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[Column] General: Why Do Players Leave MMOs?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,649MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It happens to all of us, it’s probably happened to you. No MMO is immune to it, but some do it better than others. There comes a point when a player stops playing the game, they log off one day and simply never log back in. The fact remains that they have stopped playing the game for whatever reason, and that reason is something that the game developers would LOVE to know.

Read more of Matt Miller's Why Do Players Leave MMOs?.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • fantasyfreak112fantasyfreak112 Orange County, CAPosts: 499Member

    I can answer this for most.

     

    If they leave early it's because the game was really low quality or just not their cup of tea, usually the former(DFOUW, Wizardry, Warhammer, the first FFXIV, etc)

     

    If they leave at max level it's because the endgame is shallow and/or nonexistant.

     

    Every MMO since WoW has made one of these two mistakes.

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    I have only played one mmorpg intensely. World of Warcraft. I started in 2008, I was part of a raid group that defeated the Lich King before the debuff. After our first victory over him, I never played the game the same way or any other game for that matter. You might as well say I quit after the victory over the LK. Blizzards remedy? Cataclysm, that wasn't going to fly for me, I knew what it took to beat the Lich King and Death wing was just the same concept with new skins, I didn't need to beat DW to know I could hang with the hardcore crowd, I had already proven to myself I have what it takes.

    Today it's hard to muster the willpower to stick around any game that in the back of my mind is just a gear grind or level grind.

    I'm excited for all the sandbox coming out, I have not done that yet.


    Today's preferred payment models don't give me the chance to quit. I don't let myself become invested emotionally or monetarily in f2p games, no exceptions.
  • SoulTrapOnSelfSoulTrapOnSelf Ellicott City, MDPosts: 190Member
    Played MMOs until level cap, not interested in raiding. Then go back to single player games and wait for either an MMO expansion or a new MMO. Rinse and repeat.
  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    This is where a little research on the part of the player can go a long way, at least for those who claim they only played a particular game for a few weeks then left becuase they were "bored".  If they played for a couple of months, then get bored I would actually sympathize.  Regardless, everything comes to an end to include game subs.   It gets to a point to were you just need to change sometimes to get out of a gaming rut.  Or it could be that the devs/publishers keep doing misstep after misstep.  I think there are so many variables though, that an article on the subject would barely scratch the surface.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

    I can answer this for most. 

    If they leave early it's because the game was really low quality or just not their cup of tea, usually the former(DFOUW, Wizardry, Warhammer, the first FFXIV, etc) 

    If they leave at max level it's because the endgame is shallow and/or nonexistant. 

    Every MMO since WoW has made one of these two mistakes.

    You left out a possibility.  People who finish all the leveling content, and then leave because they just don't care about endgame, regardless of it's quality or quantity.  There is a decent chance that group is far larger than those who leave because they tried the endgame and found it lacking.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon

    Oh well ive played many mmorpg's in the past and have tried alot more.

    Exit events for me wher emade up out of diffrent reasons except for now.

    i now quit for the exact same reason everytime. wich is geargrind themeparks are not my thing at all.

    Ive actually quit a beta test of a game im sure alot of people would love to get their hands on at lvl 15 because its the same shit all over again. im done with the Genre unless they change away from it.

  • yaminsuxyaminsux KajangPosts: 812Member Uncommon
    I left wow because of TBC, I didnt like they way they make both sides the same (horde getting paladin and ally getting shaman).

    I hopped into EvE bandwagon, been active for about 3 years until I left for RL commitment.

    Now I just play f2p games because I can easily leave w/o worrying paying for subs.
  • fantasyfreak112fantasyfreak112 Orange County, CAPosts: 499Member

    You can't research a game under an NDA until launch when most the information is hearsay and every negative post gets deleted(aka GW2). Sure you can wait a few months for honest reviews to punch through all the hype but that's alot of waiting around.

  • iridescenceiridescence Elliot Lake, ONPosts: 1,486Member
    Originally posted by rodingo
    This is where a little research on the part of the player can go a long way, at least for those who claim they only played a particular game for a few weeks then left becuase they were "bored".  If they played for a couple of months, then get bored I would actually sympathize.  Regardless, everything comes to an end to include game subs.   It gets to a point to were you just need to change sometimes to get out of a gaming rut.  Or it could be that the devs/publishers keep doing misstep after misstep.  I think there are so many variables though, that an article on the subject would barely scratch the surface.

    Boredom is relative. Probably they just found something else that more interesting to play. Single player games ave never been cheaper, free games are a dime a dozen and they aren't all just empty cash shop grinders anymore. For a game to justify a sub it has to be pretty compelling. For a sub game to think it can keep subs by just being "OK and not too boring" is foolishness in this market. You need something compelling to get today's average player really invested and hooked in to your game so they want to log in every day.

     

  • WereLlamaWereLlama Lubbock, TXPosts: 243Member

    I am goal orientated so when I cannot make measurable progress with my character, I leave.

    So for a game to keep me for a long period of time, I imagine it would need to always have lots of room for growth.  Not sure if that is possible without daily fixed time caps on progress.

    -WL

     

  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJPosts: 944Member Uncommon

    Actually it varies a LOT with me but most of the strong games had very specific reasons.

     

    Everquest 1 for the last time: I got docked a ton of DKP by my guild for following orders.  I was told to do something by a lieutenant of the the guild and then I was told by someone higher up that he didn't have the authority to have told me to do what I did and that the act was a mistake and I was going to be docked regardless // no appeal.  This soured me on the guild and I decided that I had enough hardcore and moved on to Everquest 2.

     

    Warhammer lost me due to a server merge.  The server I was on was relatively balanced.  After the merge, our home city of Altdorf was being sacked 4 times every single day with no hope of defending it.  It was a fun game but that single act destroyed it.

     

    Horizons lost me when it was taken over by the lightbulb company which had no security over the credit cards etc.

     

    N.E.O lost me by closing its doors after doing sales to get more money out of the people who were paying.  I still have far too many astros from that which will probably never be used.

     

    SOE lost the chance that I would ever come back to Everquest 2 when they refused to refund the large number of SC that evaporated from my account in a minor game of theirs that I was not playing over a period of like 9 months without notifying me that the credits were being used in any way.  The original plan I had was to use the station credits to buy the next expansion when it came out -- but with them gone they lost that chance.  Very dumb of them.

     

    Rift  lost me because they nerfed my warrior tank to smithereens.  I rolled with the punches through several nerfs before this but when they turned the tables on turn the tables entirely and changed the entire definition of what a character tank was able to do, it just was not worth it anymore.  In essence they changed the power balance so much that even in full raid gear I would not have ever been able to reach how I was in the correctly stated world drop block gear.

     

    Cabal lost me due to the change in game mechanics at very high level.  Combos vanish and all of a sudden you are doing certain keyed special moves and doing some oddball keypress things to interrupt your special and get more in -- it was a pain.  The extreme amount of time needed to level at that point was another minus.

     

    The Secret World lost my potential playing from a move in the beta where they dropped the jumping distance.  It was fun before that and much less so afterward as all of the shortcuts in the game went away and the fences were all true obstacles that you had no way to climb over. 

     

     

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

    I can answer this for most. 

    If they leave early it's because the game was really low quality or just not their cup of tea, usually the former(DFOUW, Wizardry, Warhammer, the first FFXIV, etc) 

    If they leave at max level it's because the endgame is shallow and/or nonexistant. 

    Every MMO since WoW has made one of these two mistakes.

    You left out a possibility.  People who finish all the leveling content, and then leave because they just don't care about endgame, regardless of it's quality or quantity.  There is a decent chance that group is far larger than those who leave because they tried the endgame and found it lacking.

    That was me for SWToR.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    Most of the games I've stopped playing were because I'd just consumed enough content and just didn't want anymore.  There wasn't any one thing or even a set of things that was wrong, I was just "done".  With these games I've more than gotten my money's worth and I'm ready to try something else.

     

    With other games, sometimes it takes a very long time to figure out why I don't want to play the game.  I'm still not sure why GW2 didn't appeal to me.  With SWToR, it took awhile after I was done with the game, and  a brief revisit when it went F2P combined with a month long revisit with WoW to understand why I didn't want to play it.

     

    Now, if I play a game and I know pretty much immediately that I don't like it, the 'why' is usually pretty obvious to me.  LoL wasn't appealing because of the control scheme.  I remember finding the graphics unappealing as well.  Of course, there's no exit interview with LoL and these seem like pretty central things to the game so an exit interview probably wouldn't have mattered anyway. :-)

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • Storm_CloudStorm_Cloud MalmoPosts: 369Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

    I can answer this for most. 

    If they leave early it's because the game was really low quality or just not their cup of tea, usually the former(DFOUW, Wizardry, Warhammer, the first FFXIV, etc) 

    If they leave at max level it's because the endgame is shallow and/or nonexistant. 

    Every MMO since WoW has made one of these two mistakes.

    You left out a possibility.  People who finish all the leveling content, and then leave because they just don't care about endgame, regardless of it's quality or quantity.  There is a decent chance that group is far larger than those who leave because they tried the endgame and found it lacking.

    That was me for SWToR.

    Same here for SWToR...

    The only 1 game that I stayed with for a long time is EQ1. Nearly 5 years straight. Other games that kept me for a longer period was Vanguard, SWG and EQ2.

  • AcorniaAcornia Spring Lake, RIPosts: 176Member

    There are many things that can cause me to exit a game and not look back.

     

    1.  The point at which the game is just not fun to play anymore.  (Big one was SWTOR  during beta.  24 person max in zone, major bugs that was not fixed during that time.)

     

    2  Saying that something will be in the game and then come to find out that it will not be in game.

     

    3.  Major changes in the way the game plays by the devs after the game is live. (SoE's CU  / NEG in SWG)

     

    4.  Poor in and out of game support.  (To me having live phone support to help handle game problems is a major plus for that game.)

     

    5.  Devs active in forums and game at all times to listen to us and pass on how they feel about the game.

     

    6.  Have GMs / Mods in game to help with problems players are having.  (Early City of Heros was great for this)

     

    7.  Hack proof the personal data that you have on us.  (Over the years there that been major hacking of personal data stored  by them running in the millions of credit card and other personal date about you and I)

     

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    I prefer subscription based games and I prefer them to be like the old school Mmorpg's Ultima Online, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot. I keep trying today's mmorpg's out to see if one will stick, I never last more than a a few months, a few I stuck with for 6 months to a year. They're all rehashed versions of Wow, with less to do in them so why would anyone play them over WoW?  One thing that will kill an mmorpg for me is if it subscription based and goes F2P or B2P. I'll drop it immediately, I don't like F2P or B2P cash shop games. I also prefer the old school open world pvp. Today's mmo's are just a bunch of crap arena type pvp areas not worth bothering with. I did the whole arena bit got my arena mounts, yadda, yadda. That type of pvp is boring as hell to me. I liked old school mmorpg's when pvp wasn't a gear grind, it was more about skill. Another thing that will make me leave an mmorpg is not having a seemless world. I absolutely hate instances and phasing as well.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,410Member Uncommon

    This is why I leave:

    1. Redundant Battlegrounds - Sorry excuse for PvP. There is nothing "open" or "massive" about 6v6 or even 20v20 PvP. These "dedicated" PvP zones and childish gimmicks are both boring and immersion breaking, e.g., Capture the Flag, TDM, Huttball, etc. Sigh.
    2. I can't be myself. I feel like I'm simply going through the motions between each cut-scene. It feels more like I'm just watching a movie as opposed to being my character.
    3. Quest hub to quest hub progression.
    4. It's all about combat. Social hubs have been destroyed. There is no economy to manipulate or player city to populate.
    5. Absolutely zero player-driven/created content.
    6. Small and funneled worlds. Zero Exploration
     
    I'm not asking for some blank and empty void of a sandbox. I'm also not asking for a "hold my hand" Theme Park. I want a blend of both.
  • TelilTelil telfordPosts: 282Member

    i usually leave MMO's due to no challenge or feeling of acomplishment.

    I do prefer the old school model and find it hard to find anything challenging enough these days. Give me a challenging risk v reward type game and i will gladly pay a subscription.

    No depth

    no challenge

    no uniqueness to define your character from the next

  • Mr.KujoMr.Kujo SwinoujsciePosts: 383Member
    I leave because I get bored...
  • DashiDMVDashiDMV Not Saying, QCPosts: 362Member
    What do I do if the game quit me?
  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member

    I left MMOs after the guild I was in broke up, or the guild lost so many players and we couldn't recruit more due to low server populations.

    The other reason was because the game content was old and then a new MMO came out. A few times I tried to maintain both subs but it would be about 2 months and then I would just cancel the old game's account.

     

  • Role_playerRole_player genovaPosts: 33Member

    NWN from Bioware was the best I played a lot of time ago, it has got a lot of custom servers with specifics rules and good roleplay. After that, many,many years of more of the same WoW clones that I never liked and therefore always quitted after a very short period. Now we have Free to Play games (last I played was Cryptic Neverwinter) that are very often uncomplished games and very easy to appeal the mass market.

    As FantasyFreak wrote low quality and no endgame are a pair of points that causes the QUIT but we can continue the list: lack of challenge I mean the curve of difficulty, deep and meaningfull charachter development that influence the gameplay, lack of options to advance and interact with the enviroment, the lack of feeling unique because of a bad customization and who wants to talk about the shame of Pay to Win games?

    The most and only game I enjoyed to play recently even if not a truh mmorpg was Dark Souls but I like to play RP in group so all my next hopes are in EQN!

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,478Member Uncommon

    My main reason is the lack of it being a believable world. If a MMO is mostly combat oriented I can stick with that for a few months but to keep me playing there needs to be this world which shouldn't be all combat. We already have other game genre covering that. I could have enjoyed AoC or Final Fantasy if I wasn't hit with so many "blind walls" that simply do not make sense.

    If leveling is to fast. Don't really care for this so-called end game as most of the time it takes you out of the gameworld itself.

    I just hate it that developers seem to lazy to give gamers the tools to give a MMO/rpg it's soul. In singleplayer games I expect developers to create the soul of the game by means of gameplay and making sure the game comes alive.

    How many options do we really have to make that happen in a MMO. All they seem to do is copy what we already have in singel/multiplayer games only difference there are more people playing similtaniously.

    This genre has become more of a hack & slash online game. Hopefully the next upcoming MMO/rpgs might be slightly different then what we have seen the last couple of years and bring back the world where the players create it's soul.

    So overall it's the lack of options in today's MMO's that makes me leave. Where some might say we have more options but that just depends on how you look at it. Do we have more combat oriented options then sure we have but every other options is often left out or slapped on. Why should a warrior be able to craft/harvest/heal themselfs, why should a crafter be good at combat.....Sure I understand that the majority doesn't seem willing to truly work together and want to be independant but lets face it those players already have tons of games to choose from.

    Also being forced is on my list of leaving.

  • kilunkilun Apopka, FLPosts: 709Member Common
    Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

    I can answer this for most.

     

    If they leave early it's because the game was really low quality or just not their cup of tea, usually the former(DFOUW, Wizardry, Warhammer, the first FFXIV, etc)

     

    If they leave at max level it's because the endgame is shallow and/or nonexistant.

     

    Every MMO since WoW has made one of these two mistakes.

    And WoW didn't make any of them?  WoW was not interesting to me, I got to level 49 on a shaman at release went back about 5 months later after the CU in SWG and got a warrior to 49 and realised I didn't want to raid and haven't played the game since.

    Its not your cup of tea anymore is about the main answer I can see.  I've either done all I wanted or the game isn't my cup of tea is reason why I left.  

    www.ozumgames.com

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iridescence
    Originally posted by rodingo
    This is where a little research on the part of the player can go a long way, at least for those who claim they only played a particular game for a few weeks then left because they were "bored".  If they played for a couple of months, then get bored I would actually sympathize.  Regardless, everything comes to an end to include game subs.   It gets to a point to were you just need to change sometimes to get out of a gaming rut.  Or it could be that the devs/publishers keep doing misstep after misstep.  I think there are so many variables though, that an article on the subject would barely scratch the surface.

    Boredom is relative. Probably they just found something else that more interesting to play. Single player games ave never been cheaper, free games are a dime a dozen and they aren't all just empty cash shop grinders anymore. For a game to justify a sub it has to be pretty compelling. For a sub game to think it can keep subs by just being "OK and not too boring" is foolishness in this market. You need something compelling to get today's average player really invested and hooked in to your game so they want to log in every day.

     

    Oh I agree completely.  Makes me wonder why some game studios are continuing to try to go the route of charging subs, and blatantly ignoring the direction of the market over the past several years.  At least they should try to be revolutionary with the amount they are trying to charge.  As if their particular game is going to stand head and shoulders over all that have came before them.  There is a lot of competition in the market and continuing to do the same old, same old is just a recipe for failure.  Well, history does have the tendency to repeat itself.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

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