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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Reason for Playing

Posted by MikeB Sunday February 24 2013 at 10:27PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Whats your main reason for playing a MMO game? " by Rhinotones.

In these forums many people talk about things they enjoy in a MMO that they are playing so I thought it would be interesting to see what results we would see in a poll. 



Rhinotones also offered a poll with a number of options to pick from, so let's see what the community has to say!

Amaranthar says:

I voted "alternate reality" because that most closely entails all that I want. But many of the other options are part of that.

Basically, I want the fantasy of a world that's "magical", and I want depth in a worldly sense. "Living" in a fantasy world, but not just living, I want excitement, lore, and that feeling of ancient danger and mystery.

Robokapp selects community interaction:

at it's core, because "I have a lot of time and MMOs take a lot of time". But relating to your questions, community interaction.

being a small dot among many other small dots and making big things together ... or breaking/killing big things together has a great appeal. Teamwork when going well is amazing regardless of which world it takes place in.

Rossboss is all about character progression:

I'm personally the guy who likes to figure out everything about classes. It's fun learning about how things work in video games in general. I play for character progression, I spare no class and leave no skill unturned. I also love to make a persona for my characters whether or not others know that I am doing so.

I got my start playing text based MUDs and the allure there was escaping to an entirely new world and role-playing the part of whatever I was playing. I didn't get into actual MMOs until Star Wars Galaxies, in part due to the fact I didn't feel the visual fidelity was there yet. It's kind of like comparing a book to a movie. When reading, your only limitation is your imagination, so text-based MUDs were great. But stepping into a game like say, EverQuest, I felt the graphics weren't quite there yet and so I wouldn't feel able to immerse myself into the game world.

Star Wars Galaxies, however, was visually impressive for its time and also a Star Wars game, an IP dear to my heart, and so I finally made the plunge. SWG also gave me the opportunity to really play in a Star Wars 'world' as opposed to a 'game' and that's really what I look for in MMOs. Unfortunately, most contemporary MMOs (including my current go-to, SWTOR) have essentially abandoned this pursuit, so I've had to find other reasons for playing, such as large scale, meaningful PvP (or RvR, if you like).

Why do you play MMOs? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Hokie writes:

Odd, no one said for entertainment. Or at least you didnt "spotlight" from someone.


Its my #1 reason.

If Im not having fun I'm not playing it. For me it really is that simple.

Mon Feb 25 2013 1:35AM Report
Rhinotones writes:

Hi Hokie,

One person did mention that I should have included "Fun" in my poll. I'll just paste in Slampigs point with my response here.


Originally posted by Slampig

"You forgot the most important reason for playing ANY game...FUN, remember that?"

Reply by Rhinotones

Fun goes without saying when playing a game but you can select other if you wish. Almost all play MMO's for fun but there's  aspects of the game that makes it fun. This poll is to see what mechanics within a game that people look for to make it a fun experience.


I totally agree with you Hokie that we all want to be entertained. I was trying to find out what it is about an MMO that is most entertaining.


Mon Feb 25 2013 1:51AM Report
Lanfea writes:

its all about satisfaction of your personal needs. may these be of social nature, for a sense of achievement, to get acknowledgement from other people, to get into competition against the virtual environment or other players, to releax from the real world. some people also play to satisfy their deviant needs. to have power over other people, to drink from the grief and despair they cause on them, to destroy what others have build. in the end the mechanics or features a game offers us are only tools to satisfy our needs. and according to that we choose a game.

you wanna know the reasons for playing? just look into yourself and ask yourself how you benefit from it and what kind of tool is delivering it.

Mon Feb 25 2013 3:42AM Report
Hokie writes:

Ohh I got you now.


You know what I want most in an MMO now, and maybe always have.


And that encompasses so many things.


I want to feel part of the world. Not so muh what I do makes a difference. That I progress along with my skills. Its one thing I loved so much about the dark elf quests in WAR.


When I got off the boat I was a nobody. The NPCs never heard of me, they gave me orders, had me do shit jobs, never called me by name.

But as I progressed in levels and thru the game, pretty soon they've heard of me, knew my name, gave me important jobs, and so on.


I want to be unique. Character creation options need to be many, and varied. A good example is Eve online, the old character creator. I can still to this day name the most famous and infamous players in Eve just by their character portraits almost 10 years later.


the developers need to stop treating us like we're fucking stupid. We dont need to be lead by the nose thru a zone, we dont need "walls" channeling us to the quest hubs. I mean how did EQ and WoW retain so many customers when people could just wander away, right?

Thats because we're not as stupid as developers think we are. I mean did it take someone with a college education to figure out how to go from Sen'jin Village to Razor Hill in WOW? You'd think so with how developers build zones now, SWToR and Rift Im looking at you. GW2 does it also, but much more subtlety.


Give me a world to explore, to experience, to be a part of. Its another thing developers do wrong. They know MMOs are filled with the with socializers, solo'ers, raiders, grinders, explorers, roleplayers, causuals, hardcore, pvpers, crafters, endgamers. Yet they are too dense to realize they can appeal to all those kinds of players, yet all they mostly focus on are the "locusts". The people who rush to endgame and consume as much as they can as fast as they can.

They could make huge zones for the explorers, and crafters, and RP'rs, and grinders. Just make one side of the zone with all or most of the quest (experience)  hubs, and the other side with some rare spawns, a few specialized quests that give lore and some exp as the reward.

And guess what the people who want to socialize, endgame, RP, explore,will congegrate around the hubs.

While the solo'ers, grinders, crafters, RP'ers, explorers will have their own area.


They need to give us more to do than just leveling and running dungons/raids. Example Eve Online.

No matter how much epeen bragging goes on about that game. There is still about 80% of the population that plays that game for something besides the PvP. I played the game on and off mainly for the PvP. But this one time I wanted to go into production. And even though the game has 300k people in the same server I found a nitch production item that let me earn about 40m-60m a day at about a 40% profit. Yes, I could have made more doing other things. But the fact that I could play the game HOW I WANTED, and the fact that it let me, was/is amazing. I played that way for about 7 months. Never killed a fucking thing, not another player, not one NPC. And I had fun doing it.


Most MMOs give me that in just small doses. And thats why I play.

And ironically enough, its why I dont play for long either.

Make me feel a part, (not apart) of the world and I'll play, (and pay) for a long time.


Sorry about the long post. I wanted to explaine what I like, and would like to see, in a MMO and the developers shortcomings in each of those points.


We are not children developers. Stop treating us like we are 12 year old kids who cant figure out how to get from point A-B or id there are too many choices we'll just stop playing.

Your customers are in their 20's and older, not their early teens, and we've been playing these games for years.

Mon Feb 25 2013 3:57AM Report
Rhinotones writes:

Thanks Hokie. No need to apologise, it was worth the read.

Lanfea what you say is true. I thought it would make for an interesting topic and for people to see what inspires others to play, hence the poll.

For me, I already knew the driving force behind my enjoyment of MMO's. I chose "Depth of content, objectives and options".

My reasoning behind this was that this represented what should make a MMO complex and challenging and therefore entertaining for me. If there is depth to these 3 then other aspects of the game like character progression would hopefully have the same attention to details.

A flow on effect into other important aspects such as community interaction if people are enjoying themselves may also follow.

This won't hold true for some but for me it's my starting point in choosing a newly released game.

Mon Feb 25 2013 5:59AM Report writes:
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