Completely Out of the Loop – But That’s OK.

For years I wrote about my game-play experiences in EQ2 and while there was never a majority of my readers who played EQ2 at the same time, there were some and I never felt ‘alone’. These last few months in Wurm Online have been a bit different. I have a difficult time explaining why I’m so enthralled with the game, and trying to convince others to give it a try. It’s not a bad thing but it has certainly made for some quiet posts.

There’s one enormous difference between playing Wurm and playing – well, almost any other game I’ve played except EQ1. For the past five years or so I’ve played more than one game at a time, some times even literally at the same time. I’d be exploring or crafting in EQ2 while mining in EVE. Waiting for a dungeon timer in World of Warcraft while going through battles in Wizard 101. This ‘extreme’ multi-tasking was simply how I did things, and sure it got stressful some times (the whole juggling act) but I didn’t mind.

I haven’t touched another game since playing Wurm Online. Not even a bit. I’ve had no inclination to, even before I started working with the staff. I tried a few times and had so little interest that I logged right back out. Even games I’ve loved for years don’t hold my interest right now. Could it still be the honey moon phase? Of course. I’ve only been playing Wurm Online since January and that’s not exactly a long time for a game that’s been around since 2006.

I’ve even got access to a few betas that I haven’t even bothered with. I’ve read articles and watched other bloggers and friends go on about their latest interests, SWTOR, The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, Tera, Ghost Recon, World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Diablo 3, and other games (not all of them MMOs) with a slight distance. It’s like I’m suddenly excluded from some weird gamers club because I’ve got to dedicate more time to a particular MMO. I suppose this is actually the way it goes for anyone who suddenly finds themselves with a lot less time than they used to have, and who moves from playing video games, to working on them (in any capacity) or working on one in particular.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the friends I’ve made, or that I suddenly don’t look forward to reading blog posts in my RSS feed. I do. A lot. Some times though, it all starts to feel a bit lonely.

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7 Responses to Completely Out of the Loop – But That’s OK.

  1. Killington says:

    I played Wurm Online for a while after reading your posts about it. I loved the game at first, but then it sunk in how long it took to actually do anything in the game. All those timers are kill me:(

    Have you seen anything about the game ArcheAge? It’s only in Korean beta atm, but they are working on an English client as well. It is very pretty, and seems to have a similar gameplay style. I am pretty excited to see how it turns out.:)

  2. Petter says:

    I had a similar feeling when I was playing SWG. When I stopped writing/tweeting about it, people – even people who didn’t play MMOs – told me they missed it. You are obviously passionate about Wurm, and it shows. It’s great to read your posts, but usually hard to comment. If I did, it would probably end as “sorry about that house I left on your deed, I’ll BRB” over and over again. :P

    You’re not alone, sweetie,, even if I understand what you mean. We’re right here, reading your blog as we always had. :) <3

  3. I went from one MMO, to game-hopping a lot and have slowly settled down into Vanguard.

    I don’t have the same real-life time anymore to play like I used to play whenever the newest Playstation game came out.

    Some debates have come and gone over MMOs needing to be more casual, because the gamers have grown up and don’t have the time to devote hours to this or that. I understand if it’s referring to a raid or one dungeon or one activity requiring hours(but even then I’m skeptical to a degree).

    But I don’t really, really believe that. These games, used to offer a design-philosophy similar to pen-n-paper RPGs. They let you play on your own time, with only a handful of time-conditions, and even then, you usually could find or make time.

    Newer MMOs kind of took everything away from us and only left a few choices and those usually could only be played by taking more time, and then the industry started trying to find ways to reduce that, to get more playing again.

    If it makes any sense, I view it as combatting the stuffy nose, but not really targeting the cold virus causing it. Grown-ups manage to find plenty of time around their lives no matter how busy. I’m sure there are exceptions, but in general, we’re making time for 12 hr long football games, for crying out loud. :D

    You play when you can is all. I can play Vanguard to suit my time just fine. I can play and gain half a level or a whole level in one go and have fun every second of the way. I could complete a missive in 30 minutes to an hour. Fish for 5-10 minutes, or play a raid for 4+ hours.

    And it goes back to what I’ve always harped on. Choice and option.

    I think I’ll probably be sticking, primarily with Vanguard for awhile. I love it and there’s so much to do and enjoy while I’m doing it.

    You keep on enjoying WURM. It’s a charming and wonderful MMO where people are so, so very polite and coincidentally, You may not have the time to play other games, but WURM also let’s you play on your own time and do so many fun things and you are interacting with other players on a level that doesn’t exist much in MMOs.

    I wrote a Soapbox about how newer MMOs aren’t really about playing with others when all you really do is find 5 other people to go through a dungeon(or linear “level”) and repeat. There’s no trade, merchandising nor circular, player-driven cooperation and all that jazz.

    That’s my one concern with Vanguard. I’m hoping if many return to Telon, that crafting will stay as a reason to have some fun as a tradesmith to buy and sell and interact with others, all the while enjoying it.

    This was a very long comment. Hah!

  4. Caroline Middlebrook says:

    Aww don’t feel lonely! I always look forward to your posts, but I don’t comment (this is my first!) as I am very new to the game – been playing 2-3 weeks now I think. However, my experience is the opposite to yours…

    Previously I have only ever played 1 game but since picking up Wurm I have now found that I can play EQ1 and Wurm at the same time – they are such a total change of pace! I find it frustrating in wurm as a new player that I am so weak, everything other than a rat or dog is death to me, whereas in EQ I have a fairly powerful char that can safely travel around so they complement each other well :-)

  5. bhagpuss says:

    I read all your Wurm pieces and find them interesting, but there’s very rarely anything I have to say in reply.

    I have tried Wurm and blogged about it a couple of times. I think my reaction to Wurm, and indeed to all true sandboxes by implication, is the mirror-image of yours. After a short while in a sandbox environment I begin to feel very clearly indeed the extreme artificiality and purposelessness of what I’m doing. Being able to shape the world and make things from scratch soon begins to strike me neither as liberating nor overwhelming but as a very poor way to spend my leisure time.

    I think if I was by inclination the kind of person who loves crafting in real life, or gardening or do-it-yourself or any “making and doing” hobby, pastime or activity then perhaps I would see the time spent carving out a virtual world one pixel at a time as well spent. I’m not that sort of person. I don’t pursue those activities in real life and I have no yearning to simulate them on a screen.

    In a way, when I play Wurm it feels as though I’d decided to watch a DVD but before I can I have to learn how to build the DVD player, wire my house for electricity and maybe even move house to live next to a millstream so I can construct a waterwheel to generate power. I just want to watch the movie.

    Added to that, I feel that there are countless graphic artists and games developers who can do all this stuff FAR better than I can. It seems quite ridiculous for me to shamble about making my amateurish attempts when they can produce something ten times as good in a tenth of the time. I recognize there’s a satisfaction in being able to say “I made this” even when what you’ve made isn’t good, but I find it a poor grade of satisfaction compared to the kind I get from experiencing and appreciating the work of others. I also get to scratch all the creative itch that I need by writing, at which I flatter myself that I do at least have some facility.

    Consequently, I get more pleasure from reading about what you’ve done in Wurm than I am ever likely to get from trying to emulate it. But I don’t have much to offer in the way of useful feedback or encouragement.

  6. I always read your posts! :D

    Of course, sometimes I don’t know what to say, mostly because I never got into the game that deeply. :)

  7. Jonathan says:

    Oh, still a good read. But I’m not a Wurm player, and right now the wife and I are focusing on finishing Guild Wars up before Guild Wars 2 right now, so not looking for a new one. Makes for a set of posts where I don’t have much to comment on.

    I will say that your posts on Wurm do make me want to take the wife over to it if we get a space of free time. She loves crafting and housing. But work and homeschooling don’t leave room for multiple simultaneous MMOs, I fear. But without your posts Wurm wouldn’t have made the list of “MMOs we really should get around to.”