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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How long does it take you to know whether an mmorpg is for you?

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Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/28/11
Posts: 672

OP  4/10/13 9:43:31 AM#1

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?



People often say it's innappropriate to review an mmorpg until you make it to "end game" and experience what it has to offer. But we all know that there are some games where we just wouldn't do that even if we were paid to. 


Some games, I've found myself unable to get through the tutorial even after trying 4-5 times. I will be honest. It was EVE. I know that is a well respected game. I'm just not into it. I know my personal experience has nothing to do with whether EVE is a good game or not. It's just my experience. Other games, I had fun at first, and made it to the middle like level 30/50 or 40/80 and suddenly just hit a wall and didn't want to log in any more. 


Other games, I've made it to the endgame and played for a while and eventually burned out. That's natural. It will happen to any game eventually, so that's not what I'm asking about here. Just then one's you've play for a bit and then just said, "Meh. Not for me. I'm out." 


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

4/10/13 9:46:15 AM#2

I've played/tried enough games now to know what I like.  For me it's very much about diversity of gameplay options.  If all there is to do with any depth is run quests, then I'll be bored by about 1/3rd of the way to level cap.

This describes jmost MMOs on the market right now.

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2668

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

4/10/13 9:46:59 AM#3
Takes me 1 month.


Advanced Member

Joined: 6/18/09
Posts: 188

4/10/13 9:51:25 AM#4
With previous research online done regarding the game, I know if I will like the game within 5-10 minutes. I have been playing these games long enough to see what will develope pretty quickly just by doing the basics in the beginning.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4707

GW2 socialist.

4/10/13 9:55:38 AM#5
Originally posted by PWN_FACE

Whether you buy a game, play f2p, or download a trial: From the time you log in and make it character creation, how long does it take you to figure out whether this game is for you?

Usually the first few quests.  At the most, the first 5 levels.  But this is not a definite...

What are the variables that influence you the most? 

The combat and initial voice acting probably.

What is the fastest you made your decision?

Recently?  Probably the Secret World.  I thought I was playing with action figures.  Terrible combat and awkward cutscenes, I didn't last the 3 trial days.  Age of Wushu is also pretty bad to me.  The SLOWEST I made my decision was GW1.  I tried to like that game for too long.

Have you ever changed your mind about a game you judged harshly and then found yourself going back to and enjoying?

Sure.  I stopped listening to the crap on MMO forums about SWTOR and enjoyed it for what it was, a multiplayer game with some interesting story and choices.  I also didn't expect much from WoW but ended up playing it for years.


People often say it's innappropriate to review an mmorpg until you make it to "end game" and experience what it has to offer.
EDIT: It depends but mostly, I very much disagree with that stance.



Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 736

game is also real

4/10/13 10:01:35 AM#6

- if game look bad I never even load it.
- my last buy and try was GW2, so from now I'll only try before buy.
- if game started with bad looking char, or slow motion, or endless quests run, or slow lvl - I run away.
- if game push me to item shop from the start or make too much advert about - byeee

normally takes me from 10 min to like 2-3 weeks to figure out

try before buy, even if it's a game to avoid bad surprises.
Worst surprises for me: Aion, GW2


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 3629

4/10/13 10:04:20 AM#7

In most MMOs I get bored before I hit level 10. Around level 15-20, I usually quit. I have lost track of how many MMOs I have tried only to quit in less than a week so I often dont' even play the first month which comes with the box. So I make up my mind very quickly.

What are the variables that influence you the most? 

I don't know really. I don't analyse my games. I play them if they are fun. But I guess things which really influence me are the graphics, the engine (how smooth is it?), interface and combat. These are the things which can really turn me off. For example, in EQ2 I couldn't stand the engine. I liked the game but the engine was a deal breaker. What they had wasn't even "workable". In AoC I was instantly turned off by the UI. 

What is the fastest you made your decision?

Probably 1-2 hours, hehe.


Have you ever changed your mind about a game you judged harshly and then found yourself going back to and enjoying?

No, I have never changed my mind. The games which I haven't enjoyed the first time around, I never enjoyed them when I gave them a second chance. I have lost track of how many times I have tried to give EQ2 and EVE another go. The outcome is always the same. I uninstall the game quicker than it took me to redownload it :D

People often say it's innappropriate to review an mmorpg until you make it to "end game" and experience what it has to offer. But we all know that there are some games where we just wouldn't do that even if we were paid to. 

Then I can't review any MMO. WoW and GW 1/2 are the only games where I hit max level. I don't care what people say about endgame because I don"t want to and will not play an MMO for 50-100+ hours just to get to the fun "endgame". But if people are willing to sacrifice their lives just for some "fun endgame", more power to them. I want INSTANT GRATIFICATION! I want my game to be fun right away. I know a lot of posters here will say "oooh, look at this new generation, they are so entitled blabalbla". But I don't care. I want my games to be fun right from the start. I spend 100 hours on games in about 2-3 months. Do you think I am willing to "work" those hours to get to the fun endgame>?



Mission in life: Vanquish all trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5695

4/10/13 10:10:31 AM#8

Within minutes. I downloaded Tera, created a Warrior and did the 1st quest in the tutorial. All done. GG Enmasse. Other than that, I'll play until I feel I don't wanna. I leveled in SWTOR to about 15 before I decided I didn't like the F2P business model.

I changed my mind only once. Anarchy Online.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/16/11
Posts: 57

4/10/13 10:13:00 AM#9
Originally posted by fivoroth

Then I can't review any MMO. WoW and GW 1/2 are the only games where I hit max level. I don't care what people say about endgame because I don"t want to and will not play an MMO for 50-100+ hours just to get to the fun "endgame". But if people are willing to sacrifice their lives just for some "fun endgame", more power to them. I want INSTANT GRATIFICATION! I want my game to be fun right away. I know a lot of posters here will say "oooh, look at this new generation, they are so entitled blabalbla". But I don't care. I want my games to be fun right from the start. I spend 100 hours on games in about 2-3 months. Do you think I am willing to "work" those hours to get to the fun endgame>?

Heh, that's the problem isn't it? How to balance making the game fun for the newbie while letting long time players feel they've got more power/status/whatever.


As for the OP, if I just randomly start playing a game I usually know within minutes. Anything themepark-ish isn't my style so it's pretty easy to sort out games I know I won't like. After that initial time period it goes into 'maybe' mode for a few days to see how things play out.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/12
Posts: 623

4/10/13 10:22:04 AM#10

For me I don't even have to play.They talk about their game is awesome and you can do this and that and combat is this and that but I can just look at a screen shot and see 1 hotbar combat for the simple minded masses that can't play with more than 20 buttons to press and they disguise it as 'action' combat. 

Most of the MMO's coming out now are made this retarded way,I understand why don't get me wrong.Its to pull in as many players as possible,so 5 year olds can master it.It 100% makes sense and is a good sound business plan.Dosn't mean I have to like games for 5 year olds.

Gnome Wankers two.After the events of 18/07/2015 i fucking hate anyone that has anything to do with skyforge

  User Deleted
4/10/13 10:25:48 AM#11

Originally posted 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?

Usually, about 1 or 2 hours, maybe a little longer. The "feel" of the game must get me from the outset. If I have to go through hours and hours of an un-fun experience just to get to the "fun part", I won't do it.

Originally posted by PWN_FACE
What are the variables that influence you the most?

It really is tough to pinpoint single things. There are some features an MMO can have that will have me not even be interested.

Originally posted by PWN_FACE
What is the fastest you've made your decision?

Pre-download with research of the game :) I think 15 minutes was the quickest for me. That was WURM Online.

Originally posted by PWN_FACE
Have you ever changed your mind about a game you had judged harshly and then found yourself going back to and enjoying?

World of Warcraft. I originally played it for 15 or so levels and just did not like the graphics. They were too "cartoony" for me with buildings that defied gravity and looked like they could collapse at any moment. About a year or so later, I gave it another go and "accepted" the graphics as part of the game. Doing this helped me laugh at all the little tongue-in-cheek things and pop culture references that lightened the overall mood of the game. Due to these factors, though, I was never immersed in the world of Azeroth. I did have fun while I was there, though :)


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/06/11
Posts: 402

4/10/13 10:29:02 AM#12

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.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

4/10/13 10:31:00 AM#13
If the game is not fun for the first 15-30min .... forget it.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/09
Posts: 70

4/10/13 10:43:28 AM#14

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.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

4/10/13 10:49:24 AM#15

It takes just minutes.  The biggest factor IMO is initial presentation of what can be expected later down the road.


Battlestar Galactica Online was the shortest MMO I ever played.  Just a few minutes.  Flew around in space and drug my mouse to turn my ship and was amazed by the lack of physics .. did it real fast a bunch of times and spun my ship around like a pinwheel.  My parting words: "Dis shit 'tupid".


Hype can draw out some extra time as someone tries to find out what the buzz was all about.  GW2 could have been finished in a few days, but it drug to months as people got to max level only to discover that the hype fans were selling a bucket of rocks.


Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

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

4/10/13 10:52:35 AM#16

When I'm playing a game, I'm constantly deciding whether or not I'm going to keep playing. It doesn't matter what game or what kind of game I'm playing. The game just has to be fun while I'm playing it. There are no specific game hurdles I have to clear for a game to be 'ok', I just play a game until I'm done and I move on.

It's not very specific, I know, but I don't worry about why I don't want to play a game until after I don't want to play it.

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


Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6482

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

4/10/13 10:53:39 AM#17

When it's more of a themepark MMO it often takes me untill my 10th or level 20ish. I can't comment on the combat system in the first few levels, combat evolves during your journey. I don't want to be the epic warrior from the get go. Let me have clunky combat at the beginning but make it more flued the more levels/ability's/skills I gain.

In a more sandbox/hybrid type of MMORPG it takes me more time. I want to explore many possibilities. Perhaps starting as a fighter but end up becoming a full crafter

A MMORPG should deliver familair but yet go far beyond what single/multiplayer games offer.

There have been many MMO´s that I only lasted a few hours or a few day´s, when they feel to confined, hitting blind walls all the time. One of them was Age of Conan, I did return to the game as I never made it past level 20 and was glad to read that after Tortage the game opened up.

So in short between a few hours and a few months, totaly depends on the type of MMORPG it is.



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Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13648

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

4/10/13 10:54:26 AM#18

Takes me either a few days or until mid-level, depending on the type of MMO.


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


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 3303

MMORPGs are no longer about the mass multi-user

4/10/13 10:54:56 AM#19
First 10 minutes if enough for me to see if I like it in the basics. If I do, then I play on and after a couple of hours I can tell if it's one for me or not (mostly...)

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Advanced Member

Joined: 5/07/09
Posts: 581

4/10/13 11:02:07 AM#20
Originally posted 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?

Generally I know reasonably quickly if a game is going to grab me at all. I tend to have a slow burn when it comes to MMOs, I'll have a feel for whether there's a 'hook' there for me reasonably early, and my interest builds as I go along. The only exception I can think of to that has been Defiance, where I felt 'grabbed' very early on, love it, but grew disenchanted with the game as time went on.

The variables that influence my decision really boil down to whether or not I can connect with my in-game character, and can I find a "That's so kewl!" factor.

Connecting tends to be a matter of being able to make the type of character I want with a reasonable appearance and class or ability set I enjoy, the kewl factor can be any number of different things -- in GW1 it was being able to raise minion armies, I just loved that, in WoW it was Druid shapeshifting, in Rift it was, oddly enough, Clerics having a spec with charge in it.

Games were I have a hard time making a character I can identify with -- LoTRO, though I played more than enough to justify the money I spent (back when it had a box price and sub), had this problem for me due to having some of the ugliest character models in MMO histor, TSW did due to how off putting I found the Silent Protagonist issue -- or can't really find a kewl factor, some gameplay element I just really squee over -- ToR had this problem, so many generic skills, none of them really very memorable or fun -- have a hard time grabbing me.

There's only two MMO's I've regretted spending money on, both almost instantly. The first was FFXI. It took an entire day to install, patch, and get that idiotic sub system they had all running. I wasn't in the game for more than an hour before I uninstalled. Aside from just getting it working being such a nightmare that it left a bad taste, there were so many limitations and the game just looked so bad, I couldn't fathom why anyone would bother. The other was GW2, which was really my fault. I did a couple of the BWEs for GW2, I knew the game bored me to tears (or, perhaps more accurately, so utterly lacked even a shred of what I'd liked about GW1, but was so clearly trying to play off of it) but I still let some friends talk me into buying it anyway. I think I've spent five or so hours in-game total, most of those a matter of log in, kill a few things, get bored, log out.

There are plenty who enjoy both games, to be sure, but frankly I find myself somewhat mystified as to how that could be. Different strokes, I suppose.

No, honestly I can't say as I've ever changed my mind much about a game. I go back to some periodically, almost predictably, but generally I'm just reminded of why I left. Eve is the classic for me, I generally go back to it every three months or so, and have even built up quite a bit of SP in having done so over the years, but my interest rarely lasts more than a few weeks and I spend the rest of my sub docked and logging in once every few days to put skills in the queue. AoC is another one, originally I played a few different characters, got a PoM to 80, got bored almost immediately thereafter, and left. I've gone back to WAR once or twice, I try and remember to log into FE for the Crafter's Market once a month but otherwise don't play, periodically log in to Champions, have had an active account in WoW for like a year that I've barely touched, and have an unopened box for Storm Legion I mean to get to some time. Not that I think, or really have thought, any of those were bad games exactly (well, Eve might qualify, for the life of me I have no idea why I keep going back to it), but they all had issues of varying levels and my opinion thereof has never really changed much.

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