The Daily Grind: How much does personal performance matter to you in an MMO?

    
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le roar

As I’ve stated on many occasions, I have no interest in progression content in MMOs. I know from plenty of experience doing it that I’m fully capable of taking part in it, but I don’t want to anymore and thus eschew it. But despite that fact, I tend to work really hard on mastering my rotation, building and gearing my characters properly, and otherwise developing the muscle memory necessary to still play at that level. It’s an element of personal pride, that I know what I’m doing and demonstrate that fact by doing it well.

This is not a feeling I expect everyone to mirror; there are a lot of people who either have no interest in progression content and play with a level that is consistent with that desire, or players who are into progression content but play at a lower level when they’re not actively in the middle of progression content. Both of these approaches make sense. So today I ask how that ties in with your own personal experiences, dear readers. How much does personal performance matter to you in an MMO? Do you take a more relaxed attitude toward your performance, do you work hard to be the best you can for PvP or PvE, or do you fall somewhere in the middle?

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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nobleeinherjar

I’m much more relaxed these days when it comes to stuff like that. WoW basically killed that in me. In FFXIV, I can do Ex content with the best of them, but I don’t do Savage stuff. I rarely mess with materia. I stop at knowing my rotation and the best time to use cooldowns and whatever.

If I do much more than that for too long, I start going down this weird spiral where I resent modern MMO trends. Whatever that means.

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Chad Morgan

I mostly solo these days. Group on occasion. Raided heavy in the original EQ. Got burnt out. Still, I build my characters to beat snot out of the game. I work on my rotation and skills. I read articles to learn something I might not have discovered otherwise. I try stupid stuff soloers are not meant to do solo.

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Sean McCoy

I always min/max my character and my ability to play as much as I can. I also avoid most progression type-content in games these days, but I always ensure my character and personal skill are at the best they can be within those boundaries.

That said, I sort of miss the days of MMO’s where larger scale encounters could sort of mask individual performance. 40 player raids were nightmares in classic WoW from a logistics standpoint, but it did allow for some level of personal skill mitigation. You could bring 10-20 amazing players, 10 average players, and 10 not-so-great players and still make progress and have a great time. It felt more inclusive that way. As the game started shrinking the raid size over the years it became less viable to bring along the weaker players, which I felt detracted from the experience a bit.

Bad players can still be wonderful people and fun to have around from a social aspect. But in most modern MMO’s there is very little room to bring them along. In FFXIV, the 8 player raid size doesn’t lend itself to mediocrity. I do enjoy their 24 player raids, however.

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Christmas Dog

Optimization is very important to me. Not to the point of some people where I’m buying things like VPNs to get a lower latency or extreme things like that, but I enjoy playing at the best level I can. I like seeing my character’s performance grow as I become more skilled or learn new tactics. To me, that’s the whole point of an RPG: advancing my character.

In group content I don’t really understand not wanting to improve. It’s only beneficial, and in most cases like WoW, it isn’t exactly difficult to learn a basic rotation. In the time it takes you to join a dungeon and wipe a few times before getting kicked you could have just read a WoWhead guide for your class.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

I play games because they give me an enjoyable place to be, not because I hit certain milestones. I like having a character who develops his/her own story, and games that provide a sense of immersion in another world are my favorites.

In terms of progression, that means that, while I enjoy a feeling of ever-increasing power on the part of my character and mastery of combat and crafting on my part as a player, I’m enjoying the experience regardless of whether or not a specific dungeon run or other event is a success or failure. Either one is fodder for role-playing my character and being in the world.

In other words, while success in ever-harder challenges is fun, I can fail multiple times and still have a wonderful time because I only play games for which the actual process of playing them is fun in-and-of itself.

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IronSalamander8 .

PvP I don’t really care, I have shooters for that and if I can’t ignore it, I likely won’t play that MMO (with rare exceptions like WAR).

PvE, I usually strive to do well and to play well. Even when soloing I like to know my class and perform above average at it. As far as progression, I’m not concerned about world first or any of that nonsense but I do like being able to hold my own in any high end group content I participate in.

Demirincar
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Demirincar

I try to play to the best of my abilities by learning boss mechanics and knowing my character’s skill set but making one or two mistakes during rotations isn’t gonna bother me. I have a mental disability so I know I’m never gonna be able to do perfectly timed rotations anyway. I strive for the best stats I can achieve gearwise to make up for lack of player skill. As long as we clear the raid/dungeon, I don’t care if I’m not top DPS.

kjempff
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kjempff

Is performance the same as player skill in your book?
Player skill and progression goes hand in hand, or it should. If it is progression without increasing challenge to the player (player skill), then it is poorly designed; often defined by flat number increase (Diablo3 is an example of poorlydesigned progression).

Player skill includes knowledge, experience with various situations, target behaviors/combinations, dealing with unexpected, efficiency, rotations(if it is that kind of game), twitch skills, social skills(knowing other players reaction in co-op or pvp), picking the right gear/stats (sometimes situational), and more.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I want to mash buttons and watch things die. I don’t have the time nor patience to learn more than I need to get past normal PvE content. In competitive games like Rocket League and Overwatch, I try a little harder to improve my skill, but again, Time is a limiting factor in how much effort I can put into that.

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Yaner

If I am not doing well then I’m generally not having fun. I aim to do the best I can within my abilities. I don’t try to be the best because there is plenty of people younger with more time than me, but I try to aim for upper tier if I can. If I am not great at a game then I typically move on to something else.