I felt the need to rant a bit so I thought I'd post it here. It is not edited, and I'm pretty sure there's swearing. Also, its totally not related to my pyro artwork, just my frame of mind as of late...
Maybe its because I've had a shite year, maybe its because my depression has reared its ugly head once again in a big way, or maybe I'm just tired of feeling jerked around. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a gamer. For as long as I can remember, gaming has been my stress relief, my outlet, and my way of processing things. Seriously, I write my papers in half-hour bursts- everything gets spewed onto the page and then I go back to whatever game I was playing and write the rest of it in my head until its time for another word-dump. But I'm writing/ranting this because lately even my relief has become a chore.
Things have been nagging at me, and I realize its been building for a few years. I used to work at a game store and after getting two degrees and finding out they were both utterly useless in supporting myself and my family, getting a job there was good for me. I was finally proud to work somewhere that wasn't eating away at my soul. And I knew what I was talking about. People would come in when they knew I was working because they liked dealing with me and knew I honest. I had a lady send me homemade almond brittle from NFLD because I took the time to speak with her! I prided myself on knowing the ins and outs of the current systems, especially where their quirks came up (like don't buy a Wiiu if you want to use it as a home entertainment system since your blu-rays won't work).
Mostly that was because the quirks drove me nuts. And I remember being pissed as hell when the xbone/ps4 systems were announced because they unflinchingly shit on so many people. Yes xbone got rid of its "always on" internet requirement but they didn't change their discs to contain ALL game data. So if you're not always connected or live in the boonies with shite internet, poor you, no games until the 50gb update is complete. See you in a week. OH, and EVERY GAME has to install at least partial content onto your system.
It was infuriating when we (the employees) realized what kind of issues would be popping up and the abuse we'd get as a result and NOT BEING ABLE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I got written up for telling someone to check their internet connectivity before buying a system because otherwise it wouldn't be useful to them. I got in shit for telling parents to set up their xmas gift systems days in advance because nothing is more fun that a new console stuck on updating on the 25th.
Oh yeah... and lets not forget GTA5. THE must have game. That's right, I got written up for telling a parent of an 8yo expecting to get it exactly what kind of content was in the game. The parent was appalled and thanked me for being on the ball, promising to research more into the kind of content to expect; the kid ran screaming from the store (hey, to my credit, I didn't laugh). Between mounting home stressors and the "don't lie, just don't offer the info" attitude, I ended up leaving the job.
I love MMO's in general because they're constantly being updated and shifting. Even when I play solo (my guilds are really just me and my alts) its comforting in a way to see someone else run by or be able to ask if such and such a boss is glitched today. There really is a minimum of interaction but its there if I choose to engage in it. Admittedly I rarely do, and on those occasions I've found that frankly playing the game becomes more about working up to the right point of progression. As soon as I'm told to attend something from x start time to x end time and I better have vent/mumble/discord/twitch up and running its no longer a way to relax but more work. More sitting there listening to someone drone on about teamwork... or more likely bitching myself or others out as if thats going to motivate me or anyone else to listen and not be a total dickhead.
Admittedly, I'd love to be part of a core group of buddies to get though higher level content but I don't want to do it with randoms from across the continent that inevitably turns into 3 hours of herding cats. That is not relaxing. And I know everyone has their own life but excuse me for finding it fucking difficult to show up for a weekly raid when I'm only the family driver, with a constantly changing schedule, and an autistic kid who needs therapies only offered at specific times over an hour away. And rush hour. I hop on when I hop on and I play when I can. Some nights its no problem but others I'm busy being punched in the face and calling the cops to my house. Its stressful trying to commit to ANYTHING much less a raid with people who treat me and everyone else like crap. So, I play social games solo. It means I don't get to try all the higher end content but at least I get to fool around in a game universe for a bit.
So here's where I finally get to what led me to ranting. I've been playing Destiny 2, a game I'd had my eye one for quite a while. When the first one came out I'd hoped for a PC port (because I don't have option to get a console AND a computer, so the thing that allows me to game and work wins out) since the whole ancient/futuristic mix looks so cool. So I got the 2nd one when Blizzard announced they were going to bring it to PC through their launcher. Yay! I DO like the game. But the more I play the more I'm feeling... I don't want to say gouged for money... but yeah. Its like those "freemium" mobile games: "you can wait and get to this content... or you can just give us your credit card and get there NOW!" And its just irritating me in a way that I cant quite ignore, like I'm about to be ripped off but I don't exactly know where its coming from. True, technically I do have access to all content without having to buy loot boxes buuuuuuuttttt... the chances of getting it without buying it is miniscule. Its disheartening.
Add to that Activision's latest patent to rig matches in such a way that you always lose to someone whose purchased premium content... its like the whole industry is going this way. Well, it is, I know it is. And it sucks. Name a major franchise and they've probably got some kind of integrated microtransaction, premium pay feature or (the bane of my existence) DLC/season pass!
So, I've been running around shooting things and collecting items for the holiday daily quests and I just feel so drained. I just wanted to play around for an hour or so and maybe get a cool holiday hat, I dunno. It is now hour 3 and my quest is asking for "alcane spores" not the usual "alcane dust". I just want it to be done with so I can do my turn-ins and leave but the spores only drop 1 in 10 times when you find the dust. And no, you can't combine say 10 dust to make a single spore, that would make sense. In the end, I just felt the need to get some of this out and hopefully, eventually, I'll get myself back to a place where my stress relief isn't dragging me down in addition to real-life stuff. Ugh.