High Stakes Procrastination

My "plan," such as it is, has gone relatively well. Lots of progress in City of Heroes, with Age of Conan looming in the immediate future. Granted, any peripheral progress has been downright lousy.

In City of Heroes, I achieved a level a day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Level 46 appears to be the magic level in which everybody wants you in your group, because I found a number of excellent groups Thursday (Today) that (followed by a little soling) earned me three more levels. The Roboincarnate, my level 49 Mastermind, will soon reach the end of his advancement.

Upon reaching 50, I'd have brought both a hero and a villain to the maximum level in that game. I'll then be ready to allow my City of Heroes subscription to lapse - it's already canceled and due to expire June 9th. Will this be temporary or permanent retirement? Even I don't know where my whims will go, but I theorize I'll come back to CoH some time in the future and feel relieved I no longer have that pressure to take a villain to 50. (Oddly enough, I don't particularly care if I ever try out the Villain Epic Archetypes or not - Kheldians, the lousy hero epic archetypes, soured my enthusiasm for that.)

The Roboincarnate's "Final Form," tweaked on the costume
designer as of lvl 48, looks pretty badass in action.
Lots of stark blacks and reds are used in the design,
and the gun is a rare part granted from a badge.
This astounding City of Heroes progress has not been without cost: My Age of Conan character remains relatively deadlocked at level 46. I plan to focus a lot more on him... after I achieve my goal in City of Heroes. It's not that I dislike Age of Conan, exactly. The stakes in that game are just a bit higher than I'm used to. PKs regularly gank me, I've a pretty high-profile guild expectations, and (unlike City of Heroes) a meaningful end game exists.

Having higher stakes has a way of souring an enjoyable experience, in much the same way that any enjoyable experience can be soured by having a guy regularly pester you to participate in it. After awhile, I begin to forget that I'm playing the game because I enjoy it and start believing I'm playing the game because of peer pressure.

I'm pretty sure that such a belief would be falsely instilled by the involved pressures in this case. Age of Conan is a visceral, fairly innovative, and (above all) fun game. A bit rough around the edges, sure, but I've played worse games. I've hyped worse games. In a way, Age of Conan's problem has been that it has been too fun - too exciting due to the stresses surrounding it - for me to feel relaxed enough to play it.

That shouldn't last too much longer. When my eBay sale closes, successful or not, at least that will be off my mind. When I hit 80 in Age of Conan I won't need to worry about leveling anymore and I'll be at the top of the PvP food chain. At the rate the game seems to go, I could have a maxed out AoC character by early to mid-June.

Yet, there are matters looming in my life that are more important than gaming. My computer's old, something punctuated by slow frame rate in both AoC and CoH, and pushed past the point of acceptable suffering by frequent crashes in both games. Upgrading computers takes money, and I'm coming to grips with the likely possibility that my laptop isn't going to sell.

Bottom line: I need a job, and all this time I'm spending gaining levels in a MMORPG are sorely detracting from the time I should have spent gaining levels in real life. I regret to admit it, but it seems I have no idea how to put my foot in the door when it comes to getting a job. For now, as the 31-year-old homebody, that's mostly funny. However, one nasty twist of fate later, being unable to get a job when I need one loses its humor. I'm taking it pretty seriously.


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