I have a mixed relationship with puzzles in MMOs, because they can easily be a huge distraction from a game that’s otherwise proving to be a lot of fun. I know that The Secret World‘s riddle-based quests always left me particularly cold, and Guild Wars 2 jumping puzzles started my eye twitching in ways that usually aren’t healthy. At the same time, though, I love the Kirin Tor world quests in World of Warcraft, and the various dungeon puzzles in Dungeons & Dragons Online really enhanced the experience of making your way through the game’s various adventures.
A lot comes down to how optional the puzzles are and how easy it is to work through them without external knowledge, of course; when I have to use an in-game browser to research things, I’m more likely to start just trawling Wikipedia while realizing an hour later that I’m still logged in to the game whilst reading about nematodes. But they definitely serve as a good way of breaking up the usual routine of questing and exploring. What do you think, readers? Are puzzles in MMOs a good thing? What games have you played that handle them well, and what games do a not-so-great job?