Oh, the struggle is real. The last time I modded a Bethesda game, there were days when I would spend hours modding, only to fire up the game juuusst long enough to see that it all ran as planned.
It only gets worse the more competent you get. If you know how to examine different types of mods with the related tools... maybe had a few of those unusual-gem-level troubleshooting missions, you can suss out conflicts and other issues without starting the game, so there's not even a good opportunity to get distracted from the modding. My last FO4 mod setup went from 0 to 300+ mods before I really started the game. And the crazy thing is the majority of it worked. I've literally been through the whole process so many times that its *actually* seamless enough that I can just mod and mod and not worry about breaking the game too critically... which only leads me to mod more and play even less. It might've been better when I had no clue what I was doing and was scared to install a new mod and knock down the house of cards. Everything is so evolved now with the tools, methods, and mods available, it's easy to just mod forever
See, I used to be like this, but I found it was hindering me playing games period. Sometimes, I'm just inexplicably cooked on a game, just not plugging in. So what ends up happening is, I try
to get into the game... try to convince myself there no point unless I finish the game. Frankly, I don't even know why. It's of no actual benefit if I'm not in the mindset to get into that game, and moreover have another one in mind. Nobody even cares if I finish it that time but me. It's not a job assignment. Nobody's grading me. I might play it again later. Often, I'm much more excited about starting a game than finishing it and it just is what it is. I had to stop guilting myself over that. When I'm ready to finish a game, I will.
Sometimes, it just takes doing that for me to fully 'acquire' the language of the game's design and mechanics. Often, certain things just don't jive, and midway through the game, my mind is clocking out. And it's almost like I HAVE to step away for a while. In the time away, it's like my mind consolidates the information and I just find myself having a stronger, much more lucid connection to the experience of what I'm doing in the game. "How did I not see how GOOD this is back in spring! Oh, I'm gonna play this for weeks and it's all I wanna think about." And then I do 3 consecutive playthroughs
If anything, I think the desire just comes back that much stronger with the distance because although I didn't finish it, there had to be some things I liked. There's still more to become curious about. I hate that feeling when it's like I've seen it all already. I do everything I can to NEVER EVER feel that way in my gaming time. For me, that means I'm gaming too much.
What it amounts to is mentally ruling-out the game I want to play in favor of finishing the one that if I'm honest with myself, I just don't want to play. The game that's gonna have that gripping effect on me, is often the game I'm putting off, to finish the one I've already started. So I don't sweat the reasons for falling off a game anymore. 3 months later, I could come back and beat it twice because I'm just that into it. If I put it in my head that I have to finish X game before so much as humoring Y game, there's a good chance I'm not playing either. Or like, I'll try, have a boring time because I'm not in the right mood for that type of game or whatever, and lose that much more steam with it.
Thinking like that just burned me out on games, essentially. I had to stop thinking about the progress like that. I think it's a trap. When I start to feel like that, sometimes I just pivot to guitar instead. Purge my mind of all games for a solid week or two.
Good example. Right now I am playing Elden Ring. I've been doing this playthrough since last year, and I only just fought Radahn the other day. I usually wind up doing a few days of intense play, and then dropping it for weeks. Why? Well, for one, I've already beaten it before. But the real reason is that I do want to see and experience everything I can get to in the game, in this playthrough. That will take time and lots of energy investment to study the environmental storytelling, continuing to sharpen my skills and build for efficiency fighting every single boss. If I go at that like a sustained project, there's just no way I am holding the energy, focus, and plain interest in the endeavor. By spacing it out, I may NEVER finish it, but every time I play I am just SO into it. So much so, I don't even care how far I get.
Just imagine, man. I'm not even gonna say 100%. Imagine picking up a game like Elden Ring, setting sights on even just 80% of the content, and then resolving not to start any other playthroughs until you finished that. I mean, I think the first region alone has over 30 bosses.
Cyberpunk is kinda similar with the scope thing. Elden Ring feels like a bigger game by far, but Cyberpunk offers a lot of different directions and opportunities beyond the main story beats. It's got a story you can finish, but like all other open world games, that doesn't really mean you are finished with the content. For me, games like that aren't even really about finishing the main story. It's just immersion and freedom of impulse via exploration. That's the beating heart of a game like Skyrim, CP2077, Elden Ring. They all have very set throughlines in them, but what it really means to finish one is a nascent thing. Many players don't even consider "completing" Skyrim (doing the main quests) to be worth the time at all because of the writing. Plenty of people just dick around for 300 odd hours before running out of enough stuff to consider heading for Alduin. Just enjoy the world until they are personally satisfied. I think when you feel like you've 'gotten' everything about the experience with the world, that's the truest end to the game. The main goal of the game was to put you in that world and show you interesting things about it, make you feel like it's a living breathing thing. If you got that, you got the best part of an open world game. Everything else is extra. Again, both Skyrim and FO4 are HUGELY successful games with stories that are mixed for many, widely panned by some crowds. Almost nobody cares about them outside of scholastic exercises in how storytelling and dialogue can fail lol. And those same people have put in 1000's of hours in, on and off. Because it's not about what you finish, how good your character is, what have you... it's all about that immersion in the world. Hell, I'd argue part of the fun is that you can't easily draw a line where you're actually finished. You can have your fill and know there will probably be more to discover next time.