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What keeps you playing an MMO longterm?

CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,633Member Uncommon


With the new crop of MMO's a common complaint is that they have no staying power, nothing to keep you entertained passed max level. So what was it about the older generation of MMO's that kept everyone playing for years?



I have to admit that I like the grind of killing mobs over and over again which I found a love of in Lineage 2 and just levelling for the sake of levelling or to get the next bit of gear, ingame money, mats etc.. so I like a really long levelling curve that seems impossible to reach, with distinct gear changes (as in L2 grades of gear) so you don't have new better gear every five minutes, this facillitates having many goals to achieve in order to grind efficiently, enchanting, socketing and so forth which makes progression feel like its meaningful. Its taken me a while to recognise this in myself as I've bounced around many games trying out all the different styles. So in all its a long progression system one that never seems to end is the central theme here but thats hard to do without tonnes of grind included which new MMO's seem to be frightened of.

This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.



  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Brandon, FLPosts: 3,649Member Uncommon

    Playing other games.  What?  Yes, what keeps me playing a MMORPG for an extended period of time is to play other games.  I used to run around four games a year - not concurrently - no, rather one at a time.  Though, at times, I might have two subs running as I switched games during the month.

    Might be a case of playing Game X for 2-3 months, then Game Y for a month, then Game X again for a couple of months, then Game Y for 2-3 months, then maybe Game Y or Game X... heck, might even play one for 4-6 months before switching.  But it's the switching that keeps me playing...

    So as the years passed, I was still playing a group of games over the long term.  It wasn't a case of hopping from Game A to Game B to Game C to Game D to Game E to Game F to Game G.... it was playing a group of games over the long term.

    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

    Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    I would say the top 3 for me is:


    1. Are my friends still playing

    2. Am I in a good active guild

    3. Do I still have things to do that are fun and / or will improve my character?


    Without those, I have found my staying power in an MMO is not very good.

  • SlampigSlampig Chantilly, VAPosts: 2,341Member Uncommon
    If I have fun when I log in and play then I will keep playing. No big secret there.

    That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  • tank017tank017 Glendale, CAPosts: 2,192Member
    Freedom, freedom to create my own journey, my own premade quest/theme park style attaching a leash around my neck, pulling me in one single direction.challenge is another factor, I want it to be challenging to get to end level, I don't want to gain a level for sneezing.Basically, the opposite of todays mmos lol..
  • TruthXHurtsTruthXHurts El Do, KSPosts: 1,555Member Uncommon
    Nothing since the NGE cast the MMO world into eternal darkness.

    "I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    What kept me playing darkfall was the constant fear of loss and hope for gain. Cant say anything has got me as excited and as alert as that game.
  • AcidDKAcidDK AalborgPosts: 82Member
    It used to be the gear threadmill, but I burned out on that. Now, nothing can keep me in a MMO long term apart from content updates and pvp if it is fun. But I only play casually now, so forced gear threadmill is a no go. In that sense Guild Wars 2 is perfect. What a coincidence.
  • Muerte_XMuerte_X ventura, CAPosts: 104Member
    Originally posted by tank017
    Freedom, freedom to create my own journey, my own premade quest/theme park style attaching a leash around my neck, pulling me in one single direction.challenge is another factor, I want it to be challenging to get to end level, I don't want to gain a level for sneezing.Basically, the opposite of todays mmos lol..


       I would add/elaborate with a ruleset that allows this freedom and the social aspect of guild cities/seige warfare. The games that I have played the longest get me invested with this, because it is not some script that hits an endpoint (or in the case of raiding, a script that plays like a broken record at endgame), but a neverending challenge of politics, warfare, and wealth accrual that you can use to build the landscape around you.

    Often lurking, rarely posting

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 6,230Member Uncommon
    PvP. Pretty much everything else usually gets old within the first 3-6 weeks.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member


    So far GW2 has plenty of that.

  • Sp!k3Sp!k3 SzczecinPosts: 60Member
    Right now - nothing.
  • WolvardsWolvards grants pass, ORPosts: 650Member


    If i'm playing, and have been on for an hour+, and feel like it's been 15 minutes, that's all I need. When I start playing and am looking at the clock TRYING to pass time, that's when I go to a different game.

    What helps to have fun? A good guild. That's about it. It can be half assed PvP but if you're having a blast with your friends, you're still having a blast.

    The "Youtube Pro": Someone who watches video's on said subject, and obviously has a full understanding of what is being said about such subject.

  • tabindextabindex Rancho Cucamonga, CAPosts: 70Member

    Emotional and social investment. 

    Replacement for real life.

  • XexvXexv Milton KeynesPosts: 308Member

    Good people around me to chat to & play with. Provided that I tend to find anything's pretty much enjoyable, grinding/crafting/exploring.

    I actually thought most responses would be similar, actually quite surprised.

  • VyntVynt Posts: 690Member Uncommon

    Being a world, and not just a game. Having depth. Quality group play, at any stage, not just when max level then suddenly playing with a lot of people that never grouped a day and don't know their class and how it interacts with others. Larger groups too, 6+.

    A lot of options, choices, variety. Little things that enhance the experience, like housing, faction with cities to be able to enter when previously unable, or becoming KoS. EPIC quests that mean something, not a bunch of menial tasks as a way to avoid playing with others and reaching max level.

    Extra customization of characters, a secondary progression.

    Pvp isn't necessary, pve games kept me before, but if pvp, needs to be Quality pvp. Doesn't need to be open world, can be zoned, but not instanced and not capped, (think daoc). no esport crap, arena style.

    Very few instances if any. Don't seperate people from each other, throw them together, to make it a living breathing world.

    Also would just like to see bigger server capacities. Use to see 5k people servers, now it is down to 1-2k.


    Suffice it to say, no current MMO has been keeping me longterm. Still play some of the older ones, but with changes, and antiquated movement, just not the same.

  • SiveriaSiveria Saint John, New BrunswickPosts: 1,234Member Uncommon

    Last mmo to keep me for more than 1-2 months have been ff11 and 14, both offer a diffrent experence than most, and they both ALWAYS have something you can do even at cap, unlike mmo's like wow, where all there really is, is raiding for gear that you have no more real use for anymore since the only endgame avail to you is just raiding. I hit lv 80 in wow, did a raid or 2, then quit because I didn't see any purpose to it. How WoW suckers so many people into following the perpetual carrot on a stick amazes me.

    Leveling speed is also an issue, most mmo's these days you can hit cap in 2-3 days, my friend did pretty much every mission in TSW and got all the skills/gear he needed for the skill's he choose in about 3 days. Then he logged out and hasn't gone back because there just is nothing to do thats any fun. Fun.. this is something almost every mmo lacks these days, mostly because it all feels like the same shit difrrent day. Though mmo's like gw2 thankfully have been changing this, there is alot to do in gw2, I don't own the game due to lack of funds (money was tight) but its the first mmo in a very long time other than ff11/14 that I actually had fun in.

    Being a pessimist is a win-win pattern of thinking. If you're a pessimist (I'll admit that I am!) you're either:

    A. Proven right (if something bad happens)


    B. Pleasantly surprised (if something good happens)

    Either way, you can't lose! Try it out sometime!

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,633Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Xexv
    Good people around me to chat to & play with. Provided that I tend to find anything's pretty much enjoyable, grinding/crafting/exploring. I actually thought most responses would be similar, actually quite surprised.


    This was partly my aim to show how hard it is to design an all singing and dancing MMO as we all have different desires. I'm not too interesting a MMO that leans towards simulation rather than game its partly why I like Asian MMO's. I also like collection systems like in EQ2 or pets or as in Sword2 UPC playable characters that you recruit as you level through the world, costumes are nice thing to go after as well.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • FelixMajorFelixMajor London, ONPosts: 783Member Uncommon

    My reason to enjoy an mmo and keep playing is




    Community includes friends, guilds, partys, groups, and over  all player base.  If there is a good community following to give the game that real massive feel I will stick around, if not I am out.

    Originally posted by Arskaaa
    "when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".

  • ArakaziArakazi OxfordPosts: 911Member Uncommon
    Foolish optimism and community. 
  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,946Member Uncommon

    Character affinity.

    I create a character, I level it, I define it. If the character feels like a shingle the same as all the other shingles in the roof, I won't stay.

  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Brandon, FLPosts: 3,649Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Arakazi
    Foolish optimism and community. 

    I had to lol at the first part.  Been there and done that with a couple of games that made their way into the rotation and should have been kicked out long before they were.

    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

    Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,636Member Uncommon

    What kept me playing Final Fantasy XI for over 7 years (prior to Abyssea), and Lineage 2 for over 4 years was basically the same in both, despite them being very different games.

    1. Long progression curve with there always being something else to do, a new goal to work toward - or several goals - and achieving them was never trivial or "fast". Your focus was kept on the short-term goals, rather than worrying exclusively about "getting to end-game" or "reaching level cap". There was no idea of "the end game is all that matters", because there was so much along the way that mattered as much, if not more.

    2. Community with accountability. I mean the entire server community, not just my circle of friends or clan/linkshell. Your reputation mattered. Your actions had consequences - whether good or bad. You would get to know of people by reputation alone, long before  you ever got to meet them "in person".  A good personality and attitude could get you far in FFXI, even if you weren't the best player. Conversely, being a jerk would inevitably catch up with you. There was no fleeing to one of your 5 alts to escape the consequences of your actions on another character.

    A crappy attitude and lousy personality would have you marked as "Kill on Sight" (KOS) in L2 and if you didn't watch your step, life in Aden would become quite difficult for you.

    3. Neither MMO was designed around the idea of being  "a game".  They weren't "theme parks". They were worlds, filled with a variety of game-like and non game-like content.

    4. They kept the player in the equation. This is also known as "no hand-holding". Rather than pointing out every last detail of what to do, where to go, who to talk to, what to kill and what to collect, those MMOs gave you enough information to get you going, and left it up to you to work it out for yourself. Too many MMOs these days remove the player from the equation, leaving you to do little more than just follow the arrows to the clearly marked areas on the map where your quest items are clearly marked with a bright red name, or have sparkles coming off them that you can see from 100 meters away. I don't think many MMO players these days realize just how different an experience it is when you're left to figure things out on your own, instead of having it spelled out for you. Sure it's "faster and more convenient", but it's also mind-numblingly brainless and boring.

    5. A focus on experiencing the journey, not just getting to the destination.


  • sirphobossirphobos Posts: 619Member Uncommon
    Basically, when I get to the point where I've seen everything in an MMO, I get bored.  As such, Everquest is the only MMO to every hold my attention longer than six months, as it was designed such that the average player never reached the end of what was available at any given time.
  • A.BlacklochA.Blackloch NexusPosts: 828Member Uncommon

    Well, I certainly do have few words about this topic. :P I've found that there's few key factors that keep me playing an mmorpg longer.


    Slow leveling speed

    I really like leveling up my characters and just exploring the world, doing quests, crafting, grinding mobs for materials etc. When I reach the "end game" and only thing left for me to do is raiding, I quit. I like doing instances with guild or random groups but no, not the same ones for hundred times in hopes of some gear.


    Lots of skills

    And with this I mean skills that make the character classes complex and unique. If we have to have classes, I hate when everyone has dots and heals and almost the same skills. No one is unique and if there's PvP, there isn't that much tactics required.

    And I hate "streamlined" or dumbed down games we now get. Heck, I've spent big chunk of my youth playing Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2 on various roleplaying servers. Everyone familiar with NWN and DnD rules knows that a mage is more than fireball or lightning spam. 

    One of the reasons I could never really get into Diablo 3 or The Secret World. I really expect more from my games.


    Real PvP

    I just love when PvP happens open world, let's say, like a random encounter in the middle of adventuring - not in some battleground instance which teleports you out of the main game. I never liked any sort of PvP minigames, capture flags, deathmatches or whatever that is considered as PvP grind for gear.

    I think last time I really enjoyed PvP was back when WOW and EQ2 came out. There were areas where both factions were questing and conflicts did happen. Also, I think it was in Warhammer Online, where you had to defend or capture some open world objectives for your faction. That was cool too.

    Of course this open world PvP causes the retards to grief low level players with their high levels, but it also allows you to go tease these "big guys" when they try to quest. I had fun killing some higher levels in SWTOR with my low level agent. :P


    No F2P or  pay-to-win cashshops

    I like paying a subscription over F2P model. If the game is good, I have no trouble giving back to the devs. Also, it weeds out the freebie leeches, kids that are TOO young and keeps the community IQ somewhat tolerable.

    One annoying thing in F2P games is the damn advertisements everywhere. You can't even release a silent fart without a "BUY NOW!" popup jumping on top of your UI.

    Cash shops with stat boosts, super Jesus health potions, Godlike gear enchants, whatever makes you superior over the non-paying customer is a big buzz kill for me. Only thing that I really accept personally are custom skins, emotes, vanity clothing & gear.



    Game has to be challenging. Not the way that you have like two usable skills and low hitpoints, when the mobs are demigods. That is just stupid.

    • You can train a monkey to press 1, 2, 3. If that works for every single mob in your game, I'm not playing it. Some variety please.
    • If I can solo the whole content and there's no need for teamwork, I'm not playing it. I wasn't looking for an online singleplayer game.
    • If the game has same mobs all over again when I level up from 1 to top, it's just f*cking boring and I see that as the Devs only slacking. "I already learned how to kill these when I was level 5. I can still kill these at level 35 since they are the same mobs with no difference. Throw me something new."
    EDIT: And just like TangentPoint earlier mentioned, I too hate this Hand-Holding syndrome. It's like we gamers are now so damn stupid. There's all sorts of fast traveling mechanics around the realms, queues into instances, maps with waypoints etc. All you need to do is "Go from A to B to C and there, you are have now reached the top level. Welcome to the grind!"
    If you want to make this all so easy and fast, just make a game where everyone is lvl 80 from the start and let's not waste time with the fun part!
    "Also on consoles!"
    This goes for MMORPGs as well as other games. If I see the game is also for consoles, I know it's been designed with a ball chained to your foot. You know immediately that the game is designed to be played with a gamepad, with console specs - and it kills the creativity or chance for the Devs to really shine out. This can be seen as watered down gameplay, silly UI, whatever. A console game can't be as complex as a pure PC game.
    Of course there are still great games on consoles too, like my personal favorites: Red Dead Redemption, Dead Island etc. And with these the gamepad works and is okay.
    But set that in MMORPG (DC Universe) world and I immediately know your game is like a tree with only few branches - when it could be the most coolest christmas tree with all the bells and whistles (for example Eve Online).
    I'm a huge XCOM fan and waiting for the new XCOM Enemy Unknown. I can't help it, but I really hope it hasn't been touched by this "consolism" and it still can be as enjoyable as the originals were.
    I still like to interact with other players IN-GAME, not on some guild forums. I like to meet new people in new games and I rarely travel into new mmorpg with the same old guild. Of course I play with my RL buddies too, but I never play a game just because all my friends are there - or skip a game because no one else wanted to try it out.
    If a game fails to tie a knot between me and other players, I probably won't stay there for long. I never understood why I should look for other likeminded gamers outside the game, when that is just time out of the game, the game where all the players are. Does it make any sense?
    There was a time when you could stop and have a chat with someone. Perhaps get to know the other player, make new friends. Now most of the MMORPGs are just online games where everyone runs around. There's lots of traffic and players everywhere, but they could all be replaced with NPCs since it wouldn't make any difference to your gaming experience.

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  • IlliusIllius Toronto, ONPosts: 4,142Member Uncommon


    Someone up above mentioned slower leveling curve, and I'll throw my hat in on that one.  In the older games I played this allowed me to group with people I liked for extended periods of time to just relax,  hang out, and kill stuff.


    This brings me to Community.  I used to like the mmo community but it has changed... and I probably have too.  With regards to that statement I can no longer stand most people that play mmos nowadays.  I have to dredge through a lot of crap just to find those few gems worth talking to and it's starting to not be worth it.

    All in all I think I've all but lost interest in games.  I spend a few minutes on this site reading up on the latest releases just to see what's due to come out soon and more often than not end up passing on it all.  I guess I just don't care anymore.  I got other things to do I suppose.

    No required quests! And if I decide I want to be an assassin-cartographer-dancer-pastry chef who lives only to stalk and kill interior decorators, then that's who I want to be, even if it takes me four years to max all the skills and everyone else thinks I'm freaking nuts. -Madimorga-

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