Maintaining gaming momentum

I find that momentum is a very important aspect to playing an MMO for a prolong length of time, and it’s also very difficult to maintain, especially when RL forces a break. It’s also something that is equally influenced by both game design and player action. If you are playing an MMO that is overall less than great, even the most motivated groups will have a tough time keeping their momentum. On the other side of the coin, even a great game might fade for you if you don’t have a social backing to keep you going. Throw in the wildcard of a different title drawing away your attention, perhaps instantly breaking whatever momentum you had, and staying with any one title for a long time seems like a rather difficult or unlikely occurrence.

I bring this up because I’ve been playing Darkfall since its EU release, back in early 2009. When the NA server opened, Inquisition did not transfer over immediately, yet even with that I continued to play the game and enjoyed it. Inq came back, then left again, and still I continued, joining up with Blood down on Ruby. I now find myself in an odd spot, where day to day I’ve not found my rhythm with the game since returning from vacation, yet being more excited about the game than ever before due to both the upcoming changes and also in-game events (the return of TheMercs and the overall shifting of power with the relative decline of Zealots).

Other factors include my two good friends going on DF hiatus, playing the very enjoyable League of Legends with Inq, and Blood being somewhat less active then when I originally joined. To top it all off, the majority of my character development is more or less done, and while there are still plenty of skills I could improve, none of them are really ‘key’ skills I’m dying to reach.

Those negatives are offset by the fact that PvP in Darkfall has really never been better thanks to the most recent patch, and that I’ve yet to really experience more than a few major battles since that update. I was looking forward to last night as a siege was going to be dropped, but unfortunately that ended up not happening.

From my current perspective, I need some long-term goals added to the game, something to slowly work on during the downtime between PvP encounters or clan events. EVE is full of such possibilities, which no doubt partly explains not only its continued growth, but also its ability to retain players for such extended amounts of time. I’m hoping the soon-to-arrive expansion brings at least something like this, and I don’t doubt the next expansion will give everyone plenty of new things to do. At the same time, I know that if I make a solid effort to get myself back in the mix of things, the natural social momentum will start up and give me reason to log in on a consistent basis, and perhaps a major siege will be just the catalyst I need to jump back in.

Chuck-o-the-day: Chuck Norris owns the other half of the mask from Phantom of the Opera.

10 Responses to Maintaining gaming momentum

  1. Hollowman says:

    Try to collect whats needed for to build a wonder. If that’s not a longterm commitment i don’t know what one is ;P

  2. TheJexster says:

    I know where your coming from. Literally every time I have left a MMO it was due to something in real life that kept me out of the game for about a week. Once I got back to the game something just didn’t feel the same and I began to drift away from it. My friend and I have both frequently talked about this effect as it has happened to both of us many times.

  3. ISVRaDa says:

    There are really good goals for the guilds. For example the wonderful wonders. We did it with a lot of effort and the reward is amazing (only 2 wonders crafted and one is our).

    The problem comes with individual goals, here is where they need make improvements to the game.

    Regards o/

  4. thehamster says:

    Newflash: Sandbox MMORPG, without anything to do other than world PVP and grind, gets boring . . .

    I’ve also noticed that after taking time away from an MMORPG, your addiction can be cured. If the game is constantly giving you new theme-park activities and content, then it’s easy to get sucked back in. But in a game like darkfall, where there just isn’t much to do (IMO), then it can be tough to get back into it.

    • Song7 says:

      I tried to ignore this comment, but I’m weak and am unable to not feed the Troll. I never once gathered from any of Syncaines blogs that he has an addiction to anything other than poking a stick at Tobold. So I realy have no clue where that idea comes from. Secondly a theme park that streamlines content to you opposed to you making your own content is not any different it really would depend on the players ability to keep yourself entertained. And if the theme park’s content isn’t entertaining then the point is moot, as it would have no positive effect on the person playing.

      • Anonymous says:

        First: I’m not trolling. I didn’t mean much by using the term “addiction,” and perhaps it is an offensive term to insecure types. Regardless, everyone here (including myself) spends quite a bit of time playing MMORPG’s, so call it whatever you like.

        Second: What’s this about “making your own content?” That’s the big white elephant in the room with these so-called “sandbox” MMORPG’s. You can’t actually make any meaningful content in Darkfall or any other MMORPG. The only thing there is to do is grind and world-pvp. It’s sort of like if you took WoW, but the removed all the quests, dungeons, raids, and BG’s. Suddenly you have a sandbox mmorpg where all people do is grind mobs and world-pvp.

        • Song7 says:

          Nice jab on with the social engineering tactic. So to clarify are you jabbing me or Syncaine? Since you posted the comment originally at him and now use it at me to imply something that will cause either anger on my part or nonacceptance in your social circle. I have and will reference for you gamers actually making content in this game if need be. But, I think a simple google search on your behalf will suffice.

        • theJexster says:

          SWG has a quest editor, so you can kind of make some content. I’d love to see other games, like DF try something like that.

  5. Sean says:

    It seems that this problem is most acute for sandbox MMOs because of how much they rely on social networks to legitimize certain player activities as meaningful (and more meaningful than others). The game doesn’t have much of a formal system to recognize or signpost possible activities the player might engage in; the community finds the game in the game and so long as you’re part of that community, you have something to play.

    When you take that inevitable vacation from the game, you begin to lose the connection to the community that makes the basic player procedures (killing creatures, harvesting resources, etc) meaningful. If the game doesn’t give you a purpose and a goal, and you feel detached from the community that might supply some for you, then the game will be far less appealing.

    The WoWs of the world have mitigated that problem at least. There is a set of stock answers in WoW to the question “What am I to do?”, and most of them are explicitly sign posted by the game. To those, the community adds a few extra and embellishes the existing ones the game provides. There is certainly less breadth of possible activities in WoW than EVE or Darkfall, but if you enjoy the rides that are provided, they will always be there to come back to.

  6. [...] Posted on August 10, 2010 by Drannos Momentum really is the word for it. Funny how easy momentum is to lose, and so hard to regain. But, then [...]

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