Dear MMOs, this is why I’m (currently) not playing you

Earlier this month, Syp wrote in his blog Bio Break a post with an oddly familiar title about why he’s not playing certain MMOs anymore/at the moment. I really liked the idea, so here’s my take on the subject. Please note that I don’t mean to hate on any game or another, but just to point to the issues that keep me from playing games I once enjoyed.

Dear RuneScape, you were my first MMO, and for a long time you held a special place in my heart, but you’ve just become so bloated with gimmicks to squeeze more money out of players and mild pay-to-win-ness that I just can’t stand to come back anymore. It’s sad and ironic that the game that, for all intents and purposes, invented tasteful freemium now does it so badly. If I did ever come back, it would be to play on the “classic” servers running the 2007 version of the game.

Dear Star Trek Online, the Dyson Sphere is just another set of dailies to grind that would take weeks before they give me any worthwhile gear. At least they’re in my ship and not on the ground like New Romulus. I’ll pop in to do the new story quests some day, mostly just to see dinosaurs on a spaceship (they’re probably just passengers, right?), but don’t expect me to stay very long.

Dear Guild Wars 2, ok, I’m still playing you sometimes, but you have a really hard time keeping my attention. You’re really repetitive, and your story is extremely boring. I’m level 47 now, and I don’t feel like I have anything to look forward to until I get to 80. Some of your endgame content looks cool, but if there’s interesting things to do along the way you do a poor job of advertizing it. Also, I’ve heard nothing but bad things about your living story lately, so that doesn’t get me excited about your future either.

Dear Star Wars: The Old Republic, your free to play is terrible. The only way anyone could have fun playing you is paying for the subscription. I really want to like you–I love your Star Wars setting, and your story/storytelling is unmatched–but I feel like I had all the fun I can from you after the first three of four months after launch. Maybe when you have another expansion I’ll try again, but Rise of the Cartel didn’t lure me back, so maybe not.

Dear Champions Online, all this Marvel Heroes I’ve been playing lately has made me want to give you another shot, but last time I did you felt very half-baked. Also the only press I’ve seen about you is about how you’re not as good as your now-dead cousin City of Heroes. Even a quick browse through your official site makes me wonder if the only updates you’ve done are to add new costume pieces that I have to pay money for. You have some good ideas, but I think I would spend more time re-downloading you than actually playing you.

Dear Lord of the Rings Online, I really don’t know why I don’t stop by more. I love Middle-Earth, and I really enjoy playing some of the classes, but I think the game progresses too slowly for me. Maybe I’ll grab one of these new limited-run insta-50 items and use it on one of my alts. In just about any other MMO I would probably join in the hate-spewing on this subject, but LotRO’s leveling just moves so darn slow and there’s just so much content to experience that I haven’t yet, I feel justified. It’s got a pretty hefty price tag, though (5000 TP, or roughly $50), which of course begs old question of how much is my time worth?
My inactivity may also have something to do with the fact that I keep hearing rumors that you’re going to shut down next year when Turbine’s IP license to the Lord of the Rings expires. I never made a conscious decision to jump a sinking ship, but it’s probably a pull on my subconscious.


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