Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sublime Pleasure of Not Raiding

Oh, don't get me wrong.  Raiding (or operating) in TOR is a blast and I'll gladly fill in if my compatriots need me to, but the absence of pressure from my TOR family is turning into my favorite thing about the game right now.

It's not pressure that they apply to me, to be fair.  It's pressure I apply to myself; to be as ready as I can at all times for operations, to not drag down the team with my failure to grind just one more daily.  Realistically, that's what my WoW experience is for; the adrenaline rush of downing content and killing pixel dragons, combined with the soul-crushing grind of dailies and dungeons so I can be 'teh uber l33t warrior.'

Now, compare my WoW experience to my TOR experience.  In TOR, the only person I play for ... is me.  I log on to have personal fun, with or without my guildmates.  If they're online, bonus!  Maybe we can do a flashpoint.  If not, that's ok because this is 'me' time.  I can work on my little Trooper with a bad attitude, or my Pureblood Sentinel (who also has a bad attitude).  I can leisurely stroll about collecting datacrons on my Smuggler.  Or heck, even check out my long-dormant Sith Warrior.

Compare this to WoW: I log on and immediately need to decide what I can stomach.  Do I try LFR?  Do I work on dailies to get valor gear/valor capped?  Jump in the queue for a random?  What do I need to do today to make sure I'm ready to raid?  Any of those options will suck up an hour of my time, at the minimum.  And generally, I only can complete one to two tasks per sitting.

Sounds like work?  I thought so too.

It's not work, really.  The two games provide very separate, distinct experiences for me.  WoW is my 'buckle up, let's kill pixel dragons' game.  TOR is my casual, laid-back experience, providing me with a fun, story-driven experience.  Both fill a niche in my gaming circle.  Both are very good at what they do; providing unique MMO experiences.

But I'd be lying if I said the WoW grind didn't get to me.  It does, sometimes.  Ok, a *lot* of times.  The endless reputation grinds, the endless gearing grinds.  Capping valor for three weeks just to afford a single chestpiece because, yes Virginia, my LFR luck is literally that bad.  It does get all so tiresome occasionally.

Conversely, let's take a look at TOR.  Sure, it's what I consider the 'easy-breezy' MMO compared to WoW's grindfest, but I'm also much less invested in it.  TOR provides excellent MMO stories for my characters, but that's really all I care to do.  Logging off TOR feels to me like hitting the pause button on a single-player RPG ... I can just log in and quest on another time.  There's no permanence there, at least to me.

So, what does this all lead to?

Nothing, really.  I just wanted to ramble.

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