Single Player Content (put a pause button on it)

I love having the option of a pause button in single player games.

It’s the difference between gaming as a hobby where you absolutely must reserve undisturbed blocks of time and tell the outside world to pretend that you’re dead until the end of the session, or a pastime like reading or watching TV that you can fit around the rest of your life. Because sometimes you don’t know if you will be disturbed, or you don’t know exactly how much time you have available.

I realised recently how much I enjoy flight in WoW. Not just because I like flying, but because you can just hop on the flying mount when you need to pause, and your character will be safe when you get back. Stealth works also, if you have a stealthy character. And being able to leave your character somewhere safe out in the world for a few minutes while you answer the phone is one of the great bonuses of playing on a non-PvP server.

And I can’t help thinking that solo skirmishes in LOTRO would be much more relaxing experiences with the addition of a pause button. The only real way to pause a skirmish is to die in the middle of it, because the game lets you take a few minutes before you release. Other than that, when you hop into a skirmish you are in for 20-30 minutes of fast paced and fairly unrelenting action.This is because you don’t control the pace yourself, unlike in the little crafting one man instances where you can clear it out as fast or as slow as you like.

Pausing in multi-player games is something to negotiate with the rest of the group, but it feels like such a natural addition to solo instances that I wonder if it really should be a standard.

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11 thoughts on “Single Player Content (put a pause button on it)

  1. This is one of the reason why I don’t like the Siege of X skirmishes – they go on for quite some time, half an hour if not more. There is no chance to stop it, and it would not make much sense to ask the attackers for a break either.

    But there are skirmishes that allow you to go ahead at your own pace.

    All DEFENCE skirmishes are basically nonstop action
    All OFFENSE skirmishes allow you to take a break after each captured flag.

    You can use this list to plan which one you want to play:

    Trouble in Tuckborough: (Offence)
    Thievery and Mischief: (Offence)
    Strike Against Dannenglor: (Offence)
    Breaching the Necromancer’s Gate: lvl60-70 (Offence)
    Assault on the Ringwraith’s Lair: lvl60-70 (Offence)
    The Battle in the Tower: (Offence)

    Siege of Gondamon (Defence)
    Stand at Amon Sul (Defence)
    Survival – Barrow Downs: (Defence/Survival)
    Defence of the Prancing Pony: (Defence)
    Ford of Bruinen: (Defence)
    Protectors of Thangulhad: lvl60-70 (Defence)

    Notice that the late story books are mostly offence scenarios while the early available skirmishes are mostly defence scenarios.

  2. I agree. I’ve been playing very Dragon Age Origins lately and it’s very strange – yet refreshing – to just be able to pause the game when my wife wants to talk to me or the phone rings or I need to go to the bathroom etc. I keep having to remind myself “I can just save/pause and come back later… II don’t need to finish the dungeon right now!”.

  3. Considering that many gamers these days have a family and/or a career, and aren’t just wastrel teens, the ability to put the game on hold is something that really should be incorporated whenever possible.

  4. That’s why I prefer normal dungeons instead of dungeons like CoT or VH. Because you can’t pause when you have to. If the healer disconnects, you’re going to do all the waves again. Instead of wait with the next pull. If the tanks child weaks up and cries, you’re going to do all the waves again. Instead of wait with the next pull.

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