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Reader Comments (45)

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 8:09AM pcgneurotic said

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I think it's a question of 'How long can you put off off questing (by doing other rewarding activities)?' Crafting is the obvious candidate for a non-questing activity which is also rewarding over short periods, and when you combine that with a really good personal housing system, like EQ2 has, you can actually spend whole hours just messing around crafting and decorating.

Collection systems are good too, although often you need to find things in mob-infested areas, so you still need to concentrate somewhat.

Then there's the secret of all altaholics (inc. me) - having several alts, plus a banker and/or crafting mules, means endless fun dithering about between characters without leaving the safety of your capital city! :D And lets not forget that sometimes, really high level characters require lots of backup; just messing around on a couple of essential alts and a banker in order to get your Main ready for another round of serious questing, can also eat up the time in a satisfying way.

So to answer your question, I vote EQ2. It's the Snickers of MMORPGs - satisfying, chewy and with lots of rewardingly nutty content to get stuck into!

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 11:06AM Rayko said

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@pcgneurotic

You obviously spend a lot of time playing MMOs and that's why you do not find the discussion question of the article valid.
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Posted: Jun 5th 2011 10:39PM Caerus said

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@pcgneurotic You're kind of misinterpreting the question, I believe. Think of it more like, you can play from 6:00 to 6:30 every day of the week. Thirty minutes and your game shuts off for 23 hours. What game doesn't penalize you for playing in 30 minute chunks instead of 3 1/2 hours on a Saturday? Same amount of weekly gametime, but in some games 30 minutes isn't enough to do anything at all.

Personally I feel like Rift is one of the only MMOs left that doesn't shank you in the eye for not playing for hours at a time. No instances or WFs are going to take more than about an hour, and solo gaming has as many stopping points as you wish.

I feel like for a game to successfully do this, the only things that should take longer than an hour are bleeding-edge raids, and even those will have stopping spots between bosses. If you *want* to farm or grind or instance for 6 hours straight, that's awesome - but the mechanics should be such that you're visiting a town or safe spot to unload loot/repair often enough that it breaks up your gametime and (in the case of groups) allows more time-limited players to drop in and out without severely compromising the group.

Sort of an opposite answer to the question as well, I feel like the game that does almost the exact opposite of this while *seeming* to reward casual play is CO. The Adventure Packs are nothing short of grueling, and because the repeatable quest for each pack is one long updating quest, people who drop in or out are left in the cold.
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Posted: Jun 6th 2011 1:08AM Daeths said

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@Caerus Ugh, the adventure packs are horrid if you cant invest the 2 or so hours. And there so little in the xp rewards. And again, i agree on rift, you can usually get a dungeon party set up quickly and do the run in about 45 min (give or take depending on the party)
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Posted: Jun 6th 2011 3:00AM pcgneurotic said

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@pcgneurotic

Let me rephrase this then: The Game I Find Most Rewarding To Play In Limited Time Bursts is EQ2, As It Has The Most Rewarding Things To Do In Short Amounts of Time. :)
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Posted: Jun 5th 2011 8:24AM Borick said

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Non-MMO games, currently. Minecraft, or Angry Birds. The most rewarding games that I can play casually are single-player games or pick-up co-op stuff like nazi zombies on the X-Box.

I still want a persistent online world where I can bring my family and friends for casual, pick-up play, but nothing solid has risen above the general noise. I'm hopeful for something new and investment-worthy in the upcoming MMO scene.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:12AM Jenks said

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@Borick

Maybe try Free Realms?
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Posted: Jun 5th 2011 8:24AM Irem said

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Guild Wars, because I can solo most things and there's no sub fee, so it's just something I can pick up and play whenever. Before that it was Phantasy Star Universe, which was a grindfest and required huge time investments to really get to max level...but then, there really wasn't much point to getting max level other than to say you'd done it, and the main point of the game for me was collecting shiny bits and looking cool wearing them while fighting, all of which could be done on a casual basis.

Posted: Jun 10th 2011 12:46AM mattwo said

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@Irem And the story mode.
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Posted: Jun 5th 2011 8:58AM chuckasucka said

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This is what I'm looking for in a game. I can't and don't want to dish out hours upon hours every week to play an mmo anymore. I don't want that lifestyle. I need a game where can play for an hour here and there every 3 days or so and still get a little accomplished and have a lot of fun. I'm hoping that GW2 satisfies my needs.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:08AM Seffrid said

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LoTRO fits the bill pretty well. Even epic storyline quests can be done solo these days and they don't take long. Skirmishes are also very well rewarded for a minimal amount of time.

Rift is also very well suited to casual play, you can do a quest or jump into a rift and really don't need to play long sessions at all.

However, the more pertinent question these days is whether there are any MMOs in which you can't accomplish anything worthwhile in a short time?

If you're looking to group with only a short play session available then it comes down to the size of the population at your level and the effectiveness of any LFG tools, but 99% of current MMOs can be soloed 99% of the time and therefore it's just a question of avoiding the other 1% really.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:18AM Syesta said

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FFXIV: Behests
They're like 15 minute XP bonanzas now.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:20AM Carolina said

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My vote also goes to EQ2 and the fact that I can have fun just crafting and decorating for 15 minutes while I wait for a pizza baking in the oven.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:23AM Xpress0 said

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WoW used to be really good.
BG queues would pop after couple of minutes wait. Plenty of different BG's to fight in, you'd get nice XP for a win and a possibility to upgrade gear with honor points. All in all, quite excellent "casual", limited playtime system.

Now, the BG queue system has been seriously broken since 4.1 patch and currently there's just no point queuing at all (you need to wait 30-40 minutes for a group).

I've been checking out Rift lately and it seems it's more or less what WoW was pre-4 .1 patch - so that's where my "limited" hours are currently going.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:28AM vaiden said

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I would have to say rift fits the bill on the time vs reward thing. If I have 30 minutes to waste before work I usually do some gathering and crafting, but once in a while I bang out a wf or 2 and a rift. Even the instances only take about an hour or so at the most. Of course getting a group up is another issue if your not lvl50 .

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 9:42AM (Unverified) said

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I like Global Agenda the most for casual PVP. There is still some concept of progression, but I don't feel like it's too terribly important to doing well in Mercenary.
Still haven't found a decent casual crafting/PVE experience, though.

GDC

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 10:12AM PrimeSynergy said

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Vindictus, LotRO, and Guild Wars are the first few that come to mind. They're all games you can play whenever you want and how you want and still feel like you're making progress.

Eve sort of fits the bill too. IMO. Throw some skills in the queue, run a few missions, do some mining, etc.Depending on what you're doing, you might not have to devote yourself to Eve for hours on end to make some progress. Now while I wouldn't call it the best game for limited playtime, it is a nice option.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 10:26AM Wisdomandlore said

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LOTRO definitely has more options for casual players, this is coming from a hardcore player that now is more of a casual player due to time restraints. A lot of the quests are short, getting around is easy now. There are simple goals like tasks and deeds to work on. Some of the Skirmishes only clock in at 10-15m (Rift and Icy Crevasse).

I wish they would invest the same time and energy into providing diverse goals at the endgame as they have throughout the rest of the game. The endgame still lacks focus for solo and casuals.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 10:48AM Palebane said

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Team Fortress 2. Honestly, no online RPG makes me feel like I can accomplish anything with limited play time and I prefer it that way. I might be able to pull out some trading or crafting, but if I only have limited play time, I wiould much rather play an online shooter or a single-player game.

Posted: Jun 5th 2011 1:11PM Slayblaze said

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@Palebane Good point.

Interesting to note that TF2 has both Trading and Crafting as well.
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