The Daily Grind: What’s keeping you from going back to a favorite MMO?

It’s weird to think that I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic on and off since its release. Seems like such a long time ago. I’ve had great memories in that game and still appreciate the work that the team put into the cinematic stories, voice acting, and the occasional moral choice.

But as of late, it’s been more “off” than “on,” especially following the most recent expansion. I don’t like the subscription-locked endgame system, and pretty much everyone keeps advising me just to finish the story and then ditch the game. That’s disheartening to me. So I’ve been waiting to see what BioWare has in store for the long-term future. Depending on the direction that the game goes, I could see going back. Just not right now.

What’s keeping you from going back to one of your favorite MMOs? Is it a change, a lack of friends, or something else entirely?

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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101 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What’s keeping you from going back to a favorite MMO?"

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throwaway389134er2rf
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throwaway389134er2rf

It’s hard to pick a favorite, since that has changed several times throughout the years. However, the key reasons usually are:
-Game has new paid features I don’t like
-My friends don’t play anymore
-Game is functionally dated and doesn’t look or work so great on current computers. (e.g. Maplestory, FFXI)

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Zen Dadaist

My main character being unplayable with no ETA on when the Dev(s) can fix it. That is literally what is stopping me form playign Anarchy Online right now. Yes I have a ton of well-setup alts and keep up my raidleading obligations with them etc but… she’s my main. I want to play my main :(

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Serrenity

what class? I used to main a MP :-)

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Zen Dadaist

It’s an Engineer. I like MPs too. Have several of them in fact!

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Siege

Personally, its been a slew of technical issues with new operating systems. My old favorite MMO, Rift, has caused numerous issues anytime I try to install it on a Windows10 machine. Worst of which is a security privilege problem which makes it impossible to read-write, uninstall, or do anything with the Rift folder in my ProgramFiles86 folder that conventional solutions have no effect on. With Lord of the Rings Online, the launcher won’t expand larger than 5% of my screen’s resolution, making it impossible to navigate.

Even when you get into play these MMO’s you see that your Guild is disbanded, the store front is more invasive than ever, and your end-game gear is now worthless (which is to be expected but still).

It’s even worse if the classes have been messed around with and your old macros need to be tweaked or recreated all-together. In the end you have wall after wall after wall before you can actually start playing with each one more discouraging than the last. It’s pretty hard to want to take so much time from your schedule when you could just as easily play a few matches of Overwatch and put it back down.

Also I miss Ultima Online…

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Alex Malone

The primary reason is usually changes to mechanics.

The vanilla version of every game I’ve played has usually been the most enjoyable and challenging. There is usually more group content, its usually harder, there is the most class interdependance, crafting hasn’t become so trivial that everyone is twinked out.

Over time, MMOs always dumb themselves down. As number of players drop, devs assume that by making it easier it will be more enjoyable for more people. Unfortunately, that process of dumbing down drives me away. I find myself bored by the majority of the gameplay and can only find enjoyment either PvPing or endgame raiding.

The secondary reason is lack of content.

Most MMOs are linear and follow vertical progression models. That means that 99% of the content you can only do once whilst leveling. Not only is that shitty design, but I also don’t enjoy leveling. So, I am reliant on endgame pvp and dungeons/raids. As time goes on, players like me move on and so devs end up focusing on the casual market, developing ever more leveling content or casual content and ignoring endgame. So, not only is the content easier than it used to be, there is less of it.

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Jeffery Witman

SWG: Killed by SWTOR.

Tibia: Been gone too long to catch up with the active players.

DDO: I’d have to start from scratch again because it’s been so long. I don’t know if I can take the Waterworks again.

Neverwinter: I left when they raised the level cap and completely changed the item system from dungeon loot to the grindy feeder system that they all use now. I might go back one day, but I really disliked the change enough for it to sour the whole game for me.

Star Conflict: I have loved first person flight/space combat since the first time I sat in an Afterburner arcade machine as a kid. This was awesome and beautiful to play, but the addition of heavily pay 2 win ships, especially the Destroyers, and modules meant the only way to keep up was with bigger and bigger purchases. The changing of play modes to include AI “pvp” arena battles didn’t go well, either. It killed the whole pvp arena scene in the game.

TSW: Killed by SWL.

I’m slowly phasing out of SWL as well and soon I can see that I won’t be playing it much at all. I’m half way through Orochi tower and unless season 2 comes out, I doubt I’ll be logging in at all once it’s complete. The gear grind is both mindlessly inane and pointless to playing the game’s story. I’m already overpowered for story mode and I’m not even to 300 IP. I’ve also wasted a lot of time and energy on making other sets of gear that are now pointless, refuse to pay for Patron after the first two months because it’s just extortion for basic QoL without much real advantages (daily keys, only if you log in, are a joke since after 2 months the only thing it ever gave me of value was a cheap demon horse mount and a bunch of distillates that add up to a drop in the bucket when compared to what you need to upgrade your gear.

Overall, the lack of social interaction, the lack of needing to depend on other players, and the lack of business models that aren’t hyper exploitation are driving me away from the genre as a whole. SWG had a great community on Chilastra that I miss a lot. DDO had a great setup that makes grouping up easy while requiring it to succeed in the game, but began to erode that with their Solo modes. TSW was a lot of fun with a great community, but that has not carried over to SWL for the most part.

The whole point of MMOs, for me at least, is to have actual people to interact with, whether as opponents or Friends (or both). Too many games in the genre today are just solo games with everyone doing the same quests separately, side-by-side, and the only interaction you have with them are in random, auto-grouped, instanced dungeons, or the auction house. It ruins the whole point of playing MMOs when everything is set up that way. The social aspect is just gone.

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Cassidylux

FFXIV security token. Have to call to have it removed but I work at all hours that they take calls so it’s always just out of reach. Also a little demotivating that some guy who became guildmaster after I left was waiting for our housing to expire so he could collect all the money. Folks who could still log in would do so just to keep the house from expiring and delay the guy’s plans but eventually it did indeed go.

Hell, I don’t even know if I’m still in my own guild. When I eventually get back in there I could be guildless. So I’ll continue to play everything else but keep FFXIV on my mind and frown. :(

MagmaFist
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MagmaFist

That’s easy…it’s closed. /em holdtorch

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Crowe

Yup, you said it.

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Jeff

I think what keeps my away from SWTOR is the sheer about of Nutters and down right mean people that play the game…..seriously, it seems like Bioware has no desire to foster any type of a decent community.

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Space Captain Zor

I was pretty close to going back to SWTOR until they made it so I lost my beloved character names.

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tony quinn

Gonna get a lot of crap over this but here is why I don’t go back to my favorite MMO
1. WoW boring tab target combat system with a used up platform and it just keeps using the same ole places same ole look with a different twist overpriced overrated like Apple.
2.SWTOR wow had high hopes for this game but come on how can you mess up a classic legend like this oh wait its Bioware we paid millions of dollars for voice overs but used a Nintendo 64 platform to start. 3. LOTR loved this game period great story but old outdated graphics and why didn’t you shift it to a updated something???. 4. Wildstar well NCSOFT I could stop there but what a waste of a fun great combat system with a stupid everything else. I have tried to go back no one there. Well this doesn’t include all the money I have wasted on Rift Tera Revelation GW2 ESO which at this moment I am playing because uh not sure why, sandbox out the ears and just cant do them, but no one has come out with a strong action combat trinity system great story updated graphics with something different every way what a shame. Suppose I will just elude to my new hobby learning how to play a guitar even though I love gaming.

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Ricardo B.

SWTOR – The fact they took away old companions and haven’t given them back, I’m still waiting for Kira and Nadia, and they haven’t improved companion interaction with ones we’ve romanced, they just add new ones and then end up in the same way.
Once you finished all conversations with them, they talk to you like you just met…

Almost hard to believe these guys made Dragon Age.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

you can't go home again....png
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Ariel Domen

ESO: having severe disconnect problems so I can’t play.

SWTOR: The game is beyond salvation, the last changes were criminal, as the article says the subscription locked model, a horrible PVP community also. If they shut it down at this point I’d feel relief.

Wildstar: It’s dead, Jim.

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Gingen | Guildmarm

I adore BDO but the enhancement system is just simply too cruel and expensive in both game and real money to get anywhere top tier. If that got a revamp to something more realistic and less punishing, I’d be playing BDO still non-stop. I gave it until kama part 1 but it wasn’t enough to keep me around and suffer that despair. I’m not expecting them to ever change it but that’s my reason for quitting my favorite MMO.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Right now, the reason is other games. And they don’t have to be MMOs, btw.

This year has been a wealth of riches for single player games. And to cap it off Destiny 2 delivers. That would keep me from going back to my old fave SWTOR.

But, I have to say, that shenanigans will keep me away too. SWTOR started it with the command xp, and loot drops in a box. As soon as that happened, I left and haven’t been back since.

I think those reasons sum it up. Other games, or some bullshit loot box mechanic.

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Robert Mann

Generally speaking: Time, money or monetization factors not being worth it to me, and then other games (or books, or activities, or…) bumping them down the list of interest.

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donvweel

Time mostly. Secret World and LotRO are on the back burner.

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Dug From The Earth

Things that keep me from going back to games: (in no particular order)

1. Dated graphics engine – DC Universe for example, and LoTRo.
2. Dated, unintuitive UI and/or controls. DAOC is a huge offender of this.
3. Failure to innovate and go beyond barely meeting expectations. GW2 for me in many areas is an example here, especially with WvW and end game.
4. Being bombarded with cash shop and lootboxes, especially when it feels like they are a must. Games like Neverwinter, Rift and many asian mmorpgs are culprits here.
5. Running out of content and end game. ESO did this to me. Its a great journey, but once you reach the end, its super bland.

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James Mock

If DOAC brought their UI into the modern age I could love to play it.

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Chestnut Bowl

I love almost everything about XIV, but the “speedrun” mentality has turned me off from the game. Haven’t played in six months.

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Nicholas Roberts

Lack of time (and personal play balance) keeps me from playing FFXIV more than I would like. That and just being generally distracted by life’s passings.

cambruin
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cambruin

The complete and utter lack of respect of the current generation of devs for the product created by their predeseccors. Their complete lack of vision. How out of touch they are.

Aye, I’m looking at you SSG. Great way to handle the LotRO legacy.

hurbster
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hurbster

I’ll go back to WOW when the classic servers are up.

Woetoo
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Woetoo

What’s keeping you from going back to one of your favorite MMOs?

Consistent, persistent and perpetual disappointment.

A realisation that my subscription and active participation are no longer good enough to be seen as a valued customer.

A perception that publishers value people who are willing to pay to skip the tedious/annoying parts their game above those that want their money to buy them access to the fun and enjoyable bit. In effect those players who are willing to pay to not play the game. The then go further by engineering more tedious/annoying content that requires nothing beyond doubling, tripling or quadrupling the effort and/or randomness required to progress.

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Meanie

What game exactly?

Woetoo
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Woetoo

As my preferred MMO: SWTOR primarily.

Though I specifically didn’t say so, because I think the sentiment applies to oh so many MMOs and games over the last 4 or 5 years. In fairness, the “pay to not play our game” doesn’t really apply to SWTOR directly (ish) and was more aimed at other, more recent titles.

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Bryan Correll

The fact that it was shut down five years ago.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

I haven’t logged in to ESO in over a year. The introduction of Crown Crates and the One Tamriel update killed my enthusiasm for that game. I’m unlikely to return to it now.

I’d consider going back to LoTRO but my account credentials are unrecoverable and the high latency I experience connecting to US/EU servers from NZ makes the game nigh on unplayable. The latter consideration also applies to SWToR, which I haven’t played since the closure of the APAC servers.

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steve

My tastes have evolved.

I got into MMOs like EQ and WoW because they were new and innovative. When they stopped innovating in the direction I preferred, I moved on to survival games.

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Stormwaltz

This will sound absurd, but…

I did want to play FFXIV past the included month, but I wasn’t interested in the mandatory PUGing that showed up. I almost made a go of it anyway, but then…

The Square web site insisted I had to specify my gender as male or female in order to process my credit card payment.

That’s it. Honestly.

I WTF’ed and closed the web site, and I’ve never gone back again.

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Sorenthaz

Main thing keeping me from going back to WoW is simply that I don’t want to spend money on both WoW and FFXIV at the moment.

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Peregrine Falcon

The launcher doesn’t work anymore.

/e torch

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NeoWolf

lol this made me laugh.. I mean you can see how this would stop someone from playing no doubt about it heh

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qweazdak

my top reason to not go back to any MMO is unhappy with the game direction and/or the publisher/dev trust.

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mistressbrazen

I am a main game kind of person. If the game is not my main game, I’m probably not going to play it. So, SWTOR fell victim to TSW. Now that I am forced begrudgingly to play something else, I’ve wandered back to SWTOR. There’s been a re-balance on skills. Sigh, do I really have to relearn the character? Somehow my companions are missing half their gear… had I paid for a subscription at one time? I don’t remember and I can’t..I just can’t slough through the forums. These are the kinds of things that keep a person from going back to a game. For the moment, I’m just pressing buttons, hoping to kill something and the companions I remember seem to be keeping me alive. That will have to do for now.

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Fervor Bliss

Lack of Story and forced PvP.

aleccia_rosewater
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aleccia_rosewater

Wanderlust, mostly. The greatest joy in life is experiencing something new~

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Tazuras

I think I just regularly need something new. Usually a new ladder to climb, and when I can’t find another later that is different enough in my current game I move onto another.

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drgreenhoe

No excitement from seeing something for the first time. Exploration and learning “new” things are a huge draw to me. When I go back to older games.. its just not there.

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NeoWolf

The only things that drive me away from a game are as follows
1. Forced Grouping
2. Forced PVP
3. Useless/Unhelpful or Offensive customer Support
4. Pay to Win business models
5. Lockboxes being the only source of new content
6. Lack of New Content in an unduly long time
7. Being anything to do with NCSoft or its affiliates..been stung by them SO many times I will not touch ANYTHING of theirs ever again.
8. Being consistently lied to by Developers, how difficult is it to be honest, really (craptic im looking at you).
9. Server Merges that result in loss of Character Names
10. Long term gamer friends no longer playing.

Pretty much any one or more of these and im done.

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A Dad Supreme

It’s just easier for me to pop console games into the PS4 and have zero aggravation about anything that’s associated with my old PC MMOs anymore.

I’ve done most of the old content in my favorite MMOs and logging in feels like I’m working towards retirement rather than enjoying the game. I was really surprised when I felt that way about SWTOR and FFXIV, two of my favorite MMOs.

True they aren’t MMOs in how I personally categorize them, but games like The Division, Destiny 2, SWBF2, and the like have managed to replace the hole for the most part. Single player titles fill the other and since there is like a three-year backlog for me, I have access to lots of AAA games that are now at least 50% off.

I anticipate my next return to MMOs to be Red Dead, but that’s some time from now and I’m actually enjoying the break.

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Sally Bowls

The business term is “friction” it’s more than just start playing. I need to learn what all has changed, remember or relearn what has not, start up a subscription, etc. So I really need to be able to have a couple of months for the game to make that all worthwhile. And so it is easier and safer to keep saying “perhaps next month.”

Pingly
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Pingly

Oh, how I yearn to return to Azeroth.

But I don’t dare. I just started working from home and I don’t trust myself to monitor my breaks correctly. I’m too nice a boss.

It’s better that we are apart, my love…

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starbuck1771

Return to Azeroth work is what you have underlings for. :P

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Rumm

Wildstar

Nobody plays, and nobody else wants to play it because nobody plays.

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Toy Clown

It always comes down to two things:

1. Community having grown toxic to the point I don’t join guilds, shut off general chats and don’t socialize with anyone.

2. Gameplay became too complicated. For example, I’d love to revisit EQ2, but going back every 1-2 years leaves huge learning curve issues that I try to work through, but finally give up on and move to a game I can play without having to look up every little new thing.

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Cypher

3rd time of asking, but I’m so digging EVE right now, subbed up and everything!

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voydd

I loved SWTOR. But every time I think about it’s loot boxes system I puke.

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Sally Bowls

Whereas I thought SWTOR’s lockboxes were better than the rest: you can
spend $ for RNG for your item,
or spend $ to buy the item without RNG,
or spend no RL$ and buy RBG for the item,
or spend no RL$ and buy the item without RNG.

I like flexibility and dislike BoP in cash shop or in game.

Reader

That killed it for me, as well.

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Alex Js.

Negative changes, like changes in some mechanic or in-game area or something that worsen the overall performance. But mostly lack of population. For example, I remember how “alive” the in-game world of LOTRO looked like, with many people moving around almost everywhere, doing their quest things or just doing things like playing music at large cities like Bree, with constant talk in local area chats. Nowadays (when I last logged into it a few months ago) it’s basically a “ghost town” everywhere, with barely active global chat and a very few people just motionlessly idling near the Bree gates. And no, it wasn’t the “time zone” thing – I’ve tried logged in at different times of day, it was same exact experience. And I don’t like playing in such depressingly empty world, even if I’m mostly playing solo.

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Paragon Lost

You do realize that in the case of Lotro or say WoW even, when you have new level caps, new cluster areas for end game activities that that’s where you’ll find most everyone? Mordor is pretty crowded and the areas Gondor and further east also have people. Anyone you do see someplace like Bree is usually an alt leveling through.

All my capped characters tend to use the The Camp of the Host as their base if they’re doing crafting in between adventuring. My lower level characters depending on where they’re at leveling wise usually are at the craft hall in Esteldin, Michel Delving, Thorin’s Hall or Rivendell.

Local chat tends to be pretty dead anymore as if Global Looking For Fellowship (The old way of talking to everyone which is/was Chat1). Most used World Chat (which used to be the Advice Chat channel but was changed in 2015), Trade Channel or rarely the local LLF, which as you pointed out is pretty dead.

Personally I tend to avoid WC because it’s just nasty anymore, SSG/Turbine doesn’t really do much in the way of policing it or the game itself anymore. It’s one of my big disappointments since the server merges of 2015, the community at least on my new home server of Arkenstone pretty much sucks.

WoW servers tend to be pretty busy but if you go to any old cap areas they’ll be sad ghost towns as well, but the city and trade chats are busy. Local area chat is also a ghost town and yet as I said the server could be quite busy and you’d never know it. Basically, this quote of yours…

“And I don’t like playing in such depressingly empty world, even if I’m mostly playing solo.”

is the reality of any mmorpg which has a leveling mechanics system with end game activity clusters and what makes it worse is new content with higher level caps which are than repeated and made worse with each new level cap.

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RJB

Only other mmo i wanna play but can’t is swtor n that’s because honesatly i hate what EA is driving Bioware to do with it, the whole philosphy if it not monetized it’s useless just me personally i think the only good thing about swtor is the story everything else is garbage and it’s a garbage f2p model as well. I just don’t want to contribute to what they are doing with it

Alfredo Garcia
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Alfredo Garcia

NCSoft

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Sray

There’s this ridiculously soul crushing RNG based loot grind for endgame progression that’s been monetized beyond almost all reason by the Evil Architects who publish the game.

I know, you’re thinking “Star Wars Battlefront 2 isn’t a MMORPG.” But Star Wars the Old Republic is.

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Armsbend

I find it awkward to re-learn a complicated game and I have this nagging feeling of guilt when I run into old in game friends.

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Veldan

Changes that made it go too far away from what it once was and from what I loved the game for. This goes for several of my past favourites.

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Castagere Shaikura

Anarchy Online is 16 years old in maintenance mode and they still want you to pay a monthly sub. for full game. I really dislike Funcom. It seems they are trying hard to be the next EA.

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Angel of Def

Nothing I feel like worth my time. After having a DK2 E:D feels boring in non VR and I don’t have the money for a rift. It was the only game I played beside BDO, but honestly BDO isnt offering me anything either so I quit a couple months ago, but frustration with its bs, upgrading gear and having accounts like streamers who just seems to succeed on every damn tri+ while I fail on duo’s with 32 fs.

just whole damn genre feels like nope, no thanks. Guess gaming in general feels more like everyone is out to prod my wallet and has no interest in prodding my imagination or interest.

Keeping my eye on DAoC 2, I mean Camelot Unchained… Maybe AoC but they seem way to eager to use big ideas that sound impossible on todays tech for me, just another SC which I don’t think either are “scams”, just dreamers for leaders. /shrug. Besides, I already tried to love a game with AoC as the used nomenclature, it didn’t turn out well either /glare @ funcom.

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