Friday, May 11, 2012

On the use of in game mail as a post-it-note

Wednesday night I logged into Star Wars the Old Republic after an absence of a nearly a week.  Looking at my quest log, it looked like I needed to head to Nar Shadda and start in there.  I noticed I had a couple of mails, and I vaguely remembered mailing a note to myself the week before.  I decided to check it before I headed out, this is how my message from me to me read:

Title: Memento 

First, head to fleet and spend all ur balmorra commendations. You have an OJ weapon that should make what u have look stupid if u max it out.  Then head to nar shadda for more leveling quests.

You will need to level ur biochem into the 100s b4 level 25 (but I suspect u'll remember that).

 It actually turned out to be a big help, I had completely forgotten I was sitting on a huge ass pile of Balmorra commendations.  Thirty minutes later, I headed to Nar Shadda with vastly upgraded gear.

Now, I find myself wondering...why the hell didn't I think to do this sooner?  The two biggest hurdles I always face when returning to a MMO I haven't played for a while are (1) I have no idea what I was working on, and (2) I can't remember my basic attack combos on whatever characters I used to play.  Yet in nearly all of these games, you can send yourself mail and it will sit there waiting for you until you open it.   

For example, I now really wish the last time I quit WoW I had sent myself something like this note on my Warlock:


(1) Normal weak foe: 1,3,4
(2) Strong foe: 1, 2, shadow nookie (bar 2), 4
(3) panic buttons: wall of shadow (right bar, lower part), shadow selfhealgasm (just above wall of shadow)
(4) Crowd control: shadow giggles (bar two, far right)

Whenever Mist of Pandaria launches (I expect play it for a month or two and quit when I hit the new level cap, like every WoW expansion) I will undoubtedly fire up my Warlock and get smacked in the face by a wall of hotbars linked to abilities that I barely remember.  If only it had occurred to me to mail myself cliff notes before I quit playing last year, the transition back could be so much smoother.

Further, I tend to dabble in a lot of FtP MMOs.  When I go back after a long absence, I generally haven't got the foggiest clue where to start.  In some cases it's so bad that it's easier for me to just abandon my old mid-level characters and start over fresh.  The last time I played Allod's Online that's exactly what happened.  I had a level 22 Summoner, and found her so confusing that I ditched her and started over on a Paladin.  If only I had sent myself a few notes before I quite the first time, I might have actually been able to see some of the higher level areas the month or so I was playing.

I now actually feel a bit dumb that it never occurred to me to use in game mail as a post-it-note.  Am I the only one that hasn't been doing this?


  1. I do it all the time in EVE. Whenever I need to remember to do something important in a region I send a ingame email to self or alt detaing what to do or reminder to do.

    Very helpful it is even days and weeks later when I've all but forgotten I look in mail I realize I had forgotten to do that thing and am reminded I still need to do it.

    So you are not alone on this!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one with a memory bad enough to need to do this ;-)

  2. Wow! I've never even considered doing that, but that's a great idea. Of course I never know beforehand when I'll end up taking a break (as evidenced by my posting schedule), so I'd have to send myself mail at the end of every session.

    1. Glad you found this post helpful :-) It varies with me. Some games I slowly fade out on, others I know pretty much exactly when I'm done.

  3. Its an excellent idea.

    Oh, and Yeebo ... SWGEmu is launching pre-Alpha in about 12 hours. Housing. Factories. Lots of pre-CU goodness

    1. Thanks for the heads up on the EMU server. I doubt I'll be able to fit it into my play schedule in the next few months, but I'm glad that the really passionate SWG fans have somewhere to go now.

  4. Seems a good idea - do the notes tend to last forever in most mmorpgs, if unopened?

    1. It varies a bit from one MMO to the next. However, I'd say in general notes without attachments hang around until you open them. In many cases even after you stop subbing.