. I do play a good bit with other people, but sometimes schedule conflicts can be an issue. The first chapter of the living world was fun, but it held my attention for a couple nights at most, and we won’t get more until the 20th. There’s still plenty I could do–I have yet to finish the world map on any one character, and most of my characters are not very well geared–but the reason those things have gone undone thus far is because they don’t sound fun.

Long story short, Angmar happened. I really love my Lore-Master, and I really want to get to Moria, but once again I’m stuck in the mid 40s lacking motivation. I’ve considered just chain running skirmishes until I’m high enough level to move on to Moria, but that gets tedious. I could have a high level friend powerlevel me, but that feels like cheating. Maybe I should just break down and buy Forochel and bypass the rest of Angmar altogether?

I really want to get those Dark vs. Light event rewards, but I’ve done Coruscant and Dromund Kaas so many times that it makes them hard to get past. I’m told that chain running solo flashpoints is really good XP (indeed, I usually come out 1.5-2 levels higher than when I went in), but, well, see previous paragraph. At least they’ve upped the rate at which quests dispense XP, and, while I know it makes raiders grumpy, the GW2-style level and reward scaling is really nice.

I love WildStar, but I got back from vacation to find out that basically every person whose name I recognized in my guild has left. It wasn’t some big drama thing, so that’s good, it was simply due to the fact that we haven’t been able to get a raid team together for over six months despite having plenty of people level capped. Honestly, I guess I was part of the problem; I signed up, and stopped showing up after about a month of not being able to do anything because we were shorthanded. I’m still deciding if I want to stay and try to help rebuild the guild, or just find a new guild to play with. Either way, it’s kind of depressing and it saps my motivation to keep logging in.

For some reason, the fact that Rift is coming out with an expansion has renewed my interest in playing, despite my highest level character being a measly fifteen who probably won’t be ready for this expansion until the next one arrives. My problem with Rift has always been that I can’t seem to pick a character and stick with it. My favorite so far (the aforementioned level fifteen) is a weird combination of classes that I built, a bard/strategist. He uses flamethrowers for cone AoE damage and music for single-target fights. Both souls are support focused, so he has great survivability; I usually finish off most fights with little to no health gone. It’s probably awful in terms of DPS, but I finally came to the conclusion that, if I’m having fun with it, why do I care? My only dilemma now is that the expansion preorder comes with a free level boost to the current cap of 65. Should I get it? Should I use it on this character, or should I save it until I know a little more about the game? If I’m going to use it on this character, should I bother leveling him ahead of the expansion? A while back I got a level 60 character boost, and I was so overwhelmed with all of the new skills that were suddenly dumped in my lap that I barely played him. I’m not even sure where to go to level him to the current cap of 65. I wish it worked more like SWTOR’s insta-60 tokens, starting off in the latest story area with a mini-tutorial that introduces you skills in small groups.

Elder Scrolls Online
I have a similar problem with Elder Scrolls Online that I do with Rift. Characters are just too customizable, and it’s hard to know if I’m going to end up with a character that I like in the end. Even worse, respecting is fairly expensive. The fear of making a character I don’t like has paralyzed me into basically not playing any character high enough to know if I will like it or not. Also, One Tamriel seems like it’s going to fix a lot of my other frustrations with the game, so I think I’m just going to hold off until that hits before digging into the game seriously.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is whether or not I like this tendency in myself to jump around to all of these different games. Sometimes I’m a little jealous of people who play one MMO exclusively for years on end, learn everything there is to know about it, and become a staple of the community. I don’t know if I could ever pick just one game, though. There are too many interesting adventures to be had and stories to be experienced.