The Daily Grind: How do you handle content lulls in MMORPGs?

MOP reader Joel recently wrote into us with a link to a Dark Legacy Comic (#634) that succinctly captures the problem of content lulls in MMOs. It features a bored World of Warcraft hero character staring at his friends list full of buddies who haven’t logged on in weeks (“wake me for prepatch,” one friend’s tag reads); he then becomes super excited at a newly delivered mail, only to find out it’s an automated brew-of-the-month club missive telling him to share his drinks with his friends. Womp womp.

“I can’t speak for everyone but this episode really spoke to me as there have been a lot of times I’ve felt exactly this way in quite a few MMOs that have hit a lull,” Joel wrote.

I thought it was particularly relevant this summer for MMORPG players; World of Warcraft is in a bit of a lull right now ahead of the launch of its expansion, while Guild Wars 2’s next big patch has been delayed so significantly that I heard the word “drought” being kicked around yesterday.

So how do you handle content lulls in MMORPGs? Do you stick it out, play alts, grind cash? Or do you wander away to play something else?

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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kjempff
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kjempff

I am no good at game-hopping, so when I stop playing something it is either for good or year long breaks. I am a one game person, playing full on hardcore on one game till I am done with it, and then the next one. So when a “lull” happens, either I make alts, and/or get bored and don’t come back till years later.. can’t sit around waiting for a patch in 2 months, because I will have moved on by then.

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Golden Social

Not well, I’d say. I generally waste a bunch of money on other MMOs during that boring WoW period between new expansion announcement and pre-patch. The biggest problem for me with expansion content lulls is that pretty much everything I could possibly do when I log on feels pointless, and without meaningful character progression I don’t want to log on outside of raids.

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Jokerchyld

Content lull?? Whats that? I play ESO so I always have something to do.

Let’s see this year alone, I have Dragon Bones (never started), Summerset just came out (still playing) and I look forward to Murkmire and Wolfhunter before the year is out. That is not a fluke. This cadence happens every year.

Don’t have content droughts here.

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mr_gibbins

True dat

I get more of an interest lul regardless of content, so I wander off and come back to stuff as suits me. I certainly don’t hang about trying to find stuff to do and stay in one game.

Had a 3 month break right as Dragon Bones dropped, knew I would come back and do it later, bonus is that that way there’s always something I haven’t done, or I come back to pvp for a few months instead of pve if I was feeling bored of trials progression on the hard modes etc.

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Toy Clown

I have several ways, and it depends on the MMO as to how I handle it. The main way I deal with it is participating in roleplay, then I’m creating content with other players. If I’m RP-lite, I’ll take up long-term goals, or take a view toward hard-to-earn achievements. For example, it took me about 4-5 months to build the Epheria ship in BDO and I’ve started to get items together for a wagon that has similar requirements as the ship had. I’m also in the process of collecting all the knowledge in the world, which I know will take a long time.

I enjoy MMOs that have long-term goals that can be achieved without needing the help (or too much of) of other players.

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Hirku

I handle content lulls by starting a game years late, playing slowly, getting frustrated with the game and/or its developers, find another MMO that’s been around for years and start the cycle again.

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Zen Dadaist

Take the opportunity to catch up on random bits and bobs that have fallen by the wayside. If I’ve mostly taken care of that then kick back and do whatever with my friends. Unless they’ve stopped playing because of the lull *sighs in Warframe*. Then I end up playing other games myself, waiting for my friends to come back for whatever new thing is upcoming.

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Fervor Bliss

When a game lulls, my group has a chat, we gather our passports, pack our bags and go become tourist in another game.

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Angerina

I use my PC mainly for MMOs, but when the content runs out my husband and I will move to the sofa to play something on the PS4. Detroit: Become Human currently fills the lack of new content in GW2, after that we might finally play The Last of Us.

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A Dad Supreme

I still have God of War, Assassin’s Creed Unity/Origins, Uncharted 4, Farcry 5 as well as Witcher 3 (which I’m playing now) to get through on PS4, lol. Now you’ve reminded me of two more I have to play.

It’s getting to the point where I’m starting not to miss MMOs and all the nonsense that comes with them during all of this PvP Battle Royale/Survival/Match Play era.

Reader
Arktouros

Games are just a source of entertainment. They aren’t hard. If they’re not entertaining me anymore I just go find something else to entertain me instead. If I feel frustrated by their new direction, lack of game updates, or the cash shop then I just drop the game and go browse the ocean of game content out there made or being made and go be entertained.

I learned pretty early on in MMO gaming that complaining rarely does anything and just wastes your time when you could already be moving onto other things.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

I first started playing MMOs when my wife became pregnant with twins 17 years ago. There were so many late nights in preparation (painting rooms, buying/building furniture) before/after my kids were born that I had to fill it with gaming during off-hours. My usual 4-5 hour activities in golf and adult baseball were no longer an option. MMOs and their expansive content was perfect.

I used to find lots of other things to do during MMO content droughts in those days. It was usually just about farming mobs, trying to solo impossible things, exploration and a “hardcore” raiding phase. This usually meant adding people who were total strangers to my Friend’s List after just one run if they seemed like a “competent” player.

Later as years passed, it became more about alts. After maxing characters and raiding with more efficiency now at leveling in MMOs, content wouldn’t last nearly as long as when I first started playing. I would roll a different faction to see what their storylines were like (FFXI/SWTOR/WoW) in those dead times. Alts never got into raiding but was more of a “let’s see how this class plays” thing.

Now as MMOs have come to be almost complete shit for the most part and my kids are older, I am more like the missing friends on that guys list rather than the guy frantically searching for friends to log in. I usually don’t wait around for expansions now and move onto other things like console gaming.