I can’t remember how many people I’ve bought Elite Dangerous for. I’m sure I can check Steam but I know it’s probably more than a handful.
Every single one of them don’t play it anymore. And for a little bit, it hurt. That’s what this post is about: the highs and lows of you being super passionate about something, sharing that with someone, and coming to terms when they’re just not as into it as you are. I’ll be honest that, in the past, I’ve struggled with it.
The reasons for pals not wanting to play Elite anymore are different. Which is true in all games… Some of them lost interest, some just didn’t have time, and with others, it was probably my fault. I didn’t stick with them long enough to get them self-sufficient…or I didn’t prepare them for just how much grind the game can have. But when you stop and look at your own gaming history, you’ve stopped playing games for the same reasons.
Elite has a steep learning curve. I’m helping a new friend get started right now and the more I see him starting to figure out how it all works, the more I realize how I take the time I’ve put into the game for granted. And this is probably true in any MMOish type game that’s you’ve played for a long time. I look at my brother’s Star Trek Online character/ship and I feel the same way.
When you look at someone that has years into a character and then look at your week old character…it’s not unreasonable to think “Wow. Is this really worth it?” I shouldn’t fault anyone for that at all. Some games have level catch ups. Elite doesn’t. If you want an Anaconda, you can get one after mining a little (it’s easier than it used to be). But if you want an Engineered Anaconda or a Corvette. You’re going to have to grind many, many hours.
When a friend gets excited about a thing you’re excited about it’s huge, you know? Playing a game with friends, especially in these times, is a huge help to the brain things. So it’s easy to want to push them into playing the thing you love and be disappointed when you start to realize they don’t want to. But it’s important to remember that not everybody might be into it. Or, just like in anything else, they may simply get tired of it. There are tons of games that my friends regularly play that I’m just not into. If it happens, don’t take it personal. It can be hard because if you like a thing so much, you identify super close with it…but I can promise you, it’s not about you. It’s not that they don’t like you. Everyone has different tastes and that is, in no way, a reason to stop hanging out or being friends.
Be there for your friend, help them figure out how to fuel scoop, plot a course, or finish a massacre mission. But if they stop playing, try to remember that it happens. It doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing. It doesn’t mean that you have to stop hanging out with that person. And, most importantly, remember resentment will just make you feel more isolated.
I don’t know if this is helpful to any of you. I’m not even sure what prompted it. I guess the act of helping a new player? But it happens to be on my mind right now and if you’re struggling with the same feelings I’ve felt, I hope it helped some. You matter. You’re important. And that thing you like is cool no matter what. But I will say this: obsessions can be dangerous and destructive. And it’s easy to draw a line from, “if you don’t like this, then I don’t like you” to unhealthy/obsessive behavior. I’m not saying yours or anyone’s situation is like that, but it never hurts to take an introspective moment and consider whether or not something is hurting you more than helping.