Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How many hours a day can we expect from our MMO?

I'm possibly too old school. I have been playing MMO for as long as there was a genre. Since the first one 15 years ago. I was playing MUDS and MOOS before then. I have been online gaming since there was an online game to play.

Having started in UO and EQ, those were games where you could play all day long doing something.

Camping rare spawns, getting rare resources, pvp'ing or hanging out with friends in some meaningful way in game. In player made towns in UO, or out farming some rare something or other, or just exploring in EQ.

Back when MMO started you could literally play all day long, all night long, and you always felt like you were doing something useful, you wanted to stay logged in.

Then came world of warcraft. A game that took all of that and condensed it more than it was. It made doing things a little easier. Of course it could still take hours to do a dungeon. From first manually finding groups for hours, then travelling to the dungeon, then completing the dungeon. You invested a lot of time into the game.

Over the years, they simplified everything. Made everything more accessible. They trimmed all time that was spent doing "other things" taking out the travel time to dungeons, taking out the having to manually find groups in cities. They took all of the extra time out of the genre.

This of course made all the content more accessible to the average, casual user but gave me more down time as everything was being done much faster, it was easier to get bored.

This is the state of the genre now and I wonder if it's time for a perception change. How many hours a day can I expect to be entertained by SWTOR, GW2, TSW, Wildstar, Firefall, or any other MMO being released soon?

I'm old school in that I am loyal to the one game that I am playing, but I am seeing more people who maintain several subscriptions and usually just log in to raid and then log out the rest of the time except for character maintenance. These people spend the same amount per month for a few hours a week and I expect to be entertained for a few hours a day per game I'm playing.

Is the way of the future multiple subscriptions? Or is there a per day amount of time that one can be expect to be entertained?

1 comment:

  1. I think it can depend on a lot of things. Like, where your character is in progression and what not, what games are available and time management skills.
    If you're main character is at max level and you have an entire day off you log on and none of your friends are on. you COULD roll an alt to level, or if you subbed to a secondary game you could play that until your friends log on. Or make days for each game.
    It depends on what you enjoy I guess. I normally stick to one game, but i've been known to play two, if the situation is just right.