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Is MMORPG longevity a myth?

24

Comments

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    MMOs I've played come in two categories: under a month and over a year.  I don't think there's been anything in between.

    However, I can't claim I'm representattive of the norm.

  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,537Member Uncommon

     

    Played Ultima Online for close to a decade, FFXI for about five to seven years, GW1 for a few years and WoW since it started.  When thinking of non-MMORPGs I played Starsiege Tribes for years and Neverwinter Nights as well.

     

    I'd say it's more about the person than it is anything else; if it's something they enjoy, and if they have friends that play it, then it's entirely possible.  Even if they don't have friends, a game could be genuinely enjoyable like Ultima Online was with it's sandbox gameplay (and even how Minecraft is).

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    They also need to accept that wow was an anomaly that will probably never be reproduced. Stop aiming for 12 million subs and go for stability.

    Who sticks around for years to play a single mmo..... Not the guy looking to grab whatever he can in the first 30 days and then starts looking at what's new. Designing a game that's easy and fast will attract customers looking for easy and fast. You can't keep people like that in a single game anymore.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by ropenice
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Vunak23

    If the developers would slow progression back down a bit and allow players to make their own investments instead of blowing through everything then you would see MMORPGs lasting longer like they did in the past. 

     

    Or you will see players jumping ship if the progression is too slow. It is not accident that the market is driving towards faster progression with so much competition.

    It is a free market. Devs are free to tune their progression to suit any audience. You may not like it but they have no obligation to cater just to you.

    I don't think he wants games to cater just to him. It seems he is making a point as to what games need to do to create longevity and keep players longer.

    Sure .. and i am making a point that if progression is slow, a game may lose customers. There is no conflict.

     

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,478Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Boneserino

    And I would suggest that your first MMO does not count.  Most people experienced longevity there.  What about MMO's after your first?

    Meridian59 about 8 months, UO near a year but with gaps of a few months and weeks, AO also off/on near a year, EQ not even a few months. Star Wars Galaxies 3.2 years and 8 months (small return in 2007). World of Warcraft from release but very randomly with months and weeks in between played till BC and left. Fallen Earth a year and a few months.

    Every other MMO just fel short on being a more virtual world which I think is what is holding back longevity for me.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,217Member Uncommon

    I do think the implied longevity is more of a myth than not. Even though I used to play mmos for longer periods, there were also fewer online options then.

    Lineage 1 - 3.5 years

    GW1 - I played for several years and have a few thousand hours in the game. I don't play it much anymore.

    LotRO - 4.5 years straight. A little bit off and on after that.

    EQ2 - 5 years off and on now. I take breaks for several months though.

    The newer games (GW2, Firefall, Tera, Neverwinter, TSW) are great games and fun for me. I'll see how much I'll play them as time goes on and they age. I play games differently now and don't see myself committing to a single game for years on end again.

    While I think implied longevity is a myth, I also think mmos are unique in that they are built to age. Some games like Oblivion, Skyrim, Torchlight 2, Neverwinter Nights, and anything else with a mod community and/or some sort of multiplayer or community interactivity are also built to last. They sort of transcend standard single player games into the mmo realm, but aren't full on mmos. 

  • Vunak23Vunak23 In your house eatin'' your cookies, FLPosts: 635Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Vunak23

    If the developers would slow progression back down a bit and allow players to make their own investments instead of blowing through everything then you would see MMORPGs lasting longer like they did in the past. 

     

    Or you will see players jumping ship if the progression is too slow. It is not accident that the market is driving towards faster progression with so much competition.

    It is a free market. Devs are free to tune their progression to suit any audience. You may not like it but they have no obligation to cater just to you.

    Players are already jumping ship on MMORPGs of late so I don't see your point. Its driving towards faster progression because for some reason publishers/developers feel that casuals are the driving force of the genre when they sadly aren't. 

    Developers need to cater to their dedicated base and scoop up who ever happens to cling to that afterwards. Instead they are generalizing out their own concepts to cater to everyone and its watering their product down so far there are no distinguishing features to really set it apart from anything else out on the market. 

    "In the immediate future, we have this one, and then we’ve got another one that is actually going to be – so we’re going to have, what we want to do, is in January, what we’re targeting to do, this may or may not happen, so you can’t hold me to it. But what we’re targeting to do, is have a fun anniversary to the Ilum shenanigans that happened. An alien race might invade, and they might crash into Ilum and there might be some new activities that happen on the planet." ~Gabe Amatangelo

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Vunak23
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Vunak23

    If the developers would slow progression back down a bit and allow players to make their own investments instead of blowing through everything then you would see MMORPGs lasting longer like they did in the past. 

     

    Or you will see players jumping ship if the progression is too slow. It is not accident that the market is driving towards faster progression with so much competition.

    It is a free market. Devs are free to tune their progression to suit any audience. You may not like it but they have no obligation to cater just to you.

    Players are already jumping ship on MMORPGs of late so I don't see your point. Its driving towards faster progression because for some reason publishers/developers feel that casuals are the driving force of the genre when they sadly aren't. 

    Developers need to cater to their dedicated base and scoop up who ever happens to cling to that afterwards. Instead they are generalizing out their own concepts to cater to everyone and its watering their product down so far there are no distinguishing features to really set it apart from anything else out on the market. 

    but they are the driving force behind the money as long as the content lasts. They just don't seem to plan past that stage of a games life.

  • HomituHomitu Hometown, HIPosts: 2,030Member

    I definitely answered 'no.' 

    First of all, when you ask if we think longevity in MMOs is a myth, it certainly sounds like you're asking if it's impossible.  That's what a myth is in this context - a fabricated falsehood.  Now, you went on to clarify what you meant, OP.  But know that when people responded to this poll, they responded based on the generally understood definition of 'myth' which is apparently not what you meant.  So your poll is basically ruined right there, as people are responding to a question different from the one you're really trying to get at.  

    That said, I still answered 'no.'  Plain and simple, MMOs and other persistent online games are designed with a fundamentally different goal than traditional games.  That goal is to keep people playing for as long as possible because the vast majority of the income from such games comes from purchases made or subscriptions after the initial box sale (assuming there even is one).  It doesn't matter if there's a high turnover of players.  Players will come and go all the time.  But the goal remains the same: make more players come in and try the game, and then keep players playing.  All of these games release periodical updates with new content to ensure players continue consuming their product.  That's the design.  That's the point.  

    This is fundamentally different from single player or offline games, which just want to sell boxes.  It also doesn't matter how long these games are.  Skyrim may be a 200+ hour adventure, but it's goal was the same as 10 hour games like Portal or Bastion: sell one copy of itself.  Once the game is sold, it doesn't matter to the developer whether the player gets 10 hours or 10,000 hours out of it.  Actually, scratch that.  It would be decidedly bad if players got 10,000 hours out of a $50 game because that would mean the player is too preoccupied with that game to purchase any other games in the foreseeable future.  Single player and offline games are specifically designed to be temporary experiences.  MMOs are designed to be perpetual experiences.  

    Now that doesn't mean offline and single player games can't last a long time.  I've probably played Final Fantasy VII-X fifteen to twenty times each over the past 15 years.  I'd probably call that replayability, though, not longevity.  And again, it does come at the expense of other games.  If I decide to fire up Final Fantasy Tactics yet again, that means I'm not playing some other new game that's out on the market now. 

    And of course not every MMO will succeed in keeping its players; but that doesn't mean that's not the goal and that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of MMOs that do succeed at retaining its players.  In fact, I'd argue that probably every MMO that remains in business succeeds at this in some regard.  Maybe they haven't all succeeded in retaining you, but that's just because everyone has different tastes, and the only way to find one we'd like to stick with is by sampling a bunch of them.  

  • IczerIczer Jita, MIPosts: 109Member Uncommon

    Longevity alive and well ...

    UO - 5+ years

    Shadowbane - 2 years

    GW1 - 1 year

    EVE Online - Going on 7 years

    TSW - Just over a year (sporadic playing though)

    GW2 - 2 months

     

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,280Member Uncommon

    WoW 5 years 

     

    Wushu 1 year so far.

     

    1-3 month mmorpgs feel like a complete waste of time and $$

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Let me see:

    10 yrs+

    8 yrs (broken up, several stints)+

    4-5yrs

    3-ish

    <2 yrs (many times)

    What's interesting is that those titles are roughly in chronological order. A descending-order curve.

    Proposed: MMO longevity is inversely proportional to a player's experience with the genre.

    (In general, not exactly; of course you could have chosen one early title over another)

    Alternate hypothesis: Companies are much more interested in (frequently) separating you from the cost of a box, than they are in providing you an eternal home.

     

    Collect data, test hypothesis.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member

    I played MUDs before MMORPG so maybe that makes me the oddball.

    UO for about 3 months, the game was just too poorly made to play it longer. Not from a design standpoint mind you but from an exploitability, buggy, client stability etc standpoint.

    I played EQ for around 4 years off and on.

    I played AC, AO for under a year each, the games had good points but just way too many flaws.

    I played DAOC/SB for around a year each. Decent games but again with some pretty huge flaws.

    I played WOW way longer than I should have but including beta it was like 7 years or so off and on.

    I played tons of other games in that time frame but none of them lasted long term.

    GW2 is probably the longest I've played a game since or maybe AoC, both for like 4-5 months. It mostly has been that there just haven't been good games made than anything else though.

    Make a good MMORPG and I'll pay it 2+ years, make the garbage they tend to feed us and I'll give up in 3 months or less.

    Now during that entire career of gaming I dont' think i've played even 5 non MMORPG for as much as 4 months. MMORPG by far have the longest lifespan for me.

  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXPosts: 1,172Member Uncommon

    I'm pretty sure I had a paladin in WoW with 365 days played before BC came out.

    It'd be swell to not completely steamroll content as soon as it's released. Winning all the time gets a little tedious.

    It was around 154 days before anyone had cleared all the content in vanilla, and 142 days before anyone cleared Burning Crusade.

    We will never see something like this ever again. After all everything needs to be accessible to the masses these days.

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,924Member Uncommon

    I've found mmos to keep my attention far more then other games. I will say though with an over-saturated market, I find myself kicked in terms of having an over-abundance of ADD that does make it harder then it use to be to stay hooked on anything, and MMos are no exception to this issue. 

     

    Still, Rift for example did wonders for me, having spent over a year playing it which before that the only games that managed to do that to me were WoW (Granted I'll admit it was more sporadic), Ragnarok Online, and guilty to admit but runescape long long ago.

  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member

    Rift? really? That is one of the 5 or so worst MMORPG to be released in the past 5 years. How on earth did that one keep your attention.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    If we had a company handed over a chart of how long accounts remained open, would we need any more information other than the raw retention rates to answer this question?
  • TalemireTalemire Clearwater, FLPosts: 756Member
    Mmmm muffins!

    ------------------------------
    MMORPGs are great to look forward to after a hard day of work, but heaven is the ultimate reward for those who live Christ-like.

    image
  • akiira69akiira69 San Diego, CAPosts: 590Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ender4

    Single player RPG last maybe a month tops.

    I dont know what Single Player CRPG's your playing but I have several that have months of re-play ability in them. Drage Age 1 & 2, The Mass Effect Franchise, Elder Scrolls, there are many Single Player RPG's that can be tons of fun. The developers are realizing that if they add DLC to the games people will play their single player games alot more.

    "Possibly we humans can exist without actually having to fight. But many of us have chosen to fight. For what reason? To protect something? Protect what? Ourselves? The future? If we kill people to protect ourselves and this future, then what sort of future is it, and what will we have become? There is no future for those who have died. And what of those who did the killing? Is happiness to be found in a future that is grasped with blood stained hands? Is that the truth?"

  • PanzerbasePanzerbase Chicago, ILPosts: 423Member
    The OP's statement is at odds with itself but besides that the purpose here is to make cash, and MMO's are a very lucrative market where the winners will make tons of it. If you look back 10 or so years ago almost every MMO had staying power, it is only the recent crop of fast money garbage that has people like the OP thinking the market is dead. The carrot is still there but the companies making the games have forgotten how to reach the goal, rather they have become too greedy.
  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon

    Longevity is certainly not a myth. Longest I ever stayed with a game was 8 years which was Eq2.

    EQ1 - 1 year

    Puzzle Pirates - 6 months

    Eq2 - 8 years with only a few breaks (currently quit for good)

    Lineage II - 1 year

    SWG - 1 year (quit after the NGE)

    Ganado Espada - 2 years on and off

    Vindictus - 3 years going back to closed beta

    Neverwinter - 2 months

     

    Many other games I tried and quit in a mater of days or weeks: TERA, AION, Rift, Kitsu saga, other games I can't even remember right now.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,946Member Uncommon

    "Modern MMORPGs" have no longevity, most crash after a few months.

    That was not the case with a good number of the "original" MMORPGs, which actually increased player populations after launch (a radical concept, I know...).

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    "Modern MMORPGs" have no longevity, most crash after a few months.

    That was not the case with a good number of the "original" MMORPGs, which actually increased player populations after launch (a radical concept, I know...).

    Careful there; many (all?) of the originals peaked and went into declines before year five.

    In fact, you can count the number of games that increased population steadily for more than five years on just two fingers, can't you? Neither of those two games being considered 'classic era'--not good for the point you're trying to make here.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • BossalinieBossalinie Hattiesburg, MSPosts: 683Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ender4

    Rift? really? That is one of the 5 or so worst MMORPG to be released in the past 5 years. How on earth did that one keep your attention.

    If you correctly add "in my opinion," prior to your statement, you may also find the answer you are looking for.

  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member

    I have been playing MMORPGs since the release of UO, and I had NEVER played a MMO for less than a year, until Rift (even bought a 6 month plan for the discount, due to my own track record).

     

    Now, I am no game hopper, so I am not saying I played 50 mmos and they all lasted me, I am generally pretty picky about what I will play and I figure out if it is something I will want to play (as best as I think I can), before I buy it.

     

    My 1+ year list:

     

    UO (6-8 years total, took a EQ break)

    EQ (7-8 years total, took a DAoC break)

    SWG

    DAoC

    Vanguard

     

    My major title short time list:

    Rift (4-5 months, too railed, small world at launch)

    GW2 (less than a week, too cluttered and hated the classes, really wanted to like it)

    TSW (6 months, really liked the stories/quests, and I am a spacebar hitter, thinking of going back now that their is more/new content)

    SWToR - My free month, finished my story, got my money worth, and was done....Seemed more like a lobby MMO  to me.

    NW - Couldn't log out of the open beta fast enough, hated the controls/UI, seemed very boring also.

     

    So yes, it is possible to get your money worth or enjoy a MMO that you do not play over a year, but my much more memorable MMOs are the ones I played for over a year, and their is a long time span between UO and VG, so I reject this rose colored glasses theory that people think has to apply to anybody that is not thrilled with most current mmos.

     

     

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