Monday, May 10, 2010

Kindread Spirits

I couldn't find a place to put a comment to Leafy's "Taking A Step Back From Hard Knocks" post on his blog, so I'm placing it here.

It's almost like I wrote the post myself. I started to pick out the things I've felt at one time or another and even as recently as last evening and I find I'm quoting pretty much the entire post:

"but the other thing on my mind this week has been WoW. And, more specifically, Achievements. And they've become a problem.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, Achievements have become a burden to me - especially the ones around the World Events. A set time limit to do a number of pretty complicated tasks? That's pressure, especially in a life where I only get a few free hours to play WoW every week.

Now, I'm not doing badly. I am all but two achievements away from Long, Strange Trip. One of them is to do with Children's Week. Yes, it's the 'orrible School of Hard Knocks. And it's actually stopped me logging in this week. I just didn't want to do it. I didn't want to feel obligated to do it. So I didn't. Children's Week ends tonight, and I don't care. I'm letting go of Achievements, and I'm letting go of WoW pressure. I really enjoy only two things in WoW: questing and doing dungeons or raids with my guild.

I have come, in the last few weeks, very close to quitting WoW for good. I found myself feeling bad that I didn't have time to do the things that I was working on, and then steadily realising that I didn't want to do them. I'd been sucked in by the time sink spiral that makes MMoRPGs so compelling, chasing Achievemnets and emblems from daily randoms and all the rest of the distractions built into the game, and it was twisting my life around in ways that I didn't find comfortable. Instead, I've chosen to work on my photograph, or to spend time with my wife, family and friends. It feels good. And, maybe, tomorrow I'll do some dailies and some quests on one of my lower level toons. That'll be fun.

"But WoW can't be a chore, because life has enough chores. It's a game, and games are fun. It's a pity I need to remind myself of that from time to time."

I finished up the achievements for Long, Strange, Trip a while back, thanks to WoW removing the monthly brew requirement. But I remember dreading certain achievements that required luck or competition against your own faction. The stress involved with knowing you had a very short period to get something done or you'd have to wait another year to try again. Now when each world event that comes around I'm actually relieved to look at my achievements list and know that I've done them. There are some achievements here and there that aren't part of the meta and I'm either doing them at my own pace or not bothering with them at all (I'm looking at you 'A Mask for all Occasions') Isn't it funny that I'm relieved to basically not play the game?

More on this later.


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"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"

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