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I Can Stop Anytime I Like

MMO Alta-holism, the blight on my free time

My Blade & Soul warlock, made after those monsters gave me a free character slot.
My Blade & Soul warlock, made after those monsters gave me a free character slot. I had two other characters, I was satisfied already!!!

Last week, a friend of mine delivered some very surprising news; her father, an avid World of Warcraft player, had unsubscribed from the game. I say surprising because this gentleman started playing in the earliest days of WoW, way back in 2004/2005, when I was an undergrad spending, not a lot of time sleeping or doing my history readings but grinding out an awful lot of experience on my Holy Priest.

At least I was, before I got bored and started leveling a Hunter. Then I got intrigued by Mage. Then I rolled a Priest on the Horde side because at this point I had 3 Alliance characters and the lore was intriguing. Then it was two Priests and a Druid. Hello, my name is Lyndsey, and I’m an alta-holic.


I never mean to do this to myself. Honestly. Whenever I start a new game with a custom character creator, I am well aware these games are a huge investment of time. Sometimes I have been successful. In the case of Mass Effect, I made only one Shepard for the trilogy named Leeloo, who retired peacefully after ridding the galaxy of giant robotic death beetles (okay I may have edited the ending to suit my own needs but c’mon).

After some friends strapped for cash decided to hop into TERA (which has, admittedly, very fun combat), I traded in my healing license and picked up Gunner and never looked back. Frankly, when your class carries around a grenade launcher, why bother with anything else? In Star Wars: The Old Republic, despite my excitement over it being a Star Wars title, the sole class with any appeal to me was Smuggler. I mean really, Trooper? You expect me to be a Trooper? And have you seen how strict the bosses for both the Jedi and the Sith are? No thanks; besides, Force choking gets really mundane after a while.

I also thankfully only made one Inquisitor for the third Dragon Age installment, but maybe the only way to get through some of the open world content in that game is to be an angry elf lady mage.  Given the percentage of yelling, I did at some of the dragons who dropped in to try to kill me, I do not feel a need to go back and experiment with another class to find out. Even my companions echoed many of my sentiments about the great outdoors after a while.


However, some games? Something about them gets under my skin. It is different for each one — maybe I want to try a new class. Maybe I really enjoy the world exploration. Maybe the character creator allows for a great depth of customization. Maybe you are Guild Wars 2, you have all of these things, and this is why I capped 4 characters and started 3 more before I stopped playing because my guild game-hopped (they are all also alt-aholics by the way).

gw-2-trio
Not pictured, an asura warrior, my thief, and a number of hours spent grinding all the gold and tokens I needed for all their outfits.

When I came into FFXIV, I thought I had a solution to my problem. You can literally play every job on one character in that game. Want to be a Dragoon today over a White Mage? Job swap. Feeling like Paladin over Bard? Job swap. This means, ideally, that many players will not feel a need to make an alt despite the available slots because they can test it out on the character who has unlocked all of the game’s content. It was the perfect solution to my problem — I did not want to go through the rigor of capping another character because so much of the endgame content requires time and could only be accessed after successful completion of other content. I felt good about all these roadblocks in my way because once the jobs I wanted were leveled, who cared? And for a while, I did not. I had a tank class, I had my healer, and I had DPS. I was good. I was set. I could go raiding with my friends in any role we needed. This was the ideal solution!

Then they released new hairstyles and a new race of dragon people in their Heavensward expansion.

ffxiv-squad
From left to right: a Bard, a Dragoon, a Paladin, and my main who could have all those jobs but does not because I presumably got tired of leveling.

At this point, I have moved passed the mourning phase and into acceptance. I am never escaping this. You might as well just sit back and count the minutes before it kicks in than assume it won’t at all. As it stands, I bought Black Desert just a two weeks ago. It has a fantastic character creator. The combat is really fun, and in a twist, mechanics common in other open-world games like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are implemented to make my character inherently better at things. I can level up their bargaining skills for items, improve their stamina so they run faster and farther. I can level up their strength so they deal more damage and can carry heavier items. I can also buy them houses in every town, and get a horse to ride. The soundtrack score is pleasant to listen to. I have already made three characters. Two of them are almost halfway to level cap. I suppose next time I can go into detail on my adventures there specifically but for now, you are all welcome to roll your eyes and call me a fool.

Written by Lyndsey Raney

Librarian by day and your local fairy squad mother by night on Final Fantasy XIV. I like healing even when I hate healing. I also like other video games, comic books, horror films, and dogs. Occasionally I bake with questionable results on looks but generally good marks for taste.

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  1. You realize N. has, like, twice as many characters in GW2 as you have across all MMOs, right? (And then I’ve got my half-dozen.) 😀

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