Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Foolsage (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 4, 2009

MMO community connection:

Fool’s Age

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?

At my peak, I was playing probably 20-30 hours online, plus another 10 or so hours offline doing design and building work. These days, it’s more like 5-10 hours total.

When during the week are your regular play times?

I don’t have regular play times per se; I don’t play when at the office but otherwise might at any time, depending on other plans.

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

Something of both really. I primarily solo but love having a guild to chat with, and definitely enjoy grouping sometimes. I try to strike a balance between freedom to log off at any time (soloing) and socialization (grouping).

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

I met my ex-wife when we were both admins on a NWN persistent world. I made a few other lasting friends there as well.

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

I occasionally have explicit goals, but that’s fairly rare (e.g. in EQ2 my Fury hit 20th level so when I played yesterday I wanted to start the lvl 20 armor quest series).

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

I’m a serial monogamist and generally only play one MMO at a time. I do sometimes beta test other games at the same time though, but that’s casual; I’m not cheating on my relationship. 😉

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

Definitely. I enjoy single-player games (PC/console) and play them a fair amount. I also play in a tabletop D&D campaign once a month.

Are you something of an altoholic?

No question. I like the exploration and discovery portion of finding good tactics for each class. I also like having options when playing with friends (e.g. if a friend plays a tank I might bring a healer along). I’m also generally a dedicated crafter and like to cover all my bases by having different alts with different crafting skills.

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

Rarely. I generally prefer a high level of immersion when playing games.

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

On blogs, sure. With friends, sometimes… it depends on the friends of course.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

I felt like I was spending too much of my time and energy on the NWN persistent world I used to play and work in. I was a designer, builder, and DM, and it became really difficult to extricate myself for any free time. On the plus side, I did meet a lot of people there, including as noted above some lasting friends plus my ex-wife. I eventually coped with it terminally by leaving the world entirely a few years back.

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

I’ve taken several breaks when I started to feel burned out on MMOs. Most recently, I grew tired of Warhammer and Age of Conan, and didn’t have anything I felt like playing between November 2008 and mid-April 2009, when I picked up EQ2.


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