My main way of coping with Fibromyalgia is distraction. Whether that’s through watching some comedy, reading a book, or gaming.
Gaming is a great distraction and my game of choice is Star Wars: The Old Republic.
SWTOR is an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game, though I am prone to just doing solo missions. I am part of a couple of in-game Guilds, which I love for the Social aspect. Occasionally I will do a group mission, but I find the most relaxing way to enjoy it is to go it alone.
On high pain days, I try to avoid Melée fighting (as it tenses my shoulders) and instead go for what I call ‘distance fighting’ – I think they call it ‘Ranged’ in-game – so Force abilities, or blasters and canons!
Get Started For Free
I got hooked on SWTOR through their Free-to-Play (F2P) account. Admittedly there are some key restrictions:
- A maximum credit balance (I think it’s 300k for F2P)
- You are unable to equip purple-classed gear (possibly called ‘Artifact’ gear in-game)
- You can only have a maximum of two playable characters
But that’s more than enough to get you started.
Write Your Story
In SWTOR you can choose from a range of species and classes. Each class has a default ‘storyline’ but the decisions you take, and how you interact with NPCs, can have a future effect. For example, you could start out as a Jedi Knight, but still fall to the darkside. You can kill some NPCs, but that would prevent them joining your crew.
You can choose what crafting skills to pick up – Force armouring, item modifications, weapons manufacturing, medpac and stim creation.
Each character you create, you can choose different fighting styles – focusing on defence and armoring, or dealing damage to enemies or learning to heal yourself and group members. And even then, as your progress you can choose extra abilities or ‘buffs’ (improvements in different aspects of your abilities).
Later in the game you can choose which planets to do missions on, whether to engage in space combat or even whether to travel the Galaxy to piece together an ancient droid! So SWTOR brings a lot of freedom to create your own adventure. And with Knights of the Fallen Empire which launched in October 2015, free will, choice and consequences of decisions matter even more!
As I gradually build this site, I’ll be adding some of the back stories to my SWTOR characters and also showcasing some of them in their current form here. If you play, why not join me?
I Am Not Alone
Through Twitter I have managed to connect with gamers, other chronic illness sufferers – and that special group who traverse both of those. I would encourage you to read this blog post from one such friend about how gaming has become important despite chronic illness. There are others who have an affinity with gaming as a coping mechanism while being ill.