Too Many Options

How come whenever I walk through the aisles of Best Buy (or whatever other electronics store I’m in) I can pick out fifty different things I’d love to buy, yet now that I have some actual gift certificates in my hands I’m at a complete loss as to what to do with them?

There are four games that are currently on my “want list”. They are, in no particular order, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (PC), Fifa 09 (Xbox 360), Fallout 3 (PC), and Galactic Civilizations II (PC). Of those listed, Fallout 3 is the closest thing to a “must have” for me. The problem with that however, is that it’s not due out on shelves until the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m kind of leaning towards picking up The Witcher. I haven’t played it apart from a couple of minutes in the demo to verify it ran well on my PC, but everything I’ve read indicates it’s a great game.

The other day I actually had The Witcher box in hand, ready to be purchased, when I talked myself out of it. Why? Well, sitting back home on my hard drive lies an unfinished Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. While I absolutely love that game, it lies unfinished because of another little game you may have heard of called World of Warcraft. Given that I was starting to feel a touch of burnout with that game you’d think it would be a perfect time to shift focus back to my other games, like Oblivion, but I rolled an alt instead.

I’m pretty sure I already know how this is going to end. I’ll pick up The Witcher tonight on my way home from work because there were only four copies on the shelf and for some reason I have it in my head that if I don’t pick it up right away, I’ll never see those boxes ever again. Then I’ll throw it on top of my “games to get to later” pile and load up Oblivion to finally finish it once and for all, clearing room for my new purchase.

After running around Oblivion for a few minutes I’ll start to wonder if any of my friends are logged in to WoW. I’ll quit Oblivion, and jump into WoW “just to check the friends list real quick”. Before I know it, it’ll be time to get to bed so that I’m not too tired for work tomorrow where I’ll sit at my desk and ponder which other new game I’d like to try.

Walk or Run?

When you go out for a walk, do you take time to stop and smell the roses, or do you just sprint on by so you can get back home as quickly as possible?  When you watch a movie, do you fast forward to the end just to see the climax with all the cool action and explosions, or do you watch it through from the beginning, absorbing the story as you go?

I was talking with some friends regarding their plans for the upcoming release of World of Warcraft’s expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.  A couple of them were planning to power their way to level 80 as soon as possible, while others, including myself, are planning to take our time to immerse ourselves in the new content.  Much discussion ensued.

The main argument the speed levellers cited was that the end-game is what they enjoyed, and they were focused on getting into the raid instances as quickly as possible.  Fair enough, if that’s what you find fun, more power to you.  I on the other hand, feel as though there’ll be plenty of time to spend at the new level cap (doing the same thing over and over again) that it doesn’t make sense to me to be in a rush to get there.

As I was saying in my last post, I’ve been 70 for a couple of months now, and even in that short period of time I feel like I’ve run out of things to do outside of raids, which my real life schedule doesn’t allow me to partake in too often.  Perhaps that’s the difference then, but even back in the days when I could raid daily, it got old to me quite fast as well.  I came to the conclusion that ultimately, I preferred the journey to the destination.

But that’s my personal opinion, and I can certainly see how someone else would prefer the destination to the journey (just try driving across the prairies).  The point that I’m taking entirely too long to make is that you’ll have plenty of time to spend at that destination.  When Wrath of the Lich King is released, it’ll be just two months shy of two years since Burning Crusade’s release.  For the sake of argument, let’s say WoW’s next expansion is released in a year and a half.  Are you seriously willing to blow past all the new content just to hit up raid instances for a year and a half?  Is raiding really that much fun to you?

I wonder how frustrating it is to the developers to have people scream past a majority of the content that they’ve worked on for two years.  I wonder how many of those same players will start complaining a few months after the new expansion hits that there’s nothing new to do?

The Burning Crusade introduced some pretty interesting story elements into their quest lines, and I’m anticipating further improvement in that regard in Wrath of the Lich King.  I for one intend on absorbing as much of that content as possible, happy to reach the end game whenever I get there.  How about you?  Are you going to smell those roses?