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January 2014

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What happens when it's actually fun inside the Skinner Box?

EQ was, well, not very fun. You did repetitive tasks to get more power, over and over. The rewards became more infrequent, the tasks more monotonous, until you were left just scratching your head asking why you were bothering - but you'd keep playing, because you just had to get that next level.

After leaving EQ, I simply hadn't encountered another game that had that kind of hold on me. Very few games had even held my attention beyond a day or two, and I had begun to suspect I was done with gaming entirely.

Now along comes WoW, the game that I always wanted EQ to be, and I find myself simply loving it - combat is fun and fast, quests are interesting and varied, and talents and skills are actually powerful against the monsters you're fighting.

Of course, as the levels increase, I do start to feel the Skinner Box closing in around me - quests involve killing more monsters, levels take longer to complete, and you have to rest longer after tough battles. Yet, even though I know what's happening, I just don't care. At level 17 now, I am still gaining levels without even noticing it, and I'm just flat out enjoying almost everything about the game.

I find myself being pulled into WoW the way I was originally pulled into EQ, only this time around the stupid annoyances that always drove me away from EQ are absent. I'm wondering if it's even possible for me to play this game reasonably, without sitting my ass down in front of the computer and pounding through 8-hour marathon sessions as I've been doing so far.

Hopefully the honeymoon is almost over and I'll start playing less, but I'm already starting to feel the first symptoms of MMORPG addiction. And here I was, thinking I was done with games entirely...


LouZiffer @ Mon Nov 29 16:32:06 -0500 2004

You will not escaaaaaaaaaape...

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