The World of Warcraft burn-out phase has begun in earnest; I’m down around 80 hours from last month, and it likely would have been more if I hadn’t spent a whole lot of time and energy leveling a healer for our alt raid. This past weekend, I did a few Mythic zeros with her, and since then, I’ve sort of forced myself to take a step back. It wasn’t an issue with the time I was spending (time is one of the few things I have plenty of), but the fact that I wasn’t enjoying much of it.
I have gotten far too comfortable with letting that be the structure in my life, and I would have been content to carry on that way for a bit longer, but it’s a lot harder to justify when I find myself dreading doing my virtual chores. This is the crux of my love-hate relationships with MMOs in general – when they’re fun, they’re really fun, and I really enjoy spending virtual time with friends. However, they’re built to make players feel a sense of obligation and a fear of falling behind, and I know I’m particularly susceptible to those influences, so I have to check in with myself often to make sure I’m doing something I want to do, and not something I feel like I have to do.
As a result, the tail end of February ended up being somewhat of a wasted week, because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do if I wasn’t playing World of Warcraft all the time. I still had our progression raid night, and I popped on a couple of times for very short periods, hoping to find a balance that will let me do the things I actually enjoy without feeling tethered to the game.
For #DatingSiMonth, I played Best Friend Forever and Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker, and I think I can confidently say that I’m just not mad for dating sims, and I think I’ve given them a fair shake at this point. Does that mean I’ll never play another? Probably not. They can be a fun little diversion (and I’m definitely more likely to seek out ones with some management or strategy elements, rather than pure visual novels), but romance stories aren’t really my bag in any form – I don’t read romance novels and I can’t think of more than a handful of rom-com movies I’ve really enjoyed. When #VNNovember rolls around, I’ll definitely be looking to play something a little bit darker.
Probably the thing that threw my month further off-plan than anything else was my acquisition of a Nintendo Switch. It was something I’d been toying with picking up for quite a while now, as I wasn’t sure it was something I would get enough use out of to make it worth the investment.
Well, on that point, I was absolutely wrong. My main concern was that I have absolutely zero Nintendo nostalgia – and first party Nintendo games are really the biggest pro to the Switch. I’ve dabbled in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I’m playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons super casually.
However, I’ve been playing Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth for over 30 hours over the past couple of weeks, and for me, this was pretty much the perfect game to get me comfortable with the system. I mostly don’t know what I’m doing, and the game isn’t great at explaining things. I was well into chapter 10 before I blundered into how to actually use all that equipment I’d been picking up. I am just now starting to get to Digimon battles that are challenging enough that I actually need to plan ahead and make sure I have the right ‘mons for the job. This probably means I’m just shy of the point that I’m going to go have to grind some levels somewhere, since I’ve been Digivolving my little friends pretty much willy nilly, but I’m pretty sure I’m okay with that.
And if I understand correctly, this is only the first part – once I beat the main story, there’s a second, DLC-style story. No regrets at all on dropping $30 on this one.
I’ve started checking DekuDeals a couple of times a day, and am very slowly building up a Switch library, mostly made up of things I am interested in, but unlikely to play on PC for one reason or another. I have grabbed a couple things that I already have in my Steam library (Cattails seems to be well suited for handheld play, and I’ve always meant to get back into Crashlands), but the console tax and my desire to pick mostly replayable titles is keeping me from going too crazy.
Otherwise, I pretty much just dabbled this month. Even the Steam Game Festival didn’t inspire me to check out a bunch of new things – obviously at this point, I am spoiled for choice, and I’m really feeling a bit overwhelmed when it comes to what I want to play next. I picked a couple new games, the first of which (Best Friend Forever), I bought knowing that I’d play right away. However, I did spend an hour or so with Dysmantle – I enjoyed it less than I expected to, but not enough less to return it. Since it’s an Early Access title, I am optimistic that some of the rough edges will get smoothed out with time. But if I’m being honest, I kind of regret grabbing that title instead of the Valheim, which seems to be the survival game that everyone is playing right now.
I’ve also started playing Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 again – from scratch, because I know I’m going to need to rebuild the muscle memory to do well at it. This will be at least my third restart, and I’d really like to work towards getting all the gold medals in the Chef for Hire restaurants this time around. If it becomes frustrating rather than satisfyingly challenging, I’ll likely drop it again, but it’s a goal to work towards that feels achievable.