The Freedom! It hurts my head!

These last few days, things keep getting in the way of my playtime. Here’s my usual attempt at playing:

— Turn on computer (or close whatever prog I was working with)

— Do the mail/RSS/workplz? thing

— Check the weather (just because it’s SO DAMN NICE here and I can compare/contrast with where we used to live)

— Do the work thing (not nearly enough right now)

— Fire up game client — right now that’s either EVE or Guild Wars but it might just include LOTRO soon

— Get coffee — get distracted by the ongoing Great Tijeras Rodent War and either expel an invader or clean up some of its poop (eww) — get distracted by not-quite-plague-ridden dogs — get distracted by the incredibly awesome weather and the really rather nice views — get distracted by hummingbirds fighting and chasing each other like it’s WWII all over again

— Come back to comp, sit down, start to play

— Answer phone / answer sudden email / respond to minor dogmergency

— Come back 1-2 hours later and decide I’m too damn tired and/or distracted to play

And yet… and yet, it doesn’t matter! I’m not paying a subscription for Guild Wars, so who cares? I can log in and DO NOTHING (i.e. sit at the login screen, sit at the bank, sit at the adventuring zone dropoff which is as far as I got before I got called away). I don’t even have to log in at all!

EVE of course isn’t free, but on the bright side my char is at least racking up those skill points even if I don’t manage to get my planetary installations and market orders sorted on any given day. I’d probably unsub if it weren’t for the spousal unit’s feeling somewhat abandoned. On the other paw it’s only one sub and that even I can manage.

Free to play isn’t always well implemented (that’s YOU I’m looking at, SOE/EQ2X), but the basic idea isn’t so bad at all. And that’s something of a change of opinion for me; a few years back I’d have told you nothing good ever came of being free to play, which really only meant “Free to get harassed by constant in-game and e-mail hard sell to buy this that or the other”.

See you in game somewhere. Or, the way my life is these days, not. But I’ll at least be firing up clients!

This post was brought to you by yet another obscure title/album cover/song reference. And the letters L and Q.

8 responses to “The Freedom! It hurts my head!

  1. Yup, the GW business model is really liberating, both for the player and the designer. There’s no need for devs to make treadmills and hooks to keep pumping in those sub dollars, and there’s no need for the player to stay tethered at the hip to make the sub worthwhile.


  2. ‘Screamadelica’ was the album-most Brit’s from the 90’s (Stone Roses, James, Wonderstuff era) would know this…where are you getting the ‘Q’ from?


    • Easier to say than “Oh sorry, I have to afk a sec, my dog just vomited on the carpet” — or whatever. It’s not always vomit, but it usually needs to be dealt with quickly. 😉


  3. It might be a tired refrain of mine but console gaming DID liberate me from the ‘I must play because I paid’. Separating gaming away from pc/mac format, which I suspect most would work from, helps me focus on either gaming or work – not both.

    But hey that’s just my take on things.


  4. If every FTP game was so unlimited as GW I’d be happy!

    While I don’t really like all the limitations of EQ2X.. I’m actually pretty disgruntled about how constrained it really is, but I’m happy I can at least do the holiday events and not worry about if I have a sub or not. I suppose I could always add a sub if I wanted more and use the free when I just want to putter around with the game here and there.

    Yes, free is a nice feeling!


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