I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last week about World of Warships. More precisely, I've thought about what I want to accomplish in World of Warships. Here is the list of things I've come up with in no particular order.
- Have fun
- Be awesome
Let's take them in order.
Here are a few things that make games not fun for me.
- Unreasonable expectations from others
- Abusive behavior
- No talent for the game (let's be honest)
If you are playing a game and it is not fun, why are you playing it? This was somewhat of a hard lesson for me to learn. A few years back I was playing a game called EVE Online. Perhaps you've heard of it. I actively played EVE Online practically every day, to the exclusion of pretty much every other computer game, for over six years. I met some great gamers there. I was part of an incredibly cool wormhole corporation. I still read the community blogs.
But it got to the point where I was just not having fun anymore. There were many reasons for this, mostly the three middle items of the list above, but I'd invested so much time into the game I felt I just couldn't walk away. I started to really resent the time I had to spend doing all those things EVE Online requires, because people depend on you. Even if it's to just show up in a fleet and float in virtual space for three hours and then log off.
I won't say I agonized over the decision to stop playing. That's just hyperbole. But it was a hard decision to make because real friends were involved and the idea I didn't want to let the bastards win. It was a decision I had to make though, for my sake.
It wasn't fun any more. It wasn't why I want to play computer games. And in the end, it IS about me. It's my game playing time, and there are so many other games I could play. I still have an active EVE Online account, but I haven't logged in in months - even to setup training. (The queue is unlimited now.) I just don't play it. I might play it again one day. But that day will not be this year. And I can't imagine it will be next either.
Once I freed myself of what were really just self-imposed expectations, I had tons of time to play other games. Here's what I've played since EVE Online (mostly in order, list may not be complete:)
- Kerbal Space Program
- The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO)
- Civilization: Beyond Earth
- Cities: Skyline
- The Stanley Parable
- Mortal Combat X
- Tesla Effect
- The Long Dark
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- Elite: Dangerous
- World of Warships
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR)
- Armored Warfare
Now, I would certainly have played a few of those regardless, but I put in over 300 hours (!!) into Kerbal Space Program alone. I couldn't have done that and still played EVE Online practically every day because I have a RL job. And believe me, Kerbal Space Program was way more fun than what EVE Online had become. I put hundreds of hours into TESO, Elite: Dangerous, World of Warships and soon SWTOR - each. There are tens of hours invested in every other game in that list - each. Most I still play. And I have fun in every single one of them, either by my self or in a group.
The point is, I can't let myself get so burned out on a single game, or so fixated on it, I stop having fun playing it. There is a real danger of that with World of Warships. It's too easy to get caught up in the next bigger, better ship race. In the real world that's known as the rat race, and it leads directly to unhappiness.
This isn't exactly what you may thing. It doesn't mean be better than average in stats. Here is what being awesome means.
- Be a part of the community
- Encourage others to have fun
- Don't be mean
- Win as gracefully as you lose
Yeah, it would be great to have a better than 50% victory rating. But let's be real, I started with U.S. cruisers and then went to U.S. battleships. Who am I kidding? There is a lot more to being awesome than having good stats.
In fact, I'd posit if that's your idea of awesome, you are really cheating yourself. Awesome is so much more than just being good at what you do. It's also about how you treat other people. Every time I see something like that last comment to the right, I think there's a person who will never be awesome.
Look, we've all been on teams that just don't work out. There are a variety of reasons why it happens. It personally does me no good to dwell on who didn't do what I thought they should do. Hell, I'VE been that person at times. It's not intentional. It just happens. Being an ass-hat in chat, or simply overly negative, is a reflection on you as a person, not your team mates as players. It's not a good reflection.
It is far easier to have fun in a multi-person game when you are courteous and helpful to those playing with you. If you are nice to them, nine times out of ten they will be nice to you. And if they aren't, you can just ignore them. Trolls are. Don't feed them.
What this Means re: WoWS
So how many of you are thinking this is just a long winded way of saying, "I quit?" Well, it isn't. I love World of Warships. Why would I quit it? No, I am not giving it up. Nor is it very likely I will decrease my playing time. I try to play Wednesday and Thursday nights for six to eight hours, and any other time I can steal on the weekends. That's usually another four to eight hours. It's not a huge amount. It's not EVE Online amounts. But it is sufficient for me.
Mostly what I will be doing is stopping the overt grind. I titled this post Fubuki or Bust because my plan requires I make my Hatsuharu elite. It's either that or the Pensacola, and the Hatsuharu is just way more fun to play IMO. But to make that happen I finish my Hatsuharu upgrades, or at least the fire control upgrade. I was able to research the Fubuki after eight wins and six losses last night, but I lack credits to buy other ships. Selling the New Orleans is the only way I'm going to have the credits any time soon.
I will not actually be playing the Fubuki. At least not for awhile. I only need it to make the Hatsuharu elite. The reason I am not playing it is because I am imposing a Tier VII limit on my ships. I feel that is the last tier where I can reliable earn credits, and I will need those credits for other ships.
What other ships? Well, for starters the Russian destroyer line. After that I'll likely research the American Destroyer line. By then I figure they'll have other countries to explore. By having a variety of lines to play, it won't feel so much like a grind, as the Colorado has, and the Pensacola was. And I find I enjoy the fast ships more. Win or lose, they are just more exciting to play IMO, though the others can be at times.
So as you can see, it's Fubuki or bust for me. That will give me a ship with which I'm good to earn extra credits and experience and help me up other ship lines. Once I have a goodly variety of ships in my tier VI and VII ship stable, the game will be fun without breaking the bank as trying to fight the New Orleans will surely do.
One day, should the bank ever get healthy enough, I'll venture into the higher tiers. But this strategy will give me the flexibility to only go up the lines for OP ships, like the Mogami. Hey, everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't I? If every ship is OP in a game, then none of them are OP. I actually cheered last night in one of the games when the opposing Mogami was finally sank by a Cleveland. He'd been a effing terror sailing around in the middle of Fault Line giving me and our BBs more than a little to worry about. That ship is terrifying in it's capabilities. But that's not saying I wouldn't like to have one. I surely would.
So that's the plan to keep WoWS fun for me. I'm going back to the lower tiers and working on more ship lines until I have them all at Tier VII. Than I'll pick and choose where I want to go. There are some ships of lower tier that are just fun to play and I will keep those in my port. I guess I just came to the realization it's not the tier of a ship that makes it fun, it's the fun you have playing it. Is that a bit of a derp, or what? What makes a game fun or not fun for you? Let me know in the comments, and as always, sail carefully until we meet as opponents on the high seas.