Avoiding the Fun

I really have no idea what this has to do with avoiding fun. This guy is avoiding something, though, and he's going to have a hell of a time not ripping his hair out. Eyelashes? Nah, we don't need em.

For the first time in probably three months, I tanked an expert dungeon in RIFT last night. It really wasn’t because I felt like being the stalwart defender or guardian against the night or even leader. No, the real reason is that if I didn’t I might have given up on RIFT entirely.

I go through phases, I’ve noticed. Sometimes, most times, I really enjoy digging into an MMO. This is usually during the leveling up process where there’s always the next ding to look forward to. Then I hit the endgame and get a good feel for it before getting bored. It’s not a knock against the game I’m playing, though RIFT’s dungeons could stand to be a little shorter, but more of my need for an internal vacation. When I play level through an MMO the first time I become a bit of a sponge, and all that soaking can leave a guy worn out. To unwind, I spend a lot of time in single-player games and namely Call of Duty — though, I might add, my time played in Black Ops is ~50 hours, my time on my cleric is ~300.

Anyways, in the last couple months since I hit the level cap, I’ve done nothing but DPS. It made me lazy. I got geared up for the one role and going back to tanking started to seem scary. Groups in RIFT are welcoming, but who wants to be the guy that doesn’t know the encounter? DPSing in RIFT is more complex than, say, WoW (you have to move more), but it still takes far less attention to detail than tanking does. So despite the fact that I spent my last year in WoW tanking, and while leveling up in RIFT, I avoided it; this activity that I knew I loved, I simply didn’t sign up for. How weird is that?

Something tells me I’m not alone in that, though. As gamers, we get in grooves. When you do one thing a whole lot, it starts to feel like your thing, while everything else takes on a foreign sheen not unlike your first time doing anything in a dungeon. How many people were nervous the first time they stepped up to heal? I know I was. Hell, it took me a year to even try tanking and another one after that to go back to it when I failed (this was Burning Crusade era). Then everything clicked and tanking became my new groove, just like that.

Until RIFT, that is.

We did T1 Foul Cascade tonight. Did we wipe? Oh yeah, five times actually. No one yelled at me. No one vote-kicked me (even though I offered to leave out of embarrassment after the third wipe). They were simply patient while I remembered all the tactics every good tank needs to know. After the first hour, I had my timing back and that calm cool that stays panic when something goes wrong. Once that came back, it became a matter of knowing the boss strategy, and we didn’t wipe again.

Here’s the magic part: I walked away from the game tonight feelingĀ rejuvenated. Where every other time I’ve logged in this month consisted of my queueing up before logging out in boredom, tonight I would have stayed logged in longer if it’d been any earlier. Knowing how different a feeling that really is, it makes me excited to get up tomorrow and try my hand again. It’s a breath of fresh air.

The point being, if you’re anything like me, trying something new — even if you’re not sure about it — might be the surprise you need to keep yourself going. All too often we expect the game to bring the options to us and leave a to-do list right on our front door when really we’re so much more empowered than that. Try something new today, be it a game or a role or a class. You just might like it!

1 ping

  1. Quote of the Day « Bio Break

    […] Game by Night This entry was posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 5:32 pm and posted in Quote of the Day. […]

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