A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

Burnout


Burnout is defined on Wikipedia (I know, reliable source and all) as a period of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. It occurs most frequently in me when I play a game too much in too short a period of time.

As of late, I’ve burned out on two games: Star Wars: The Old Republic and Neverwinter.

On SWTOR, it was a total burnout where I just have zero interest in playing the game right now. With Neverwinter, it’s a lesser burnout where I’m willing to hop in every now and again to do professions (thank you Gateway for making this less of a hassle) and to play around a bit here and there.

Neverwinter is still a fun game but I find myself getting lag locked in places. Lag lock is the term I’m coining here (yes it’s mine now) to cover that situation when you’re moving through a zone and your character stops and can’t move due to loading or lag. It also covers when I’m trying to rotate my camera and the game just won’t go because there’s so much going on. Lag lock can occur pretty regularly to me in Neverwinter, especially in the Protector’s Enclave around the Market, Sgt. Knox, and the invoker lady. It’s one of the contributing factors to my burnout because I get rather frustrated with having to fight my way through it.

I’ve experienced lag lock in a wide number of games over the years including (but certainly not limited to) Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars Galaxies, Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, and Star Trek Online. It regularly occurs when there’s a great number of players around, so heavily populated areas can cause this lag lock. It’s probably happening more today thanks to my old video chipset (AMD has stopped releasing driver updates and are now popping out individual issue patches that I’m not interested in as yet).

This comes down to a conclusion that I was afraid of: it’s about time I get a new machine. Fact is, money’s tight (when isn’t it?) and there’s two kinds of machines I’m interested in: one is a pie-in-the-sky “desktop replacement machine” that’s going to cost a lot but will last me a long time and the other is what I’m calling the “compromise model” where it’s kind of the midpoint between what I have now and what I really want. The “compromise model” is plenty good enough to do what I want while not lasting nearly as long as the pie-in-the-sky model. My current laptop has been kicking around for almost five years under my deft fingertips and she’s certainly seen better days. Also, my warranties run out in less than two months.

Turns out that I’m not the only thing that can experience burnout. If I can get a new machine soon, I will. If not, I’ll try to get by like usual. I am, in fact, quite tired of just getting by though. I deserve to see these worlds at maximum settings, to play in beautifully rendered settings and watch the digitally created grass blow in the fictional winds of whatever world my avatar has set foot on today. I deserve to have SHADOWS and WATER REFLECTIONS. My “make do” engine is nearing its own burnout.

We’ll see what happens.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” – Jack London

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4 responses

  1. Oh, I so recognize your dillema! I’ve had an old computer which in the end refused to work. I couldn’t even do a clean install of Windows anymore in the end. A few weeks ago I bought a new computer. Granted, it’s not the one I’d love to have, but it’s very good nonetheless, especially to my old computer (which turned out to have a motherboard with ten years of age and a ditto graphics card. Try running Lotro on a 64 MB graphics card…….)
    Anyway, it’s a difficult dilemma, do you want better graphics NOW, or can you wait a (little) while longer until you have enough money to buy the “computer that last a long time”? In the end my old computer didn’t really give me an option. With the computer giving loads of problems and incapable of a clean install of windows, I had no other choice but to go with the “second” choice for a computer. Which turns out to be so great, that I have absolutely no regrets over it. But I guess a modern day computer is always so much better than a computer with technics of 10 years old πŸ˜€
    Good luck with your choice!

    May 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    • Well, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get a machine any time soon. I have to beg and plead with my parents to facilitate it. We’ll see how it goes! πŸ˜€

      May 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

  2. I know exactly how you feel about an older machine facilitating burnout. I really liked playing Champions Online, but the price of getting it to run smoothly was turning the graphics down to a rather sad level. STO suffered a bit from the same problem, but space combat looks good on almost any machine, and I try to avoid ESD as much as possible anyways.

    About a year back, I was able to save enough + guilt enough relatives into helping me pay for a new desktop. It’s been a really good investment, and I feel the same way you do — these worlds as so much more fun and engaging when the video settings can be maxed out.

    May 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    • Also instance bouncing is good to do. Social zones have a 150 person limit while adventure zones (at least in Neverwinter) have a 20 person limit. Popping into another instance might help alleviate some lag issues… or logging out and doing something else. πŸ˜›

      May 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

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