As a result of my one-year boycott of Activision-Blizzard, I found myself without any of my usual games to play. I decided to take the opportunity to return to a genre I haven’t played much of in the past few years – MMORPGs.

Aside from a month where I played World of Warcraft following the new expansion, and about three weeks playing Final Fantasy XIV after that, I haven’t played MMOs much in the last three years. With Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen still a long way off, Crowfall still in alpha, and Camelot Unchained in… whatever state it’s in, I decided to have a look at games I’ve played in the past for something to occupy my attention.

I settled on four options – Elder Scrolls Online, Black Desert Online, Project Gorgon, and Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet’s layoffs killed my enthusiasm for Guild Wars 2, so that dropped off the list. Black Desert Online had some strange bugs with keyboard controls (like erasing all my key binds) that left a sour taste in my mouth. Some friends of mine decided to try playing ESO together, so I decided to join them. But, I also have renewed interest in Project Gorgon because of its influx of Pantheon fans, so I’ve decided to alternate between those two.

I never got very far in either game. In Elder Scrolls Online, my highest character was level eight. My character in Project Gorgon still hasn’t left the starter town. Of the two, ESO seems to be holding my attention better. The story is pulling me along. That got me to thinking… what exactly do I want out of an MMORPG?

These days twitch shooters usually are my go-to. But with most people obsessed with battle arena games (which I hate) and Overwatch and Destiny 2 in my boycott, there isn’t much to play that interests me. So I’ve decided to take a different angle. What if I actually relax with video games, instead of get a drip-feed of adrenaline? So that’s what I’m trying to do with ESO and Project Gorgon: relax. Sit back and enjoy a slower pace.

So far it seems to be working.

I may write in the future about my adventures as a wood elf nightblade in Elder Scrolls Online. I’m taking to the character’s playstyle pretty well. For now, I’ll finish with this thought: when’s the last time you relaxed with a video game?