I Deleted An Endless Service Game And I Am Finally Free, Like My Hard Drive

Earlier this week, I finally deleted Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 from my hard drive, a video game that I had spent the better part of a year lying to myself about getting into. I played several hours at launch, not really feeling it but not really hating it. I checked in every now and then for the sake of chipping away at the massive amount of game, waiting for the moment when I would finally find my groove and plunge in with gusto. It never occured, perhaps because I don’t really do anything “with gusto.” Or maybe it’s because I don’t want to play The Division 2.

The Division 2 is a live service game meant to be played more or less endlessly. You build a super-troop in post-apocalyptic Washington, DC, and work towards rebuilding the government, mostly by shooting people. It’s an uncomfortable experience if you think about the story, but it’s also a video game that wants you to think much more about numbers, and how finding better kneepads and guns will make those numbers go up. Since video game maths is fun, I gave it the old college try and...I just couldn’t do it. Something about the way the third-person shooting feels just collides violently against the pleasure centres of my brain, like a pigeon that can’t tell a glass skyscraper is right in front of it.

I kept trying, though, because it was an endless game. An endless game! What a concept. If I gave The Division 2 enough time, I could maybe do all sorts of cool stuff, like see what their version of raids are like, or wreck fools in the PvP arena, or gain a new “specialisation” which would give my (totally on the up-and-up) militia-man a cool new gun or ability. All while wearing a Hawaiian shirt too, should I find one in a loot box.

Endless games like The Division 2 have a magnetic appeal to them—even if I don’t like this one, maybe someday I’ll find one I will? The idea of finding a game that you could be happy playing forever is kind of powerful, so much so that even if you already play one (like myself and Destiny 2) it’s still tempting to see if you can find another, for variety’s sake. There’s always more.

The flipside is that pull is only felt while you’re in the river, swept up in the current. Take enough time away from anything—a video game, TV, the Internet—and you stop feeling that tug. You wonder why you cared, or you figure out the one thing that you actually found compelling wasn’t what you thought it was. (In my case: I have video game FOMO, which no one game will ever fix.)

So I deleted The Division 2, and I feel quite nice. Almost as nice as the nearly-100 gigabytes of hard drive space I now have for other things that excite me more. 


Comments

    reminds me of how I keep updating SWOTOR. sure I'll log in every so often for all of 5 minutes (or less) but I'm pretty sure I spend more time updating the game then playing it heh

    I did that last night. I needed the space. Div2 had shitloads of it and had stopped being fun.

    It had done that thing that live service/MMOs do where they say, “Alright. That’s it. If you wanna keep growing you gotta do group content. Stop enjoying yourself on your own.”

    I hate that point. I hate that it exists. And that is the point that live service games and MMOs lose me.

      Yeah that's where I get stuck on those games. I like the idea behind the live game and such but I don't want to do group stuff.

    An endless game sounds like hell.

    “ I could maybe do all sorts of cool stuff, like see what their version of raids are like, or wreck fools in the PvP arena, or gain a new “specialisation” which would give my (totally on the up-and-up) militia-man a cool new gun or ability. All while wearing a Hawaiian shirt too, should I find one in a loot box.”

    This sounds all so meaningless and pointless, like Candycrush with guns. Give me a good story with a beginning, a middle and thankfully an end.

    I got Div2 free with my new graphics card. I played at launch, got through the story dipped my toe in the water for PvP, and then uninstalled. i have never once felt the need to get it back.

    It's just... fine? Everything works well enough. It's pretty enough, the missions are varied to an extent, the gear makes the numbers go up pretty good. It's just a series of pretty good, but kinda bland action loops that don't seem to have anything else going for them other than as action loops they're pretty good.

    Destiny 2 feels great moment to moment and the world and gear is visually interesting. It's much more compelling. Problem for me is that I'm at a point where I need to play with people to get much more out of it and nobody I know regularly plays. i don't want to play with randoms who will jump in so we can grind one level 30 times for a godroll.

    I started playing it again on my PS4 Pro after the last update.
    I just wished that the missions have more than two storylines to them (rather than just normal and invaded)
    it is alright at the moment after I build myself an endless seeker mine build which makes it a lot easier

    Had the same thing with a bunch of games, Wildstar, Path of Exile, Age of Conan and more. For me the biggest problem is that there is such a crowded market and the time investment just to play *one* of them to it's potential practically means you can't play another. So WoW and D3 are still on my HDD but those others aren't.

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