On Nostalgia, Live Service Games, and Being an Adult

I’ve been feeling particularly nostalgic lately, probably in large part to Splinter Cell Conviction going free last month on Xbox Live along with the recent World of Warcraft cinematics Blizzard put out to hype up the upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion.

Now, I haven’t played WoW since Wrath of the Lich King, the second of seven expansions that continue to keep that game alive and kicking. By my estimates, that’s 10 years now. Still, I have this fascination with the franchise thanks to my familiarity with these characters through my time in WoW and through one of my favorite RTS games of all time: Warcraft 3.

I love the stories that game managed to tell through the base game and its expansion. Watching the downfall of Arthas Menethil, the rise of heroes like Jaina Proudmoore and Thrall, and even the character arc of Illidan Stormrage was fascinating and enthralling for me. So many twists, turns, and surprising moments that continue to be an amazing achievement for a real-time strategy game.

I’ve been wanting to return to Warcraft 3 for a long time now, but I keep running into a situation where I just don’t have the time to devote to it. I barely have enough time to put in a good hour into any games each day, so to sit and play a real-time strategy game where you’re methodically building structures and characters, it just isn’t in the cards. A real bummer for sure.

It’s amazing to think back at how much time my younger self had to devote to games. Playing a game like Warcraft then jumping to something else was never a problem. I seemingly had time for it all. And this is in addition to other things in my life like friends, schools, and whatever else I had going on. Then, as if something changes overnight, you’re suddenly no longer able to manage all these games.

Everything, these days, fights for our time. The best example is the recent games as a service revolution. Games like Destiny 2 and Rainbow Six Siege constantly add new content in an effort to keep players hooked and coming back. I’ll never shun free content, especially when it comes to a game I love playing. It’s having a serious impact to my backlog though because I feel compelled to log in to finish that weekly quest, take part in a special in-game/limit time event, or finish off that quest. With my limited time, I have to pick and choose what I play and I kinda feel like the system is rigged towards those live-service games. I’m falling right into developers hands.

Being an adult isn’t easy as they say, especially if you’re someone who enjoys games. I love this hobby I have and I don’t have any plans to give it up, but I think I’m facing a new reality where I just can’t play anything and everything that I want. Gone are the days that I could pick up a couple games on release day and play through them both in a timely manner. Just like a Pokemon, I think I’m evolving.

Have you noticed a shift in priorities or are you still gaming through the night? 

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4 Responses to On Nostalgia, Live Service Games, and Being an Adult

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    My not-so-newly-limited free time has actually pushed me in the opposite direction. Like you, I’m down to having only a handful of hours (if that) for gaming each week. I’m also buying fewer games, but they’re exclusively single-player, story-driven games. For example, I’ve been working on Vampyr for over a month now. Progress is maddeningly slow, but at least I get to go at my own pace. The idea of the live service game scares me away at the moment. I know I’m not going to be able to keep up, so I just can’t be bothered to engage with it at all. I’m hoping Destiny 2: Forsaken will be good enough not to miss (because I really miss playing Destiny), but I don’t know if I’ll be able to convince myself to make time for it even if it is excellent.

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