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Lately I have been trying many MMO's only to uninstall after playing a day or 2. I have been wondering what is putting me off in these games. Have I been playing too many and did I see everything the genre has to offer already?
Sometimes this thought crosses my mind but I refuse to believe this is possible. So what do I dislike so much about these new MMO's. For one I dislike the endgame in many of them. But while playing I get turned off long before even reaching this point. So I started thinking. Every single MMO has the same quest concept. Basically it's talk to Mr. X to do xxxxx and return (or not) and the quest usually takes you to the next person to give you the appropriate level new quest.
I have noticed I nearly never die while playing GW2/RO2/TERA/Neverwinter etc. In fact I haven't even gone down once in Neverwinter. ( Ok, I am only lvl 20)
I am starting to believe the whole idea of questing as it is now is flawed. I feel it is an easy tool to guide players through the world. This is a fine idea but the problem is that the only rewarding thing to do is often doing quests. In itself, if this is fun, it is no problem. But I find that it isn't fun at all anymore. Why? I find that questing is simply too easy to be rewarding. It has been shown in several studies that the more effort has to be put into something the more rewarding the endeavor is. Sometimes the journey (or quest) doesn't even feel like it's fun because of the difficult/frustrating nature. But the point is that at the moment this journey (quest) is completed suddenly you feel great joy and a sense of accomplishment far greater compared to an easily achieved quest.
If you want to have an example of such a study you could watch this talk on TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work.html
So why do we get these walk in the park run-around quests? Wouldn't it be possible to create a quest that you have to work for in order to finish it? (This could be done by either making the gap between quests larger while making the quests harder but more rewarding. Of course there should be progression in between quests, gain XP for exploring and get XP from killing mobs that correlates much better to actual quest rewards. This ensures that everybody can actually do all quests by investing more time.)
There should be many more possiblities, I am not a very creative person but I feel the people creating these games completely lack creativity and are too afraid to change the way we walk through MMO's.
One more thing: I personally HATE getting gear rewards from quests. It is a way to get everything you need without looking for it. Every quest is easy so this gear is definitely in your possession if you simply finish quests. It is one more reason you don't feel anything while doing quests. Because you are not actually looking for anything, only looking to finish asap. This is a flaw because you are not looking forward to do a quest, you are only interested in finishing it. Quests should be more of a pointer to a direction to go in and have some extra reward. Is it so strange to think that "being out there" in the world doing a quest should be more rewarding than finishing some kill xx mob quest? Both psychologically and literally?
Perhaps developers do give things like this a lot of thought. Perhaps there is actually a psychology behind the effortless quests. I don't know. But I do know, I am not satisfied with these new waves of MMO's. The only ones that do grab my attention are the odd ones out like DFUW or AoW.
TL;DR: Quests are too easy to feel rewarding. IMHO more effort is needed to accomplish greater satisfaction.