Perfect Ten: Ten things to do when you just want to chill out in an MMO

    
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Let’s face it: Sometimes, playing MMORPGs — as with any video game — has the potential to stress us out. We might feel under pressure to get all of those dailies done, to bring our A-game to raids, or to scramble to get holiday events done before the end date arrives.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of being stressed when trying to relax, which is why I’ve gravitated toward a more laid-back gaming philosophy. If it’s not fun or enjoyable for the moment, I’m not going to do it. Conversely, if an activity seems appealing and relaxing even though it’s not going to contribute much to my overall progression, I’m going to spend time basking in it.

In today’s list, we’re going to go through 10 activities that are perfect for when you’re trying to unwind and let the stress of the day go while playing an MMORPG.

Farming (mobs)

One of the very oldest MMO activities is still one of the best for shutting your brain off and getting into a zen-like state. Here, I’m talking about the age-old practice of simply farming mobs — not for a quest, not for a particular drop, just to get into a simple gameplay loop of kill, loot, and repeat. Farming mobs can be beneficial for your experience bar and virtual wallet, but sometimes it’s just enjoyable in the same way that popping bubble wrap is.

Farming (fields)

Not every MMORPG offers actual farming, but when you look at the popularity of games like FarmVille and Stardew Valley, you have to ask, “Why not?” Being able to till the earth of your game and grow a crop can be oddly satisfying, especially for those of us who can’t even make a single strawberry plant grow. No, I’m not speaking of anyone I know right now.

Fishing

Chances are that this was the first activity that sprang to mind when you saw the topic for today, and with good reason! Casting a line and waiting for that perfect catch is one of the most chill activities in any MMO. It requires such a complete stop to all other activities and motion that fishing isn’t for everyone, but there are some who become die-hard anglers in worlds filled with supreme warriors.

Parkour

While platforming and jumping puzzles can rate among the most stressful of all MMO activities (don’t get me started on the evils of jumping puzzles, people), it’s completely different when you turn the world into your own parkour playland for the fun of it. It’s weirdly kind of fun just to jump around cities and zones to see where you can go, moreso if you’re playing an MMO with excellent movement animations and abilities. Oh WildStar, how I miss your double-jump so!

Interior decoration

Those who huff that player housing is useless are to be pitied, really. They don’t understand the simple satisfaction of decorating and arranging your house just so, creating a personal space that’s 100% you. It’s never a wasted hour when the adventures cease so that you can push sofas around and try out different types of wallpaper!

Become a tourist

You know that saying that you never do the touristy stuff in your own city unless relatives come visiting? It’s like that in MMOs. We adventure in these worlds, but rarely do we take a day off just to wander, gawk, and explore these theme parks like theme parks.

Crafting

Crafting always seems to me to be this quiet, personal experience that you have apart from the bustle of the virtual crowd around you. You’re simply taking huge batches of raw materials and turning it into useful stuff, and there’s a joy in being the conduit for that process. Even when crafting is super-basic in MMOs, it can still be a relaxing way to pass an hour or more.

Hold a fashion show

For me, there’s nothing quite as enjoyable than to take a break and pull together a new outfit for my character. Obviously, this process is more engaging in MMOs that offer more robust cosmetic systems. It’s just fun to take all of those skins and transmogs that you’ve been collecting and see if you can make yourself look even more epic.

Attend a roleplaying event

Don’t always depend on the game’s developers to keep you entertained; look to the player population for this as well. If you have the disposition to sit back and enjoy a show while you’re in a game, then make time for the plenty of player plays, concerts, poetry readings, lectures, and staged events that are held, well, pretty much everywhere.

Organize your inventory

Some might see inventory management as a chore — and it certainly can be! — but for the organized mind, it’s quite satisfying to take those stuffed bags and sort them out. I find that in real life, I become more focused and productive when my work space is organized, and I get that way in games too when my stuff is where it needs to be.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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