Back in the days of Final Fantasy XI, if I didn’t have at least three hours to play the game I rarely would bother logging in. I loved the game, but odds were low I was going to get anything accomplished if all I had time for was half an hour of play; it’d feel like an appetizer at best, not a satisfying play session.
Strangely, this feeling hasn’t actually changed for me through the years as much as you might think. At this point, I want at least an hour and a half before I’ll consider a play session worthwhile, despite the fact that I can get a lot more done in the same amount of time. While three hours in FFXI might get me most of a level, I can easily level up twice in World of Warcraft in half that amount of time… but if I only have time to get most of a level there, I’ll feel like I didn’t really have enough time to play.
But this might have more to do with my own way of planning out my days. What do you think, dear readers? How much time is a satisfying play session for an MMO?