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You can call me Dr. Freud II, having conducted extensive research on the mmorpg community I've notcied a pattern in the stages of MMO hype among forum posters. The first stage begins at the inception of an mmo, long before it's released and ends 1-2 months after mmo release.
1. Hype - This is the stage where mmorpg.com posters fall in love with nearly any mmo in development. They talk of it's greatness, of their belief in the studio developing it, how finally they have found an mmo they will someday call home. This stage can last for a very long time, from the inception of the MMO building all the way until release.
Common symptoms: Posting excessively positive posts about an MMO which has not yet been released. Pre-ordering the super-uber collectors edition that comes with a full sized golden statue of some random creature. Doing all you can to convince your RL friends and guildies to pre-order the game, convincing others it will be the biggest mmo to hit the market.
2. Addiction - This is the stage immediately following release, sometimes runs in conjunction with the hype stage. This is when the mmorpg poster gets the chance to finally play the game they have been hypeing. It's a wetdream. Can lasts anywhere from 1 week to 3 months. The mmo has lived up to their hype, it's everything they could have imagined and more. Life is good, they don't hype the mmo as much because they are too busy enjoying it.
Common symptoms: Taking vacation days to play the mmo. Calling in sick to work or other obligations to play mmo. Unhealthy eating and hygene habits due to playing the mmo in excessive amounts, 10+ hours per day. Personal relationship problems (wife, parents, kids) due to excessive MMO playing. Daydreaming about what you will do when you log into the MMO next. NOTE: this stage can be detrimental and have long lasting effects on the gamer, loss of work, significant other, child neglect (In severe cases death; See South Korea).
3. Doom and gloom - This is the final stage, this happens when the gamer having traded real life for addiction to their mmo has finally burned out. They have played through what was intended to be months of content in a month. They have lost contact with real life friends and family. Gamer tends to live in a complete state of denial in which all problems associated with the game are a result of mechanics/develpment rather than gamers excessive playing. Excessive game addiction and lack of hygene/sunlight has put gamer in a deep depression. Gamer becomes cynical of the game, what was once the greatest thing known to mankind has become an evil, terrible monster.
Common symptoms: Most common symptom is excessive doom and gloom post about the MMO "Game will be shut down in a month" type post. This stage can last upwards of a year, gamer believes impending doom is right around the corner (even when it obviously isn't). Gamer does all he can to convince others said game is the creation of the devil. Gamer secretly still logs in and plays game, but has started once again communicating with other human beings in real life.
Hype: This stage starts up again as soon as gamer becomes interested in another game, the cycle repeats itself.
Case studies: See Guild Wars 2, Archage, TESO.