A few podcasts ago, Justin and I fell into a discussion about MMOs we knew we were done with. Not games we hate or left in a huff over a real or perceived grievance, but MMOs we actually rather liked but just felt finished with or from which we’d just contentedly moved on for various reasons. It’s a pretty weird feeling for MMO players who are used to coming and going and always finding reasons to dip back into old familiar home games!
Our discussion spilled over into the comments, and now we’re doing to point the flow at Massively Overthinking too. I’ve asked our writers (and readers!) to tell us about MMO they like but know they are done with – the games you think of fondly but know you’re never going back. What are they, and what happened?
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Man, this is tough. Like, I thought I was done with Asheron’s Call 1, 2, and Horizons/Istaria, but I’ve gone back to all of those games. Maybe I’m done with Guild Wars 1 and TERA since I don’t know anyone who would play those. GW1 was 100% a game to play with friends for me. The difference between taking on other players with 1 friends vs 0 friends was like night and day. TERA was super fun too, very similar in GW1 for world PvP, but even if it hadn’t sunsetted, taking out the political system was a major bummer, and I didn’t even belong to a guild that benefitted from it!
Andy McAdams: I take a firmly pragmatic stance of “I’m only done with a game for now,” I think that one that I’m least likely to go back to is also one of my top favorite MMOs: Anarchy Online. I love everything about the setting, the lore, the world. I love that it’s sci-fi, the classes, the skill system – pretty much everything. But the implementation of all these great ideas is just too archaic to pull me in anymore. I’ve tried a few times, and while that initial “magic” is still there somewhat, the drift between Anarchy Online and other more modern MMOs just so big. I won’t say I will never go back to Anarchy Online, and I will continue to champion it as a great MMO that deserves way more fanfare that it got, it’s not a place I’m likely to go back to.
Ben Griggs (@braxwolf): As much as I hate to admit it, that game is probably LOTRO for me. It’s still one of my favorite MMOs, but playing it every day for nearly three years straight burned me out hard. Secondly, knowing that my longtime kinmates have moved on makes the experience of logging into the game doubly somber, as I know the experiences I had can never truly be repeated.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): During the podcast, I think I isolated Classic Guild Wars as a game I know I’m probably done with. I loved (love!) Guild Wars, but I also did most everything I set out to do in there – kind of obsessively and in great detailed chronicled in my spreadsheets, wheee. And I also know that it sort of peaked community-wise over a decade ago, meaning that a lot of the meta I enjoyed about it (trades, runs, spectating, fashion, buildcraft) has also moved on. I bought copies for my kids and couldn’t get them hooked, but if the urge ever takes them, I’d play with them for sure. But I don’t think I’ll ever devote time on my own again.
Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX, YouTube, Twitch): Guild Wars 1. I love the game; it was instrumental during my college years and I met friends there. It’s the reason I look back on those days so fondly. When my ex-girlfriend left me for a Fry’s employee, Guild Wars 1 filled the void.
It will always be the perfect game in my eyes. But ultimately, I am done with the game. I have it installed on every computer I own, but aside from logging on to get a feeling of nostalgia, I have no desire to progress. All the friends I’ve made have since moved on with their lives, and so have I. I’ve accepted that this game’s heyday is over, and I’m glad it’s still around. Just having it still just be a double-click away is more than enough for me.
It was the game that got me hooked on the MMORPG genre, and I spent a lot of years in it. But it also represents a game designed when studios didn’t really have this whole thing figured out and likely didn’t plan for online life to become as fast and as ubiquitous as it is now. Coming back to it that month only showed that the game – and those formative years – deserve to be in the past.
Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I think I’ve got a few but they’re all older at this point: Guild War 1, FFXI, and even Champions Online. I played all these and enjoyed my time in them – GW1 significantly more, and it became my daily driver for years. However, once GW2 launched there was basically no turning back for me. Even though the games are so different, it was still an evolution, and going back would be just that: It’d be going back to a game that had its time, and that time can’t be replicated.
FFXI and Champions are much less significant to me, but they were some of my first MMOs, and I had a lot of fun in them, but they also had a lot of issues and annoyances that I wouldn’t want to go back and experience again. Champions didn’t support its PvP properly, and FFXI – I couldn’t justify the time-to-cost ratio it used.
Tyler Edwards (blog): I’m a firm believer in never saying never where MMOs are concerned. You never know when a new patch or expansion could refresh things and bring you back to a game you’d written off.
I guess the closest I’d come to something fitting the topic is WoW. While it’s true that I’m not particularly happy with many of the choices the developers have made over the last few expansions, my biggest reason for leaving and staying away is probably that Legion just felt like a good note to end on. With the Burning Legion defeated, the story I’ve been following since childhood feels complete, and finishing all the class stories felt like the perfect way to say goodbye to the game. I won’t say I’ll never be back, but for now it feels like I simply don’t need more WoW in my life. I’m happy with the journey it gave me.