Avoiding Burnout; Or How I stopped OCDing And Started To Love Passing Over Content

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Mr Fish, May 20, 2024.

  1. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Slippy sloppy, The

    Sep 11, 2010
    So, after like 2 months of allowing WoW to take too much of a center stage in my life I decided to look back at my backlog that I was working on and start my anxiety spiral anew.

    If you're like me then over time you've slowly accrued a lot of games through sales, deals and various spurs of the moment interests that you just never got around to playing. Hopefully unlike me, you can actually pay them no mind and just carry on with your life and horde ever more games, films, books, comics etc to your library. But me? I get anxiety looking over that stuff. Have had that for many years now. And so I eventually started working on the backlog and every time I think I might get done with it I realize there were some more things hiding under a corner somewhere or that I in my brilliance bought more on a steam sale because lol.

    However, something different happened lately. See, I remember playing Deus Ex Human Revolution and growing increasingly annoyed at myself for not being able to stop my damn loot goblin OCD. I just HAD to look around everywhere. Potted plant? Gotta look behind it. Couch? Might be something between the cushion. Workspace? Gotta check in between every book for 50 credits. And once I noticed this I thought to myself that I should stop. Don't OCD everything. You don't HAVE TO everything. But I still did.

    However, recently I played Warcraft 3 and in it in the missions we have optional objectives and I just decided on a spur "nah, I just don't wanna do them" and so instead of forcing myself to uncover the entire map and kill every mob and explore every nook and cranny for a secret turning a 30 minute map into a 2 hour map I just... Played the game. Huh... It was... Refreshing...

    Then in Psychonauts 2 there were upgrade points that you get for doing the collectathon gameplay and I did it because I thought it was fun but at a certain point when I was in the Questionable Area and I couldn't find the last card I asked myself "why does it matter?" And... It doesn't... Why do I really have to get every single card? every single Psi Bundle? Every single key crate? Every single figment and emotional baggage? And so I decided, yknow what? I had a lot more fun with Warcraft 3 when I stopped worryin about 100%'ing it so let's try that here. After all, if I go through someone's mind and I collect nothing I can always use the Brain Tumbler to go back into their mind and clean it up later.

    And once I started just... Playing the game, not worrying at all about any of the collectable busywork around me the levels flowed better. The narrative pacing felt more connected and less fragmented and it felt like just playing a game rather than cleaning up a pigsty.

    So then I decided to go and play Encased. And here's the problem with a lot of RPG's that I've heard others complain about as well. There is this autistic OCD of "I have to do everything". But then I think of how a lot of RPG's' "replayability" aren't exactly amazing and I thought to myself... Well, why do I have to talk to every NPC? Do every quest? Loot every container? What if I just do what I want to do, and ignore everything else? I also put more emphasis on doing the story rather than mucking about in the open world.

    And a lot of the criticisms that I've seen for Encased I completely understand if you were trying to 100% the game but since I didn't try to do that to me the game felt a lot better. I had my own criticism of the game obviously but I had a good pacing to my narrative experience because I didn't bog myself down with trying to accomplish everything.

    One I figured out that there was a highlight key for example I forbade myself from using it unless it is in a direct quest area where I might need to use it for a quest objective. The only containers I allowed myself to loot where the ones I managed to cross my cursor over. And I forbade myself from going into every house and talk to every NPC as well. On there 3 dudes in an office over here? Ok, well, I have no reason to go there and talk to them so I'm not gonna. But this dude that I'm passing by on my way to a temple might be worth having a little chat with so let's see what he has to say.

    Here's an example of the opposite for me:


    Yknow what this is? A map of one (technically two) of the zone(s) of Elden Ring. Yknow what those little icons are? Loot, special enemies, bosses, chests, various things. Guess why some things are crossed over in red and other things aren't... If you guess that it is because the things I've crossed over in red are those that I've already 100%'d and those I haven't are those I have yet to 100% then you'd be correct!


    This is how I played THE ENTIRE FUCKING GAME... Meticulously going over every single icon on the map to make sure I didn't miss anything.

    I hate this. I hate this godawful OCD. I hate feeling this sense of "I can't miss out on anything". It is exhausting. And for the longest time I felt trapped in this stupid OCD as well. And for what? If I 100% an area in Elden Ring and I manage to get some throwing knifes here some crafting mats (i'll never use) there then was it worth it? Was the time investment actually "fun"? No.

    I've been trapped in this way of gaming for so long and the recent few games I've played just felt so liberating when I stopped worrying about the 100% and just played the game. Oh there's a box over there to loot yeah but it's kinda far away so nah. Oh this drunk wants to talk to me cool I don't want to talk to him though. Oh no I missed out on a collectible that after the game is over and I move on from it will have zero impact on my life the HORROR!!!! Paaaaass.

    And yknow what? A year or two from now I'll probably feel like playing Encased again and there's going to be a bunch of content I never even touched in the game, still waiting for me.

    I don't know what the point of this thread really is. If it is just me patting myself on the back or if I'm trying to snap others out of this OCD too.

    100%ing anything just caused me to burn out and by the time I finished a game I'd hate it. I wonder how many games I've completed in the past 6 years that I ended up hating because I unnecessarily overplayed them. I really hope this sticks going forward for me because I've had way more fun with games now that I don't hyperfixate on everything. Just mellow out and game, focus on the main stuff, not to rush! Still do some side things when appropriate but mainly just enjoy the main story of the game.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  2. Norzan

    Norzan So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 7, 2017
    I used to also OCD over collecting everything and doing everything possible, but at some point i decide to just not do it if i don't care enough about the game.

    If i love the game? Sure, the more i can squeeze out of it because even doing the side stuff is fun to me, but even in those i tend to leave some stuff unfinished. If i'm like lukewarm on the game, i'll just finish the main story and be done with it.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  3. Hawkwing74

    Hawkwing74 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 20, 2024
    WoW = World of Warcraft or something else? If it is World of Warcraft, I am appalled at how much time I spent years ago.

    Sounds like you're making healthy strides. If the OCD and achievements and all that don't give you joy, don't do it! If the side quests are pointless or not fun, don't do it! We have such an embarrassment of riches in gaming these days, there's no reason to spend precious time on games/parts of games which aren't fun enough.

    I think the only 2 games I came close to maxing achievements on were Baldur's Gate I and II, since they really are in my favorites. I couldn't do hell mode though, that was the one achieve I missed.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  4. The_Proletarian

    The_Proletarian Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Staff Member Admin

    Mar 15, 2012
    I also have huge FOMO.

    Is it bad design when developers jam so much stuff into each and every game?
  5. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Slippy sloppy, The

    Sep 11, 2010
    Bigger is supposedly better.
    And more is more.
  6. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    I never do everything in RPGs, as I often return to replay them. I've collected my last NV achievement this year despite having the game since 2010 and doing 5 playthroughs before. I also probably never visited some of the locations in game.

    But from time to time I let out my OCD goblin for a while and 100% some open world game like Yakuza, but I never replay them.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  7. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    this is mental illness because calling yakuza open world is stretch at best and 100 percenting those games is a hellnightmare
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1