The Daily Grind: When do you know it’s time to stop playing an MMO?

    
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There are red flags, that's the point.

It’s possible I just haven’t played a large enough number of MMOs, but I’m relatively certain that there are no games which pop up a helpful notice telling you to stop playing the game forever at a certain point. That being said, I know that I personally have signs indicating I should probably stop playing. If I find myself dreading logging in, for example. If I no longer can answer the question of why I’m playing. If I lose all of my RP partners and see it as a relief rather than a loss. If certain individuals are associated with the game. You get the idea.

As much as we might say that certain things lead us to leave the game, I think most of us have a more organic system; it’s not one thing that causes us to drop WildStar or Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars 2 from our play rotation, it’s a lot of things that we tie back to one observation. But perhaps that’s just me. Tell me, dear readers: When do you know it’s time to stop playing an MMO? Do you ever regret making the decision when you do?

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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Toy Clown

It’s usually a culmination of several factors, and basically at least 3 of the following means I’m stepping away and probably not coming back:

1. There’s nothing to do in the game other than grinding levels or doing dailies ad nauseum.
2. Seeing my favorite class become something different than I choose it for.
3. Toxic community: Extreme bullying and negativity in-game, on forums, reddit, posts in MoP.
4. Toxic roleplay community. (This is a big one since they’re the ones I hang with in an MMO.)
5. Development not communicating with the playerbase.
6. Over-monetization and micro-transactions revolving around RNG and gambling.
7. Outfits and other cash shop items cost more than an outfit in RL would.

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Scrungle

I simply stop when I get bored.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

When the devs suck my fun out of the game.

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John Bagnoli

I think like most others it is the nebulous concept of no longer having fun, mutatis mutandis, the exact reason can vary but it all circles back to this. For me, if there is something I seriously dislike about a game it will usually prevent me from playing in the first place. If I’m having fun, I can usually overlook flaws so they don’t necessarily get me to quit. It is more that when I’m no longer having fun, a game’s problems can no longer be ignored.

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mcsleaz

When I stop. I’m the player who plays for mnths or yrs and then one day I just stop logging in. I can never predict when that day will be, it just happens all of a sudden.

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Utakata

When my pigtails start to get irritated at the tiniest things that are not in my favor. Followed by my monitor turning blue in the face of pronounced explicits…

“Um…I think Mr. Eliot was speaking of a more long term vacation, Uta.”

Oh! …then when I am doing that more frequently with the MMO I am playing than I should. :(

Edit/PS: When the game stops being fun in other words…like many have posted before me in varying degrees.

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Adri

Yeah same for me : No fun = no game. When I’m pissed off by a lot of stuff ingame it’s time to stop. Additional things come also in play like my friendlist ist offline all the time or I possess everything I want and there is nothing new or interesting to do for me.
My newest thing is when I play MMOs like singleplayer games with no human interaction in the game at all and deactivating all chats so it’s just me and a bunch of (more or less) “intelligent” NPCs running about.

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mysecretid

I usually realize it’s time to quit when I realize that I’m not really focused on what I’m doing when I log into a game. I’m not really paying attention, and I’m thinking about others things I’d rather be doing instead of playing.

Other times, though, I quit because a bunch of things which have been sort of annoying in the game finally hit a critical mass, and I have that “Screw this, I am done, at least until things improve noticeably”.

That’s what happened with me and Star Wars: The Old Republic — too many bad decisions and bad policies on the part of the people making and releasing the game, and I finally got to the point where the fun I used to have in-game was now significantly outweighed by the things which annoyed me. So I left.

My opinions, anyway,

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Danny Smith

Most of the time i just notice i havent logged in months and delete an mmo. Guild Wars 2 hit that wall with scarlet briars cringefest a good while back but i still wasnt really that conscious of dropping it. The only one that stands out is World of Warcraft. I was in the middle of a raid in Warlords of Dreanor and all of a sudden just felt an overwhelming feeling of “what the fuck am i even doing? i’m not having any fun at all so why am i playing this?” and i just force quit, uninstalled the game and havent touched it since.
I think, unless the devs do something in particular that really, really puts you off like changing your class completely so its not what you like anymore or something, most mmo end points are a whimper not a bang. You just log in less and one day notice its been an expansion or two and theres no incentive to play anymore.

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mysecretid

I’ve experienced those sudden “What am I even doing here? I’m not even having fun” moments in games as well. Like you, I’m usually gone pretty fast after that moment arrives.

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Rick Mills

Usually it happens when I get far enough behind everyone else in gear, achievements or dungeons that I don’t want to catch up anymore. Typically I’ll then level any alts I have to the max (for the next expansion) and switch to something I’m not relevant in.

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Little Bugbear

For me it’s normally when the game has made a change I don’t like (Cataclysm’s class balance) or if the community gets really bad.