Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Long Should I Play an MMORPG?

Alex Taldren seems to think that MMOs should be designed for four to five months of playability, tops. And we players should accept that and move on when we are done with the game. He thinks those players who expect to be able to play an MMORPG for years are foolish and should just move on when they done. Yeebo Fernbottom and Anjin, in his bullet points have brought up similar points--though more kindly, I think.
Alex writes "Why is it that if an MMO doesn't supply gamers with years of content, it is viewed as being shallow or pointless?"

Here is why, Alex. An MMORPG, unlike a console game, is supposed to be a persistent world that exists independent of my being there, with other players doing their own thing and sometimes (often?) interacting with me in that virtual space. Whether it is in a "themepark" or a "sandbox" we expect that feeling of permanence or semi-permanence to be there. Otherwise we would be content to play GTA, The Force Unleashed, or Assassin's Creed, or whatever the next big single-player RPG turns out to be. But we're not. I have played WoW for almost five years. No other single piece of intellectual property has provided me the hours of enjoyment that game has. If I "beat" it (another thing that grates on my nerves, how do you beat a world? Why are you trying?) after five months, then what was the point?

I'll admit, subscribing to an MMORPG does change the player outlook on that game. We think in terms of time commitment rather than cost when considering a new game.

If you only want to play DCUO or Rift for a few months, you are certainly within your rights to do so, and I do hope you enjoy your time. To me, there is a certain level of commitment for me to play longer, assuming I enjoy it; and for the developers to have built and continue to build on that persistent world, because I have subscribed to their game. Otherwise, they could go develop a single-player RPG with a few levels and be done with it. What's in it for them? If even one million players played WoW, that's $15,000,000.00 (yes I am putting in all the zeros) per month in revenue, beyond the initial $40,000,000.00 in boxes for Vanilla WOW alone. That's a lot of incentive to keep going. Of course there are far more players than that in WOW, enabling Blizzard rake in ungodly amounts of money. I heard they made $75,000,000.00 on the first day alone from the infamous sparkle-pony. Don't try to tell me it cost nearly that to create. So ja, even without WoW's volume, a persistent game can make a ton of money for the producer, if they can keep butts in the seats, so to speak.

So it's a win-win for players who want to escape to a persistent world and for the developers who provide it. Some players will come and go. I don't know how much longer I'll play WoW. But I know that it's been fun. And I probably never would have played it as a SP-RPG. After all, I haven't played those other single-player games I mentioned.


  1. I think the 'memes' are coming from the bloggosfere for try say that Rift will be a fail. Or better, how Ardwlf said, "concerned".

    First, that Rift will fail the endgame, like WAR...

    Now, it is because rift have shards (servers) d'uh!

    And that MMO are social games. Aparently it is a great news, MMO are social game...

    So, people will stay playing the old MMO (for example, WoW, the most "social" of all MMO) because their friends and guilds are playing them.

    So, what happens when your guild and friends moves to Rift?

    João Carlos

  2. Good point. I know a lot of people that are trying out Rift with their guilds, which is really the core of social gaming in WoW and has been for years.

    I don't know if Rift will be wildly successful. I hope it will be because it is an excellent game that has drawn me in. But I know that it won't go down in flames the way some in the blogosphere seem to think it will.

  3. I'm also going to agree with the first commenter in what was said.

    I also think one should play any game or MMO as long as it remain fun, playable and enjoyable to play to YOU the player. Not stop playing because some player or blogger have a emo trip or rage break down over any game specifically.

    Everyone in the gaming community likes to throw their own opinions, bias of games and playability on others it often seems. What remain in the end is how YOU as the player feel is enjoyable in how YOU spend your time and not someone else. Everyone is different in how and what they find enjoyable in games or any other MMO. What I or you may like or not like in a game will not always be the same things for the same reasons good or bad. Though that can still often be.

    A person can play until THEY feel they need onto something else or try something else or have more fun playing something else. Sometimes a change is just good. One can try a new game not because it really will be successful eventually but because its trying something new and fun, after all some people/somebody have to play the game initially in the beginning to eventually help to make it a success long enough to not fail due to lack of subscribers and before the rest of the people or doubters on the sidelines shows up.

    When i decide to play a game its not because of everyone else's opinions though it could of been their initial opinion or review that spurred my initial interest previously being unaware of it. Eventually i'll try the game out myself and make my own opinion whether I will play or not however if others play or not thats their own choice.

  4. I have mixed feelings about this as I'm someone who's played some MMOs literally for years and other for only weeks. Yet still, even in the ones I played for a month, I still had fun and got a good amount of value for money out of them when compared to single player games.

    Something I have fighting with recently is that tipping point when playing a MMO goes from 'fun' into 'habit' and simply playing for the sake of playing. Sometimes it would just be nice to complete one and get some sort of sense of completion and satisfaction from them.

  5. It would be nice. But it also runs counter to the basic concept of the MMO's persistent world, as I interpret it. You can't "win" because there is no end.