Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I could show you my favourite obsession

Yes, I did spell it the British way.  Deal with it.  I'm an Anglophile.  Besides, it's how the word is spelled in the lyric I quoted, so it's an accuracy thing.

Games.  I love them.  Primarily PC games, although I've been known to favor a console occasionally.  I've been an avid hand held gamer since 1989.  I dabble in board games, but a lack of friends to play them with, as well as the initial investment keeps me from getting too heavily into them.  Tabletop role-playing games are still an obsession of mine, but I keep it in check primarily because I have no group to play with currently.  I did make an attempt to get back into it a couple of years ago, but trying to find time to fit it in while also having time for my family made it difficult.  Add in that I just didn't enjoy the same kind of role-playing as the others in my group, and it just wasn't a good fit.  Maybe someday, but I'm honestly not too concerned with it.

PC gaming is where I do most of my gaming for one very simple reason.  Family.  My wife likes to watch TV.  My children like to watch TV.  My older children like to play games on the TV.  Fastest route to pissing off the majority of the household?  Take over the TV for a game.  Gabe from Penny Arcade touched on this today as well.  Add in the fact that I like to play games that probably aren't suitable for my kids to watch, and PC is the way to go for me.  Actually, laptop is the best way to go, but alas, I cannot afford a decent gaming one at the moment.  My son has a nasty habit of sneaking up on me while I'm playing on the computer, and when you're playing something like Saint's Row 3 or The Witcher, that could lead to an awkward conversation.

Now, as for what I play on the PC, well, that is not a simple answer currently.  Between the extra hours I worked the last couple of months and the Steam holiday sale, I currently find myself with a glut of games and a dearth of time to play them.  I suppose the easiest way would be to list off my current favorites, and why they interest me.  Today I'm just going to focus on MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games), mostly for brevity's sake, since I'm aware that I have a very short attention span, and therefore assume everyone else does.  Makes life simpler.

World of Warcraft: Ooh, there's a shock I bet.  Actually, this one probably is, for anyone who knows me and my absolute disdain for doing the popular thing, even if I like it. (It's a character flaw that I'm just not certain how to purge.)  When the stars align, this game is amazing.  Let me clarify.  When I'm in an active, friendly guild, I love this game.  When whatever guild I'm in falls apart or just gets way too melodramatic for me, I hate this game.  I've put a lot of time into my main, but having had him in 3 different guilds that have fallen apart for one reason or another, I just can't bring myself to log in with him much anymore.  To be fair, the last guild didn't fall apart, I just refuse to be in a guild where a character named Poondaren is acceptable to the guild as a whole.  Also, part of the issue is that warlocks have become much more popular since Mists came out, which has led to some annoying issues in Heroics where players think I'm a FOTM character who doesn't know his class, and then try to "coach" me.  I would go back to him if I found a guild I liked Alliance side though, so if anyone knows of one, preferably located on a server out of the New York datacenter (my internet is not ideal, and any other datacenter I have horrid latency issues), by all means let me know.  Til then I'll be playing Horde side with It Came From the Blog.  Still getting to know them, but they seem a decent sort.

The Secret World: One word: ambience.  It doesn't run the best on my rig (replacing the video card is on my to do list in the next couple of months) but the feel of this game is amazing, and the modern horror setting is very unique in the world of MMOs.  I'm looking for a guild to join once I have more time to devote to the game, but the lack of a subscription fee means that it will be installed on my computer for the foreseeable future.

Planetside 2: I'm actually a big fan of most of SOE's games, be it EQ2, Vanguard, or DCUO, but PS2 is unique in that it's an FPS game that I actually enjoy.  I'm not a fan of FPS games.  They are the cesspools of gaming to me, especially if you're foolish enough to have voice chat on.  But, there's something about the large armies battling across the planet that I just love.  It's the chaos I think.  I die, a lot, but damn if it isn't fun.

Star Trek Online: Another game that's all about the ambience for me.  I honestly can't play this game as a primary MMO, it's just too grindy, but I feel they did a spot on job of capturing the feel of Star Trek, and the space battles are just amazingly done.  When I want something different to zone out to, this is my choice.  Although, if I could find a decent fleet, I might be persuaded to spend more time in game.

As I'm sure you could tell, it's really the social aspects of MMOs that keep me playing them.  Fact is, I don't get out much.  I've got a job, 4 kids, a wife, a house and I work evenings.  Makes socializing in person a bit tricky, especially when I don't indulge in the binge drinking that is so prevalent in our society, nor do I follow any mainstream sports.  A good guild will keep me playing a mediocre game for a while.  Not having a guild will inevitably lead to a grass is greener move where I jump into a different MMO.

Next time: My non-MMOs.

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