Daily Archives: April 11, 2016

Gaming when you’re not Gaming

I love my games. I love the social time of playing a game, for sure. And the challenge while playing, for sure. But there’s more than that for me.

I love my game systems.

I love my deck building, my RPG builds, my character creation, my army building. For many games, maybe for most that have this sort of external component, I spend as much or more time on these aspects than I do actually playing the game.

My early experience was probably just in playing party-based video game RPGs. Figuring out which party would be best, creating the characters, playing a bit… then deciding there was something missing, and heading back to the drawing board.

It carried on into Magic: the Gathering. We would play at lunch at school, and whenever we could sneak a game. So we played most days… and most nights, I was home, changing my deck, or building from scratch. I would rebuild to try to meet my friends’ challenges, or to try out some new card I got, to try some interesting-seeming combo, or just to try to take them by surprise. You change it that often, and you change it for all the reasons you might…

I moved on from Magic to Warhammer, where I was constantly building new armies, new lists. Sometimes, that drove my purchases… sometimes, my purchases led to my army building. Oh, so many of those armies never got played – unlike Magic, I wasn’t getting anything close to daily games. It’s hard, then, to decide what to actually bring to bear when you do finally get a game in…

From there I moved on to MMOs, to Final Fantasy XI and then even moreso to World of Warcraft. In FFXI, you could switch around jobs on your one character, but you also always needed to be working with your party… so I didn’t need to strategize too much, but did some between gaming sessions with friends. In WoW, I did a lot of playing with friends, but also plenty on my own. You played different jobs by playing different characters, so lots of characters… and even more characters that I dreamed up, built skill trees for, and planned out all the way to maximum level. A moving target, as they released patches and expansions and changed the game…

So why am I saying all of this?

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