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The Daily Grind: Do you play MMOs with expiration dates?

It’s not a new phenomenon, because I recall seeing it back in Final Fantasy XI, someone saying proudly that he was happy to be with the current linkshell… until World of Warcraft launched, then he would leave. That isn’t me recounting; that was exactly what he said at the time. He was playing the game, but he was literally as committed as it took for him to keep playing until something else launched.

This hasn’t gone anywhere, either. I see people loudly saying that they’re only playing a game until something else launches. “Oh, I’m in Elite Dangerous until Star Citizen is out.” “I’m just playing Guild Wars 2 until Crowfall launches.” You get the idea.

This has never made a whole lot of sense to me. Playing an endless game with a self-imposed end date just strikes me as weird. It clearly strikes a lot of other people as perfectly normal, though, and perhaps for a lot of people it is. So what about you, dear readers? Do you play MMOs with expiration dates? Do you already plan to leave but want to play an MMO until then just the same?

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EVE Online Executive Producer Andie ‘CCP Seagull’ Nordgren is leaving CCP Games [Updated]

It’s always tough when a development studio loses one of its top people, but today’s news is sure to sting more than usual for both EVE Online players and the developers at CCP Games. We’ve just confirmed that Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren will be stepping down from her position as Executive Producer on EVE Online and leaving the company in about two months. Nordgren joined CCP in 2010 as a Technical Producer on the Core Technology Group before eventually spearheading the development direction of EVE as its Senior Producer and finally taking on a broader Executive Producer role in 2014.

Nordgren has been well liked by players for her clear vision of the future for EVE and open approach to development, and her interviews at events never fail to get us excited about what’s coming next for EVE. Most recently she has overseen the development of the Citadel, Lifeblood, and upcoming Into The Abyss expansions. CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, who has reportedly been getting more directly involved in EVE‘s development recently, will be helping to transition Nordgren’s roles until a replacement is selected.

We first heard this news as a rumour from a tip and reached out to CCP Games for comment, and it supplied us with the following confirming statement.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the longest break you’ve taken from an MMO?

When World of Warcraft: Cataclysm launched, I was playing. It wasn’t too much longer after that when I was not. And I never really made any sort of formal commitment to leaving, I was just taking a break. It turned out to be a particularly lengthy one; I didn’t return until midway through the long content drought after the last Mists of Pandaria patch. All told, it was around three years, and easily my longest single stretch away from the game.

The funny thing is that it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a break and just leaving and coming back. Sometimes you know full well you’re just stepping away for a while, and then that “while” becomes longer and longer. So what about you, dear readers? What’s the longest break you’ve taken from an MMO? We’re not talking about cases where your break turned permanent, but ones where you left meaning to come back… and it wound up being far longer than you had expected.

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The Daily Grind: When do you know it’s time to stop playing an MMO?

It’s possible I just haven’t played a large enough number of MMOs, but I’m relatively certain that there are no games which pop up a helpful notice telling you to stop playing the game forever at a certain point. That being said, I know that I personally have signs indicating I should probably stop playing. If I find myself dreading logging in, for example. If I no longer can answer the question of why I’m playing. If I lose all of my RP partners and see it as a relief rather than a loss. If certain individuals are associated with the game. You get the idea.

As much as we might say that certain things lead us to leave the game, I think most of us have a more organic system; it’s not one thing that causes us to drop WildStar or Star Wars: The Old Republic or Guild Wars 2 from our play rotation, it’s a lot of things that we tie back to one observation. But perhaps that’s just me. Tell me, dear readers: When do you know it’s time to stop playing an MMO? Do you ever regret making the decision when you do?

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Bashiok bids Blizzard adieu

Blizzard’s long-time community manager, Bashiok (known in the earlier days as Drysc), is leaving the studio after more than a decade of wrangling the World of Warcraft forums. Bashiok, who has been a constant figure in the WoW community since October 2003, has announced that he’s leaving to pursue a new opportunity. In a short-but-sweet post on the official forums, he notes that his time with the studio and the community had “an incredible and positive impact” on who he is, and he signs off by wishing players the best: “I’m looking forward to what’s next, and wishing you a life of joy, insatiable curiosity, and happy gaming.”

Source: Departure announcement via Blizzard Watch. Thanks, Scott!

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