Massively Overthinking: MMO ragequitting

Ragequitting. Most of us have probably done it once or twice from groups or single-player games or even MMO sessions in our time. My husband ragequit (disgustquit?) an Overwatch match the other night where his own teammates were spewing toxic slurs in voice chat, leading to a rating hit for him rather than the people poisoning the game (another problem for another column).

But what about ragequitting an MMORPG altogether? A game where you have time and money and friends and loot and achievements, sometimes years’ worth? Have you ever up and just walked out on an MMORPG? If so, what prompted it, and did you ever regret it or change your mind? I posed these questions to the Massively OP team for this week’s Overthinking roundtable!

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I really don’t think I’ve ever ragequit an MMO I hadn’t already left. I generally leave a game for another game I want to play with friends, so it’s more of a migration. That, or I leave because I just prioritize other things first and forget I was playing the game.

That being said, I left Star Wars: The Old Republic again a few times just because of the way Bioware had monetized it. Being asked to pay for hotbars was downright stupid, as were other limitations. I thought, being rich at the time, I’d be OK with it, but the more I felt nickled and dimed, the more I resented the game. When I was logging in mostly to do auctions and not taking advantage of all the stuff I’d paid to unlocked, I’d realized I was done and just stopped logging in, even though to this day I haven’t read story spoilers in hopes that maybe, one day, I’ll care enough to go back and finish my class’ personal story.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I usually don’t ragequit — I capitulate. There’s usually a point in time when I’m just so frustrated or bored that I push back from the keyboard and say, that’ll do, pig, that’ll do. When games show me they don’t really want me, I’m just done. I give up. I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody with my leisure activities and a million other games to play and hobbies to do in their place, so why waste a drop more of my precious time?

Accordingly, most of the games I quit loudly were from long ago and usually were more to do with the people than with the mechanics. I disembarked the EverQuest train after almost three years with a skip in my step and never looked back (except to praise the Bard class!). The first time I quit Star Wars Galaxies, it was superficially impulsive but in retrospect a long time coming (and I did go back and stay again for years, but boy I needed that break from toxic RP culture!).

To be fair, though, 99% of the games I quit I do so peacefully and much more out of neglect or distraction rather than malice! Hey look over there, shinies!

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): First of all, I’d like to note that there was a really interesting piece by Eric Heimburg (currently best known for Project Gorgon) about ragequitting as it applied to MMOs; in essence, he argued that the player who left because of boredom might come back, but the player who quit in fury was probably gone and not returning. And that certainly holds true to my own experience, as there are systems that earn a pre-emptive ragequit from me just because I can see how badly things could go south and just avoid ever getting involved in the first place.

I’ve never actually ragequit an entire MMO in one night, but there are definitely games which have come close, including a couple of Choose My Adventure picks over the years. My last log-on to Ryzom was punctuated by me loudly proclaiming “fuck this” and uninstalling the client, so you can guess where I mentally was there. My biggest ragequit-esque moment, though, was fairly early on in my career; I was so disgusted with some personal politics that had gone on in WoW that I straight-up deleted the character I had from launch and changed to playing Horde, back when having a level 58 character had required a fair amount of time and effort. I was just not going back there. True to form, I never did; then again, I had started playing on a non-roleplaying server, whereas in the future I would basically always be playing on one.

But just up and leaving a game outright in rage? Nah. If I see that coming, I just don’t play the game.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Games and people have certainly gotten me frustrated before, but usually I’m more “casually stroll away quitting” than “ragequitting” in my attitude if the frustration level gets too high. There was one time way back when in World of Warcraft when I became embroiled in a bad situation with my guild that (to my fuzzy recollection) involved a particular member holding a vendetta against me and spreading false accusations, after which I left the game for a couple of months in embarrassment. But that’s probably not the rage that you’re looking for here.

Now if you want to go back to the NES era of gaming? Lots of ragequitting and thrown controllers there!

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I am possibly the opposite. I don’t ragequit; I hold out forever even after all my friends leave until I finally fade away from playing alone or the game closes. I don’t MMO to play alone. I can quit in sadness if a toon or housing is lost; then I just don’t have the heart to play. I am too attached to my stuff; I’d never be able to delete! The packrat in me cries from the anxiety at just the thought. As for things not going well in game, when something frustrates me, I tend to I dig my heels in until I am successful at whatever was vexing me. (I might die many times trying!)

I do know someone who didn’t necessarily rage quit SWG after a while from all the changes but did leave in frustration and deleted his launch toon (with untold rares and resources and everything on it) to keep himself from being tempted to return. I cannot even describe the remorse he felt before the month was up! Next time he might listen when I say he’ll probably regret it.

Your turn!

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37 Comments on "Massively Overthinking: MMO ragequitting"

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Alex Malone

Not sure you could call it ragequitting, but SW:TOR comes closest.

I was part of closed beta, reported a ton of bugs and made suggestions about game direction (this was about 14 months before release). Then played at release and the game was worse than expected. But, it had lightsabers and the battlegrounds were OK, plus I’d brought my guild over so felt an obligation to all my members.

For the next year, I stayed with SW:TOR, running my guild, pvping a lot and leading all guild raids. We were a successful endgame guild and completed everything quickly, but the game continued to suck outside of battlegrounds. For that year, I would post on the official forums every day, making suggestions for improvements, providing links to research, posting maths to backup my points, all the while hoping that Bioware would at least attempt to fix the core problems with the game.

I set myself a deadline – there is no point just playing a game forever that isn’t fun – and that deadline was the first expansion. I doubted they’d be able to fix the things that needed fixing in free patches, but an expansion is a good time to change core mechanics and game direction.

However, when they finally announced the details of the first expansion, I saw that nothing was going to change – Bioware were going to continue to take the game in a negative direction and had no interest in fixing the core problems. So, on announcement day, I handed over the guild, quit, uninstalled and have never looked back.

The only thing I regret is taking my guild with me to SW:TOR. I fell for the games hype. I believed what the developers had been telling me during development, rather than being more cynical. As a result, not only did my old guild in LotRO get destroyed when I took most people with me to SWTOR, but the SWTOR guild also fell apart as loads quit the game and then the guild fell apart when I left.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I didnt ragequit MMOs, but I did ragequit LoL few times, uninstalling after bad games.

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Shannon Giblett

Usually I will just slowly play less and less until one day I wonder why that game is still on my hard drive.
But I have spectacularly rage quit once from Entropia Universe, I did the usual newbie thing and threw in a handful of cash which disappeared way to quickly which made me grumpy.
So begging a lift to the sweat camp I set up to earn more skills and make some cash, but upon dying I resurrected half stuck in the ground with an afk character on my head. So I contacted customer support who told me that ” the bug that causes characters to sink into the ground has been fixed” when I said it wasn’t they asked if I was trying to cause trouble. I politely told them where to stick their game after this, I did receive email 2 days later though to say I had been banned but the game had been wiped from my HD long before then.

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Jeffery Witman

I have a bit of a different kind of rage quit. Only ever happened once, as I usually just slowly stop playing games if they get less fun for me. However, in DDO I had the opposite problem and was way too invested in the game. I was regularly running raids with some of the top players on the server, had some of the best gear in the game, and 3 toons that could do epic level content, with 3 more being worked on.

Shortly after the launch of a new House/Zone, I was running the new raid with a group and got majorly pissed off at them triggering a trap rather than letting the rogue disable it (I was a rogue that could easily disable it and we had at least 2 others that could as well). Well, forgetting that I had my headset on voice detection rather than hotkey, I let loose a fairly vulgar tirade and didn’t even realize the whole raid party could hear me. They were rightfully pissed at me and I just unplugged my headset and finished the raid in silence.

However, that was the point where I realized that game had me going far too competitive, even in group content that was coop, and that I was taking the game way too seriously. I immediately scaled back my play time and realized that I was just chasing the shiny endgame gear for no real reason. My rogue could disable any trap and assassinate any living non-boss mob straight through epic content. My ranger was a true force of nature. My cleric actually could heal stupid. I stopped chasing the gear, which is all that I was playing for, and within a few months I was barely playing at all. When the big expansion came out and they changed a bunch of stuff, I no longer cared about chasing the end game and never logged back in again.

It’s a weird feeling to suddenly realize that a game had that kind of effect on me for no real reason (the trap was trivial either way you handled it). Maybe it’s a testament to how fun DDO was, even with all its flaws. Whatever the reason, that moment of rage is what got me to quit.

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Utakata

My leaving any MMO, for short or for good, was never based on a rage of any spectacular fashion…least not yet. But rather that I get tired of the game, creative differences with developer direction and/or finding the MMO isn’t really for me. Why go out with an explosion when I can just go out with a whimper? :)

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starbuck1771

I have a thick skull and never ragequit a game. I take breaks from games for two main reasons. 1: So that I don’t end up getting too tired of said game (Burnout) , or 2: I need you space for games I am testing. There are always games I am testing so sometimes I have to make extra space on my hard drive.

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mistressbrazen

Don’t really rage quit. If I’m that upset I will log out and stay out for a couple of days. Whatever made me mad usually has blown over by then.

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Bryan Correll

I tend to leave grumbling instead of raging.

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kanbe

The only mmo I can think of that I rage quit was ESO. I went from ready to sub to gone in a matter of about 30 min. At they time they were selling ice themed crafting motifs that I thought looked awesome, I have a thing for ice. then I realized on top of buying that motifs from the cash shop I would need to buy a secondary item from the cash shop if I actual wanted to craft the weapons/armor.

Sure the motif pack did come with a few of those necessary secondary items but it wasn’t enough to even make a full set for one character. Also, I had just started the game so I was low level and it would be a waste to craft this at anything but max level.

When you’re trying to sell me something in-game for real money and you still require me to spend more real money to actually use it, that’s giving me the finger and saying you just want my wallet. I have enough other games I don’t need that crap.

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Schmidt.Capela

When quitting in rage the most I do is an alt-F4. Which, BTW, is how I discovered that in WoW’s zombie invasion hitting alt-F4 while in zombie form would leave the character stranded and require CS to fix it before you could log back into it.

I do engage in something that in form is somewhat similar to rage-quitting, but it’s a more thought out and measured approach; I prepare my characters for storage (organize inventory and bank, sell everything that is useless, and otherwise make it as easy as possible to hit the ground running when I return), perhaps I make a last post in the appropriate official forums telling the devs what made me quit the game, cancel my subscription if there is one, fill out the exit survey if there is one, and leave the game for at least a few months. It’s what I did with WoW over the Zombie Invasion; I permanently closed my alt account and kept my main account unsubscribed for half a year, and only returned that soon because at the time I didn’t find another MMO that could grab my attention like WoW did.

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Melissa McDonald

is there such a thing as horrorquit? I stopped playing ArcheAge when some guy chased me literally all the way across a zone just to kill me. It took several minutes and several skirmishes, hang gliding escapes, only to run out of tall enough hills to keep going, and I was eventually lassoed and murdered.

It puts the lotion on its skin…

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enamel

EVE is the only MMO I have ragequit, and that was a culmination of frustration about the amount of grinding I was having to do to support my PVPing. It all came to a head one fateful night when I slipped up in a lvl 4 mission and let an NPC lock me down and I couldn’t warp out to save my battleship.

My wallet could afford the loss, but my psyche couldn’t and I lost it. Ragequit big time and gave a corpmate my two accounts and never played again.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I ragequit LOTRO some years back. Shortly after WB took over. One day I logged on and there were mannequins in every town, prominently displayed. With sparkles. And whirligigs, just in case you thought you could ignore them. These abominations were touting costumes sold in the store.

I could hardly believe the stupidity of these immersion, lore-breaking sparkly pixels. I had been worried for sometime about the direction LOTRO was going. When I saw these I came to the realization that either the developers didn’t understand their game well enough to protect it from the marketeers, or the marketeers were in charge and the devs were impotent. Either one of which spelled bad news for the game.

I logged off and remained logged off for two years. Even though I had already bought the deluxe edition of Rider of Rohan, I stayed away when the expansion launched. Only when kinmates PM’d me on Facebook to please come back, did I return to the game, but never with the same devotion or loyalty as before.

I learned later that it took only about a week for the devs to realize their mistake and remove sparkles and whirligigs from the mannequins, but the bone-headed tone-deafness of the implementation still strikes me as one of the most idiotic moves any dev willingly did to ruin their own game.

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MesaSage

I wouldn’t call mine rage, but more of a ‘disgust’. Whenever a service (not just games) takes a new direction that’s clearly only about pulling in fresh meat rather than listening to the loyal customers, I’m out. It tells me that they don’t value me as a customer, and never will.

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thirtymil

I ragequit Elite: Dangerous over the combat overhaul (suddenly due to my combat rank every NPC was turning up in an engineered Conda and tearing me a new one) but I did eventually go back, in a ship they couldn’t catch.

I ragequit FFXIV over the forced grouping when I ended up with an abusive healer in the party and decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore. Alt-F4’d and never went back.

So it would appear I’m more forgiving on bad game mechanics than I am on bad people… sounds about right.

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Armsbend

The penalty in Blizzard games is much worse than the crime so I practically never ragequit or queue dodge. I treat words just as words and nevermind them.

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Sray

I nearly ragequit Star Wars Galaxies altogether when they changed the Jedi unlocking system. Not because they made it too easy, but because the dev team shattered my trust in them.

Basically, the players had figured out unlocking your force sensitive slot required mastering 3 or 4 professions, and you had to figure out which ones. The first people to unlock had all done about 8 or 9 of a possible 32 (or was it 33?) professions (; as time went on people had to master more and more professions to unlock their slot. But by the end of the original system it was taking people were running through 29 or 30 of the professions in order to unlock their slot.

The whole Jedi unlocking system had done a huge amount of damage to the game (many vets know it as “the Holo-Grind”) because apparently no one stopped to figure out that being a Jedi is the core Star Wars fantasy for probably the majority of Star Wars fans (in the second spot is of course being Han Solo), and thus the kinds of people who would play a Star Wars game (aka Star Wars fans) would do whatever it took to become a Jedi; and thus the game fell into a system of everyone grinding professions as quickly as possible to unlock their Jedi slot. Because they saw huge amounts of players not really playing the game, they decided to change the system to a process that was completely known and that was supposed to encourage people to actually play the game instead of just profession grind (yet it just turned into “the Aurilia Grind”, ultimately changing nothing).

When the new system was finally patched in, the devs decided to reveal why it had been taking people longer and longer to unlock their force sensitive slots: it turns out the geniuses at SOE decided to stealth nerf the system and push the goalposts back: they stealth patched in higher numbers of professions it took to unlock the slot. And they did it not once, but twice. They did this because “too many people were going to become Jedi too quickly”; only to replace it with a system that allowed everyone who wanted to become a Jedi to do so without any mystery; just in a time locked system that took about 4 months, which was still less time than it took the average player to grind through 29 or 30 professions to unlock their slot.

This stealth nerf, combined with their “well, we never told people how many professions it took, so it’s okay that we did this” approach just gutted me. I’d been one of those people diligently “holo-grinding”, but with limited time, and being told that the goalposts had been moved back me -twice- without telling me just killed my trust for the dev team. I honestly would have logged out forever after reading that, and never returned, if it wasn’t for the fact that my girlfriend at the time continued to play.

Not actually quitting at that time was probably one of my biggest regrets in MMORPGs for two reasons. First, because in hindsight I feel like it sent this message that I was okay with being treated badly by game developers: I wonder if more people had gotten properly upset with this sort of crap in the early days of online gaming if we’d have development teams today that are far more responsive to player concerns. And secondly, I know that if I had quit then, I’d have found my way to City of Heroes much, much sooner.

Well that little tale turned out to be a bit longer than I thought it would be.

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agemyth 😩

I think I just ragequit FF14 this morning. I would like to do some high level dungeons and casually grind some endgame stuff with my friends. Maybe Heavensward and Stormblood have world design and quest structure that don’t treat the player like an idiot baby, but it is not worth the time investment.

Hours and hours of running around delivering crates, bags, meat, fruits, and letters to NPCs in or around town. The dialogue some poor human beings had to localize from the bad kind of anime gibberish that is apparently widely accepted in Japan is torturous to sit through. When they finally let you outside the city gates you are tasked with killing three squirrels and three ladybugs then quickly rush back inside before you get lost. Sticking to the critical path quests sent me running in circles and backtracking. It is terrible design considering this is the second biggest subscription game in the west.

I think that is only possible thanks to the Final Fantasy fan base and FFXI veterans who made the transition. It baffles me that this is the closest competition we have to WoW when there are at least a handful of reasonably popular games that respect the players’ time more than Square Enix.

This is my second time quitting the game. I knew the beginning of the game was just hours of garbage, but I thought if I just did my Main Scenario and Class quests I could power through it. I just can’t do it. Bahamut please come back and destroy FF14 2.0. Deathwing, we need one more Cataclysm please. No judgement on their potential improvements in the expansions because I will never make it to them.

miol
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miol

The dialogue some poor human beings had to localize from the bad kind of anime gibberish…

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Yoshi Senpai

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Yoshi Senpai

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’m okay with that line actually. Those are two different words that can vary wildly in context..

miol
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miol

2 times.

Both times happened when I’ve returned to each game, and found out both times all my characters and progress have been deleted, even though I had still full access to my accounts!

Both times the Support Team had no explanation whatsoever, why it did happen (or didn’t want to admit the real reason). Even after endless mails back and forth or some hour on the extra charged helpdesk hotline, they saw no way to restore them!

Both were Western AAA MMOs!

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odin valhalla

Rage quit while active no, but quit enraged yes.

I played LOTRO for a long, long time. Toward the end I would come back for updates, play a few months get my toons up to par and do something else for the next update. Along the way LOTRO changed a lot, it became more casual, watered down yadda yadda. For YEARS we had a build in foil, WB. Many on the forums, in games, on fan sites you name it speculated (really hoped) that the direction of the game and some of the shortcomings were a result of WB influence on Turbine.

Just recently we had the SSG announcement and a huge reveal that went largely under the radar. According to SSG, Turbine retained near autonomy in its development of LOTRO and that WB was not involved in development decisions or features, or monetization. That in fact it was exclusively Turbine that made those decisions. Not only that, but the core of SSG was in fact those same core Turbine employees who had been working on the game for so many years.

It was at that point that I finally uninstalled LOTRO and will never go back. I had hope, a fools hope perhaps, but hope that some of the shit in lotro that was an extreme annoyance was in fact all because of the meany faces at WB. Turns out not only were I and a lot of people dead wrong, but Turbine was the culprit all along and never took ownership of it while it was happening. They allowed this false hope to endure, and grow to urban legend proportions.

So when we see references from the urban dictionary about being Turbined, it’s so true on a pretty deep level. So, enraged, I quit LOTRO for good.

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Legend Of Vinny T

Champions Online. Surest, easiest way to get dogpiled in either Millennium City /zone chat or the forums is to make the slightest attempt to correct the flood of misinformation surrounding any of the Plan Z projects. I have no idea what form Sister Silicon will take in City of Titans or Valiance Online, but she’ll never darken Detroit’s doorstep again.

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Avery Schneider

I recently ragequit ESO over a bunch of really toxic shit in general chat. it was relentless and I’m like “welp, I’m clearly not welcome here, fuck this shit”.

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odin valhalla

ESO is notorious for giving a lot of leeway in zone chats. Ive seen some pretty nasty things in there myself. Nothing is off the table and it can go on and on.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Which I don’t get. Vitriolic chat in online games hurts the company’s bottom line.

Apparently not enough to warrant mod patrol of chat channels.

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odin valhalla

According to them things are going just fine. Wasnt Firor boasting 10 million user/accounts just recently? I mean dropping an F bomb in chat is one thing, fine we can get past that. Its another to have the level of toxicity that you see in some of the zone in ESO. Everything is covered and nothing is sacred, from pedophilia, to terrorism to racist comments to necrophilia (yes, I know).

Most of it is for shock value, and not serious but in my many years of mmo game play ive never seen public zone chats that have that much vitriol. Its not recent either, its been that way pretty much since beta.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

There were some nasty folks in ESO chat for a while.

Sadly ignore and report only work so well, you still have to listen to other people respond to them.

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Witches

Closest i’ve come to that was alt-f4ing after a failed jumping puzzle.

Usually i just stop logging in and after some time away i uninstall and that’s it.

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Dreema

I’ve never actually ragequit an MMO but I’ve thought about it plenty of times. When WoW destroyed all the old zones with Cataclysm, I was so pissed off about it I told everyone in my guild I was quitting to play on a vanilla server. Which I did… for about a week, then I came back.

Most of the time when I give up, it’s more boredquit than ragequit. During Warlords of Draenor, I was so bored of nothing to do in the game that I found I had zero interest in even logging on, so I’d go for days or even weeks at a time without playing, and eventually I just gave up altogether.

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