The Daily Grind: How often do you play outside your comfort zone in MMORPGs?

During the first couple of years I played MMORPGs, I was a pretty timid gamer in terms of my comfort zone for actual content. It took me a good while (and a lot of pressure from guildies) to mentally gear up to kill people and cut off their heads for my collection in Ultima Online. In EverQuest, I picked an alt to force myself to practice pulling (pulling was more of a skilled thing back then). In Camelot, my puller was my main. And by World of Warcraft, I was main tanking for my guild. (She’s up in the screenie above, circa 2004. D’awww.)

It seems like a silly progression now, I’m sure, but I had to force myself to play out of my comfort zone to get good at new things — and to appreciate them. Now, in my two main MMOs, I’m playing up-close-and-personal tanky melee as a matter of habit, when as a teenager I would have made a beeline for the nearest healer class to hide. (Although I still like healers too!)

How about you? How often do you play outside your comfort zone in MMORPGs?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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34 Comments on "The Daily Grind: How often do you play outside your comfort zone in MMORPGs?"

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Zen Dadaist

When I’ve got bored of playing my usual go-tos, favourites and within my comfort zone? :p I’ll pick a class/powers/skills/race/whatever combo that wouldn’t ordinarily appeal and give it a go.

In terms of activities, well I’m fine with doing most things in a game. I’m not a big fan of playing the healer but I do it from time to time. I’m picky about the PvP I like and sometimes I get dragged into PvP situations outside of my comfort zone if its for the good of my guild/faction/group.

shazanti
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shazanti

I can tank and I can heal but I don’t enjoy classes that focus purely on either. It’s been an oh so very long time but… I used to have a little black book of the login information for a lot of folks in my EverQuest guild, because I was the go-to girl for, well, taking their place (and since I was a Necromancer, my character was seldom raid critical, heh). ‘Hey Shaz can you log in Tank X/Cleric Y, we’re short and need them for this raid’ (or ‘Tank Z really needs/wants this chest piece, can you switch characters and loot this with them?’). Yes, I really was offered player information for either of those explicit purposes by a LOT of people, even though I never asked for it myself. Looking back on that now, that seems like it was such a different world.

So, playing a pure tank or a pure healer would be outside of my comfort zone, but I have enough experience to know I don’t enjoy it as a main, so I won’t be going there. (I do enjoy classes that can DO either, provided I’m not pigeonholed into ONLY doing one or the other. I really dislike being highly restricted in a role, whether it be tank, heal, dps, whatever.) Other comfort zone… well, I tend to dislike PvP, particularly open world PvP, but I’m eagerly awaiting Camelot Unchained because I loved PvP in DAoC. I’m hoping lightning strikes again for me, there.

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rafael12104

How often? It is hard to quantify, but pretty damn often.

I like trying new things even if they aren’t my strong suit and that can put me out of my comfort zone.

I also don’t like PvP, but I have no aversion to it and will partake when needed even though I wouldn’t call it comfortable.

And ironically, tanking was outside my zone when I was too afraid to fail to give it a try. But now, I’m a tanking juggernaut and I’m less comfortable when others are tanking the show. Lol. I laugh at myself for that, and just keep my mouth shut and let others tank they way the want.

Bottom line, play how you want, but if you want the most out of the MMORPG experience, you need to be able to adapt and evolve your game play.

I was once a PvE, dps only, dude. Only PvE and no I wont go through that PvP zone to complete a quest. An now? Need to kill some reds for an acheeve? No prob. Want to go try that really hard new content? Let me tank!

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Pandalulz

As far as PVE roles go, I started as a Protection Warrior tank in Vanilla WoW, so it’s all uphill from there. I did finally decide to step into healing with a White Mage when I went FFXIV because I found Paladin to be boring, and discovered, that as I expected, that was super relaxing in comparison.
But I hate PVP with a passion and that also stemmed from rolling tanky classes that can’t hurt anything and have no real use in PVP (I liked WAR’s PVP for that very reason). And while I used to test my limits in the olden days, now I’m so turned off on it, that I don’t go anywhere near it, even the controlled arena style stuff.

tethyss
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tethyss

Prot warriors did well in PvP for a while. They were great flag carriers in WSG, for example. It changed a bit after they gutted the skill trees.

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Slaasher

Historically I have always played a ranged caster so being a tank was a foreign concept. In the past couple of years however I have been slowly dipping my feet into the tank pool and the water is fine!! But it took me awhile to get there. My assumption being that I would suck at close combat… I guess.
Going back a few more years I guess it was the concept of pvp.
I was not a pvp fan and quite intimated by it. The concept of being killed by another player seemed to be humiliating. However games that had pvp arenas like RIFT, SWTOR and TSW got me into it. I soon realized that dying in pvp is just part of the game (especially when you’re learning) and once I got over the mental “fear” of dying and it became not so big a deal, I REALLY enjoy it. To the point that a game having good combat mechanics for pvp is very important to me.

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Utakata

I think anytime I step into a PuG or group instance situation, I am playing way outside my comfort zone. :(

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Khalith .

Playing outside of my comfort zone really means playing anything but a tank and it really depends on how curious I am or how the class looks in action. In SWTOR for example I never wanted to play a Powertech DPS but after seeing someone in my raiding guild do crazy damage with it I tried it out and absolutely loved it.

Another thing out of my comfort zone is pvp as I tend to lean more towards cooperative play than competitive play, but finally I pushed myself to try it in FFXIV and it’s been all I’ve been focused on since I’m trying to get the mount related achievements that are available currently and I saw one that I really wanted.

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Chestnut Bowl

Playing outside my comfort zone means tanking. In FFXIV — the only MMO I play regularly nowadays — I’ve gotten PLD and DRK to 60 and my WAR is at 58, but no matter how hard or how often I try… I just can’t get into it. Tanking makes me too anxious and I don’t have any fun while I do it. After I get WAR to 60, I’m not sure I’ll touch my tanking classes for a long time.

The other way to leave my comfort zone is to socialize: that’s a ‘no’.

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Little Bugbear

Normally I play healer, but as I’ve grown up I have become far more aggressive in my game play. I don’t only play healers anymore, and I try to take roles with more responsibility.

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vinicitur

How often do I go outside my comfort zone? Never!! And that is because I got jaded pretty fast doing pugs in lotro. I mean, it was fun at first. Helping people out so they can advance in their epic story line and complete some dungeons but EVERYTIME I would get one of those gamers who would bitch about everything:Dungeon run isn’t fast enough or complaining that a certain player is not perfectly geared etc.

It got to the point that I would just log off when asked to group for dungeons. Now I mostly do ad hoc grouping in GW2 or help out someone who needs assistance finishing a map, jumping puzzle etc.