On MMO Boredom

Before I get in to todays topic I need to remind everyone that they should be listening to my friend Bel’s podcast, especially this weeks because I got to come in as a guest host again (link).

Okay, so today’s topic is one I deal with every so often, and that is hitting the “end” of an MMO. What do you do when you reach the “end”? I know that in reality there is not really any ending to MMO’s. There are usually plenty of things to do such as dungeons, raids, and achievements, but what if none of those interest you? What keeps you playing a game that you feel there’s nothing left to do?

For me this usually comes up around the time that I reach max level in a game. In almost every game I get to that point where my interest starts to fade. I’ve done the raiding thing, and I’ve done the quest for better stats thing. I find these are only temporary fixes, and I’m starting to find that if I no longer feel like I’m enjoying myself then I don’t want to continue playing.

As I mentioned there was a time when I did the raiding thing which meant all of my non-raiding time was spent gathering materials to make enchants for the raid, or food buffs, or any other number of things like researching the bosses. This is fundamentally the reason I don’t ever really feel like raiding anymore. The “end game” content felt like it was a job. Getting online was no longer about me enjoying a game so I made the decision to stop playing. This also tend to apply to dungeons as well. I do enjoy doing dungeons, and I like the group of people I do them with, but my problem is that I don’t enjoy doing them over and over again to get the best gear. I like to do them to see the story, but after the first time it isn’t the same thing.

The first real thing that keeps me going in a game is achievements. Just about anyone I’ve ever played with has heard me talking about this. I love achievements, to me that is the best part of any MMO because it gives you something else to do besides killing monsters and being the pony express mail service. Achievements usually require some amount of effort and are generally fun to do. The only problem I tend to find with achievements is that it feels like an impossible task. There are always achievements that you can’t get, such as ones for raiding or pvp, both of which are things I don’t enjoy doing. I don’t mind them being there since plenty of people enjoy both of those things, I just don’t like it when a pvp achievement is a condition for some overall achievement. That just feels like I’m being forced in to content I have no interest in.  That being said, I still enjoy doing achievements because there are always new ones to do and they provide a nice alternative for more casual gamers.

The other thing that tends to keep me in a game is the people I play with. I’m sure I’ve stated previously that one thing I look for in a game is having people to play with, which for the last few years has been the same group of people. As a whole this group tends to shift from game to game as they come out and I enjoy running content with them when I can. I’ve only recently started to understand that the game I’m playing doesn’t matter so if I feel I’m done with a game this won’t keep me playing anymore. The people in the game still is a good reason for me to keep playing, but there is a limit to any game, especially one that you have to pay a monthly fee on.

Now, since the topic is MMO boredom I should also point out that I don’t make it to the “end” in every game anymore. There have been times that I get about halfway through the content before it starts feeling a bit stale and I play less and less. Another factor might be other games coming out that I’m interested in which draw me away from the PC gaming side for a little while. I feel like if it is that easy to be pulled away from a game, then I might not want to continue playing.

So I’m curious as to what keeps other people playing? Do you stick around for that end game content or achievements, or something else entirely?

On a side note related to my fitness post: Thanks for all the advice. I’m going to try cutting back on a few things, namely sugar and carbs. They won’t be gone completely, but I’m going to try to at least reduce them. This might just mean doing something simple like taking the bun off my sandwich or cutting back on sugary snacks, but small changes can have good results.



On Player Mentoring

I’m going to confess something, I’m writing this post a day early and scheduling it to post tomorrow morning. I’m not sure when or if I’ll be online long enough tomorrow to type out thoughts on any subject. I’m going to confess something else, I’ll probably do this for Saturday and Sundays posts as well. I am on vacation after all. Speaking of which I’m currently sitting in my hotel room with nice view of the apartment complex on the other side of the parking lot. Not that the other side would have a great view either, it would just be a view of the interstate.

So my friend Belghast has mentioned the subject of player mentoring several times in both his blog and on his podcast so I thought I’d post some of my own thoughts about this. I’ll start off with saying that I think this is a great idea if this is done done correctly and I think that every game would benefit from having this in some form.

The only game that I’ve played that I feel has done this right is Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. In this game you unlock dungeons as your level progresses, most of which are required to progress the story. You can always go back and do these dungeons again but it scales your level if you have passed the level of the dungeon. This allowed you to go back and play them again with friends who were the appropriate level without being over powered. So, for example, you have a group of 4 friends (including yourself) 2 of which are level 40 and 2 of which are level 15 and need help doing the first story dungeon. When your group goes in to the dungeon the 2 players that are level 40 would be scaled down to around level 18 (the max of that dungeon). You’re gear stays the same, but your abilities revert to what was available to you at that level.

A game with a similar setup is Guild Wars 2. I never did dungeons in this game, but I know that your level would scale down to the area that you were in. So if you were a high level player and you wanted to play with a lower level friend then as soon as you entered that area you were scaled down in level to match that areas level range.

Currently I am playing Elder Scrolls Online, and I think that this game could benefit from this type of system. Preferably the system from Final Fantasy 14. The reason I say this is because I am not the type of person to ask for help in guild chat, but all the people I like to do dungeons with have very much outleveled me. If I were to ask them to run a lower level dungeon with me then it would not be a challenge as they would be over the level of the dungeon (up to a point anyways). This does not provide them any incentive as you stop getting rewards for dungeons once you have out leveled it.

For me this means that I have not done any dungeons, and probably won’t until I’m max level and can go back and solo the lower level ones. If there was a system in place to scale my friends down to the appropriate level then it wouldn’t be boring for them to come help me out. The way that I say that makes it seem a bit selfish, but this also allows the game to remain challenging.

I think my ideal system would be a combination of both Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy 14. What I refer to here is level scaling based on the level range for the area that you are in from Guild Wars 2 and dungeon scaling from Final Fantasy 14. However, I would modify the dungeon scaling to be optional. If you were in a group with someone of appropriate level it would scale the group down to the appropriate level, but if you were wanting to go back to see it as a higher level player by yourself you could do that and it wouldn’t scale you down. The reason for that modification is from one of my favorite things to do in World Of Warcraft, namely going through old content that I missed just to have fun without worrying about having a problem or needing to find people to play with.


On PVP – Player Choice or Mandatory

PVP is something that I’ve discussed a little bit before when talking about ArcheAge and that games “always on” PVP. After reading another blog by my friend Ashgar where he mentions PVP I thought that I’d go a little bit more in to the subject.

It is an established fact that I am not the worlds biggest fan of PVP in games, whether it is option or required. One of the most annoying things that can ever happen to me is being killed by another player, in some cases repeatedly. The first MMO that I ever played that had what I’d consider “always on” PVP was Lineage 2. Leading up to the game I thought it looked amazing, the graphics looked great and I thought I’d have a lot of fun playing it. I don’t remember the specifics of their PVP system, but I know that if you attacked another player you were basically red flagged as a player-killer (pk’er). This essentially flagged you for pvp allowing anyone to come and kill you without consequences.

So naturally the first thing that happened when I hit left the starter area? Someone attacked me and immediately disengaged, but I still ended up killing them in self defense. However, since they had disengaged from the fight I got the flag. This lead to them standing there farming me, so every time I would respawn they’d just kill me again. Needless to say I got tired of that very quickly and I stopped playing that game within a day and I haven’t played it since. That’s probably the prime example of why I don’t like a PVP system that doesn’t give me a choice. People are jerks.

As I’ve mentioned the one aspect of ArcheAge that I am not looking forward to is PVP. From my understanding there are areas where you will always have to worry about being killed/farmed by other players, but, you can also be attacked and killed by players of your own faction. That in and of itself is a problem, but where it gets annoying is that the game seems to reward certain types of players for doing this. In ArcheAge players can become pirates by essentially being a-holes. Every time you do something illegal you get crime points, and the justice system allows players to judge you and sentence you to jail. Eventually this will make you a pirate. So what’s the quickest way to be a pirate? Be a jerk.

Now, I don’t have a problem with responsible PVP. If you want to do that it should be up to you. I don’t want it forced on me when that is not something I enjoy. In my opinion games like World Of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online have it right because, while they have PVP, they don’t require you to do it. There are certainly benefits to it such as titles and other rewards, but you certainly don’t have to do it. World of Warcraft has specific server types that do allow for “always on” PVP, but you don’t have to play on those servers. Personally I prefer RP servers because the communities are generally more mature, not guaranteed but at least more likely.

Now there are also games that are specifically designed for PVP and they are gaining in popularity. These are games like League Of Legends and the upcoming Heroes of the Storm from Blizzard. These types of games are called MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas). I’m not to familiar with the objectives of these games, but I would consider them PVP based so these types of games will probably never be installed on my computer.

So to summarize, I don’t think PVP should be required in a game. If it has to be there then I think it should be optional either by having non-required areas set aside for it, or servers where you opt in to always being PVP flagged. I can guarantee if I play ArcheAge the minute some jerk starts farming me just so they can become a pirate I will quit the game.

On Elder Scrolls Online – The Not So Good

So yesterday I discussed the finer point of Elder Scrolls Online, which I still maintain is a great game and is worth playing. Today though, I’m going to talk a little bit about the things I personally find annoying, or am not a huge fan of. Granted I don’t really think there is a lot to this topic, but I’m trying to post more, and I feel I should mention both aspects of the game.

Gold Farmer / Spammers

Ok, so this topic is absolutely not a game related issue. This is far from the first MMO where I’ve had to deal with gold farmers and spammers. This is more of a general MMO complaint. Personally I think the GM’s and other customer support people handle this very well from what I can tell. They make it easy to report a player and from what I understand actively pursue them. I just wish there was a way to filter chat or in game mail. But like I said, that is directed at all MMO’s not necessarily ESO.


This is another minor issue, which pretty much any issue I’ve had with the game up this point I’d consider minor. But, sometimes the questing feels a bit repetitive to me. The story associated to a quest line might be full of intrigue, and itself be really good, but the quests themselves tend to follow a pattern when going through a zone. There is usually the main story arc where you do one thing and that leads to a lot of other zone spanning quests. Where it starts feeling repetitive is when you run in to all the little side quests to help find a missing friend/relative/spouse who may or may not be dead and or not really missing but part of the cult that you’re trying to get rid of.

That being said, I still love the questing. Again, this is not an issue strictly related to ESO as I think it is a common means of moving the player through an area. I doubt I could come up with better if I was making the game myself. I think that the story is interesting, and it does get to the point and moves you along. And thankfully even though there are some ridiculous fetch quests, they go by quickly.


From the header you might think I’m talking about the price of the game, or that it is a subscription based game. Absolutely not. I feel that this game is worth every cent I spent on it. I’m a proud owner of a physical collectors edition and will happily pay the monthly cost as long as I’m playing the game. When I say cost, I refer to the cost of mounts in game. The price seems substantially high to me, and makes it difficult to obtain a mount unless you spend a lot of time playing, which I don’t.  I probably play less than 10 hours per week right now due to work and other games, so the price tag on mounts seems a bit excessive to me.

Bag Space

Ok so this is my one true complaint about the game. I’m always running out of bag space. I do think you start off with a good amount of space, 60 slots, and yes you can expand this for a price. I just wish this was a bit easier to obtain. I understand this was intentional, even if I don’t know why. I just feel like the cost of getting additional space is not worth it (which I haven’t yet). I’d rather have bag slots and be able to buy user crafted bags to fill those slots.

That all being said though, I still enjoy the game and I plan to play it for as long as I find it interesting. I tend to get a bit bored with MMO’s after a few months, or when the next big one comes out. But with what I understand about things still in development, and the fact that there is so much to do I am sure I’ll be playing this one for awhile. I think that Zenimax did a great job with the game, and everyone that worked on it should get a thank you and a job well done. Every game has its own issues, and it is how they deal with them that is important.

On being lazy and forgetting my password

So as always it’s been a terribly long time since the last time I’ve posted anything.

What can I say, I’m lazy.  And I forget my password a lot.

I’m going to try to keep this one short, and try to write up some more detailed posts soon. So to start off I’m going to talk about what I’ve been up to since the last time I posted.


This is probably the main thing that has been keeping me busy. I work full time as a software developer focused primarily on internal business applications. Last year we added a new client and as a result had to translate part of our windows application in to a web based application. This is because the licensing for the web software is cheaper than the windows license and this particular client will have a lot more users than the other clients typically have and they don’t have that kind of money.

So most of what I’ve been doing is trying my best to make these pages function as close to the original version as I can. Which, according to my boss should be super easy, which it isn’t. We only recently went to beta testing and have already had to make a lot of changes, which needless to say, keeps me crazy busy.

This kind of affects my desire to play PC games when I get home. The harder the day I have a work, the more I don’t want to see or touch a PC when I get home. Now, my online friends are awesome, and I enjoy talking to them, but there are just days I can’t bring myself to go home and sit in an uncomfortable chair for 3 hours. Most days I barely have the energy to even play console games, so I just Netflix binge.


So I just said I didn’t play every day, but that does not mean I have not been playing any games at all. Around mid march I bought a PS4 and and new TV and don’t regret the purchases. Granted there is not much out for the PS4 that I want yet, but playing it on a bigger tv that supports 1080p resolution is great. Right now I only have Thief and Metal Gear Solid 5 $40 demo but I enjoy them both. Right now I have 3 games on pre-order and can’t wait for them to come out (Watchdogs, Murdered: Soul Suspect & Witcher 3).

On the PC side I’ve been playing WoW again because I’m a sucker, and Elder Scrolls Online. I picked up Dark Souls 2 for PC when it came out on Steam and it is already more aggrivating then the last one. But that is for a different post.

I don’t really fall in to the PC or Console camps as I enjoy both for different reasons. I love PC gaming cause I prefer staying inside to going out and I have several friends that I talk to on voice chat. I love console gaming for the same reason, except that there is noone to talk to, and it what I do when I don’t really feel like talking to people.

So in general not much new going on. I’ll try to put up some more detailed topics soon. I plan to talk a little bit about some thoughts on MMO’s as well as talking about specific games I’m playing.

Other Stuff

One of my friends, and most of the time guild leader Belghast (aggronaut.com ) has started up a podcast and I think you should go listen to it. Yes this is a shameless plug, but I find it fun to listen to.