The Daily Grind: How long a commitment are you willing to make to an MMORPG?


During a MOP Podcast back in August, our own Justin noted that he’d lost interest in the Lord of the Rings Online Treebeard server because of the time commitment. Treebeard, you’ll recall, is a server that’s set up so that players level quite slowly and the patch rollout is slow too, such that it’ll take five or six years to catch up to the core game right now. This is definitely something some folks want, so I’m not sorry it is exists, but at the same time, that’s a heckuva long commitment to one game. As Justin put it, he doesn’t really want to commit years upon years to a single game, especially a game that he can see in all its glory on a regular server right now.

I hadn’t really thought about this too hard before; I tend to just jump into MMOs and see where they take me without feeling too much obligation or commitment to them long-term. But other folks probably do, especially achievers who don’t really want to start a game they aren’t going to finish. How long a commitment are you willing to make to an MMORPG?

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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Up until it stops being fun. I realize that’s subjective but it’s also my dollar. While I love playing mmorpgs many of them become quite dull after a while =/

Does not check email

30 days. I used to look for an mmo to play for years but no one is interested in old paying customers and little holds my interest even during pandemic when home all the time.


You could consider that each MMORPG is like an activity, sport or hobby someone may have.

In this way, if you compare the MMORPG category to the “sport” category, you will find many vastly different kinds of activities in each; there are tons of different kinds of sports and there are tons of different MMORPGs.

From that angle, to ask how much of a commitment someone is willing to make to a MMORPG is like asking how much of a commitment someone is willing to make to a sport or hobby.

The answer necessarily has to be : “it depends”.

Of course, if you think that playing in a MMORPG is not like a hobby or a sport, then this entire argument crumbles. I think it makes sense though.

However, if I were to edit your question like this :

“How long a commitment are you willing to make to an MMORPG (((if you really like that MMORPG)))?”

Then I can answer, speaking for myself, I don’t think there would be any limit. Or, rather, to be specific, there would potentially not be a limit.

That is because I’m a pvp player and just as a tennis player never gets bored of hitting a ball back and forth over a net, for hours, for years, some even becoming professional tennis players and hitting that ball over the net and back all their lives, I never get bored (if I really like that MMORPG) of pvp either.

I think it’s a key question developers should be trying to answer because that’s what they want isn’t it? For their players to “never get bored”, so they never leave.

In fact, I believe it’s an even more important question for developers to answer because what we are discussing here is basically “investment”. With this example, I am investing my time playing this game, and if I were to play a game for years, that’s a time investment.

But as you know, time isn’t the only thing that can be invested, and I think (because I’ve seen this so many times) that when people love a game, when they invest time in that game, then they are almost always prepared to invest money into that game too.

I know I am, have been in the past.

Toy Clown

I’ll preface with this: I miss the days when I did spent years playing an MMO. That was back when there weren’t more than a handful floating around. Communities were tighter because they played together longer and that’s where a lot of content comes in that I enjoy, playing with people I know, getting crazy together and doing stupid stuff. Naked character runs across Norrath? Check! Multi-guild wars in UO where players on opposing sides got on with each other without the shit talk, house decorating contests in EQ2, hosting all-server shows in SWG… etc.

I don’t know. I don’t really feel I can do that anymore because players tend to be so transient by nature now. Even myself at times. It’s like I’m chasing content instead of friends who enjoy doing zany things with the content of a game.

Ideally, I’d like to lock into an MMO and play it for the rest of my life. SWG was the last MMO I played where I had that mentality. My guild and friends had the same mentality… heck! The entire community had that mentality, that we were all going to be there until the lights were turned out. And… we were.


I am, as always, completely erratic. On the one hand, I balk at going through my Steam Library and finishing some of the story-based RPGs that would take “upwards of 40 hours of story!” On the other hand, Steam says I’ve played Warframe for over 3500 hours over the last eight years. ( >.< )

And every time I think about that number, I regret it. What if I'd spent that time doing something else, like learning to draw? Would I enjoy drawing character commissions more than I enjoy barely scraping by mowing lawns and crawling under houses to spray toxins on harmless spiders? ( OnO )


For as long as I’m enjoying the game.

I’m afraid I can’t offer a more concrete figure. There have been times where I’ve committed six months, before needing a short break and going back. Then there are times where I only give it two weeks before I give it up.

It just depends on how well a game managed to captivate me.

Jon Wax

I mean we can see each other casually but I’m not looking for commitment

We should be free to see other mmos

Let’s keep it modern

Castagere Shaikura

The longest I have stuck around was in those pre wow mmo’s. Anarchy Online Earth & Beyond were my games. I played E&B till the server shut down.


If I’m lucky, I will find the game that makes me want to commit for a while. It’s pretty rare. I’ve done it with SWG and WoW. I could have probably done it for Classic to a lesser extent, up until WotLK, but that’s largely due to the people I’ve met there, not the game. Right now, I’m just feeling good about being 4 months into SWTOR and feeling at home.

Since I’ve already played a bit of the Treebeard stuff in the form of live, it seemed pretty pointless. I wanted to experience those expansions with others, but the game feels dated and 5 or 6 years from now isn’t going to help that. I tried hard, but I felt like I was wasting time if I wasn’t sure I’d commit to half a decade.


Treebeard in LOTRO is perfect for me. All my toons are only in the late 20s, but even though I haven’t logged in in a week, there will still be lots of people at my level when I log on. I’ll just about hit 50 with one or two toons by the time Moria rolls around.