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[Column] General: Why Do Players Leave MMOs?

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

    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.  As if their particular game is going to stand head and shoulders over all that have came before them.

    Because they can have the best of both worlds.  Start with box sale and a sub to hit everybody willing to pay them, then when box sales drop off and sub numbers decrease, add the free option and expand the cash shop.  Win/win.

    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.

  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon

    Too many games...I suspect that MMOs are doomed in the long run, because people won't play a single game to the extent that they used to, when there were fewer options.

    On a side note, I leave games all the time, but I often return. Unless it has a sub, which is usually too much hassle to renew just to check out the game again.

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by rodingo

    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.  As if their particular game is going to stand head and shoulders over all that have came before them.

    Because they can have the best of both worlds.  Start with box sale and a sub to hit everybody willing to pay them, then when box sales drop off and sub numbers decrease, add the free option and expand the cash shop.  Win/win.

    Then they can claim that the game was originally designed for F2P anyways like EA claimed with SWTOR.  Oh well, what you said is sad but true.

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

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon


    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.



    Though I agree with these two points, there's at least third and fourth points you missed because they apply to me: social structure collapse (friends leave, guild disbands, etc) and burnout (was pretty crispy after 6 years of wow without a break).

  • AlverantAlverant Wheaton, ILPosts: 531Member Uncommon

    I haven't quit many MMOs because I haven't played many MMOs. I've played 5 MMOs and two of them sundowned on me. I remember quitting RFOnline because early in the game I somehow messed up the camera and couldn't find any help in fixing it or finding the key map. (It was after I bought the game at full price, lost the box before I could install it, then starting the game after it went F2P.)

    I enjoyed Star Trek Online for a while but level progression went so fast I was leveling out of missions for a while. Then at max level the reputation system just became a dull grind. I quit about 10 months ago just out of boredom. I tried a second character class but there wasn't any real difference. Plus the AI in my companion on away missions was rock stupid. She was a medic who kept running up to baddies to use her PBAOE power instead of the blue sniper rifle I gave her.

  • wolfmannwolfmann TerraakPosts: 1,159Member

    Boredom for the most part, due to a myriad of reasons:

     

    • Little to no variation in gameplay or activites.
    • Ingame community is at zero, outside of tight knit guilds.
    • Lack of social gameplay outside of the combat grind (wich makes it part of little to no variation)
    • TEH grind, wich makes your progression stall and you keep having to repeat the same activity over and over.
    • A quest is a quest is a quest. Seen one and you seen them all, again falls into the no variety.
    • Small maps with loading if you go anywhere... Play not load!
    • Gear is boring and bland, showing no progression or changes... Again, variety.
    • Classes... No variety/change, everything is the same as every other game, just different pixel fireworks.
     
    Basicly... Themepark games end up in one way or another into one or all of these, and thus bore the F outta me.
     
    Variety is important to keep a person entertained, so is social interaction with other players, and not just guild players, but the rest of the players also.
     
    Simple example of the "social" is the cantinas of SWG. You didn't have to go there, but there were benefits, and with it the cantinas became the "local wateringhole" where people would hang out, chat, have fun, play games... It made the game not be a all out combat wombat uraaaah battle game.
    Ofcourse, in SWG, you had non combat professions that also made it beneficial to do other things than combat, and hang out with people, even outside your guild.
    (edit:) Wich meant that SWG became my longest running "never bored" MMORPG I've played... Until fresh faced "Themepark Uraaaah!" devs destroyed it all.

    imageThe last of the Trackers

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member

    I leave because the games fail to bring enough to the table to keep me interested.  A lot of MMOs today have a "been there and done that" feeling with not enough depth, horizontal gameplay, and focus on social features.

    They largely feel like contrived, lifeless experiences rather than a unique player-made adventure that can be shared with others.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,058Member Uncommon

    Of all the MMO's I've quit or no longer play I'll list:

    1. Asheron's Call - I still play and keep my subscription active but I only log in a few times per month.  Mainly quit playing because of the dated graphics, lack of a Auction House and low population.
    2. DAoC - ToA and artifact grinding, at the time I was heavily into PvP (WvW) and was in a great guild that ran 8 man gank groups.  That stopped when everyone started farming ToA.
    3. WoW - dumbing down of the progression systems, such as removal of the Talent Trees and backtracking on Archeology system in Beta to a shell of it former self.
    4. SWToR, AoC, Rift, GW2 - all quit due to a lack of a Dungeon/Group Finder
     
    Currently playing Neverwinter and Path of Exile

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

    image

  • toddzetoddze no where, OKPosts: 2,155Member

    I leave MMO's because they are to easy, and I burn through the content.

    I want a hard MMO, an unforgiving MMO. One where when you accomplish something, it feels like an accomplishment. But I am a relic in the MMO world, I come from the era of such games, now MMO'ers can not understand this style of gaming at all.  Now MMO's are single player games with a chat box. I have not bought an MMO in years, but I still follow the genre religiously and read player reviews,  hoping something comes along that offers challenging PvE.

    Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
    Now Playing: N/A
    Worst MMO: FFXIV
    Favorite MMO: FFXI

  • reillanreillan Tulsa, OKPosts: 234Member Uncommon

    When you have no end-game, or your end-game is nothing more than a constant grind of the same few instances for a ridiculous number of tokens to buy a single item, I'm going to exit.  (GW2)

    When your end-game is too easy, and I finish it all within a week of hitting level cap, I'm going to exit. (SWTOR)

    When it's clear from early on that your game is entirely based on PvP, and that PvP is hopelessly unbalanced, I'm going to exit. (WAR)

    When it's clear that what you promised about my class and its functionality will never be delivered in your game, and I'll be forced into a specific role I didn't desire, I'm going to exit.  (AoC)

    But most importantly - when your game has worked perfectly for 5 years, and you come out with an update that introduces horrible lag into every aspect of the game, so that even a well-oiled machine of a raiding guild cannot get past a single raid boss, and then you blame that lag on players' computers and waste months not bothering to fix it, I'm definitely going to exit. (LotRO)

  • adino32adino32 Long Beach, CAPosts: 25Member

    I think the exit event for me and probably a lot of players like me...

    by like me I mean: Played MMOs since UO or EQ or AC and love it and is a total fanboy about and probably can't remember all the anger and frustration I had with those games, but remember only the good... and compares every game out there with those emotions rather than the facts of the time because we are too old and can't remember the actual facts...

    ... is life and not really the game.  The game just reminds me.  I try to blame the game but lets face it guys, compared to what we originally loved, these games are freaken so far and beyond better in just about every way, it is not the game.  It is me. 

    So I try a game out like NW or FFXIV rebirth and I like it and I play it but it just doesn't grab me and I get "bored" and I quit.  Then I go on the forums and bitch like a spoiled teenager about all sorts of stuff when in reality I would have never complained about that stuff back in 1990s.  I use to sign up (this is before FB, twitter, and even forums) for raids in EQ.  It would take hours for everyone to all show up and the raid would be nearly a 4 to 6 hour commitment.  NO FREAKEN HECK could I do that now nor would I ever want to.  But when I was in college and didn't care about my grades that was like awesome!

    The exit event is not anything in the game it is life.  I think publishers have to accept that the 1st gen of MMO players have a life cycle of about 2 months before they ditch the game.  They shouldn't try to find a way to prevent it but just mitigate for it.  That is why F2P will fail because as time goes the 1st gen players will be followed by the 2nd gen players and so forth.  The 1st gen players want a polished game and don't mind paying 60 bones for a game.  Honestly what is 60 bones when you have a mortgage and a car payment? 

    Another case in point.  I use to finish all my single player games.  Now I finish only the easy ones.  I have been playing Dark Souls for like forever and I am still not finished.  But I have accepted that is who I am now.

    I will play ESO, EQN, Wildstar and all the other big titles because I can afford to buy a couple of games a month.  The whole F2P vs. P2P vs. P2W is missing the point.  Make a game.  Who are you going to market.  Adjust payment method accordingly.  To market a game to all walks of life is just not gonna happen.  There will not be another WoW or another EQ.  It just will not happen anymore.  I personally think the evolution of P2P that ends up F2P is probably the right way to go.  The 1st gen play for a few months and give way to the younger gen players. 

    What I need to do and what other 1st gen players need to do is stop whining like a spoil princess when we get "bored".  You are most likel 35+ years old.  Get a grip man.  Enjoy the 2 months and move on to the next game.  Or go play golf.

     

  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,930Member Uncommon
    MMOs should not and do not have endgame content, too many are leaving out the RPG out of MMORPG and the game is a rush to get to "the end" to start another game.
  • Unrivaled1Unrivaled1 Tolleson, AZPosts: 29Member

    This is very hard to answer. as I do not generally know exactly why a particular game doesn't do it for me.

    I think the last time I was truly happy in an MMO was SWG before the big changes. Before that I played DAoC quite a bit. And of course I played plenty of WoW but I cannot say I was happy and content doing it.

    For me.. I don't care about endgame. Hell, I don't always get a character to max level. What matters most to me is pitting myself against other players. And not necessarily in PvP. I want to attain goals and awards faster than the other guy.

    And the problem in today's games with doing that is beta-testing. The game is released and there are hundreds with carnal knowledge of the game that I lack and who will easily outpace me in all aspects of the game. So, why should I play when the field isn't level for all?

    I understand the reason for beta-testing and acknowledge that we get a better game at release because of it. Nevertheless, that is my number one reason for walking away from a game. It's completely unfair to me at launch.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    The whole concept of "End Game" should be ended and forgotten.  The moment someone designed a game with this mind, was the moment they created a very, limited and finite experience for the players.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • adino32adino32 Long Beach, CAPosts: 25Member
    Originally posted by Unrivaled1

    This is very hard to answer. as I do not generally know exactly why a particular game doesn't do it for me.

    I think the last time I was truly happy in an MMO was SWG before the big changes. Before that I played DAoC quite a bit. And of course I played plenty of WoW but I cannot say I was happy and content doing it.

    For me.. I don't care about endgame. Hell, I don't always get a character to max level. What matters most to me is pitting myself against other players. And not necessarily in PvP. I want to attain goals and awards faster than the other guy.

    And the problem in today's games with doing that is beta-testing. The game is released and there are hundreds with carnal knowledge of the game that I lack and who will easily outpace me in all aspects of the game. So, why should I play when the field isn't level for all?

    I understand the reason for beta-testing and acknowledge that we get a better game at release because of it. Nevertheless, that is my number one reason for walking away from a game. It's completely unfair to me at launch.

    This is kind of what I was talking about.  I am sorry if my assumptions are false, no harm intended, but you are probably late 30s?  Probably have a full time job, most likely married.

    Honestly, if there was no beta or they put you in beta and you had an even playing field (just hypothetically) would you really be able to compete with these guys who play the game from minute zero continuously for days at a time with nearly no sleep and eating junk food all day long?  You have changed.  You are trying to get that feeling you had when you played DAoC but you have changed.  If you got it (and you probably did) you might not even want it or recognize it because you are so much older and your motivations in life are so different.  DAoC was what... 20 years ago?  Think about it, are you the same person you were 20 years ago?  Is your taste in music the same?  Are your interests the same?

  • TelilTelil telfordPosts: 282Member

    adino32 i hear that point a lot about we only remember the good points. So i tried the eq1999 free server for a bit to see. I joined with a group of friends for a blast from the past planning to stay for a week or so. We all ended up playing for months and absolutely loved it again. How so haha?

    Well it had challenge and depth, no group finders so people had to actually comunicate, remember years ago when if you want to speak to a mate you had to knock on the door? W ealso loved the fact that we couldnt just run blindly into a fight without worrying about losing our stuff or facing a long corpse run... remember that guy in the pub with all his mates that you wish you would have smacked, but really knew you would get your head kicked in. then there was the fact that we soon forgot about levelling as it wasnt so important. it was more important to explore what felt like a huge living world. every now and again we would hear this "ding" and it would be a momentuous occasion!

    Wedont all wear those rose tinted glasses and some of still want to play a risk v reward game with no fast travel and instances where we all get the same loot as a reward and all look and feel the same.

    How many people play WOW and play 90% content rather than sit in a city and dugeon hop while never speaking?

    How many people play SWOR and actually complete all available quests while they are yellow rather than just constantly queue for battlegrounds?

    these are the reasons i usually leave a game while i would prefer to go back to the old style. Walking and exploring a world that feels full of adventure and risk. focus is not on levelling but just playing in a world where i can have seperation from my usual day to day life.

  • TelilTelil telfordPosts: 282Member
    Originally posted by adino32
    Originally posted by Unrivaled1

    This is very hard to answer. as I do not generally know exactly why a particular game doesn't do it for me.

    I think the last time I was truly happy in an MMO was SWG before the big changes. Before that I played DAoC quite a bit. And of course I played plenty of WoW but I cannot say I was happy and content doing it.

    For me.. I don't care about endgame. Hell, I don't always get a character to max level. What matters most to me is pitting myself against other players. And not necessarily in PvP. I want to attain goals and awards faster than the other guy.

    And the problem in today's games with doing that is beta-testing. The game is released and there are hundreds with carnal knowledge of the game that I lack and who will easily outpace me in all aspects of the game. So, why should I play when the field isn't level for all?

    I understand the reason for beta-testing and acknowledge that we get a better game at release because of it. Nevertheless, that is my number one reason for walking away from a game. It's completely unfair to me at launch.

    This is kind of what I was talking about.  I am sorry if my assumptions are false, no harm intended, but you are probably late 30s?  Probably have a full time job, most likely married.

    Honestly, if there was no beta or they put you in beta and you had an even playing field (just hypothetically) would you really be able to compete with these guys who play the game from minute zero continuously for days at a time with nearly no sleep and eating junk food all day long?  You have changed.  You are trying to get that feeling you had when you played DAoC but you have changed.  If you got it (and you probably did) you might not even want it or recognize it because you are so much older and your motivations in life are so different.  DAoC was what... 20 years ago?  Think about it, are you the same person you were 20 years ago?  Is your taste in music the same?  Are your interests the same?

    40 here, ye sad i know haha!

    Still love U2 after all these years,

    Still try to play football and love it just as much, if not more,

    Oh my god i know they are so bad for me but i still love a Doner Kebab haha!

    But i do get your point. we are different people and not only we have changed but also our spare time has changed dramatically.

  • alakramalakram malagaPosts: 2,225Member Uncommon

    Small worlds.

    No housing.

    No mounts.

    Restricted class progression.

    -=AlaKraM=-
    Don't fight against poverty, fight against greed.
    My Lord of the Rings Gallery

  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDPosts: 2,583Member Uncommon
    Most people I know that appear to be just sitting around queing are in guild chat talking while waiting.
  • Unrivaled1Unrivaled1 Tolleson, AZPosts: 29Member
    Originally posted by adino32
    Originally posted by Unrivaled1

    This is very hard to answer. as I do not generally know exactly why a particular game doesn't do it for me.

    I think the last time I was truly happy in an MMO was SWG before the big changes. Before that I played DAoC quite a bit. And of course I played plenty of WoW but I cannot say I was happy and content doing it.

    For me.. I don't care about endgame. Hell, I don't always get a character to max level. What matters most to me is pitting myself against other players. And not necessarily in PvP. I want to attain goals and awards faster than the other guy.

    And the problem in today's games with doing that is beta-testing. The game is released and there are hundreds with carnal knowledge of the game that I lack and who will easily outpace me in all aspects of the game. So, why should I play when the field isn't level for all?

    I understand the reason for beta-testing and acknowledge that we get a better game at release because of it. Nevertheless, that is my number one reason for walking away from a game. It's completely unfair to me at launch.

    This is kind of what I was talking about.  I am sorry if my assumptions are false, no harm intended, but you are probably late 30s?  Probably have a full time job, most likely married.

    Honestly, if there was no beta or they put you in beta and you had an even playing field (just hypothetically) would you really be able to compete with these guys who play the game from minute zero continuously for days at a time with nearly no sleep and eating junk food all day long?  You have changed.  You are trying to get that feeling you had when you played DAoC but you have changed.  If you got it (and you probably did) you might not even want it or recognize it because you are so much older and your motivations in life are so different.  DAoC was what... 20 years ago?  Think about it, are you the same person you were 20 years ago?  Is your taste in music the same?  Are your interests the same?

     
    You're correct on many points (DAoC was only 10 years ago). The OP was about why we leave MMOs though. And while I've come to accept that I'll never feel the same way while playing a new MMO that I did while playing SWG, I still maintain what drives me away is a palpable lack of non-PvP competition in today's games.
     
    So what then is my dream game? I would love to see something like Civilization made into an MMO, but from the perspective of the "citizen". Build your own nation (Guild) or be a citizen of someone else's. Now, THAT has potential for non-PvP competition all over the place. And when nations go to war would have plenty to do to keep their interest. And for endgame? When one nation conquers all others, close the shard, post their names to a Hall of Fame and open a fresh shard. Since the shard starts in a "prehistoric" era and you need to learn and build to advance, there is plenty of in-between content to keep everyone busy.
  • TelilTelil telfordPosts: 282Member
    Originally posted by Horusra
    Most people I know that appear to be just sitting around queing are in guild chat talking while waiting.

    exactly my point friend. Its more interesting in games today to sit and chat while waiting for a dungeon finder or PVP battleground than it is to actually go and play the game.

  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDPosts: 2,583Member Uncommon
    Depends on what you deem fun. You seem to want to force "fun" on people.
  • jakinjakin somewhere, ONPosts: 243Member Common

    This is one of those "things" about MMO development that completely mystifies me.

     

    Obviously developers and publishers care about why a given player decides to throw in the towel, but why is it that virtually all MMOs wait until that point to ask the player what they are thinking?

     

    I'm hard-pressed to think of another product type where there is a capability for nearly 100% capture on a given survey question (every MMO uses a log-in launcher of some sort - put a question there and everyone who plays will have to answer it) and yet the only time I've ever seen a survey is when I'm already out the door.

     

    Sure, sometimes there might be one event that triggers the decision to stop playing, but more often it's the death of a thousand cuts.  Friends quit, game gets grindy, systems change, balance gets messed up - all these things contribute to the decision to leave but by the time the leaving actually happens the reason is usually "I'm done with the game", and all of that fine-grained stuff is lost in the generalization.

     

    Moreover, what is to be done with the rise of Subscription-less or Freemium games.  Virtually no one actually "quits", they just drift away.  I haven't played Guild Wars 2 in months, but my account is still there - how would ArenaNet capture that information from me? 

     

    It would seem to me that it would make the most sense for Developers to start working on an unobtrusive (i.e. no 100 question surveys) but meaningful way of leveraging the fact that they have a virtually captive audience they can poll whenever they want, while that audience is still mostly satisfied with their product.  Forums are selection biased and in-game metrics are both limited and must be carefully evaluated to get the right message from the data.  Opinion surveys could be a valuable addition (which other product fields would kill for) that for some reason goes unused.

  • TelilTelil telfordPosts: 282Member
    Originally posted by Horusra
    Depends on what you deem fun. You seem to want to force "fun" on people.

    i do yes! i want the whole world to have fun. They can choose what that fun is but i still want to make the whole world have fun :)

    Seriously though, no not really. I am just commenting on what i like and dislike in MMO's, not what others like or dislike. In no way would i try to force it on others. Unless i thought i could be succesful!

    But you make a great point with a simple sentance and this is why there needs to be a wid erange of MMO's to choose from.

  • adino32adino32 Long Beach, CAPosts: 25Member

    40 here, ye sad i know haha!

    Still love U2 after all these years,

    Still try to play football and love it just as much, if not more,

    Oh my god i know they are so bad for me but i still love a Doner Kebab haha!

    But i do get your point. we are different people and not only we have changed but also our spare time has changed dramatically.

    Well U2 yeah they are timeless.  If I tried to play football now I would be carted off during warmups.

    I think a lot of us refuse to believe we are different and that the devs are just not getting it.  My friend still plays EQ1.  The game is vastly different from what I played but when I saw him playing it (He only logs on to chat with friends) I was stunned at how poor it is compared to what we got now.

    I think the publishers want a game that can encompass 1st gen to current gen players and they spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying and they make a great attempt but it just not going to happen.  Games like Darkfall I think have the right idea.  make a game that you know has a solid core of niche players and milk it and repeat.

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