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

Author: staffblog

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

Community Spotlight: What Burns You Out?

Posted by MikeB Sunday July 22 2012 at 6:07PM
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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!

fenistil writes:

Quoting cause it fit me:

"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"

 +  f2p, freemium, cash shop business models.

I learned that it sooner or later start to infuriate me and then burn me out. 

Just seem I have biological aversion to CS. I just cannot accept RL tied to virtual world game via $ spent in CS / RMAH, etc

Sun Jul 22 2012 6:31PM Report
Eivi writes:

F2P is my pet hate, i personally think it opens the "douchebag floodgate". Plus i dont like the fact that ive paid box price because i believe in the product and then get shafted further down the line because its went ftp.

Sun Jul 22 2012 7:12PM Report
pathiean writes:

Soloing an entire game up until the end when you need to group for raids or instance and because the entire game has been soloable nobody knows how to work with others or play their class in a group setting vs playing in a solo setting.

Doing the exact same instance over and over and over and over and over and over and over. For god sakes why does all the good loot always come from just one or two instances. Spread it out.

Crafting- Spending hours grinding a craft only to realize there is no point to it cause all the best loot comes from mob drops. Save potions or food, there just seems like there is no point to crafting anymore.

Sun Jul 22 2012 7:48PM Report
Terranah writes:

In a themepark, I guess it would be when i max level and I don't feel I am advancing my character any longer.  Since I am only a casual pvp person, I find the long rep grinds to get gear to be a real turn off.  And I'm not a raider either, so that's out too.

 

What do I like to do at endgame in a themepark?  Small group or solo quests that are fun, humorous and reward you with either better stat or nice looking gear.  Exploring new lands, fighting new mobs, taming pets, acquiring new mounts.  I like making my character look cool, collecting stuff, decorating my house perfectly, helping other players.

Sun Jul 22 2012 8:06PM Report
Mardukk writes:

1.  Linear quest grinders...believe it or not I don't need to be told what to do every second I'm in a game.

2.  No solo challenge...since most MMO's are going for soloability at least give me a challenge.

3.. balancing PvE and PvP together....ughhhhh

4.  MMO's that have nothing useful to do other than combat.

5.  Buying a new themepark game every three months as there is only three months worth of content, actually themeparks in general are burning me out along with cartoony fantasy settings.

 

Sun Jul 22 2012 8:58PM Report
TheCrow2k writes: GRINDING. Especially Grinding disguised as endgame content. Sun Jul 22 2012 9:57PM Report
MaxJac writes:

I am right there with you in regards to PvP. I need it in a form that is more thought out then battlegrounds/scenarios/whateveryoucallitthistime. WAR did a lot of things wrong but it also did some things oh so very right. I enjoyed all class options (my main was a tank, and I normally hate tanking), but what shone the most, not unexpectedly, was the PvP/RvR. GW2 is the closest to capturing the same feeling for me so far. It doesn't quite hit the same level, but it also does some things that WAR did not (beyond being less buggy).

Sun Jul 22 2012 10:09PM Report
Trionicus writes:

If I have to pick then i'll go with 1

2

and 3

Mon Jul 23 2012 2:20AM Report
JRRNeiklot writes:

1.  Daily Quests.

2. Daily Quests.

3. Daily Quests.

4. Daily Quests.

5. Daily Quests.

Mon Jul 23 2012 3:37AM Report
Khayotix writes:

1. story driven mmos (developer made stories) Story should be told by proxy not actively. NO Player stories made by devs. Players are not THE ONE they are one of a million so they can make their own adventures and stories.


2. Combat focused with afterthought crafting and housing and other things to do that Liven up the world.

3. Cash shops that sell items to trade for in game currency, or currency directly, or any other items that give people an edge in games, like health rez and mana potions etc (unless those items could be made in game, then it doesnt matter if someone buys them with cash or makes them through effort, because we can all have them.)

4. Rewards for doing things that are so easy an infant could do them. (Make it hard and challenging or else the game is worthless.)

5. Short Leveling Curves, I should not be max level in my free month, I shouldnt even be max level in 3 months! (6 months should be the minimum, but I would like to see around 9-12 months to hit max level, 9 if you are a hardcore player, 12 if you slow it down a bit and dont push yourself.)

Mon Jul 23 2012 8:59AM Report
Jaedor writes:

Things that make me burn out quickly:

1. Grinding. This means any longterm, repetitive activity that quickly feels more like a job than a game. This usually includes dailies, rep grinds and achievements.

2. As has already been mentioned, beta testing. I tend to look for beta opportunities and I'm a good tester. But there's a price. =/

3. Heaped-on responsibility: Raid leadership, guild leadership, blogging, website maintenance - it all adds up and eventually takes away from the pure enjoyment of the game.

 

 

 

Mon Jul 23 2012 11:58AM Report
techee writes:

Here's my five:

  1. No or Little Updates: Games that doesn't update or updates a little makes my gaming experience not worth it. Updates provide variety that I want and makes the gameplay fun.
  2. Long Leveling: I prefer short leveling than I do long. It makes for quick gameplay and engaging stories
  3. Boring Storylines:
  4. F2P: It's a good idea, but the games that have that, either have trials, short level caps (so to not experience the entire game, and thus have to buy it to experience it to the fullest extent), or some sort of limit (like you can only create 2 characters maximum). If I want a F2P game, then I want it with all acess, or access it with most of the content so I can at least enjoy it.
  5. PVP: Another good idea, but it differentiates between the good players and the bad players, and would have to buy gear or redo your skillsets. It's not always the easiest thing to do, and it always takes time to know what you're doing. PVP matches can be very frustrating at times, and I know it might just be me, but... Who knows?
Mon Jul 23 2012 5:17PM Report

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