The Daily Grind: Have you ever fallen for an MMO after giving it a second chance?

It’s no secret that there are a lot of games out there I fell for on my first try (Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, Star Trek Online), but you know what game I couldn’t stand when I first played it? City of Heroes. I played, thought it totally missed what would have made a superhero MMO fun, and left it behind with a sense of bitter disappointment. It was several months before I gave it another shot; when I did, it was lover at second sight.

This is not entirely foreign to me; my first impression of The Elder Scrolls Online was definitely negative, but going back to it produced much warmer feelings. Then again, there are games which I don’t care for much on my first try that later do nothing to change my mind. What about you, dear readers? Have you ever fallen for an MMO after giving it a second chance? And if so, have you found it has more to do with changes to the game or with yourself?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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41 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Have you ever fallen for an MMO after giving it a second chance?"

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Alex Malone

Has never happened to me so far with an MMO. The problems I have with MMOs tend to be very fundamental (crap IP, poor combat mechanics, lack of pvp) and never get changed, so when I go back (if at all…) all the same problems are still there.

It has happened to me a few times with single player games, typically games that require some sort of time investment before things get fun – like a lot of RPGs, or the Deus Ex games.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

This hasn’t happened with an actual true MMO, but it did with a kinda/sorta/partial one: Destiny

I played it at launch, got to max level and instantly felt the grind. The skimpy story and awkward segregation of lots of the lore to grimoire cards on the web also contributed to that alienation.

I came back earlier this year w/all the expansions/DLC in place and am having a blast. More story, more things to do, a refined loot system make it very much more fun to play, and got me very excited for Destiny 2. If they fix the weird bifurcation of lore (which it sounds like they have) and live up to at least SOME of their hype on the increased emphasis on story then I’ll be very happy.

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MesaSage

Not yet, and I’ve given several of them second chances. Usually I stop playing them for good reasons and unless those reasons change dramatically, it’s not worth trying.

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theblackmage75

It took more than one look to finally make me a fan of ESO. I played the beta, bought it at launch, and after a couple months dropped it. The gameplay systems felt convoluted with too many poorly explained choices to make: character archetype, attributes, weapons, armor type, skill lines, morphs, crafting, etc. The necessity of creating mules for crafting, combined with basic ES features like theft and housing missing drove me away.

But after One Tamriel showed up I gave the game another chance and once the crafting bag was added as a sub perk I finally felt the draw to invest some serious time to figure out the parts that had been daunting. The game still has its flaws but it’s one that has become my mainstay and an all-time favorite.

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Armsbend

Never once.

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Rolan Storm

It looks like that’s all I do lately.

ESO
My words about TES series were this: ‘the moment TES MMORPG launches – I am there’. And I was. Lasted for two weeks tops. I came back with ‘Tamriel Unlimited’ and stayed ever since.

SWTOR
There were a ton of things I did not like about SWTOR when it launched, though I finished some character’s stories. These days game is so different it hardly believable. And while a lot of people try to disregard SWTOR as a MMORPG, criticizing it for ease of leveling and lack of group dependency I’ll take SWTOR that is over SWTOR that was any day.

TSW/SWL
Well, I do not know if that qualifies. But TSW was hard and I – while appreciating something hardcore for a change – was not ready for that. I droped out first time htitting not even Blue Mountain, but Savage Coast wall. Second time was better, I finished all base content up to Tokyo excluding Issues – but it still was not something I have connection with. These days I love the ride, I love how they changed schools (Blood Magic became exactly how I envisioned it) and I can concentrate on investigation/thinking instead of skills and abilities. That’s how I like it at least.

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Vellik

There have been many games that I’ve given second, third, or even fourth chances.

I’d tried to get into EVE a few times, with my longest stint lasting a year. I just couldn’t stick with it with the way I wanted to play.

WoW was what I would call the first and only time I’ve been addicted to a game, and my longest stint with that was roughly seven years. That was from the beginning, though, so I don’t think that counts.

What does count is ESO. With ESO, I was incredibly hyped for it. I had no disillusions that it would be Skyrim online; I knew that this would be an MMO with TES themes and lore, but I just didn’t know how it would play out. Cue the beta. During the beta the game felt /very/ unfinished; Argonian NPCs on Bleakrock, as well as other races, didn’t even have their voice acting done yet, and essentially had Microsoft Sam or Sarah doing the voicework with an accent placed over it. The combat felt very, well, squishy. Nothing seemed to really feel like it had any impact when it hit an enemy. There were also simple bugs like a one inch high piece of stone preventing you from running up a ledge. I knew it was a beta, and I knew that it was unfinished. I also knew that it was an MMO first and a TES game second, but even knowing this, it still didn’t feel as full featured as a TES game. At the time, things like poisons weren’t in yet, and that was one of the main things I wanted to do: play a Bosmer bowman using poisons on his arrows, being stealthy, and doing raids with a guild in Cyrodiil.

After the beta, I ended up not buying the game. I think that by being in a guild pre-launch, and combined with the fact that there weren’t a lot of details about the game at the time, it kind of turned into an echo chamber of theories for what the game /could/ be, and I couldn’t dislodge the notion from my mind.

That being said, I gave the game a second chance. After a brief stint with Wildstar, and finding that didn’t stick with me, I joined the game in September of 2015. I joined up with a trade guild, my first guild in that game, and have been with them as my primary guild ever since. Not only did the team behind ESO seriously take feedback into consideration, they waged a virtual, and very public, war against bots and gold farmers. I remember reading about how a public dungeon would be filled with bots farming the bosses, and within 10 minutes of it being reported, a GM came in and nuked them all. That was a kind of response I had never seen to gold sellers before, and it was the kind of no-nonsense “we’ll not have you ruin this game” attitude that resonated with me — it felt like the they really cared about giving the game a good name after their rocky start.

It’s two years later, and I still see ESO as my main MMO. There’s been the B2P transition, the crown store and crown crates have been introduced, and a lot of other changes have taken place. Some for the worse, some for the better. This is the first MMO I can truly say that I’ve made friends in, and the community, if you know where to look, can be outstanding and helpful (just don’t let zone chat color your impressions. It’s Barrens chat in every game). The game, for the most part, is bot free, and you will never see gold sellers risk advertising in game. On top of that, the game has many more features now than it did at launch — housing, poisons were added, a robust (for an MMO) thieving system with the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, and the removal of vet ranks and limitations restricting where you could go in the world. It’s two years later, and I see myself sticking around for quite some time.

Emmanuel Carabott
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Emmanuel Carabott

Ohh man the original Guildwars, it was a perfect storm… tried the trial period, didnt get a lot of time to play, had a lot of heavy baggage from player feedback with a lot of people arguing that game was basically aimed at PVP, didnt have much PVE content (only 20 levels an such) and what little I played it felt ordinary so when the trail ended I let it go. fast forward a couple of years later I came across the game heavily discounted some $5 or so, I was bored didnt have anything to play said to myself what have I got too loose, turns out nothing cause as faith would have it had i played the trail just 15 minutes more I would have come across this quest where an NPC asks you to help him get some spider eggs or something and while in every MMO I had every played said NPC would wait patiently until you get those Eggs for him, to my amazement this digital guy came along for the ride and did his part. I was sold and from that moment on the Guild wars franchise became my favorite and still is to this day. At least I learned a valuable lesson, popular opinion isnt always right.

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Little Bugbear

When I first tried Aion I hated it. I only played one MMO at a time back then. So if it wasn’t WoW I didn’t like it. After I started playing multiply MMO’s I gave Aion an thought it was a great game. My first impression of Aion taught me that fangirling over a game so much that you think you can only like one, will ultimately cause you to miss out on great games.

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Suikoden

Great question. That happened one time for me and it was with Neverwinter. I wasn’t very into it at launch, but I kept hearing good things about it. I gave it another try about a year later, and played it religiously for three years.
I have returned to games in the past, but usually it’s the other way around; I leave at the height of my play there and come back to dabble. But this is the one example where I just dabbled, and then came back and went all in.

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Melissa McDonald

STO’s 23rd century quests made me love the game more than I ever had previously. I wish for a whole game in that setting, with the film grain effect, Klingons that look like Roy Khan, everything.

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mistressbrazen

No, not yet. I’ve been back to SWTOR and STO, but neither has stayed with me after the 2nd, 3rd or I might be on the 4th try with SWTOR.

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Castagere Shaikura

I got tired of myself buying into the hype of new mmo’s. Right now i’m enjoying playing old games like Aion and EQ2 again. The older games to me are just better and what they are doing with Aion now makes it really fun if you like pve. I remember how hardcore that game used to be with pvp. But it had to change if it was going to survive and they had the balls to do it. They get alot of crap for it but i respect them for it.

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NeoWolf

I never write a game off completely because they are all continually being developed so the possibility of issues that turned me off to a game being altered or removed definitely exists. And I am definitely not beyond giving a game a second go..however to date of the games I have not found appealing none of changed or omproved enough to make me fall for them.

So although I am open to it, it has not happened for me thus far.

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Sorenthaz

Yes, happened with RIFT, ESO, SWTOR, and TSW. Granted only RIFT ever became a main MMO for me and that fell apart back in 2014 or whenever they did the F2P shenanigans that turned me off completely. TOR was always sort of an in for a little while thing, but I’d enjoy subbing up and hopping in for a month or few… until I did that again back in December and honestly was just super turned off by everything that the expansion brought.

ESO/TSW I’ve never really been super invested in time-wise just because there aren’t mandatory subscriptions, and also they’re not popular among my friends. But both initially got a lot of ‘bleh’ from me until I gave them second chances. Now I enjoy them both when I actually do hop into them (though by TSW now I mean SWL).

Also I’d argue FFXIV didn’t really stick with me the first time I played it, as I didn’t bother subscribing to it after the initial early beta/access periods. When I picked it back up later though, I became pretty hooked and I haven’t dropped my subscription so far.

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Bryan Turner

Often after a lot more than a second chance.

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Michael18

No.

I re-tried quite a few MMOs I couldn’t get into originally, because I thought I just didn’t get it the first time around, but couldn’t think of a single occasion when this worked out. Examples are GW2, SWTOR, TSW (haven’t tried SWL yet but will), STO, ESO, …

The no. 1 reason for me not getting into an MMO is lame world building with heavy instancing and abundant use of teleportation and load screens. Since this relies on core functionality of the engine and its architecture, it usually does not change over the life time of an MMO.

But that does not mean I give up :-) From the above list, I think I will give at least STO and ESO another shot.

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David

I hated World of Warcraft the first time I played it. I gave it a few days then went back to playing City Of Heroes. It was only after CoH’s Issue 6 Enhancement Diversification that I went off CoH and gave WoW another try and lost several years of my life to it.

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Grok

Elder Scrolls Online.

I absolutely hated it at launch and until about 6 months ago I would have told anyone who listened about how it was the worst gaming purchase I had ever made. But for some reason, I tried it again, and was stunned at how much my opinion had changed. It’s now my default game whenever i have time to play.

atherenlightspeed
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atherenlightspeed

I must have tried World of Warcraft five times before I played and enjoyed the game.

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Matthew Steed

City of Heroes/Villains. Picked up CoV originally in 2006, played it for a month and decided it wasn’t for me. Decided to give it a second look when they announced owning one game would give you access to both heroes and villains and fell in love with the game after that point.

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Reht

Everquest 1, tried and really couldn’t get into it, then came back about 4 months later and was hooked and played up until about a year ago. WoW – i was part of the beta but had really didn’t like the stylization, so i sold my beta account for a stupid amount of money but eventually got talked into playing it halfway through Vanilla. Like EQ1, i still play WoW today (off and on).

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Konstantin Stefanov

Lotro! Tried it once in like 2009 2010 played a bit then stoped for a year or So, then gave it a second chance and about 7 years later I play on daily basis and can’t get enough :)

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Moolarurka .

Lotro tried it about 6 months after release played for a couple of months then kept getting welcome back weeks on quite a regular basis ( maybe once every two or three months ) . Finally got the offer of a half price lifetime subscription somewhere around my birthday and treated myself and have been with it since ( about 7 or 8 years I think ) .

Also WoW . Tried it for a month in the summer of 2005 but other summery things caught my eye in the real world and I think I came back around the Christmas of that year and ended up playing it for three and a half years non stop . I tried going back a few times in the years since but it’s not what it used to be .

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

LOTRO. Didn’t click with me at all at first. Gave it a real chance too and went to like level 45 or so. Came back a year later and totally fell in love with it. I think it helped that I left right before the gates of Moria and me coming back was a big Moria play through.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

There are more MMOs I fell with the second try than those hooked me with the first try.. I have already think about this and I came out that all MMOs at launch are not polished and are half finished….

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wratts

Had this experience somewhat with Warframe. Tried it in what I guess was late beta, and the game itself was tough to play, the goals weren’t intuitive, and the community seemed too small to reliably find groups, but so committed that they talked in a shorthand about poorly explained game mechanics, and I didn’t get it at all.
Come back maybe 12-18 months later, and while I still don’t think the game explains itself very well, the community has gotten better and there are more resources, I’ve gotten more used to the controls, and while I wouldn’t say I love the game it is in my regular rotation and I’m looking forward to the open world expansion. It seems like a cheap man’s Destiny, only with a PC version and more class variation.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

When I first played Warframe, I wasn’t really much of a fan. I wasn’t into shooters that much and didn’t really appreciate it.

I gave it another shot later, and in time it become a game I spent over four times as much playing as any game before it ever. Which is still really weird for me to think about. I usually get bored and move on from one game to the next pretty quickly and I was never a fan of shooters.

Things are different for me now than they used to be when playing stuff anyway.

I feel like Professor Frink from the Simpsons teaching Kindergarten with that popping toy “No you can’t play with it children. You won’t enjoy it on as many levels as I do.” I really appreciate games on so many more levels than I used to, that I should go back and re-try every MMORPG that exists. So many games, so little time!

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Schmidt.Capela

Kinda, with Marvel Heroes.

The game as originally released had some design choices that were pushing me away — mainly the need of retcon devices to respec the characters — which made me mostly stop playing it after a while. But most of my issues were solved in the years since.

It’s not my game of choice at the moment, though. I’m right now playing mostly SWL and Starbound, with a few other games I’m nibbling at to keep things diverse and interesting.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

EQ2 was that game for me. When it launched, it seemed to have a couple game mechanics that made life needlessly tedious and/or difficult. For me, it was crafting sub-components. I found myself mired in inks, quills, papers, all of various qualities, and then attempting to make a certain grade of spell or ability. So, I went off to try vanilla WoW (which had also recently launched), and stayed there until a game update changed EQ2’s crafting somewhat to not be such a burdensome time consumer.

After that, EQ2 was golden and I stayed subbed for over a decade.

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Baldigar Stumblefoot

When I first tried GW2 it I just didn’t find all that interesting (I think while LWS1 was still happening, which I didn’t know at the time). However, once LWS2 was nearly finished and the game had gone on sale significantly (like $10), I was reminded of it and checked it out again. I really began to get into the lore, which I had not really cared about at all the first time trying it, and also began to appreciate the combat system for what it can do (the combos mechanic, as well as the hybrid target/action combat), and I began to really like the game. Also, getting in to some of the out-of-game communities helped to keep my interest built up, such as watching lore/speculation videos, even when there were some content droughts.

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primal

yeah eve online. i tried the beta took me 5 or 6 warps on full capacitor in an ibis to only get about half way from the starter station to a jumpgate, thought sod that and quit. then tried it after earth and beyond died and all that disappeared and was awesome

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Thomas Zervogiannis

It happened to me twice so far, with Guild Wars 2 and Eve Online. And I have a hunch this will happen again soon.

Some times our tastes change over time. Some times it is not us changing our mind, but the game is evolving and correcting past mistakes, or just simply adjusting more to our tastes by coincidence. If I love some of the elements of a game, but it does not initially capture me as a whole, I try to give it a second chance and sink some time in it until I figure it our completely. Most of the times my impression does not change, but the few times it does are worth the investment.

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Tia Nadiezja

I fell for STO in fits and spurts, starting deepy disappointed by it at launch (especially since, it being a Star Trek MMO and thus something I’d keep playing regardless of quality off and on, at least because I basically have always loved that universe and even bad Star Trek is better than no Star Trek at all, I’d bought a lifetime subscription before launch). The game improved over time for me, adding better storytelling and mission design in the first few featured episode series, reworking ground combat from being a terrible slog to at least a little fun (I now enjoy it about as much as I do space combat, which is a vast improvement), and reworking endgame itemization until they finally got it to the point where I could rely on being able to get the gear I wanted eventually. The changes at free-to-play were a turning point for the game, adding the Duty Officer system which is still a small joy, then starting the build to the delightful Legacy of Romulus expansion.

Delta Rising created a lot of anger and I get that – the angst over the introduction of Tier 6 ships was overblown, but they really did break the queues and the process of levelling an established character to Fleet Admiral was an enormous pain of waiting to see new content – but they’ve worked most of those problems back out of the game at this point while continuing to (if too slowly for my tastes) release new content.

There are problems now that weren’t in the game at launch, but the improvement in the game overall has been huge, and now I pretty unabashedly love it. It just took a lot of work on Cryptic’s part to get me there.

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BalsBigBrother

EQ2 and Eve Online.

EQ2 took two years of me trying it on and off plus me finally getting round to trying out the Shadowknight class before it stuck. Played it as my main mmo for a solid two years or so after that.

Eve Online needed until the changes made in the f2p transition for me to get over that initial cliff face that it presented to new players before then. Subbed up within the same week and still playing that one to this day at least one night a week and I don’t see that ending anytime soon on my part.

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Modrain

It happened with non-MMOs (such as Starcraft), but never with an MMO. Second chances I gave often slightly improved my perception of certain aspects, but severely degraded others that I remembered as better than they really were.

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bigangry

I think my first MMO, Ragnarok Online, was one that I found awful. I went back after the servers actually went live, and realized I had been playing the INCREDIBLY limited Alpha build that only had the main kingdom and the sewers (with Baphomet and Doppelganger) and thought that was the whole game. I played the real game for a while before I moved on to others, but it was fun as hell to grind grind grind back then.

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Fred Douglas

Age of Conan back in the day. I played in 2008, quit, came back two years later, and enjoyed the endgame for a good amount of time.

Generally no, though. Second tries are for wasting time and keeping things diverse.

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starbuck1771

Same was there for closed Beta and Launch left and came back for Godslayer.

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Oleg Chebeneev

There is only one such MMO – Age of Wushu.
It’s tutorial is crap (dunno if they changed it) which ruined my first impression. But Ive heard some good things about its PvP mechanics so I gave it another go and played for months afterwards. Still considering it the best PvP focused MMORPG and one of the most unique MMORPGs since EVE Online. Too bad it has plenty of flaws which I hope will be dealt with in upcoming sequel

Aelzen
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Aelzen

It took me about 4 or 5 goes at Eve Online before it really stuck for me. First few, I had no idea what I was doing. Second-to-most-recent, I left after a really bad loss I didn’t think I could recover from. This most recent attempt has so far continued for 3 years and counting; I’m really enjoying it now I know what I’m doing, and have found a good group of people to do stuff with.

Unfortunately, that’s the story of Eve. Difficult as shit to get into for some people. I probably wouldn’t be playing it now if something else had come along and taken my attention at just the right/wrong moment.

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