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Finding Winter Warmth In A Hearty MMO



Each year when the daylight fades faster than I would prefer and the air cools down to freezing cold, I retire from all outdoor activities and turn to the warmth of my computer. This is where I sink deep into my chair, open sodas and junk food, and start whatever genre I chose to escape the tough Minnesota climate months. This is when I’m most comfortable diving into a good MMO.

Each winter is a new opportunity to explore another side of the vast worlds I have explored many times before. Usually my favorite MMO is World of Warcraft, which I’ve been playing on and off since 2005. Maybe I never hit the current max level of the last character I played, and that’s my starting point, or a new expansion is coming out, and i want to catch up on the juicy lore and character moments leading up to the big new event. Other times, I just want to play and start over with a new class that I’ve never given a decent chance before (I swear I’ll have max Wizard level someday), or God forbid, see what life is like to fight for the Alliance for a while.

When you’re playing semi-casually like I do, there’s usually something new to discover, especially with games that have consistent content released throughout the year. I’m going to spend nights researching important moments I heard about on a podcast, or waste a weekend seeing every part of an area I had walked too quickly on my last leveling madness. . Whether it’s on my own or dragging my old group of dungeon diggers into the fray, there is an almost endless checklist of things to do or help someone else achieve.

I have complicated feelings about World of Warcraft this year, and content releases have understandably been sparse. As a result, I moved on to my choice of secondary MMO in Final Fantasy XIV. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to catch up with the main story in time for the release of the new expansion, Endwalker, in a few weeks. It provided hours of great storytelling, endearing and compelling characters, and events that have personal consequences that I don’t normally experience in other MMOs. Those who haven’t tried FFXIV yet should give it a try. Whether you like MMOs or not, it’s as good as people have said, and it gets better with every important content release.

Sure, I’m speeding up the critical path of Final Fantasy XIV right now, but I like to focus on this slice of the experience. Technically, winter hasn’t started yet, and there’s a big and new expansion on the horizon, which means I have plenty of cold nights ahead of me to venture into new quests and classes that I have. I haven’t explored yet.

What’s your favorite genre or game to come back to when the weather is less than pleasant outside? Do you dive into a long RPG or MMO like I do, or pull out an old console to revisit some of the childhood favorites? Let me know what your comfort food games are in the comments!

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