Which MMOs are you holding on to?

A comment by Telwyn on Syp’s most recent topic got me thinking of all the MMORPGs I currently got installed on my PC. I used to be such an exclusive WoW-player for some time, but gradually when things changed in that department, I returned to older games or started to pay new titles more serious attention. There used to be a time when religious “MMO fatalism” forbade such unfaithful practices, but these days a great part of any MMO player base will actually leave and come back, re-sub or sneak around several online worlds simultaneously. The big, dramatic quitting gesture is more and more becoming a thing of the past. And a good thing too.

There are currently five MMOs linked on my desktop, vying for my attention. And I realize that there’s no common pattern (or in places no sound logic) in why I choose to keep them installed on my PC (which is rather desperate for space) for that long. The reasons why we hold on to some MMOs can vary greatly (apart from actually playing them actively); sometimes we genuinely believe we’ll be back, sometimes we’re just too lazy to uninstall…but in other cases?

 MMOs I keep installed on my PC

  • Allods Online; Allods is my secret MMO crush. I’ve long decided that I cannot play Allods due to its forceful RMT concept and I do not intend to go back and retry in fact ever again. Still, I cannot bring myself to uninstall this MMO, I just love the Arisen so, so much! Call me a weirdo, I will hold up my Allods torch for some while to come, damnit!
  • Age of Conan; I re-subbed to AoC a few months ago when I was still deluding myself that it might fill the dark days of November and December and take my mind off the GW2 wait. Going back once more and testing the new PvP server was fun for a while, but it didn’t last as long as I hoped it would. Too much of the old concerns are still very much alive in Hyboria and they don’t get less vexing the second time around. I’ve no idea why I haven’t uninstalled the game yet – I think I should do that now.
  • Rift; I’m actually playing Rift again at the moment, after having been un-subbed for a very long time. I always meant to re-visit the bard class and lo and behold ended up enjoying the rogue path! The moment I re-subbed, I was instantly reminded of all the things I liked about Rift initially; this time around I am actually more relaxed about it, exploring and leveling up in peace together with my partner. We both know that Rift is just a temporary distraction, but I am very glad I decided to give it another chance. I guess that shows that not every MMO needs to fulfill that big, all-encompassing purpose.
  • Minecraft; Okay, not strictly speaking an MMO, but the way it can be played on private servers comes close. MC is one of those online worlds I will hold on to for a long time – if only to see how things progress in the future, what features will get added, new biomes or creatures to find and explore. I still feel very new to MC and its initial fascination has not diminished, while it’s also the perfect game to have as your “casual backup plan” whenever you want to go unwind. I’m an on-and-off guest there and the place I’ve built for myself is magical and special to me. Not uninstalling this one in any foreseeable future.
  • WoW; Yep…I have not uninstalled World of Warcraft up to this day. I can’t say why I’m holding on to it, certainly not because I harbour any secret wish to re-sub. I don’t. I’ve long learned that lesson. And yet, somehow it was too painful to get rid of the game entirely. I’ve gotten so used to the icon on my windows task-bar over the years…it’s almost as if WoW has become “desktop furniture”. I’ve cleaned out most folders to free up disc space long ago, but a part of me dreads the finality. It’s complete utter silliness, but there you have it. Maybe it will have to wait until I feel I’ve found an adequate replacement. A game that will put an end to the homesickness, maybe. Oh, to be young again and foolish!

Time for truth (lots of questions): 
How do you decide it’s time to dump an MMO?
Are you among those who hold on to MMO installs for purely sentimental reasons? 
Can you imagine not uninstalling a game despite no intention of returning?

Maybe you’re a frequent re-installer? Or still of the rare, MMO-monogamist persuasion?
Is there any symbolism in the “mighty uninstall” or is it generally overrated (and silly)?
Any MMOs currently “rotting” on your PC (fess up!)?

It would actually be very interesting to know how long WoW players (veterans?) take on average, before ever choosing to uninstall, if at all. I’d wager that in this particular case, my own hesitation is not so unheard of.


  1. I’ve still got WoW installed even though I haven’t played it for at least a year and despite the emails I’ve received lately inviting me to play 7 days for free (lol) I know I won’t ever play it again.

    But I’m in no hurry to uninstall, even though I cleaned out a few old games off the harddrive the other day (Aion didn’t survive the purge), and I still proudly stack my 4 WoW boxes up on the shelves and reminisce. I don’t consider myself sentimental about ‘stuff’ but looking at those boxes reminds me of good times. Or maybe somewhere deep down, I’m worried that one day it will be all that’s left worth to play. Which is a grim thought and probably I should just uninstall it!

    I also still have RIFT installed, there is a very slight chance I’d go back to that but as I’ve just started enjoying Fallen Earth recently, it’s unlikely RIFT will get a look in before TSW hits.

    And then there is good ole WURM online, that sandbox paradise, which wouldn’t surprise me if it outlasts everything else as my MMO bit-on-the-side.

    But in general I’m a frequent uninstaller, only the pick of the crop gets space on my hard drive and once I move on, I very rarely go back.

    1. I think those emails gave me the idea to retry Rift, heh. I only receive aggressive gold spam for Wow for some reason.

      It’s funny how the oldschool sandbox games can keep their attraction; maybe because you cannot exhaust them and they cannot exhaust you like other MMOs?

    2. Yes, I think you’re right. Sandbox games tend to be so vast and detailed that any sort of race to endgame or level-cap misses the point. I can completely set my own pace and my own goals and rely very little on new content. Not for everyone, but suits me very well.

  2. I’m not sure we MMO-gamists are quite as rare as you make us out to be, we just don’t necessarily make a big deal out of the fact that we aren’t playing anything else. Among non-bloggers the vast majority of my gaming acquaintances just play their one MMO of choice.

    And I never really uninstall games (including single player ones) unless I’m desperate for space or really hated it, and as it stands most of my hard drive is still a vast and empty expanse after two years, so I won’t be in trouble any time soon.

    leveling up in peace together with my partner

    This line intrigued me, didn’t you say once that you two didn’t get along in terms of play styles and didn’t play well together?

    1. Oh, I’m sure many are still playing one MMO at a time, maybe that didn’t come out clear. What I mean is that the mindset about quitting and trying something else, then returning, has become much more widespread.

      Players are less divided anymore into different “MMO camps”, the borders of all online worlds have become more fluent (ofc that is also due to the ftp trend), imo that’s relaxing.

      And indeed! That’s how it is, but for some reason, for once we manage to quest together in Rift! So far anyway, haha. I think it shows how little I care about Rift lol…or maybe I am learning more zen as I get older. 😉

    2. Argh, I’m trying to MMO with my partner for the first time before we try TSW together. It’s been…interesting. Considering he is a hardcore FPS player normally and I’m more of a whimsical player, I think we’re doing ok. But I know I’ll definitely want my own character to play solo as well.

    3. My better half is an FPS monkey, too! our different gaming backgrounds (and bartle profiles!) are really difficult to overcome at times. that said, we’re sitting in different rooms now while gaming (often we use skype lol), maybe that has helped too??

      I expect him to have a lot more fun in GW2 than usual, due to its combat system – he should actually be at the advantage. he’s already used to that playstyle a lot more than myself. so, we’ll see how playing GW2 together turns out!

  3. I think there are games I install just to try and games I know I’ll play longer term.

    I fancy trying Aion now it’s free to play, though I doubt I’ll get far into it as PVP is too heavy a focus. Whereas I’m pretty sure I’ll love Guild Wars 2 as it takes the great world and lore of the first game but adds some much needed open world exploration and system upgrades.

    I do not reinstall games though, they tend to linger for a while and when they’re gone they’re gone for good. That’s a sign of the times though, back when PC gaming was in it’s infancy and you installed them from floppy disks I regularly had to remove games from my hard drive (with it’s roomy 89 MBs of storage) as I couldn’t fit everything on at once! 😉

    1. Haha, oh yes the good old times – when you were constantly changing floppy disk while playing RPGs.
      I’m no fan of re-installing either, it’s partly the reason why I hold on to stuff. I think I need more disc space soon though, a dedicated HD for MMOs would be nice.

  4. MMOs I still have installed:
    Lord of the Rings Online (It’s F2P; they’re never getting another penny from me, but I do have 24 characters spread across two accounts and I still enjoy the lower-level uncontaminated content, so….)
    Rift (The first 20 levels are F2P and I’ll probably resub if they offer special rates during the anniversary event; I only unsubbed due to the disintegration of my guild.)
    Star Trek Online (It’s F2P and the space combat really captures the feel of Star Trek/Star Fleet Battles for me.)
    World of Tanks (It’s F2P and I’ve already invested a massive amount of time into it.)

    I think I’m beginning to see a trend here.

    MMOs I’ve uninstalled and will probably never reinstall:
    DC Universe Online (It’s F2P, but it never really grabbed me.)
    Everquest II (It’s F2P, but it’s a horrible F2P model; the core game has changed so much that it’s basically “no longer the game I once loved,” and only likely to get worse now that the last two competent devs have moved on.)
    Age of Conan (It’s F2P, but it’s also a bad F2P model; the flaws injected with version 1.5 are still there and, most importantly, it’s still run by the most clueless company in the MMO industry.)

    1. It’s obvious what big a role FTP plays in this. amazing how fast this model has established itself in the past few years.

      and you have a point on Funcom; they already had this bad start, but since then they’ve still not managed to improve in certain design and gameplay areas which are baffling.

  5. Main reason to dump an old MMO for me? A new one’s around. But usually, I am done with a game when the grind starts.
    Uninstalls happen only if I run out of space or a game I tried out is just to atrocious.
    Candidates for removal on my hard disk: Aerrevan, Eligium, Tera
    Staying: Aion, Darkfall, DDO, Fallen Earth, Guild Wars, Istaria, NWN2, Rift, Runes of Magic, EQ, EQ2, Vanguard, (SWG – okay, that qualifies for nostalgia), FF XIV, SWTOR, STO, Lotro, WOW, Project 99, SWGemu

    I am keeping STO around for now, despite being annoyed by it.
    Rift is a candidate for re-visit, so is Aion, but PVP will keep me from staying for long.
    Somebody else asked yesterday about frequent fall back games, which would be EQ2, Vanguard and Fallen Earth. Those are games I go back to after months, if I don’t find anything else to play.

    1. It would be interesting to hear when the “grind starts” as you put it, how you define that in general and for each MMO. you seem to have a big taste for diversity, quite the list of games! 🙂

      I’ve actually toyed with trying Vanguard; if I tire of Rift, I might give it a shot (iirc it was available on steam).

    2. When does the grind start?
      – One weeks worth of daily quests. Or just the realization that I’ll have to do dailies in order to level or to progress any further.
      – Anything past the 4th or 5th quest hub in one area. I blame SWTOR for that one.

      And the diversity comes from 12 years of playing MMOs. Regarding Vanguard, it’s still featuring corpse runs. You are going to love it 🙂

  6. I don’t uninstall games unless they were really bad and I am sure I wont ever try them again. Or if I desperately need the space, which might happen on my laptop.
    I quit WoW because as a GM and RL it got too mcuh work like and less like a game, thats been last april.
    So even after 11 months since my subscription ran out I have WoW installed on both of my computers, rusting away, or whatever non used files do.
    Only recently I deleted the icon from my desktop and uninstalled the curse client, which took long enough for something not being used. Usally
    I get rid of non-game programs much faster, but since it accompanied me through so many years, I got so used to seeing it I guess, that removing it would not even cross my mind. Kinda like the dried up pot plant on the windowsill that just stays there…

  7. Syl, AoC just dropped a patch that made some changes to PvP. Since I play via FtP I can’t do the PvP stuff, so I couldn’t tell you whether the changes would have an impact or not.

    The only game I pay for is WoW, so I’ve still got that installed, but the others I’ve got are all FtP: LOTRO, AoC, LEGO Universe, and Wizard 101.

    (Obviously, the last two are for the kids, but they haven’t played either in months. When they play MMOs, they almost exclusively play LOTRO. I forbade them from chatting with people online or joining a guild, so they just go out and quest.)

    I’ve thought about checking out DDO and Star Trek Online, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I do have to admit that the shrinking available space in my hard drive might have something to do with that decision too…

    1. Missing disc space is really half of the issue for me too – I need a new hard disk clearly, so I don’t have to ponder these questions at all! 😛

      I didn’t know about the PvP patch, but there’s too many things about AoC that keep putting me off in general. think I can pull the trigger on this one.
      haven’t tried either DDO nor STO, but LotRO would be my next stop were I to install something new before GW2.

  8. I’m in the lucky position that I bought a bunch of hard disks when they were near their all-time low. The video-editing that I had planned never really materialized, so now I’m stuck with a very generous storage setup. I have set away 1TB alone for games for now. So, I never really uninstall anything.

    At the moment, I count the following MMOs: Allods Online, City of Heroes, DDO, Dominus Beta, EVE, EQ, EQ2, LotRO, Need for Speed World, Rift, Runes of Magic, STO, Vanguard, WoW. The only ones I _played_ in the last month are LotRO and Vanguard. I have very little time at the moment, though… I think the “winners” are Dominus and STO, which I actually downloaded and installed, but never even logged into! Clearly a sign of too much disk space to waste. (Though Dominus just had very unlucky beta event times for me, so I just never got around to try it.)

    I try to keep all my games updated though, so I can log in whenever I want.

    And I don’t think I’ll ever uninstall WoW. It’s just too much of a hassle to reinstall. Or has that gotten better recently? Last time I had to do this, it involved chaining the installers for each release back-to-back to get a working copy, then patching up.

    1. I think WoW installs a lot faster than it used to these days. new installs should auto-include most of the needed patches.

      and there’s NO such thing as too much disk space!! *jealous*

  9. —How do you decide it’s time to dump an MMO?
    I dump an MMO when I stop having fun with it. That’s a… squishy… metric, but it’s true for any games I play, really. That’s why I’ve given up on some RPGs even though I kinda like the story; I just stop having fun with the gameplay.
    —Are you among those who hold on to MMO installs for purely sentimental reasons?
    Nope. I hold on to my screenshot folders, though.
    —Can you imagine not uninstalling a game despite no intention of returning?
    I can imagine it, but it would be because I just forget about it.
    —Maybe you’re a frequent re-installer? Or still of the rare, MMO-monogamist persuasion?
    I don’t play *any* game monogamously. I have reinstalled WoW before, when they opened up the first twenty levels to be subless, but that’s about it.
    —Is there any symbolism in the “mighty uninstall” or is it generally overrated (and silly)?
    For me, uninstalling is a cleansing thing, but not a big deal. I have a harder time selling old console games I’ll never get back to, but even that’s getting easier as I age.
    —Any MMOs currently “rotting” on your PC (fess up!)?
    Hrm… I haven’t played Wizard 101 for a while, but I intend to. That’s as close as I get; if I know I won’t play a game again, I’ll flush it. Gotta move on to something else.

    1. Hm, thing is sometimes I stop having fun but the second time around I actually enjoy things more and approach them differently. it’s similar to books – sometimes your timing just ain’t right. that said, the really big hits are usually beyond such doubts.

      I will always keep my screenshots too…and of course my old snes and psx games (all rpgs and few fun games such as bomberman or mario kart). HOW does one ever part with these?? I have a big issue now in the new apartment, there’s no more space to put’em, so they’re all in boxes. I don’t play any of them but still, what am I to do. -.-
      I think the day I sell my CT or xenogears, I will lose a part of myself irrevocably!

  10. MMOs I haven’t uninstalled: Allods, EVE, and WoW. Allods for the same reasons as you. I always subscribe to EVE for a few months out of every year, but I’m not currently subscribed. I picked WoW up 2 weeks ago to try out the Shaman class. Will not likely resubscribe when the month is up, but that’s kinda how I’ve been playing WoW for a couple of years now–off and on.

    I usually uninstall games I have no intention of playing again. SWTOR was the last MMO to fit that description, preceded by Rift.

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