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[Column] General: Dead MMOs and Emotional Connections

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,609MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

When an MMO 'died', most disinterested parties express a bit of dismay but the players who have invested what amounts to years of their lives into the game, the death is much more difficult to manage. We dissect this subject in today's Devil's Advocate. See what we have to say before telling us of your experiences in the comments.

I thought I had answered that with the above, but then I had to ask a follow-up question to myself: Why were my thoughts on the death of MMORPGs eliciting such feelings from me? The answer I gave myself, after a long, uncomfortable pause in the dark, was this: because games, as well as the industry surrounding it, meant something to me.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Dead MMOs and Emotional Connections.

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Comments

  • crationcration Stafford, VAPosts: 1Member
    Dude. Its just a game.
  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member
    Originally posted by cration
    Dude. Its just a game.

    Sacrilege.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • AcorniaAcornia Spring Lake, RIPosts: 176Member

    There is much to what your have written today.  I find myself also having problems in putting how I feel about gaklmes now long gone into key strokes.

    My first MMO was The Realm by SSI before they were bought out.  It was a a simple one screen type of world with a couple of dungeons.  One reason besides it being my first MMO was there was a guy there that I fell in love with and wanted to have his baby! 

    Next was the old EQ when it first came out and remember the drop to wire frame and fireballs sailing across the entire zone.  The biggest memory was the friends I made in there.

    Then came SWG and all the fun in trying to figure out how to unlock jedi before we learned that jedi unlock was not put in the game almost six months after the game went live.  For the most part I loved the openness of the game in going to other worlds and wandering around finding new things to see.  Hated the way SoE handled the game with CU, NEG, and jump to lightspeed.  That ended up driving me away from the game.

    Since then games of today have not been really enjoyable to me.  They seem to lack the spark to make them stand out and a joy to play.

     

  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    I find this article is bad for a couple of reasons. By op's logic every dm ever should be forced to keep their campaign going because a player does not want it to end. How unreasonable is that? Also, what about the changes wrought in mmo's? I played WoW at release and no longer do partially because I no longer see the character I originally made in the game. Games and people change, things die, this is called life. Whether you want to get angry or deal with it is pointless, as it is the way it is and there is simply no changing it.
  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon

    I have to agree with the Massively writer here and to the first responder in this thread: "Dude, it's just a game". I don't get that attached to games. I enjoy them and the people I play them with and then I move on to another one. My emotional investments lie in the real world and if I made any good friends within those games, I continue to talk with them outside of the game. No harm done and nothing I truly cared about is lost.

     

    As for the game itself, it's no different from any other form of entertainment - you have fun for a while, sometimes a good story is told, and then it's over. Games can't last forever, it's just how they are and that's ok. It also doesn't mean that all those that worked on the game will lose their jobs. Some may have other jobs lined up in this large industry, some may be moved to another game within the same company if they don't already work on both. And at the end of the day, they know it's part of the industry. Like an actor on a good TV show, no project will last forever. You find new work and move on.

     

    And the game dying gives room for new games to be developed. The genre evolves and we all benefit by getting to play better games. Games have a life cycle. We enjoy them while they're here and play a different game when they end, if we haven't already moved on. I find it very odd and concerning that anyone has such a strong emotional reaction to that. Because it's just a game.

     

    I am usually much too excited about all the cool new games coming out to be concerned that one I haven't played in forever is dying - learn to look forward to the future instead of holding on to the past.

  • danwest58danwest58 Cincinnati, OHPosts: 983Member Uncommon

    Crap like this is why MMOs suck today.  We have what 40+ mmos for 20 to 50 Million players.  The fact still remains we have too many, we have 6 to 12 new mmos coming out each year and the MMO population is not growing its more stagnate if anything.  I know many people that have left the MMO world because so so games come out and they go F2P instead of closing down.  As well they are tired of seeing games like UO which was a Great game in its time still active 15 years later.  There comes a time when games need to shut down so newer MMOS can come out.  

     

    As much as people want to hold to these old games or barely profitable games there comes a time when hindrance on moving forward.  Its just like having a building that is 200 years old standing on a corner that now is a major growing township taking up space.  No one wants to use it, however people want to keep it there because its a part of history however its taking up space that can be used to ease traffic, or for a new building like a gas station.  But no we have a handful of people that want to see through tinted glasses as this building means so much to a community when it means JACK SHIT but to a handful.   The same goes for MMOs, there is a time when you need to shut games down and design newer ones.  Maybe use the ideas from the old games, but the point still stand; its time to move on.  

     

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  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,231Member Uncommon

    If the games have to die, because "that's life," why not enjoy more of life instead of wasting it in a game?

    Game cancelation is the #1 reason why I don't play much anymore.  Why throw so much time and money into something that'll just go *poof* whenever a producer feels like it?

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    If the games have to die, because "that's life," why not enjoy more of life instead of wasting it in a game?

    Game cancelation is the #1 reason why I don't play much anymore.  Why throw so much time and money into something that'll just go *poof* whenever a producer feels like it?

    I have never been playing a game when it got cancelled. I usually have lost interest and moved on at that point and with how many games we have out there today, it's not like you can't find something else fun to play.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    All things die. Not to accept that is to not only mislead oneself, but to deny the real value of the current moment. These things are more valuable because they are limited, not because they bear the false weight of being neverending.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • describabledescribable EdinburghPosts: 406Member

    i enjoyed playing "auto assault" at the time (just wish they had improved the 3rd person part) and i did enjoy "tabula rasa" (the intro sequence was awesome).

     

    but the games lacked the staying power... i've played many MMORPGs, made friends in some, enemies in others...  i don't really like the free to play models but i guess if the market is there...

     

    i do like a mix an MMO should cater for all types (it's in the title mmo) and everyone should be able to pick up and play... and just have fun. Some people take it too seriously.. and that's fine... but if i'm going to waste so much time in just a game... i have to do it for the right reasons.

     

    fun is that. it's an escape and a chance to just have a blast before the next working dull please kill me .. day starts

    "nothing actually matters, we're just slightly evolved monkeys clinging to a dying piece of rock hurtling through space waiting for our eventual death." - Frankie Boyle, Mock The Week

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,231Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Leiloni
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    If the games have to die, because "that's life," why not enjoy more of life instead of wasting it in a game?

    Game cancelation is the #1 reason why I don't play much anymore.  Why throw so much time and money into something that'll just go *poof* whenever a producer feels like it?

    I have never been playing a game when it got cancelled. I usually have lost interest and moved on at that point and with how many games we have out there today, it's not like you can't find something else fun to play.

    I guess I'm different, because I've had three games canceled out from under me.  The last one was CoH.  Given that experience, I think it's too risky to get back into MMORPGs the way they currently stand.

    Which is why I play single player games and games with a lot of mod-ability these days.  I do play one other MMO, one I can't discuss here, but that's a case where they are bringing back something that I paid for and was canceled.

    Now I'm not everyone, but the way I feel, "fool me twice, shame on me."  That's why I'm not in the market for an MMO--new or old--until I can get some reassurances that these so-called "persistent worlds" are indeed persistent, and won't go *poof* whenever they feel like it.  I simply can't have fun as long as the cancelation problem is there.  It gives me peace of mind to know that the games will be there when I'm in the mood to play, and they aren't going to go *poof* before I'm ready.  Non-MMO games also cost less and work within my schedule and budget.

     

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    I guess I'm different, because I've had three games canceled out from under me.  The last one was CoH.  Given that experience, I think it's too risky to get back into MMORPGs the way they currently stand.

    Which is why I play single player games and games with a lot of mod-ability these days.  I do play one other MMO, one I can't discuss here, but that's a case where they are bringing back something that I paid for and was canceled.

    Now I'm not everyone, but the way I feel, "fool me twice, shame on me."  That's why I'm not in the market for an MMO--new or old--until I can get some reassurances that these so-called "persistent worlds" are indeed persistent, and won't go *poof* whenever they feel like it.  I simply can't have fun as long as the cancelation problem is there.  It gives me peace of mind to know that the games will be there when I'm in the mood to play, and they aren't going to go *poof* before I'm ready.  Non-MMO games also cost less and work within my schedule and budget.

     

    No, your not different. You just suffer from a fear of loss. Which is understandable, but in my opinion pretty stupid. While single player games are less of an issue, corrupted save games, blown hard drives, freak accidents these things happen all the time which just as realistically ruin that experience. Much like the guy who committed suicide after his DnD character was killed, or the numerous people who have killed after having an item "ninja'd" from them its not healthy to grow that attached to a game.
    A couple years back I had been playing in a high level Shadowrun campaign. 1-2 nights a week for close to 2 years. Then out gm got into a car accident a died. That experience does not mean that I never roll dice again, it means I cherish the memories I have and honor his memory.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,941Member Uncommon
    It is one thing for a game to close down. It is another thing when a game closes down AND there is nothing even similar to take its place. I don't think many care when a "clone" or F2P grinder gets the axe, because there are plenty to choose from with similar game play. But for something like original SWG or Auto Assault (to a lesser extent), there was nothing even close for players to migrate to. So, when an original game goes under, yeah, people feel it more.
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Livnthedream
    By op's logic every dm ever should be forced to keep their campaign going because a player does not want it to end.

    My players have collectively never had a problem with that logic ... 27 years and counting.

  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    Originally posted by Burntvet
    It is one thing for a game to close down. It is another thing when a game closes down AND there is nothing even similar to take its place. I don't think many care when a "clone" or F2P grinder gets the axe, because there are plenty to choose from with similar game play. But for something like original SWG or Auto Assault (to a lesser extent), there was nothing even close for players to migrate to. So, when an original game goes under, yeah, people feel it more.

    Except there were good reasons why those were closed down, ala their playerbase could not support them.

    The unfortunate truth of game development is no matter your game there will be a portion who not only  likes it, but absolutely adores it. The biggest problem is judging that portion correctly and, building your game to fit within the budgetary means.

     

    Originally posted by maplestone

    My players have collectively never had a problem with that logic ... 27 years and counting.

    I sure am glad you are not every dm ever then. No one would ever get to experience a new campaign.

  • KanylKanyl a cold placePosts: 246Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    If the games have to die, because "that's life," why not enjoy more of life instead of wasting it in a game?

    Game cancelation is the #1 reason why I don't play much anymore.  Why throw so much time and money into something that'll just go *poof* whenever a producer feels like it?

    It's like saying: "Why eat this delicious cake, when it will be gone after you've eaten it?". Living with thinking of the future is a bad habit, because we should enjoy what we do for the moment! I am the opposite, because I want to enjoy some good mmorpgs before they are gone, like Everquest 2, LOTRO, Vanguard and so on!

     

    I can never see the bad thing with "wasting time in a game", because it is something we enjoy doing. Others like to paint, taking a beer at a bar, watching a movie, reading a book and so forth. Those are things that we enjoy with our sences, so why is "A" better than "B"? Because someone told you that? As long as it do not turn into a bad habit or ruin your life in a way, I can't see this problem....

  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Burntvet
    It is one thing for a game to close down. It is another thing when a game closes down AND there is nothing even similar to take its place. I don't think many care when a "clone" or F2P grinder gets the axe, because there are plenty to choose from with similar game play. But for something like original SWG or Auto Assault (to a lesser extent), there was nothing even close for players to migrate to. So, when an original game goes under, yeah, people feel it more.

    People need to be open to the possibility that they may enjoy another game. It doesn't have to be the very same thing. They can enjoy a different game for different reasons if they stop focusing on one specific idea. In short, they need to get over it and move on.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,231Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kanyl
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    If the games have to die, because "that's life," why not enjoy more of life instead of wasting it in a game?

    Game cancelation is the #1 reason why I don't play much anymore.  Why throw so much time and money into something that'll just go *poof* whenever a producer feels like it?

    It's like saying: "Why eat this delicious cake, when it will be gone after you've eaten it?". Living with thinking of the future is a bad habit, because we should enjoy what we do for the moment! I am the opposite, because I want to enjoy some good mmorpgs before they are gone, like Everquest 2, LOTRO, Vanguard and so on!

     

    I can never see the bad thing with "wasting time in a game", because it is something we enjoy doing. Others like to paint, taking a beer at a bar, watching a movie, reading a book and so forth. Those are things that we enjoy with our sences, so why is "A" better than "B"? Because someone told you that? As long as it do not turn into a bad habit or ruin your life in a way, I can't see this problem....

    It's one thing to enjoy a cake.  It's another thing to start enjoying a cake, until the baker comes to take it away before you're done.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by chelan
    All things die.

    Yet the world goes on.

  • sunshadow21sunshadow21 Omaha, NEPosts: 354Member
    All games die, and people need to accept that, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that the deaths should be treated as insignificant. For the people who invested their time and effort into them, either as player or developer, it is something that deserves a bit more than "Get over it." Most folks can and will eventually find a replacement if they really want to, but trying to disregard the disappointment of losing the first one and expecting that process to start and end immediately is both unrealistic and unfair.
  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    Originally posted by Beatnik59.

    It's one thing to enjoy a cake.  It's another thing to start enjoying a cake, until the baker comes to take it away before you're done.

    Even all you can eat buffets have the right to refuse you service. Keep in mind, these ARE services you are paying for. Paying for a happy ending to your massage does not give you the right to fall in love.

  • LeiloniLeiloni None of your beeswax, ALPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sunshadow21
    All games die, and people need to accept that, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that the deaths should be treated as insignificant. For the people who invested their time and effort into them, either as player or developer, it is something that deserves a bit more than "Get over it." Most folks can and will eventually find a replacement if they really want to, but trying to disregard the disappointment of losing the first one and expecting that process to start and end immediately is both unrealistic and unfair.

    You are far too emotionally invested in games and seem to take them a bit too seriously. Yea it's normal to be disappointed if a game is shut down, just like you're disappointed when you're favorite TV show is cancelled. But that's it. It was enjoyable while it lasted and there will be other things to enjoy in the future. It's just a form of entertainment for you. Any friends you made you can keep in touch with. Those that worked in it will find new jobs. There are more important things in life to worry about. Games are not one of them.

     

    Things in life change and maybe it's just me, but I'm used to it. You go to different schools as you grow up. You have different jobs as an adult. Friends come and go for various reasons. You have different homes you live in. Life is ever-changing. The key to happiness is learning to roll with it. Appreciate the past, look forward to the future, and live in the present. And I can't say this enough, but it's just a damn game.

  • BrodieBroosBrodieBroos St. Charles, MOPosts: 32Member
    They need to stop making crap mmo's and shut down the struggling ones to make way for decent games.

    now back to the topic. This makes me miss EQ2 very much and now I'm gonna end up resubbing... danmmit
  • tordurbartordurbar Alexandria, VAPosts: 429Member

    My response to this article is mixed. I did not realize how much I enjoyed WOW until shortly after Cata. I felt that the WOW that I bonded with had just been twisted and warped and quit the game. It was a traumatic experience that affected my "real" life. I realized then that I had gone too far. Yes, I still play, and even went back to WOW for a few weeks before MOP, but never with the enthusiasm of that first 6 year run. Many times I thought it would have been better if WOW had died, then I remember playing with my druid and thought not.

    I have been scarred. As much as I wanted to make SWTOR the next WOW it did not happen. Rift and GW2 went the same way - great games but not where I wanted to make my home. That is the rub. To me WOW was like a second home. Just like a lost home I still miss it but like time, you cannot go back.

  • tordurbartordurbar Alexandria, VAPosts: 429Member
    Originally posted by Leiloni
    Originally posted by sunshadow21
    All games die, and people need to accept that, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that the deaths should be treated as insignificant. For the people who invested their time and effort into them, either as player or developer, it is something that deserves a bit more than "Get over it." Most folks can and will eventually find a replacement if they really want to, but trying to disregard the disappointment of losing the first one and expecting that process to start and end immediately is both unrealistic and unfair.

    You are far too emotionally invested in games and seem to take them a bit too seriously. Yea it's normal to be disappointed if a game is shut down, just like you're disappointed when you're favorite TV show is cancelled. But that's it. It was enjoyable while it lasted and there will be other things to enjoy in the future. It's just a form of entertainment for you. Any friends you made you can keep in touch with. Those that worked in it will find new jobs. There are more important things in life to worry about. Games are not one of them.

     

    Things in life change and maybe it's just me, but I'm used to it. You go to different schools as you grow up. You have different jobs as an adult. Friends come and go for various reasons. You have different homes you live in. Life is ever-changing. The key to happiness is learning to roll with it. Appreciate the past, look forward to the future, and live in the present. And I can't say this enough, but it's just a damn game.

     

    You do not realize that, for some people, the virtual world is what keeps them sane. After a day of work at customer support I log in and start killing monsters. After a while my anger subsides and I can be the nice guy again. Do I have issues? Most likely! You would too if you were short, fat, ugly and stupid. Well maybe not. It does not really matter. I have found a way to rise above my short-comings in a way that is detrimental only to the monsters of virtual games. LOL. You hear so much about how BAD video games but, for me, they changed my life for the better.

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