Living Vicariously

I recently just visited my girlfriend (out of town) for our 1 year anniversary, missing the opportunity to go to PAX East (although it was equally as fun as PAX sounded, just wish they were on different weekends). I found that I missed playing Guild Wars, but not for the game strangely, but solely for the people I played with. In this recent boredom due to the staleness of Guild Wars combined with the long wait ’til Guild Wars 2, I’ve found myself drawn toward looking for a fresh game. Granted that I continue to play Guild Wars (more socially now than anything), I need something to fill that gap.

Note – Yes, I understand I could always play WoW, but masochism was never really something I got off on, what with the 50 levels of grinding that no one really likes to group up in unless you know each other. And before you decide that you need to get defensive and play a tank to protect your favorite game, understand that 1) you aren’t going to change my mind and 2) I respect you enough to have your opinion, respect me enough to have mine.

Now, with that said.

I am really finding myself drawn to Rift. I love the class system, I love the fact that mid-levels are not super grindy, the rifts really seem to break up the monotony of questing and makes uncommon or rare ocurrances more prevalent in world pvp (if you happen to be on such a server). I’m not necessarily looking for a permanent home, though I would like something to fill the gap.

Now, the problem:

I played the beta and since I don’t have anything higher than the crappiest, most generic graphics card in exsistance, I could barely play Rift, if at all. Even once I circumvent this obstacle, should I get really involved in Rift, it might be necessary to make a crucial choice between that and GW2 when it comes out. This would involve a thoughtful consideration between paying a subscription, time involvement in either game, and should I feel obligated to play just because I am paying for the time to play it. GW2 doesn’t have this problem, but if I’m spending time playing a game when I am paying for another, should I feel guilty that I am wasting money? Should I pick one or maintain both? I’m reaching the eternal conflict of time vs money.

Rift looks like a great game, but is it more trouble than it’s worth in my predicament? For now, I will watch the gameplay videos and follow you Rifters as you adventure through Telara, taking pride in your achievements as though they were my own adventures.

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4 responses to “Living Vicariously

  1. I’m mostly working on titles in GW at the moment. Rift looks cool, but I have neither the time nor the money to make a pay for play game worth either. I have been playing console games a bit more, but really, most of my time between now and GW2 is going to be spent working on my dissertation and preparing/completing my internship.

    I never felt the draw to WoW. It costs too much, has too much grind, and is too goofy looking for me to have any fun. My eyes are spoiled I guess. I can’t play FF7 anymore for similar reasons.

    I think one of the best things about GW and GW2 is the lack of a monthly fee. In your case, even if you do get invested in Rift, you can make characters in GW2 when it comes out and divide your time between the two games until you’re satisfied with Rift and want to cancel your monthly payment. GW2 will always be there 🙂

    • This is true. GW2 will always be there. As far as being satisfied with gw, I really only want to get to 30pts in my Hall of Monuments and I do not really need to grind titles, I just need a few more weapons and armor sets and ill be there. The gameplay is solid, but I’ve done everything, more than a few times. The only time I really do anything game oriented is to help people in my guild with their stuff and maybe farm things.

      On another point, I understand your time availability predicament (or lack thereof), I’m a sophomore in college and my gf is working on her senior thesis and she can barely find time to sleep lol. Higher education sucks away a lot of your free time as well as time you don’t actually have.

      Which makes me question if it is possible to play a subscription-based game casually. I keep coming back to that feeling that, for every minute not played, I have wasted X dollars. Curiously, I don’t have this dilemma with console subscriptions, such as Xbox Live, which I have not really played at all in the last month. I’m not sure why the attitude is different. It’s probably something I should examine further. On the surface, it would seem like an availability issue, perhaps. In Xbox live games, you can typically just jump in and play for 20 mins at a time and feel you accomplished something, while you may have done only 3 quests out of billions, which makes you feel like you have to dedicate large quantities of time at once. Another possibility is the fact that, per year, you can spend $40-60 on Xbox live versus a typical subscription- based mmo’s $120 (rough estimate, not trying to be exact). Should a feeling of dedication, to the point of trying to squeeze every cent worth out of your play time, scale up with the amount you are paying?

      • Yeah, time is definitely at a premium in grad school. As for PFP (pay for play) guilt, I hear a lot of people don’t feel so bad about console subscriptions but feel they must get the most out of MMO PFP subscriptions. For one, MMOPFP typically costs more and the nature of what you do in an MMO requires a heavier time commitment. Think about the time investment for the average raid in WoW–2 to 3 hours or so I am told. Meanwhile, you can hop on XBox live and play Call of Duty or Halo or whatever for 30 minutes and feel accomplished.

        I personally have never played a PFP game. Guild Wars is my first “MMO” and my roommate is the one with the XBox. After playing GW, I can’t see the sense in paying $10-20 a month for an online subscription. It feels too much like a scam to me. Plus, with my time commitment to school, I would never get my money’s worth on a game like WoW or Rift. I’m currently working through the Mass Effect series when I’m not playing GW. It is another game I can pick up and put down at my leisure without feeling guilty about paying a monthly gamer tax on a game I have no time to play.

        I smiled a little bit typing that because it reminds me of my roommate. He has a gym membership that he’s paid for nearly two years now and only used twice. He feels guilty for not using it more and calls it his monthly “fat tax.”

        As for your situation, it sounds like Rift will be a lot of fun if you have time enough to play it. I’ve given serious consideration to Rift and other games, but I honestly can’t afford the time and money commitment to starting a new game–especially a PFP game. If you’re spinning your wheels until GW2, you got lots of options and if you fall in love with Rift or another PFP game, GW2 will always be there. And if you feel guilty for not playing enough GW2, it won’t be because you’re paying a gamer tax.

      • I smiled when you typed “fat tax” too lol. Fair points and lots of things to consider, including a recent realization of what motivates me to KEEP playing a game. Another problem I encountered was when realized one thought I had: “but what will everything mean when I stop playing Rift, should I start playing?” This thought made me rofl a little because of how childish it sounded. I realized that part of the incentive to keep playing a game is not just the fun of playing but also the lastingness of the accomplishments I’ve made. Is this really a good motivation to spend money? To keep around a trophy case? I think a return to the “I play games to have fun” model is warranted 😛

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