In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Top 5 List - Things Driving Burnout in MMORPGs" by XAPGames. Simple and straightforward, XAPGames wants to know what drives you to burnout in an MMO and offers a shortlist of his own:
Burnouts, let's hear your list.
Top-5 things driving burnout in MMORPGs:
1. Tedius questing. Every quest hub is the same, just reskinned. Quests feel meaningless.
2. No variety in combat. Attack every mob the same way over and over.
3. Useless crafting. Spend time and earnings leveling crafting only to find out later that it achieved nothing.
4. Ultra low drop rate quest items. Kill 15 boars get 1 boar meat.
5. Slow respawns. Quest is to kill 10 snargletooths, there are only 8 and there's a 10 minute respawn.
What were your picks? Read on to find out!
Foomerang seems to have a laser-focus on what burns him out most:
1. heavy heavy story driven mmos (developer made stories)
2. 90% combat focused with afterthought crafting and shallow "mini games" to convince people its an mmorpg
3. games made tedious so you can buy convenience in a cash shop
4. esport and the never ending quest for class balance
5. getting rewarded for the slightest fart of an accomplishment
Kyleran offers a fairly detailed list of his own:
1) Participating in beta testing. So many people spend months in beta testing and by time the game launches they've either already consumed most of the content, or are able to just burn through it at launch (perhaps experiencing it for the umpteenth time) and again, finding the overall title to be unsatisfactory.
I avoid them these days however another consequence is that when I want to take my time and enjoy the content for the 1st time, these former beta testers have seen it all before and want to just rush, rush, rush through everything and become impatient with me. (if it was a FFA PVP environment I'd probably gank them when their back was turned)
2) End games without some aspect of PVP territory control/resource denial. DAOC proved theme parks can have a solid PVP endgame, more sandbox like titles such as EVE have a built in system for the most part. It doesn't have to be mandatory, but it should be available, and it should be fairly massive, and not some small battleground like affair.
3) Progression that comes to an end. Most people play MMO's because they enjoy progressing a character from lower levels to higher. Once they start to think progression has come to an end it frequently results in players want to quit and move on. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, and picking only one form (i.e. gear grinding) probably hastens burn out and should be avoided.
4) As others have mentioned, overly short leveling curves is probably not a good thing, but is also one of the hardest to get right. For the hardcore players, they can tolerate Lineage 2 style leveling, while to this day there are players who find WOW's leveling to be a bit too slow for their liking. Finding the sweet spot is probably one of the most difficult challenges out there. Of course, you can always do away with levels and solve part of this problem, but it opens up a few more as well.
5) Over focus on combat as part of the game's design. Seems like many players don't like to always "fight, fight, fight" so having fun, creative activities besides killing stuff will go a long way to increasing a game's longevity
Draron echoes the frustrating with crafting:
1 - The amount of new games that seem to follow the WoW formula of going from quest hub to quest hub to reach max level.
2 - Crafting and gathering (and other non-combat systems) being almost an afterthought, and provides no real meaning at endgame.
3 - The term endgame. Even moreso when people associate tiered raids and PVP battlegrounds with it.
4 - No player variety, set classes. A max level x class will be just like the other maxed leveled characters of that class.
5 - Getting old, like post #2 said.
And now for my own list (in no particular order)!
- Super heavy grinds can bore me out quickly. The weird thing is, if I'm playing a JRPG or some other singleplayer RPG I have a huge tolerance for grinding (when it ultimately doesn't even matter) and will often earn everything I can for my character. In an MMO, however, it drives me absolutely nuts.
- No/poor PvP. I really like PvP to be an integral part of the experience. I think I was spoiled by WAR in this regard and I look for that tight sort of integration in every new MMO. Not having it makes me antsy and I eventually burn out and start looking at other games to get that fix.
- Afterthought crafting, as others have mentioned. This is probably the most surprising of all to me. I used to HATE crafting. Now, I really like when crafting has a meaningful role in the game. I don't know that I'd want to be a full on SWG-style crafter with a shop and a dedicated craft. But I like the idea of being able to make (useful!) things for myself if I put the extra time into it.
- Observing the effects of attrition. All MMOs lose players, but I tend to acutely notice the server population differences as they happen, even at earlier stages, and it definitely hits my 'morale' with regards to the game. I like to think of MMOs longterm and I know that a downwards trend in population doesn't spell as strong of a developer supported content and feature schedule as an upwards trend would. No one wants to play an MMO that isn't fully taking advantage of its unique ability to grow, change, and add content over time.
- Strictly raid-focused endgame. I've never been a fan of the raid to gear, gear to raid cycle. MMOs (like World of Warcraft) that focus on this sort of stuff to the exclusive of all else really burn me out at level cap. I don't mind doing a raid here and there, but I don't want my entire reason for logging on to be for raids during raid nights and for daily quests on the other days of the week. Boring!
What are your picks? Share 'em with us in the comments below!