16/09/2018

I Miss My Imperial Alts

I considered calling this post "conquest is taking over my life" but decided that would have sounded just a tad over-dramatic. What has been happening though - in a nutshell - is that conquest has been dominating my play time heavily, at the expense of other activities (such as playing alts whose activities wouldn't contribute to my guild's conquest total), and I'm starting to feel a bit restless about it. Not burnt out exactly, but like that really shouldn't be all I'm doing.


Something similar happened when conquests were first released, and I hinted at how weirdly obsessive it made me back in this post from September 2014. And back then we weren't even that successful at conquest, only really making it into the top ten every so often.

Since the new system was released, things have kind of snowballed for my guild. We started with the small yield target, worked our way up to medium yield, and are now regularly going for large yield, or even fighting for first place on a planet. Last week we successfully conquered Ilum, making for our third victory in as many months. I also noticed that success breeds more success, as our placement on the board causes active players to whisper us and ask for guild invites, and then they in turn contribute to increasing our weekly guild total, allowing us to be even more successful.


Last time the "spell" of my conquest focus was broken by the release of the Shadow of Revan expansion, since activities such as levelling through the new content were by their very nature irrelevant to conquest but also sufficiently enthralling that I didn't care. Right now it looks like the next expansion is still several months off however, so I'll have to come to terms with how I want to spend my time in game by myself.

It's hard to nail down just what makes conquest so compelling. Part of it is simply the appeal of "making bars go up" that we MMO gamers are so fond of, however it matters that it's not just about me but about the guild. Knowing that other people care about us achieving our target, I feel that I should contribute as much as I can, especially as an officer. Yet even if we already have achieved the target, I then find myself thinking that I might as well cap another character to reap as many of the per-character rewards as possible (which I then just end up throwing in the bank to never look at them again, but I never claimed to make sense).

The revamped objectives make it "worse" by providing a great source of inspiration if you're unsure about what to do on any given evening. I used to be more focused on the daily CXP bonus activity, but with more than a dozen characters at Command rank 300 that has lost some of its lustre for me. The daily objectives in particular can be immensely alluring, because there's that slight pressure of missing out on the points for the day if you don't do the thing today, and often they are fairly small and quick activities that make me think something along the lines of: "Eh, whatever else I do tonight, I have time to quickly do that daily objective!" - but if there are several of them that interest me, my evening's gone before I've even realised what I'm doing. Since they are legacy-wide, there's also a bit of a fear of "accidentally" triggering one while on an unguilded alt and losing out on the points that way, which also serves to focus my attention on the same set of characters over and over.

It's a peculiar problem to have when you like an activity and there's nothing really wrong with it, but there's still also a part of you that wishes you'd be spending more time on other things.

3 comments :

  1. I'm not sure you can meaningfully stay with an MMO for any longer period of time without that drive to achieve certain things. May it be formulated goals or just this nagging feeling to do one more little thing in the right direction :P
    On the positive side, I think this feels more meaningful to the guild because of the bars and activity display, and not just "I farmed mats for the guild bank for 5h this week." - something I could never bring myself to do. I was much more likely to just buy my flasks with a 20% tip but if they had made me pick flowers I might as well have quit raiding the next week.

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    Replies
    1. Driven to achieve things... yes, I like that, makes it sound so much better. ^^

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  2. You captured my recent experience exactly! I’ve started trying to get my conquest done for the week by Saturday night so that I can spend Sunday and Monday playing story content, speed running dailies, decorating strongholds, or whatever else I feel like doing that’s not conquest related.

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