Leaderboard: How much time should you put in to become a great player in the typical MMO?

Earlier this week, GIbiz put out a piece on the Shanghai Dragons, the Overwatch League e-sports team representing China. In a letter to fans, the team appears to have inadvertently revealed that it’s grotesquely overworked; in bragging that the team has the “most intensive training scheme among all the teams,” the team manager admitted that the group trains 12 hours a day, six days a week. That’s 72 hours a week.

As GIbiz points out, not only does this “seem to fly in the face of Blizzard’s goals for a sustainable league that supports its players,” it also doesn’t seem to actually be working, as the Dragons haven’t won a single game in 32 matchups. It’s almost as if hustle/crunch culture exhausts and drains people rather than beefs them up!

Most of us are never going to be, or even aspire to be, professional e-sports gamers to the degree that someone will pay us thousands of dollars per year to train and play. But I bet most of us do aspire to be decent or even great at the games we invest the most time in. So for this week’s Leaderboard, I thought it would be fun to explore just how much time you think you need to put in to be a great player of the typical MMORPG?

How much time should you put in to become a great player in the typical MMO?

  • More than 50 hours a week, or significantly more than a full-time job (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Between 35 and 45 hours a week, about as much as a full-time job (5%, 9 Votes)
  • Between 20 and 30 hours a week, about as much as a part-time job (12%, 22 Votes)
  • Under 20 hours a week, less than a part-time job (7%, 12 Votes)
  • The amount of time doesn't matter as long as you play some every day (5%, 9 Votes)
  • The amount of time doesn't matter as long as you're training the right skills under the right conditions (25%, 45 Votes)
  • The amount of time doesn't matter because becoming truly great is innate rather than taught or practiced (5%, 9 Votes)
  • I don't particularly aspire to become a great player in the typical MMORPG (24%, 43 Votes)
  • It's not possible to become a great player in the typical MMORPG (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else - tell us in the comments (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Don't know / no response / elf butts / view tally (8%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 154

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42 Comments on "Leaderboard: How much time should you put in to become a great player in the typical MMO?"

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kalech

I try to be the best that I personally can be at my chosen role (PvE). If I tank, I try to be the best tank I can be. I will read up on abilities, builds and I’ll sim gear etc. But I’m not going to force myself to play the game everyday, or specific amounts of time. For me, the key to learning has been maintaining an interest. If you’re interested and enjoying something, it’s easier to learn. But if I were to force myself to practice tanking 10 hours a day, I’d end up rather pissing glass than logging onto the game.

Perhaps putting such insane hours into an MMO is something I would’ve done as a teenager, but I find that as an adult I just don’t care that much anymore. I put the effort in because I enjoy it, but if it becomes boring I’d probably just stop playing. I have countless other games I could play instead, and real life work/friends/family/etc that matter a whole lot more to me than mmo performance.

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Cosmic Cleric

There was no “I spent the night before playing sleeping at a Holiday Inn Express” option, for being a great MMO player.

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Danny Smith

I think it depends on the person and how they play. I’ll use me and my friends in FFXIV as an example. I have more overall time put in and in my friends am easily the best at raiding. But i am also the poorest and make no money from the crafting game. Meanwhile friends who cannot deal with raiding play the market and are swimming in money. The interesting thing is since i put more time in i got all the crafters and gatherers to cap, they only got up the ones they adore and put their time into. Its less time but for me it was a completionist thing, for them it was following their specific appeal and passion game wise. So clearly me putting in more time doesnt mean jack when they are predisposed to excel because its what they enjoy. Same with the few that feel about pvp like i do about pve.

If you really, really love the gameplay or subject matter i think you need to put less time in to get better, not more. On average at least.

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Morgan

MMO’s will never be competetive in the esports scene if they continue to waste peoples time with a grind/ gear based PvP. Being “great” (and I do get what you mean by great) in an mmo depends on the systems in play.

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socontrariwise

A “great” player or a “competitive” player?
I think I am a great player if I play fair, am polite, friendly and helpful with others and enjoy my time. Do I care about being competitive? No, that is what my job is asking for enough, thanks.

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Utakata

A great player? What is that? I’m just here to play the games that I enjoy. So /elf butts I guess? o.O

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Utakata

…looks like a few have already beaten me to this. :(

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Ashfyn Ninegold

What constitutes a ‘great’ MMO player, anyway? Someone who runs a happy guild? Someone with 1000 people on their friends list? Someone who sucks up content instantly the moment it’s released? Someone who’s done all the achievements? Run all the group content? Shows up and doesn’t screw up? Tops the PvP leaderboards? Knows the location of every thing in the game? Can tell you exactly how to run every quest, dungeon and raid? Has maxed out all crafters? Has a gazillion in gold?

There are so many reasons we play and enjoy MMOs. I’m really, really good at starting. That’s my forte. I’ve played more alts to level 20 than anyone on the planet; my path is littered with downloads from games I’ve forgotten I played. But that’s what I’m good at, giving MMOs a chance to entice me to play past level 20.

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Tithian

“What constitutes a ‘great’ MMO player, anyway? ”

Context matters. Since the question was framed around performance, in this instance a great player = a player with top tier performance in his preferred game mode (PvE, PvP, crafting, whatever).

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Bryan Correll

What constitutes a ‘great’ MMO player, anyway?

If other players are happy to see you log in, you’re a great player.

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Sally Bowls

Although that could mean something very different in a full-loot PvP game; it could just be you are rich and incompetent.

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Bryan Correll

it could just be you are rich and incompetent.

Then I’d run for elected office!

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Utakata

Conversely you could be a great player…but other players run for the hills every time you log on. :(

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Sally Bowls

Once again, I am peeved the title does not answer the article.

My answer to the question “HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD YOU PUT IN TO BECOME A GREAT PLAYER IN THE TYPICAL MMO?” is zero hours more than you enjoy; zero hours where the benefit is only getting better. If I saw “good at MMO” (or good at FreeCell or good at solitaire) on a resume applying for something other than a professional video game player, it would make me slightly less likely to hire them. IMO it is a dubious life choice. Other than personal entertainment, it is hard to defend MMOs as great life choices. There is nothing wrong with watching TV or playing MMOs for entertainment. However, being good at it does not strike me as an overly worthy goal.

————-

But the article seems to be discussing “HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD a world-class professional PUT IN TO BECOME A GREAT PLAYER IN THE TYPICAL MMO?”

That warrants a very different answer. To start with, the idea that 72 hours a week is not sustainable is valid for the bottom 99.9% but absurd for the top .1%. Students in med/law school, especially valedictorian in a top-5 school, associates looking for a few million dollar payout from making partner after seven years, startups, especially high-tech startups would not find the 72 ridiculous. A july ’15 piece on Apple had quotes like “”many emails arrive after 10 pm, people still finishing their work” and ” “expect to work 15 hours a day even on weekends and during vacation…forget your evenings as you will be on China calls.” And workers are doing it year-round, not just in training season. OTOH, IMO people (except for you and I) tend to claim they work (and have sex) longer, harder and better than they actually do.

How many hours do you think the average Olympic gold medal winner spent practicing when they were in training? (Insert Canadian Curling joke here)

Just because millions of golfers spend little time practicing, does not mean the best .00001% are idle.

TigerWoods.JPG
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Bryan Correll

You left out:

  • hit the bar looking for blondes.
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    Sally Bowls

    If you include the resulting aerobic exercise regimen in his workout time, he was well above 12 hours a day.

    DeadlyAccurate
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    DeadlyAccurate

    There are a couple of younger women on my Twitter feed who talk about their platinum and better rankings in Overwatch. I’m excited to get silver. I play to the best of my ability, so long as it’s still enjoyable. I try to do well, and sometimes I do great, but I’m not turning it into a job.

    Minimalistway
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    Minimalistway

    None … have fun, that’s what games all about, if you are bad at games and having fun? well done, you are doing great, keep at at.