When you play with a group of friends sometimes the stars align and you all get excited about one game that everyone enjoys. Most of the time, though, everyone is checking out multiple different games, and occasionally tries to gather everyone to try something they thought was fun.
I’m in this situation now where most of my friends are playing Warframe together. They certainly seem to be enjoying themselves, and what little of the game I’ve poked at looked ok to me. Meanwhile I’m still excited about Diablo 3 season 5. This puts me in a tricky position. Do I drop D3 for a while and play with them? Or do I keep playing the game I’m excited about, but miss out on fun times with my friends? I’ve seen this pattern happen often enough to know that it probably won’t be too long before some or all of them get distracted by other games and drift off to do their own thing for a while, so it makes sense to try to hop on the bandwagon and play together when everyone is in the same place. From what I’ve played last weekend I enjoyed Warframe fine, but it didn’t exactly grab me and pull me in. The allure is more about playing with friends than playing that particular game.
It doesn’t help that my introverted nature makes group play a weird thing for me. I crave it, I really do want to hang out with friends and spend time together. However, it also tires me out much more quickly than playing alone, and I often get that urge to “hide” in solo games for a while if I overdo it. In a weird way MMOs are actually good for me because there’s often solo tasks like farming supplies that need to be done, and group activities like raiding are usually scheduled just a couple times a week. Games, even ones like D3, that are “better” or more rewarding if you are always grouped are the ones that tend to burn me out more quickly unless I am good about enforcing some “me time”.
Anyway I’m still torn between playing with my friends and playing the game I want to play. The biggest time this happened to me was with WildStar, when I watched people go back to WoW or other MMOs and I stayed behind with the game I loved. I don’t regret that at all, but it is still sad to see your friends having fun times without you and hard to seek out new social circles. Maybe this weekend I’ll give Warframe another shot and try out its group play. But I still want to make D3 my focus until I meet more of my goals for the season.