The first game I ever played online with another person was the original Borderlands. I played it with my brother and, as many of you know, it’s not a short game. Trying to schedule times to play together was never as easy as it sounded. Even though we’re in the same time zone, we are states away, and have very different schedules. Sure, my schedule is so flexible that it’s borderline nonexistent, but trying to nail down times to play was frequently a challenge.
When Borderlands 2 rolled around, we planned in advance how, and when, we would connect. After all our practice with the first game, we were in good stead for the sequel.
Those simple times made it easy for me to forget how difficult coordinating play times can be. Recently, I was reminded of that.
A couple summers ago, two friends and I decided to play through the first and second Borderlands on the Xbox 360. Between the three of us, we were in three different time zones with three very different schedules. Trying to coordinate play times was really something. How we ever made it through both games, I’ve no idea.
When I started playing a hefty amount of Destiny, I started “meeting” people and we would coordinate times to gather online for whatever the activity was we were interested in. That seemed less chaotic, as many people I played with were in the same time zone and had somewhat flexible schedules.
But things have only gotten more complex as I play more games online with others.
My brother and I were supposed to play The Pre-Sequel when it released and, due to the fact that my brother works more than most anyone I know, play sessions fell through the cracks. I eventually just beat the game on my own, and we never completed it together. It was a bummer, but I understand that most real adults have schedules that will vary (unlike mine which is sadly static).
This year I’ve played more games than ever with others online. As much as I love it, it also puts me at the mercy of other people’s schedules, for better or worse. Since I write about games, I try to play as many games as often as I can, so, depending on the circumstances, scheduling times with others can get complicated.
I’ve been playing a significant amount of Overwatch. Mostly with a friend, but a bit on my own. As much as I like the game, it’s better with others. My co-op friend has a somewhat erratic schedule, so pretty much whenever he can play, I try to make sure I can play, too.
I knew in advance that June was going to be a heck of a month, not only due to E3, but due to the release of the Dead Island: Definitive Collection. I’d made plans with a couple of folks to play through Borderlands 2 (I even put it in my “schedule”) prior to E3, then coordinated between two other people (who don’t know each other but who both know me) for a playthrough of the Dead Island games later in the month.
Today that started to fall apart.
Due to scheduling issues, it looks like that Borderlands 2 playthrough has fizzled. It was started months ago and abruptly stopped around level 12, for what reason, I couldn’t tell you. I’m the sort of person that when a playthrough of Borderlands is started, I just want to PLAY. I want to play Borderlands and then play more Borderlands, and not stop until I’ve played all the Borderlands.
Alas, not everyone wants to do that or has a schedule that allows them to do that.
I absolutely get it, but it’s definitely disappointing. It makes me wonder if the Dead Island playthrough is doomed as well.
Of the games I’ve played, the majority of them have been single player experiences. Since I’ve opened myself up to online gaming with others (and really, it’s only been in the last few years), I’ve had some of the best, and worst, moments in gaming. Sometimes I wonder if the “risk” is worth the reward.
It must be, as I keep playing with others online and have no intention of stopping.
Do you play games online with others? If so, do you find coordinating difficult? If it’s too difficult, do you abandon the endeavor? Or just postpone it indefinitely?