Musings of an Unsubbed Barely Gamer

The last of my monthly subscriptions ended last week. I didn’t initiate it, but I didn’t correct it. The credit card I setup for monthly Elder Scrolls Online payments was discontinued by the bank and the charge didn’t go through. I didn’t set it up on the new card. And with that, I am completely free to play. I haven’t touched Star Wars: The Old Republic in months; I logged in maybe twice in the past year and didn’t stay long. I cancelled WoW in March 2015. Since then, I have logged in a few times to play the trial version.

I enjoy playing each of these games. The benefits a subscription provides with each either no longer appeals to me or does not apply to me now. WoW is the only one that appeals to me as it’s the only way you can play a character beyond level 20. The other two, ESO and SWTOR – well, I have played each since they launched and have yet to play a character to the max level. That says much more for SWTOR because it’s been around longer than ESO. I’m not sure what it says about ESO.

Thinking about why this has happened, I’m not sure there’s a singular reason. In all three games, I no longer have friends or family that play. There never were many friends or family anyhow, and I used to happily play alone. Perhaps the excitement of exploring a new world has worn off? The same gaming elements persist in all three:

  • level by questing, different story/same methods
    • go get x of y, kill x of y, talk to him/her, sabotage this/that… it has to be done, how else would you level, how else can game designers tell the stories?
  • all the grinding, for crafting/profession materials, for reputation to get things or access to things
    • and apparently in WoW, to receive the hard-earned and high cost previously paid for flying – WTF? Did they forget what vanilla players had to go through, especially druids for flight form? Aren’t there flying creatures in Draenor? How does Pepe get around in the garrison?
  • game designers setting things up to force you to do things they want you to (e.g., state of flying in WoW)
  • play a dps spec to level and then learn how to heal at max level – why is this still a thing?
    • to be fair, I think WoW may be the worst culprit – both SWTOR & ESO provide dps options while leveling in a healer spec

From game to game, and after so many years, it blurs together and the excitement of a new world begins to wear off sooner than before. It’s all a game of carrot and stick masked in pretty pixels.

Playing video games has increasingly become a smaller part of my life. Maybe I’ve finally become too old for it, or the adventure of real life has won me over.

I’m not sure it’s important that there is a reason. It just is what it is. I don’t play as much. I don’t see a reason to subscribe, at this time. I am currently playing a free WoW account with the thought that I may upgrade it and subscribe. I do like to experience the expansions. But I might experience the next one on a new account. Afterall, WoW is not the same game I started playing nearly 11 years ago. I’m not the same person. My old account is bloated and the way I played it is no longer compatible with who I am now.

Now, I am slowing down, as the Pandaren say, and enjoying the views.

Wandering Isle Ocean View

Wandering Isle Ocean View

And having some fun playing a new class: Monk.

Playing with the ancient water spirit, Shu.

Playing with the ancient water spirit, Shu.

We’ll see where this goes.

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