Saylah just posted a good blog about social games and how they don't really work with her and her intolerance for searching out fun. It's true that in social games you might need to take a good amount of time finding the cool hang-outs, or the prettiest spots to visit. To me, that is the point of a social game but I can see how it might seem as boring as standing in line for a carnival and not worth the wait.
The post reminded me of something that many players say: "You have to commit time to be successful at MMO's." (not saying Saylah is saying that, just that it reminded me of that. Damn I always have to post these silly waivers. )
In fact I often receive gruff for not "committing" to one game (or a few) and for not making the usual MMO goals my own. But every time someone makes fun of me for not having one piece of max-level gear on my character, I always wonder what the hell kind of rule-book they have that tells them that the game should be played in a certain way or for a certain amount of time. What they are confusing me for is for someone that either has the time (or the want) to play as much as they do, or that places value on what they do.
Also, what IS success?
Success simply depends on the goal. If you want that max-level gear, then the goal is to get it. If you place limits on how much time it should take then you have made the goal and determined the specifications for success. Some timed goals are made by the game, but those are rare. There are timed quests (rare), timed crafting sessions (rare) and a few other fluffy title type goals (server firsts, again rare.) Of course, something like going into a raid is timed as far as you cannot go in and out forever (even though it can spread out over a week), but raiding is a choice and does not make up the bulk of any game unless chosen. If you choose to go down the quest line that leads you to that raid, and choose to see it through, you must take the time to do it. That is a given.
Most anything in an MMO can be "paused" or came back to at a later time. Quests come in chapters, stories can be played through in small chunks. Back in EQ days, raiding might have taken 2 days, but those days are generally gone and even raiding or crafting sessions should only take one evening. Of course, there are those that raid every night or will raid new content as fast as possible for server firsts, but those are goals that only hold meaning for the individual player/guild and mean nothing to players that want it to mean nothing to them.
Also, success is so variable that I am almost shocked when people bring it up in this day and age. It seems obvious that different players have different goals, so it is a little strange that some players still don't understand that.
For example, Syncaine seemed a little perplexed why I would say that death has no meaning in Darkfall, being that he felt it had meaning. It does not, unless you place that meaning on it or unless you have a goal of either avoiding death or killing more players than the next guy. There is no game mechanic that forces you to avoid death, or to avoid killing or to kill players. If there was a forced game mechanic that did that, then players like me couldn't log in and play the way I do. Sure, there are game mechanics that encourage certain goals but most are never forced.
So any of us can attach any goals to any game we want, and can go after those goals in a speedy fashion or in a slower mode.
As a player that plays only about 2 hours a night, I can tell you that I have had a lot of success in gaming. My goal has always been to explore, to have fun and to meet people. I have done that. My goals are not the goals of my wife, who seems to want to have a cool guild, to raid some and raise her alts to max level. Our friend Stomp seems to want to raid night after night, so her goals will require more time. Like I said, there are very few goals in most games that are forced or cannot be spread out among a longer period of time. There are very few things that require you to finish what you started within a very limited time.
So I am not sure I understand anyone that claims any type of success, being that anyone can set any goal to achieve and claim success. Even in real life success depends on the individual, and I have met people that are very successful in many ways but are miserable, and people that have almost nothing and are amazingly happy.
So yes, you can be successful on 2 hours a night. You can also be miserable. Or, you can be successful and miserable at the same time by spending too much time inside a video game and not enough time in, you know, the real world. Granted, some players are not as able to physically get out of the game and into the real world as myself, but that is an entirely different and more important topic.
And even with all this, there are players that would read this and think "That guy is just saying that because he cannot hold his own in the game." Even with all the variables in game-play, with all the different types of games like social games or puzzle based games, there are still players that think that the classic goals of achieving max level and getting good stuff is the norm. That's a little perplexing to me being that I meet so many people that have nothing to do with that and that I have seen the changes to MMO'ing over the last 10 years from time-heavy games to games that offer the choice.
But to me it's like saying that you, fair reader, are not a good drummer like I am. I could make fun of your lack of drumming skills, but you have never attempted to drum. You can make fun of me for my lack of parenting skills, but I have no children and are never going to attempt having children. Thinking that there are some certain universal set of goals in most MMO's like avoiding death, getting the best gear or writing the longest role-play story is about as silly as that.
Anyway, blogging doesn't count towards my 2 hour gaming allowance, so I'm off to play some Free Realms, a quest in Vanguard, followed by some Mabinogi.
In lighter news, I found another pile of cat parts today. The coyotes tend to leave just some back skin, a few parts of muscle, and the face of the cat. That's right, the face only. Most wild doggies eat the bones and teeth, and I can just picture these scraggly coyotes stripping that face off of the screaming cat, placing the mask on the bridge of their nose and dancing while singing "Look at me, I'm a cat! MEROOWW! MEEROOWW!"
The ironic thing is that this cat might have belonged to the lady that leaves her dog tied up in the backyard all day. He's a big funny brown lab that needs exercise, attention and WALKS. God forbid he actually get off his chain once in a while. But, he is hard to control so she leaves him on a chain while her cat has the freedom to roam the neighborhood and to get it's face ripped off while still alive. I guess cats are somehow special in the freedom department, and are much less vulnerable than a 100 pound brown lab.
F****** nonsensical world we live in.