Every year, when the daylight fades faster than I hoped and the air becomes bitterly cold, I quit any outdoor activities and turn to the warmth of the computer. There, I sat deeply in a chair, turned on some soda and junk food, and then activated the genre of my choice to escape the bad weather in Minnesota. This is the time when I am most comfortable to delve into a good MMO.
Each winter is a new opportunity to explore another aspect of the vast world that I have explored many times before. Usually, my favorite MMO is World of Warcraft, and I have been playing this game intermittently since 2005. Maybe the last character I played never reached the current level cap, which is my focus, or a new expansion pack is being released, and I want to understand the juicy knowledge and character moments that led to major new events. Other times, I just want to play and start a new course that I have never had a decent opportunity before (I swear I will get the highest rank warlock one day), or God bless, see what life is like. For a while.
When you play semi-casual games like me, there is usually something new to indulge in, especially for games that release consistent content throughout the year. I would spend a few nights looking for the important moments I heard on podcasts, or lose a weekend to see every part of the area that I traversed too quickly in the last power-leveling spree. Whether I am alone or dragging my old dungeon exploration team back to the battlefield, there is an almost endless list to do or to help others complete.
I have some mixed feelings about playing World of Warcraft this year. Understandably, the content releases are few and far apart. Therefore, I turned to my second MMO choice in Final Fantasy XIV. In the past few weeks, I have been trying to catch up with the main story in order to release the new expansion Endwalker in just a few weeks. It provides hours of great stories, cute and engaging characters, and events with personal consequences that I don’t usually experience in other MMOs. Those who have not tried FFXIV should give it a try. Whether you like MMO or not, it is as good as people say, and it gets better in every major content release.
Of course, I am now accelerating the critical path through Final Fantasy XIV, but I enjoy focusing on this experience. Technically speaking, winter has not yet started, and there is a new big expansion on the horizon, which means I have many cold nights waiting for me to try new tasks and courses that I haven’t explored yet.
When the outside is not so pleasant, what genre or game do you like to go back to most? Are you addicted to long RPG or MMO like me, or take out an old console to relive some childhood favorites? Let me know what your comfort food game is in the comments!