*WARNING* huge wall of text *GET YOUR BLEEDING EYE RESIST GEAR ON*
Since I got my first games console at the age of ooh…. 20 I think (Sega Megadrive for anyone who’s interested), I’ve always liked to have a few games to fall back on for nights when there’s not much else to do. During my 20s, I mostly played console games of one form or another on nights when I had no money to go to gigs/clubs/pubs. I had fun times at Uni, consistently beating one of my housemates (best of 3 then… pfft you’re on a lucky streak girly, best of 10 etc etc) in the Sega Ice Hockey game. Strangely enough I was rather good at beating his players up and then scoring the goals 😉 I also remember poor Dimzad watching me re-play Sword of Thunder (?) or maybe Rings of Power during one particularly rainy and skint Easter hols (what a cool boyfriend huh? luckily he had a few PC RPGs to relieve the boredom of watching me play (the show off ;))
During my late 20s to mid 30s, I moved onto PC RPGs (Baldur’s Gate, Oblivion, Neverwinter Nights etc) but again played on nights in. I had already realised by now that light fighter, roguey, archery types were definitely my style and mages… *shudder*. Then, nearly 4 years ago, I was bought Everquest 2 for my birthday…. I very wisely delayed installing until my MA dissertation was handed in. I was clearly hooked on Norrath. I did still manage to maintain a social life though which was an achievement but unlike all the other games it was something that kept me hooked enough to play most nights (and as it turned out for a number of years) Most other games I had mad fits of obsessive playing and after a month or so, got bored (then would come back a while later in another mad fit to FINALLY FINISH THE DAMN GAME)
I did actually take a break of playing while I was pregnant (too blooming tired to concentrate on the game and I had to be pretty much forced to log in while my kind guildies dragged an 8 mth pregnant muddle head around to finish my Ranger Epic quest – I’m so glad they did, was really chuffed and happy even in the fug of pregnancy ;)) Of course I also had a good break while the little one was very young but once he got into a stable sleeping pattern, I was able (and finally *wanted*) to start playing while he was asleep. And since I’ve had the little one, my social life has been severely restricted (which is fine, I don’t mind ;)) but EQ2 has also been a social network for me. Being able to log in for an hour or so during the day and talk to people was a huge bonus as was grouping during the evening (staying in and having fun.. who’dve thought eh? ;))
Hmm this is a rather long ambling preamble – apologies for that 😉 What I’m trying to say is that I think it is time for EQ2 to take more of a back seat. Unless the game goes downhill drastically (still waiting and seeing on the whole F2P, different servers, lack of incoming content issues) I’m not going to stop playing it. It just seems a little like work at the moment (have mostly complicated, group quests left to do for example). So once August and the millions of birthdays are over, as well as EQ2, I will be looking at playing some more Dragon Age, keeping my eye on Rift (trying not to get too excited here) and dabbling in F2P LOTRO once it goes live. I will probably have fits and starts with most games and not play some for months but am going to go where my gaming whim points. And some nights will be non gaming nights too (ooh please don’t /faint :P) Its been nice this month that games have taken a back seat for our free time and is probably about time too.
Dimzad and I are looking into the F2P LOTRO and we’re thinking of treating it as a standalone RPG that we can play together. No Kinship, no grouping beyond the 2 of us, no responsibilities…. just noodling in the same world. Hoping its going to be fun.
My final thing to get off my chest, is having thought about joining the free to play lotro I suddenly thought – I’m being rather hypocritical/nimby here… is it really so bad for EQ2 to go this route? To be honest, probably not if that’s the only way they think they can keep the game going… *IF* they didn’t have separate servers, if they had a fair price plan / tiers, if the items in the SC shop aren’t ever going to be ‘needed’ items…
So expect a few more categories and a few more Suzita’s floating about 😉