There’s nothing like that moment when you’re knee-deep in monsters, slam in the middle of the hardest quest you have ever encountered and the party leader is yelling in your ear ‘hurry and cast the damn spell!’ For one, dude calm down. You guys have been planning this quest for a week, but apparently in the hour of need you have suddenly been struck deaf. Of course you barely have time to type ‘I’m out of mana douche!‘, before you’ve been torn to pieces, and forced to toss your keyboard in disgust as you are forced to watch you party be slain before your eyes. Of course, by this point you’re feeling pretty bitter about the whole ordeal, so right about the time you realize you hope that your entire party is killed into oblivion the next time they run this quest without you, you realize this.
Okay…this isn’t fun anymore.
Man what happened?
Most of the time when players are considering quitting MMOs it’s never usually a spontaneous ‘F*k this game I’m out!’ decision. When you factor in the time it takes to create an amazing character, find yourself some home dogs in-game, join a guild and start conquering the world one quest at a time, it makes things even harder to allow yourself to leave due to one asshat or two. So how do you know when it’s time to hit the dusty trail or jump ship? Here’s a few signs.
I think I need a break…
Oh how many times have I heard this one before? Oh you need a break? No what you need to do is re-evaluate the game, your experience, and whether it’s for you or not. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked what happened to so and so, and got the ‘oh yeah he said he was going to take a break’ I would have that BIll Gates money. Uh no, sounds to me like he just quit and wanted to go out like a gangster. This is definitely one of the most obvious signs that quitting is on your mind. Granted sometimes you really do need a break, especially about the time you realize you haven’t slept in three days because your guild has been raiding nonstop.
Yeah it’s time to take a break…
Dude where have I been for the last week? Oh right it was launch week..
AKA that awkward moment when you realize you got fired from your job…a week ago. But of course you missed that memo because….you can’t even remember what day it is anymore. Oh well you’re going to be a gaming pro anyway right? Okay um….it’s not just time to re-evaluate this game, it’s time to re-evaluate your life. The minute you realize you don’t know what happened to your dog, or you forgot to eat that day, or all of your friends think you died because you haven’t left your house in a week….yeaaah that’s a problem. We can’t all get paid to play MMOs nonstop 40 hours a week so do keep this in mind – son this ain’t yo job! You don’t work you don’t eat kid, and it’s a hard world out there!
Who are you playing for though?
It’s a no brainer that MMOs are social games. What would an MMO be without guild rivals, world chat, whispering to your roll dog about some noob getting his ass handed to him in that quest and there’s no denying the power of the almighty friend list. I can’t tell you how many times I realized all I wanted to do was set a game on fire only to find myself having tea and cookies on a burning ship when everyone with good sense had already jumped it throwing up the deuces. That’s when you need to realize that you are no longer spending time to play the game, but to hang out with your homies in guild chat.
If you find yourself logging on just to spend time with people, and immediately roll bounce when none of your friends are on, then its pretty darn obviously that the game has lost its appeal to you. Not saying there’s anything wrong with hanging out with your friends, I’m just not spending $20 bucks a month on a subscription just to whisper crude jokes in friend chat. Dude, you guys need to just Facebook me because obviously this game isn’t doing it for me.
When did the fun go away?
As stated in my previous point – this ain’t yo job son! What’s the reason you play in the first place? Because MMORPGs are fun, point-blank period. You get to blow off some steam, misplaced aggression or what have you, all while being able to live out some epic fantasy. I mean, when else am I going to get to be a spell slinging dark elf of a tragic race? Never that’s when! But the moment a game stops being fun and starts being an obligation, it’s re-evaluation time. I quit my last MMORPG because not only was I ‘forced’ to party more than I was able to fly solo, and being of a particular class meant I always got snatched up quick when it was time to party…by assholes. The game stopped being fun when I realized that everybody and their mama kept trying to boss me around, bitch me out (even when they needed ME though…-side eye-) and otherwise took a relatively ok game and put it straight to the top of my uninstall list. Of course I would have toughed it out if I had liked the game more, but my willingness to just screw it and bounce said a lot more about how I felt.
Grind got you down
If every time you log on, you find yourself bogged down by the never-ending quest list, bored already of the daily montage of kill-collect-grind, don’t even know the lore of the world you’re supposed to be saving, and you’re not down for any of the ish they keep trying to get you to do…then it may be time to look elsewhere. If you start comparing and ranking your game to others, then its the game itself that’s put a limp in your walk. Once you begin to feel like you’re just reliving the same old same old then there’s no point in you wasting your time here anymore is there? If you would rather watch paint dry then play that game for another hour, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Granted there is always a lot of other factors that go into the decision to jump ship. I mean what are you going to do with all that free time now?! Actually be productive? Dude, that’s for squares! And who is going to care that you left? Are you going to screw your guild over? And what you do with all your loot? And most importantly, what if you decide to come back? (But really what do I do with all my cool stuff?!) So its easy to see how all of these thoughts could very well guilt trip you into milking some interest from your game boredom for at least a little bit longer.
But don’t feel bad! When all else fails just remember that for every one that quits, there a hundred other people who just don’t know when it’s time to jump ship.
So tell me gamers, when do you first get that it’s time to abandon an MMORPG?