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I mostly leave MMOs when they are callously closed down by NCSoft. Which is why they'll never see my money again.
Reasons that I don't stick with MMOs are things like bad interfaces. The worse the interface, the better the game has to be to make me stay. Non invertable mouse is pretty much an instant delete sign. I am not going to retrain my reflexs for your one game, sorry. Non-choice pvp is also a no go button, unless it absolutely fits the world and game design. And even then.... Bad world design is another thing that wears down my interest. Sadly, lots of MMOs, even the old classics, have rather poorly written universes and campaign settings. Poor character customization is yet another.
If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.
i leave an MMO when i get bored of the world
i don't escape to an MMO to do the same thing i do in real life ("grind" for money/gear/lvls)
General decline in gameplay due to lag, bugs, and 'thin' content. (I mention this because I think it's rare that a great game you love suddenly experiences an 'exit event'.)
Final straw: class revamp that completely did away with the class I had enjoyed and played for years without so much as a single survey from Turbine as to what players wanted in a revamp. It was that class in name only afterward. I left after 6 plus years of regular play.
A GOOD MIX OF PVE/PVP
I am an older player. I leave for various reasons which are situational to the game. I enjoy a good mix of a battlefield/zonecarebear pvp (death doesn't mean you get looted and come back as a ghost with nothing- that sucks to me) and pve. I enjoy hanging with a guild and attempting to do a pve raid here and there but my game has to have a mix that's enjoyable or the game is dumped.
I haven't seen an enjoyable yet frustrating game as dark age of Camelot in years. The "thing" was the enemy class that attacked you had a mix of 2 or 3 of your realms classes in 1, and you had that in a class of yours but in a tank/ranged/etc.
Games these days cut and paste a "healer", "tank", "Mdps", "ranged" without a small imbalance from one realm to the other.
Dark Age did this the best but also fkd up too cause they didn't react very quickly to some of the pvp HUGE imbalances, i.e. banshees screaming thru tower walls, animst poping out shrooms in a courtyard and going afk while they kill everything or even some of the imbalances from Warhammer Online.
It was a lot of fun in the beginning and figuring out that a Magus mechanics were made slightly different in another named class of the enemies.
DEV REACTION TIME
Those 2 games were simply the devs didn't react to balance in a timely manner and I chose to not wait (after investing 6 years into daoc) another 1+ years on games that had become aged.
The other reason I leave is IF the customer support really sucks! (FFXIV *cough*) then Ill drop em even quicker. I have waited 16 days for a return on an item swap and counting. I feel that's bad business on their part. If you disagree that's fine, but in the end, Im making a payment to them (sub) and if I feel they lack early in the life of the game of cust support it wont get any better as time goes on.
Heh, this article isn't about "why" you quit.
It is about "how" you need to quit.
If you want the genera to get better, start filling out the surveys when you leave.
In regards to the more outspoken mmo "vets", most of them seem to not really play mmos. Rather, they tolerate them, always looking for the last straw. Sometimes its a patch that "breaks" a must have feature on their list. Or its an overall design that they just can't take anymore. Then its off to the forums to let everyone know why this game fails.
I mean no disrespect to Mr. Miller, but I think that the reason why players quit MMORPGs has been made clear. Quite simply, they get bored. Specifically:
Waiting for: Citadel of Sorcery. Along the way, The Elder Scrolls Online (when it is F2P).
Keeping an eye on: www.play2crush.com (whatever is going on here).
It's an interesting topic for an article, surely one that puts a dent into all the negativity surrounding the "I'm leaving this game" posts on official forums—people being so defensive when their preferred game of the month is criticised, granted heavily but nevertheless subjectively (i.e., to each one's own tastes). Even the sempiternal "this game sucks, period" has its value, so to speak, as it is an opinion among others. One terribly lacking in wording and substance, for sure, yet an opinion nevertheless, that all games will receive from at least someone; the problem being when too many 'someones' express such an opinion. That former customers won't even use a word to explain why a game is horrible means that, in their mind, anyone trying it would immediately know without needing further discourse. It's peremptory an opinion, incredibly harsh and borderline useless to improve the product, yet it says something.
Now, to the point of the article. The idea of the "exit event" is interesting I think, for a couple of reasons: 1) it's probably great for polishing, but… 2) focusing too much on these "events" themselves (single, identified moments in time) is probably much too narrow a vision for a whole game design.
I'll try to avoid a wall of text.
1) Kind of obvious, identifying most of these "exit events" is equivalent to assessing which parts (features, moments, etc.) of the game are bumps and lumps, rough patches, the proverbial roughness that breaks 'immersion', the fourth wall, suddenly prompting you to remember that this is a game you're playing and there's a whole world out there. The less you make that realisation when playing, the smoother the experience is, the less you'll even think of leaving to do something else. Less chances of hitting that straw that could break the camel's back.
Taken like that, the "exit event" identification and use as information seems a valuable method. I don't think it helps much more than that though; it could even give false perceptions of the how's and why's of players behaviours, because it's terribly limited in scope.
2a) Indeed we're, at this point, awfully ignorant of what weighs on that particular camel's back in the first place. How that particular game is designed and how pieces of it interact together (or fail to do so). Sure, "crafting [may be] too tedious", "combat [may be] boring", and so on and so forth: but these are all relative aspects. You'd find a game A with a much tedious yet incredibly exciting crafting system, whereas in game B crafting could be much simpler yet bland thus totally boring. There's no universal measure of such elements of a whole (what is crafting? what is a 'good' combat system? is there only one answer to these questions?); only against the whole can you truly judge what's worth and what's subpar for your particular game, and beyond that compared to the industry in general—but remember not all games have identical design goals and approaches.
That's another way of saying that a game, or a movie, an album, a book—anything fictional and/or crafted, really—needs a vision, a grander scheme, a global direction that unifies elements and maintains their inner and outer coherence. That thing by which a maker can craft a whole object that bears coherence—making isn't just assembling parts; and cloned parts can resonate much differently when implemented into a different whole.
What you see, much too often in MMO design, is that everything is made (and thought of) so separately that the whole is more of a patchwork than a well-oiled mechanic. Each time the player goes from one aspect to the next (say, stops fighting to craft something), how everything ties into everything else will suddenly make the whole experience seem coherent, enough that you'd be willing to suspend disbelief a bit longer.
2b) And then there's an even bigger picture. What is the last game you've been playing consistently (several times a week, for hours), across many weeks, possibly even a year? I bet it hasn't happened much often in your gamer's life, and the few instances were probably with an MMO. This genre has such a retention power, compared to many other games (notably because: no definite end), that we sometimes fail to remember that any game (as any movie, book, etc.) will be put down at some point in his owner's life, because: other things exist.
No one questions why someone stopped playing Mass Effect X or Civilization Y, but with MMO's? "Oh really, you stopped? Why? What happened?"… as if there needed to be a reason entirely alien to the player itself; as if there needed to be problem, a negative event, something which explains why said player left—because, obviously, it couldn't just be another one of these players playing a game and then moving on to another game!… Really? :-)
I think we misinterpret the general pace (and subsequent retention patterns) of MMO's compared to other genres, particularly single-player games; and that this flawed approach of a fantasised "second life", or whatever exaggerated notion we surrounded virtual worlds with back in their beginnings, is what's driving a flawed analysis of what are nevertheless perfectly normal and rational consumer behaviours with any piece of media.
The perception we have of it also pertains to the business premise of the genre though, as since its beginnings, its very existence is subjected to a steady influx of income—permanent worlds, servers, need to be financed to keep on running. MMO's, as of today, are still pushing the boundaries of computing resources (including networks) on a more regular basis than other genres. Running an MMO, simply put, is sailing through risk constantly. This need to extract money from customers constantly, whether through subs or micro-transactions, is shaping the genre itself, as the retention factor is of prime importance.
Once you bought FIFA or Mariokart, EA or Nintendo doesn't care that you play it on a daily basis for months on end. You bought it, it should be enough for them that you've had enough fun to justify buying the next iteration. But MMO's don't really shape like that—iterations are more 'expansion packs' and 'patches', etc. They need you on several days a week, several weeks a month, several months a year (approx. 3 months/year is a sweet spot many MMO publishers only dream of).
The very business of MMO's revolves on a reciprocal tension from developers to players: the former need the latter to stay in the game, the latter needs the former to stay at it (making new content). The deal is thus quite simple, money for content, but in a much more intricate way (monthly basis) than in most other genres (once-per-iteration basis). This leads to changes in the very design of MMO's, sometimes innocuously, sometimes breaking the very integrity of the product (because: abusive time sinks, real-money translating to power unbalance in-game, etc). A strong argument in favour of subs versus cash shops, though subs come with expectations that seem impossible to fulfil these days, except for the best 2 or 3 titles—WoW, Rift come to mind, but how many failed at a subs model?
So to the question "why do players leave MMOs", I think the article is right in simply saying, basically "bad games" (or too many rough patches), or at least not good enough to hold players indefinitely. However this is just one reason, and probably not the most factoring. In the larger picture, I think the answer really is "other games". Better, newer, where your friends are at… Players will always leave MMO's, just as they always leave game X, Y or Z. Just as they don't read the same book, watch the same movie, or listen to the same album over and over again all their life.
The idea of rough patches, "exit events”, is interesting for in-depth analysis, of course; but beyond that, marketing metrics and vaguely theoretical takes (let's call these simple empirical observations), it doesn't say much and doesn't really help. Would you make a better album if you took Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" or Radiohead's "OK Computer" and identified, metrics and polls helping, the "exit events", and tried to rework these?… It may help you when using parts of these albums (for background video music, various events, etc.), as you would probably use the 'best' parts and leave the "exit events". It's subjective, but metrics will give you a fair assumption of what most people react to positively and negatively. But does it help you make a good album? Probably not, unless yours is very much flawed to begin with (or incomplete, alpha stages etc). Then again, MMO's are cutting-edge video games, so maybe we're more in a time when WoW is Elvis Presley and we still have to go through the 60's and 70's to find more working formulas to rock online.
Great times ahead, I personally side with such optimism, especially considering unlike music, video games are still very much in their infancy. Yet even at that happy point, when we can hope to see released a few 'outstandingly great' MMO's every year or two, players will still hop from one to the next. Probably more so then than now. There's so much more involved in making these decisions that does not even pertain to games themselves that it would be much too optimistic to hope you can understand a player's behaviour simply by looking at, let alone only in, a particular game—or particular genre, media, anything.
I leave because they are too similar to WoW-elf-are in that you are rewarded for trivial tasks such as going AFK or logging off the game.
I do not enjoy progressing my character but not playing it.
Very nice post.
For me, I tend to leave MMO's and not come back when I have sunk in enough time/money to realize that the game I am playing is not the game that I had thought it would be- endgame content or not. Here's a list of MMO's I have left, and their various reasons.
Tera- Got it day one, and got bored with it a week later. It was just SO.... banal to me. The combat was sort of interesting, but everything else (including the Loli's) were just... no... to me. Also, I had cute hair for my avatar, but EVERY OUTFIT I FOUND put it up in a ponytail. WTF?
DCUO- Great game in terms of combat. Horrible games in terms of being Batman's lackey. You never get to speak with Batman face to face, because why should he deal with his lackey's directly? The only memorable thing in DC for me was running around the PvP version of the world- one of the only MMO's where I actually enjoyed the PvP. Meeting up with random people and going on a city-wide crime-busting spree was pretty sweet- one of the best memories in MMO's I have. The story, however... no me gusta.
Free Realms- Yes, I gave it a shot. I figured it would be a perfect way to break MMO monotony by having a casual MMO to play on the backside. Not so. Boring, easy minigames that only further added to the monotony.
AND last, but certainly not least-
Anarchy Online- I loved the idea of it. I loved that it was old, and was still around. I loved that it seemed you could build your character however you wanted. However, after a couple of months, and joining an Org that was dedicated to helping new players, the "honeymoon phase was over", as it were. Not only are you locked specifically to the class you choose (though you can still alot points to other stats available to other classes, which only mess you up more if you do), I found the politics of humans still involved. We had a member that joined the Org because they played for a while, and was happy to see an Org dedicated to the cause. However, this player did nothing but bitch and moan about AO and FC, and how they just didn't care. The Org leader tried to keep them in check a few times, but when it came time to buy our Org city, we were literally sucking up to this person because of their cash, instead of taking the time to earn the cash and learn the in's and out's of the economy. Also, we would go out on raids with the lower levels sitting behind doing, literally, nothing while the higher levels handled everything to get us Exp. It was literally log in, sit back, level up. We never did quest missions, never went around the world... it was a mess. I don't think I'd go back, even if they **finally** add the new Graphics Engine to it. Why add a new engine if you're never going to develop meaningful content for it?
Loves: SMITE, WildStar, Project Zomboid, PSO2, DCUO,
Worst Online Communities: WoW/WoD(the OG MMO Trolls), DayZ/WarZ, SMITE/LoL/DOTA, EVE Online, APB "Im ready for All the comparisonsI think its dumb and its embarrassingIm switching off No longer listeningIve had enough of persecution and conditioningMaybe its instinct- Were only animal" - Lily Allen, Sheezus
Let's see, I stopped playing DCUO after a few days because I just couldn't get into the feel of it. The combat felt clunky and i just felt disoriented.
STO: Played for a while, but when it became clear there was little point in doing anything short of the three most popular end-game TFs (Or possibly resource farming. Litterally farming. For those who don't know, you can take your thrice-decorated rear admiral and go mining! On an asteroid! For crystals!), my interest waned. Didn't help that support classes were neutered into uselessness.
City of Heroes: One day the servers shut down and they haven't been up since. =(
I'll detail why I left each one;
Everquest - played on bertoxx I had a 60 troll shadowknight & was well known. I simply got bored & at the time was between jobs. Didn't feel right playing a game while I should've been working so I quit. Ended up selling the account for 2000 u.s.d. The guild I helped create ended up being lead by a buncha morons which also turned me off.
Dark Ages of Camelot - Mythic nerfed the class I played. Made another got to 80, got geared... mythic nerfed that one. I quit. The community at least on the 2nd server I played that of lancelot was the douchiest I've ever encountered in any MMO. So mythic nerfs & douche community.
Star Wars Galaxies - It was a crap game. About it.
Everquest 2 - I bought this from the bargain bin it came with free month of play. I did just that & quit. Levelled a warlock to like 40ish. Didn't interest me at all.
Final Fantasy Online - Playstation quality graphics, language barrier, asian farmers monopolized spawn points in lowbie areas, items for level 10 were more expensive then highest level items, required to group post 30 and progress was hella slow.
Rift - Did the free trial until Guildwars 2 came out. Did not catch my interest.
World of Warcraft - I'd quit & return to wow a number of times. Most of the time simply due to boredom. The last... my account got hacked when I wasn't even playing or had the game installed. Blizzard told me to do all this crap. I was like... I'm not even playing you guys fix it. So they banned it.
Because They lost their job. And this my ignorant friends is the only reason. So get over it and stop your whining about games being not fun.
Two companies had performance evaluations this week, read first warning of who is going to be fired. Each company will let go of ~60K people, less those who take the hint and leave now.
I think this has led to many problems in MMO's as well as solutions. For example, if enough players say 'I just find travel takes too long.' The MMO company may decided to put in more travel points, make mounts faster or bring them in at an earlier level.
But this takes no account of the players who think travel is just right thank you. It may only be a minority of players who bring up an issue on leaving but their views are heard over the majority, a majority that is still playing the game!
Now after they make the travel quicker, many more players may leave or they may just put up with it. Having to put up with it going to be a reason to leave if it happens time and time again.
So I think collecting data about exit events can mask the real reason why people are leaving and makes the opinions of those who no longer intend to play far too important.
You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!
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Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy? :P
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.
SWToR was wicked until I reached end game, rince and repeat for all caracters to see all the story lines then... done.
There is this concept that endgame has to be raided with a large number of players that I dont like.
How about some duo/trio instances with some really hardcore stuff to do. That would get me going.
One reason that I leave that I didn't see mentioned is after a major revision of some game mechanic and a reset of customization (points, skills, etc.). I then have to research the changes, figure out a new build, a new rotation, review options, all while trying to avoid making some semi-permanent choice that breaks my character.
A similar situation happens when I log into a game after a server merge and I have to rename my character, chose a new server, etc.
When faced with these situations, sometimes I put the energy into figuring out what is next, sometimes I just put it aside until I want to make the changes, and sometimes I just say "screw it" and leave for good.
That may sound silly/petty, but I usually play healers and I take my job seriously. I don't play with friends who rely on me being there for them so I can take my time to learn my class. I don't want to screw things up for a group (and ruin my reputation.) So I will sometimes take weeks after a major game mechanics change before agreeing to group with guildmates, PUGs, etc. until I can refine my game. I solo, and have an outside life, and so I am often way behind everyone else in doing new content.
Maybe my approach is wrong/ineffective, but that is just how I play.
Every MMO, just like every single player game, have a start and an end. And there is nothing wrong with this.
When a player thinks that he reached the end, he will leave. Every player have his idea about "the end": can be having reached maxmium level, can be having the best equipment, can be having explored all the world, can be not having more fun, can be having completed every achievement, and so on. Just like every other videogame.
The new MMORPGs suck, that's why.
Most of them don't offer anything new. Seasons? Good changing weather effects? Actual terraforming or housing? Decent crafting? Interesting classes and skills? Actual open worlds, in which you don't hit an invisible wall every two steps that prevents you from falling down a cliff or checking out a location that looked interesting? Nah.
Sure, some MMORPGs offer some decent stuff, but all of the new ones consist to 95% of boring old crap and 5% new stuff.
They are predictable boring time sinks, most of which only remotely enjoyable if you invest a lot of money into the pay2win shop.
Seriously, just when I hear a developer of a MMORPG that's about to be released describe their warriors "might strike" and "taunt" ability, and how their ranger/hunter/whatshisname has a loyal pet, I've already fallen half asleep. BOOOORING!
The new MMORPGs suck. People don't really communicate anymore, because everything is so fricking easy that no communication is necessary. Without communication or necessary teamplay, there is no difference between other players and more or less random AIs. What do I care whether the guy running past in the background is controlled by a human or AI? It's no difference to me. I could as well play a single player game, though that might have no subscription cost or bother me with a pay2win shop, and would most likely have a better story to boot.
Some of the games even automatically walk your character to the quest locations. I thought I was having a nightmare the first time I encountered a game like that.
Just look on the map and you know everything already. Without having played one of the recent MMORPGs for more than five minutes, you know that if you walk 50 steps to the west you will encounter an invisible wall. Where is the fun in that? I want to explore a world.
Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)
Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)
Main Game: Eldevin (Plat0nic)2nd Game: Path of Exile (Platonic Hate)
I left FFXI because of their awful customer service and horrible in-game GM support. Got stuck in the choco stables in bastok and didn't hear from them for 3 weeks after opening a ticket. Couldn't even log on the character, it would give me an error after a long loading screen.
Most people leave mmo's after a month or two because once they reach endgame it's too similar to what they just left. Raiding and PvP are good endgames, but raiding can take up too much time for people that don't have enough time. If you like PvP it can be fun but not for you to play games for months, there's got to be some meat left when your done with that to keep you wanting to play. Dailies are a shallow form of content that makes you feel like you have to keep playing or you're going to miss out on rewards.
I would like to see daily adventures that sets you on a random quest to random places that's a series of chain events that leads to epic events and places. That would be cool could be random like solving murders or lead you to someones treasure that was lost or stolen. I want something different to do daily, I'm tired of logging in and doing the same thing everyday, send me to dungeons solving puzzles or something than kill / collect quests PLEASE!