My first night back with the computer, the bright screen flashed up and i logged in to my windows screen to see a collection of games before me yet before the question of what to play turned into “I have nothing to play” I’d already loaded up Archeage and entered the guild Teamspeak to talk once more with everyone.
It’s funny the familiarity and level of comfort mmo’s hold with me in this regards. They seem to be the game you can turn to when there is nothing else and it’s a pretty easy decision to make, especially when you have friends or a guild waiting for me. It’s times like these where I can kind of understand the pull games like WoW have on people. That level of comfort they hold in peoples hearts and the way they help people connect with others. It’s a strong point of the industry that I don’t feel as many mmo’s really tap into as much with how they seemingly abandon the importance of groups and guilds.
Now I don’t mean the ridiculous guild level type things, those are artificial barriers that more serve to piss people off. I’m talking about the connections people make with each other through this shared space. The level of dependence you hold with each other and the valuable connections you make. It all adds up to make this rather slight pull, or urge that while seems rather small in the moment slowly grows and grow until it becomes a need that, well needs to be fulfilled. I guess that’s cause I’m a little antisocial and also slow to war to people in real life, I have a few close friends but it seems the online components really do fill in that gap for people like me. Just listening to the random banter is enough at times to to feel a part of something.
It’s also funny that the first thing I did, and basically the only activity I did all night within Archeage was do trade runs. The Hellswamp path had opened up once more and I got together the stuff I needed, crafted stuff and then spent a couple hours just running packs. Seems kind of pointless but then, I think these kind of moments are a needed function of mmo’s as well. You don’t constantly need to be active, you don’t need to be in conflict whether that be PvP or PvE. Sometimes it’s just nice to have some activities that are rather easy, slow and really not needing that much attention as it leaves you free to engage with others far more.
You type in chat to some. You talk about the game; mechanics and such, the progression of the guild, you strategise and discuss gearing as well as organise crafting things. It’s moments and activities like these that let you take care of a lot of the jus daily facets of a comprehensive online game with others which then free’s up the more active times for the conversation, and orders that are more needed.
I don’t know… It’s these moments as well that seem to be the better form of bonding experience too. You’re not under the pressure of PvP or raiding, your skills aren’t being examined or questions and your character isn’t being put under a microscope. You’re just learning and bonding with the people in your guild. Your forming that tighter group that you will remember, that will create the urge to return, that creates a connection to the game world and, in time that sense of nostalgia for maybe long term pining over the lost experiences.
It just feels like these slower moments are what we need more of. Down time for whatever needs. Some crafting, random mob grinding or long travels to faraway places. It’s all important when you think about the function of a world and group growth.