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Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:15PM (Unverified) said

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I never actually thought of taking a break.
Just been thinking, "I'll find the perfect game for me eventually', while the problem is that I just have played MMO's too much.
I'll (try to) take a break until the release of Earthrise and we'll see how it works out.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:14PM Pingles said

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As someone who plays as an "explorer" an MMO can grab me pretty quick if it does a good job of distributing interesting, varied content around its starter zones.

A perfect example is Goldshire in WoW. On one side is Westfall, the other Redridge and to the south Duskwood. Each very unique with rich stories.

Even Dun Morogh (Gnome/Dwarf starter zone) has Loch Modan for a very different feel right out of the gate.

I've now been through probably 20 MMOs since leaving World of Warcraft (and WoW was not my first) and none have grabbed me quite like those starter zones have.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:33PM macallen said

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I've done a lot of MMO's (30+) since the early days with M59 and UO, and I definitely agree that the way we play them, and what we expect from them, changes, both as you grow in general, and as you move from MMO to MMO.

For me, the failure on the MMO market's part is how static the "world" is. What happens if you don't log in for a day? For a week? What have you missed? Nothing, the world will be exactly the same. Go away for a month, come back, nothing has changed. Your presence or absence has absolutely no bearing on the game. In the real world, people talk about not voting because "what can 1 person do"? Well, however much you can do in the real world, you can do less in an MMO, and you pay to be there.

I'm going to use STO as an example of the latest failure in an MMO, because it was my most recent MMO. It's not a bad game, and I have a lifetime membership to it (because, over the years, I'm sure I'll be back and forth for 18 months and it'll pay for itself), but it is 20% of the game it should have been. The devs focused on slapping it out there with as little content as possible and focused on epic battles, which they felt was the "essence of Trek", and they couldn't be more wrong. To show you how desperate the population was for exploration, we discovered that, if you fed a tribble a different food, you can get a different tribble, and we created a huge sub-game exploring how to breed just the right kind of tribble. Heck, most of the group that I gamed with in STO are spending more time RP'ing on the wiki and forums than actually logging into the game. The players are so desperate to play actual Trek content that we're making up our own stuff and playing offline so the limitations of the MMO aren't a distraction.

Devs can't assume that we'll use each other for entertainment and expect their game to be successful. Designing a game with the assumption that people will guild or group up is a formula for failure. But in the same vein, they also can't make a game that's 99.9% soloable, or we'll approach it like a solo game...play it for a month, beat it, shelve it, and go play ME2. There has to be rewards for grouping without making the players feel like they're railroaded into it.

Speaking of ME2, I'm looking forward to TOR. Bio-Ware seems to have an understanding of what I enjoy in a single-player game and how to treat an IP with respect. With an IP I enjoy, it doesn't take much to hook me. Just don't approach it linearly so there is an "end" where I'm "done".

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:38PM Zaetal said

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Went through the exact same thing about a month ago, was bored of EVE for like the last 6 months and playing it mechanically, I'd keep looking for somewhere else to run to, but the options were either games I'd already played and gotten as far as I wanted to, games that were way past their prime and subscriber base, and games I couldn't stand to play anymore. Top that off with only having about 3 or so AAA MMOs come out per year recently, means the offerings are slim.

Sure there's a million billion Korean/Chinese grindy cashshop crap games, but those don't count at all, not as games with substance and meaning. Specially not to someone who refuses to pay anything to companies besides subscriber fees and box prices as principle. This goes to any of the other F2P games as well.

After playing this genre for a solid 12 years now, and seeing the shift from group play focused to solo focused gameplay first hand... I have to say that the new games are... interesting... but not engaging. We loved the worlds and people we met in the early days because we didn't have any other choice but to be nice and work together to get ahead at ALL. Removing that critical part, has gutted something essential from the genre.

Even when a game has group quests, that may or may not be interesting or have good rewards, people will skip them if possible just to progress on their own, leaving folks who actually want to do them, with no one around. And then you have people who finally hit the level cap and suddenly are required to group, and have never done so before and have no idea how to play their character with a team.

I don't know what the solution is, or if that kind of game is just lost to the ether, but the genre just seems floundering about atm.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:43PM Greeen said

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Didn't massively have an article discussing "MMO tourism"? Would be in line with this.
I myself feel like a tourist. I am curious about new releases, get bored after a while with some, quite most for good, return to some for a while (often due to rl-friends, the ex-guild or brainwash promotions about expansions).
I envy the people who stick to one MMO only, for gazillion years, say UO or EQ and are happy with it.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:44PM Vitamin Dei said

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I've been on an extended break since the holidays. I'll occasionally pop my head back into Champions Online or Eve and engage in a bit of familiar grind before signing off and chipping away at the back catalog or playing a smaller scale multiplayer game with some friends.

Breaks are a good thing. Games aren't committed relationships, and seeing other games/genres isn't code for breaking up. You're always free to go back.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:46PM paraLogiki said

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I too am one of the lost souls searching for "the MMO"... I've played everything under the sun since EverQuest. I've taken the break, several in fact. I'm currently fresh off quitting WoW for the final time several months ago.

I find myself playing during a lot of the free weekends being offered up, but it's just a small bit of crack.

For me, I have to wonder if it's time to find a new hobby, am I just growing out of video games? It's not that they bore me, but I'm starting to focus on bang-for-the-buck and it's killing me.

To add to the frustration, some games are offering the lifetime subscriptions. While the future-looking portion of me screams to buy them, my present day self can't allow it.

What I end up and subscribing to nothing, because I tell myself I should be buying a lifetime sub to a game.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:47PM (Unverified) said

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My biggest issue is that I dont like endgame and usually preffer more solo play. The MMOs I end up in have bad solo play or focus too much on an endgame that requires many people to even see. I would love to find another game like Phantasy Star Universe that I can play from my PC. I loved how you could group with friends or with NPCs to see the same content. It was really fun and I enjoyed it alot. I just wish I hadnt discovered it so late in its life.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:54PM (Unverified) said

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I've not been playing MMOs for a long time, but I've found a strategy that works. I play LoTRO, no other MMOs at the time. When a new expansion or update comes out, I play the new content, and work on levelling an alt for a few weeks. I take a break and play some FPS or take a break from gaming altogether. Having a lifetime sub offers flexibility to come and go as you please.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:57PM Joshua Przygocki said

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I really don't know how to think about this... I suffer from this problem too, constantly scouring the web for a game I might try, I need a break, but I have nothing else to do, not very good at shooters or strategy games where support and defensive tasks aren't as prevalent as they would be in an mmo.

Call of Duty doesn't have healers or buffers, BC2 has medics, but I have a less important and less direct role in the game itself. Strategy games are all about conquest, I need a team, I can't win alone, I enjoy standing back and letting everyone else fight while I do my part to enhance them or keep them working.

Plain RPGs get old, I don't like single player.

Outside of games I don't have much to do, not big into sports, and I can't hang out with my friends whenever and where ever on MY schedule now can I?

MMOs are a big part of my life, but damn burnout REALLY sucks.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 4:09PM Devoid said

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I've been playing Darkfall for over a year now which is a great change from my MMO history of late. The issue for me was all of these games are all to familiar and all to often far to easy. Something hard, something with risk, and something were players create their own conflicts to fight rather then having one lain out. People who don't like Darkfall hate it but i know more people who have stuck with this game for a long period of time than anything else. I still see quite a few members of my small EU pre-release clan running around on the NA server even.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 4:09PM WyattEarp89 said

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I seem to take a lot of breaks from WoW, I can never seem to stick to it for a long time. I play it for about 2 months then I lose interest in playing it. Not sure what it is, I like the story and classes but still WoW just can't seem to hold my attention for long.

I have,on the other hand, been hooked to Lotro for almost 3 years now. I just enjoy everything about the game. I rarely take a break from Lotro and when I do it is when I get an urge to play Guild Wars again. So I guess I can say that I have found my MMO, Lotro.

It is nice to have a Lifetime Membership to a game and play another game that is F2P like Guild Wars, soon GW2. Like someone else said, there is nothing wrong with trying out new games or just taking a break from games. If my back was not messed up I would be taking a break from playing games and do some stuff outside.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 4:16PM AllenJB said

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I disagree with the sentiment that MMOs getting worse "doesn't ring true". MMOs may be getting bigger, with better graphics, but they're also getting more static.

Gone seem to be the days of dedicated events teams who would help move the world forward and a storyline that moved the world along. These days I can level a character, and then do it again 6 months and the world will be exactly the same. Same government, same factions, same war, same reasons.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how big the puzzle is or how nice the resulting picture, if it has too many similar pieces that never change and the resulting picture never changes, you can only do it once or twice before you get bored.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 4:16PM macallen said

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So what would the "perfect" MMO be? Obviously it's different for everyone (mine would have very little PvP, for example), but there are elements that I feel are common enough across a large enough of a demographic that could be used to build a great MMO:

* Your play makes a difference. The decisions you make change the game you play. There are no right or wrong decisions, but choosing to go one path vs another means the game is a different experience. Stack enough of those up and each of us is playing together in a game where our decisions matter, both individually and cumulatively. We do enough missions in a city and the city changes allegiance and becomes a different city, which in turn changes the country, etc. If we siege an npc city and destroy it, it's gone. A new one may spring up, but we changed the world.

* Real exploration. In STO, all I wanted to do was fly out into deep space and find "new" things. For me, "new" is something that's not in a wiki somewhere. Instead, Cryptic's version of exploration was "fly around in this square of cotton candy and chase people to random door missions". Old SWG was almost there, with the size of the worlds, running around and finding new stuff was a blast. Randomly put something new out there that's meaningful and you'll hook the explorers like crack.

* Non-linear advancement. There is no "max lvl" in Eve or original SWG. You are what you want to be, and your advancement is not the main (or even secondary) driver in the game, it's just something that happens while you play. Linear advancement puts an "end" in the game right up front. The days of "levels" are over, we need more sandbox advancement.

* Give us more to work with. Cryptic had the bad luck of releasing STO while I was playing both DA:O and ME2, so here I am, with 4 Bridge Officers who might as well be mannequins holding phasers, but they're my "crew". You know, McCoy, Spock, Data, Wesley Crusher, the crew from the shows who were the source of 75% of the IP's content? Yeah, not so much in STO, but in the BioWare games, they chat, I have COMPLETE conditional control over what they do when/how. They add value to the game, they make it fun (at least for me). Back in old SWG, me and my Rancor would go off into the wild and hunt together, and I swear he had a personality all his own, completely different from my Graul, which just goes to show you, if you don't give us enough to work with, we'll make it up just to entertain ourselves.

Devs need to look at why we play games in general and MMO's in specific, and give us something that will keep us there. It's not about the money...build it right and the money will come.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 6:15PM Exalier said

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I am currently on a break. I quite playing WoW properly about 5 months ago, and quit it completly about 3 months ago. I "played" EVE for about a month. I couldn't afford the subscription when it expired and havn't missed it since. I have given up on the whole MMO genre for a while. Im back to FPS games. Gotta love TF2!

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 7:37PM (Unverified) said

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Switching games doesn't have to be a bad thing. Switching games every month on the other hand can be detrimental... that way you'll end up in an eternal grind to reach max level.

For me, it is not so much about finding the perfect game, but about finding the perfect group or guild to play in. I would say it is 60% about the guild, and 40% about the game. With WoW I lasted through whole vanilla and tbc except the last few months, when my interrest faded the summer 2008, and I tried out other mmo's. Since then I've been through 5 other mmo's for about 3 months each, except for sto which I only played the beta of. Now, I don't blame the games, but the average mmo gamer who starts out on a new game thinking like you that this will be the game for them. Only to stop playing way too soon.

It is that eagerness that is killing the genre. The race to reach max level, and then running on forums to whine about lack of content. One advise from me would be for you to wait at least 3, and probably 6 months by trying out a new mmo. It will be more polished, and all the "eager" burnt out mmo plaayers will have left. Those won't last very long either way, and its better not to have any freindships built with them either. They'll just go negative...

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 6:27PM (Unverified) said

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this is why i've only ever reached max level in Guild Wars...boredom sets in beforehand. Whether its because of uninspired combat (WoW, GW, WAR, anything with hard targeting+hotkey attacks), bad cash shops (Perfect World), being way behind in progression (Darkfall), not enough people around, or just wanting a different game for one aspect or another, I can't stick to one.

Currently, I'm trying to stick to Fallen Earth and EVE. One day, they will make an action-style MMO with solid progression, anytime in-and-out pvp for the "hardcore/casual" player, and a fun setting with content to keep people playing. Fallen Earth is the closest so far.

My current game to throw me off of the MMO-mania is Lost Saga, so I can kick back with my gamepad and wreck fooz.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 6:38PM Vundal said

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Im trying to play DDO recently, and one thing i noticed is my habit for reading forum after forum for info on the game. It started with my raiding career in WoW but im finding myself spending more time on the forum then in game. I need to just say ***** getting the perfect character and just play the game!

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 7:12PM (Unverified) said

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I have been on a pretty serious break from WoW for a while and can not get up the steam to play much of anything else. It just all feels so meh. I realize one of the things that killed it for me was to a certain extant playing Fallout 3 and then even more so recently was Dragon Age. Those games just had so many interesting new features or ways of organizing game play that made me feel that games like WoW was seriously lacking in the development department. The thing is that so many other games feel too similar -- just another grind or jumping through hoops and not enough new gameplay elements to really keep me interesting. At the same time, its not like there isn't something missing in the gameplay for the single player experience, namely you get kind of lonely trekking around a wasteland all by yourself. I was hoping something like the new dungeon finder tool in a game like WoW would alleviate some of this, but its just not doing it for me. You would need something like a LFG tool for the whole game so you can jump into groups for questing or just solo whenever you want to achieve the sort of flexibility I find lacking in games at the moment.

I think another department in which a lot of games are lacking in is customization, but WoW is so obviously deficient in that department it is not worth getting into that much. The only thing is that the pay for play element in game like D&D or FreeRealms seems to be lacking in a certain sense. I can't always get over the idea of whether or not its worth it to purchase something based on the fact that it is only a virtual character. Mostly though I kind of feel like there is a lack of worth in something you can get so easily. I am not sure what the answer is between paying for something and/or questing and grinding for it. Maybe if there was some sort of middle ground where you could pick how much you grind or pay for your reward it might work, but I could see how other people might have problems with that suggestion.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 9:36PM JanChel said

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Hey, this actually sounds like a good idea. I haven't been having fun with MMOs lately. Always thought that the games I've been playing weren't good enough, but perhaps the problem is with me being all burned out.

Maybe get back into other types of games for a bit, like some Street Fighter IV sounds really good right about now. Well, see ya later MMOs! Hopefully be all rested when FFXIV, APB, Cataclysm, and SWTOR comes out.

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