Friday, July 15, 2011

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

Have you ever reached the point in an MMO where, despite your continued interest in it, you just don't feel welcome any more?  There can be a variety of reasons for this, from time commitments to player elitism to changing development focus to the quite literal closing of a game's doors.

I reached that point a while ago with Rift.  I still think it's a great game.  I still think Trion have produced one of the most polished and well rounded fantasy MMOs to be released since WoW.  I think Rift at launch was a much better game than WoW at launch.  I look forward to playing it again in the future.


Too many tiny little issues have glommed together and made it hard for me to justify a continued subscription.  My play time is limited, and as such I fell behind the average level of the game's populace long ago.  This resulted in level after level of soloing, which is not why I play these games.  Minor rifts aren't very interesting, and zone events that spawn rarely only to fail because there aren't enough players in the zone aren't much fun either.  The looking for group tool was well done and a good idea, but not very helpful when there just aren't many players in your level range to begin with.  I was in the game at launch, I remember the excitement and fun of zone events in Silverwood.  Starting an alt now is almost no fun in comparison, the crowds just aren't there any more.

I've heard repeatedly that getting to level 50 brings back the magic, as most people are level 50 and hanging out in the high level zones, so you get the fun rifts, and more events, and the spontaneous raids sweeping across the landscape.  But as each level took longer to go through solo, the game started to feel like a grind, and after hitting level 44 or so I just couldn't muster the will to log in and spend my limited time soloing a few more quests or defeating some minor rifts.

So I let my subscription lapse, and the annoying part is that it's not because I don't like the game.  Most of the time I quit an MMO in frustration, annoyed with this or that and I just can't take it anymore.  Rift is still my favorite fantasy MMORPG, I just don't have the time and the will to reach the fun parts of the game right now, and there are so many single player or free-to-play games sitting around vying for my attention.  I want Trion to succeed with Rift, I think they deserve it, but I can't keep paying for a game I'm not really playing.

I'm now in the rather unusual position (for me) of not have a current subscription to any MMO.  At all.  I'm not sure I've been without a subscription MMO since 1999.  I'm now an MMO nomad, looking for a new home.  Thankfully I'll have exploding tanks to keep me warm in the meantime.


  1. I know exactly how you feel there. I'm in an inbetween state myself: I have a month of City of Heroes and World of Warcraft active, two games I played extensively in the past, and one free month of Star Trek Online that came with the game when I bought it on sale off of Steam.

    I want to stick with the old games because they are what I know, and I have resources there. And starting a new game would mean being back at square one. But for some reason I just don't feel like I belong there anymore, and I don't have the motivation to get into it like I used to.

    I got a lot of empathy for you, and I'm sure many other MMORPG'ers do too.

  2. I'm turning more and more resentful at the way WoW is going, I can barely recognize the game I once fell in love with. Soon I can very well be in your position too, an MMO nomad. Not sure the perfect MMO is even out there for me, but I can hope there's one coming in the future.