Comfort Zones — stuck in them?
Ever since DDO went free-to-play, I’ve had it installed and occasionally have bounced in and out of it. I didn’t know anyone who played, though, and didn’t play it often enough to feel like I’d really be contributing to a guild, so when I played I was always looking for a good solo-capable character. I bought a few points and unlocked all the races and classes, and kept trying to make different classes that were thought to be “really good soloers” according to their forums. I got to know the starting area of Korthos Island really well, as well as most of the Stormreach Harbor. Managed to get 2 characters up to level 4 solo and the cleric got asked to be in a Waterworks group and made level 5 there, but never really went into the Marketplace to do the quests there. I tried a few forays in to the Cerulean Hills, but didn’t really feel like there was much there beyond that 1 quest line. And since I was so comfortable in Korthos and the Harbor and kept rolling and re-rolling new characters, I developed quite a comfort zone for those areas and just didn’t ever leave them. And I got bored and stopped really playing DDO at all as a result.
Then a few months ago Ardwulf started up a static group on Tuesday nights and I’ve been playing more or less each week with them. Due to not always making it each week I sometimes have to play a little “catch up” for the next week in order to stay in level range of the rest of the group, and while I’ve done a few forays in to some of the level 4 or higher content, I still find myself largely “stuck” and not really wanting to go to the new (to me) quests, even though I know I won’t have any difficulty with them.
I find myself doing this in EQ2 also — there are still instances from 2 expansions ago that I haven’t done, much less the prior one and now the current one. In the current one I’ve done most of them, at least — the quest lines send you to them, at least, but I can still think of 2 that I haven’t been in, and unless a quest “forces” me to go, I don’t really want to either. And I can’t for the life of me figure why that is. I mean. . . I’m doing the “hardest” zones on my coercer, at least, so why wouldn’t I want to at least run through the other “easier” instances at least once, if only for the AA experience? And why is it that while I’ve got 12 (yes, 12) characters that I don’t really find myself wanting to level any of the lower ones up anymore? I enjoy playing them or I wouldn’t have them in my “stable,” yet I find myself thinking “don’t want to have to remember how to play THAT class when I’m used to THIS class” and there I sit in my comfort zone on my “main” again.
And even in EVE I’m doing it also. I’ve got a 42 million SP character now, all “support skills” are trained to at least level 4, I can fly and fit Tech2 for all frigates, all destroyers, and 2 of the 4 races of cruisers, plus I can run level 4 missions in 3 of the 4 empires. Based off this, I should be out in nullsec kicking ass and taking names in a nice corp and alliance there. But I’m instead sitting up in hisec running a mission or 2 a week, watching the wallet grow, then spending it down again, then building it back up, etc. Comfortable yet again . . . . .
Obviously I like variety — it’s not like these 3 games are really all that similar in their play styles at all. I’ve got a few other games installed as well that I will probably mention from time to time too, so I think I’m definitely in the “nomadic gamer” category, and yet within that variety of games, I still am not really being all that “various,” but rather tend to do the same things over and over again rather than experience them to their fullest.
Is this a human trait, or is it just me?