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News & Features Discussion  » General: Moving On from Your MMO

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13797

 
OP  9/08/11 3:31:51 PM#1

There comes that time in the life of any MMO player when the game du jour seems more like work than fun. It's that day that a player realizes that it's time to move on. In today's Player Perspectives column, MMORPG.com's Isabelle Parsley takes a look at that exact topic. Check out what Isabelle has to say and then leave us your comments.

So here it is, that point I knew would eventually come, as it always does: that moment or series of moments when I become aware that I’m disengaging from a game. For the last 5 or 6 years, there hasn’t been a game that’s held my undivided attention for a whole year, though some have come close: my return to EQ2 after the sweeping crafting additions and – surprisingly perhaps – my return to post-NGE SWG, where I diddled about with critter creation for quite some time before the grind got to me. I’ve been back in WoW for 10 months pretty much to the day, but the shine is wearing off and I recently hit that point where I know that sooner or later I’m going to unsubscribe.

Read more of Isabelle Parsley's Player Perspectives: Moving On from Your MMO.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  aspekx

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/05
Posts: 2197

9/09/11 8:30:02 AM#2

It usually starts by not knowing quite what to do with myself when I’m logged in: the plethora of options (especially for an altoholic like me) is still there, but none of them really appeal.


i can completely confirm that as the process that myself and my friends experience. good description of the movement from playing to unsubbing there.


Games are repetitive by nature, most especially MMOs


i disagree. perhaps they are especially repetitive but because there are more options than, say, in Monopoly or even Magic, i notice it less, or at least not as quickly. by the time a board game is halfway through im already wondering when we can wrap this up and do something else.


Aside from that, one of the things I enjoy most about games is learning them, so once that learning curve levels off, a game needs to be damn good


yet at the same time the few games that have been incredibly innovative have gone niche and then gone under. take Chronicles of Spellborn for instance. so many of us were looking forward to its originality, but when we actually picked it up and it didnt match our old experience in any way, it was too different. i think unconsciously we are often at fault for the lack of gaming innovation.


My younger friends, on the other hand, generally seem quite at ease flitting from one game to another and they don’t have this view that a game should be forever. They just happily play something until it gets boring and then move on


i would guess our ages are not that far apart, i'm probably older. and for a while i did have this angst about switching games. but after a bit i realized that the game was there for fun and if it was no longer fun, but a chore instead, then i could really move on, it was okay. its like ordering too much food. i'm not going to make myself obese, or let eating become a chore, rather than a joy, because some american restaurants demand that you take oversized servings of everything they offer. the same goes for games. its okay not to want to overeat. (can you tell i've struggled with my weight in the past? =)


so for a while i just floated through f2p games like a Las Vegas casino buffet (more food metaphors!). yet eventually i wanted to settle down again and came back to one of my ol'standbys Vanguard. i'm not sure its really an age thing, however, i could be an exception for my age group.


"There are at least two kinds of games.
One could be called finite, the other infinite.
A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  holifeet

Novice Member

Joined: 10/09/05
Posts: 534

9/09/11 8:36:20 AM#3

I'm another one in the MMOnogamous crowd, Isabelle. I can't play two MMOs at once. I can't even play an MMO and a single player at once. It's one MMO...and nothing else, or a number of single players.


What I can't do is make ten months in an MMO these days, so congrats on that achievement.


Maybe it is an age thing. I'm approaching my 40th year (soon...TM) but I've only been playing MMOs for 8 years, so some might put me in with the early 30-somethings.


In the last couple of years I've managed a few months in EQ2, the same in LotRO and much less on the EQ Progression servers. I then just lost the will to continue. With EQ2 and LotRO much of the problem was the tedious solo quest grind. With EQ it just wasn't the same as before. Where as in my first, fondly remembered, time in EQ I was keen to try and make money, this time I had no desire to keep up with the Joneses. When I saw the game had become a drive for possessions and power I was out of there.


Since then I've steered pretty clear of MMOs and concentrated on a lot of single players. I tried the Rift beta but that got old after a week. I'm looking for a break from the quest grind. Rift was never going to give me that...quite the opposite...and no game currently on the market (mainstream at least) will give me that.


I think my last hope is GW2...or perhaps TOR.


"You're my only hope ArenaNet"


 


Then there's a friend of mine that I've known since early in my EQ days. She's a fair bit older than me yet stays in games for long after I have left. I think she's subcribed to EQ since 2001, and she's been in EQ2 for about the same time...not to forget SWG. Maybe she's missed the odd month here and there.


So it is possible to stay tuned.


All hail the Pixel, for it is glorious Orange!
.

  ming_xuan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 11

9/09/11 8:36:53 AM#4

Hum, you got me thinking here. I just realized that for me there is no transition at all when I stop playing. I just don't log on one day and before I know it, it's been a week, then two, then three, then I realize, oh hell, I've quit. I think I've done that for the last 3 or 4 MMOs I've played. Maybe I've tried logging a couple of time for each game after I've quit but never for more than a few minutes... It's kind of sad, come to think of it.


  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7755

Logic be damned!

9/09/11 8:44:41 AM#5

I can't stay subscribed to anything for more then a month..

Rift, WoW, EvE, EQ2, LOTRO, AOC, WAR, GW (thankfully no sub price there!)

but no matter what the game, I get into it and play a lot for a couple of weeks.. and then... it's just meh. Been there/done that... I think I really am just burned out totally and fully.

I just WANT to play a single game. Every day, for months and years...

Sadly that really hasen't been true for me since WoW and the early days of WOTLK.

Ever since my guild broke up during Ulduar I've just been wandering...

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  Meltdown

Novice Member

Joined: 8/09/03
Posts: 1191

9/09/11 8:50:28 AM#6

I liken the whole experience to dating. Gamers seem to have a "relationship" of sorts with their games. And there is a certain level of commitment required to go past the "few months" point... I guess that's when you ask the game to move in with you and you can no longer hide the relationship from your friends. After this point they seem to become fanbois, ignoring all the problems with their "game" and rationalizing any annoyances or pitfalls away. But gamers surround themselves with temptation, a disaster waiting to happen for any relationship. Reading PC Gamer, browing the mmorpg forums (oh hai), watching those Deus Ex commercials with envious eyes. Oh man, did you see the augmentations? I wish my girl... I mean game would do that for me... 

 

As such I feel like I suffer greatly from buyer's remorse when purchasing games, I feel like I need to constantly be playing the (game) market looking for the next big score. So busy looking around I miss what a great relationship I have with my current game... 

 

Also for me quitting a game sometimes feels like a breakup, especially if I have RL friends or family members who play the game, like when I quit WoW last.

 

Or I'm certifiably crazy... I'll let the trolls decide.

 

And btw.... for RL relationships I'm quite the opposite... I'm getting married in 8 days :)

"They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  Alcuin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 299

9/09/11 8:51:15 AM#7
I mostly adhere to the "poker night" idea. I get together with my friends one night a week to play cards, and I get together with my friends one time a week to play (insert current MMO here). Often we play more, but MMO game night is a usual thing

Poker would get boring if it wasn't for the competition, the beer, and the companionship. I'd say the same thing about MMOs.

_____________________________
"Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit"

  User Deleted
9/09/11 8:53:14 AM#8

I enjoy the journey much more than the ending and if an MMO can find a way to keep the journey going...(which eve did for me for many years.)....then I'd continue to subscribe.  


But games like WoW, EQ2 and the plethora of other level capped, only choice to raid or dungeon run at max level, games only hold my interest for the most 3-4 months, until I reach the "ending".  Which for me is when I can no longer progress my character...(Getting new armor that is barely discernable from the previous is not progressing)...or the game story ends...(for eve when my own story ended.)  


So I cancel and move on or take a break...(which I've done now for the past 3 months)...until something else strikes my fancy and I again play for 3-4 months like I've done since the days of UO and EQ.

  Senadina

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 886

9/09/11 8:55:11 AM#9

I'm 45 and I have no problem leaving an MMO. I also enjoy playing many games at once. I need variety, and the ability to play what I'm in the mood for at the time. I don't subscribe to the belief that an MMO should keep my attention forever. It is an unrealistic expectation that puts undue pressure and critique upon MMO developers. We are perfectly happy for a single-player game to last a finite time, even a game like Skyrim, but for some reason we expect MMOs to last indefinitely. There is a shelf-life for EVERYTHING in the world...you, me, even Twinkies...and MMOs.


  jdnewell

Elite Member

Joined: 7/04/06
Posts: 1891

9/09/11 8:58:57 AM#10

I am soon to be 38. Started playing MMO's about 10 years ago roughly.

The 1st couple of MMOs i played I stuck with for years on end, DAoC i think I played solidly every day for 3+ years and then off and on for another 2 years. Played WoW pretty solid for a few years after that.

The older I get the less I feel inclined to play anything for that long. Maybe nothing has come out that has held my attention like the old games, or maybe I am just getting older. I am also not a person who feels a game is a commitment like some do. Once the fun stops then the sub drops.

For the past 3-4 years nothing has held my interest for more than 8-10 months at a time. I just one day find myself not that interested in playing anymore and dont log in. I chalk it up to every game thats out there gives me the " been there, done that, got the T shirt " feeling.

I am looking foreward to GW2. Until then there are some great single player games coming out.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10924

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

9/09/11 9:00:55 AM#11

For me it's pretty easy to know when I'm not going to play. When I don't have to decide what to do when I log in and instead I'm wondering what I could do, it's time to move on. The transition usually takes about 2 days or so to go from logging in and having fun to 'meh'. *shrug* Then I hope something like Portal or Portal 2 comes out.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Sulaa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 905

9/09/11 9:07:14 AM#12

There are similarities between my standing with comparision with Isabelle Parsley's , but at same time there are diffrences.

I am also 'monogamist ' in case of MMO's. I don't enjoy playing multile mmos at a time.

I never looked for a mmorpg to last forever like Isabelle's is / was.

I DO look for long-term mmorpg though. Not one I play for 2-3 months or even 6 months , but one I could possibly play for 1-2 years at least or more.

 

I do not want to immerse in a mmorpg to run from real life. It is stupid.

I DO want to immerse to a mmorpg, to temporarly distance myself from real world. Same thing as when you read good book , I don't want to think about real world when I am reading a book - kinda obvious to me. That does not mean I want to run away from reality.

 

That's why I have a problem with current mmorpg's , they are too streamlined and combat focused and 'shallow' to allow immersiveness at a level SWG or UO allowed.

Second thing that is maybe even more important , is that current business models make it impossible for me to immerse into world. Even totally vanity cash shop , totally kick me out of any immersiveness. Thus kinda put in doubt reason to play mmorpg's in first place.

Diffrent games I am playing for diffrent reasons.

I play co-op games like Dead Island  or sport games like Pro Evolutiion Soccer to have laugh with friends and spent time with them , maybe down a few beers in a process.

I play FPS like CoD or Battlefield to have quick adrenaline and competetive fix as I can play one-two matches in matters of minutes.

I play strategy games to have fun with thinking , building and creating certain strategy for some complex situations.

 

Finally I play mmorpg's for same reason I read a book , to  separate for a relatively short time from a world and immerse into some fictional world , before I turn off my PC and go back to some fun or not fun activities in real world.

 

Modern mmorpg architecture which create concept of end game , and concentrate on it , making journey to it ,bland , shallow and very fast and what is even more important put Item Shop-s making direct $ -> game activities connection , thus 'invading' a fictional world and ruining immersion.

That's are reasons I find it harder to play modern mmorpg's for longer and actually I find it harder to justify even start playing another one. Already had to cross TSW from my watch-list becasue of that.

 

I had preety long break from mmorpg's , few years break actually , before I came little over a year ago. I started playing Lotro and had fun then they turned F2P and even though I got myself lifer account before that and I had alot of TP points to spend in Cash Shop, and I tried to play Lotro after transitiojn to F2P , I could not in the end.

Cash Shop was wearing me off bit by bit , more every time I logged so finally I left Lotro for good. Even though I had permanent VIP status and like 7000 TP points to spend when I resigned. (1 k for beign lifer  , 2 k for months prior to f2p in EU ,+ points I earned and received monthly while playing f2p version).

 

I am not burned out in terms of mmorpg's , I would gladly play another one, problem is game developers , seem to not want to currently invest in a game that will be made to attract players for a long time. Instead mmorpg's seem to be made to attract as much players as they can , offering very convenient , easy and fast jouney , while at same time trying to get as much money from those shorter terms players with various models that have one in common : they do include microtransactions usually in form of cash shop.

 

Well I think unless some developer / publisher decide to invest in an mmorpg's with aim to aquire loyal and long commited playerbase and offer subscribe-only pay option (would have to be higher than 15$ industry standard) I don't think I will find a mmorpg for me, and I might eventually resign from playing an mmorpg's at least until / IF  that kind of game arrive.

  nyxium

Novice Member

Joined: 3/15/09
Posts: 1203

Tumbling down the rabbit hole?

9/09/11 9:07:32 AM#13

When I realised I was running on a virtual hamster wheel doing dailys' day in day out. I went. I came back. I went again, sometimes resubbing to WoW. But I didn't feel so locked in and pvp'd a lot more or spent a lot of time out between paying for game time again.


  aspekx

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/05
Posts: 2197

9/09/11 9:08:47 AM#14
Originally posted by Senadina

I'm 45 and I have no problem leaving an MMO. I also enjoy playing many games at once. I need variety, and the ability to play what I'm in the mood for at the time. I don't subscribe to the belief that an MMO should keep my attention forever. It is an unrealistic expectation that puts undue pressure and critique upon MMO developers. We are perfectly happy for a single-player game to last a finite time, even a game like Skyrim, but for some reason we expect MMOs to last indefinitely. There is a shelf-life for EVERYTHING in the world...you, me, even Twinkies...and MMOs.

i agree with you at heart, but i still find that even the journey can get boring (read: frodo and sam on their last leg to mordor).

"There are at least two kinds of games.
One could be called finite, the other infinite.
A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  kirak2009

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/20/09
Posts: 545

9/09/11 9:12:15 AM#15

Originally posted by Senadina



I'm 45 and I have no problem leaving an MMO. I also enjoy playing many games at once. I need variety, and the ability to play what I'm in the mood for at the time. I don't subscribe to the belief that an MMO should keep my attention forever. It is an unrealistic expectation that puts undue pressure and critique upon MMO developers. We are perfectly happy for a single-player game to last a finite time, even a game like Skyrim, but for some reason we expect MMOs to last indefinitely. There is a shelf-life for EVERYTHING in the world...you, me, even Twinkies...and MMOs.



 


exactly me,  however i don't think twinkies have a shelf life ;)

"All expectation leads to suffering" Buhhda

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7755

Logic be damned!

9/09/11 9:20:23 AM#16

I really do think something has "changed" in MMOs though.

Before, and still in certain games, I feel like we were playing to do something greater...

We were fighting for our lands, collecting treasures and rarities for our homes, fostering and tending to friendships and really were a part of a real community we were involved in and cared about.

But now?

We fight for points, for stats, for rewards in throw-away games with no purpose or meaning outside of themselves other then to advance our own personal ego.

We collect not treasures but numbers, knowing full well it is just filler till the next batch of numbers is released.

We have no homes, just places in the world we share with the rabble of humanity - the mob.

We have no friendships or community, just pieces to a puzzle - tools to be utilized to accomplish our personal goals.

 

It just all seems so.... so transient, so fleeting... so pointless.

Why spend all night grinding through the same dungeons or raids or the same instanced PvP matches for gear that I know will be replaced in a few weeks/months?

Why try to achieve anything when it's just a number in a book and not something physical and visual we can proudly display and show of, something we can assign meaning to because it is unique and special to us...

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  haplo602

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 158

9/09/11 9:24:23 AM#17

Oh HAI there :-)


 


This is a funny observation you have there. I realised that MMOs are enjoyable for me when I can set resonable goals. If and only IF the game does not offer any I lose interest fast.


 


I don't like material goals as such (get this or that item, acquire so much gold). I like reputation related goals (leave a mark in the game). That means the current crop of MMOs is not for me. They are not persistent enough. I have severely limited means to achieve things.  Even goals to achieve are limited.


 


The only game I stuck with for more than 4 months is EVE Online (5 years or so). I think that tells something. The modern MMOs are created to tell a story. They are not created to CREATE your own story. Contrast this with the P&P games where the story was unique for everybody and the world just served as a background.


 


Unless that aspect changes, MMOs will be short term (relatively speaking) successes.


  frogtown

Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/11
Posts: 59

9/09/11 9:27:07 AM#18

I know when I am suffering burn out from an MMO is when I start actively researching new MMO's in search of something fresh and exciting to catch my attention. (Usually only to come running and screaming back to the original game I left in the first place.)

Hopefully one day I will find that one MMO that can last longer than a couple of weeks on my hard drive and replace my old MMO of choice.

  Rollmeister

Novice Member

Joined: 8/29/11
Posts: 41

9/09/11 9:33:02 AM#19

Originally posted by BadSpock



I really do think something has "changed" in MMOs though.


Before, and still in certain games, I feel like we were playing to do something greater...


We were fighting for our lands, collecting treasures and rarities for our homes, fostering and tending to friendships and really were a part of a real community we were involved in and cared about.


But now?


We fight for points, for stats, for rewards in throw-away games with no purpose or meaning outside of themselves other then to advance our own personal ego.


We collect not treasures but numbers, knowing full well it is just filler till the next batch of numbers is released.


We have no homes, just places in the world we share with the rabble of humanity - the mob.


We have no friendships or community, just pieces to a puzzle - tools to be utilized to accomplish our personal goals.


 


It just all seems so.... so transient, so fleeting... so pointless.


Why spend all night grinding through the same dungeons or raids or the same instanced PvP matches for gear that I know will be replaced in a few weeks/months?


Why try to achieve anything when it's just a number in a book and not something physical and visual we can proudly display and show of, something we can assign meaning to because it is unique and special to us...



 


This has hit the nail on the head for me. I feel very much the same way.  I'm getting to the point where I'm going to un-sub from RIFT.  It was a pretty game, but had no depth and there really isn't anything to keep me going back.


 


It seems that games try to rush you to max level so you can repeat the same activities over and over again, while not enjoying the majority of the world any more.


I'm 30% Rock, 10% Roll, 50% Nerd and 10% Troll.
Axis of Awesome - Moderately Rock and Roll

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7755

Logic be damned!

9/09/11 9:38:03 AM#20
Originally posted by Rollmeister

Originally posted by BadSpock



I really do think something has "changed" in MMOs though.

Before, and still in certain games, I feel like we were playing to do something greater...

We were fighting for our lands, collecting treasures and rarities for our homes, fostering and tending to friendships and really were a part of a real community we were involved in and cared about.

But now?

We fight for points, for stats, for rewards in throw-away games with no purpose or meaning outside of themselves other then to advance our own personal ego.

We collect not treasures but numbers, knowing full well it is just filler till the next batch of numbers is released.

We have no homes, just places in the world we share with the rabble of humanity - the mob.

We have no friendships or community, just pieces to a puzzle - tools to be utilized to accomplish our personal goals.

It just all seems so.... so transient, so fleeting... so pointless.

Why spend all night grinding through the same dungeons or raids or the same instanced PvP matches for gear that I know will be replaced in a few weeks/months?

Why try to achieve anything when it's just a number in a book and not something physical and visual we can proudly display and show of, something we can assign meaning to because it is unique and special to us...

This has hit the nail on the head for me. I feel very much the same way.  I'm getting to the point where I'm going to un-sub from RIFT.  It was a pretty game, but had no depth and there really isn't anything to keep me going back.

It seems that games try to rush you to max level so you can repeat the same activities over and over again, while not enjoying the majority of the world any more.

I'm currently subbed to RIFT too but yeah it's just... meh... very beautiful world, I really like the character models and animations etc. but it's just so... static.

Even the "dynamic" events, the Rifts have gotten so dull I generally just skip them because I feel the only "point" they serve is to grind XP and grind Planarite to buy gear.

I've come to realize I just really hate and I mean REALLY hate fields of mobs just standing around waiting to die.

I've tried to play Rift without doing any of the quests (they are just awfully repetitive and boring) but it just... it still isn't enough.

I keep switching to different soul builds but I can't find / create anything I really love/enjoy.. so all that choice, and I really feel no connection/emotion towards my character.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

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