Debate of the Day: When Do You Call It Quits in a Game?

A week or so ago, I downloaded and reviewed Torchlight for XBLA. I was curious to see how the Diablo clone would translate to a console, and I found it to be a pretty good port, and was more or less exactly like the Blizzard title I used to be addicted to. But after I beat the game, and a bug deleted my entire stash, I swore it off.

Or so I thought.

With nothing else to do after beating Mass Effect DLC in an hour, I went back to the game, and started amassing a new pile of treasure. I doubled my level from 30 to 60, and have a new heap of loot saved up. My goal was to get one full armor set, but even after playing the game for 25 plus hours, I was never able to find more than two piece of a single set, sometimes even finding triplicates of pieces I already had. Without multiplayer and the ability to trade, it was going to be impossible. With no more skill points to even assign in useful areas, I’ve hung up my Torchlight hat for good.

I guess I’m wondering what makes you call it quits in a certain game. Are you the type that plays through Assassin’s Creed‘s main plot and resells the game to Gamestop after eight hours? Or do you keep it and hunt down every single flag, despite them serving no actual purpose other than a marginally increased Gamerscore?. Or with a title like WoW, do you get tired of the grind after a month or two and stop? Or have you racked up 3,000 hours across four level 85 characters?

I’ve found that my obsessive compulsiveness plays a lot into how much I put into a game. It’s a given that I will automatically do every single sidequest in any title, no matter how useless they may seem, but I draw the line in hunting down 300 flags across an entire cityscape, a feat that can only be realistically accomplished with a how-to guide, as randomly strolling around to find them would literally take months and pure luck. My un-proudest moment would probably be probe mining every Mass Effect 2 planet to depletion for literally no reason at all.

What about you?

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  1. Well I would have to say that I’m somewhere in the middle. On games like Diablo II I play until I beat the game, and don’t really focus on grinding or specifically finding certain items (though I don’t complain if I get them by chance). The games that I spend the most on are simply the ones that I find to be fun and intriguing no matter how many times I play (Half-Life 1&2, Portal, Fallout series etc.), and I have never really cared about, or gone out of my way for, achievements or Gamerscores. When I do play MMRPGs, if anything happens to my file, I usually just don’t feel up to doing it all over again, it seems boring and pointless. But that’s just my two cents worth.

  2. I tend to play games in pretty short bursts. I don’t think I could play any video game for more than 2-3 hours in a row. I’ve watched friends play games like Black Ops for at least 4 hours in a row. That boggles my mind. I get bored too fast. Basically it helps me span out gameplay so I never finish a game right away. I don’t try and finish any flag challenges or other pointless crap like that either.

  3. I an usually the type that just plays the main story of a game and stops. I usually only do side quests if it’s convenient for me. The only exceptions are the mario bros. 2 and 3 ports into the advance and the new super mario bros. On the ds. I spent about 20 hours on each of those just to get every single item and star possible. My newest addiction is trying to collect all the bandages and A+ scores on all the super meat boy levels. So I guess my only gaming ocd is in run-n’-jump platformers.

  4. I try to finish my games and do most of the extras at least till I get bored or real life takes over but I admit I have spent way too much time on the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series of games among others which has kind of led me to quit all games permanently but Minecraft recently

  5. I tried to beat Dragon ages: origins with every origin and trying to get all the ends, while getting all the posibles class combinations, very amusing game

  6. I’m usually a completionist, just so I’ve seen everything the developers have taken the time to put in, videogames are art blah blah blah. But at the moment I’m struggling with the sheer number of games coming out that I’m going out and buying day one, I can’t stop myself! I really wanted to sink a lot of time into Medal of Honours online portion but never felt like I did because the next big multiplayer game came along. And it’s been the same story since. I never remember the release schedule being so busy!

  7. I usually play until I feel I’ve gotten the full experience of a game. I’m an absolute trophywhore, but I’ve found that the trophies are part of the overall experience. if I had to do something like the feathers in assasin’s creed 2, i would probably just quit.

  8. It bugs me when there are glaring things in a game that I’ve missed out on. If I can play through a game, hit all major plot points, obtain the good items, and get an overall sense of completion without feeling like there’s something I haven’t experienced then I don’t have the need to get to every little detail.

    To use your example, I mined just enough planets in ME2 so that I could get good upgrades and finish the game with few crew casualties (also I didn’t know I would lose them because of it).

    MMOs I think are a bit different though.

  9. I have gone back to WoW a couple times over the years. Usually I last anywhere between 2 and 4 months. I get to the highest level and get all of the items, trophies, etc that are possible by yourself or in small groups. The problem with WoW is there are so many things you need a party of 25 to complete, and those were never worth it for me since those are 4 – 6 hour long dungeons. So I play until I get to a solo-playing impass, then I give up on the game again. I have given it up for good now, because I realized everything in the game began to run together in my mind and it got SO BORING.

  10. On my first play through of most games I tend to take a casual approach. I usually play on normal difficulty, learning the mechanics and gameplay, and generally trying to get the full experience of the game. I do like going back to many older titles and replay them on harder difficulties to up the challenge and many times I find new insights and understanding to the narratives. I did this with the original Assassin’s Creed, playing it a year after I beat it the first time and after having beaten AC2 and was able to enjoy it far more than I did the first time because I understood the narrative better. I found it to be an incredibly complex and thought provoking story. Definitely better the second time around. I speak Spanish as well and some games offer multiple language tracks so I like replaying those games in Spanish. It helps my vocabulary and also changes the narrative just enough to make it interesting again.

    I’ve also taken to a new hobby I like to call video game tourism. For visually stunning games like the AC series, Red Dead Redemption, etc that offer these stunning world to play in, I take to playing the game like a tourist visiting a new place. Taking in all the sites and generally taking a virtual vacation. It can be a lot of fun. Another little thing I like to do is what I call cinematic gaming. I set up the game both visually ( by adjusting video settings ) and in my playstyle to create as realistic an experience as possible. No crazy cheats or weapons, not running everywhere, reacting to the world around me as I would in real life. I place limits on what I can do and interact with the game environment as if it were real. This is especially enjoyable in FPS games, as it builds tension and really helps to immerse you into the game and story.

    Just a few new ways I’ve developed over the last year to really get the most out of my gaming experiences and I have to say it’s really helped to amp out my gaming sessions.

    What do you guys like to do enhance your gaming experiences.

  11. I call it quits in a game, if it is a video game.

    That stuff was maybe fun when I was a kid, but as an adult, I’m done with that shit. Seriously, learn a language, start reading more novels, become a pro at the seduction of women, learn an instrument, become a great cook, get a ripped body in the gym, get better in bed, get a new hobby, anything, just don’t waste your time on video games, it’s a waste of life.

    This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.

  12. Whoa George! Was it your intent to come off as an insufferable douche? If so, congratulations, you succeeded. If you don’t like video games what the hell are you doing reading a site like this?
    P.S. I have never been so disgusted to see someone use a fight club quote.

  13. Wow George. Good one. Do you frequent video game sites(I know theres more to this one but video games are the bulk of it) just to post nonsense like that? I seriously hope your kidding.

  14. @George- I know three languages, and am quite possibly the strongest person ever to have lived. how can you even compare video games and books? you spend all day reading, i spend all day playing Suikoden. Is the laundry done? no.

  15. While George certainly makes some good points, and the Fight Club quote seemed to fit in nice with his rant, lets not forget that the guy who came up with that quote was a schizophrenic, sociopathic terrorist who blew a hole in his mouth with a gun. Context is everything.

  16. ive tried playing some mmos and i just cant do it, but i really wanna play the new star wars mmo. but ll usually play the main stor and try and get a few of the crazier achievements, except for games like mass effect (5 full playthroughs across both of them) and fallout 3 which i got all the DLC for. However id did play BROTHERHOOD and AC2 twice

  17. It depends on the game.

    For shooters like COD or Bioshock I generally play a few times until I can get thru the hardest level with little difficulty. If there are ingame achievements I’ll work on those.

    For longer RPG’s (KOTOR, Final Fantasy, etc) I just try to get to beat the game. I’ll stop if it ever gets to a point where leveling my character a lot is the only way to continue. Maybe I’ll try to get some extra sidequests here or there that aren’t too out of the way. KOTOR however is short enough that I’m still replaying it to try and get the different character combinations.

    For strategy games(Starcraft, etc) I generally do the same as shooters, try to finish all the campaign missions. I did once waste a lot of time playing the original warcraft and instead of destroying the last orc burrow I mined every resource on the map, paved every square inch, then built a giant maze covering about 70% of the mapleading from my bace to the final enemy structure.

  18. Funny you talk about that.
    I began Torchlight after you talked about it, you kinda sold me the game. Hadn’t played a RPG in a while, and I really enjoyed it.
    The characters and designs are good, the soundtrack is genuinely awesome and the whole game has a very good lifelength.
    As you mentioned in the previous article, I didn’t go for the normal but very hard mode, which is kind of a challenge (died approximately 90 times in 20 hours game time ><).
    Just a tip : I managed to get 3 pieces of a set (Dragon set if I remember well) but I literally couldn't play with a shield since I dealt no damage at all compared to the dual wielding. A lot of objects increase your chance of magic finds, maybe you should combine them.
    The Destroyer is awesome, you should give it a try!

  19. I’ve replayed Fallout 3 three times now and found myself searching around for new things to do for hours. I just didn’t want it to end. I’m also guilty of sucking a lot more planets dry than needed on Mass Effect.

  20. It depends on the game. Some of them I play till I get the end credits, only revisiting them if DLC’s released that contains an actual storyline (e.g. Mass Effect 2, the Ezio AC games, Alan Wake). Others I play till I’ve gotten all the achievements (e.g. games wherein getting all the achievements looks easy to me. or just games that I can’t bear to stop playing even if all I’m able to do at that point is hunt down pigeons). And then there’s the games I stop playing just because they bore me (controversial e.g. Gears of War). I used to revisit and replay games over and over when I was a kid, but now that I can just buy new games instead I almost NEVER do that, the only recent exception to that rule being Fable. Now THAT game, I’ll stop playing only when I’m dead.

  21. i tend to keep going even after i swear to never play it again.

    i spent like 9 hours tracking down mesprit in pokemon diamond once. i trained my crobat from 32 to 56 before it finally learned mean look and finally caught it.

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