Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goals and Altitis

If you look at all the different WoW blogs, there seems to be a sort of consensus that when you play the game you should have "goals" - sort of have an idea of where you're going and what you're aiming for. But, just because it's the consensus doesn't make it true - so I'm here to tell you that it's OK to just wader the world aimlessly without setting any goals (and also why it's OK).

So first we have to look at what drives us to become altaholics in the first place. Often it's a desire to see the game from other perspectives (different classes, different factions, etc.) that starts it - I know it was for me. But that can't be all, otherwise I would have had 1 of every class and been done with it, instead of 4-5 as I do. I think the real reason is just impulsiveness (is that even a word? It sounds odd) - you log in, can't quite decide who you want to be today, and you suddenly get this idea that it would be awesome to have an Undead Shadow Priest. So you roll one. And that's it... Really easy, huh? And quite tempting.

And when that's the case, goals have no place in your game. What's the point in setting goals for alts that might not get played again for months just because you get distracted by some other shiny thing? I mean, the idea of goals is planning ahead and thinking long-term and that just doesn't sit right with impulsiveness (hmm, maybe it should be 'impulsivity'? No, that sounds even worse... *sigh*). Then again, the fact that you make a concious decision that "now I'm starting a new alt", means there's something there to interest you and therefor you'll have your fun, with or without long-term goals.

The Other Side of the Coin

But what if that's not really the reason why we (I) do this? What if the reason I'm constantly creating alts is that I just don't see myself making it to 70, grinding out the gear I need and making the time commitment to raid Kara? I mean, I don't know... It's obviously an idea that's somewhere in my mind, and I'm not sure how to "take it out of the equation" and see what happens (whether I'll still be creating alts left and right, or finally be able to get to 70. Or 80, whatever).

And if that's the case, then the altitis is just an escape. It's an easy way out of the bigger commitment. I would like to raid some day because I want to see all that new content, but the requirements "scare" me - I don't have time to grind dailies, heroics, PvP and 10 different faction reps just so I could have decent enough gear for a guild to be willing to take me along with them, and I probably couldn't commit to the time needed for raiding anyway. I could quit the game altogether, but that would be admitting that I'm never going to raid - that I just couldn't hack it, and that's hard to reconcile. The other way is to keep finding small things you don't like about your current character, forcing you to roll a new one. "When I get to 70 I'll definitely raid, I just want it to be with a character I really like". I mean, Lathiria made it all the way to 65, clawing and biting her way through Azeroth and Outlands, only for me to decide that I'm bored with palying a kitty and that I want to give chickens a shot. And then, of course, I didn't have good enough gear (had a few "healing set" items laying around in the bank, but definitely not enough) to play it properly and make it fun, so she got abandoned.

So what do I do next? I could set myself a goal to finally get to 70/80/whatever-the-level-cap-is-by-then. I could even make myself not create any more alts until I get there. But do I want to? Wouldn't that just ruin part of the game for me? Not to mention having to find a new name for this blog... *grin* I guess it's much like in real life - often you find yourself in situations that are "alright", so why take the chance and change anything? You might end up in a much better situation, but you could also end up worse than you started. What do you think (all 2 of you reading this)?

Bah, how did this post get so heavy? It was supposed to be a short piece on why it's OK not to have goals, not a psycho-analysis of twisted-ol'-me. You have my apologies for that...

1 comment:

Cryptography said...

You are not alone. I also have far too many alts. At least one of every class, every race, every gender and every faction. About 20 of them get "regular" play, the others are abandonned for months at a time. Goals are for people who need direction.. I'm happy lost in Azeroth!