My gaming relationship has transitioned from the traditional simple life — a fairly solid marriage to Lord of the Rings Online while at the same time maintaining a once per week dalliance with my mistress Dungeons and Dragons Online — to a more complicated affair where I maintain a harem of MMOs from which I pick and choose as my desire fancies. The trouble is, with so many delights on offer, it quickly becomes a meta-game of time management, a frantic plate-spinning affair in order to keep as many characters up to speed as possible, and as such the spectre of burnout looms large. As in a foreign restaurant, sometimes a sampling of multitudinous delicacies can lead to new discoveries of piquant flavours and sensations, new insights into how various unexpected combinations can complement one another, and where one set of dishes can show an otherwise unfavourable set of alternative dishes in a new and favourable light, making them more palatable.
And sometimes you get snail Tandoori with chamomile ice cream.
I’m not sure how my current gaming infidelity will resolve itself, primarily because this week marks the start of my descent into wanton lasciviousness. Update 5 of DDO is to be released this week, and with it comes the introduction of guild levels and rewards which may well tempt me into playing for more than the modestly casual one night a week to which I had been restricting myself up until now. In addition to the guild update, the Monk class prestige enhancements are also released with Update 5, and this will allow me to take my Monk/Rogue build and add the Ninja Spy enhancement for some short-sword-waving merriment. My Monk is built around a theme rather than the ideal aim of hyper-munchkined end game raid DPS, so I’ll be taking both of the Ninja Spy enhancements from the Monk line, and the first Assassin enhancement from the Rogue line, thus allowing me to take the level 20 prestige class – Ang Lee Martial Arts Cliché.
Another addition to the gaming gynécée is APB, whose head start begins this week, and of which both myself and m’colleague are intending to partake, along with whoever else cares to join us; it’s all very casual, a sort of modest gaming gangbang really, what with APB only being able to handle four people in a group at a time, the poor dear. There’s also at least one beta that I’m hoping to dabble with in the coming weeks, specifically to determine whether the genre of game that is being introduced to MMO mechanics is even viable; in terms of the harem this is quite possibly tantamount to adding some form of farm yard animal in order to see whether it spices things up a bit more or, as is more likely, just ends up tainting the whole experience with the overpowering odour of manure.
Lord of the Rings Online continues to entertain, and I can’t see myself leaving the lands of Middle Earth any time soon, but it will suffer a loss of attention as I reduce the hours I dedicate to it in order to make room for all of the newcomers. Finally, Warhammer Online is currently slated as the new game to be played on Monday nights as a response to the ‘breakdown’ of the fellowship, so I’ve been pottering around in there, trying to remember how things work and steeling myself for the inevitable PvP conflict. Much like APB, I’m playing WAR in order to have fun with friends: the PvP element is something that I’m able to tolerate in order to achieve this aim but I can’t see it as ever being something that I’d get fanatical about, I’m just not a competitive person.
All of which would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that Valve has just recently dumped a massive summer sale on us via their Steam service. Exquisite games are now on offer for less money than even a modest person might spend on snacks in a day, and if my MMO gaming menagerie is a harem, then my Steam collection is a bawdy Western brothel, where anything goes: as long as it’s cheap and cheerful, I’ll take it. So now I have two competing camps of games vying for my free time, with cat-fights breaking out left and right as the MMOs pull hair and scratch at the mouthy uncouth single player upstarts, but although the MMOs are complicated and glamorous and can entertain a person for hours at a time, there’s something appealing about a quick and dirty thirty minute play around in the Steam room.
In conclusion: I really should stop watching Desperate Housewives.