Since I got the new Guild Wars game I have been noticing that I have the same ‘missing time’ issues that I used to have when I originally started playing Diablo 2. I am relatively sure that the time is not actually “missing”, it is, rather, horribly spent. Sure the aliens might be abducting me on a nightly basis, the government could be looking into my thoughts with their new satellite technology, but my best guess is that I just get a tad too involved in games, and continue to waste my time on them.
The games don’t really even have to be that good for me to get so involved, at least not as far as graphics, since I still waste a hell of a lot of time on BMX Ghost, regardless of the fact that the graphics are twenty years old and the gameplay is damn near impossible. Though I am pretty sure that the fact that it takes less than thirty seconds per game might play into the scenario. Honestly, if you play a game for thirty seconds you have wasted thirty seconds. If you play the same game fifteen or twenty times you have gone to the 4-6 minute range (all of that not counting the loading and multiple clicking required to play again, of course). Now you are near ten minutes into it. Then, if you happen to have the “I will play until I better my score” syndrome, you will never see the light of day again.
My current time sink is related to Guild Wars though. It actually has the graphics to keep you playing. I can only compare the game to Everquest, as I have never played any other MMORPG’s, and Guild Wars beats it in every aspect. The gameplay is more fluid, the quests are achievable and you don’t have to have a friend (who has already beaten the game) carry you through it. The battles take a lot longer than in Diablo (which is expected since they are in 3-D), but the are way more believable than the fights in Everquest (where two monsters that looked identical could have such different stats that you had to look at them before attacking, else you would die and start all over again, unless you could hire a Ranger to find your body, or a Necromancer to resurrect you).
My current time sink might not be very easy to shake. I like this game as much or more than I used to like DiabloII. It is online only, it is free (less the cost of the game) and it is really sweet with the graphics. It is possible that I will tire of the game over time, which will mean that Diablo II LOD is the current CD in the drive, I dunno, check back in six to eight weeks to find my current time sink.