The Daily Grind: What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

The Daily Grind: What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

Earlier this month, Pantheon’s community team tweeted out a question that keeps coming back to me: “What motivates you to play an MMORPG for long periods of time, as in months, sometimes, years?” My first reaction was a pretty common one I bed and was true for me for a long time: friends and guildies! I certainly played some games far longer than I would have otherwise because I wanted to hang out with friends (EverQuest in particular is coming to mind).

But in recent years, when I already “see” my friends and guildies every day in external chats, I’d found games need some other draw too. Housing is probably the biggest one. I don’t usually get sucked in for dailies or anything like that, but give me a house that I love and want to keep up – that I’ll not only log in for but pay for, as my continuing Ultima Online fees prove.

What keeps you logging into MMORPGs over a long period of time?

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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Max Sand

Variety of content. I jump around from end game pve, exploration, casual pvp and world content a game has, if it has a ton of one and not much else, it loses me fairly quickly. WoW and ESO are about the only two I consistently either stay playing or come back to.

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I’ll log in if I have in game goals that are fun to work toward.


Upvote notwithstanding, this actually tends to drive me away instead; if I don’t feel like I’m making measurable progress towards an objective (as in, actually measurable by someone so used to the scientific method he uses it during gameplay), I will abandon that objective, and if the objective was important to me also abandon the game. More so if obtaining the shiny involves RNG in any way, as I can’t stand any kind of grind that involves RNG.

Toy Clown

There’s only been three MMOs that have consistently had me logging in and that was UO for nearly three years, SWG for 7 years and now BDO going on a third year.

I haven’t touched UO since I left it all those years ago, but what kept me logging in was how immensely fun I found it to “play house” combined with the imminent danger feeling of all the PKs and thieves wandering around. Frustrations aside, it was still some of the most fun I had and it was always an adrenalin rush leaving town limits and sitting on my doorstep before opening it with a key. I made lots of friends in those days and started RPing there.

SWG also shared similarities with UO that I loved and that was owning a house, and my first real experience with in-depth character customization. There were things to learn! People to see! I think I enjoyed the SWG community the most of any MMO I played, and that includes RP and non-RP communities. I had lots of friends playing through SWG and it was easy getting to know the occupants of the server due to how we had to socialize in order to gain skills, get buffed from entertainers and stand in line for medic buffs as well. I enjoyed that every item in the game could be used as house deco and crafted items could be named. I loved logging into my player cities and being part of a community within a community with my city-mates. I could go on, but I think we all know what we miss from SWG!

BDO keeps me logging in for a lot of the same reasons the previous ones did, and that is I love playing house, so to speak. I’m more focused on RP these days than actual gameplay and I rarely touch PvP unless someone forces me into it. But I enjoy the realism of the game. The community is sadly pretty crappy as a whole, but there’s some gems in there that keep themselves separated from the toxic side of the community. The developers release weekly patches full of content and I love sitting down with a cup of coffee and combing through the patch notes every Wednesday morning, then logging in and checking out the changes and new contents.

In a nutshell: A positive, supportive community, housing and lots of customization, and things to do other than combat.

Malcolm Swoboda

New story every 1-3 months. Not utterly removing old story/setup without heavy consultation (looking at you WoW Cata onward, SWL, RIFT Hammerknell, etc).


Interesting character building system. Replayability of content. Regular new content and new races and ability trees. Friends that play as well as friendly non toxic community.


Feeling like I have something to do in the game, that’s what keeps me playing. FFXIV has loads of content for example, but when that content is basically “level this to max” and the gameplay isn’t that different from what you’ve already done, then that gets quite boring. Then the rest of the content was basically “get lucky” in order to max out stats. Probably needless to say, but I quit the game after a while. I like the game, but nah.

Another thing I like is challenge. People thought I was complaining for nothing when I said that I’ve got nothing to do really early on in the first FFXIV expansion, but the raid wasn’t released, I had beaten the most difficult content available and gotten loot for everybody in the guild, and the rest was pretty much “wait until node spawns” which could be like 2 hours between each one. That wasn’t exactly the fun and engaging gameplay I was looking for. Besides, that means it’d take fucking ages for casuals to do just about anything at max level.

So… having stuff to do and work toward is important, and I don’t mind killing enemies and getting 0.1% progress for each one. However, when that isn’t even rewarded when I’ve reached 100% then that just sucks. It’s like killing a boss, then it drops no loot.

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Two things:
1) Continued story (GW2 does an excellent job with the Living World content with a cast of characters I genuinely care for)
2) GOOD personal housing (along the lines of EQ2).

Cosmetics fashion, fun and rewarding collection quests and any sort of “now that you’re max-level” sort of progression systems are also a plus.

Dug From The Earth

1. Friends who want me to play with them
2. Continued game story
3. Content that feels new or offers me a dynamic experience (like pvp, no match is ever the same)
4. Being able to continue to progress my character without having to raid.

Pretty much in that order

Sally Bowls


The correct answer seems to be “OCD combined with a shallow real life.” But I suspect the question is going for better sounding but less honest answers. :-)