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The Casual Gamer

Helping put a perspective on the MMO genre from someone who doesn't have time to hit the maximum level inside two weeks.

Author: grimmbot

When Nothing Satisfies, Where Do You Go?

Posted by grimmbot Wednesday November 26 2008 at 11:01AM
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I started my MMO career with Ultima Online in 1998. Best 3 years I ever spent in a game.

Moved to EQ, but didn't dig their super-slow levelling system -- my friends all outlevelled me -- so I left that after 3 months. Asheron's Call lasted me two.

Anarchy Online? Not that good. Loved the instancing bit, but most of it annoyed me so that didn't last long. I tried Lineage and Lineage 2 and found both to be too grindy.

I had a beautiful 18-month run in Shadowbane, but 12 of that was in beta, and we knew after the first 6 months that it would fail at release. It was like having a fling with a married woman -- you knew as soon as the truth got out, it'd be over.

EVE never interested me. Planetside kept me busy for 6 months (easily the best system for newbies to jump into). FFXI sucked me in for a good year (despite my EQ hate, I had RL friends in the game). Everquest 2 kept me for 4 months, but left when the crafting system sucked me in so badly that my college grades were falling.

By this time, I had seen it all -- so when WoW came out, I got to 60 fast, then realized what the endgame was and I was OUTTA THERE. Left after 4 months because I'm so over 4-hour sessions at one sitting. LOTRO was decent, but after the 30s I had to group up too much for my casual playtime.

Age of Conan, well... heh. Do I really need to explain? And lastly, I played WAR for only 2 months. The game wasn't... BAD, but it did nothing to suck me IN. Nothing there to make me CARE for the game.

I took time off from WAR due to a bad work schedule and -- no joke -- it was the first time in my MMO career that I didn't miss it. There were even parts of Lineage 2 I liked enough to want to go to back, but WAR, as well-done as it was, doesn't have that intangible to keep me compelled. It was like someone swapped out my Marlboros for Candy Cigarettes, you know? It tasted nice, but there's no nicotine to feed the addiction I bought these things to feed!

And that leaves me... here. The only MMO-like game I play now is NHL09's EASHL league on the X360.

I took a long break from the genre before Age of Conan because of how dissatisfied I was -- and if I'm going to devote my casual-like playtime to one game, it dang well better be worth it. When both AoC and WAR predictably disappointed, where do I turn?

Darkfall? Ha. haha. No, really, stop it.

Souvec writes:

Well I started out much like you in the early days when MMO's were just starting to "pop".  UO was my baby and I will have no other experience that has come close to what I experienced there.  Since then I have moved from MMO to MMO to try to regain that same feeling, and despite going back to UO in its current state, I have settled for EVE.

Just something about EVE that makes me coming back, perhaps its the fact I don't have to spend hours upon hours leveling or grinding.  I can progress evenly regardless of effort.  Ryzom was a close second after EVE because of its community, world and atmosphere.

But I hear you man, good luck in finding that game.  It just could be the fact that you as a person has changed, your interests and time scheduling has changed as well over time.  I doubt anything will come as close to your first.  

Wed Nov 26 2008 11:28AM Report
robomonkey writes:

I think it breaks down to the fact that perhaps we're seeing the rinse and repeat of the same 'ole carrot on a stick chase. The only difference is that we're simply loading different types of carrots to chase.

Then when companies simply take an idea, and then tweak it a little bit and release a product where you chase and kill X amount of creatures for X amount of reward. Over... and over... and over... it can get kind of redundant.

Perhaps it is a case of MMO-Burnout.

Wed Nov 26 2008 11:57AM Report
ElendilasX writes:

It story almost same:

We just simply hoping for something new, better, have higher expectations, but game creators just thinking about money (most). So they make same shit but in little different outlook and give us as new...  Hmmm... Atlantica Online really surprised me, it sucked my in like black hole for few weeks, but when i was lvl~95 i just understood that they wont make updats for quite some time so i quit. But for casual gameplaying it really can be good choice. But only if you will like battle system.

Wed Nov 26 2008 1:46PM Report
Khalathwyr writes:

I started a year before you in 1997, played pretty much all the games you have (though I liked some you didn't and hated some that you liked, hehe) and find myself sitting in the same situation. TO add to that I'm not all impressed with the kinds of single player games companies are putting out these days too. So, I'm looking at SW:TOR, Star Trek Online and Mortal Online. The first two I won't commit to playing because at first glance they offer more of the same. I will commit to giving Mortal Online a try IF it ever launches. It reminds me of UO.

Barring those games, a skill based Shadowrun MMO or possibly the Warhammer 40K MMO (but I think it'll just be a WoW or WAR rehash), I'm done. No need to upgrade my PC anymore and going to start spending my money on guns, hunting trips and other traditional adult male hobbies.

Wed Nov 26 2008 2:03PM Report
Eveeldour writes:

I am in the same boat, hailing from the UO to present era. I recently quit WAR as well and tbh I have not turned my gaming computer on in 3 days (insane i know). However I am waiting for the EVE Online expansion (walking in stations) to re-sub to and then hopfully Jump Gate Evolution. OR maybe even Darkfall if it doesnt suck :P

Kinda seems our generation of gamers are getting a little fedup with the current games or maybe its because we are adults now? Nahhh :P

Wed Nov 26 2008 2:18PM Report
Death1942 writes:

single player games until you find another decent MMO.  Took me a while to find Vanguard (again) but i am quite happy with it.  granted i am not playing anywhere near as much as i used to play MMO's but it still fills in the gaps that single player/multiplayer games cant fill

Wed Nov 26 2008 2:44PM Report
Maelkor writes:

Where do you go? Outside...take a walk in a park...maybe skydive once or the other things in life and maybe 6 months from now something new will peak your interest.

Wed Nov 26 2008 4:02PM Report
fansede writes:

No WOrld of Warcraft in that list?

That is pretty causal..

Wed Nov 26 2008 4:10PM Report
fansede writes:

nvm I reread the blog. scratch tthat

Wed Nov 26 2008 4:11PM Report
darqonus writes:

same boat here not sure where to go, loved the begining expansions of EQ then went down hill, jumped MMO to MMO free to P2P's

Wed Nov 26 2008 10:54PM Report
Lexin writes:

Right now i don't play any MMO's but i am planning on playing FFXI again to pass time till the new Star Wars MMO comes out since FFXI was my first and favorite MMO i have played to date. All MMO's are just mimic's of each other and that gets boring way to fast at least FFXI really does not mimic any MMO as far as i can see.

Wed Nov 26 2008 11:13PM Report
mrcalhou writes:

I'm starting to find the real life grind tolerable now. At least that changes somewhat. Lab report, test, essay, quiz, lecture(sleep), skip class(write lab report), accidently spill NaOH all over me.

Real life is starting to get interesting when compared to MMOs, at least for me.

Thu Nov 27 2008 1:04AM Report
Aragrin writes:

Well I started my MMO gaming with Dark Age of Camelot, IMHO best PVP game there ever was. Then Mythic "tweaked" it and thus started the downhill slide. After 5 years, I was so depressed the day I closed my last account. Mythic had thrown around an idea of bringing back the original game and people were all abuzz about that. A lot of people got their hopes up that the great game would return bringing a lot of players back, but alas  WAR was the "baby and brainfart, I mean brainchild" of Mythic and DAoC was left to rot. I have tried a lot of MMO since then but I am feeling the same way as you guys, can't find that feeling again. No it's not because I am grown up now, I was grown up with job etc . then as well as now. The companies just keep throwing up crap for us to run to , to find out it is crap wrapped in a different brown paper bag. The days of the great games seem to be gone in the name of progress! ROFLMAO

Thu Nov 27 2008 8:47AM Report
Vyeth writes:

EA Sports screwed me over with the PC version of NHL 09 and that EASHL (which was the ONLY reason I considered buying it).. They even spit on m y face with a no-lobby PLAY OVER IP online mode in the new millenium, like PC users are the ones behind the times or some shit..

Anywho, enough about that.. I too have tried plenty of MMO's, but I never knew what it looked like through the eyes of a casual gamer. I don't really consider myself hardcore BUT there are really only small things that could make me unable to play at certain times (not to say that I always play, but I COULD if I wanted to)

Everquest was my first love and I suppose I was spoiled.. Although the leveling was slow it really gave me this sense of getting stronger over the course of time, I still marvel at my Half Elf Paladin sometimes and the time I spent building him. Thats one things these MMO's are missing these days, that feeling of reward and power as you build your characters up..

In early everquest expansion packs, instead of increasing the level caps, you know what they did? They gave every class some new spells and armors and weapons.. They made them stronger in ways without having to grind more..

Thu Nov 27 2008 9:44AM Report
jircris writes:

heh my first mmo..was a game called well of souls back in 1997ish.

if i was to list all the mmos i have played since then it would be a long post. I have been keeping track of the number of free and paid mmos and its a total of 2071 mmos since 1997 but im a gamer so what can i say. EQ2,LOTRO,POTBS and COH are my home at this moment.

RIP Tabula Rasa

Thu Nov 27 2008 9:47AM Report
slask777 writes:

Well, if nothing satisfy you any longer in the mmo world, I suggest this other game called reality. Sure, the dev/gm is an asshole and you find alot of griefers. It's easy to get banned aswell and it got only one server, and to top it off, it's a pvp server and it got permadeath :\ Still, that game got it's moments.

Thu Nov 27 2008 10:10AM Report
GaryM writes:

This is a funny site: so many people who no longer enjoy MMOs and yet continue to post here. How very sad for them. These games are nothing more than pleasant diversions, and yet when people pine away for that first MMO experience that sucked hours and hours of life out of them, I can't help but feel that what they're really missing is ... being young!

Thu Nov 27 2008 1:04PM Report
Dewert25 writes:

I Agree with GaryM on this one, Like EVERYONE who posted i cant find one MMO to get back into even, nothing is interesting anymore... maybe its just growing up, hell i played MapleStory for awhile and it was good but that was a long time ago... and now i look at it after playing WoW and EVE and it just looks like i wasted so much time playing those MMO's... well for now ill have to wait for a fresh one since i cant name 1 perfect one for me...

Thu Nov 27 2008 5:29PM Report
grimmbot writes:

What you've got to realize too is that there ARE plenty of players my age (I'm 27) and older playing MMOs and fully able to balance it with life. So while it's fashionable to claim "U HATE MMOS? TRY REAL LIFE U DORK" -- that makes too bold an assumption about players in general. It's really about my tastes maturing.

Sat Nov 29 2008 3:32PM Report
grimmbot writes:

About NHL09 for PC: You're right, EA has forsaken the PC crowd. The game is now so built around a controller that playing it on PC is a waste. Eventually they will just not put out a PC version at all, I'm sure.

Sat Nov 29 2008 3:33PM Report
grimmbot writes:

This is a genre that people love -- and has so much potential if only companies would take a chance. WAR took a chance and... they're still working kinks out. They'll need more time to get their design structure in order. My real life is already in order, believe it or not -- the whole reason I had to quit most MMOs I liked is because I refuse to treat it like a job anymore.

Sat Nov 29 2008 3:35PM Report writes:
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