The Daily Grind: What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs?

For you it's all in a day.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a very explainable pull back to Final Fantasy XI. It’s easy to explain because, well, it’s the game’s 15th anniversary and I’ve been reading a lot of vintage FFXI humor. What’s not so easy to explain is why there’s a certain time of year, every fall, when I get perfectly nostalgic for killing things in Gustaberg. That specific region. I don’t even like Gustaberg, but every year, like clockwork, September rolls in and I think I should go back to visit.

Why? I couldn’t tell you; I also know there’s a certain point of summer that always makes me want to play World of Warcraft, and playing Mass Effect 2 always makes me think of Star Trek Online fondly. These things don’t line up to the same timeline, I don’t have strong associations between the two, but these seemingly irrelevant experiences line up in my memory. What about you? What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs? Is it a time of year? Certain movies or songs? Or even just hearing the right turn of phrase?

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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Shit. They were fun! I still go back to Everquest to have that TRUE MMORPG feel. The feeling of exploration. The feeling of fear that I could die. The feeling of anticipation of my next ding. The feeling of satisfaction of the extreme customization making my character truly unique in an online world. It felt like a real adventure that appeared endless (there were so many places to go and things to do). I miss that light hearted, moderate fantasy, somewhat cartoon yet real, theme and atmosphere.

MMOs today have lost that simple thing, and for many reasons which I see as the result of maturation. I wasn’t surprised by it, but disappointed. My view of the potential future (fully realized virtual worlds) seem wasted, in favor of (what I saw as the opposite) a more watered down restricted experience.

But here is how I saw it…

The genre went public. When I started MMORPGs only people like me were playing them let alone knew they existed. It allowed a form of integrity to extend in the digital world. You were responsible for what you character did because others remembered.

So the audience expanded bringing in new expectations of what the online experience should be. The exposure became greater. I couldn’t tell you what the hell 989 studios was thinking when they made Everquest. Mostly because I was too busy playing it. Today I could give you the financial run down of the publisher, developer and gossip of the programmers. Being someone in the software industry, thats a tremendous influence on design.

The cost increased. As the genre became more mainstream, and more and more people started playing, leading to more online content of peoples feelings of the genre, created more income, which lead to corporate strategy to make even more income simply by making the game bigger and prettier (but at the same time forgetting why they worked in the first place).

And now we are here (whatever this may be). While I appreciate the evolution and new experiences brought to the genre, I would be lying if I didn’t say I still feel saddened still believing what it could have become.

Rolan Storm

a) couldn’t have said better if I wanted to;
b) we have some promising MMORPG that still can become VR.

“There are a lot of good people here, Colonel. Even with incomplete bios. Just give them a chance.”

Mr Poolaty

When it starts to snow in the late fall I always get nostalgic for the original Simcity on SNES lol

I think it may be something associated with the weather around the time you started or something in the game weather or seasonal wise…

Danny Smith

FFXI is the mmo version of Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines for folks who played it “if you mention it, someone reinstalls it”. I love FFXIV, its my main mmo now, but every so often someone will mention Vana’diel, or youtube will recommend me the Windurst theme on the homepage and that pulls you right back out.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of mmos in my time and still love listening to things like my WoW soundtracks but XI is the only one that can pull me back like Bloodlines does for single player rpgs.

-though finally getting the headless horsemans mount in WoW killed my halloween revisits to it finally :p

Robert Mann

… not me. I will play a game again because of what I remember from the game, and wanting to re-experience some things. Not because of other stimuli.

Most MMOs fail there, outside the people I know who may be in them still.


I do get occasional yearnings, but nothing with a regular pattern. The triggers are usually reading about something similar in tone to the game’s scenario or playing a game that reminds me of something else I played in the past.


Just about anything in the news makes me nostalgic for my old EQ/WoW guild chat. We had two rules: No discussion of politics, and no discussion of religion.

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I can’t think of any but I must say I’m easily influenced by relevant things: an article on MOP, a screenshot, reading a related book or hearing a soundtrack, things like that.

Bryan Turner

I don’t dwell on it, usually I get bored and think I haven’t played that game in months.

David Goodman

“What seemingly unrelated things make you want to return to old MMOs?”

The price of tea in china.

Look, it has to do with SOMETHING.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

Spring time and hearing pseudo-celtic music always makes me want to go back to the Grizzly Hills in WoW. It’s still one of my favorite zones in any game — and the music definitely helps that.

Also, the song “Hooch” makes me miss the bar in Old Athens in Anarchy Online.