I’ve been trying to get back into Hearthstone lately and am having a hard time. I went through the new pvp wings on easy, log on for a few dailies, and still try getting my Shaman deck up on the arena ladder but there just isn’t much motivation anymore to do much else, and even most of that.
It’s usually a few matches of whatever before I lose interest and then log out when before, I would go for hours playing. I spent even more time fiddling with my decks and looking at cards and even read a number of posts on deck building and strategy. I thought trying the new hard mode boss fight would get me back and interested but even that has failed. I’ve tried, logged in for them occasionally but no concentrated effort on beating them.
Now usually I love facing off against a certain challenge or at least getting to the point where I have tried a lot and done a bit of my best. I optimise my decks to a points, a read forums and posts about it and spend a fair bit of time practicing. Now that’s nowhere near as much as some people but enough effort that I can achieve my own personal goals. That’s usually how I play and it ends up so I don’t play that many games but I do tend to get a bit deeper into the ones I do. Once I lose interest in a title though that’s pretty much it, I move on to the next and if I do play it’s nowhere near as serious.
My original goal was to beat these hardcore wings but not anymore. The level of difficulty is too high considering the amount of effort that I want to put in and then, thinking about this I had a mini epiphany… No, not just about how to kidnap Jensen Akles to hide in the garage but more about how the amount of difficulty that is acceptable to me really relates to ‘my level of investment. The more I’m invested in a game the more I will go to extreme lengths in order to achieve something or complete it.
In the mmo’s I’ve played I can see in the ones I was invested in for a time that I did spend a lot of time trying out the harder content. I read about classes and gearing strategies, I grinded for gear and other facets, watched the scenarios on YouTube to learn the encounters and generally just practices play. It wasn’t so much that all this was boring but that it was necessary to reach my goal. I haven’t done this in quite a while though.
Lately I just haven’t felt that invested. A few games like Don’t starve have seen me researching different facets but the other games just haven’t had that. The encounters for Wildstar which I guess are easy if you understand them, your class and interrupt patterns are too difficult for me to bother with. For ESO I almost immediately dropped the game after facing that insurmountable hill called veteran ranks and never came back… It looks like many made that same decision too. I remember for Guild wars 2 I just lose my investment enough that all the grind for difficult to achieve items turned me away as well.
For the industry this seems to be a concern lately. I’ve been complaining about the lack of challenge and ease of design in these titles but it seems that’s all that’s sustainable in an industry that’s lost investment from its customers. In the face of difficulty you just move on to the next game but then you face easy, non-committal style content in the next and that really doesn’t help you get invested either. The question is, how do you build back that investment? What needs to change within design and how the appeal and encourage players and to be honest, I have no idea.
Is it just me that has to maybe sink into a game rather than enjoying my flights of fancy… I don’t think so considering I can spend several hundred hours in Terraria just messing around, grinding pets and other cosmetics and crafting an armory. Social is of course an important part for me yet in those games that do involve pre-established groups I’ve seen them disintegrate and leave just as quickly and this seems to mess with your investment even more.
I think, like a lot of things, it is those first impressions that really count. But what exactly should that first impression be and what elements should support that?
#Investment #Difficulty #Blaugust