Game Anxiety Help/Advice?

I need to dive hard into the non-bashing part of the game. I tend to see it as an anxiety hurdle to like do the next things. I don't know things as well as others, being questioned makes me convert into robotic mode for some reason. I still need to do Drudge tasks and get a good mentor and do a ton of stuff. I also thought I'd want to get into combat, but that seems like a huge uphill battle.

How do you all do it? I hate that I hide away in the tundra mindlessly bashing wishing/thinking about how I want to actually play the game.

Also compounds the issue because I'm like "why am I like this when I'm not in so many other areas of my life"? Social anxiety with short bursts of fitting in happens IRL though, putting on the social interaction hat for work/friends.


  • thanks so much for that, that's comforting :) I always feel like I'm playing in everyone else's game and experience.
  • This touches on a lot of why I decided to give up on Qimaileh. I wasn't going to post anything on the forums but given that what you're talking about goes along with my experience, I guess I will. Though, note, this isn't intended as a rant or anything.

    As Rom (and others, in other threads) have said, Mhaldorian players are nice, helpful people, that's definitely true. I do think there's a downplaying, likely unintentional, of how rough being a new character in Mhaldor is, though and it's a lot more than just being disallowed from using CT. You say you hate hiding in the tundra to bash, I quit leaving central Sapience to bash altogether because it felt like every time I did there was someone attacking the city. Or the Isle. Or I was being summoned for an impromptu discussion. On their own, those are all enjoyable things, or at least can be. But them being both regular and compulsory means that I lost any feeling of agency. Sometimes I get home from work at 10pm and I just want to bash and make some progress towards dragon but who knows if I'm 'allowed' to at any given moment. And that progress is significantly slower since I'm cutting out all but the most popular areas by staying close enough to head back if needed.

    Then there's, ya know, the actual tasks to be seen as deserving some modicum of respect. I made the effort of tracking down someone I spoke with 2 RL years ago to do a follow up on a previous task, submitted that two different people who both wanted it and... have yet to even been acknowledged that it was read. I've been told to 'design and run a city event,' which is absolutely terrifying, especially with no further guidance. (Yes, I was offered help if I need it by a third party but I don't think they meant me asking 'what the fuck am I supposed to do with something this broad and unstructured?')

    So, I dunno. I quit because it was really stressful and making me consciously anxious. If you want to engage more, you'll be practically forced to, or at least very heavily encouraged to, likely until you wish you could go hide in the tundra and mindlessly bash. I wish I had better advice than 'it's really rough but stick with it' when even I couldn't. Because when it was enjoyable, it was extremely enjoyable. I love the interactions, discussions, actual RP that I don't see nearly as much in any other part of Achaea. 
  • Sorry you had a bad experience. I hope you give it another try, sounds like you have it figured out. Getting back from tundra is much easier now that I can fly.
  • Exactly, 100% what Rom said. I spend a lot of time helping people out with combat stuff and I frequently hear "oh if you don't want to" or "sorry to bother you" and those are both incredibly off base. If I can help people learn things and become better at them, I want to be doing that more than whatever I would be doing... especially if what I would be doing is just afking at Rally (or previously Lichlord). I've never been bothered even with simple stuff, because any toe in the water is more people getting more involved in an already small playerbase game. 

    Jumpy said:
    The membership is already such a good deal that there is no way we can reduce the cost. 

  • I don't personally understand your experience, and I won't pretend I do, because I don't want to reduce or diminish it. Instead, I'll offer just one bit of advice that I've found is really very helpful in almost every situation: talk to the people who are trying to help coax your story along and explain! Really, most people aren't complete assholes, and we all understand being tired, worn out, wanting to just check out and do something mindless. 

    Achaea has this habit of feeling weirdly intense, and urgent, and forcible. It isn't! If you don't want to come to a lecture, tell the person hosting that you'll catch them next time, but you need a little time to yourself! If you find that you're having trouble connecting with people, reach out and ask if everything's alright, if there's something you missed, if there are changes they could make to accommodate your tastes and preferences better. 99% of the time, there's common ground to be found, and adjustments that can be made to make it less onerous on you, that aren't an imposition or a huge deal. 

    Trust yourself with speaking up for your needs, and trust the people you play with to be decent enough human beings to help make your game experience better, if you let them. For the vast majority of cases, it won't go unrewarded. 
  • edited August 2020
    I feel like I probably wasn't clear enough, when I commented, so to make sure that I am - I feel like the main failure in my case was mine, if anyone's. I immensely enjoyed the interactions I've had and don't want anyone to feel like I'm upset at them. A huge part of it is that I always prioritize my character over myself when it comes to making decisions. Like even if I don't want to defend/raid/whatever I'm going to choose what makes sense for my character. That can get exhausting and it's 100% on me. All that being said, I don't want to give up on Qimaileh yet, I have lots of ideas and plans for her long term so... I'm gonna try harder to work on my shit and communicating better and give it another shot.

    Edit because autocorrect is dumb
  • I literally spend 90% of my playtime answering questions or showing people how to do something better. Mhaldor can definitely be a little daunting, but it all comes back to the same thing: show you’re interested, put in just a little effort, and you’ll be given that back tenfold.

    If you’re having trouble with decisions, or feeling like you just want to bash for a bit instead of help with whatever thing is going on, that’s entirely okay. Generally you can just send a quick tell that your time is limited in realms and you just wanted to hunt for a bit before you go. 99.9% of the time, you won’t get push back for that. We all get it!

    Yea you’re playing a character, but you’re also playing a game, so don’t feel stressed into doing something that you don’t really care to do just because it’s “the RP” 100% of the time. It’s okay to just relax sometimes!

    To the OP: Just gotta dive in, man. Walk into guardhouse/gatehouse/Drake/Lichlord and say hi to the dudes there. Generally they’ll be willing to talk to you. Interested in combat? Ask @Mizik or @Dunn Or @Dalran to give you a rundown of your class. We talk shop all day every day as it is, it’s never a bad thing to teach someone the basics and see them grow. Want to do some rituals? Talk to @Ellryn or @Stheno, say hi to @Entaro if you want to hunt. You can do it, just gotta take the first step!

    Penwize has cowardly forfeited the challenge to mortal combat issued by Atalkez.
  • SophiSophi Rally Point
    I just invite myself to things. If they don't want me there they can just murder me and I'll take the hint. 
  • People just send me tells with questions randomly and I'm cool with that. It's a complicated game that I've given a lot of my life to so I don't mind simplifying knowledge for anyone.

  • edited August 2020
    to be clear: I, personally, don't have an issue with Mhaldor. It is more a social anxiety issue itself. It is portable to any city or house :) I think getting on Achaea Discord helped. Looking forward to this week and more! I am reach out more to folks and making an effort, and it is making me feel good about doing it.
  • edited August 2020

    I haven't encountered anyone being a jerk to me, and everyone I've conversed with has been more than generous with their time if they're available. It helps to know that it is just a bunch of folks sitting behind a computer, logging on to the game, and just wanting to have a good time away from the real world just like me. We're all in this game together, and that includes me, too :)

    I also try to send letters if it isn't time sensitive, which I think is a nice touch. Considering getting the signet ring, taper and a heraldry arms just for flavor.
  • To that last post - I don't have any idea what it's like in Mhaldor, but I know as someone who loves helping newbies and has increasingly too-many-other-things to do, making a little bit of extra effort can go a long way! When I receive a letter, or even a message from someone asking to talk to me later, I take it seriously and always make time to respond. Those things signify you're putting in some effort, more than just randomly sending me tells with whatever is on your mind. 

    Less for combat, but I think a nice gesture for qs that are history/faith/org/mythos related is to say "here's what I've read or seen, can you recommend anything else or help me fill in the gaps?" because there is nothing worse than getting a question from someone where the best/most accurate answer is HELP/CHELP (your question). Even a younger player saying "I read CHELP THING but xyz part of it isn't making sense to me" goes a long way. I can then read CHELP THING and that immediately gives me a better sense for how to help you - I can imagine my knowledge being limited to that and see why xyz part is confusing, as opposed to trying to troubleshoot general confusion without any idea about what you do or don't know.

    Hang in there! We are glad to have you.
  • edited August 2020
    A few very kind people have made me part of their little circle straightaway, and it took so much pressure off (thank you @Fen and @Parthenope!), but as I started diving into actual City and House tasks I got to feeling incredibly overwhelmed. There were just so many instances of "Go talk to someone about this..." So I spent a couple days bashing myself up to 70 instead!

    But then I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get some things done, and then I just spiraled. Social anxiety up the yee-ha. And I'm not sure I handled it well at all IC; was afraid I busted my chance to play and not be considered the weird girl who doesn't socialise well with others.

    It must be hard for those without social anxiety to grasp the excess worry about embarrassment or humiliation in what is arguably a pastime that's self-chosen. The advice to reach out and stuff shows folks care, but they don't really understand it or the inability to speak up for our needs because it's often looked at like we're trying to get a pass or take an easy way out (or at least the fear that this is what people think is a huge part of the mania experienced).

    I can attest that there are good people who try to make things better and understand though (@Makenna and @Uilien), but still, I was feeling pretty hopeless tonight. I thought maybe I should quit and start over entirely or switch cities to get a fresh chance at 'life' in Achaea. Or that maybe I just wasn't cut out for an RP game. Then I stumbled upon these forums and this post. Wow, so timely!

    Thank you for posting! I was seriously thinking of walking away from my character until I read through this thread. Now I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and that has made me want to come back and try again.
  • @Vhan I've also got really bad social anxiety, so I completely get that. Approaching people is really hard for me, even if I've made contact with them before and I have no reason to think they're going to be bothered or anything less than helpful. And the 'quit and start over' urge is also, obviously, a thing I can heavily relate to. One thing that's helped me with that, since deciding to continue with Qimaileh, has been making more of an effort to roll with things. Like... I realized that I came back to this character two years after making her and my initial concept for her was very clear but inflexible, while I'm a much different person than I was then. So I decided to continue in a way I enjoy, even if that means changing aspects about her, and finding ways to make those changes make sense RP wise. I'm rambling but what I'm trying to say is, I guess, all kinds of things can go unintended directions but those can easily be opportunities to play off of later and not hindrances.
  • OmiOmi
    edited August 2020
    I have the opposite problem, I'm tooo social. So I'll get on OOC clans or forums and the game starts to become less RP to me. Omi becomes more an extension of myself because I'm myself in another window/chat. I found I started having alot more fun when I muted OOC clans and stay off forums for awhile.
    edit:cant spell
  • Mayapple said:
    This response is for the OP and all Achaeans who struggle with social anxiety disorder. 

    My contribution to this thread is so late because I, too, have been diagnosed with severe social anxiety disorder as a part of complex PTSD. I am not a new player, and in fact I happen to have been a prominent public figure throughout most of Cyrene's history. I recently returned to Achaea and immediately volunteered for a vacant position for which the entire job description is to interact with the public on behalf of the org. 

    I. Am. Terrified.

    And I love it. Achaea is my exposure therapy. While everyone in this thread has already given great advice for folks with social anxiety, I'd like to emphasize one perspective. Don't fight the fear. Embrace the adrenaline. Win or lose, dive into the uncertainty of every interaction. When you are in the moment, your hands shaking on the keyboard as you type, take a second to appreciate the exhilaration and heightened senses.

    Your social wins will carry you through the losses, and over time you will experience more and more wins as you build your character's circle. As it gets easier, do more socially daring things. Before you know it, you will have made great memories that you can cherish when times get tough. 

    Some personal anecdotes: Mayapple met the character my IRL husband plays for the first time a few days ago, and I trembled worse than the day she was accepted into Phaestus' Order.
    And speaking of Phaestus, even though I have been his order head, I find it exceptionally difficult to talk to him, considering he's been played by at least four people in my time, all of them with very different personalities. I sent him an IC message a few days ago and then immediately ran to the bathroom and puked because I was certain it sounded idiotic. (It wasn't my best prose.) I don't regret any of it. I faced my fears.

    Anyways, just sharing these so you know even veteran players struggle with this. I urge you to charge toward the fear at full tilt. Please message me if you want to share your social wins in that moment of victory rush afterwards. You know the one. I'd love to cheer you on. Message me if you want to vent or fret about something that you think didn't go so well. I won't try to tell you that it probably went just fine, but I will tell you that you were badass for staring down the face of your monster. Even if we never meet, please know that I'm cheering you on. 

    I would apologize for my verbosity, but finally discussing this publically is terrifying to me, and as I said, I enjoy the rush. 

    Enjoy the rush, guys. 
    Mayapple is the best apple.

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