Massively Overthinking: How do you know you’ve fallen hard for an MMO?

    
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For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to bounce off something MOP’s Chris tweeted a few weeks back. “I can tell a game’s hooks are sinking in when I start bookmarking resource guides and specific websites,” he said.

I feel so seen by this! This is absolutely one of the ways I know I’m falling hard for a game, whether it’s new or old. I suddenly realize I’m adding sites left and right to my bookmark tab page and contemplating giving a game its own whole page.

I’m kicking it to the team now: How – and when – do you know you’ve fallen hard for an MMO?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): For me, it’s when I’m deep in a guild/clan/other social group. It’s one thing to make a group with my friends or join some random group for chat so I can get a feel for a community, but it’s another when I host an event, link guides, or have leads ask me to explain something to fellow guildies before/during/after a raid or PvP thing.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Sure, one of the ways is bookmarking like a madwoman, but I have more! If I stop playing to build a spreadsheet? That’s a key way I know this game is about to take over my life. If I go to sleep thinking about the game and sit through work – where I’m writing about games! – just itching to get back to whatever that game is? That’s another. If I catch myself reading Reddit, especially on my phone on car trips (hey remember car trips?) – that one too. But probably the spreadsheets are my biggest giveaway.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): In addition to the aforementioned resource guides and website collection, I also know a game is hooking me when it rents space in my head. I think about what to do next, or characters I want to create, or builds or classes to try.

I also tend to feel like joining a game’s community outside of its world in things like Discord is a surefire sign that I’m being drawn in.

Mia DeSanzo (@neschria): I know I am hooked when I start trying to talk about the game with people I know don’t care about my game, but I can’t help it because it is what I am thinking about.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): The hardest I have ever fallen was Star Wars: Galaxies. And I know this because the stories and exploits from in game were the source of many conversations outside of game! I’d share antics with my family all the time. For me, I am hooked when the world and stories come alive to me and live beyond the logged in time. I’d write stories, share stories, and give the game a big comfy space in my head. I’d look forward to playing and be sad when I had to log off. Hooked comes close to addicted, but not quite. I also know a game has hooked me when I can’t really leave it; even when everyone else I know is gone, I stay or continually wander back. The game stays in my headspace, even if the game is no more.

Perhaps one of the biggest litmus tests is if I get lost in an activity in the game and lose track of time. This is especially prevalent when it comes to building and decorating! If I can decorate for hours and still come back for more, I am hooked. For the truly special game, I get lost in enjoying an activity I never had enjoyed or really cared about before (see combat and counting headshots in Warframe).

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I think I’m falling into a game when I start planning my class build outside of the game. I read up on the different stats, build combos, and how strong it should play.

Of course then there are games like Starborne that totally pull me in. I’m keeping tabs open, I have spreadsheets and formulas configured, and then I’m setting alarms to wake me up for scheduling my fleets.

I think it all comes down to brain time in and especially out of the game. If I’m spending some of that precious head space on an MMO out of game, then it’s got me hooked!

Every week, join the Massively OP staff for Massively Overthinking column, a multi-writer roundtable in which we discuss the MMO industry topics du jour – and then invite you to join the fray in the comments. Overthinking it is literally the whole point. Your turn!
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Covynant001
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Covynant001

If I play it longer than a month after release.

Hasn’t happened in a great many years, not since EVE in 2007 I think.

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Rolan Storm

Inhaling game’s world lore.

There are other signs, most of them were described in comments or article – but this one is 100% sign. I’d never read about game outside of game if I am not into said game. :)

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Nim

The Worlds Adrift banner image is especially cruel.

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Anstalt

For me, the clearest indicator is social engagement.

When I’m just trying out a game, I won’t join a guild or really chat much, I’ll just do my own thing. But, once it’s got its hooks in me, then I’ll start engaging with the community, forming friendships with other people in game, either join or start a guild and start leading groups.

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Armsman

You play it nearly daily for 11+ years…
^^^
That’s me and Star Trek Online; and I say 11 years because I started with the closed beta in September of 2009.

(And yes, I’m a HUGE Star Trek fan of the TOS and early 23rd century era of Star Trek as I love TOS and the first two seasons of Star trek Discovery more than anything done in the TNG 24th century era under Berman and Braga – although I do also enjoy DS9 and ENT; but these days I find my rewatchability of TNG very limited to certain episodes and I NEVER liked (and have never completed the entire series) Star Trek: Voyager)…YMMV.

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Toy Clown

When I lose interest in all other MMOs that I’ve been playing.

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styopa

When that’s the game I think about when sitting through a ridiculous number of zoom meetings at work.

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Rick Mills

I knew I was hooked on Lotro when I started looking for resources while driving through the countryside with my wife.

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angrakhan

“Just one more quest and then I’m going to bed…” Famous last words.

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David Goodman

How long I spend on the character creator :) >:)

I’m hooked if after 30 minutes I still haven’t finished..