A few weeks back, I read a Twitter thread about people who avoid specific games and types of games, and the folks chiming in were all over the map. Some people avoid games that trigger their various addictions; others avoid games that take up too much time, or require too much mousing, or demand voice input, or feature content or player groups they simply can’t stand.
I wanted to put this question to our team this week for Massively Overthinking in the context of MMORPGs specifically. Are there MMOs you intentionally avoid? MMORPGs you refuse to play or refuse to go back to? What’s your motivation?
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I know I avoid any game that seems like it’s pay to win or asks for huge investments (especially with real money economies), like Entropia and to an extent, EVE. Star Citizen is kind of feeling like that too from an outside perspective.
Games that have me managing a bunch of timers also tend to be out. A few, like the crafting in SWTOR, is one thing, but if even 25% of the game feels like it’s me waiting for timers, I’m out.
Then there’s rehashes. Games that simply aren’t innovating enough. It’s one thing when the genre is still young or I’m new to it (hence my coverage of MMOARGs), but as both a consumer and a paid blogger, anything that stands out as more of the same goes into my mental trash bin. Even some of the new up and comers (sorry Amazon).
I do tend to avoid any MMO that also seems incredibly niche these days, as our genre is already fairly specific, so talking to non-gamers about it is often pretty hard when trying to meet new people. That’s probably a big reason why anything that’s more unique or innovative catches my attention. As much as I loved Asheron’s Call 1, its stories are basically in the past now. If it suddenly became an online detective game where people around the world were pooling information to track down Asheron as if he were Carmen Sandiego, that would probably make for good conversation. Actually, maybe that should be a game pitch. Hmm…
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): First, I know I have a tendency to avoid games that will suck me personally in when I don’t really have time to be sucked in. So sometimes I avoid MMOs I know I will like, not just ones I know aren’t for me.
But I do also avoid MMOs that have developers I know are shady (not just to players, but also to journalists and their own workers), MMOs that make you a ship or vehicle instead of a characters, MMOs whose mechanics have been proven non-starters for 23 years, MMOs with notoriously toxic communities, and MMOs whose sole focus is murderhoboing.
Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX), YouTube): Unless there’s a main story quest or my Free Company is doing some community building, I avoid FFXIV these days. There’s something about that community and me that just doesn’t mesh. They’re a nice bunch of folks, but when people start getting passive aggressive or start giving off bad vibes in easy content, it’s when I start feeling a little irked. They’re not a particularly chatty bunch either, and a chatterbox like me just can’t seem to get any interesting discussions out of /shout chat unless it has something to do about anime, video games, and FFXIV. So I get bored easily when I’m in town.
As much as I love grindy Asian MMOs, I also avoid them too. I tend to check out a whole lot of MMOs, and some stick while others dont. Being able to stick with Black Desert Online as long as I have is an achievement in its own right for me. And any other grinder will take time away from that game. Unless I know it’s the next big leap for grindy MMOs, whether it be better tech or just a better way to grind, I stay away from it. With that being said, Elyon’s got me interested… I’ll be walking down the street with BDO, and this sexy new MMO passes by us, locks eyes with me, bites their lip as if to say “come at me big boy” and here I am sweating because I just got back with BDO after our 4th or 5th breakup and I’m ready to run off with this new one.
Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): EVE Online. And I really keep trying, genuinely I do, but just… I can’t, man. I just can’t. I want to enjoy a space sandbox, but this one just feels so disconnected from the sensation of exploration and flight, and the community it has is so deeply entrenched to the point that it feels like everyone has done everything and there’s no point to one trying to join in. Also it just controls miserably.
Colin Henry (@ChaosConstant): I tend to avoid subscription-only MMOs. There are too many MMOs and other games that I want to play, and when I start or come back to an MMO, I’m never sure how long I’m going to stick around. I want to be able to jump in and test the waters before I commit to a month of playing. If your game has an optional sub that’s actually worthwhile, I’ll consider it, but if a subscription is the only way in the door, I will probably pass on your game.
I also tend to avoid games that I know force me into a certain type of content at a certain point. If the path from level one to the level cap is all PvE, then the game suddenly becomes a PvP free-for-all, I’m out. I’m similarly turned off by games that force me to run group content to progress the otherwise solo story. It just seems like the game is trying bait-and-switch me into doing a different type of content than what I’ve been enjoying. It’s not that I refuse to do PvP or dungeons or raids, but I want to do these things on my terms, not when the game tells me it’s time to do them.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): While I try to be somewhat open to new MMOs and experiences, I do have a filtering process that weeds some possibilities out. I won’t play a pure PvP anything; there at least has to be the option for PvE or safeguards against unwarranted ganking. I don’t want to spend my gaming time stressed out that some jerk is going to ruin my day. A sub-only model for a title I’ve never played is usually a deal breaker, so a game’s going to need a trial or F2P option to get me in the door. And I have very little interest in most eastern MMO designs. I won’t outright ban them, but I’m incredibly reluctant to play them. That’s more of a gut feeling which can be overcome by positive word-of-mouth and a good track record.
Mia DeSanzo (@neschria): I like to say that I will give anything a chance, but there are some kinds of games that I tend to skirt around unless I hear that they are amazing from sources I trust. Isometric games are on that list. I also tend to avoid fast action 3-D games that are set within enclosed spaces because I am prone to getting motion sickness from games, and those are the worst in that regard. A few games have been short-lived for me for triggering migraines as well, but that’s usually something that I avoid after the fact.
I don’t like most you-are-a-ship space games. I do realize that you’re supposed to be piloting the ship, but if you don’t have an avatar that walks around, I just can’t relate. That might be part of the reason that No Man’s Sky has stuck with me while games like EVE did not. I mainly want to run around on the ground. There have been exceptions though. ( Where are my Trade Wars 2002 people? Yeah. I am that old.)
If the controls of a game don’t click pretty fast for me, I’m out for good. That’s what happened with me and Final Fantasy XI, back in the day. I think I could handle playing it with keyboard and mouse now, but it felt like a game built for controllers (that I didn’t and don’t have).
There are some companies (Daybreak) that I don’t especially like or trust (Daybreak), so I very rarely touch their games. And I am usually disappointed when I do, for one reason or another. (…Daybreak.)
I can’t say that I won’t make a hypocrite of myself on all these points. I will probably end up playing an isometric spaceship game with insanely bad controls published by Daybreak someday. It’s inevitable now that this will be out there in public.
Sam Kash (@thesamkash): Finally an easy one! You can get subscription-only games right the hell out of here. There are simply too many games, too little time, and no where near enough value for me to drop a cent into a sub only game. Let me buy the game and offer me good cosmetics and I’m on board.
Also the game has to have some PvP. I don’t say that just because of my column either. If there isn’t a good way for me to cross swords with other players, then I’m just not going to play. I simply love battling other players. To amend that slightly though, it also needs to have some way of maintaining a level playing field. That might be a max level that isn’t too unobtainable, or an arena mode where stats are normalized.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask for! Two features and giddy up!
Tyler Edwards (blog): I try very hard to keep an open mind where games are concerned, so as much as possible I try to avoid writing off games or genres entirely. Even a game that isn’t appealing today could make changes tomorrow that make it more enjoyable for me. There are some things that make it very unlikely I’ll play a game — like being in early access or having a mandatory subscription — but there can be exceptions if it’s a very special game, or a developer I really trust or something.
There is only a very small selection of games that are hard nos from me. Anything with non-consensual PvP, for one. I’ve also decided that I want nothing to do with Crowfall on account of the arrogant and elitist attitude displayed by the development team in a lot of their communication, especially early on. They’ve made it clear they don’t want someone like me in their game anyway.