The Daily Grind: What do you do when you hit a wall in an MMO?

    
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It’s all about forward momentum. As long as there’s a path forward, as long as there’s a way to progress, I’m happy. Even if the going is slow, I’m OK with it knowing that one day I’ll get to where I want to be.

Yet MMOs sometimes throw up a big, nasty wall that stops me dead in my tracks, and that is one of the most disheartening things ever. This past week I’ve been struggling with a quest in LOTRO called The Shadow Over Shathur Munzu. I’ve spent many game sessions inside this small public dungeon, trying to finish a quest an unable to do so. The mobs are too tough, too packed together, and even when I can find a mate to play with, the roving quest mob I need never shows his ugly face. I’ve rage quit at least twice on that.

Usually, my solution to hitting a wall is to walk away from the game for a day or two and then come back with a fresh outlook. But that’s me. What do you do when you hit a wall in an MMO? Do you grind through it, flee from it, research it, overwhelm it with friends, or something else entirely?

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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MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Depends on the wall. In SWTOR, they apparently made hitting the old max level only serve to unlock stuff in your legacy. So I’ve hit 50 two times and then deleted the characters. Working on 3rd one. I’m not sure why I’m bothering with this game, since it seems like they made the level not even matter to the game, and they made creating new characters feel like you have no connection to them.

Often I research ways to get around it/try to figure out how to pass it, or just blow through it by bashing my head on it enough times. Sometimes I just go elsewhere to avoid the wall. Maybe they should just stop trying to put all these walls in our way, and actually make fun content that isn’t about succeeding your way past a wall.

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Dean Greenhoe

I play games for fun. I quit if I can’t climb the wall in an reasonable manner.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

Yup. Quit.

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NeoWolf

The only wall I have ever run into in MMO’s over the years was gating content that forced grouping original LOTRO’s main story was one such problematic wall certain chapters people would spend weeks shouting LFG for groups in general chat to get them done because some chapters were a total pain and no one wanted to do them.
Thankfully the company saw this problem and made all the main story soloable thereby removing the issue of literally being unable to progress the main story.

I love it when companies pay attention to what their communities tell them and action it, it makes everyone happy.

Another example was FFXIV with thier forced grouping dungeon runs that gate features.

What I usually do if I can find no resolution is fairly simple and expected, I unsub and go find a game that doesn’t present me that problem. With lotro I didn’t have to because the devs took notice and fixed the issue. With FF XIV however that I unsubbed because the devs saw the issue but didn’t care for them it was working as intended.. their loss.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

First, I would research the encounter to see if there are other solutions to the problem. Occasionally, if there’s a PUG forming or someone “running” others through the content, I’ll join up with that.

For the most part, if it is content I simply cannot get past, but I don’t need it to progress in the game, I’ll skip it. If it needed to progress, then generally I’ll just stop playing the game and go play one of the hundreds of others available.

I just don’t have time nor inclination to hang my head against brick walls any more.

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calaska

I google it

Godnaz
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Godnaz

I’m very fortunate to have a gaming companion so I rarely game alone. We help eachother attain those high-end goals. <3 u Fae!

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Anstalt

This very rarely happens, so I don’t know for certain.

If the wall is one that I can surmount on my own, then typically I’ll start working on overcoming the wall. Whether that means getting better at playing my class, respeccing or getting a new build, i’ll do it.

If the wall is one that can only be overcome by time, then I’ll assess the fun-to-time ratio and see if it’s worth me spending that time to overcome it. For example, when the horrendous problems with power gaps showed themselves in early WAR, I decided that it wasn’t worth me grinding for 2-3 more months to get to the top of the power curve so that I could have fun. That wall wasn’t worth it, so I quit (and came back later when that 2-3 months had been reduced to 2-3 weeks).

If the wall requires other people to overcome, then I’ll start asking friends for help and usually get it done pretty quickly. The only time this has ever been an issue is when a raid group fell apart (as in, people left the guild), but in that situation I then spent 2 months recruiting and building a newer, more successful raid team.

If the wall cannot be overcome immediately, then I’ll probably be off PvPing whilst I wait for whatever the time constraints are.

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Alex Willis

Single-payer games, obviously.

These days when I hit my MMO walls (and it’s “when”, not “if”) I turn to my “new standards” — XCOM2, Total War: Warhammer 2, the Mass Effect games, and modding Skyrim and not actually playing it.

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Schmidt.Capela

Steam tells me I spent over a thousand hours in Skyrim, if you add the standard and special editions. If Steam counted the time spent modding the game, that number would easily double.

In part that is because Skyrim offers me a lot of what I seek in MMOs; open-ended gameplay, an expansive world, constant updates (as mods, in the case of Skyrim).

Interestingly, I never actually finished the game. My bane in most single-player open-world games is that I get easily distracted by all the rest I can do.

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Bryan Correll

Bang my head against it to see who breaks first.

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Robert Mann

Depends on the wall. The quest you are referencing wasn’t really a big problem, if you find the mobs too much you will hate the dailies that follow. The roving named, though, was a pain. I killed him prior to needing to. Then I had to wait long enough that I went 4 times around the dungeon before the jerk respawned.

That part of that quest is just really poor quest design. The rest of it is fairly on par with not all too challenging of content imo. You either need different gear (improve your imbued LI maybe?), better virtues, something to help, or better combat strategies if you are struggling there. It’s not even particularly hard content to solo.

Now, the more time gating and cash shop walls a game throws at me with no work arounds… that drives me away. Other stuff may or may not, depending upon the circumstances. For example, where you found the mobs there tough I thought they were pushovers. Without a maximized LI. I’d have been fairly upset if they were too much less difficult, given that my character is purely geared through casual play.