The Daily Grind: What’s the most calming activity in MMOs for you?

    
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Angry.rar

Everyone needs time to relax. This goes double when you’re logging into a video game, which at least in theory is a chance to do something just for fun without providing additional stress or irritation. And that’s the nice part of MMOs, too; you can log in and start doing something, but it doesn’t have to be the part of the game that irritates the living heck out of you. It can be doing something that’s more uplifting and relaxing.

I’ve been told by a lot of people that this is why players enjoy fishing in the games where it’s on offer, that it’s a chance to just relax and fish without having to focus too hard. That’s never been my personal experience with fishing, but there’s something calming about just crafting and gathering in Final Fantasy XIV, idly chatting or even just staying silent. So what’s the most calming activity in MMOs for you? What do you do when you want to be online and play, but don’t want any additional stress?

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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EmberStar

Out of curiosity, what game is the header picture from? I don’t think I’ve seen pixies like that in any of the games I’ve played.

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EmberStar

I find playing Warframe to be mostly relaxing. I’m not sure why – combat is fast and often requires paying attention to multiple things at once. Not on the level of some “traditional” MMOs where I’ve seen screenshots of people who put the entire hotbar in the middle of the screen because watching the cooldowns on 50 icons is more important than actually seeing their character or the enemies. But if I just want to spend an hour listening to an audio book I’ll probably be playing solo through a Derelict Exterminate map, squishing infested and smashing crates.

Sometimes I’ll spend time gathering resources in my Ark singleplayer game for the same reason – the gameplay is just riding my ankylosaur Picktail and smashing rocks (or Manny the mammoth and flattening trees, or whatever.) Although Ark isn’t quite as tranquil, due to the possibility of being randomly spotted by a pack of narfing raptors. (They got a ton of special abilities in the TLC patch, including a pounce attack that lets them rip you right off smaller mounts. In this case, “smaller” is anything shorter than a T Rex.)

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Jacquotte Fox Kline

Quitting and uninstalling.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I don’t know. I know it’s not fishing…after playing to max fishing on multiple characters in multiple games. That annoys the crud out of me.

I tend to enjoy smithing/creating food or something and watching the slow formation of an item that has usefulness to others.

In the game I was on for nearly 4 years, I was a shipbuilder (Almost 66 skill) for a lot of my time because people had need of ships, and I had the time to sit there building them, and they used to sell for quite a lot. The market crashed though, and it became not worth the effort…(Because botters were mass producing them, and censorship of people pointing out macroers/cheaters allowed the sale of multiple…)…so I began focusing on becoming a top end cook. I left because of other reasons, but I was 70 cooking skill, with 85 hot food cooking skill. (Hardcore grinder, so that was years of effort.) 68 baking, 58 beverage. 51 butchering and almost 51 dairy food making. With 82 farming to back it all up…they had added a new ‘discoverable’ feature to it also which I’d found 500+ recipes for…(Used to have my name on one…as they had put in a feature which put the first person to find the recipe’s name on specific hard to find recipes…but due to a glitch/bug they had, it removed my name…)

kjempff
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kjempff

What game is that?

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I try not to mention the name so as to not send people their way because they banned me for a month for pointing out the lead moderator was abusing his power. (With proof, they simply wouldn’t even allow my comments and kept erasing them, and/or using the same excuse of ‘report it then’…well how do you report something when the person who you’d report it to IS the problem and is literally erasing your reports? And none of the other people ‘in power’ would listen/couldn’t be contacted.)

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Just playing the game and getting into the quest lines. I seek out games with deeper stories, so it’s like interactive TV or movies for me. I’m playing through stories. Ignoring all the chat happening and just getting into the story of it all is what is relaxing for me.

When I start to chat with people, I get very little gaming done at all. I spend most of the time chatting instead of playing, and it’s hard for me to get into the story while also chatting away with people.

It is why I don’t really like to friend people in games much these days. Friends often want to chat, and I do like to chat online too, but when I start I chat too much and get nothing done in the game game-playing wise. So many other people have way more gaming time than I do, and during the hour I get to play I am there to take in the game. If I start to talk to people I don’t get to experience the game itself.

I’m a shy person in real life, but it’s hard not to jump into the conversation for me online when I see people talking. I do enjoy taking part in many of the conversations, it’s just that I am logging in to play a game for a while and simply don’t get that play experience I was looking for if I start to chat. Chatting can become stressful at well depending on what you’re talking about.

I also hate online flirting, I hate when people are looking for love and chat me up because of that or because of my gender (I’m not trying to sound, I dunno, conceited or something, the majority of people aren’t like that, just the ones that are I always seem to attract somehow). Not paying attention to the majority of people and just losing myself in the quests and stories of the game is what is relaxing to me.

Godnaz
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Godnaz
kjempff
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kjempff

Gathering and farming (grinding) crafting materials. Not for many hours at a time, but just long enough to find that nice calming flow (30+ mins).

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Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

I just like enjoying the scenery, boring as that may sound. :-)

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3dom

Automated fishing in Black Desert. Can’t do anything more calm than sleeping.

Need more automated activities in games. Mouse clicking and keyboard mashing isn’t that fun – especially when it distracts from watching the action. Like, I’ve purchased Mortal Kombat 11 (the only fighting game in 2 decades) exactly because it has automated fight modes.

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Akagi

LOL so you posted the same thing about MK11 in mmorpg.com? You just need to admit you’re bad at games, not condemning them, because you can’t learn to play them/or refuse to.

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3dom

I guess being good at mashing buttons is boosting your (obviously low) self-esteem tremendously if you think being bad/good at games means anything.

Automated gameplay is there for a simple reason: people prefer watching to acting. There are whole huge industries around that – movies, sports, theater, adult stuff, etc. Cyber-sports included. It’s just gaming industry is dragging behind the rest.

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Akagi

So you’re basically saying you like to play those shallow mobile MMOs that are in fact a bot simulator and a benchmark tool at the same time. So you can just start the game and the game plays itself and you just watch the game play itself.

Maybe you should focus on watching TV shows and movies instead.

I like to have full activity and control in the games that I play. It means that I’m actually doing something, if the game has automated sections, it stops being a game for me and I don’t waste my time with bot simulator that pretends to be a game.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Just go watch Twitch streams of the games you like. That way you don’t have to play them.

Personally, I find that after watching for awhile, you’re like ‘Why won’t you do X?!?’ and you want to just go play it yourself…because that streamer is doing the same mistake over and over and over again, or not doing something you’d personally want to do.

I don’t much care for people wanting to ‘automate’ games either, as that’s the reason my last game gave for putting in a ‘feature’ that literally was half an hour of picking at a mushroom patch (That also had an anti-afk feature that ‘pricked your finger’ causing you dmg and stopping the action.) and that kind of gameplay ISN’T fun at all/is nauseatingly annoying to do. I actually got so annoyed by it that I left again even though I was enjoying my time there again otherwise…because the game company was focusing on that kind of mentality/play…and had recently changed smithing over to that kind of play also…(Which was one of the things I used to LOVE doing…before their change.)

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Rheem Octuris

Ironically, Doman Mahjong in FFXIV. I do love a good game of Richi Mahjong, and FFXIV lets me socialize while I play.