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I like MMOs with depth, meaning good PvE, PvP, harvesting/crafting, exploring and any other systems they have thrown in. I like to have many different things to do, non-instanced housing is a bonus.
MMOs where crafting is too easy or worthless, coupled with boring harvesting that does not have common/rare/ultra rare type spawns and such bore me pretty quickly.
I couldn't care about forced story, not big on instances (even though thats about everything anymore). If the world is too small or feels too limited, I do not like that either. I am not a game jumper, so I look for the MMO I play to provide plenty of different things to do.
I also prefer paying a sub for many reasons, but I am more open to alternatives than I use to be.
If I had any RL friends that played MMOs, I would definitely play that. Since I don't, then I come back to places with good communities where I can meet in-game friends. I also consider the complexity of the game and the potential for unique character development and the depth. I don't like the simplified and streamlined versions. Finally, I come back to a place that feels like a gaming home -- for me a world where I can do combat, but also where there are lots of other things to do when I don't just feel like fighting. So if I sum it up:
Usually either friends or F2P.
But only once I stayed for longer than a few weeks. MMOs don't change that dramatical and the payment model is usally of no relevance for me unless it is pay2win. So I just went back to a previous MMO due to lack of new promising MMOs.
The only title that I've had any success in going back to over the years is EVE.
Unlike most other titles that I've tried to return to (DAOC, Lineage 2, WOW to name a few) that are but shells of their former glory, it keeps improving and proving the sort of game experience that fits my lifestyle well.
What I really like is I can take off for 6 months and come back without any loss of power/progression against the rest of the player base. (no, it's true, once you get enough skills under your belt, there really is no disparity between players any more)
The only reason I leave is that I do enjoy playing in a fantasy world, and in fact, have been playing Aion again since Christmas and it has been a pretty good experience so far.
On hiatus from EVE Online since Dec 2016 - Screw off-grid PVE boosting changes
Pouring on extra "Salt" for 2017
In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™ "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon
Originally posted by Briansho The switch to F2P.
this. Also in WoW's case i sub back for a month here and there because of the Lore.
And other f2p games i just go back to any that i feel like wanting to play, for any reason, and to play with some friends.
I've never been one to switch games much. I like to find one where you have to have lots of interaction between other players and build up a group of friends in order to accomplish anything at all. With all the games switching to things like WoW where you never see the same person again, unless they are in your guild, it really takes a lot of the fun out of the game. Even most guilds in WoW are just there to do things like raids instead of having fun doing other epic quests or leveling.
The other thing I look for when trying to find a game to play is a game with a large world. Doing the same resource gathering quests over and over again when you play a new character is so sickeningly boring. I also preferred it back in games like EQ1 where most quests were impossible to do by yourself and you needed at least a friend or two for help. None of this go kill 20 basic wolves, 25 bats etc and all the lame quests in WoW and similar games that can be completed from level 1 to max level all by yourself.