I’m going to do something I don’t do a lot in Massively Overthinking — or anywhere, really.
I’m going to ask you to whine.
MOP Kickstarter donor Kayletta sent in this question, which I posed to our writers and our special Patreon guest, Roger, this week:
What’s the most nitpicky detail in an MMO that has caused you to log out/walk away/quit game in annoyance?
Let’s do this!
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): The last thing that made me legitimately log out of an MMO in annoyance was Guild Wars 2’s PvP queue, which lumps Deathmatch and Conquest maps together for some reason. In this instance, all the dailies were capture point based, but a few people picked the Courtyard deathmatch map and got lucky on the map roll, trapping me in a PvP deathmatch I had no interest in for up to 30 minutes. I don’t really have the time to waste on a match I’m not going to enjoy, so I just logged out and alt-tabbed back to EVE for the duration. In the same vein, another pet peeve I have in online games is poor matchmaking algorithms. If I’m queueing as a relative newbie in a MOBA or shooter, it goes without saying that I should not be matched up against a professional level or pre-made team that can just stomp us into the ground. It’s not entertaining for the team that gets stomped, and it can’t be a very good challenge for the winning team.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): MMO things that drive Bree to the brink of madness: When the wrong loot drops 100 times in a row. When the game wants me to sit there and wait 30 minutes for a boat (it’s daring me to quit). When my class changes so dramatically from patch to patch that I barely recognize it. When my screen is covered with half a dozen buttons for the cash shop. “Leavers” who ditch groups after a wipe or after their shiny thing doesn’t drop. Honorable mention: That first and only time my guild went into a Warhammer dungeon and saw the bugged mobs literally bouncing off the walls. That was pretty much my final straw.
I don’t ragequit whole games often, but I’ll quit a session that’s making me snappish, no question, and come back when I’m in a more patient mood.
Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): It’s hard to think of anything nitpicky that’s ever led me to leave a game; when I start playing something for real, I commit. It’s going to take more than nitpicks to drive me off. Sure, the way the question is phrased it’s asking about the most nitpicky, but when you’re classifying “a comprehensive lack of coherent goals for character development and a combat engine that fails to engage” as nitpicky, I think you’ve lost sight of scale.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): I’m sure there have been dozens of examples that I’ve forgotten, but here’s one that comes to mind. The sound of force bubbles in City of Heroes always put my teeth on edge and caused me to abruptly quit groups or log out if someone was using them. Ugh, I can still hear them echoing in my head right now. Petty, yes, but it became an irritation I couldn’t overlook!
Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): Early on in the life of Star Wars: The Old Republic, there were a lot of issues with helmets and female faces. One of the most glaring to me was when pieces of the character’s face would clip outside the helmet. Most of the time it was an ear, the top of the head, or hair. But at one point, it was the character’s nose. My main at the time was an Pureblood Sith that wore a black helmet. I was so frustrated that BioWare continued to have clipping issues and this one being the most ridiculous, so I had to step away for awhile.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I’ve totally been wracking my brain on this one, and I cannot think of a single instance! I mean, I remain pretty nonplussed about most everything that happens in games, relatively speaking. Sure, I may be unhappy with or disappointed in stuff, and I might even express some emotional sentiments, but most people find my level of “rage” to be amusingly mild. I just don’t really get overly aggravated. Even on those rare occasions when things really do annoy me, I am actually so stubborn that I stay there until I resolve the issue instead of logging out because of it.
Fun fact: If someone is griefing me in some way to the point they are obviously trying to force me to log out in a huff, I have been known to grab a book and enjoy myself while I sit there, logged in, getting my own little last laugh. They’ve always broken first! See, I have an evil streak.
I guess the closest thing I could come to that was the (in my opinion) horrendously garish colors and art style of World of Warcraft made me log out of the beta after only minutes and never return. The game’s visuals made me feel sick and gave me a migraine. Other than that, maybe my gaming companions over the years can recall an instance when I stomped off — not counting a person being all stalkery or something (in which case I went to an alt).
Roger: Thanks for allowing me this opportunity, guys. I tend to ignore small details like clipping issues, or stiff character animations. To answer the question though, my nitpicky detail would be the annoying admin message that comes up in Neverwinter to tell you someone won an item in a lockbox. You know the one, “Falafelas the Awfulas has obtained the Phoenix Longbow” or “Alf has obtained the Undead Cat minion.” It’s such a turn-off for me because I have little control over it. I try to hide it behind my hot bar, but some zones reset its position.
Some may say that it’s a free-to-play game and there’s no problem in the studio trying to make some money, but that’s just it. I want to support the game. It stops me because I don’t want to support this slimy tactic. I know where the shop is; I’ve visited it before. This push to get me to spend is just pushing me to find another game.