The Daily Grind: How do you deal with jealousy and FOMO in your MMORPGs?

    
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The Daily Grind: How do you deal with jealousy and FOMO in your MMORPGs?

Earlier this week, Polygon ran a piece on Animal Crossing: New Horizons players who were not happy. It’s not because of the game, or the devs, or nerfs, or bugs, or anything like that. It’s because, according to these folks, social media is busy enshrining the best characters, coolest outfits, best rooms, niftiest decor, and “regular” players feel very much left out, as if they’re playing an entirely different game. One gamer said he felt “shabby and inadequate,” while another noted he/she felt really good about his/her museum but came to Twitter only to realize “everyone else has just finished constructing the [M]esopotamian empire.”

“It’s like the Instagram effect that comes with seeing what rad time other people are having and then feeling bad about your comparatively boring life, but applied to a video game,” article author Patricia Hernandez opined.

FOMO and jealousy have long been an issue in MMOs, of course, since we can see other players in our games all day long, and it’s not just some free-to-play problem. Some MMO developers have willingly exacerbated these feelings under the deeply misguided and potentially harmful belief that it is envy that begets high-level play and retention. For example, here’s a former WildStar boss, explaining why he wanted raiders to get all the best stuff: “Having people run around in that awesome raid gear that you’re like, ‘Holy crap, where did you get that?’ and then not seeing everyone in the city in the same stuff because you dumbed the raids down so any schmuck could do it.” Gee, wonder whatever happened to that game?

Anyhow, I don’t really think Animal Crossing is going for that on purpose, but it happens anyway. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” yes, but avoiding comparison is hard as heck in the modern world, especially when studios are using it for marketing and psychological tricks to part you from your money – and make no mistake, people posting their elaborate constructions on Twitter are performing free marketing for Nintendo. So how do you handle it? How do you deal with jealousy and FOMO in your MMORPGs?

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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Ririrawr
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Ririrawr

sigh, kids

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

I play for ME. What another person has, whether they paid for it or grinder for it, is no concern for me. My character experience is based off of MY works and efforts in game.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I don’t worry about what other people are doing or having in MMORPGs. I imagine if I did, it would hurt my personal enjoyment. I’m about having my own fun experience though, I don’t care what others have or what level they are, etc.

Actually I sort of laugh at the people who rush to have all this stuff and levels but then have almost no knowledge of the game. High-level players who are severely lacking in-game knowledge because they rushed to get to the end game or high level, we often would call those people n00bs (far different than newbies).

I’m not envious of the 1% in real life either, the majority of them sort of disgust me as people. I don’t need what they have, and if I had the money they had I’d use it far differently so that I didn’t end up being like they are.

That’s one of the things that is so great about PvE games, you don’t really have to worry about levels or what others have.

Who cares what others have or what point others are in the game? Isn’t the point to play and enjoy the game? Is this why so many people avoid playing older games, they feel that too many people have too much stuff there already or something and they’d feel inadequate?

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Ah, social media which I don’t take part in. Guess I am not very social :)

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Zero_1_Zerum

Games with cash shops, I do my best to ignore what other people are wearing. They didn’t earn it by playing the game, they spent money on it.

But, stuff I know is earnable by playing the game, but only by doing content I never play (PVP), does give me a bit of envy. Especially if the devs haven’t made a PVE equivalent to that sort of gear.

I do like having bit of shiny, flashy pixels and polys in the games I play, but at the end of the day, it’s all just pixels and polys.

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Toy Clown

I had to laugh reading this because it’s so true! I just hadn’t thought about it before, usually opting out of social media when I find whoever runs them has tastes that don’t run parallel to mine in what is aesthetically pleasing.

FFXIV probably hits me the most with this. When they introduced awesome glamours that could only be obtained from raids, my heart sank and I felt the strongest sense of FOMO I’ve ever felt. I had to stop playing FFXIV because I was unable to beat group content when game mechanics changed to playing whack-a-mole with abilities. It was the first time ever I had been unable to get through the MSQ, locked up behind a 12-man trial where I had the worst people experiences to deal with on top of pushing through pain issues. So I stopped. I resubbed to do the holiday events for the glamours, but immediately stopped the sub when I finished, berating myself for playing a game where I can never achieve getting the things I most want.

I know it takes work, or money, to get what you want, but there is a line in games where I have to ask myself if it’s worth it. Thankfully there are lots of choices of games to play on the market now, so I can remove anything that gets me frustrated like this.

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Skardon

to possibly save you a google search like i had to do, fomo means fear of missing out (though i see it in the tags now)

kjempff
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kjempff

I think I am too old to understand Fomo; like I understand what it means, but I can not relate to it.

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

Funny you got all bent about the gated raid gear in Wildstar. Their artists definitely came from the WoW school of tacking on all sorts of stupid crap, ginormous shoulderpads, and crotch flaps.

There was maybe one or two lower tier sets that were worth it for costume purposes. The rest really looked like ass IMO. At least their designers allowed us a ton of costume design freedom to rectify the insanity.

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Minimalistway

In single player games? why should anyone care? i guess some people want to feel belonging to a large group of people who play the same game and show great screenshot, but that rob them the joy of the game, unless they learn how to get the stuff they want and go get it.

I haven’t played Animal Crossing or BoTW and i don’t even own a Switch, but when i buy one i’ll enjoy both games at my own pace, there is no FOMO about them.

In MMOs it is different, developers (Hello Blizzard!) remove rewards from the game to push players to care about them and play to get them before time run out, and i hate that.

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Castagere Shaikura

LOL, I’m too old to care about crap like this. It’s not why I play MMO’s