Through an interesting journey of blog clicks, I stumbled upon the following link via Nil’s MMO Blog—
I found it a fascinating read, and I think sums up quite well why I approach the MMOs I play the way I do. As a Tourist with Completist tendencies, and a Premium outlook, I can see why I liked Guild Wars so much and look so forward to Guild Wars 2: I strive to be skilled enough to beat the content (and once is enough; I don’t need to do it with perfection) so that I can be rewarded not with goods and loot, but with the next cutscene, the next breadcrumb on the story trail, and my goal is to finish the story. While it would be nice to see the end of GW’s elite dungeons, I am comfortable in the knowledge that they don’t keep me from being able to progress in the story, or prevent me from being able to be effective in new content that is released with the game.
Meanwhile, I find it difficult to connect to more traditional MMOs with their subscription fees (assuming subscription fees appeal to the Wholesaler) and end-game raiding – where, presumably, the bulk of the story resides. I can’t complete that content, so I end up dropping out long before, wondering what the point of leveling at all is. As much fun as I am having with Rift, I am still struggling with this. I do also wonder if this carries over into my view of PvP. My thoughts on griefing/ganking and uneven odds aside, open-world PvP has no end condition, unlike battleground/scenario-based PvP. It feels a lot more like a treadmill to me, which might explain why I want to stop for the night once I’ve had a particularly good match in the Black Garden. I won, right? I’m done. Yay!
I know there are a myriad of psychological factors that drive us and this 11-part series only serves to scratch a surface of a surface of why we do the things we do. For one thing, there’s no accounting for taste; why I like Guild Wars but really didn’t enjoy LOTRO for long remains a bit of a mystery to me. But I find it far more enlightening than a simple “hardcore” vs. “casual” debate, or even “carebears” vs. “everyone else.”