4) If you play more than one MMO, learn to smell the roses
It’s hard to play more than one MMO as a full-time player, let alone as a part-timer. Going into multiple MMOs expecting to make swift progress is like trying to push a tractor trailer up a hill. Learn to enjoy the ride. Find joy in the journey and finally accept that the “real game begins at level cap” is the biggest line of bull to ever come out of the MMO industry. The cake is a lie.
And you know what? Going full on Tourist Mode can be a great thing. More than ever before, you should play what you want. Logging in because you have to, when you have so little time to begin with, is only going to make you resent that game. You can still have social ties, but maybe you’ll need to support in forums and Ventrilo more. The point is, don’t believe that the doors have closed for you. The fact is, being a little selfish with your game time is just fine, and actually incredibly freeing.
5) Try new games you wouldn’t normally try
One of the things I’ve found is that when my son is awake, my playtime has to come in short bursts. Guild Wars 2 may not be the best option in a situation like this. Instead, something like Marvel Heroes or DC Universe Online make for a much better fit. There are lots of games out there you might have looked over before that would be a perfect fit for your gaming style today. A change in lifestyle can alter your perspective and bring you a new favorite game.
6) Buy a Razer Naga
If you have a baby, you need a Naga. Parents of young children will understand the benefit of one-handed gaming. Sometimes my son just wants to be held. The Naga puts an entire action bar and more at your fingertips allowing you to effectively play without touching your keyboard. My little guy can nap in my arms while I gleefully drop fireballs on my enemies. The Naga reduces your downtime and frees you to multitask like no other. (Though make sure to enjoy your kids away from the game too!)
7) Learn to love the meta-game
I came up as a blogger, so my go-to source for keeping in touch with my game communities is the blogosphere and sites like MMORPG.com. Reading about the adventures of other players never fails to make me want to log in. More importantly, it keeps me informed about the things I just don’t have time for. Check out Reddit. Follow bloggers and MMO fans on Twitter. Toss some good forums on your favorites. It’s amazing how connected you can be while not actually connecting with each and every game.
8) Get support and don’t give up
I’m going to be frank here. Don’t buy into the line that you should just quit because you can’t play three hours each and every day. That’s idiotic and anyone who says that is looking down their nose at the majority of game players, not to mention the game developers who would prefer that you certainly don’t quit. It’s not about how much you should be able to do or whether you can achieve as much as the next guy. It’s about whether you’re having fun. Everyone else can suck an egg.
And here’s the thing. This is something you do for fun. You shouldn’t give up on it just because your life has gotten busy. Everybody, gamer or not, needs to take some time for themselves. We’re lucky enough to be able to take time to actually be someone else. Some people do Candy Crush. You do ArcheAge. Hold onto that. Because really, who the hell is the internet to tell you you shouldn’t?
I’ve learned is that it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. Many of the most ardent MMO fans are also mothers, fathers, and incredibly busy people that find a way to make MMOs work for them. These are a few ideas that have worked for me. How about you?