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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » 3 Things that an mmo MUST have for you to play it long term, and 3 things that it MUST NOT have.

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Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/07
Posts: 1186


OP  3/29/12 5:30:05 PM#1

Simple really,

What are 3 things that an mmorpg game HAS to have in order for you to consider playing it LONG TERM. 

What are 3 things that will automatically make you not play an mmo LONG TERM?


For me:


3 Things an mmorpg has to have

1. Flashy visuals / animations

2. Great music

3. A huge emphasis on group / party content. 


3 things that will automatically make me not play an mmo LONG TERM


1. Item mall / Cash shop

2. Mostly solo game play

3. Very outdated visuals. 





If you had to choose a SINGLE reason to avoid playing an mmo what would it likely have to be?

Bad Visuals
Bad Music
Bad Controls
Generic / Bad Story
Bad Animations
Bad Character Customization / Gender lock classes
Cash shop revenue model
Bad Community
Bad Developer Support / Bugs, RMT, Etc.
Other (Will explain in post)
(login to vote)

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13418

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

3/29/12 6:09:07 PM#2


3 Things that will probably make me play an mmo LONG TERM

  1. Viable non-combat paths of progression
  2. Player-owned structures or shops
  3. Regular new additions (example: Asheron's Call)


3 things that will automatically make me not play an mmo LONG TERM

  1. Levels
  2. Strictly combat progression
  3. Raiding 'endgame'


There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


Novice Member

Joined: 8/05/10
Posts: 199

3/29/12 6:45:24 PM#3

3 Things an mmorpg has to have

  1. Great music - I've found that games that have hooked me for more than a year all had great music such that I am willing to listen to them offline.  Game wins extra points for me if the music represents something unique in the game such that just listening to a particular song brings back some good memories.
  2. Large, diverse world that is accessible - By this I mean various environments from urban to desert to snow.  The environment should be pretty but that is not an absolte requirement.
  3. Storyline(s) - Preferably many subplots in addition to the main storyline.  Storyline(s) should update or be created over time via updates/expansions.  Finding out the story of each NPC such as shopkeepers and watchign them progress is fun for me.


3 things that will automatically make me not play an mmo LONG TERM

  1. Subscription - The cost adds up long term regardless of how little one plays.  B2P is good.  Even F2P is fine.
  2. Aggravating community - It is worst than having no community if the existing players go out of their way to annoy you.
  3. Poor human interface - If my hands hurt due to poor controls or the interface is clunky, then the game gets dropped.  Should follow Apple's example in crafting a good interface.
Coming from a time when I had great fun playing MUDs (purely text), flashy visuals and animation are not important to me since one gets used to it easily.
Cash shop / item mall is fine for me but I would prefer that cosmetic items are permanent rather than temporary.

Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 8399

3/29/12 6:51:51 PM#4

Nevermind the long term, if a game has bad controls it probably isn't going to be played in the short term.  FFXI immediately gave me a terrible experience and I quit faster than any other MMORPG I had tried.

Even trying to return to ATITD periodically, the #1 thing that prevents me from starting a subscription in that game is the asinine control scheme.  It's just unnecessarily obtuse to do  things which are simple in other games.

"Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates


Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6555

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

3/29/12 7:04:47 PM#5

3 things that automatically make me join the game (short and long term)

- good graphics

- in depth lore

- smooth movement and combat mechanics


3 things that will automatically make me ignore a game forever (or until that is changed)

- no WASD movement

- clunky movements and combat mechanics

- bad graphics


NOTE:   in my opinion good graphics dont mean being realistic and bad graphics dont mean anime, cell shaded, or any kind of cartoony visuals. Any high quality art style taht  works very smooth and well developed then its good graphics.


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

3/29/12 7:09:17 PM#6

Good things it must have.

1. Story, its a roleplaying game set in a world. If the reason you are there is stupid, why do ANYTHING there at all?

2. Gameplay variety. I dont want to quest all day. I dont want to raid all day. I dont want to PvP all day. it takes more than these three things to keep me playing because it will grow old fast.

3. Class difficutly. You can take TERAs classes with 8 skills and &#$* it, and if I can faceroll and win...&%$# it! Will someone with balls please do a remake of Asherons Call...the game with over 1000 spells and a character system that allowed you to make a total gimp. There was NOTHING like being a war mage that could wield a sword...cause it seems MMO makers have never read The Lord of the Rings before and only read a few bits and bobs about Dungeons and Dragons.


Bad things that will keep me away.

1. Piss poor crafting system.

2. Time = reward system that forces you to put in 500 hours for a set of gear so you can go do an instance for 500 hours for another set of gear so you can put in 500 hours doing endgame...for gear.

3. A legacy system that will allow me to marry my Sith Warrior to my Twi'lek Bounty Hunter and have them give birth to a human Agent so my Jedi character can kick someone in the nads or allow my non force wielding Smuggler to force choke someone!

“I hope we shall its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson


Novice Member

Joined: 6/11/06
Posts: 1263

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

3/29/12 7:11:37 PM#7

My list:


Must have:

  1. Non-linear progression
  2. Meaningful and varied crafting/player driven economy
  3. Player owned & built cities/stores
Can not have:
  1. Instanced world
  2. Battle-ground type PvP
  3. Level based advancement
Just my 2 cents...

A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true...

  User Deleted
3/29/12 7:15:43 PM#8

it's pretty simple or maybe it's too complicated I can't explain it better, Idunno. But W/E

Just give me more reasons to log in every day than reasons not to log in.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3548


3/29/12 7:19:01 PM#9
Originally posted by kakasaki

My list:


Must have:

  1. Non-linear pregression
  2. Meaningful and varied crafting/player driven economy
  3. Player owned & built cities/stores
Can not have:
  1. Instanced world
  2. Battle-ground type PvP
  3. Level based advancement
Just my 2 cents...


Make that 4c

Elite Member

Joined: 9/16/11
Posts: 2349

3/29/12 7:20:30 PM#10
Reasons to play: -good story -living and breathing World -updated frequently. Reasons NOT to play: -horrible Community -RMT infected/Cash Shop model(strict one Like AoC's Btw) -static gameplay

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/07
Posts: 509

3/29/12 7:20:51 PM#11
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by kakasaki

My list:


Must have:

  1. Non-linear pregression
  2. Meaningful and varied crafting/player driven economy
  3. Player owned & built cities/stores
Can not have:
  1. Instanced world
  2. Battle-ground type PvP
  3. Level based advancement
Just my 2 cents...


Make that 4c

Make it 6c

To find an intelligent person in a PUG is not that rare, but to find a PUG made up of "all" intelligent people is one of the rarest phenomenons in the known universe.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 2205

I am not a hater, I call it like I see it.

3/29/12 7:29:48 PM#12
Originally posted by Calintz333

Simple really,

What are 3 things that an mmorpg game HAS to have in order for you to consider playing it LONG TERM. 

What are 3 things that will automatically make you not play an mmo LONG TERM?


For me:


3 Things an mmorpg has to have

1. Flashy visuals / animations

2. Great music

3. A huge emphasis on group / party content. 



I realize this is your opinion but your 1 and 2 has no effect on long term viability for the majority. Visuals and music are all about the short term. Those things are great for pulling players in but not for player retention. AoC is a perefect example of that. I still think that is the most beautiful game on the market but yet look where its at.

When playing an mmo there comes a point where visiuals and music becomes secondary and gives way to content and gameplay. So that leads to my top 3 things needed

1) Plethora of content: By this I mean viarity, different types of content, not just the same old redundant t1,t2,t3 raids.

2) engaging gameplay: take away the hotbar spamming button mashing. Make the players work together in combat to acheive maximum results.

3) Challeneging content: No easy mode, no handouts.



Three things that kill long term viability:

1) Easy mode: If everything is easy people get "stuff" faster than devs can churn out content to keep players interested.

2) boring brainless repitive end-game t1,t2,t3 etc.

3) Fast leveling: This getting to cap in less than a month kills the game. I remember when getting to cap felt like a monumental accomplishment. It felt like you just climbed mount evrest, just to get to the top to realize you have an even bigger mountian to climb with the end-game.



Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
Now Playing: N/A
Favorite MMO: FFXI


Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1075

3/29/12 7:37:45 PM#13

3 Must Have's

1. Varied and interesting gameplay - A game that allows me to do things other than kill, kill, kill is a game I usually will spend more time playing. That said, the quality/fun factor is crucial to this point, as the act of performing the game's activities needs to feel rewarding and intuitive while providing a healthy challenge and complications that require brain power to overcome.

2. A rich game world with compelling content - A game that has a world that is unique and mysterious, yet inviting and immersive allows me to care far more about my character and the things he encounters. Furthermore, a game world that isn't copied/pasted and contains truly unique dungeons, quests, settlements, etc. adds much depth to the gameplay.

3. A robust character development system - A game that allows me to create and play the character I envision to my exact specifications is one I rever. I can spend hours, days, just creating character builds. This ties directly to point #1, as a character needs to be more than just a killer. Non-combat skills are a big one here.


3 Must NOT Have's


1. Bad controls - Self-explanatory.

2. Lack of polish - Again, pretty obvious. If the game contains several bugs or if it crashes atleast once a day, then I find it impossible to continue playing.

3. Lack of/lackluster gameplay options - This is where most themepark games fail. If they all derive into a loot grind or a quest grind, I quickly lose interest and turn to something else. There are a few exceptions, where gameplay is extremely captivating and varied, allowing for player skill to really emerge, and the grind isn't felt at all.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/08
Posts: 16

3/29/12 7:38:08 PM#14

Should have: many updates, good crafting, fun PvP, good story, player-owned housing or other structures, missions/quests/dungeons that are unique, and good rewards from those missions/quests/dungeons


Should not have: too much grind / repetitive gameplay  (many MMOs are trying to get away from this), too many random quests with no real story, and quests that are just "kill 10 random creature"



Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 1126

3/29/12 7:39:18 PM#15

3 Things an mmorpg has that will keep me playing (and paying) long term:

1. Engaging story or lore

2. Player-owned structures

3. Open, accessible (non-gated), diverse world

* Bonus points for great music, the ability to play either solo or grouped, non-linear progression


3 things that will automatically make me not play an mmo:

1. Open world PK, ganking and griefing

2. No endgame except PvP

3. Pure grinding


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4221

3/29/12 7:43:53 PM#16


3 Things an mmorpg has to have

1. Various systems of progression

2. Great music

3. Dynamic Content to make alt play non tedious 


3 things that will automatically make me not play an mmo LONG TERM


1. Outdated or horrible controls

2. Lobby type gameworld, i.e. Vindictus, Guild Wars 1

3. Very outdated visuals.


Forum Bunny

Joined: 10/24/10
Posts: 2693

3/29/12 7:46:26 PM#17
Hai faiv axe! Bad controls made me quit ff11 in less than 30 minutes!

But for me must haves are :
Community tools and built towards making community better.

Umm... Decent freedom/ lots of things to do that arent renderd pointless by something else.

Focus on fun rather than progression

Must not have :
Cash shop that make normal gameplay obsolete.

Bad user interface. Eve was bearable but ff11 just made me cringe.

Focus on gear more than gameplay

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Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 4404

RIP City of Heroes!

3/29/12 7:46:28 PM#18

[X] Other:  fun.  It's the only thing that matters.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/11
Posts: 293

3/29/12 7:55:43 PM#19

Musts Haves:

  1. Interesting Story and/or world. This is the big killer for me, most MMO's have extremely generic worlds.
  2. Interesting Classes or skill system that really have a place in the world. Little to no classes just there so you can say you have it, needs lore to back up its existence in world.
  3. Variety of things to do like Leveling, Raids, Dungeons, Battleground PVP, Arena PVP, World PVP, Crafting, Minigames, something beyond that would be great.
Must NOT have:
  1. Large amount of bugs.
  2. Free for all loot with no alternative option.
  3. Too Fast or too slow leveling/skilling up. I'll give exception to a game that really gives a legitimate reason for this...which is none so far.

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Novice Member

Joined: 3/29/12
Posts: 10

3/29/12 9:09:32 PM#20

Must Have

1.  Engaging Questing Storyline.  I can deal with grindy quests, as long as the story threads keep me interested.  (Successful Examples:  LotRO, WoW, TOR)

2.  Expansive Character/Player Home Customization.  You'd be surprised how long I've stuck with a game just to get my house looking just right, and to get that perfect Appeance set.  ... I'm straight, durnit.  (SWG, EQ2, WoW patch 4.2)

3.   Grouping System.  I don't mean a cross-sever LFG tool necessarily, but there have to be tools in place to make partying up less of a nightmare, liking summoning stones and what-have-you.  FFXI and TOR, I'm looking hard at you.    

Must Not Have

1.  Forced "Always On" Open-World PVP.  I will never roll on a PvP server.  EVER.  "Hell is other people," given form.  If I want ot PvP, I'll queue up for BGs, or go to an Open-Zone (Winterspring, Ilum).  Worst Sinners:  Ultima Online (early days), Warhammer Online.

2.  Forced Grouping.  Sorry, i want to be able to do my thing, get in and get out, not spend hours hunting up a group, just to get something done.  I'm looking at you Final Fantasy XI.  (Also, special mention goes to the complete ass-backward grouping system, combined with the overtuned Story Quests of TOR).  

3.  Harsh Death Penalties.  I have zero desire to lose gear and/or levels because I got hit with a lag spike or an internet outage and by the teim I'm back, the MOB has eaten my face.  Nevermind all the deaths one dies just from having bad luck with respawn timers.  This is a deal breaker for me.


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