Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Electronic Pen and Paper

It has been pointed out that I do a few RPG games, D&D, Shadowrun, FUDGE... but what of the electronic versions? What of Baldur's Gate? Morrowind? Dragon Age? World of Warcraft? (And there is a really good reason to join WoW.)

The short answer is... No. But since that makes for a short post, here's the longer answer. There are a number of factors...

Time Sink. It takes time to play these things. I have a lot of podcasts and other audio, DVDs and another videos, books and another visuals... I don't have time for those! (I am trying to cut back on DVDs just because I have so many, but am still getting more!)

Money Sink. It costs, too! Dragon Age: Origins is... $90. For that I could get two seasons of something. Which links back into time sink, what is a better time/money investment? Two full seasons is... 30 or so hours. Dragon Age... could entirely vary, depending on how well one does goes after the main quest, or tries to complete all the side quests, etc, etc. I've heard time lengths of 100 hours. Looks like Dragon Age would win out there. However...

Combat. Most of these games comes down to 'beat this fight'. Um, yeah, not really interested. Doesn't help that I'm not that good at combat either if it involves "press this combination for SUPER DOOPER MASSIVE KILL THEM ALL combo, although one wrong press means you flail ineffectually". That doesn't excite me (partly because I'm not coordinated enough to be good). Alternatively, it's "press button to attack" and what happens is random aside from having to press the button. And a lot of games are just going from one combat to another (most MMORGs and many, many, many RPG games).

Story. I'm interested in the story, but have no interest in fighting through to find it. Fine, watching a movie, reading a book, etc., is far more passive, but the story unfolds. I'm not stuck trying to get past this boss fight, or trying to find Bob in the village, or whatever before I get to the next section of plot. Yes, I do cheat, but that's because I'm interested in the story, not in fighting the game (as opposed to fighting in the game) to get on with it.

Interaction. A really big factor... social! Bouncing off the wacky things other people come up with is emmensely fun! Even in combat, the weird things that can happen are beyond anything a computer experience could deliver.

DRM. I use a PC, do not have a console of any sort, and the tales I hear of SecuROM, online activation, limited installs, etc., etc., etc., do not inspire me to start installing.

I do have a number of games sitting in my drawer, but haven't played any of them recently. Not sure I can now. When I got them, Vista wasn't an option to be listed, and some games I did like (O.D.T.) wouldn't even play on XP.

Ultimately, I have other things to do.

But do you play?



Jamas Enright said...

I do like puzzle games, but still have yet to get around to finishing Machenarium!

I do get some RPG playing via Flash games at, eg., Kongregate, but that mainly reinforces my lack of interest in bigger versions.

Morgan said...

This is exactly where I'm coming from too! Well said.