Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Sente (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 26, 2009

MMO community connection:

A Ding World

Chapter 4: Preferences

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

I have had the occasional peak where I have played perhaps 30 hours per week for a brief period (1-2 weeks). Normally it can vary quite a bit, probably something between 8 and 25 hours per week. Most play sessions tend to be no longer than 2 hours.

When during the week are your regular play times?

On weekdays it would be in the evening, exact times varies a bit.

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

That depends really. If I already know some people that are playing or going to play I will probably join a guild more or less right away. If I do not know any people I will usually not join a guild directly, but may join later.

I like teaming with others because teaming with others can be fun. The actual tasks do not matter so much. Thus whether I play in a team or solo depends on the convenience for it provided by the game and team invites (if I am not inviting myself).

Games that may require a lot of time to set up a team for various reasons (long travel to a certain point, certain combination of archetypes/classes/whatever, certain number of players etc) I will probably team less in. Exception will be with people I know and if it is some planned activity.

Team invites also affect whether I will team or not. I generally turn down blind invites. Depending on the game I may also consider how they phrase the invite; if they can form words or even sentences. Games with long set-up, running and get-out times for teams will have more such considerations.

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

Yes, this mainly started when I joined The Older Gamers. The major reason I joined there was to be able to have som continuity across games and not just in games; before that I typically lost contact with most people I played with in a game when either I or them moved on. Also many people I had contact with in the early days were in entirely different time zones, which made in-game contact more difficult. Today with more communication options that a lot of people use, it is easier.

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?

Yes 🙂

It really varies; some games lend themselves to be more task oriented than others. But often I just jump in and figure out something to do depending on who is online at that time or start thinking what I may be in the mood for once I have logged in.

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

I pretty much always play multiple MMOs nowadays and I do like smörgåsbord. There may be one MMO that gets more play time than the others at any given time, but I enjoy the variation that multiple MMOs may provide.

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

The number of PC games I have played this millenia probably can be counted on my fingers, so that would be a no answer.

Console games I play a bit more often, but not often on my own. This may become the choice if there are a few people in the same location who wants to play something. The latter would also fit for tabletop games, depending on the people.

Are you something of an altoholic?

Yes, absolutely. Although when I play more MMOs at the same time I do not create so many alts in each game.

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)?

No, I might be listening to a podcast sometimes on my internet radio at the same time, but in most cases I do not do anything else. If there are long times where I do not need to focus on the game play while playing, I probably just switch to do something else entirely instead.

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

No, not really.

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

Yes, that has happened. I have set up some entirely different task and goal and focused on that. Important real life activities always comes first also.

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

My first break was after almost a year (playing in the weekends) with Anarchy Online. I did not play anything for close to 3 months. After that I have had some other breaks also, but nowadays I do not really get to the point where would need to take any longer break. It tends to get adjusted before that with less play time and perhaps rotate between a few MMOs. It rarely gets to the point where I am sick and tired of the genre as a whole.

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