The Daily Grind: How do you balance MMO playtime with single-player playtime?

    
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Balance!

Much of my time during a given week is devoted to playing MMOs. That probably makes sense, considering that understanding these games and writing about them is my job. At the same time, it also occupies a different position in my mental space from single-player games. Playing an MMO is part game, part project, part work, and part tinkering-based hobby; playing a single-player game is primarily just about playing a game, with added thoughts about game design serving more as a bonus than anything.

I am, however, painfully aware that this is not the case for everyone. I imagine that for many of our readers, an hour of gaming is an hour of gaming, whether you’re playing Final Fantasy XIV, Overwatch, or NieR: Automata. Or perhaps one is your “primary” focus, with the other one fit into the corners as you have time. So tell us about that today. How do you balance MMO playtime with single-player playtime? Do you consider both to just be gaming, do you give priority to one or the other, or is it something you’ve never even thought much about?

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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asphaltranger
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asphaltranger

The older I get the happier I am just to have game time, it’s sad I know.

Ernost
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Ernost

Ever since I started playing MMOs, nearly two decades ago, I have never been able to play a single player game.

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Nick Smith

That’s crazy talk! Who has time for single player games when there are so many online games to play! :)

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Sorenthaz

I don’t. It’s so difficult for me to peel off of multiplayer games to play singleplayer unless I get into a mood.

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Mr Poolaty

Well because of how ffxiv is set up and the crafting is so intertwined with each other it ends up taking at least an hour to craft the 7 items needed for company turn in… After that I’m pretty much ready to say fuck it for the night!
With the 20+ job changes….

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Bobuliss

Well, the last single player game I played was Kingdoms of Amalur (which was fantastic and would have made an amazing MMO) back in aught 12 or thereabouts, so that might give some clue…

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

Given my schedule, both are “just” gaming, and I have so little time during the day to play that I tend to play what I’m interested in the most. Work, family, and chores ensure that I don’t even turn my PC on until 10:30 – 11 pm most nights, so whatever I can cram in before I pass out is amazing regardless of SP or MP.

While the balance of my time is definitely on the MMO side, it largely depends on how much I expect to be interrupted. If I know I’ve got 2 hours in the clear with nobody in the house, there is a 100% chance I will be playing an MMO. If other humans are nearby and require my attention/care/feeding, it’s a delicate balancing act of time of the day vs. if any of them have napped vs. if I can summon the courage to put on headphones and ignore the lot of them. So, 50-50 SP vs. MP.

Also, currently overwhelmingly addicted to Total War: Warhammer and XCOM2 (Long War 2 mod) which has meant my MMO time has suffered. Still, I’m trying to put in a minimum of ESO time per day, which is made infinitely more fun and easy because of the repeatable Thieves’ Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests, which you can do alongside a world boss and a few dolmen runs in 20 minutes total. So, balance is possible!

Reader
Nick Smith

Indeed Alex, there is something to be said when you want to try and play a game and you can hit the “pause” anytime to take care of family needs. I’ve found Trove to be a good MMO to just drop it no matter what happens due to the nature of the game, with no real penalty.

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Chris Walker

When I first started playing computer games back in 1982 they were all pretty much single player or hot seat. When modern MMOs started sprouting up around 2000, I put single-player games in my rear-view mirror and never looked back.

kalamari_
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kalamari_

mmos “help” me to bridge the time until a stand alone game that I want releases the GotY edition. no need anymore to play AAA titles on release day.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

This is a good philosophy!

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

I would love to spend more time on my SP games. My problem is, for SP games I want to get invested, put my headphones on and really pay attention, where as with MMOs I play mostly nosound and with my brain off, possibly multi-tasking on watching TV with my wife. It’s hard to get myself into the former state of mind after everybody goes to bed than just sticking with the latter.