Sweating Bullets

Well yesterday was really stressful, I felt like my brain was once again fighting to stop me from crying because of the overwhelming feeling of how much work I might have to do in this new semester.

But I realized that it's normal for everyone to go through that. You get your syllabuses and course outlines, the professor goes over them with you, and you see all those assessments and assignments you have to do in the next 4 months of your life. Once you do, it's like a feeling of instant desire to assume you'll have no social life and leisure time anymore. Sometimes I bite my fist to prevent tears.

However, I feel better the next day when I start writing every due date and test in my agenda, and start making boxes of when I'm going to study and what. Anything I leave blank is free time, and I get better at telling myself when it's time to call it a day after working. When things get really stressful, sometimes I talk to myself about it and feel better. My positive attitude returns. Stress was my ally, but now it has abandoned me. My mother always told me to tell myself that I can get through it, and it seems to be working now, so we'll see how it works the rest of this semester.


This morning I spent getting ahead in my medical terminology, while I still can, before the other three courses I'm taking are introduced. I don't work myself to death however, I take a ton of breaks in between, work for 30 min, rest for 30 min, and it's common on the days that I have off.

Also, I made a definitely non-regrettable decision to quit Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. I know, so sudden right? I mean just several days ago I was writing here about how I enjoyed the game. Well after looking at the perspective of a fellow player who was addicted as well, I realized that, what was I really doing this for? Not to complete the game, but to unlock my favourites.

You see, I realized that EA has come up with a form of marketing which has an impact on impatience, the capacity of your wallet, and obsession to unlock a character because it's your favourite. Their choice to add iconic characters to the game, micro-transactions for everything, and of course timers that take 6 - 12+ hours to refresh or replenish. Those methods combined are outrageous to me now that I realize what my true intentions were, and I would probably take weeks to months to accomplish them.

After I unlocked all the characters I wanted in this game, except for Plo Koon and realized that he was the only one left that I NEEDED to have, I became more obsessive and impatient with the game. The two battles where I could earn shards of him upon completing, I still did not have access to, and it would probably take me more than just a few days to get to them. So as I may have said before, I would have to only rely on luck to unlock him: wait the awfully long 6 hours for the shipments to refresh only to be disappointed because there were no shards of him there. Or there was wait for my wallet to recover from other expenses before buying another 2K crystals for 8 data cards and hope he would be in there. According to my math, I was only 14% towards unlocking him before I uninstalled the game for good this afternoon: 7/50 shards....literally, and how many times had he appeared in the shipments since I started keeping track a few weeks ago? Twice.


Yep, one palm isn't enough :(
That all comes down to what fueled my addiction from the last few weeks, of the previous semester up until now; waiting for my energy to replenish so I can get closer to access the battles containing his shards, my impatience for the shipments to arrive but only to find out they didn't have what I wanted, and wasting my money on this type of stuff to find out what you get in those data cards is generated randomly.

EA knew I had an obsession to unlock the one character on my favourites list, that happened to be in this game, that I didn't have yet. So what did they do? They taught me addiction, impatience and rash money spending. These simulation games, I understand all these timers where you have to wait to play again is designed to prevent players from getting sick of the game after 3 - 6 hours of playing. Keep your customers, I get it. But people like us, we don't want to wait that 12+ hours because we're too excited to get back into it because of the many rewards the game gives us. When we get locked out of the game, we're bored to death because all we can think about is when will we get our energy back?

Turns out what if Plo Koon's abilities are not as useful as I believe them to be in this game? I have Kit Fisto, and one of his unique abilities isn't that great after all. If I was fighting a team of more powerful units in the Arena, he would be one of the first attackers on my team (other than Darth Sidious) that I would lose. 

So, where's the value in wasting our time and energy in a game like this? As I write this post, on my shelf above are my action figures from the universes I am proud to be part of. One of them is a little action figure of Plo Koon which I got for a really cheap price on eBay with Kit Fisto, they were in used condition from across the Pacific but still in one piece. 

That little Plo Koon figure, I can hold him anytime I want, close to my heart, and I can pretend he speaks to me. Even though he and Kit were cheap figures, I don't regret that purchase. Now that has value, there's no value of unlocking a digital version of one of my favourite Jedi Masters in a game that has all the marketing and gaming methods to empty your wallet as fast as possible, take advantage of your character favoritism by making it extremely time consuming to unlock him/her, and you only end up being dependent and obsessed.

Mind you, if this was a PC or console game without timers, energy, and micro-transactions, then there would be a little more value to unlock your favourite character compared to a mobile game like this.

So I'm done, uninstalled, so long EA. 

I'm off to listen to some Megadeth now since I've done enough homework for the day, and seemed to have named this post after one of their songs as a reference for being overwhelmed, and anxious about school and this game.

-Emily

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