Back in October 2014 I started playing Word of Tanks again after a rather long break. In the past I would play it by spurs of a few weeks and then leave it alone for a while and I figured this time I’d probably play until Warlords launched and not drop it again. But this time around the game seems to be sticking with me. I did play a lot less during WoD launch and the holidays but I’m finding myself playing a fair amount these past two weeks. I believe that this is mainly because back in October I had set for myself the goal of improving my play and this has kept me interested in the game more than trying to get new tanks.
Which leads me to today’s topic, wanting to improve your gameplay in videogames, something that I find is most relevant in competitive games and MMOs. For example, I’ve been trying to improve in WoW to keep up with my raiding guild which raids at a pretty high level. I’ve had to improve my healing in FF14 to get through Extreme Ifrit and Bahamut Turn 5. And now in WoT I’m trying to get in the “bluenicum” range which equals roughly to the top 5% of players (blue is the color given by mods to the players in that range). There are also traces on this blog of my attempts at getting better at SC2.
Now these are all pretty high goals and I know that to enjoy these games I don’t need to raid at a high level, I don’t need to do extreme modes or be in a particular league or be a top tier player. For me though, it’s a matter of challenge and let’s be honest, pride. I play a ton of games and most of time I play on the harder settings. Games like the Soul series (Dark Souls, etc…) just appeal to me and I love playing them. Beating a hard game not only gives a great sense of accomplishment but most of the time I find them more interesting too. A lot of game mechanics are often not apparent on the lower difficulty settings and playing on a harder setting often allow you to appreciate all the depth a game has to offer. In an MMO being able to play at a higher level often gives you access to more challenging content version of raids and boss fights which I find more interesting.
And let’s not forget pride. After playing games on harder setting for long I want to be able to keep doing so and when I find a game where I struggle it becomes a matter of pride to be able to “beat it”. In my mind, there’s no way I’m going to be beaten by mere lines of codes. I’ll figure out the solution and come out on top. When translated to MMOs or competitive games I know fully well that I’m not a pro player but I’m not satisfied if I can’t play at a high enough level. It might not be the best reason for wanting to improve but here it is.
Sadly I’m not always able to reach those goals especially when it comes to MMOs and games like World of Tanks. Time commitment, opportunities and skills don’t always line up. When I tried to get better at Starcraft 2 I did manage to get in Platinum league which was my goal but by then it had become a source of stress and I’m not sure how much better I could have gotten even if I wanted to. Likewise, I can’t put in the time required by a lot of serious raiding guilds and even then, to improve to the required skill levels I’d probably have to put in way more time than is reasonable.
In the end though, I want to keep setting myself these kinds of goals. They keep games interesting which is doubly important for games likes MMOs who have no clear ending to them.