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

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

Community Spotlight: That Home Feeling

Posted by MikeB Sunday June 29 2014 at 10:33PM
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In our latest Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Do you guys miss playing the same MMO for years straight? " by penthe:

I remember when I played WoW for many years straight, feeling like every minute spent in game is an investment. Now I play many different MMos and my characters dont feel like mine, it doesnt feel like home. I cant play games for many years straight anymore I get bored after a few months, am I getting older or just the genre has changed ?

Read on for some highlights from the thread!

TheQuietGamer doesn't quite get those who can play a single MMO for years:

I've never played a game for years and I don't quite understand how people can.  My longest run was probably wow and I played 4 months in vanilla and about another 4 in TBC.  

SWTOR I have played very casually for a couple of years, but with long gaps between periods of play.  

berenim attributes the trend of "endgame is the game" to the problem:

Problem is with those new themeparks the "Endgame is the game" attitude came. Also the "It's a game, not a world" stuff. I remember my years in Anarchy Online, descenfding to Rubi-Ka, being shot down by aliens. You did missions to do what you do, not to have something to do. Got an old-school drive atm and playing Ryzom. Total freedom, crafting your own stuff, interacting with others and passing by players even give you a short wave-emote, to greet you. Real Sandbox with optional PvP. New games seem to be targeted at people who play a game to the end, then throw it away to start the next game... Back then we were many (P&P-)RPGers, now most are just gamers...

DKLond has a more nuanced theory on the subject:

My theory is that we kept playing the same MMO for years, because we didn't fully understand the limitations of the design until we were done with it and had time to reflect on the experience.

Once you learn the limitations of a computer game, and especially a themepark gear treadmill design - you will lose interest in spending all your free time with it.

Problem with modern MMOs is that they're not bold and visionary enough - and, at the same time, the players don't understand their own psychology well enough, so they won't even allow a new approach to MMO design, because it will be compared to the "old home" - based on nostalgia more than anything else.

So, if we're ever going to find a new MMO home, and I truly doubt we will, it'll take a very bold vision and a very talented development team with a ton of resources.

That sort of thing doesn't happen very often - and the investment is prohibitive to many publishers.

I suppose it'll happen eventually, but I don't see myself falling in love for the first time ever again.

To directly answer the OP's question, yes, I too miss being able to play a single MMO for years and call it home. I've been chasing that feeling for years to no avail. Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes were the games I played for years and years and could always come back to.

These days, I cant' seem to spend more than a couple of months with a new MMO. They all seem to devolve into the same silly daily grinding and weekly token capping at endgame and I simply don't care for that. The genre is capable of so much more and has shown as much in the past. It's a bit odd that instead of moving forward most newer games turn out to simply maintain the status quo or worse -- be regressive.

What are your thoughts? Share 'em with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Your Most Played MMOs

Posted by MikeB Sunday June 1 2014 at 10:23PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Your best mmos/most time played, of all time?" by slowpoke68:

Thought this would be interesting.  List your favorite mmos/most time you spent playing of all time.  

For me it would go:

EQ1, Loved this game and spent more time playing it I think than any other.  All this time later and still my favorite.  Played from launch for a couple of years, went back for a progression server, then went back again for a few months last year.

WoW, Great pve and great pvp.  Questing was a fresh idea, loved the instances, the bgs, and the polish of the game.  Played on and off for quite some time.

DAoC, PvE was meh, but loads of classes and races to choose from.  Of course the three faction RvR still remains the gold standard which noone else seems to have been able to duplicate.  

UO, By time played this may be higher.  I didn't like a lot about this game, the complete and absolutely unchecked open world griefing in particular.  Also the bugs, crashes and sever roll backs, and playing on dial-up haha.  But it was first and it was great and I spent a ton of time with it.  The sandbox in its purest form.

LOTRO, Not a big fan of solotastic mmos and this is one of the worst on that score, but due to the IP, a great community and the beautiful world, I spent quite a bit of time with this game.

What are yours?

Read on for some highlights from the thread!

imsoenthused is definitely enthusiastic about Guild Wars:

Guild Wars, easily. Played basically continuously through the entire release cycle, so that's 3 years right there, and continued to play it heavily for a couple years after that. Even after slowing down, I still play it at least once a month to this day. That said, it suffered when the second expansion made it so much more solo friendly. It's still a great game, but if I don't HAVE to team up to complete anything, it doesn't really feel like a multiplayer game anymore. Still superior, even its current state, to every other MMORPG I've tried since, including its sequel.

Roguewiz has a couple of favorites:

Most time played is probably Everquest.  Spent a lot of time between Torvonnilous and Cazic-Thule.  It was also my best experience.  Which makes sense; it was my first MMO.

WOW is a close 2nd in terms of time spent playing.  More or less played from Vanilla to WOTLK (with some breaks).  CATA was hit and miss.  The expansion wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either.  I quit for good right before MOP.

Shadowbane was my best PVP game.  I have fond memories of infiltrating towns, causing ruckus, and just having fun.  All hail the Mountain Giant Alliance on Mourning! :)

Dungeons and Dragons Online is another of my fond experiences and is pretty close to EQ in that regard.  Did a lot of stuff that most people were like "WTF".  The best experience is when I changed the mind of a player who thought Rogues were worthless.

Warhammer Online was my fun disappointment.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the game, for the most part.  However, it was incomplete and unbalanced.  Would have lasted longer if they released a finished product.

jdizzle2k13 started out in WoW as many others have, but has since put in even more hours into Guild Wars 2:

My most time spent in any MMO was in WoW, but that makes sense because it was my first.

Started about 3 years ago, now with about 150+ days played time and had a bunch of fun when my guildies were on.

My most fun experiences though have been in Guild Wars 2, which I've now played about 1000+ hours (about 800+ on my main, elementalist).  World vs World sieges, the crazy pvp, or just going around and two manning stuff with a friend in Cursed Shore.

My two longest played MMOs are Star Wars Galaxies (3 years) and City of Heroes (5 years). Since then, I haven't really found many games I've been able to stick with for more than a couple of months, with the only exceptions being Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and SWTOR.

I played WAR for about a year to a year and a half and SWTOR on and off since launch. Of all my long term MMO experiences, however, it's really a toss up between SWG and City of Heroes in terms of my favorites. I imagine if SWG never experienced the dreaded 'NGE' update, I might have played it all the way up until they closed down the servers.

What about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!