Mojeaux over at Another Aion blog will play a game until the end of times. He’s a real hardcore and will stick with his game through the good and bad times until the server shut downs or they release the fabled Hello Kitty expansion pack.
Myself I change games once or twice during the course of a year. I’ve mostly played WoW the past few years with a few breaks here and there where I try new games or go back to some old ones. I will ride out the bad parts for a while until I get really tired of not having fun and move on to another game.
Then we also have numerous others who will switch MMOs whenever they want or they feel like it. They can have 10 subscriptions running at once with multiple characters and never level any of them to max level but it doesn’t matter. They play what they feel like when they feel like it.
I’m going to go ahead and say that I think the smartest group is probably the last one. Why? Because they realise that playing an MMO is a game and as such they should enjoy themselves every second they play one. Why bother with a boring grind when they could have as much fun rolling another alt or switching game altogether. If the point is having fun why not always do what you actually find fun?
This is the big argument of players who will stick with the same game no matter what. They argue that while the current part of the game might not be the most fun if you stick with it your going to be rewarded with something really incredible. For example sure the level 30-40 grind is a pain but when you get to 40 the game is really awesome!
And they might be right too. For example in Lotro, the North Downs are a really bad zone you have to go through but when you finally get out of it you are rewarded with some incredibly cool areas like Rivendell. It’s the same for hardcore raiding where you will put up with a lot of bad raids and frustrating raids before getting that awesome kill.
In the end it’s all pixels
Fun is a really subjective topic. What’s fun to someone will not be the same for someone else and the point of the post is not to debate what’s the best kind of fun or how you should have fun.
Playing a game ultimately comes down to having fun in your spare time. Unlike a job that you have to put up with even during the bad times because you need money, an MMO should always be about fun. Some can make an argument about instant gratification and how sometimes holding out for a great moment might be worth it and they would probably be right. My point is that since they only thing that an MMO can really give you is fun what’s the point of playing if you’re not having any? What do you really gain by sticking with something that doesn’t bring you fun? Is the fun you get at the end of the hard road worth more than the fun you could have gotten right away?