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How Long Do You Typically Give An MMO Before You Decide It's Not For You?

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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We've had a fair few MMORPGs launch this year. From New World to Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, this year has seen its fair share of MMORPGs release, and while they all share similarities, they run the gamut from expansions of tab targeting MMOs like Lord of the Rings Online: Fate of Gundabad to Amazon's open-world MMO. 

As a reviewer, we strive to accomplish as much as possible in an MMO understanding that, if an MMO is done well, we likely won't be able to touch every aspect of a game by deadline time. However, that doesn't mean that we don't already know what our conclusions will be long before we finish. Case in point for me recently: New World. I put about 120 hours into my New World review, though I'm not sure my thoughts changed much beyond about forty hours. The rest of my time was just making sure. As I reached end game, leveled up and played more, I was waiting to see if anything really struck me that would change my mind. However, it really didn't.

This typically happens to me as well when just playing games for fun. I know rather quickly if a game is going to be for me, usually within the opening hours. It's weird though, because I've also been wrong if I cut myself off within those first moments.

This has happened to me a few times over the years with MMORPGs and MMO-adjacent games. AtlasWorld of Warcraft back when it first released, and even games like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and EVE Online - both games I enjoy immensely today, didn't give me a good first impression. However, one of the things I love about this genre is the ability for these games to improve over time and really change for the better. EVE Online was one of those for me where I was lost when I first started trying to play back in 2010. However, fast forward 7 years and I was able to really dive in before Fanfest and fall in love. It's a game I play multiple times a week now.

Same with Final Fantasy XIV. When it first relaunched as A Realm Reborn, I thought I would love it. I'm a huge Final Fantasy fan and I'd been looking for a new MMO after really only playing LotRO for years. However, about six hours into my first attempt, I was bored to tears. I stopped playing pretty soon after the 20 hour mark and didn't think I'd ever touch it again. 

And now I'm prepping for Endwalker while I play Fate of Gundabad

I don't have an exact number of hours I hit before I decide enough if enough if I'm not jenjoying my time, but generally it seems it's rather quick for me. I often find myself not returning to a game after the first two or three attempts if it's not clicking for me.  Even when reviewing, there isn't a specific number of hours, but one thing we're adamant of around here is that we finish the main story before filing the review as a bad ending, a twist or what not can completely change how someone feels about the experience. 

Thankfully, though, with this genre if it doesn't click now, that doesn't mean it won't click later. Being able to return and try again after a few updates makes it feel a bit better when a game I really wanted to like doesn't quite do it for me initially. 

I'm interested, though, in how much time you, the reader, typically give a game before calling it if you're not enjoying your time. Do you have a predetermined amount of time set, or is it a case by case thing? With time being the most valuable resource we all have, and MMOs demanding so much of it, it's always interesting to me when pondering just how much of it to spend before moving on.  Let us know in the comments below.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore