Make a boring game fun again, play a different character

As I mentioned a bit ago in my blog about taking a break, I had been away from WoW for about a month.  With my vacations and vacations from other guild members, our raiding was pretty much put on hold until the new patch dropped.  To be honest, I really wasn’t even thinking about playing again.  I was just done with the game and my Mage (note: I am a terrible Mage).  However, as one of my friends was thinking about bringing his Mage up to shame me in the dps ratings, I was thinking about hoping over to my only other level 100 character, my DK.  I wasn’t having much fun playing my Mage and with another guild mate bringing up one, I just thought now might be a good time for a change.  So, for most of last week, and over the 4th of July weekend, I spent a good amount of time playing my DK and getting his ilvl up high enough to start seeing Hellfire Citadel, the new raid content.  And I have to tell you, playing something new can make a boring game fun again.

My Death Knight in World of Warcraft
My Death Knight in World of Warcraft

If the prospect of my and a friend essentially switching roles, he currently raids on his paladin, I don’t think I would have even bothered playing again.  However, I had a great amount of fun playing and learning how to dps with my DK.  Since I have almost exclusively played a ranged class since I started WoW back in February 2005, that’s when I rolled my Hunter Kanzto (haven’t played him in four months…), trying out a melee character was a whole new experience for me.

I no longer could plant my feet and cast anything and everything I wanted from as far away as possible.  Now I had to be in the thick of things, constantly moving while constantly trying to stay within range.  Some boss fights, that used to be a snooze fest for me, are now challenging due to the “new” (new to me at least) mechanic I had to deal with.  I even had to change up my action buttons a few times to get a more streamlined layout that worked better with constant movement.  I now have new found respect for those melee classes and players who always manage to do well in the dps race; I’m still not completely sure how you do it.

I also went a different route with how I was playing my DK.  While leveling, I was in a tanking spec and basically just outlived whatever I was fighting.  That’s pretty easy to do as DKs are notoriously difficult to kill.  However, taking things down just took too long.  After doing some google searching, I found a decent guide on how to be a DW Frost DK.  I not as unkillable as before, but I can take things down much quicker…well, quicker than I could in tank spec.  This brought on a new level of different and frustration for me.  Not only did I have to be next to the thing I was fighting, I now had to make sure I was doing everything right in order to survive.

Now, chances are that I am as terrible a DK as I am a Mage, but I do enjoy the challenge of figuring out what I need to do and when in order to maximize my dps as well as survivability.  What switching up a class and role did for me was make WoW different, fun, frustrating, and kind of new again.  If only my friend who hurry up and hit 100 with his Mage (he’s at level 98 right now) and gear them up so we can officially swap out for our raids.  Though, to be honest again, I did raid last night on my Mage and did have fun with it.  Though, the whole while I was talking about how much fun my DK is.

Playing something new can make old, boring games new and fun again, though your mileage may vary.  If I had to level my DK from 55 to 100, I never would have even tried.  But, this does work in other settings as well.  If you do not like or are bored with you D&D (or other systems) character, talk to your GM about rolling up a new one.  It can definitely change how you feel at the table and make the experience more enjoyable.

Have you ever given up on a game only to go back to it and play a different character?  Did it make the game fun again?  How about with a tabletop roleplaying character?  Please leave a comment and/or share on Twitter.

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The beauty of games

We play games when we hang out with friends, we play them online with people from all over the world, and we play them while sitting on our couches.  There is literally a game for any occasion on covering a wide range of themes.  The reasons for playing are as wide as the assortment.  I have mentioned before that I use games as a stress relief, which has been true since high school.  I also play games, specifically video games, because I love the universes and stories they introduce.  However, there is another side to these games that I haven’t put much thought into and I think it is about time that I do.

A picture I took of the Tiefling race from my D&D 5E book
A picture I took of the Tiefling race from my D&D 5E book

Games nowadays are extremely beautiful and have become an art form.  Tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition has incredibly gorgeous artwork throughout the books.  Not only does this artwork give you a better understanding of what a character or setting is supposed to look like, they also serve as an advertisement for themselves.

The very first thing my good friend brought up when he picked up the Player’s Handbook was how beautiful all the art is.  If you have a chance to flip through D&D 5E, and you should, you will be amazed at how beautiful it all is.  And this is not just limited to D&D 5E, Pathfinder also has incredible artwork, artwork that I think far exceeds that of D&D 3.5 which it is very closely related to in spirit.  You can find amazing artwork in pretty much any tabletop RPG out there.  This beauty is not just limited to roleplaying books, the current crop of video games also are quite beautiful.

I shot I took of the galaxy
I shot I took of the galaxy

This brings me to a reason people play games that I was completely ignorant of until a couple months ago.  A WoW guild mate of mine got me into Elite:Dangerous, which I have blogged about before.  Since I wrote that blog, I have been able to get a decent combat ship and greatly enjoy flying around, collecting bounties off of wanted ships.  We were also able to get several other WoW guild mates to try out Elite, and it was something a couple of them said that really caught my attention.

A shot of my Eagle with a planet in the background
A shot of my Eagle with a planet in the background

They wanted to get enough money to buy a nice exploration ship and just fly around the galaxy exploring all that is available.  All the while they were doing this, they kept saying how beautiful the game is, and it truly is.  Because they thought the game was beautiful, they decided to explore.  Exploration has been a part of Elite ever since it came out, but I never put much thought into it.  I thought it would be boring as all you do is fly from one system to another scanning everything you can find.  However, after hearing a couple of my guild mates talk about how beautiful the game was, I started paying closer attention.  The images of Elite that I have included in this post were taken after I opened my eyes a bit and really started looking at the game.

My Type 6 on an outpost platform overlooking a planet
My Type 6 on an outpost platform overlooking a planet

So, it turns out, people also play video games to appreciate beauty.  Now I know beauty is subjective, but the human race, in general, has been fascinated with space for centuries.  We have constantly wondered, and still wonder, what is out there.  Elite:Dangerous shows us an idea of what could be, and it is magnificent.

Have you ever checked out a game just because the artwork was appealing?  If so, what game was it?  Please leave a comment and/or share on Twitter.