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December 17, 2009



Are you still playing Aion?


Also, I'm not sure I'm so hard on graphics and polish as you. I can totally enjoy a MMO like Dragonica which has great arcade-flavor gameplay and simplistic graphics. I guess I have only one Mount Everest, but it's five times as high as the real one: The game has to be FUN, and I admit that this is an entirely subjective opinion. If I am having fun, I can put up with a lot.


It's good to see you blogging again! I think you're right on with these. While I know a lot of folks may not have put them into words, I think there's a silent few who think along the same lines when it comes to playing MMO's.

MMO's either grab you or they don't. The ones that do grab you, they're immersive and they let you get lost in the game for a little bit. The ones that don't, they may be fun to play for a while, but they just don't qualify as keepers.


@ Tipa - I'm subscribed but not playing Aion. It's missing some sort of pull to make me log in. However, when I do log in and plan only to stay for a little while, I end up playing for a few hours. So it's not like I don't have fun but... Dunno. I think about W101 but Mooshu really did me in until I see your posts and I think, "Man, I need to go back." lol


Thanks Creep. It gets quieter at work this time of year so, I have a bit more time.


@Tipa - Yeah, the graphics have to be very appealing for me to play. W101 and FR while not realistic graphics by any stretch there were well done, whereas the minute I logged into Domo I knew I wouldn't be staying. Good graphics or no graphics - can't do the in between. Strange.


My MMO gaming arc is probably pretty similar to yours, and I don't disagree with many of your observations, but overall I think I draw some very different conclusions.

After a decade of playing MMOs from 20 to 40+ hours a week, I no longer expect, or want, a single MMO to grab and hold all of my attention. Actually, that never happened. Even back at the beginning of the Noughties I wasn't just playing Everquest, my first MMO. Even before DAOC, while playing EQ I also tried Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, UO, The Realm, Endless Ages and probably others now forgotten. I applied for every MMO beta I saw and bought most MMOs that actually launched.

I was putting in most of my hours on one game, but there were always two or three more getting a few hours here and there in the background. What's really changed in the last two or three years is that now there's no Main Game.

Now it's three or four MMOs I am putting significant time into (WoW, Fallen Earth, Allods just now), a bunch more I am popping into for a few hours each week (NeoSteam, Warhammer, Dawntide) and a whole load more I am going to return to, or play soon (EQ, EQ2, Vanguard, W101, FFXIV, GW2, FR, Earth Eternal).

Whether I would pay to subscribe to any or all of these is by-the-by. The real issue is where would I find the time? Currently there are far, far more good, high quality MMOs available than I could conceivably do justice to, even if I was independently wealthy. As I have to go out to work four days a week, whether a game justifies a regular sub is really the least of my concerns.


I'm not much for playing lots of games. I'd prefer a favorite along with one or two side games at best. I enjoy the trying but not hopping. I prefer reaching a full progression in one game. Going from BETA to BETA is an amusing distraction for me only when I'm not "into" something particular. I can see the appeal. I know others who do enjoy the variety. Tipa would be a blogger I like reading because she plays a variety of games. I can appreciate reading about them even if I'm not interested in playing them for myself. But that doesn't suit me very much.

Capn John

Good to see you posting again, Saylah, even if it will only be sporadically. I really haven't found an MMO to call home since quitting WoW...and since my W101 1-year sub expired. I've got (I think) 5101 Crowns to purchase zones (less the Crowns I spent to buy the Wizard City sub-only zones), but I can't see the necessity to buying any others, just yet. I did buy a few Turbine Points to both support DDO's new price plan and also to unlock a couple extra character slots, but nothing has really grabbed me as much as WoW. I think it's because WoW was my first MMO-love, and you never forget your first love. I think what made W101 so appealing (to me) was it was so unlike WoW that I never even tried to compare the two. Sure, they're both MMOs and share the basic features of such, but they're very different games with very different features. RoM? Similar to WoW. WAR? Similar. DDO? Similar. Free Realms? Kind of a cross between W101 and WoW, but with little of the appeal :P


@Capn - Hi there. I've no home either and it would be nice to find a new one for long term play, even if I can't play as often as I have in the past.


WoW has created a kind of Catch 22 situation w/regards to MMO development. People invest in new MMOs expecting them to be WoWkillers, then put pressure on the producers to get the games out ASAP...resulting in crappy MMOs that lose their populations within six months.


My home is still Puzzle Pirates. The community has its hooks in me (being on good terms with a couple of the devs via the forums helps) and the microtransaction model means I never have to pay money to go home. The short session gaming based on puzzles scratches an itch that no other MMO even gets close to.

I'm also having a lot of fun with the WoW map viewer. I finally bought the game from Best Buy for $5, installed it, and am just spending time zooming around the world. My wife thinks I'm nuts (in a good way, though, since I'm not spending money), but I'm honestly having more fun with the "dev camera" than I ever had playing the game (admittedly just with ten day trials).

This is a great article, Saylah! My criteria are different, but I am, if anything, *more* tight-fisted when it comes to putting out money for these things. I'm happy that more companies are trying non-sub options, though. Those companies are infinitely more likely to earn money from me than a game that sticks to subscriptions.


@Tesh - Thanks. The more time passes, the less likely I think it will be that I will find that new MMO home. That makes me wish for more F2P games of the ROM and AO quality so I can come and go without the pressure of deciding about a subscription.


I really like this article. I think it sums up things for the MMO community, as a whole, as far as what we are expecting these days. The only thing I would change is not have the list linear. That is, achieve 3 out of 5 but it doesn't matter which 3 (except for polish, that's a must) for me to try and 4 out of 5 for me to stay.


@Guy - Thanks. It doesn't have to be linear. It's just personal preference. If I find a game that is overwhelmingly brilliant one thing but less in others, I'd still give it a go.


It is really good to see you back at the blog Sayla. Have missed you while you were on hiatus!


Thanks Iggep.

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