Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Investment Hurdle

I stopped playing Vanguard the day I wrote my previous blog post. I chose to partake in some other activities, and by the time my friends and I had an evening together to play, none of us cared anymore. Not even off newbie island, I didn't feel like investing more time into the game.

I always seem to reflect back and compare MMORPGs to FFXI. That game requires even more investment than Vanguard, and I've always warned people that the first 10 levels are the worst, since they are soloed. (With the addition of solo kill quests, I'm sure the first 20 levels are now awfully boring.) I played with friends, and the majority quit before level 5. Why did I put up FFXI? Was I naive? Did I illogically try to recuperate the sunk cost of the retail box?

Even World of Warcraft sucked me in, but later instantiations of it (AoC, LotRO, WAR, Aion) had no draw, no power over me. I paid for boxes for some of those games, yet didn't want to invest in them any further.

Do MMORPGs need to be shockingly different for me to want to play them? If that were the case, I would have fallen in love with EVE or Darkfall.

Maybe I need long-term goals. I remember wanting to be a Summoner/Dragoon in FFXI (which is completely ridiculous, but drove me to get over the investment hurdle). I was in love with Infernals ever since WarCraft 3--I played Undead for that very reason--and I played a Warlock in WoW just to have that ability.

I am curious if you remember your first long-term goal in your MMORPGs of choice. Was it a story arc, an ability, a feature? Do you find yourself running into brick walls after a few hours with a new MMORPG? Would seeing a cool looking sword or amazing spell effect persuade you to continue?


Strawfellow said...

You know, I've had a very similar problem. I invested a lot of time into WoW, especially after being a WC3 fan. And then after I became tired with the game, I looked around. LOTRO, RIFT, DDO, all of those couldn't hold my attention. Even when I wanted to play WoW again, I tried those first and it still didn't click.

I think it's familiarity. It was very easy for me to jump back into WoW, as I had characters set up and I knew what to do, as opposed to learning how to live in a whole new world.

motstandet said...

Perhaps. But I can't jump back into FFXI or WoW for any extended period of time. I log in and after about 10 minutes I think, "oh yeah. I remember this..." Then I end up leaving for all the same reasons.

firefox said...

for me - i chose to become a mage/tamer in UO. i've always felt the path of magic is the right for me, but my actual ultimate goal was to tame a dragon. (i didn't stick around to reach that goal in UO - i dipped a bit in Lin2 and then GW and WoW)

Tesh said...

I need two things to keep going in an MMO, and really, in any game. The moment to moment gameplay needs to be fun, and I need to keep finding new things to do and/or see. Sometimes it's more of one than the other, but if those two factors together pass a non-quantifiable threshold, I'm happy to keep playing.

If the sum of those two factors doesn't move me, nothing else in a game will. Achievements mean nothing to me and gear is only a means to an end.

Hex said...

Hehehe, my long term goal is usually either an armor set or an ability. I see something that looks cool ( To wear or use) and I'll generally suffer through to get it.

In FFXI, some of my goals were the Iron Musketeer armor, the Rampage axe weapon skill, and after those I tried other jobs, and found more goals. In EVE, it's always a ship.

Grey said...

I used to read up on the EQ quests at work. My first longterm game goal was the set of ranger ivy armour quests that centred around lvl 30-ish and some weapons that went with them plus fletching high enough to make the trueshot longbow. There was also mastering tailoring.

It's not just having longterm goals it's having ones that you decide for yourself.