Daily Archives: June 10, 2015

The Search for the Summer Game

My daughter came to me last week and declared that she was bored with World of Warcraft.

This is not an unusual thing.

She is, after all, 13 years old.  Being bored with things is pretty much part of the job description, coming on the list right after being embarrassed by your parents.

An making sweeping declarations about Azeroth being boring are not new.  That comes up from time to time and she finds something else to do with her allotted computer time for a while before heading back to the game.

This time though… this time it was a bit different.  After the usual declarations, she started asking about what other games there are out there.  And she even asked me to turn off her account so we wouldn’t be wasting money paying for something she wasn’t using.

Shit just got serious!

So we talked a little bit about what else was out there… something complicated by the fact that her computer is an iMac.  She has the biggest, best looking screen in the house, but Mac OS doesn’t get anywhere as many games as Windows.

We talked a bit about that, then she went off to go revisit WebKinz, the first online game she ever tried, way back in 2007.  It seems that she gets video game nostalgia too, just like me.  I used to be pretty firmly on the “nurture” side of the whole “nurture vs. nature” thing, and then I became a parent and decided that nature is not to be dismissed lightly.  I’m not saying that The Bad Seed should be classified as a documentary, I just mean that I see my daughter exhibiting the same behaviors as I did as a child at times, but it wasn’t like she was around to pick those behaviors up directly.

Anyway, she went off to WebKinz, got her old account restored (which took a few days) then began complaining about how things had changed.  Again, just like pop.  You need a Deluxe Membership to do a lot of things, while the whole physical pet aspect… it is still there I guess, but it seems to be de-emphasized compared to the new cash shop.  I didn’t check if they had added lock boxes, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Meanwhile, this got me to reflect on my own feelings about World of Warcraft at the moment.

I have been in something of a holding pattern.  I haven’t made instance groups nights for a while now, letting down the team.  I log into the game daily, but I generally just do some garrison tasks and a couple of daily pet battles before I log off again.

Vikund in his garrison

Vikund in his garrison

I have an alt sitting at close to level 92, largely due to pet battles, that I haven’t bothered to bring to Draenor yet, in part because the thought of yet another garrison to tend does not excite me in the least.

So I just tend my garrisons, increase my wealth… I could go buy that Grand Expedition Yak now if I so desired… and not much else.  I haven’t even rushed into Darkmoon Faire this month, and I am usually pretty religions on that every month. Though, on reflection, I mostly did that to collect heirlooms, and you can simply buy those with gold now.  So aside from the pets and mounts… and I have all of those already… and the minimal trade skill boosts, there suddenly isn’t as much to Darkmoon Faire for me as there once was.

So it might be time for a break from WoW for both of us.  We have been back and subscribed and playing WoW for nearly two years straight at this point.  A vacation from Azeroth might be in order.

But where to go?

Yes, things are happening in EVE Online, Fozzie Sov is coming.  But for me EVE is always the game I play along with some other game.  It cannot be relied upon to provide fun and engagement on demand.

In the past, summer destinations have included Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest II.  There is certainly a lot more of Middle-earth to see on the far side of Moria, or I could continue my climb to somewhere closer to the level cap in post-cataclysm Norrath.

There is also the current progression server thing going on with EverQuest, though I am falling behind on that one, lacking a regular group… or much free time.  And unless Daybreak continues to publicize it the low level areas will dry up soon.

Then there are other MMORPGs I own or which are free… or free-ish.  I’ve been into Guild Wars 2 in the past and took a run a Star Wars: The Old Republic for a bit.  Along with those there is World of Tanks, War Thunder, and World of Warships, all of which I recently installed, though those tend to be short play session titles for me.  I could also add in some MMO-ish games to the list of possibilities, like Diablo III or Elite: Dangerous.

Then there is my Steam library.  Steam Left indicates that I have some play time left in that.

74 days would get me through the summer...

74 days would get me through this summer… and the next

And that number seems unlikely to get smaller given that the annual Steam Summer Sale commences tomorrow.  I know that something will be too cheap to resist… I have more than a couple games that were $3.74… adding on at least a few more hours.

So there I sit, needing a break from WoW but not sure where to head, and my daughter as well.  If I play with her, that complicates things due to the whole Mac OS limitation, though I might not need to account for her as she seems to have piled up some summer reading and has been more focused on art than video games on her computer of late.