In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "How long does it take you to know whether an mmorpg is for you?" by PWN_FACE:
Whether you buy a game, play f2p, or download a trial: From the time you log in and make it to character creation, how long does it take you to figure out whether this game is for you?
What are the variables that influence you the most?
What is the fastest you've made your decision?
Have you ever changed your mind about a game you had judged harshly and then found yourself going back to and enjoying?
Read below for some highlights from the thread!
thecapitaine offers a comprehensive response:
Most games never make it to install because I know they're not for me based on their description. Of the ones I do try, it most takes me 10-20 hours after character creation to know. Any game that requires that I install an unfamiliar set of programs to make it run gets the boot before I can click install. For the most part, it comes down to the fun I'm having and the fun I can foresee myself having in the future.
Maybe I'm one of the 'new generation' of gamers, despite having grown up with arcades and tabletop games, but I don't play a game expecting to hang my hat there for years and years. If it entertains and shows promise of continuing to entertain for the foreseeable future, I'm all for going with it. As for the games that got uninstalled quickest, probably Forsaken World. It may actually be a great game later on, but the tutorial and early levels were so insultingly easy that I could have played the game with the quest log covering the whole screen and randomly clicking tab and firing off attacks.
As I've ranged farther afield from my MMO comfort zone, I've had to go back and re-evaluate some of the games I gave up on earlier. I got TERA on sale and it exposed me to action combat which led me to trying other actiony games that had never clicked before (like DCUO and GW2 and, now, Defiance). My experience with MMOs has been much enriched recently by going out on a limb to play a game like Rift, which I avoided for over a year thanks to this site-- I won't make that mistake again-- and by realizing that it can sometimes be worthwhile to discount a first impression and dig deeper.
for treelo it can start as early as the game's website:
The state of a games website is usually enough to make or break a title. The cookie cutter F2P sites with a huge emphasis on cash shop items, no thanks. Generally speaking if information is hard to find, I just won't bother.
Character creation is the next hurdle, a lack of options can put me off but isn't a game breaker, I'll simply be more inclined to pick a game with more variety.
Assuming I make it past this point, five minutes of gameplay is more than enough. MMO mechanics are fairly generic so it really boils down to if I can stomach the game engine. Poor environments, woeful animations, a terrible interface, these are what ruin games. I like a good grind, but if I can't stand watching it take place... well, what's the point?
A quick trip to youtube is the most efficient method of judging a game.
Jaedor has a checklist of sorts:
I have three tiers of "check":
1st tier is character creation and the first couple noobland/intro quests.
2nd tier is after about 8 hours of game time.
3rd tier is midway to cap.
For TSW I almost didn't make it past character creation because it was terribad. But I'm glad I stayed with it. Great game for explorers and lore hounds and I'm happy to have bought the lifetime.
Slowest fail was Aion; I made it to tier 3 before discovering the endless grind. Was very disappointed because I had invested significant time and money, and it was decent up to that point.
Fastest fail was Wizardry Online beta. Failed the intro and I deleted the game as soon as it finished loading.
I have a pretty similar checklist to many of those who posted in the thread. The first major checkpoint is character creation. If I don't like how my character looks, then it really doesn't matter what else your game has going for you. I play MMOs to get lost in a world and I want my character to feel and look unique. If the game can't fulfill this basic desire for me, it's hard for me to get into it and stick with it.
Beyond that, it's hard to say. I tend to tailor my expectations to the type of MMO I'm playing. For example, I get quite a lot of flak for enjoying Star Wars: The Old Republic. Some people probably wonder how I can like it as much as I do. For me, it's simple: it's Star Wars and the content is fun. I like the game for what it is, even if I prefer a Star Wars game along the lines of Star Wars Galaxies as an ideal game. I don't compare SWTOR to SWG. It's a themepark game; I knew that going in.
I can kind of gauge what a game is and tailor my expectations to that. I'm not going to fault a game like Vindictus for not being a sandbox, for example. Different MMOs offer me different things and as long as they do what they seek out to do well I may find them enjoyable if they fit the type of experience I'm looking for at the moment.
I can tell you when I know I am NOT enjoying an MMO. The first time I catch myself idly running around in circles? That's the beginning of the end for me. It always sneaks up on me, too. I just catch myself running in circles and then I know that I am starting to get bored of the game and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that I am going to quit sometime in the next few days or weeks.
How about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!