MOP reader Styopa proposed this fun topic for Massively Overthinking this week, prompted, he said, by Standing Stone Games’ recent promotions for Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online.
“Do you keep games installed that you don’t play just to get free stuff? For example, someday I’ll play Black Desert, so I keep this 36GB game installed and (in the current span of promo login rewards) I am logging in each day just to get the free stuff. Now my LOTRO install is corrupted, so I have reinstall. Looking at that (26GB at least?) and DDO (a relatively puny 6GB), I’m torn over doing the whole installs just to get some free stuff that maybe I’ll play someday. To be honest, I probably will run the installs overnight for both, lol. I suspect that this is borderline compulsive behavior.”
I have a feeling a lot of our writers and readers do this, specifically because we have a generalist audience that tends to play more than one game and keeps fingers in lots of them, compared to game-specific MMO audiences that might play just one game and never pay attention to the rest. But I thought it would be worth dipping into: Do you install MMOs or keep MMOs installed just for the freebies, on the chance that you’ll eventually play them in the future? What kind of freebies are worth the install or install space?
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I’m not currently doing that with any traditional MMOs specifically for rewards, but I’ve done that for quite a few games, most recently Fire Emblem Heroes (asynchronous multiplayer) and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Usually it’s so I can get the premium currencies, but that’s less compelling these days, especially with my Switch and shelling out for non-freemium games. However, for MMOs in particular, I know I’ve reinstalled for mounts or cross-product promotions. I’m not currently playing any Blizzard games, but I know the only reasons I’ve even logged into World of Warcraft in the past, hmm, maybe right years has been for promos ranging from skins in other games to mounts I might maybe probably-never use if I were to return to WoW.
Andy McAdams: Really depends on the game – I won’t download and install a game for the sake of the free stuff if that is something I’m unlikely to play in the future. But I have a significant amount of time into the game in the past and have at least a strong potential for waltzing through in the future, I keep it installed. I’m actually way more likely to keep single-player games installed than MMOs. I’ll have about 5-6 MMOs installed at any given point.
Ben Griggs (@braxwolf): I did exactly what the reader asked about. After building a new PC, I no longer had LOTRO installed. Because SSG somehow has no online code redemption abilities, I had to install/log into the game to redeem the quest pack code. This I did, because you never know. Maybe someday I’ll be glad that I have access to all of that content!
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): You guys, I am way too busy/lazy for this most of the time. I do keep games installed for ages; apart from my usual rogue server haunts, Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online and Trove all have rewards of one form or another, and they have permanent homes on my hard drive. But do I log in every day to claim stuff? Nopes. Honestly, I consider the trick of trying to get you to log in every day a bit annoying.
Now, I’ll probably reinstall LOTRO for all the freebies, and I’m going to make sure my kids have accounts with it all too. But I consider that a very special case because the deal is so incredible and because my kids like Lord of the Rings and will surely want to get into the game eventually.
Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX): I used to do this with multiple games, but I’ve since dialed back. My time in isolation helped me realize what I value the most in my games: the experience and not the stuff. I used to chase the flavor of the month. I’ll play MMOs making the headlines. I’ll log in for the daily login, and if it’s quick enough, a daily or two. It got a little out of hand a few years back when it would take me like 30 minutes to log into all the games I had a toe dipped into. But I think not missing out on the daily prizes in those games just helped me cope with whatever I was going through back then. Today, even just logging into Black Desert for the daily prize every day can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s just a matter of laziness, but at the same time, I’m already pretty happy with what I have in the game. But then again, I’m working on two characters in Phantasy Star Online 2, and I only have so much time in my day to get that done, you know?
Back to the question, though. The only games that have a permanent home in all my computers are Black Desert Online, Final Fantasy XIV, and Guild Wars 2. PSO2 has since become a new addition. I’ve got Aion and Final Fantasy XI on my main computer, but I fear I’ve missed the boat on both. Eliot always makes FFXI sound so fun whenever he updates us on the happenings with the game, but when you put it against a slightly younger MMO like PSO2, it’s hard to learn the systems behind the game. I have Neverwinter installed right now because my friends and I are running The Lost Mines of Phandelver and I was curious if I could visit the locales from the module. I also have Eternal Magic, on my computer. It was a small download, it had some controversy attached to it, and I just wanted to see what the fuss is about. I haven’t logged into it in about three weeks or so.
You know what else I have installed? Bless Unleashed. I saw myself playing at least 30 hours of it and get an opinion on it, but Phantasy Star was like “hey bby, why don’t you come to my ship. I have anime and body pillows.” So I was like “oh hell yeah!” and started playing that instead.
I also install Phantasy Star Online 2 on every computer I touch now. I’m not sure whether Phantasy Star is ruining my life or making it even better. /shrugs
Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): I am clinically awful at daily login rewards, but there are a number of MMOs I keep on my drive just in case the itch to fire them up arises. Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, CoH Homecoming, and Star Trek Online all have space on my drive purely because I never can count on being done with them forever and would rather not go through the rigmarole of reinstalling from scratch.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Yes, I have a small roster of games that I know I usually come back to on a yearly basis, so every night I’ll log in and grab daily rewards and keep the games updated. For me, these include LOTRO, DDO, Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, and Neverwinter. Space isn’t so much an issue, so I’d rather have them there than have to go through the hassle of re-installing them.
Mia DeSanzo (@neschria): I only uninstall things if I need the hard drive space. Some games I keep because I know they will suck me back in (Black Desert) and others are games that I am totally going to play very soon (Albion Online). For a long time, I logged into Riders of Icarus every day just to collect my daily digital gifts, and I do that in Black Desert still, except when life goes haywire and my mind is elsewhere. (You know, like when it is 2020…)
I have sooooo many games installed that I do not regularly play. In fact, let’s just accept that I have over 100 installed at any given time. Emphasis on “over.” To be fair, it might be cheating a bit since I keep many of those games installed because of streaming. Even if I stream it only two or three times a year, I keep it installed; it makes it easier on me and saves on my data cap. However, I can also honestly say that if there are games that I might play occasionally/rarely that give me daily goodies for logins, I keep those installed as well. Ditto for if there are events that happen with freebie or easily earnable goodies. I might not always log in daily, but I do fairly well if it is an item I value, like cosmetics, pets, or mounts. Or inventory space! I also tend to play special events and holidays for goodies, and I definitely don’t want to be bothered with redownloading.
So yes, I keep games installed. Lots of games. Just this past week I had to deal with reinstalling a game I didn’t realize I didn’t have and it was a major annoyance. If there is a game I do not think I will revisit except for an anniversary stream — and there is no decent chance of worthy log in reward enticements — I will actually uninstall it for the space. I need space for all my screenshots, after all!
Samon Kashani (@thesamkash): I don’t think I’ve ever installed a game just for the freebies, but I definitely log into the ones I have for the occasional reward. Guild Wars 2 is an easy one. As my main game I’ll login everyday just for the rewards, even if its been a couple weeks since I last played. Like Tyler, I also thought that Champions Online deal was too sweet.
Tyler Edwards: This isn’t something I make a regular habit of, but sometimes if something free catches my eye, I’ll make a point to grab it, even if it’s not a game I’m currently playing. I will admit I reinstalled Champions Online recently to grab that freeform slot they gave away. I’ve barely played CO, and I didn’t really intend to return, but maybe I’d like it better as a freeform character?
That’s what I tell myself, anyway.