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I've done my best over the years thanks to my experience to avoid spending $ on MMO's that do not meet my standards. That being said this is my history of $ spent.
MMO's that took my $ over the last decade.
Ultima Online (2-3 years on and off)
Star Wars Galaxies (around year and a half)
World of Warcraft (subbed on and off from release until end of last year)
Last new MMO's that took my $ were DCUO Online release (January 2011, subbed for 1st 3 months and I bought Star Craft 2 release, big regret here lasted me for 10 days or less) I did spend another $10-15 on DCUO last year to try it out again.
Over the decade other MMO's I've spent $ to try and give em a chance:
P2P - Aion ( subbed for 3 months), EVE (subbed for 1 month)
F2P - Battle of Immortals $20 and Dead Frontier $20
After I retired from World of Warcraft my last MMO was Path of Exile, which was very fun and completely free, but that quickly ended when I finished the game in around 3 weeks.
DCUO was the only other new MMO that took my $ since 2011 and before that Aion on release.
Ok, so now these are the interesting facts. I'm a hardcore player whos spent most of my life (around 22 years gaming a LOT)
$ was never my primary issue for my decisions. The amount of $ I spent drastically decreased as I matured further and become more experienced gamer. I remember buying and renting most console games back in the days from NES, SNES, Play Station 1 and Dream Cast, but I never bought another console when I got my hands on my PC and online gaming.
What disappoints me the most is the level of quality and complexity MMO's today have and in my opinion that's primary due to the fact that they are delivered for the purpose of making maximum profit vs risk, but I believe that would backfire a lot if the majority of playerbase was as careful, experienced and picky as I am.
Anyways, back on topic. I've been forced to abandon MMO's for the time being and do other activities until hopefully something comes out that will be aimed more toward gamers like me. In meantime I also believe that if companies like Trion, GGG, SOE, Bioware, NC Soft and many others worked together and spent quality time and manpower to deliver 1-2 long lasting product they would generate far more revenue, than delivering many "mini MMO's" that for me are not appealing at all to spend any $ on.
So in what ways are you helping/have helped improve the state of current MMO's?
Starcraft oldschool aka wise/04. SWG/UO aka Wise HeRo, Light Jedi Knight pre-cu (Bria)