When I started playing EQ2 in 2004, I would occasionally see threads like these and snicker. Now, 14 years, a still happy marriage and two kids later, I'm writing the same thing and I guess should be snickering at myself.
Since quitting EQ2 in 2007 or so, I've tried and enjoyed many different MMOs. In my EQ2 days I was involved heavily in a couple of great guilds. I've tried many guilds and MMOs since then, and enjoyed them all to one extent or another. But the last 2-3 years, I've become increasingly listless, nothing satisfies. Or it's more like, I usually play once every 2 weeks or so, sometimes it's once a month. And most weeks I just either play single player games or do other things. In 2004 I had never played in an online game with other people and it was exhilarating, for years even. I stopped reading books, my lifelong passion because I found I could spend countless hours reading up on everything related to EQ2 and eventually other MMOs.
In my admittedly subjective research I see increasing fragmentation in the MMO gaming community. I imagine that's natural due to the genre aging (maturing?) and becoming saturated with many, many more titles than were available in 2004. Not to mention hundreds of thousands of new gamers. It's hard to find that same sense of unity or "new frontier" that was around back then.
So maybe a question and some advice. I may have already answered my own question: have any of you gone through this and have you ever come back, i.e. really gotten involved in an MMO and guild again? The advice is for new gamers: pace yourself, you don't have to play 10 MMOs at once, and don't give up on other things just because MMOs (and gaming) can be time consuming beasts. :-)
My two coppers.