The Daily Grind: What’s your comfort MMO?

In all of the years that I’ve been playing MMORPGs, I’ve noticed that it is far, far easier to return to a known property and a beloved game than trying a new one out for the first time. The learning curve is less, you have an idea of what you’re in for, and there’s always the possibility of falling in love with the game all over again.

I call these comfort MMOs, and I have a few that see my grand return every year. Coming back to games like Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, or RIFT tends to be a warm and welcoming event without the anxiety of having to learn and evaluate a foreign game.

What are your comfort MMOs? Which titles have you returned to time and again because you’re too attached and enjoy knowing exactly what you’re going to experience?

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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55 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What’s your comfort MMO?"

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

Oddly enough, it’s BDO. I have so many gripes about the game’s RNG based systems but it’s still very fun to play outside of that frustrating mess. When I want to feel cool and smash enemies with ridiculous combos, I fall back on it.

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Malcolm Swoboda

It was RIFT but now its either nothing or SWL for now.

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Viktor Budusov

Lotro of course.

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Roger Melly

Lotro . Beta tested in then brought the game about 6 months after release , played all the welcome back weeks , got the lifetime sub for half price 7 or 8 years ago and since then get periods where I play it for a month or two full on then end up logging in a few times a week for a few quests .

Back in 2005 I probably would have said I would be playing WoW in 2017 because I thought it was a game I could continue year in year out without getting bored . Probably could have but Blizzard just dumbed it down to the point in 2010 I gave up on it . Since then whatever game I have played I encountered WoW refugees in their droves . God knows how many players they would have kept had they handled things differently .

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rocketskates69

FF XIV

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Bryan Correll

It no longer exists. /sigh

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Tiresias

Guild Wars 2.

Because when I return to the game after a hiatus I don’t have to worry about my equipment being completely worthless.

mosselyn
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mosselyn

The notion of a “comfort mmo” is only applicable for me if I never put it down for an extended period. I actually find it quite difficult to pick up a character in a game after a long absence.

That being said, I suppose Lotro is my security blanket. It hasn’t been my main squeeze for years, but I’ve kept it as my “bit on the side” across multiple other MMO romances.

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Rolan Storm

SWTOR, WoW and EQ2.

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Paul

It was Vanguard :(

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Rottenrotny

Definitely Vanilla WoW on private server.
I’ll be playing on one of those until I’m old and gray me thinks.

malrats
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malrats

EverQuest and EverQuest 2, primarily. But I always come back to WoW and FFXIV for expansions and sometimes after a few major content patches to play catch-up.

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Sorenthaz

XIV nowadays with WoW as a fallback subscription choice if I’m really bored/wanting to look into things. Probably Warframe, SWL, or ESO would be by non-sub fallbacks.

miol
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miol

Any turn-based one! :)

Nothing is more comforting, than having all the time you need to react! ;P

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Khrome

It used to be EVE, and City of Heroes.

The second has been shut down (still hurts) and the first has stagnated and is, in my eyes, beyond repair or salvation for the future. That game hasn’t changed almost at all since 2009 :(

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NeoWolf

It used to be SWTOR.. but the fact I unsubbed yesterday because of it going in a direction that takes it away from the content I enjoy leads me to think that is no longer the case hehe.

So sadly I currently do not have a comfort MMO, in fact I am LONGING for a decent MMO atm as most of what has come out recently is utter trash.

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Greaterdivinity

Used to be Rift for many years but now…don’t really have one anymore : /

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Rottenrotny

Man, I miss Rift. I wonder if there are any Vanilla Rift private servers?

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Kawaii Five-O

I guess FFXIV would be my comfort MMO, since I do really enjoy it and is by far my largest time sink, but I’ve never really left it either. Discounting 1.0, I’ve been unsubbed a grand total of about 4 months in the 4 years that ARR has been live.

Looking much further back, Ultima Online was the game that I always returned to for a long time. And then considerably later, my comfort MMO would fall on Mabinogi. However, I’ve long since quit both games now.

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blah blazh

If I only play one MMO does that make it my comfort MMO?

semugh
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semugh

haha I have a have a very hard bet on one specific MMO on this site lol…

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Reht

Used to be DAoC but Rift has replaced it since it’s so easy to jump back in and play casually for a couple of weeks.

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Utakata

I dunno, “comfort MMO’s” and “keep going back to same MMO because I really like it” seem to be the same thing. Only worded differently. o.O

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Pandalulz

It’s always WoW. Log in, make a new character, get to level 40ish over a week, get bored, go do something else. Repeat every three months or so.

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Rhime

Euro Truck Simulator 2 multiplayer server. Doesn’t get more chilled than hauling loads across Europe with a cup of coffee and my favorite local radio station. Double trailers just got released recently making it an even better game.

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Hirku

TSW was my comfort MMO. Years of playing had given me the closest I’ll ever have to expertise in a game and the lack of levels gave me a great sense of freedom to go do everything at my own pace. It not only was easy to come and go for any amount of time, I would have bonus point gifts to welcome me when I did return. I like SWL, but it’s definitely not a comfort MMO, and to be honest many of its aspects are starting to have the opposite effect.

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Alex Js.

It used to be LoTRO, but over the years most of the people have left it so it was not fun traveling through an almost empty world (I like seeing other player’s activity in online games, the more = the better), plus the graphics started to feel extremely dated the more I played other modern games, so I stopped re-visiting it long time ago and have no plans to do that again… Other than that I don’t currently play any MMO’s and don’t have a will to return to any old ones ever again.

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Ryuen

While I don’t have a real comfort MMO there are several of the older ones I tend to revisit from time to time (EQ2, LoTRO, WOW, EvE..), the reason is usually just out of curiosity of how the game is doing at that point or news of an expansion that piques my interest in the game again.
Sometimes I stick around for a few days only, sometimes it’s a few months before I wander of once more.

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Cindy M

For a long, long time mine was EQ2. However I can no longer play that game without anger, so my new comfort MMO is Lord of the Rings and sometimes SWTOR.
I am really loving LOTRO again with the new character looks and years of content.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Another vote for STO.

Lifetime sub means I always have a nice pile of monthly Zen to welcome me back, even after a year or two away (especially after a year or two away . . .). I recently played through the whole Fed story line on a brand new character, and found to my pleasant surprise that the game is better in almost every way than I remember it (except for the new ESD . . . I miss the original version from 2010, baffling as it was. . .). It also was great fun going on a scandalous shopping spree during the most recent ship sale.

I doubted the value of the LTS purchase for a while after I first got it, but in hindsight, I wish more games would consider this model. I would buy it again, and definitely would buy it for other games I have played a lot if I could. Over the long term, it’s been the best value I’ve gotten from any couple hundred dollars that I ever have spent on games.

For what it’s worth, the F2P model for STO also is miles ahead of other games I’ve played that way, like SWTOR. Totally comfortable if you just want to enjoy the story, and there is no real reason to dump cash into it before the level cap.

If you want to exploit Admiralty and R&D to their full potential without a ton of grind or endless time gates, then it gets $$$$ really quick. But even so, you do fine even for endgame content without them if you’re willing to bide your time for the free T6 event ships several times a year and make do with the abundant Mk XII purple gear you can get for free from replaying episodes.

Among the games I have played, STO is far the one that I am happiest to go back to every time. I’m actually looking forward to a new “Recruit” event to go with the Gamma Quadrant expansion due next year, so I can jump back in and go on another leveling binge.

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Anastasis Kontostergios

Definately GW2, the way its build it makes it super easy to stop and start playing again anytime you want

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Alex Malone

I wouldn’t say that I have any comfort MMOs. There is only one live MMO that I went back to, and that was LotRO. I left shortly before Moria was released so that I could play WAR, but WAR turned out to be pretty crap as an overall experience so I returned to LotRO 6 months later.

But, that’s it. I’m pretty strict with myself when it comes to MMOs. I know how much I loved them and how time consuming they can be, so I have strict criteria before I play one now. Sadly, nothing has met that criteria for years, and the MMOs I used to play have either shut down or changed so drastically that they’re not worth playing anymore (lotro….).

About once every 2 years I will reinstall the SWG emulator and give that a bash for a month. Each return the experience is better than the previous attempt, but it’s still a long way off the original experience and I dont think it’ll ever get there.

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Gregory Lyons

I have similar issues – curious – what are your criteria for a new MMO? I find myself trying everything under the sun and it is not helpful :)

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Alex Malone

* Deep combat system
* Horizontal progression
* Objective based world pvp (i.e. fighting over keeps)
* Strong IP

Basically, I like combat, so need a combat system that will keep me engaged for months / years. I’ve never seen a deep action combat system, action combat is always shallow. I like fighting over keeps, the bigger the better. This is my absolute favourite activity. I also love playing with other people, so horizontal progression is a must. Vertical progression is just an absolutely terrible way to do progression in an MMO, yet everyone sticks to it. The IP is just natural – if I’m gonna spend years playing a game, I want to actually enjoy the world I’m inhabiting.

I set myself this criteria when SW:TOR finally broke my MMO addiction by being so bad. I realised I’d spent years playing poorly designed games, mostly just because friends were playing it, but developers kept making it harder and harder to have a good time with friends. These days, I still sign up for betas and occasionally try out games, but none have met my criteria. ESO came close, but the shallow combat drove me away (plus, from the sounds of it, they’re now fully vertical progression at endgame, whereas at launch it was much flatter).

Luckily, Camelot Unchained meets all my criteria, so eagerly awaiting it’s release.

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Gregory Lyons

Thanks – very insightful. I agree with you on ESO. Loved everything but combat – I used one skill for 30 levels. Not fun :)

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starbuck1771

If you want the nge experience try https://swglegends.com/ it is actually pretty good for NGE.

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Alex Malone

I’m a pre-cu guy, sorry :P

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Castagere Shaikura

Any mmo pre Wow can work for me. I love the old mmo’s. As far as new mmo’s go i would have to give it to ESO only because of the single player games got me hooked into TES.

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Melissa McDonald

Definitely LOTRO. It’s the only MMO that has ever compared to EverQuest to me, and the one filled with lore I know to my core. I sincerely think it’s one of the top 3 MMOs ever along with EQ and WoW. It’s a deep, rich, satisfying game on many levels and one we may never see again – such a detailed and faithful depiction of nearly the entire Map of Middle Earth. When you stop to think about it, LOTRO is really a stunning achievement.

I kinda feel like starting some kind of petition/movement/blog to get the Game of Thrones production crew to tackle The Silmarillion once GoT wraps. They’re the only ones I think that could do it justice. Don’t want Peter Jackson getting his hands on it, his tricks are played out. But it could make a dandy mini-series for HBO. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Kristofer Hivju play Tulkas? :)

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Carebear

+1 for the game world and atmosphere and music. After that though, a big letdown on characters and combat. I wonder after so many years, why they didnt hire some people who actually know how to make characters move and fight and overhaul combat… would give the game a great boost. 9/10 people I ask about lotro they say same thing: “Great world, immersive but terrible characters / combat / animations”.

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Loopy

Probably WoW. I’ve spent so many years there – i know all the locations and mechanics inside out at this point. Unless it’s a brand new expansion, i generally don’t have to relearn my class, and the game does a good job at pointing out what i’ve missed out on while i was away.

FFXIV is another one. Teleporting over to Gridania feels so warm and fuzzy every time..

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Jack Pipsam

World of Warcraft and Old School Runescape would be my games where I feel comfortable and snug going back.

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Dušan Frolkovič

In general i find my way back again and again to Guild Wars 2. But when i get taste for something specific, then there is also DCUO for my super hero needs, Star Trek Online for some sci-fi, Secret World for some creepy stuff

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MesaSage

Glitch. I play in thoughts.

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Schmidt.Capela

It used to be WoW, until the Zombie Invasion convinced me to never again rely on it, or any game where devs force players to update to the latest version for what matters.

Now my “comfort games” are always offline DRM-free (or easily cracked) games, no exception. Those are the ones I can still play as usual regardless of what developers, publishers, etc, might do. As such, those are the only ones I can truly rely on.

I don’t keep just one such game, BTW. There’s the whole Fallout franchise, the whole Elder Scrolls franchise (except ESO), Minecraft, the older Sims and Simcity games (before they became tied to Origin), all of the Zelda and most of the Mario franchises, and a whole lot of other games; at any point I usually have a couple hundred games installed or otherwise ready to be played.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Im curious, what MMO doesnt require to update to latest version to play it?

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Schmidt.Capela

That is exactly my point. All MMOs require updating to the latest version, which is why I can never again treat a MMO as a comfort game.

A comfort game, for me, needs to be something I’m absolutely sure will be as inviting as I previously found it. That means I must be absolutely certain it will never change in a way that would displease me. In the past I thought I could count on certain devs (in particular Blizzard) to always make their games better, but WoW’s Zombie Invasion (and, after that, Cataclysm) taught me otherwise; thus, nowadays, I only consider as a potential comfort game those that either don’t change anymore or that I can revert to a previous state I got used to.

This doesn’t mean I’m not playing MMOs, mind. It’s just that they can’t serve the kind of emotional support I sometimes seek in games.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

a yea or so ago i might say wildstar, but i can’t even remember the last time i seriously played and the last time i logged in was only to create the free level cap char and log off.

so gtao it is. it’s a game myself and my guildies return to regularly since pc launch, with some of said guildies playing since the original console launch even.

sometimes returns to it only last a week or two, and other times we can go 6+ weeks in it. with others keeping on beyond the larger crowd in guild with it.

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Tandor

It used to be first EQ and then EQ2, but these days I’ve pretty much given up on DBG. LoTRO is now the one I return to from time to time while my main gaming time is spent elsewhere including ESO which is definitely my MMO “home”.

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Cypher

Probably STO. Used to be swtor but I just fly into a rage whenever i boot it up these days, which is far too often!

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hugmonster

I bought a few WoW tokens back when they were cheap (20-30k gold) and once, maybe twice a year I go back for a few weeks, try my luck at some rare drops from dungeons and raids I overlevel and grind for a mount or reputation I missed while I was actively playing.

It feels good and comforting to be back and after a few minutes muscle memory sets in and it’s a very enjoyable, nostalgic experience.

After a few weeks, the warm fuzzies fade and I will go play other games, MMOs or other kinds. But I always return :)

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Ken from Chicago

STAR TREK ONLINE

Great IP, great lore, great original stories, fun gameplay, cool ships, cool uniforms, cool game mechanics, great featured episodes missions with voice work from original actors from the various Star Trek shows and after seven years, it’s not only surviving , it’s thriving and expanding adding new content.

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camren_rooke

I’m finding Everquest 2 to be my comfort mmo atm. The answer would be different if COH was still around.

I gave up on Rift though…too frantic for me. And the Summerfest event was not fun and felt as if I was expected to use multiple alts to finish the events achievements.

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starbuck1771

I have too many to count including space sim shooter Freelancer.

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Oleg Chebeneev

WoW. Obviously.

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