Monday, July 5, 2010

Ask Larísa: How do I get my wife into an MMO?

I got another reader question the other week. Like the previous one it’s related to gaming and relationships. I suppose innkeepers are expected to be good at those things. You know. Life issues. The kind of stuff you talk about at the barside.

However, I felt something was missing in my answer. So I thought I’d publish it in the hope that some PPI readers with more experience from different MMOs could help out.

Tigerus asked:

My wife is a player of pop cap games and the sims. I'd like to play an MMO with her, but she is very anti-wow and not much of a gamer. Any suggestions for a way to get her into an MMO that I would also enjoy?

Larísa’s answer:

This is a tough question and I’m not sure I'm the best one to answer it since my husband doesn’t play WoW or any other game and I definitely have no plans on trying to change that either.

Regardless of what you think, I’d dare say that your wife IS a gamer; it’s just that she prefers other games than you do.

It sounds as if you'd like to share the magical world of MMO-playing with her, not necessarily in WoW, but in any kind of MMO. If she really has a problem with WoW, maybe you should leave that for a while and try introducing her to something else?

I come to think of LOTRO going free-to-play this autumn. Maybe that could give you an opportunity to play together. There's no big harm in trying something for free, is there? And this game has - from what I've seen from my brief trial period - a lot more of possibilities and choices to dress up and customize your character. There are way more choices of different looks and you can even dye your clothes in game if you want to stick out. And there are player houses too. I suppose that would fit a Sim player. It appears to me that LOTRO also offers raiding, PvP and that kind of gameplay as well and not just "fluff". So maybe it could suit you both?

I wish I could give you more and better advice on this, but to be honest I don't have any experiences with other MMOs, so I can’t come up with anything further. For now my recommendation would be to try to find some free-trial offer from an MMO that not necessarily is WoW and check it out together.

Cheers and good luck!

More questions
And finally just a small bumper:

Pitrelli @ Kill that Cheerleader is running a series of interviews with various MMO bloggers. The presentation of PPI is up today and you can read my answers here.

18 comments:

Pewter said...

You could try Runes of Magic or Free Realms - as they're F2P it won't cost you anything in order to participate and get to know the games.

Shintar said...

I was very much into The Sims before I started playing WoW - they have more in common than you'd think! Your characters grow and evolve as you level; they have "needs" of sorts (repairs, training etc.) and skills that they can work on improving; and if you actually bother to read the quests, there's a fair amount of storytelling going on.

It would be interesting to know why Tigerus's wife is so anti-WoW.

Jen said...

If she likes eye candy - Aion. You have to pay for it, which is one strike against it... and I didn't like the game itself that much (but that's only because I'm so used to WoW). The character creation screen though... omg, I want to take it home with me. AND you can reskin your clothes to make them look like items you've already equipped (or something - I never got to try it). No Outland clowns! (Even the starter gear looks amazing.)

Dwism said...

@shintar: I couldn't care less about Tigerus's wife (sorry, but I coulnd't, I think I know lots of reason why women who consider themselves non-gamers, hate that their hubbies are playing games), What interests me, is why Larissa husband isn't playing and why she has no interest in changing that.
I think I've poked her about this, but being an pr genius, lar, has so far dodged this question.
For me personally I'm having a hard time keeping anything I had a wonderful time with, a secret. If I 've read a book I loved, I wanted all my friends to read it.
I've even tried pushing albums I liked to readers of my wow-blog.
So why would someone *not* want their significant other playing wow with them?
This is an open question (and not just me pressuring larísa for an insight). So anyone please, I simply do not get it. :)

Pewter said...

@Dwism My RL partner is a gamer and football player, but despite his passion for the game he knows I'm just not interested (beyond him being happy and enjoying it.) As much as we adore our personal hobbies, they are not for everyone. I love books and try to share them, but I have some friends who just don't read so I don't try to push my latest favs on them. Or if they do read, they like crime fiction and I like sci-fi.

lonomonkey said...

@Jen: Aion would be the very last game I'd offer to someone who's not very interested in MMOs. It's a hardcore asian grind and definitly not for everyone.

Larisa suggestion of Lotro is not bad since it's a known universe and there's chance that if she loved the movie she'll enjoy running around in places like the Shire.

If she likes Popcap games and Harry Potter Wizard 101 could be a nice choice also. It's free to play (base game at least) so you can try the game without too much of a commitment. Plus it has ton of puzzles and minigames.

In the same vein there's also Puzzle pirates who's a puzzle game MMO where everything you want to do is based around a puzzle game. In fact it's the closest thing you'll get to Popcap games in a MMO format.

Jesse said...

I would recommend Wizards 101 or Free Realms. They have mini games along the lines of Pop Cap, and housing similar to the Sims. People say they are kids games, but Tipa, myself, and others have played and enjoyed them. Another plus is these would be a great introduction to games if/when you have kids old enough.

Bri said...

@Dwism: I can't comment on why Larisa doesn't want to push her husband into playing WoW with her, but I can comment on why I won't push my significant other into playing WoW with me. I tease her, of course, saying I'll get her a trial account, but she is adamant she doesn't want to play it, and that's fine with me.

I see playing with your significant other as a mixed blessing, really. While it would be fun to share in something you really enjoy doing, you lose some autonomy and privacy. Maybe it's a little selfish, but my time in WoW (or any other MMO) is my time. It's what I do to relax at the end of the day when she's playing Bejewelled or Zuma, and it's my "me time". We chat across the room while we each play our separate games, but I would hate to have to organize all of my in-game activity around what someone else wants to do, even her.

We do other things together, just not this thing. And I'm fine with that.

marypeeling said...

I might venture to say City of Heroes...it's relatively empty these days I think, but it's the one I started on 5 years ago - I was a sucker for the dress up options in the character creator and the game play was simplistic. It was a pretty easy transition into WoW for me after that. Aion is nice, but it's a bit to much grinding I think for the average person. I liked it alright, but I eventually dropped it and came back to WoW.

Magma said...

If she has no valid reason for being so anti-wow, and she most likely doesn't, she is acting pretty ridiculous. If she thinks so lowly of wow, then what does she think of her husband? Not good. If she plays it and doesn't like it, fine, but until then she is just being a child who doesn't want to try a new food.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

My wife was not interested in WoW until she broke her shoulder in a car accident. The down time, plus the ability to play the game with only one hand, and she got hooked.

Eventually she got bored, when we were at 80 and the only thing to "do" in WoW was raiding and arenas. Arenas felt like we were overwhelmed by people with better gear, and raiding involved working against many an asshole.

So we leveled alts together, which was fun, but eventually even that got boring.

Cataclysm might bring us back, but not on the just released wave, and even then, I'll be keeping a close eye on how much it is "the same".

Larísa said...

@Dwism: " but being an pr genius, lar, has so far dodged this question."
Hehe! I'm a bit like a politician. Answering the questions the way I want to answer. Picking an angle that not necessarily is the one you wished for. Yep. But I'll stop dodging so badly. So here you are:

Tbh he levelled a dwarf something... hm... I think it was warrior... up to lvl 8 or so, but only running around, refusing to quest or try to kill anything or even repair. Training was out of the question. He was just exploring areas, mostly in ghost form. I kept telling him that that wasn't how you were supposed to play. All in vain. After spending only a couple of hours in the game he didn't want to do this anymore, decided that it was a waste of time, a position he still has. He has never looked back. Suggesting him to play it really is futile and pointless. Even if he was more positive about it I would hesitate to pull him in, for the reasons Bri brings up. I think having some interests of your own actually is a good and healthy thing. Sometimes you just have to let go and accept the differences.

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

I've mentioned before that despite being an MMO developer for over a decade, my better half wasn't interested in MMOs herself. She's a gamer, though: we met playing D&D in college and she actually played all the way through Warcraft 2, a feat I didn't manage. We also played games like Age of Empires 2 together over the years.

It wasn't until I started playing LotRO that she became interested. It was the setting that got her: she was a big fan of the LotR books and movies, so participating in that world kept her interested.

So, here's my advice: find out what interests her. Hopefully you already have an idea. Then pick a new game that would interest both of you. DO NOT just try her to play WoW at first, because if she has a negative attitude about it then nagging her to play will set her against it more. Talk to her about the game you've picked out and say that you think it would be great to spend the time together in one of your hobbies. Don't tell your WoW buddies about playing the game and get them to come over, unless their mutual friends of yours from offline. Even then, she might feel overwhelmed as you experienced players just want to rush the content.

Get ready to be patient. Nobody wants to feel like a bumbling idiot, so don't complain, "You're doing it wrong!" If she wants to go explore areas as a ghost, for example, go do it together. When she tires of that, then suggest that you go do some quests. Do not just drag her along doing the quests as fast as possible, let her move at her own pace. In fact, let her lead sometimes and only give gentle hints if she needs help. Let her have the fun of exploring a new world just as you had when you started playing.

Finally, be ready to spend some time with her hobbies if you don't already. Yeah, maybe you'll have to sit down and endure a silly TV show once a week, but turnabout is fair play. :)

Hope that helps!

Perdissa said...

I really can't speak for other MMOs, not having played them myself. But WOW's starting experience has been drastically revamped since a couple years back, and leveling together is one of the most fun experiences you can probably do in an MMO together. Whether or not she likes the game is something very personal, though. Don't force it on her if she is resistant against it.

Also, be careful what you wish for. A couple years back I got my wife started on WoW and she went obsessed over it and played even more than I did (I burnt out but she didn't).

Anonymous said...

@Larisa Gratz, you are one step closer to Guinanedit of Azeorth :)

For Tigerus:

As all other commentor said, find out what interest her most...

If she like popcap, may be she'll interested in some cute, humor themed thing?
May be engineering ?

Here's what I did, for my girl...
Since I know she loves cats,
I suggested her to roll a hunter and show her the Hunter's pet website(Petopia)
And had a full bag of non-combat pet - cat for her, even that white kitten.

I also showed her my screenshot collection and explain everything to her.
Who are they, why we are there, what we were doing....
Last but not least, the beautiful landscape of Azeorth...
And my eagar to ride side by side with her on the Realm.

I did make a mistake of not upgrading the display card on her machine, so her screen was kind of dull and short sighted for most of her leveling time :(

Good luck mate

Zekta Chan said...

@Larisa Gratz, you are one step closer to Guinanedit of Azeorth :)

For Tigerus:

As all other commentor said, find out what interest her most...

If she like popcap, may be she'll interested in some cute, humor themed thing?
May be engineering ?

Here's what I did, for my girl...
Since I know she loves cats,
I suggested her to roll a hunter and show her the Hunter's pet website(Petopia)
And had a full bag of non-combat pet - cat for her, even that white kitten.

I also showed her my screenshot collection and explain everything to her.
Who are they, why we are there, what we were doing....
Last but not least, the beautiful landscape of Azeorth...
And my eagar to ride side by side with her on the Realm.

I did make a mistake of not upgrading the display card on her machine, so her screen was kind of dull and short sighted for most of her leveling time :(

Good luck mate

Copra said...

My wife resents everything connected to video, computer and console games. She wanted to like some of the games we got for our kids, but due to her sensibility to the movement in the screen she gets migraine from it.

Until recently she has considered my gaming just an escape from the daily toils of life. However, now that our older kids are also playing and have their own accounts in the game, I was amazed about her slight interest in the game. I was crafting on my AH toon, with all my bags, bank and crafting windows open when she came to discuss with me about another issue. We got that done and all the while she was staring on the screen. After a while she asked what I was doing, and I told her. She started to identify the stuff in the bags based on her own interest, and so on, claiming in the end that she cannot understand how I can make any difference in the little boxes on the screen.

This is the most interest she has shown to the game in all these years. And if I told her what this crafting was about and took the combat aspect off, she might want to try it herself.

Where we 'gamers' make a mistake is to call WoW or any MMO a game. That drives people off, especially people who see games as extremely fast paced and competitive effort. Or a grindy repetitive effort (like Tetris or such). The Sims isn't a game by name, and seldom is quoted as such.

So instead of making the combat aspects the main thing, try to introduce the softer values of the game, exploration, stories and -believe or not- crafting and RP aspects. The combat can be seen only as a tool to advance the story, if even that.

I believe we could get my wife interested and try the game at one point or another. After all, she loved the way the creatures dance in Spore...

C out

Copra said...

My wife resents everything connected to video, computer and console games. She wanted to like some of the games we got for our kids, but due to her sensibility to the movement in the screen she gets migraine from it.

Until recently she has considered my gaming just an escape from the daily toils of life. However, now that our older kids are also playing and have their own accounts in the game, I was amazed about her slight interest in the game. I was crafting on my AH toon, with all my bags, bank and crafting windows open when she came to discuss with me about another issue. We got that done and all the while she was staring on the screen. After a while she asked what I was doing, and I told her. She started to identify the stuff in the bags based on her own interest, and so on, claiming in the end that she cannot understand how I can make any difference in the little boxes on the screen.

This is the most interest she has shown to the game in all these years. And if I told her what this crafting was about and took the combat aspect off, she might want to try it herself.

Where we 'gamers' make a mistake is to call WoW or any MMO a game. That drives people off, especially people who see games as extremely fast paced and competitive effort. Or a grindy repetitive effort (like Tetris or such). The Sims isn't a game by name, and seldom is quoted as such.

So instead of making the combat aspects the main thing, try to introduce the softer values of the game, exploration, stories and -believe or not- crafting and RP aspects. The combat can be seen only as a tool to advance the story, if even that.

I believe we could get my wife interested and try the game at one point or another. After all, she loved the way the creatures dance in Spore...

C out