starshowers: (still)
Rox ([personal profile] starshowers) wrote2014-03-17 12:27 am

State of the RP


Rekindle has the highest tagging priority of my two games, though I leave one square for the fact that real life (and my mental health, which I'm trying to tackle better to avoid burnout) obviously come first, and sometimes modwork and NPCing does, too (even though I've been awful at that and I need to improve). While I have had Sora here for awhile being miserably inactive, I've recently started trying to get more involved and so far I feel like it's going well - I'm trying not to think too much about all the time I spent being inactive, or else I'll guilt trip myself right back into inactivity. Gotta be careful when your brain is dumb. I'm using the word "priority" here lightly, though - I'm focusing more on Rekindle because it makes me the happiest, not out of obligation, and I need to avoid letting my RP stuff turn into obligations - I do this really easily, in RP and in other areas of my life, and in the end it destroys my productivity instead of helping it.

The muse is still strong and I have no doubt that it always will be, yet I feel like something has been off about how I've been playing him over the past while. I discussed this on plurk not too long ago, but I feel like the quality of my Sora has been on a steady decline over the last few years. He's a very positive, outgoing, and extroverted character, and my growing issues with depression and anxiety (and a few other issues, probably) have made it harder and harder for me to get into his head. Confidence is hard to accurately portray when you don't really understand how the mental processes behind confidence work. I worry that I focus too much on his thoughts, and especially with the events in 3D I worry about letting myself latch too firmly onto the more serious aspects of his character - they're the easiest for me to write, so I'm constantly trying to keep myself in check to avoid getting carried away. But I want to play him and love to play him, and ultimately it's healthier for me to keep trying to improve than it would be to give up and play a character that I relate to in more unhealthy ways. I just feel bad for other people having to put up with me being mediocre until I improve, assuming I ever do...though god, I hope I do. I love playing him too much to let myself think that I won't.

Our cast is small, but absolutely lovely. To be honest, while I'm far from opposed to welcoming a few more castmates (Kairi? Ventus? C'mon, I know you're out there somewhere!), I hope that on the whole it stays that way. It's not that I dislike big casts, but...while I've been fortunate to be part of several amazing large casts in the last few years (all of them too good for me, really), they all have followed the same pattern - they shine bright for a little while, then crash and burn. It's an amazing experience, but one I maybe need a break from for awhile. Like I said, I'm not at all opposed to cast growth and I would welcome anyone who wants to join with open arms, but having a small and stable cast as opposed to a large and crazy one is nice right now.

The sky's the limit! I have some stuff that I'm really looking forward to coming up thanks to a certain incoming castmate, and because I've been tagging around and having him get to know people I'm excited about possibilities in the future.

I've been struggling with RP motivation on a more general level, and stressers from anxiety and the like come into play here also (and I worry they'll make a resurgence when classes start up again, but I really hope not), but lately I've been relaxing in this particular game more and having a blast. Sora's fun to play, and Rekindle is a fun game to play in.

Whoops, you're all stuck with me, barring some extreme unforeseen circumstance.
Tower of Animus

Due to all the issues I've been having here, Animus is pretty low on my tagging priority list - it has to be, or else I'll drive myself insane from the stress, and my performance in my other game where I'm doing better will suffer for it. That's what the problem with my overall RP activity was before, and for my own sake I needed to shuffle my priorities to fix it. I'm trying not to feel guilty about it, because I know that doing so hurts more than it helps, but to mixed success.

My Sora muse as a whole is all well and good, and I've already covered most of the general stuff above. Playing Animus Sora specifically, though, is often an uphill battle. The memory reset at least made playing him doable, but his characterization and development is nothing more than a monument to my mistakes and negligence - in other words, he basically doesn't have any development at all. He's just Sora, watered down by all the time I've had him sitting around in the tower doing nothing and not gaining any CR outside of his cast, and a watery muse is hard to hold onto. Once Animus finally comes to a close, I'll honestly be more than happy to let this particular incarnation of Sora go for good.

I currently and have always had a wonderful, talented cast in this game. It's not a secret, though, that for a very long time we've all been struggling in some way or another, and as a result we've all drifted a little. All my castmates in this game are people I consider good friends and that I love playing with, and that isn't going to change, but in regards to Animus in particular things are definitely different than they used to be. The cast doesn't have the unity and energy that it once did, and even though for awhile we kept trying to get it back, in the end I don't think it was meant to be (and I don't deny that I was a huge contributor to this failure, either). But we have some good things going now, and...honestly, my cast is pretty much the only thing keeping me in Animus right now. They've deserved a better and more devoted Sora than me for a long time, but I'm fortunate to be able to play with them until this game ends.

I'll be honest - I have no real idea of what to do with Sora. Even when there's plot to react to or events to participate in, I either have no motivation to participate or I get too stressed out and overwhelmed at the idea of trying to even consider it. I really don't know what I'm doing. Sora has no CR outside his cast - and that's not an exaggeration - and never really did have any that lasted beyond one or two threads ever in his entire run, and that's entirely my fault and it's now far too late to fix that problem. Even if it isn't, I don't have the motivation to try, because the last few times I've even thought about tagging people I've never tagged before have ended in me wanting to curl up in a ball and cry and closing out the post/thread/whatever before I could make myself feel any worse. I'm basically going to be a squatter until endgame...but I've been a squatter for the last year and a half, so what else is new? Might as well keep my failure streak up until the end, since I wasn't smart enough to end it ages ago.

To go along with the lack of ideas and the weight of failure attached to Sora in Animus, I'm...if I'm going to be honest, I'm not having much fun with him, either. I enjoyed the mirror stuff, and I currently have threads related to the fallout of that which I'm really loving. But that's the only thing I'm legitimately having fun with - the idea of doing anything else seems like a chore more than anything. Or, if not a chore, than an impending nervous breakdown. Neither of those things are very fun.

This is actually a tricky one. If I'm really honest with myself, I should have dropped a long time ago, sometime back during that long awful depressive episode that ruined my rhythm with the game in the first place. But one big thing about me and RP is that I have a hard time letting go. It's partly because my mind tells me that dropping is the worst way to let other people down - the ultimate disappointment. Other people have devoted time and effort to making me feel happy and welcome and plotting to help pull me out of my slumps, and if I care at all about my friends I won't pay back the favor by giving up and making all of their effort amount to nothing, even if by doing so I would destroy all chance for me to cause future disappointment. I know that none of this is rational or true, but knowing that doesn't make all of these thoughts go away. It doesn't help that at the time when it would have been most sensible to leave, I was an emotional wreck and I wasn't thinking clearly the vast majority of the time. So, rather than acting decisively, I stalled, I kept trying to get better, I hiatused and second chanced myself to death...until I reached the point I'm at now, where I've realized and accepted that I have failed and that things aren't going to get better and that, by waiting so long, I've sat on a very important character who someone else could've done wonders with during the time I did nothing. I fucked up, badly, and if I could go back and fix everything I would. But, as is always the case with RP and real life, I can't.

So, that being said, what about now? The fact is, I've failed too much and broken too many promises in this game. But I've also sworn, time and time again, that I would stay until endgame. If I can at least keep that promise, then I won't feel like a total failure. I'll at least, in my mind, be able to convince myself that I did one little thing right. But I also can't deny that there are times when I think it would just be a relief to be done with things here, a little hopeful that...idk, I'll try my best but not be able to get all the comments needed for AC or something. Then I'd be done and there would've been nothing more I could do and I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. But the thought of feeling like a failure afterwards stops those ideas dead in their tracks. So I'm going to stick it out until endgame - see the end of this story, even if it doesn't mean all that much. Then...well, hopefully I've learned from my mistakes, and I do better in the future.

That's what I said last time, though.

>> Apps and Drops

My plans haven't changed. Once Animus ends, I'll be taking a six month forced break from joining any new games, and I will not cheat on that. I'm happy in Rekindle and have no intention of leaving or giving up my modding duties, but beyond that I've proven time and again over the past year or more that my RP motivation is painfully fragile. I need to go back to basics for awhile - one game, one character. Or maybe two characters, eventually, but I'll get to that later. For a little while I want to devote my non-school time to other things - mod-related projects to improve Rekindle, writing of both the fanfic and original sort, icons, fan projects like that Kingdom Hearts interview archive and a KH icon community, and some other things that I've left on a back burner for a long time in order to keep up with RP. Even after that six months is done, it's possible that I might not branch out into other games for a long time. For one, I'm approaching my final year of college, and I may start taking five instead of four classes a semester to avoid graduating late, on top of having to write an honors thesis. I also have a goal of moving out of my sister's house and into an apartment with my girlfriend as soon as possible once I return to the US, so I'll need to work more to pay my fair share of the bills. Besides that, I also want to be sure to independently keep up my study of Japanese in the hopes of being able to someday pass at least the JLPT N2. Basically, I'm going to be reaching a busy period of my life, even if I do end up going overtime in university. Being in multiple games when my main muse is a very social character may just not be plausible. Besides that, if I'm honest, there aren't a lot of games right now besides the ones I'm in that particularly interest me, and the couple that do have gotten too big for me to even consider recently. I have heard some friends talking about interesting possible game concepts, though, so that could change.

That being said, once I've relaxed for a little while, I do want to do more museboxing and such, and I would be willing to consider small, invite-only games even before the six-month mark if any of my friends happened to start one and wanted to, y'know, invite me. The only ones I've seen around recently are the mafia-style things, though, which don't particularly interest me. I also may...or have, let's be honest here...consider apping a second character to Rekindle, though I'm going to force a two-month wait on myself after Animus for that.

tl;dr no drops, and no apps for a very long time.