The Daily Grind: What’s the longest break you’ve ever taken from MMOs – and why?

Oh, cool.

A while back, MMO blogger and fellow SWG Legends player Napyet posted a video about a sudden burst of burnout he was feeling when it came to video games. He explains that after finishing a specific goal in a game, he dipped into a few others but was suddenly struck by an absolute, overwhelming sense of futility, such that he felt so much that he was wasting his time in games that he even got a refund for a game. He rules out life dissatisfaction and the usual sorts of mood swings you might expect, and he points out he’s still looking forward to new titles, as he works through the idea of burnout and feeling “bereft” of part of his identity in the video.

I’ve definitely gone through phases like this before in the past; I’ve gone weeks and even months without serious play. Fortunately, since several of my favorite MMOs came back online in their own ways, I feel comfortably anchored in some treasured homeworlds again and less like I’m looking for something to do. But I’ve definitely experienced funks with games in the past, for all kinds of reasons ranging from lack of time to lack of social connection to work burnout (never mix hobbies and work, people, if you can help it!) and even to just wanting to enjoy a different hobby for a while. I’ve just always circled back to MMOs in the end.

What’s the longest break you’ve ever taken from MMOs – and why?

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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I never took a break since I’ve started playing MMOs ca. 10 years ago. The time spent in MMOs has been fluctuating, though, and I spent much less times with MMOs than I used to.



James Velasquez



FFXIV was my last MMO about 4 years ago. Would like to find another one but haven’t found the right fit yet.

Castagere Shaikura

Two years because Morrowind came out.

Robert Mann

About a year? Usually I end up hopping into one that does not bug me with friends, for something to do online while hanging out with them.

The longer period there is more or less the factor of there not being on that was not on my “Nope!” list that they were into at the time… which meant I’d chat but not play.

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor

Years due to burnout in World of Warcraft from the beginning of Cataclysm to near the end of Legion.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
The Weeb formerly known as Sray

Since games like Destiny, Anthem, and The Division are MMORPGs in my book, I’d probably have to say maybe two or three months tops. If we’re talking “traditional style” MMORPGs like SWTOR or WoW, maybe a year and an half.


6 1/2 years and counting (if you count SW:TOR as an MMO, which it isn’t) or 7 1/2 years since I played a proper MMO.

SW:TOR was the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I came to realise that the games themselves had stopped being fun and each MMO stopped being fun for similar reasons. I was only sticking with the genre out of habit/addiction and because of the friends I had made within the games. I kept seeing the same design mistakes in each MMO I played, I kept seeing those design mistakes leading to less engagement and fragmented communities.

So, when I quit SW:TOR, I set myself some minimum criteria for future MMOs and vowed not to commit to any unless they met that criteria. My playstyle is group- and community-focused because this is the massively multiplayer genre, so I want to be playing with lots of other people. My criteria is as follows:

  • 1) Must be built around horizontal progression
  • 2) Must have deep combat mechanics
  • 3) Must include objective-based open world PvP (e.g. fighting over keeps)
  • 4) Must have an IP that I find exciting/engaging

I require horizontal progression because I’ve watched vertical progression fragment and lessen every MMO community I’ve belonged to, plus it makes 99% of content redundant which is just wasteful.

I require deep combat mechanics because I want to be mentally engaged when in combat, not just going through the motions. I love emergent gameplay too, which is only possible with deep mechanics. Sadly, the current focus on action combat means nearly all games have really shallow combat.

Objective-based open world pvp is simply my favourite type of gameplay. I love being part of massive battles over forts, castles and other objectives. I don’t want full loot, I don’t want free for all, it must be consensual.

The IP, well, purely subjective of course but if I’m going to be spending months or years in a game, I have to actually want to live in that world. Sadly, I can’t seem to connect with Asian IPs – I love the monsters but really dislike the playable characters. With western devs, some of the IPs seem really great but a lot just come across as generic fantasy from the 80s. Despite the fact that orcs/elves/dwarves etc get used a lot in western fantasy, I still maintain that no MMO has done them particularly well.

Despite my long break, I still hold out hope for the MMO space. It’s one unique selling point – being massively multiplayer – is usually ignored by the devs which just means there is so much potential that has yet to be reached.

So, I hang around on sites like this, reading stories and waiting for new announcements. I keep testing out new MMOs in the hopes that one will meet my standards, but none have yet.

Luckily for me, Camelot Unchained looks set to meet all 4 of my criteria :-)

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I left WoW in September 2009 during WOTLK and came back in 2016 for Legion. I hated what the game was turning into after Burning Crusade and wanted nothing to do with it for years. I mostly enjoyed Legion and dont care much for BFA, but somehow i still like playing. Maybe its cause im older now and we all change over time. I would have never liked the current WoW years ago.


I took a 7 year break from City of Heroes once.