Everything in moderation… including moderation, itself

by tibuant

Yesterday, I had mentioned wanting to post about moderation. One would think that at the age of 26, I would already know quite a bit about this. In some cases, I do: when I workout, I don’t workout too often or too hard, taking an appropriate number of rest days and not pushing myself too hard, too often. Similarly, when I drink, which I limit to once or twice a week at most (and often opting for just once a month) I don’t like to sit with a big box of bud light and down them in one evening. It might help that I’m more a fan of thicker and darker beers better suited for slow sipping, or that they’re expensive local brews that I can’t afford to constantly drink, but I have through time (I remember an incident when I was about 20…) learned to drink in moderation, and never too heavily.

The problem I have found is gaming in moderation: I’ve always been a big fan of stories, action, role playing, and just killing monsters. My earliest video game memories involve The Legend of Zelda for NES, The Secret of Mana and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for SNES, and Diablo (the original) for PC. These games very much helped to form not only my gaming interests over the years but my personality, as well. It isn’t so much that I “play games so much I waste my life away,” so much that I play a game so much I lose interest in it long before I finish it. This problem has gotten worse and worse as time goes on. I really haven’t touched any of the many RPGs I have sitting on Steam in forever, mainly because I’ll binge on them until I’m bored then quit. When I return to the game, I can either start where I left off, painfully unaware of whats going on, or start from the beginning, where I find myself somehow aware enough of the story or familiar enough with the play-style that I just don’t feel like continuing through anymore.

I’ve recently returned to Rift to play with a guild I had first met back when the game had first launched, and I had somewhat followed to The Old Republic. I find it ironic that a close friend of mine who I invited to play with me–and shortly thereafter convinced to join the guild I’m in–has shown similar gaming habits to my own: he played Rift for a few days straight, leveling from 1 to 40 in such a quick amount of time I was amazed, only to tell me shortly after that he was bored of the game. Luckily, this is not the case as we recently spent an entire day grinding rifts and searching for artifacts: by varying what activities I’m doing in the game, and finding multiple reasons to do them, it helps keep it fresh and interesting. While I’ve wanted to grind out rifts for Hellbug mounts for awhile, being able to help a friend grind planarite to afford something as well as finish up the guild quest while doing so made it much more interesting. Similarly, searching far and wide for a specific artifact so I could give my character the suffix “The Awesome,” while helping find artifacts for the guild quest, was more fun than just searching for the artifact or just farming artifacts for the guild quest alone.

The “varying activities” approach to keeping the game interesting is what I had really wanted to discuss, initially, but not just within the realm of a single game. By pulling away from the “one game at a time” mentality that I used to hold, and trying to switch back and forth between various games and even non-gaming activities, I find my tolerance and ability to enjoy games much easier to balance. The House Stalwart Guild which I find myself a part of (the community is more than awesome, although why I’m explaining this when currently 100% of my readers are here because they’re part of the said community, is beyond me…) has various nights for various activities: Wednesday being the big day for Rift, and Friday being a League of Legends session. I recently jumped on The Secret World with Rowan and Enura to try my first run at a TSW dungeon. I found the last boss (Cthulhu, basically) particularly fun, and there was one mechanic I would even label creepy at times. The variety of the gameplay made for a nice getaway from Rift, and of course Rowan and Enura were both fun to group with and amazingly helpful as well as accepting of it being my first time in said dungeon.

I’m definitely looking forward to adding TSW into my gaming rotation, but for now the many Rifting sessions with Eld, guild Rift nights on Wednesday, and guild LoL nights on Friday (along with the  Friday Trion twitch.tv stream I hope to start following) should give me enough variety to keep from getting too bored with any one single game.

Since my blog has so far been particularly empty of pictures, (I should start working to remedy that) I promise to have a photo in the next post!